new new year - 2011


** WARNING: cheap attempts at humor. Please do not judge harshly.

**Please forgive any and all grammatical errors and/or misuse of words. I pride myself in having gone through so much in life, but I never really mastered the art of words.

** everything on this note was all written on a whim. Some items are actually idiotic. There are about 3,000 words on this note. Decide now whether you want to get on and read it or not.

**Contents of this note are unknown to most friends on Facebook. I have only allowed access to this to a very limited few so I trust that you understand the importance of an unspoken confidentiality agreement between me and you, my friend.

**I made this note with the assumption that people don’t really read long notes. If you are the unlikely friend (granted access to my notes) reading this, I cross my fingers, and hope you don’t spread ugly rumors and go gossiping about me. Thank you.

NEW NEW YEAR

The New Year’s celebration isn’t just about the fireworks, the lovely spread on every home’s dining table, nor the empty and rather pointless greetings we are most likely obliged to say to anyone we bump into, but rather, it’s a moment, a chance, to review, rethink, and reminisce the 365 days that has come and gone by a little too fast.

So last night, when the Optus internet here failed me, I drifted into my emotional sphere and just meditated (or so I thought I did, until I realized that I was really just sleeping, therefore, this was all in a dream) and thought about everything that has happened, and everyone who played a singular and multiple roles in making them all happen.

This led me to an urge to type something very emotional and heartfelt on every friend’s wall, or as a comment on someone’s status update, or simply, message this to anyone concerned, both reminding and thanking them for the parts they unintentionally played in my 2010. But I figured, it would come out sickeningly corny and maybe a little over the top (of which I’m constantly accused to being, most of the times, when it comes to word choice, and sentence structure… hehe). The best way, really, to say what I feel about the year that has passed, is to sum it all up, and appreciate, what the bits and pieces of learning, experience and unexpected events have made, out of my otherwise boring 2010 on this inevitable note. :)

So I start with an awkward mention of my career and what it was like. 2010 was the year I “sort of” left WorldBulk Phils. Inc. “Sort of”, because I’m still technically a part of the company, but I no longer hold an actual function other than sign documents when needed by the corporation. Now it’s in the hands of trustworthy and hard working individuals that was born with the determination and steadfast commitment to goals… traits I solemnly agree to not have. I know Kuya Warlie will continue to persevere, with Ms. Pam, whose invaluable service to the company is both rare and too precious to ignore. And there’s our quirky Ms. Ilyn, whose attention to detail astounds us. It has been a pleasure working with you, and I look forward to yet another chance to get free superb hotel meals whenever our big boss is in town. Having felt what it’s like to be happy at work, in Manila, has changed my previous perception of the whole deal. :)

Working and living in Metro Manila after graduation, or after failing to find an adequate income in their native provinces and cities, is the perpetual cliché for most Filipinos. Those who have been fortunate enough to have studied in notable schools and universities just skip this step and work overseas instead. Most of that just cannot be applied to me.

I arrived in Manila about 2 years ago, not really knowing what I would do or what I even wanted. I made the decision rather foolishly, forgetting the mistakes I have made so many times in the past, and just going on this hunch that eventually tore me apart…

The year started quite nicely. It was in January that I felt like I was really needed and longed for—by the very man I wanted to have woven my destiny with. Okay, now that may be a little out of this world, but at that very moment, it seemed pretty realistic. He was a responsible guy, with dreams as big as mine, and he made sure he makes them all come true. Like everyone else, he chased those dreams to another country. Soon after that, I was struggling with a long distance relationship. But instead of feeling alone, I felt that it was the missing element—the distance—that made our relationship better. After all, the words “absence makes our hearts grown fonder” wouldn’t be quoted so much if it weren’t true. Bob was too much the man who I’ve dreamed to spend my life with and grow old with, that it became too good to be true. And indeed it was.

Eventually, the love that I thought has completed me, ruthlessly took a huge chunk of ME away and just left it to rot, after grinding it to teeny weeny bits and pieces. Devastating is an understatement. It was more like an emotional turmoil that I was barely able to survive. When you wake up in the morning, you see visions of him, and you just want to go back to bed and pretend sleep will help you evade the unthinkable 24 hours you’d have to face with the sure subsequent, if not continuous, surges of “the Bob experience”. But the moment you close your eyes, more vivid, and painstakingly detailed reasons of why you are so madly in love with him, would just flood you and no matter how hard your try to blink back the tears, they just come out of nowhere, draining whatever precious water is left from an African desert. Again, it’s all him. Whatever sight your eyelids have tried to hide is just conjured by your stupid little brain.

