I don’t believe in forever.
Let me clarify that: I don’t see forever as a FIXED destination. To me, it’s an arbitrary spot, an X mark thrown to a point that can never be reached, because it jumps onto the next point and on to the next, like the little maya birds that flock the metro, so used to people yet remain so wary.
Before I met you, this idea of forever was just that. An idea. And I had this feeling that I may change my mind about it, when I do meet you, because even if I didn’t believe in forever, I believed in your existence. I just did. No explanations needed.
So when I met you, and my idea of forever… surprisingly, stayed the same. I still saw it as a fleeting, uncontrollable, inevitable point that will, ironically, forever be within my grasp, but never is. Just merely. And I think I’m fine with that. I’m fine that even after I met you, my idea of forever remained the same. I didn’t have to delude myself that our time would be fixed. I didn’t have to carry with me the fear and doubt that it might not be fixed. I didn’t have to wonder about what the future — what the next point of forever — holds.
I just had to live in the now, with you, and do as much as I can with what I have while I have it.
Because even if I don’t believe in forever, I do believe that the love we have, the connection we’ve made and continue to strengthen, and the memories we are making right now, will remain within me, and shape me into the person I was meant to be, as it will do to you (hopefully).
So if one day, our time runs out, as it would because forever is a social construct made my people who equate true love with the length of time spent with a person, instead of the quality of bond the people have with one another, then know this: I am grateful for the time we got to be one, and I hope that as we go our separate ways, you will take with you a part of me, in exchange for that part of you that I will never want to be apart from.
I am very comfortably in middle of my late twenties, and I have to say, amidst all the numerous anxieties and countless nights of overthinking that I have to live with and through, this is the best time of my life, for I have learned one very important thing about existence: if you can be happy with your own company, you will never be sad anywhere.
This is just based on my experience of course. For a really, really, really long time, I tried to fit my self into the so-called “squad mentality”. In high school, we call them “cliques” or in Filipino, “barkada”. I don’t know what I was thinking, convincing myself that I was happy to tag along a group of people to do the same things at the same time in the same place.
In hindsight, I knew it was the people pleaser in me that needed validation, but I am happy to report that I have shed that part of me (mostly) and now I can live with the fact that I am a type B loner, and be proud of it even.
Let me explain: there are two types of loners.
Class A loners are what you may consider as floaters. They don’t belong in any barkada or clique or squad or whatever you call them, BUT they may be accepted into these groups, provided they have an In (like a close friend who is a core part of the group) or something they can contribute (like a hang-out place or a supportive parent who likes to spoil his or her child with material things). Typically, a successful floater must have both. You may say that Type A loners are those we call user-friendly, and you’re 100% right. Because at the end of the day, even having an In doesn’t mean floaters become a true part of the group, because, you know, real friends shouldn’t ask for payment. Besides, floaters, for the most part, like being liked, but they also like being by themselves, or with other loners, preferably Type Bs.
Now, I am a Type B loner, so I’ll be kinder in my description, mostly Type Bs tend to be sensitive about these things. Type Bs are the unwelcomed ones, those cast out of cliques/ squads/ barkadas for one reason or the other, and are therefore unable to inflitrate any other group. Not that they would want to. They have had their taste of what it is like to be a faceless, nameless part of a whole, and so they would prefer to keep their face and their name, albeit alone. Still, being humans who are social by nature, Type Bs would seek out friendships with like-minded people i.e. those who do not need to be tied to their hips 24/7 but would be ready and available and willing should they need some QT together.
This makes Types As the best friend for Type Bs, if Type Bs believe in the archaic idea of needing a best friend to survive, which they don’t.
Back in high school, I was friends with a Type A loner, and she was always, always willing to extend invites to her Ins, which made me very uncomfortable, but I kept mum about it. Oh, and I had an In as well, not that I was eager to use her as much as my Type A loner friend used hers. I hope you don’t think badly of my Type A loner friend, or any Type A loners for that matter. Remember, high school is tough, for everyone. Looking back at it, we both survived high school the best way we could, and we ended up becoming people we can actually like, and even love. So all’s well. Now.
Still, if I could go back in time, I would probably tell my 15 year old self to quit wanting to please everyone and just be who I was. I may have made more better memories in high school if it didn’t take me until my 16th birthday to get an epiphany and realize that life isn’t meant to be lived for the validation of others.
So what if they would think you’re weird for liking your own company? The idea may be alien to them; it may even be something they’re terrified of testing on their own. But that doesn’t concern you, so why should it concern them? Live and let live.
And be happy.
P.S. This should go without saying, but I am more than just my Type of Loner, okay? TTFN.
I have to say, there’s a story plot her somewhere.
