28 April 2011

38 realizations and then some

Squint your eyes and look closer--oh wait, wrong 30something countdown. Chos.

Was spending some time earlier doing what I love doing best these past few years -- writing and revising -- in a place where I
am beginning to "un-feel" something that excited my blood some half a decade ago when I realized that I have been making or discovering or unearthing lots of realizations in my realities lately. So before my birthday month ends, I think I want to solidify these flurry of passing/haunting thoughts by writing them down here.

Yes, this will be an indulgence -- much like the rest of the content of this blog, as blogs are really meant for such, hey -- so bear with me. Yes, you can comment, why not. I am a fan of discourse and dialogue as I always say, as long as they are based and anchored on good logic and non-oppressive formats.


Yes, 38. Since last 24th, I turned 38. Gosh, I never realized I'd reach this age but hey, we're still here, and we're still queer. And no, it doesn't mean that each realization is something I highly agree with. You'll see.

So sige, let's do this.

38 realizations by leaflens on the occasion of her 38th bday


1. Despite the yea
rs, I am still hot. Haha! Or as we say in Filipino, may asim pa ang lola mo! Chos. I realized this because I saw how people kinda like me but are just fucking afraid of going near me. But that's another realization altogether. See #2.

2. Oo, malakas pala talaga ang dating ko. There's this thing in the Filipino culture where you are branded as someone who comes off as too strong--sometimes for your own good--to other people. But that's not really your fault. You're built that way and people react accordingly. So this means women who like you get intimidated to approach you (woe is me!) and wimpy co-workers evade you altogether because you can call them out on their shit without batting an eyelash while still looking so effortlessly fabulous. And in the Filipino work culture, that's not an asset. Woe is me.

3. No matter how I package myself as "queer" in the Philippines, I will only be perceived by the local LGBTQ community as a "butch lesbian." Like my good lesbian advocate friend said, "Libay, the Philippines is still trying to grasp the concept of the L and the G, and they haven't fully understood the concept of the B and the T." So yeah, in short, good luck to my Q!!!

4. I've been genderqueer-looking for years now even before I
realized I was, or even before I discovered such a term existed. And there I was, thinking in all honesty that I can snag the pretty femme out there just because I am also femme (femmes go mostly for femmes here in lezmanila) but no, I have to remember that I would almost look androgynous if not for my freaking huge breasts and hips, which make me sexy. So thus...

5. I realized that I am really sexy, indeed. Hahaha! i just have to dress the part and I'm good! Heck, even straights hit on me when I'm in this "passing het" mode, so there. Hahaha! Which brings me to...

6. I can still pass as straight pala! If during meetings some random guy eyes you like he wants to take you out to a date or something, that really really really means something! Sorry dude, I only go for female-bodied persons. Tough luck.

7. After years of
monogamous relationship after monogamous relationship, I realize I might not really be built to be in one for long. Either that or there's just slim pickings for me here in Manila. Or I might not be circulating in the proper crowds. Or maybe I am just conditioned to be with one partner but in essence, I really don't want that. Case in point: as I am seeing someone, I also get attracted to another one, and having crushes on others. And no, it's not simply being a big flirt. Still, with that being said...

8. I think my system would only accept monogamous relationships for now. And that thought scares me because it contradicts with #7. I guess I am a walking irony. And why do I say this? Because...

9. I realize I can't shake off jealousy that easily. Call me Juno but I guess there's this built-in thing when you get so used to monogamy to also push the button called jealousy. I hate it when I am a green-eyed monster like that sometimes, because it consumes me. And I hate being consumed that way.

10. And yet, I also realize that I am cool with open relationships. Now why is that? Maybe due to years of training as well, being with women who also had some thing or other with someone or other out there, during the beginning of our interactions. Which they eventually junk, by the way, to settle down with me in some form of monogamous bliss. But come to think of it, it's just a pity that we all have to end up in monogamy just the same. Which brings me to the realization that...

11. Women want to own me, just me. It's not an exaggeration if I say that all, like all, the girlfriends I've had in my life, uttered this one scary but singular line: "Akin ka lang, ha" meaning they are pleading-slash-reinforcing that I belong to them, and only them. Yes, my girlfriends are more proprietary than proprietary software for gosh sakes man, I swear. I don't know what's with me that they feel the need to put a tag on me and call it off limits to all. Hm. Flattering, I admit, but scary just the same.

12. Being an accomplished LGBTQ advocate in the Philippines don't get you laid, grrl. Like haller. The more people kn
ow you and your work in fighting for their rights, the more they avoid you and deify you like you're a golden calf or something. I remember this scene in the film MILK where Harvey Milk's admirers really go to his place and want to sleep with him, just cause, you know. Like that character played by Diego Luna. Hm I might be in the wrong continent to be such. Not that I'm being an advocate to get laid. No such thought in me.

