Some folks say that's the end of the world as we know it. Some folks just laugh.
Me, I wind down.
What a whirlwind of a year this has been. I was actually planning on writing something else in this space to count down the days to the new year. But this whirlwind sometimes still knocks the wind out of me, thinking and remembering what has been, what was there, and what has gone -- and what I want. Alas, there is also what is irretrievable, a touch-move stance, broken pieces that no glue on earth could mend. The intangibles.
We take them all in.
On my computer desktop, I write notes to myself on electronic post-its, things that pop into my head, mostly of things I should write about. One of them read like this:
conversations with my ghosts, or speeches i will never make (addressing phantoms of my mind)
This project eventually evolved when the word "pensieve" entered my mind one day, in reference to that big container of magical water in the Harry Potter mythology where you drop bits of tears that store memories in your mind. Or was it straight-up thoughts tapped from the temple by the wand and put in special vials to be poured out of the pensieve for viewing of memories in 3D. Something like that.
I thought of pensieve-ing some thoughts that have been bothering me this whole year, especially the latter half of the year, thinking of leaving them in this container of a blog, so as not to bring them over when I cross time markers with the rest of the world as the earth completes yet another revolution in its orbit. But I decided to junk that project. It seemed too heavy, too deep, that I may not be able to muster enough strength to present it clearly, to carry it. It still weighs my soul down. The "conversations to people I will not make" project was also let go, as it also weakens me to even think of it. I guess I still can't converse.
So I thought of focusing on the whirlwind(s), and what still blows my sails to discover directions forgotten and new ones yet to be discovered.
Perhaps the biggest whirlwind of it all is finding love again despite the soul-shattering episode I had last year. While it looked too good to be true, odds were defied and new formations of interactions were established, invented, and solidified. Now the trick is, what if ties have to be severed?
Often have I cried to a couple of good friends about this mid-year, when the strongest of those ties was cut off for good -- physical distance. I told my friends that I think I could better handle the tragedy of losing a love than the "tragedy" of loving someone who is not with you physically. I guess this is the wind that also knocked me out of my wits after riding high after high after high of this love interaction, love reinvented, love revamped project, for the first great half of the year, when I was having the time of my life.
As I tweeted earlier this month:
As with all addictions, love is also something I need to handle. Perhaps the intensity of the love I experienced was so strong that it needed to be contained, controlled, handled, but I couldn't. I didn't know how. I know I'm not making much sense here but trust me on this one when I say that this love I felt was the most wonderful love I have ever felt in a long time, because it was complete -- intellectually, mentally, romantically, sexually. Complete, not perfect, but perfection is not the aim there, but contentment. And I was so content. Contentment leads to a quiet kind of happy. A quiet kind of happy leads to waking up each day being grateful, and going to sleep with the thought that waking up the next day excites you. It was like that. For me, at least.
Love is a drug, and after years of exposure,
I definitely need rehab. How do you get sober?
A complete package is rare to encounter in one's lifetime, if you encounter it at all. Given my history in this department of romantic feelings, I was actually cynical that this kind of package even existed at all. But surprisingly, it did. No, it's not really just the person you meet--of course that is the most important catalyst and element--but the overall circumstances that get factored in also mattered: her countenance, my countenance, our combined circumstances, the environment that pushed us to be with each other, things that nurtured the interaction, positive and negative ones. You could say that we needed each other at that particular space and time. And perhaps it's over now. Or at least, that stage is. And it can never be retained, sustained, or maybe it has to evolve to something else. Who knows? But perhaps we are both resisting the evolution, for reasons we are not yet clear about. Or maybe that's just me.Or I'm just overthinking, yet again.
So that's the whirlwind that propelled me to love again for the first half of the year, the same wind that knocked the wind out of me when that love turned out to have a physical expiration date. But we knew it was coming; we just didn't prepare for it. Defiant bitches that we are, we ignore such things, of course. And I think we both suffered after, individually. We coped, still coping, and perhaps will continue coping unless the universe gives us clues as to what to do next. But we also don't wait. We only hope.
But the bottomline here is that we are still both glad that we are in touch, even if from a distance, even if other factors bother our spheres already in our respective universes. I likened her once to a comet, something that comes once in a lifetime, gracing the skies with its marvelous and stunning presence, and then leaving, not to be seen for the next decades. Something like that. I guess I have to remind myself that if this love was indeed that kind of a comet, then I have to fortify myself and accept the fact that I learned a lot from it, I grew as a person with that kind of interaction, and I was able to wake up what was sleeping inside of me, all these years, dormant facilities that needed to jumpstart again. For those results, I am very, very grateful this happened at that time and with that person. I never regret one day of our interaction, even if during my saddest moments of longing I somewhat did. Of course you think crazy thoughts when you are immensely sad.
So perhaps what I am saying here is that I am glad for this love interaction that came into my life this year, and also left but not to be forgotten. Maybe new chapters of this book will be written in the future, we both mused once, but as for now, we don't hang on to what will be, but we hold on to what once was. And it's fine that sometimes, we ignore what is there right now, since that is the hardest to deal with the most. But yes, we cope. Indeed, we do. We always cherish.
I guess this immense sadness from longing will not be felt had her absence not been amplified by another sadness that came from a different sphere in my life: my longtime friendship sphere, to be exact.