Working on it since 2002 (the year I decided I would be a teacher when I “grow up”).
The Unknown Unrequited
I have never met a person so in love as she is with you.
She would call me up, right after school, just to tell me what you guys talked about when you walked her home. She would gush about every little detail — how you looked talking about your grandparents who recently visited, how you would listen to her talking about her new puppy, how you guys would say something at the same time and get all awkward and shy with each other, only to end up laughing like idiots (her words). I could hear her smiling from the other line, and then there will be a long pregnant pause. She would start thinking about how she was feeling, and knowing her as well as I do, I could practically hear her questioning the rightness of her happiness. She would then ask me what I think of you… But then, even before I could speak, she’d start listing down the reasons why you were so perfect — how you helped her in the library that first time you met, how you offered to teach her for that tough Algebra exam, how you waved at her that one time in the gym and had made her feel butterflies in her stomach, how you were so kind to your younger brothers, how you would smile at her when your eyes meet in the cafeteria, or across the hall, or in the gym, or basically anywhere. She would defend you to me, even if I haven’t said anything. She would berate me for not wanting to get to know you. She would ask me, for the nth time, to walk with you guys home, so I can know that you are a good guy, deserving of such a great girl.
I have never met a person so in love as she is with you… because how can you meet your own self?
Her face is like ivory. Smooth, white, precious.
Her eyes twinkle from within, and sometimes I truly believe there are lights inside.
Her nose is cuter than anything else I’ve seen.
Her smile is always genuine, and you’ll know it, if you know her.
But what makes her beautiful to me isn’t what others can see.
She is beautiful, yes, but made more so because of her heart.
She listens to me whenever I need someone to.
She gives me advice even when it should have been the other way around.
She points out the obvious without making me feel stupid for having missed them, so engrossed am I to every little detail, that I fail to see the big picture, therefore, the other parts of the picture.
She laughs at my failings, but never at me.
She goes with me when she knows there’s no one else I’d go with, even if I know she must have another person in mind to go with her.
She allows me to be me — messed up, confused, a little crazy — and most surprisingly, loves me for it.
She makes me feel like I can do whatever I want, because it’s OK that I haven’t.
She supports me, just by being there.
She may not consider me as her main Person, but that’s fine.
Having her as MY main Person is more than enough.
And though she never asked me for anything in return, I commit myself to a Person who would be there for her, should she need one.
1. Get into an active lifestyle. I have written about this plan/ goal and I have to be honest: I haven’t actually done much after writing that post. It took a while for my legs to stop complaining whenever I walk, and then I have that thing about starting something in the middle of the week, so I’ve decided to wait until the start of April (and no, it won’t be a prank because, really, that wouldn’t be funny for anyone) to officially kick off my sedentary life style and get into active mode. This is a lifestyle change challenge, one that I have been fantasizing of doing FOR A VERY LONG TIME, and I am Determined (with a capital D) to succeed.
2. Explore Marikina and take lots of pictures. Saw this post on Facebook shared by my city’s public information office’s page and I have to say, I have lived in Marikina my whole life, and I don’t think I’ve seen a quarter of it. That will change this summer though. Since I have been thinking (daydreaming, really) of travelling alone, but I’m too cowardly to do it to somewhere far from home, I figured exploring my home town should be the best way to start. I’ll also be able to practice my photography skills, something I’ve always *secretly* wanted to do. (Check out my work (naks!) here.)
3. Get Twenty checked up. Twenty has been with me for eight years now and she’s only been to the vet once. ONCE. I love her, very much, and I know I should be more responsible for her. I really want her to live longer, so I’m going to have to squeeze in a day for her to get looked on. There’s no sign that she’s in any pain or whatever, which is great, but you never know…
4. Go to the beach at least once. I don’t know how this will happen, but I really want this to happen.
5. Read the Chronicles of Narnia. I bought the compiled book BEFORE I left Makati which was a year ago, and it has remained in my so-called bookshelf ever since. I’ve finished other books this year, including the Harry Potter series, and have been re-reading old Julia Quinn favorites on my phone. I miss reading actual books so this will be part of my bedtime routine. This will also help me get off the Internet. I’m hoping, at least.
6. Get a job. (OLOPSC *crossfingers*) Goes without saying. I’ll probably write a whole post explaining why I want to go back to OLOPSC, but not right now though.
7. Do volunteer work. I’m hoping my friend Pami will be able to join me with this. I’m eyeing CRIBS Philippines, although I’m not sure if they are open for fixed/ in house volunteers. I don’t have much experience with babies, but the first time Pami and I went there, I knew I need to go back. Those poor babies are just too adorable, and all they want is physical contact… who am I to say no? Another option is Gawad Kalinga or any of those other NGOs that build houses. Janella Salvador’s 18 treasures also gave me an idea of helping out the poor and needy, like maybe donating old clothes to them. We have boxes full of them just waiting to be donated.
