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On your birthday, what do you really wish for?
To be honest: I wanted letters, maybe flowers, of course cake. So I had cake. Four different kinds for dinner, not counting what they surprised me with last night.
I went out to get the book I had been waiting for and arrived late at church. I only paid attention to that part about sacrifice. When burdened by anger and pride, allow me the ability to be broken for others.
I spent the past year piecing myself together. I think all I really need, is to know that I am remembered.
Joy is waking up to the sound of rain, is sleeping for another hour. I didn't have to go out today, I didn't have to drive to work, but it doesn't mean I didn't get anything done. For the first time, I finished all seven things on my list. At 3am on a Wednesday, I find joy, again, in the warm glow of my empty inbox.
Correspondence is cool, but am I stretching it too far again? I thought I had forgotten, I thought I didn't care anymore. But friendship, once found, so hard to forget; easier to look back.
We hadn't been at the beach together since ten years ago, to think we grew up together--isn't that embarrassing? I promise, we make up for it today and the next three days.
I've pooled our travel fund, she's in charge of the food fund; we have more than enough for beer and mementos for friends waiting for us back home.
They share the big bed, I own the small one in the corner of the room that is the least cold.
They're outside watching a movie while I'm off to bed, to rise early to watch the sun come.
For fifty pesos more I had a double main course: meaty crabs that I ate with my hands, something I only do when I'm home, and not really that often. Today's a blessed day.
Tarsiers are suicidal primates.
A python sheds skin and eats monthly--choice between two goats or one pig.
Dolphins show every day but only for a few, before the sun's on full view.
Bees bite when its raining.
Flowers can be eaten.
I think about the things I learned today to take my mind off the most disgusting, most disappointing news.
I wish it weren't true.
Being on the water is a different story from being on it.
Nothing quite beats waking up before the sun does, polishing off cold pizza before an early morning dolphin show -- for seven sparkling seconds, they surfaced for us.
I had one side of our little boat to myself. My life vest, my pillow, hat on my head; sea was a vast indigo, deep, dark, infinite--spraying salt, slamming on us, I drifted. I had "Wannabe" on loop in my head, I had found my spot of calm.
I think that was when I decided: I have to come back.
On our last early morning swim we knelt at the shallow edge, no waves to fight, we were obsessed with how fine the sand was, almost like wet clay.
In the shower I remember: I've been to the beach at least four times already--the most in one year.
I was ready to come home, with a new resolve to sleep better, to get 8 hours a night. I've put Mail on manual fetch because I resolve to be more present, less frantic, less hooked on email, especially on weekends.
Again I remember: taking things easy only adds to productivity.
When I was a child I developed a love for food with that certain boxy taste, the finest example being Goldilocks brownies. It's not like it came out of a Betty Crocker box, it's not even like it's made of real chocolate, but cut in neat little squares it's simple, sticky, not too sugary. Today I think of similar kinds of simple-and-delicious: PS Cafe's refreshing Key Lime Pie, warm bean curd with sesame bun from a late-night roadside stall in Singapore, mint chocolate wafer sticks, Ho-Land lite mongo hopia, and Tagbilaran airport's best discovery: creamy yoghurt polvoron.
What was the most heartfelt thing you have been given most recently?
I wish I could say it's this new large-sized frying pan, a Duranium-based one, preferred by chefs.
The thing is, being on the receiving end of a very sincere apology really embarrasses me. It's like I suddenly realize how lame it is of me to feel bad, how righteous it is of me to feel that someone needs to say sorry to me.
I dislike feeling bad, but I all the more dislike making someone feel bad, whether or not that person was truly at fault.
Apologies and Answers, both in one day--that's rare. I remember to take what I can get and just roll with it.
The Innovation Room's door was slightly ajar, adjacent to our meeting room which had a couple of swing sets--seems like a great place to work.
Then again, corporate work is something I'd already left behind and hope to never have to go back to.
Very thoughtful old workmates took me out for Thai dinner. Reunited with my favorite coconut-pomelo-shrimp salad, and was presented with a cute little boxy red bag, I almost squealed with joy.
Eight hours of sleep.
Choco-mint wafers, macadamia nut dairy milk chocolate.
Delicious three-hour nap.
Cheese pie. An entire mars bar for the first time.
A week's quota of junk consumed in one day. That should be enough indulgence.
I will behave the next 8 days.
If only I can find asparagus and have it roasted everyday, I'd eat it at every meal.
My nails need cleaning and polishing, my magazines need to be read, my book needs to be finished - sometimes I think I indulge in food because I think I'm not doing enough for myself.