13. The women who wanted to own me eventually ended up treating me bad. Now why is that? Maybe it's because when they are so sure that they had me on a leash, they forget to care. But they also forget that leashes are easy to snap out of. Hay, which b
rings me to...

14. Women
who declare they love me all put me in leashes. And not the kinky way, mind you. Most of them limited my mobility in one way or another -- my artistic expressions, my interactions with other beings, my expression of my sexuality, you name it. I wonder if I have such a puppy personality that they feel the need to tie me up and lead me to the life they wanted for me/us, without asking me first. Sucks, right?

15. In essence, I really embody the "You complement me" principle more than the Jerry Maguire "You complete me" shtick. Like I said before, I am already complete; I am just finding people to complement me, friends and lovers both. The work of completing one's self relies only on one's self.

16. I realized that if I am indeed complete, then I shouldn't feel so unhappy when I don't have a partner/lover. And yes, to tell you the truth, I am indeed happy during these times. Unlike maybe 12 years ago, I guess I've come to be more mature and I've learned that there's no sense wasting over being so girl-hungry and such. Which leads me to the next realization that...

17. I should focus more on myself, and my self-growth. Because I have been setting aside my own growth for the growth of my current partner du jour, I always find myself lacking in terms of growing and nurturing my own needs. That's the sacrifice I chose to make during those days, and most times, I regret them, really. So this is why...


18. The next time I get into a committed relationship, I should keep more "me time" than "we time." Since you also need to preserve your own self intact regardless of having a partner. No, not a fan of that "two become one" shtick, sorry Spice Girls. Which also leads me to...

19. The next time I have a steady girlfriend(s?), we won't live in together. As a writer and probably who I am as a person, I value my privacy so much and I value it if I could keep a space of my own to do things I want to do. Sometimes, I really want to just be in a fortress of solitude like Superman. And I eventually fly in people meaningful in my life inside it every so often, if I feel like it.

20. I realized I have to stick to office hours-hours in order to survive one more year of teaching.
Since it gets so lonely whenever the sun sets on me in my dear old alma matter these past few months, I feel I need to get out of the campus if I want longevity in this current course of my life. (Long story, hard to tell...) Just cause. Basta! But that being said...

21. Sometimes I feel I am not cut out to be an academician.
Sure, I can spit and duel theories with you, draw up pedagogy chorva like there's no tomorrow, but the practitio
ner in me sometimes shouts that I could be of better use to humanity if I am outside the academe. Hay... tough call. Which leads me to...

22. If only I made enough money in being a writer, I'd be a full-time writer instead.
But we all know that that's not the case here in the Philippines. Hay time management, wherefore art thou?


23. As much as I like working in mainstream media, I still am wary of it. Need I say more? I am an advocate of many rights and that doesn't jive well with some mainstream practices and reflections...

24. But I get drawn to work for like-minded individuals who turn out to be visionaries. I just hope they follow through with their visions this time, though, unlike in the disappointing past.


25. Despite my age, I still seek new challenges in the area of work. Because I'm not trapped in making merely money but making a dent in the universe, I still seek this. Knowledge above profit. Which is not good, I know, in most circumstances...

26. I don't have patience working with morons.
No need to elaborate.


27. I don't have patience working with self-entitled powertripping assholes. Enuf said.

28. I think I want to teach where a class really wants to learn, not just whiling away time to finish a four-year bachelor's degree. Sometimes, it feels like that teaching in the premiere state university. I'd rather teach in some place where education will really make a difference.

29. I'm still not rushing things but unlike before, I now want to publish my own book and make my first full-length film asap. I don't know where this is coming from, but heck, if it drives me, then so be it, right?

30. I realize that, no matter what the leader does, the Philippines will still remain in this quagmire of corruption. Since it's already endemic to this culture, much like how tarsiers are endemic to Bohol.

31. I don't think I will ever see true gender equality in my lifetime. Hello the RH bill can't get passed, what more the Anti-Discrimination bill? And other things. Hay...

32. Friends are a thing of the past.
The only person you need to rely on is yourself.

33. I am such a fucking romantic. Because I watch a lot of fucking movies and listen to Broadway tunes, is why. Hates. It. I don't want to be hardwired this way no more.

34. No matter how much I hate being in Manila, I'm too chicken to leave it.
For some strange reason, we have this symbiotic relationship. Maybe because I'm a writer. Ewan.

35. As much as I'd like to migrate to North America, I'm reluctant to start over. A good friend reminded me of the privilege I have here over the years and yes, she is right. I have been so fucking privileged that I have yet to realize that. Like duh.

36. How I wish envy fueled me to strive more. But that's the thing: I really don't feel genuine envy. At all. Maybe that explains who I am today and why am I in such a state.

37. Yes, I am arrogant. As a friend told me once, we are all arrogant. So yes, I am embracing it. Full force.

38. I like being alone. Even if I have occasional bouts of loneliness and such, in the end, I still like my own personal space and time, my me time, my own time. And if someone didn't understand that, then s/he ain't a friend in the first place.


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