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Ten years ago in the early months after Jang and I broke up, my mind was in overdrive about how to make things "right." I (unadvisedly) wished something would happen that would warrant me to demand for her attention. Some time then I figured in a minor car accident. I was
to have a reason to reach out. Expectedly, she replied with a cursory "I'm glad you're well." Nothing of the sort I was hoping for. I was holding on to the possibility that if I could get her to worry about me she'd love me again.
If we could, just for one whole day, stop breaking our own hearts, what do you think would change? The smallest movement and decision can trigger a whole world of pain—no wonder so many people choose the safety of immobility, living in a bubble, heckling the outside world where too much wrongness is recklessly plowing through quiet lives. I think about Jang every now and again. To be honest, I've been having dreams about her lately. But 10 years have passed, and I know these are merely remnants of memories that are better left as they are—done, finito.
My writing prompt for today says "everything's happening all at once." This isn't a complaint. This is a declarative sentence, as if I'm describing a tennis match: "The ball is going back and forth." I find myself asking close friends: People who are not chronically sad, how do they wake up in the morning? How do they feel? How do their brains process those first seconds of consciousness? How does it feel to not wish for 24-hour bedtimes? This isn't a call for help. This is just a question in the vein of: "How does the ball keep on?"
In an unknown land, she starts making a life with complete disregard of where she came from. There's no anger or regret, what she has is pure longing for a change. Zero memories, zero mistakes, zero fear. Is this possible? Good question. The man who ferried her to this new land was adamant. Yes, this new place holds the promise of a new life. Why do people want a new life anyway? This was more a question to himself rather than to her. So she didn't bother to answer. But the question stuck to her. And she wants an answer.
His green eyes look gold sometimes. Often they look like emeralds. What I really want to tell you is that his eyes always look bewitching. "This is the first time we're meeting," I tell him. "Yet it feels like I've known you my whole life, and had been looking for you for forever until now," he answers. Sincerely. So I hesitate to make a joke. I say it anyway: "Wow, that'd be a nice song lyric." "You're right," he says earnestly again. I don't know how to tell him, this is a dream. We're not supposed to be honest here.
My use of mnemonics fails me sometimes. One time I had "BLT" and the suggestion of a sandwich threw me off. I know B stood for B-12, L for laundry, T for...I forget. Often the last item in my acronyms is the most important one. So I end up curling up in bed, trying to remember what it is I'm forgetting to do, because it might be important, you know? Why would I devise a mnemonic if it weren't????? Don't worry, I remember it eventually. I was talking to myself there, "Don't worry," I tell myself 24/7.
My current favorite word is "supplicate." I heard it in a Radiohead song (India Rubber) earlier this year and I've been shoehorning it into my daily usage since. Much like when I had that "profound" and "sublime" phase. An old friend once called me out for being pretentious. I wasn't offended, in fact, his comment made me affect a more pretentious personality. Now that I think of it, I wasn't being pretentious at the time. It was just me, learning something and enjoying it. And now I understand this old friend didn't know me as well as I had believed.
Let's talk about procrastination. "SSS for Bunso's Q3 contribution"—this has been in my planner for half a year (since April after paying for Q2)? Was supposed to do it July, but life...So! I remember receiving a notification that October 10 is the deadliest deadline. So I waited for today to do it. See, I even had 2 days extra. Hurrah. Thing is, the thing that needed to be done only took 5 minutes to do, and I was more tired about the 6-month procrastination than the deed itself. I hope to learn a lesson from this please.
In 2012 I watched a DCFC concert by myself at BGC. I was still at the Ortigas job at the time, and all I remember now is this fiery sunset as I was across NBC Tent. I mention the Ortigas job because I think I called in sick on this day as I wasn't able to plan my leave. I had an ear infection then, IIRC. So I guess I was really 'unwell'. Anyway I saw familiar faces at the venue, most of whom I knew through the blogs. It was different seeing them in person. I folded into myself.
I had a point before I wrote that DCFC entry. Obviously it's gone now so let me just ramble...Thom Yorke. He has this nice Colbert interview lately while promoting Anima. They talked about dreams and prescience and current political situations, etc. This led me to watching Ricky Gervais x Colbert interviews, most of which had them debating about religion and LOTR, I think? Colbert as an interviewer is *chef's kiss* Then I went on to Harry Styles videos. IDK. He's like a balm, a dessert, a sweet drink, rain—any concept of something that comforts, rounds things off nicely.
Speaking of Harry Styles: New song (and video!) out today! That was a nice surprise. October's shaping up to be a positive month, basing off of Harry Styles' music release. Kidding. Half kidding. But srsly, new music is great, yes? Music in general. I say this month's looking great because I don't feel too much, too heavy these days, considering my mother's going to be home in a few weeks. Her presence always jars me, I say this with love, and I'm sure many will understand. When usually I'd be panicking, now I'm just: Hey what up how's it hanging.