Early this year, I somewhat felt that a kindred spirit was waning in interaction with me, for reasons unknown to me. He cannot even greet me properly during my birthday, or get in touch to see how I have been doing. This was our routine, but it somewhat surprised me that he was starting to break away from it. And when I found out that part of breaking away was related to his way of earning a living, I was completely saddened by it. To be secretive of professional money-earning endeavors was something I expected from our other "friends" but not from him. I was bewildered to learn of this secrecy, and I was immensely saddened, for perhaps I was judged wrongly in that approach. No, it wasn't about envy; it was about honesty, or the lack of it. And it was such a bad flashback for me. Perhaps, like our other "friends," I am also seen as a professional "threat" by him because I function, because I meet deadlines, because I deliver. This was how outsiders analyzed the situation. The term "crab mentality" in Philippine culture would be without basis if things like these didn't exist. But the saddest of all sad things is that he and I vowed not to be crabs in that boiling pot, that we will leave that boiling pot in order not to pull each other down, but to push each other up. Sadly, from his change of heart, he obviously wanted to pull, not push. What a waste. A waste of an investment in emotional integrity.
This wasn't the first time so-called "friends" did this to me in the professional sphere. I already had one major heartbreak and two minor heartaches from similar experiences within our set of "friends." Never did I imagine that it will happen again, to me, and with him. This, too, was something that knocked the wind out of me during the last quarter of the year. I think I haven't recovered yet, actually, but I try to move on.
But I suppose friendships have to dissipate at a certain time. My problem is that I hold on to them ever so fiercely, because that was what I offered them -- my fiercely loyal self. Perhaps in the end, what I should be doing is to train myself to be fiercely loyal to myself, even if it's hard, even if it's selfish. But like what one of my life motto says, as printed there in my sidebar, either I'm your best friend or I'm your worst enemy. Sadly, people choose unwisely. Well, I guess that is not my fault anymore. At least now I know where they stand, and I should then keep my distance and hold my ground. For stability.
But if losing old friends meant making new ones, then I also welcomed that this year. Seemingly dormant friendships were revived, seemingly shallow/platonic friendships became more meaningful and deeper, and new persons are kindred spirits in the making. And I am loving it. There were those who briefly came and immediately went, but their interactions are equally treasured still. Yes, in order not to be stagnant in your pond, you have to swim and meet all kinds of fishes eventually. I am glad I am going with the flow of people who want to traverse the same tides and waves I do. Yes, we swim.
Many other interactions, both professional and symbolical, were made this year. I have made lots of new friends and acquaintances this year that had my professional persona both happy and glad that projects came into being, that products and services were produced, and new experiences were created. These various projects gave my professional soul so much to feel, so much to cherish, that I am glad that such networking existed. I hope to continue more of these things, both local and international, again. They felt really, really good. Enriching.
Validations were also received, ego boosters still continue to crop up as we speak, and the sun still finds ways to shine on dark spots of my mind, making me see clearly what still needs to be done, and what I ought not to be doing in the first place. Perhaps I needed to experience that rush, and then that diminishing of that rush, in order to make me feel the regular beat of my life that makes my daily existence function. In short, it's finding my beat, how many revolutions per minute does it take to make me work, come alive, think, and feel. Sometimes I am still trying to find that perfect pulse, but then again, I stop and remind myself that perfection is not my aim, and it never has been, in any endeavor. It's always contentment, should always be contentment.
So this is me winding down this year, emotionally speaking. Yes, I am alright. No, I am not depressed. Yes, sometimes I still feel sad. Of course, I am mostly happy. If I didn't feel this myriad of emotions, then I cannot be called human. I still long for the love I felt early this year, but I am also not holding on to anything that will choke anything or anyone. I miss the lost friendship, but emotional sacrifices had to be made. To a certain extent, I am getting back the old Brian Kinney mantra to propel me to next year: maximum amount of pleasure, minimum amount of bullshit. I think more than ever, I will need it for this coming year.
I have also come to the conclusion that life indeed is short. Witnessing and feeling several deaths around me of people who have different kinds of emotional ties with me, I have somewhat made this decision not to waste any more minute or second on this earth on useless things and useless entities. Negative people could continue to pull me down, could bash/criticize me to their heart's delight, but I shouldn't be bothered, because I still have lots to do with my time than to give it to them by addressing their negativity. I would rather make use of my precious time doing what I love doing, being with people who are supportive and accepting, and I would certainly use my time to make this world a better place to live in, for me and for the kids who still have to see more sunshine.
To the people I care for and love, I will continue doing that until you don't want me to anymore, or until I run out of breath. Whichever comes first.
To the friends I still have who have been ever so patient, trust me that I will continue to gamble with you in this game we call life. I may be limited in certain aspects but in aspects where I can devote fully, trust that I will.
To old "friends" who see me differently now, thank you for showing me your true side even this late in the game. There are different game courts after all. Thank you for forcing me to discover the new ones, the better ones, with people who deserve to be treated better, with people who will not waste my time like you did.
To new friends, I am excited to share the game courts with you. Let's play!
To the girl who reads, the word hasn't been invented yet to fully encapsulate what I want to say to you, so forgive me for using something trite: thanks, love.
To all of you who have been reading this space all this time, I sincerely hope you find bits and pieces of useful things that you could take home with you, and put them to good use. Learn from my mistakes, and feel free to build upon what I have laid out. Preferably, build something better. And pay it forward.
all photos September-December 2011 taken in various part of the Philippines