Eidi was there whenever the said surges became unbearable. She’d remind me of the foolish logic of the anguish I’ve allowed myself to feel. She’s the intervention that has, unquestionably, spared me from the actual taxi ride to some rehab location (or a place I call Cebu, since I honestly can’t afford to pay insane fees that rehab centers ask from you, that does nothing but postpone your submission to the devils called shabu, cocaine and heroin—not that I can afford any of that either). Ei has been strong for me, the single constant element in my life in Manila. When the world goes crazy, she’s the tranquilizer. A grande mug of Starbucks is the cure.

Then there’s Priscilla. Oh this wickedly pretty woman from the beautiful city of Baguio never fails to enchant any man who would go her way. (I don’t really expect her to read this, but gurl, if you do/did, I hope you’re pleased with the adjectives I’ve placed next to each other to define who P is—hahaha)

To spend sleepless nights effectively, we would go out, party, have drinks, and get home really tired and sleepy—allowing no time for pointless reminiscing. Eventually, I’ve realized that that was what I needed; not the partying and drinking, but the distraction. Effective and persistent distraction that drew me out of the cave and experience sunshine for the first time, after many many years.

And who else to complete the equation, but the sunny disposition of Mela? The charming girl who is often more confused about love than the rest of the world, but handles it so well she always survives every episode unscathed. I found myself living, under one roof, with beautiful people who makes me feel that I finally have a place in Manila to call home.

“Home” is definitely hard to find in Manila. Because I’m this girl from the province who normally finds comfort in sea breeze, the smell of Papa’s native chicken soup and the comforting sound of roosters exclaiming the break of day. Okay, that’s a bit exaggerated. I grew up in a city and had actual people to call friends, and a family that’s oftentimes dysfunctional, loves me for who I truly am. So scratch those other country themed sentences. I’d rather talk about the people who has made a big difference in my 2010.

Lindy pops in and out every few months. If we never ever had to meet up in person, things would still be okay in our friendship. We find solace in each other’s updates, whether depressing, or inspiring, or even the awe inspiring. Her own adventures sometimes exceed mine and it’s an enjoyable and enriching time spent online, exchanging those stories. She cleverly comes up with the best out-of-the-box ideas and makes me think from different angles—sometimes the best way to find answers to indiscernible questions in life. She’s who I turn to when I need to know, if there’s a point in putting myself in these unusual adventures in Manila.

Any wild adventure is reduced to an everyday affair if not mentioned to Yuyin. My easily amused but difficult to impress friend is merrily tucked in a career in the BPO industry in Cebu, that to me, is an option she willingly took instead of it being a fall back. Why am I saying that? Because apart from my obsession with the word “merry”, I just know, great wisdom that eludes humanity is cradled in between those doll Jollibee eyes. Conversations with her don’t only entertain me, but allow me the light hearted laughter no other person can trigger. It’s in those moments that I envelope myself with the simplicity of things, shifting to being an audience instead of the taking the lead role, in the whiplashing performance of the movie “The Crazy Little Life of Mimi”. Lame, I know, but it’s 15 past 11PM here. What can you expect?

Just when I thought the presence of my ever supportive friends and the efficient distraction was enough, I get a surprise visit from Cherry.

She’s probably a lost friend, not being able to talk to her since I left my last call center job in Cebu. But a friend she has remained. It’s with her that you’re literally forced to laugh at the lamest jokes and notice the miniscule things. Far from stupid, she knows how to draw the line from being appropriately professional and appropriately dressed for a killer party. She reminds me so much of the times when I wanted to explore night after night of deafening music and exhilarating spirits that take you to heights untold to many… and just fade away in the haze…then you wake up with a skull shattering hangover.  Good fun, but not the kind of fun you’d want forever. But when a night like that is spent with her, it becomes a completely different thing. Everything’s different with Cherry. In fact, she’s the only person in the world who has seen my stealthy performance of the aforementioned movie. She has seen me fall helplessly in love with the stranger who loved to be awesome.

Awesome was the word, to describe everything that happened the past year. I find myself recounting the awesomeness and I feel really grateful I had friends. But aside from good friends, there were those who came to my life and made their marks, replenished me of the self esteem the abominable Bob drained me of, but who also left, and brought with them, the said replenishment. Like being offered a chocolate bar, with a yummy, nutty center. You carefully nibble around the edges, and when you’re just about to take a tast of the best, that you saved for last, the big bad person yanks the bar away from you.

Or maybe a dead relative or close friend. You miss them so badly, but you don’t want their ghosts lurking in the dark, or coming out of their coffins, claiming to have come back to life just for you. Their death and being 6ft under, both hurt you and console you. You just want to remind yourself, from time to time, what it was like, to be happy and be that person, for that night, for that week, for that month…

Among those people, was the awesome him. The one who makes the cut, and you start thinking of possibilities once again, believing, that there must be something in me that’s worth appreciating, loving and be cared for. The only problem, he was too good for me. And no, it’s not a line from a chick flick, it’s the real thing. The facts hover above you, like a dark cloud that’s about to spit out muddy tears. Imagine a guy, born into a political family, blessed with the wits and candor any remarkable politician ought to possess, the grin that can launch a thousand Russian missiles (or in this case, substantial supreme court rulings) and the class, even the popularity you’ve only heard about from lifestyle magazines and paparazzi footages. Yes. No exaggeration, no appropriate adjective spared, that’s all him.