Saturdays are 72 hours long. This is a fact. Are you a night shifter? Then you get what I mean. There's no middle, either we see the bed and be on it until Sunday, or we refuse to sleep until it's late into Sunday and we've succeeded to trick our minds that sleep is unnecessary. There's just too many hours. But I'll be honest, sleep is paramount. I'd choose sleep all the time 100%. Only on Saturdays there's a certain threshold that when you cross it there's almost no looking back. Nothing's absolute though. Sometimes I sleep on the threshold.
I set out today to buy clothes for next summer, being that majority of my wardrobe is cold-weather black stuff. Of course what I ended up buying are sweaters and long-sleeved shirts. Of course. I schedule calls with friends when I'm feeling mingle-y. It seldom happens that I feel talk-y so I take advantage of those times. Unfortunately, something usually comes up (ear infection, forgetfulness, more important stuff) that we end up rescheduling. Thing is, by the time the rescheduled time rolls around, I'm anxious again and wouldn't even touch my phone. Life is confusing sometimes.
Japan. Morocco. UK. Sweden. Greenland. Belgium. Someday? Someday. Someday... Hi. How are you today. It's a Monday. Work shift is different today so I'm in bed worrying about whether there's time to sleep or if I should get ready and go to the office way too early so I'm not late IF I oversleep or if I should calm TF down. I figured out why I succumb to compulsive bad thoughts and it's not rocket science but...I keep thinking ahead. That's it. It's as if I believe that if I worry about something, it will magically be OK. Pfft.
El Camino on Netflix. Chef's Kiss. Heart. Segue: What's your go-to video or movie when you need a lift moodwise? Nowadays it's Paul McCartney's Carpool Karaoke episode for me. It makes me cry but in a way that my head clears up and I suddenly want to do something aside from wallow in bed. So! Just rambling again...I think these past two years in spite of my worsened anxiety, I've actually improved in taking care of myself, mentally. That was the one thing I was neglecting so much. I'm angry at myself less now. More tender. More giving.
A little girl walks to her father to hug him, but as she nears him he turns his back and walks away. He ignores her when she calls for him. That's the last memory she has of her father—his back. Knowing he heard her but chose not to turn his head. All these feelings she carried until she couldn't anymore. Release them in the water, her friend said. But she's afraid of the water. Shout it out from a mountain, another friend said. That she can do. She did it on a foggy morning. Her voice echoed back. Freedom.
Accept other people for who they are. Such a simple sentence but so hard to remember and do. It's a daily push and pull of Why Are You That Way vs Who You Are and What You Do Has Nothing To Do With Me. On good days it's easy to walk away from a brewing argument. Let it go. Five years' time. Whatever, the works. On some days it just feels so invigorating to point out someone's flaws and castigate them for it. This does nothing to help the situation. We know this for a fact but we often forget.
My neighborhood is getting cozier and cozier. I say this in terms of food and comfort stuff. So a Starbucks opened early in the year or was it late 2018. A Jollibee opened around that time, too. Then this nifty Black Scoop Café shop opened a few weeks ago. A McDonald's is about to open early 2020. This makes me happy because this is the first time in all the years we've lived here that a McDo would be walking distance. I'm now only really waiting for the nearby Subway to reopen and life would be A-OK, peachy, snug.
What a nice Saturday. Grab driver was nice. Mandaue Foam people were nice. Delivery guys were nice. My father smiled a lot today. My brother was chill. Weather was gloomy and sticky, and somehow that also made it in the nice column in my imaginary scoreboard. I didn't want to fall asleep. Was telling a friend the other day, I want to hold on to these good days, seal them in a bottle for a rainy day. Things that have been grating lately are smooth and shiny today. October 19, thanks. There's that Paul Rudd series on Netflix, too! Yay!
One of my fondest birthday memories is at the old house, I was around 6? We had ube ice cream and pandesal. That was a feast. Kuya loves anything ube. Now that I think of it, maybe he remembers that day fondly, too. We always celebrated together because our birthdays are a day apart. Our youngest's is a week earlier. All of us are Scorpios, yep. All of us made in the love month. Anyway! Ube and pandesal. I forget if there was pancit. I just remember my father taking photos of us, eating ube ice cream out of mugs.