At some point, we become quite content with what or who we have.
We resist to put in effort to get to know someone more, to be more human than human. We justify it to ourselves: all I already have is all I really need.
Part-arrogance, part-defense; we remember what it feels to be left behind. We try to keep it from happening again. We want to be "wiser"; we want to be the "leaver", not the "leftee".
But today, somebody wise told me, take a chance on someone because somebody else is taking a chance on you.
Think: Fridays are for getting a head start on the winding down process necessary for a great weekend.
Sure, we break on weekends, but at the back of our heads we have to admit: parts of us remain hinged on work, on meetings, on things we left done.
I know there's that bit of good in all of us that makes us want to get to work and finish things, but we dread the drive on Mondays.
I think on Fridays, we owe it to ourselves to ease into a chair, have somebody do our hair, remind ourselves to relax.
A hospital visit in the morning. A crafty afternoon: aimed to create four things out of one. A gabfest over crepes and coffee and nail polish. A saturday surrounded by people. Laughter. Great fun. Pictures and a video to prove it.
Times like these are a test of true eloquence. And eye contact. And mindfulness.
In my fascination, I get overwhelmed, trying to be present with everyone. I fight the urge to linger too long in my private observations, in the little details.
At 2am, it's when I'm by my lonesome, again, that I inhale, stop, really take everything in.
The older I get, the better I appreciate my parents.
I don't exactly know when papa realized I am an adult, not just adult enough to make my own decisions, but mature enough to provide input with regard to his own. Three-hour long "future talks" cease to be all about me.
The older we get the better listeners we become; a sign of humility, not desperation.
The older we get the better we are able to express ourselves, and possibly, hopefully, the more likely we are understood.
We don't often talk like this; it's always refreshing when we do.
I read that people who say yes all the time tend to be fat. They exhaust themselves agreeing to everyone who needs them. At the end of the day they get home, ready to raid the fridge, gulp down the entire carton of milk, finish off a half-dozen box of doughnuts, scarf down an entire pint of ice cream -- a sense of entitlement for self-indulgence marks the forgetting of self-control, justifies everything.
After a long day at work, I lay down for twenty minutes, got up, did two sets of abs , showered, prepared tea - I'll try again.
Something about something "breaking" really brings people together.
I like putting piecing things back together.
So every time I'm able to do something I didn't think I could, I think to myself, "Well done! You're getting old."
And I mean it in a good way.
It feels good, the way it does when you meet people who love to use something you made with love. They loved the art, the words, the space -- the same things I love myself, that I put together, in the hopes that somebody will pick up on what I love and call it their own
My friend who loves cats who loves the term "hipster" just called me a "proto-hipster", which he says he means in a good way.
I took him to the second floor for lemongrass tea which he loved at first sip, vegan chocolate chip cookies and oreo ice cream made with cashew milk, all splendid stuff.
When he left, I claimed the place mine for the afternoon, set up shop in a corner facing the brick wall and the bulletin board of happy customers. Baking smells and small potted plant, check.
Twice, today, I thought, I wish I could draw.
We were talking about making this month's playlists extra special because it's our birthday month.
I'm thinking about making mine twenty-eight songs long, about asking friends to send me tunes they like waking up to or ending the day with, that remind of flying, maybe falling, anything that makes them feel good, or beautiful, anything they want to share with me.
I think songs are always there for you the way friends always are, when you're in love, when you're broken, and in between. It's an overwhelming and bittersweet truth--there is one perfect song for that one moment.
Give me a jam-packed workweek as long as I have Friday to myself.
Spent the morning shopping my dad's closet. Emerged with a hard-wearing chambray shirt that I'll try as a skirt and a checked polo that I'll use as a tunic.
Whenever I add something I must give something away, and the first thing that had to go was this Anthropologie dress that sadly, I never really loved and only wore once or twice to make the giver happy.
I have the basics covered and just four pairs of jeans; behold: this is a closet that breathes.
When a pretty boy asks what is weird about you, what do you say?
You let him answer first.
So you find out he doesn't watch television, and you're supposed to feel comfortable about having that one thing common. But you laugh, nervous, and spend the rest of the quick drive thinking what to say in answer.
Fast forward to breakfast: you overcook your eggs just as you're thinking how weird it is of you to like them fried with a chalky yolk, of the many answers you could have given but didn't.
Pretty boy, you're too pretty for me.
I have decided it is time for a hair change.
I love my bangs and I want to keep them, but I'm itching for something different: grow it out, page-boy style; or a bit longer blunt-cut bob?
I definitely want to color it violet.
A friend says go, without looking goth.