But if you sucked out that aristocratic blood from him, he’s undoubtedly the most interesting person I know. He laughs like he’s never done so for a really long time—whether or not he thinks your joke is hilarious or if he’s just being polite—he’s mastered the technique. He’s odd in so many ways possible, but he manages to blend in, be what the world expects of him to be, but still have this real person inside intact. And when you have that rare chance of looking into the reality that’s buried in the grime and goo dictated by society, you find a abundance of corny jokes and silly ideas. When that true person seeps through, I see it vie for approval from his high roller friends and acquaintances in his real, naked self. I wonder if all that has worked out for him. I can’t really identify posers and the real thing in their world.

But who cares, he loves Japanese food! That’s a rare breed among males. Very rare. He can drink like me, get drunk and have fun like me, but not get anyone killed in the process—just like me! And those eyes… it just draws you in. I can go on and on, saying how much I admire this person but the truth is, I’ve long decided that we could never be. Heaven and earth. Oil and water. Positive and negative. USSR and America during the Cold War. Or Ke$ha, maybe Lady Gaga against Victoria Beckham. I can only dream.

And it’s not just who he is born to be that’s making any dreams with him kaput. He was born into a life I could never learn to live, even if I actually wanted to. And there’s this bigger, impenetrable, solid reason we could never be together, is that he doesn’t seem to feel the way I do.

Yes, what’s more painful that unrequited love? Well, perhaps for a time, he did, but after so many months I dare not count, and whatever has happened, the horrid things that has happened between us, it’s just hopeless.

So I gathered whatever dignity I had left and started tracing back the path to sensibility that I have briefly strayed away from. And that’s about 2 months ago.

 I still love him. I think I’ll continue to feel this way for a few more years, til I finally have the guts to delete him from my facebook and phonebook. As expected, he’s taken the spot, the overrated and exhausted lump in my throat, but this time, he’s also the force, that makes me feel as though that lump, trying to explode and come out is indeed my heart and not some mound of random flesh that has turned malignant. He’s got me alright. My edamame-loving crush’s got me bad.

So going back to that path, the one that has led me here in Australia, I’m still trying to safely tread. I’m actually having a fabulous vacation, courtesy of he who vows to love me for eternity. The guy whose silence leaves me puzzled and unaware of his true nature, rather than impress me. Know how some people’s quiet manner just makes you think they’re so smart because they don’t even have to say a thing? He’s nothing like that. It’s just the way he is. His mum had him checked and he’s normal. I think he’s normal, really. Just different. Special.

Special, because he is this person who wants nothing else in the world than to be with me. Someone who would give everything up for me. This guy, who knows every dark corner of my past but looks beyond everything and assures me that everything will be fine. It’s the same guy who also happens to be the man I will be marrying this year. Although I often feel like I’m being pushed into this corner, being pampered too much, getting all this attention I probably don’t deserve, I have this gut feeling telling me that this was still on the path to sensibility.

No, there’s no use convincing me, telling me I have to follow my heart. I have reason to believe that I’ve dug this hole myself, starting on the day I gave up my virginity to a guy I barely knew. Followed by the day when I decided to have unprotected sex when I was 17 years old. It’s a deep hole and I’ve caused anguish in proportions my family will never forget. But don’t get me wrong, I will never regret having Miggy. He’s the one thing that makes my life really matter. But sad as it is, I’m doing this for him. To make sure I am able to provide him a secure future, a life I could never provide for him, if I continued to earn my meager salary in the Philippines. Some people don’t understand it, but I will not deprive my son of a future I can give him if I chose to, instead of “following my heart”, which is tantamount to being selfish.

Needless to say, I’m wading through the pool of popped balloons of hope, dreams, and faith, through the waters of despair, regret, and lies. I’m working my way through, and by the looks of it, I’ll be fine.

Listless nights and bad eating habits are what we naturally develop when going through depression. I’ve done enough damage to my skin just by thinking of the painful recent past. They’re not only dermatological woes, but they also prevent undisturbed and peaceful slumber, endless nights I dare not relive. Whew! But, when everything else failed me, another part of me has been blessed with wonderful opportunities that expanded my horizons in 2010. The past year gave me the chance to feel what it’s like do things my way.

I can't wait to see what's next... So, 2011, what have you got for me?



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