8. Donate old/ unused clothes to church. I know mom wants to “screen” these clothes, just in case she has a “friend” who can benefit from our old clothes, but I’m determined to clear out all old clothes before the next school year begins…
9. Start writing reviews again. I missed writing them. I used to write one after I finish a movie or a book or an episode, but ever since I change blogs, I haven’t found the desire to write a review. I usually just tweet my reaction. This summer though, I’ll try to come up with a list of things I would like to try (from art to food to fashion) and then write a review about it. Since I am still (or will be, after April 15) unemployed, I figured I have tons of time to do that. And enjoy it.
10. Start a passive income account (investment?). I need to research more on this. I want to be smart here and not just put my money on something that will not reap rewards. The goal is to finalize everything before my birthday, at least.
I still have two more weeks of work and then it’s officially vacation time. Can’t wait.
Correction: I had three weeks left of work. Also, I have another
viable option for a job that presented itself a day after I posted this, though the OLOPSC option is still viable.
My mind is going all over the place, partly because it’s Sunday, mostly because it’s mine. I figured, I need some serious stream of consciousness detox, so here goes:
I want to lose weight, like really lose weight and see it in my body, with my clothes and have people comment about it. I want to be seen as someone fit and fab and beautiful. I want to be able to wear a two-piece bikini at the beach or a private pool (because I will NEVER go to a public pools again) with confidence and swag, and you know I mean it because I never use words like swag. Ever.
I want to lose the arm fat because it’s ugly and annoying. For me anyway. If you like yours, good for you.
I want to take pretty pictures of pretty things and post it on my Instagram.
I smell butter cooking and even though I have eaten two servings of rice and sinigang (because it’s Sunday anyway!), I kinda want to see what brother is cooking.
I want to buy new earphones because my old ones are no longer working, but I figured I can go do that tomorrow after work, since I am planning to buy a gift for Tita Emma’s birthday on Tuesday, and really, I didn’t go to church for Easter Sunday, so I have no right to go to the mall. I did went out today (hooray for me!) to buy groceries which is why I got to cook sinigang for lunch. I’m pretty proud of myself since I bought ALL the ingredients for it. I’m planning to cook the chicken and the giniling later or tomorrow. But maybe later since I don’t have anything else to do tonight anyway and I can’t go to sleep because it’s going to wreck havoc on my sleepiness later tonight, and tomorrow’s back to work Monday and I can’t be late.
I think I need to get my job prospects panned out ASAP, or at least before I send Papa that long-awaited letter explaining why I haven’t wrote to him in a long time, and also informing him that I am going to be in-between-jobs again. This is the third time in six years that this has happened, so he might not see this as something positive, but I know I can find a way to phrase it in a way that doesn’t sound like I’m being incompetent or anything. I’ll be as honest as I can possibly be, with him anyway.
I want to go back to OLOPSC and teach in the high school department and have an advisory class that I will form into a family, and we will have the best times and the worst times and the memorable times. I want to be a teacher who teaches, who works on her lesson plans every weekend, who schedules a time to binge watch all her favorite shows and knows — KNOWS — in her gut that she deserves all the free time she gives herself because she has worked hard on her lessons and her other academic requirements.
I want to go back to school and take creative writing.
I want to take my Masters in English Language and Literature in the Ateneo because it’s my dream school and I really want to be an Atenean and I want to go to school in Katipunan and meet new people and love every moment of it.
I want watch OINTB Season 3 but the download is so freaking slow.
I want ice cream – vanilla, my favorite flavor.
I want to download exercise videos — warm – ups, cool downs, yoga, zumba, aero — and do them all at least once this week.
I want to have a passive income I can rely on so that I wouldn’t have to settle for a job offer I don’t really want.
I need and want to get my hair rebonded but I’ll wait until the third or fourth week of May, or at least after we’ve gone swimming so it won’t be a waste.
I want to go to the beach with Pami and Jhay and spend a night with them there, preferably in a bar. I’m thinking Boracay…
I want to swim with the jelly fish in Palau.
I want to see New York Time Square and twirl.
I want to sky dive.
I want to travel alone, somewhere, just so I can say that I had done it.
I woke up this morning confused to what day it was. I really thought it was already Monday, and the clock said 6:06 AM, making me very late for work. Twenty was meowing for food/ attention and I didn’t know what to do. I turned on the TV and changed it to channel 2. I checked my phone again. It said Mar 27, Sunday.
I swear I felt my whole body tense up and relax in a nanosecond. I was not ready for it to be Monday. I am not ready to just watch my life pass me by… The idea that I had slept a day away, without doing anything of importance (minor may it be), terrified the sh*t out of me, and you know I mean THAT because I never curse unless it’s imperative to do so.