Another Monday. Do Mondays ever end. Why do they keep coming. They keep ending anyway so whatever. Yup woke up kinda feeling off. But! Looking forward to iced coffee. That's a swell thought. That and a hot meal. And work. Srsly. I'm happy when there's something to do. I'm happy when my family's well. I'm happy when everybody's talking to each other. Happy when it's quiet and I can sleep straight. Happy when not bloated. Happy when Kuya sends videos or photos of Brysen. Happy when I think about Mama's homecoming in a few days. OK. Hi, Monday, high five.
Last month was my parents' 42nd wedding anniversary, and though their relationship has dissolved many years ago, it's still something I hold on to for dear life, like a little child. This is why I time my annual "major repair sessions" around this date—for luck, for old time's sake, for some twisted kind of hope, I guess. Maybe. Close friends know that majority of my therapy sessions center around family issues. And what I really want to come across is that sometimes the very thing that causes our deepest despair can also be the thing that keeps us afloat.
(continued...) I've learned that we can deal with this in a healthy, constructive way. There are people in worse situations, yes, but I've also learned that it isn't right to compare one's pain to another's. If it's painful, it's painful. Period. I may also need to apologize to some friends if it seemed I minimized their pain somehow. I didn't, I was trying to understand. But I understand if it came across otherwise. So yeah. Right now I want to tell whoever needs it: The long nights, they end. They will keep coming back, but they will also keep ending.
There's been a sort of lifting these past few weeks. Main reason I can think of is that Ma and I are talking again, and the grey cloud of not being in good terms with her is now gone. I can go on months not reaching out. I don't know how my parents take it, I almost don't want to know anyway. They know to leave me alone during these times, and to be honest that adds to the sadness. But our choices have consequences, and I've learned to take the bad with the good. Point is: I'm happy now!
What counts as an emergency? Say, the patient is calm and doesn't show any sign of injury BUT says "This is an emergency, please help me now" and the nurses disregard that, ask them to "Wait by the benches FOR YOUR TURN." For what turn? They can clearly attend to the patient right at that moment yet they ask them to wait? Conversely, I've also seen the other thing happen: Patient is bloodied and almost unconscious. And the nurses direct the family members to wait by the side for their turn. For What Turn. Is this a joke to them?
Guadalupe Bridge in the early morning just as the sun's coming up is pretty. The pink flower trees add a feeling of calm and whimsy. There was a whole month, I think, that 3 Bench billboards featured Park Seo-joon. That added to the pretty, too. From the train, water looks calm. Sometimes I see a barge, sometimes a small boat. From the bus or car the sky as it backdrops the bridge + water looks more expansive. I wonder why this is when if from the train I get to see it from a higher vantage point. Anyway. It's pretty.
Anxiety keeps one from doing things that to others are "easy". Ma and I had a difficult talk lately; she asked why I was so weak-willed. Now, the old untherapized me would have taken offense at being called weak. TBH, my ears got warm when Ma said that, but it was easier this time to flip on the "she simply doesn't understand" switch. I tried to explain calmly and made it clear if she wants to listen and discuss further, I am more than happy to engage. I'd like to think I got through to her in some way.
A muggy month. Phew. As I'm writing this my heart is heavy with all the time I've wasted both in the far and immediate past. Just now I was castigating myself for letting 3 whole hours pass without checking on my father when he was just right there. When I finally mustered the courage to approach him, he was already asleep. I ended up semi-pounding on his door, trying to wake him, when I had all morning to say Hi while he was awake. Our days are made up of little earthquakes. It's my brother's birthday today. We're fine.
Today is one year since starting at the McKinley Hill job. Yay. Looking back, I see a version of me who was both tentative and resolute. One year in and my so-called "plans" are just that—plans. It's easier to move on now. "Forgive yourself," I tell myself every night when I snooze numerous times and choose sleep over the imagined convenience of more time before work. I punch in 10 or 5 minutes before time, and I've stopped making myself feel guilty for being almost-late everyday. I've forgiven myself for a lot of things since last year.
My Grab driver is flying through BGC and the Waze voice thingy can't keep up. I fumble for the seatbelt buckle and find out that, like many, this car doesn't have backseat buckles. I mean, why keep the belts, what's the use if there are no buckles??? Grab should add this to their drivers' profile thingy—seatbelt buckles:Yes/No. Okay, yeah, I can sit at the front but yeah, no, thanks. Times like this I think of my Kuya, how even if he's a fast driver, you know you're safe. There are drivers that are just like that, yes?
Last year I made sweeping statements about how I didn't want a relationship with my father anymore. We talked about it, I told him I don't feel affection for him anymore. It was much like an official break-up where you say you'll always have respect for each other, but that it just wasn't working out. It's not bad as it sounds. We were adults about it and continued as if nothing happened. Just the other week he figured in an accident, and there's all these feelings swirling around. All I know is I don't want him to go yet.
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