Reading a magazine between sips of coffee and water, I'm loving this slow Sunday start.
After a rare 9 hours in bed, I declare: melatonin works.
Who cares if Monday came a day early?
I feel I can take on anything when I get my sleep right.
I wonder if we'll run out of weird things to say to each other -- nobody's ever wanted to know about my weirdness, and you aren't challenging it either, which is I guess something good. I wonder if you remember because you know you have to, or if you say good night because you know I need you to say it. I wonder if I'll ever be used to being chased, as he says I should be, as I deserve to be. I can't quite place why, pretty boy such as you, would be the slightest bit interested in little me.
A perfect day starts.
A slow-cooked brunch of sweet sliced portobellos and eggs.
A couple of errands done quick and easy.
A half hour to hear mass, and the songs are sung well, prayers said and meant, and the most important thing: I'm not late.
A good skin and hair day, sans make-up, sans comb. Just lip stuff, sunblock, and keeping it simple with a stark white dress.
A clear day.
An afternoon shower, when I'm safe indoors, early for a meeting.
A sense of productivity between bites of veggies and perfect fried tofu sticks.
How's your day?
Retrograde is almost over. The moon was full at least once this month, my birthday month. Did I even feel it?
I've gone on one date, I've gotten letters, I've received many gifts -- I've paid some forward.
I've reconnected with some friends.
Sometimes I worry I don't stop enough, often, to take everything in.
I know I'm able to do a lot of things, but there are things I've yet to do, yet to fix. I still have trouble sleeping.
I'm gearing up for a weekend spent in the city when everyone else is going away.
I'll just be here.
How hard is it to fall asleep?
I'll tell you: I slept at after one; woke up before five and couldn't get back to sleep. I drank a tablespoon of cough syrup with ten percent alcohol. I felt hopeless.
I went down, cooked and ate breakfast, tinkered with my computer and then went back to bed; slept for an hour, was thirty minutes late for work.
Tired from a full day, I still went to the grocery. I bought mushrooms as big as my head, had one for dinner. I wish I could eat like that every meal, every day.
I don't know if you'll believe it, but I went back for the sake of friendship. Let's see how this goes. I'm hoping I don't regret it. Should I even upload pictures? I'm scared it'll suck what free time I have left.
I got to be in the water again and it was awesome, trying out different massage systems, warm pools heated on different degrees, with different scents -- lavender, jasmine, mint. I spent the last few minutes just floating on my back, starting straight up the ceiling.
I loved the drive home tonight, I was trying to learn a song.
Something about Saturdays makes me just want to stay in. And I almost just did, but I had to get that haircut, then plans for a movie were made, and I'd been craving an English Breakfast, tea latte style.
I loved those scenes that showed her swimming, rhythmically bobbing up and down in vast blue green water.
Anne Hathaway in short hair, in a blue halter dress - that was the best part. She looked frumpy most of the time.
"I feel like you go through pockets of change, and then there's that pivotal year that really changes you," she said.
Woke up in the middle of the night from an upset stomach. I thought I was dreaming. I really woke up at ten am and realized it might have been from the shabu shabu we feasted over last night. I thought that was a good meal. When I'm sick and I'm alone in the house, I feel like I'm in Makati, living by myself again. No one's here, so I had to drive myself to the drugstore for all sorts of clear liquids - zero calorie gatorade, pocari sweat, sprite zero. I had one too many crackers. I lost 2 pounds.
Now that "my month" is almost over I think about how as I age I seem to get myself into situations wherein I have no other choice but to learn to let go of some things, like expectations. And how the more I let things be, the more I realize what I really want, and that what I want is really simple -- seriously, the things I want for myself are nothing compared to the next stranger's ambitions. I find joy in the daily things, going through life's motions. I am not as impatient as I make myself out to be.
I get in the car and the first I thing I do: plug in iPhone and get some music going.
I love driving by myself because I'm so used to the repetitive motions that they have become mechanical, to the point of being therapeutic. Music elevates the entire experience.
When someone rides with me it becomes a different story.
I realized today, that my degree of comfort with my passenger is reflective of how much I can actually hear the songs I play, and if I can sing along to the songs, as I would, when I'm driving by myself.
You know it's a feel-good last day when a friend tells you you look so steady even though you just finished a presentation after spilling liquid on yourself, thrice; or when a person you just met compliments your fashion sense, much to her own surprise; when things given by your parents seem to just fit right in; and when you find it amusing when somebody starts talking about you, with you, in the third person. It's the best feeling knowing that however tired you are you just have to bring your best friends home and you really want to.
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