I keep thinking about the things I know I will regret not doing if I don’t do them now. I’m only going to be 27 now. I’m never going to be this me again. Something will happen, and I know, I know, things will change. They always do. So what can I do now while I can do it now?
Well, I can probably talk to mom. I know I should. I don’t want to. I don’t know how. I don’t know how to want to. So not that.
I can… exercise. Meditate. Watch a movie that I’ve seen before to fill in the silence of my room and the noise in my head.
I can write. Well, I am writing right now. I can write that novel. Maybe… later. But if I die tonight, I will never have written a single page of that novel… Wouldn’t that be a shame… Maybe
I can write that letter to Papa…
I can eat… No. No eating. Unless you’re truly hungry, which you’re not. How can you be? You ate two servings of RICE and sinigang. TWO! You’re not getting dinner tonight. Or the rest of the week for that matter.
Or maybe I can have cereals for dinner…
I saw a video of a person with Disassociative Identity Disorder last night, and I think the chances of me having that is very very big…
But no. I’m Beryl. Bee. Bej. Bexx. I am this messed up mind of manic thoughts. And all I have are words to try to make sense of them.
And I have love too. A student of mine messaged me earlier, asking for help for her poetry assignment. She didn’t actually had to ask, to be honest. I knew she needed my help when she greeted me out of the blue. I’m glad that I think I helped her. I hope I did. My ego needed that talk. She said she wished all her teachers were like me. I couldn’t help but wonder how my Angelican learners would feel about that… Too bad I won’t be able to redeem myself in their eyes… Not that I would want to, really, because I don’t care… Unfortunately…
But with my next class of learners, I will care. With all of me. I am whole again. THANK GOD.
I really should go to mass. I have nothing else to do… Just waste time away. Maybe hearing God’s Word is just want my soul needs.
So many maybes…
Dear Ex – Friend,
Hi. How are you? I hope you’re doing fine. Seriously. I do hope you’re okay, that whatever it is you’re doing in your life, you’re doing it because you want to and it makes you happy.
I guess you may be wondering why I am writing you right now. Well, to be honest, it’s more for me than for you really. See, I’m trying to move on from our failed friendship, and I figured, what better way to do that but by writing you a farewell letter. The chances of you getting to read this is closer to none, but I don’t care, because this is my way of letting you — us — go.
I wonder if you can remember how we became friends. Was it because of proximity? Was it because you thought I was friendly? Was it because you saw in me something you liked? Was it something I said or did or was?
Whatever it was that made you call and/ or consider me as your friend, I would like to thank you. I know it’s a belated thanks, and may even be considered a wasted one since we are no longer friends, but thanks nonetheless. I truly believe that you were sent my way (or I was sent your way) for a reason, and the time we were friends was the time we were supposed to be friends. And no matter what has transpired between that moment we became friends to the moment our friendship ended, the laughter, love and learning we shared in between will remain in my heart, for as long as I live.
I’d also like to say sorry now, for how things ended. I don’t really remember much of how it went, but I do remember that it wasn’t easy. Endings never are. I do confess to having shed a tear or two, when I lost you. And there were moments when I wondered, maybe we can still recover from whatever happened. Maybe there was still hope for a reconciliation. Maybe, this is just a test that we had to pass.
But then, later, and even now on hindsight, I have to admit, losing you, and ending our friendship, was also the right thing to do, and one the best decisions I had to make. I guess you can say that the old cliche about sometimes the right thing to do is the most difficult thing to do (or something like that) is true, which is why it is a cliche.
I do hope that you are indeed in a place in your life where you are happy. Because even if we are longer friends, I still believe you deserve happiness. I will continue praying for you, and I ask, if it’s not so much of trouble, for you to do the same for me.
Lastly, I hope you know that even if our friendship no longer exists, the fact that it once did, and that it had changed my life for the better and helped me become the person I am now, is something I will forever cherish in my heart.
This has been in my drafts folder for the longest time, and every time I listen to it, I can’t help but chuckle every time I hear a profanity.
This is not my typical response, as I have chosen to remove curse words in my vocabulary, and whenever I hear it from other people (particularly my students), I cringe inside.
This honest meditation, however, helps release the negative thoughts inside my head, and I have to say, it’s surprisingly very refreshing to listen to.
I got into the meditation hype this past year as a way to hold on to my sanity through those periods of anxiety. I must say, I have started seeing life differently ever since I immersed myself in its power. Being in the now and practicing mindfulness has greatly improved my life.
I’m still in the process of curating my favorite mindfulness meditation videos on YouTube, and they can all be found here.