When people decide to grow up, do they always forget who they were and what made them so much alive?
When people decide to grow up, do they have to tear each other apart?
When people decide to grow up, do the warmth they felt for each other turns cold then gone?
Because that’s exactly how it was for us.
You decided to grow up and forgot how i bear too much emotions inside of me that i have to reveal them above my skin and you told me to unrobe myself of it.
You decided to grow up and thought how little my burdens are you would often brush them off like dust that has accumulated by your window.
You decided to grow up and stopped listening and I was lonely. I was lonely even when you are sitting in front of me. Even when i see you everyday, my long surviving muse, your presence was never here.
You decided to grow up and you grew wings and flew to places I can not follow. You decided to grow up and found happiness and thought of how childish my ways are. You decided to grow up and reduced my worries into nothing but baby wails.
Have my troubles become nuisances to you?
When people decide to grow up do they always try to make their once closest person feel unworthy of them?
Because that is how you made me feel when you decided to grow up.
If we made several promises, how do we know what weighs more? Are some promises really heavier than the other? Or, does it boil down to priorities?
Would it be acceptable if we let go of some promises to fulfill others? And if by delicate weighing (provided there is such a thing) tells us one weighs lesser than the other, do we shatter that smaller thing and find comfort of how we have chosen well? Would the damage of such choosing be forgivable? Will that person be able to convince his self that there was absolutely (in all absoluteness that an atom is indivisible) no other way but to let go so “heavier” promises can be realized? Would that be enough to bring comfort on cold nights and eradicate all the what ifs the future might slap on our faces?
If we must shatter one promise to save another promise then tell me why we even made that pact? If a promise jeopardizes the other, then why did we put ourselves inside a battle where people we love can’t help but get wounded?
Is it a simple scenario of biting more than what we could chew? Why do we have to spit on a child’s dream? Why do we have to crush its gentle bones to shape it to our grown-up excuses? Do we have to cause enormous grief to a wife just because we are not open to options that require hardwork, collaboration and patience? Must we let her feel she is alone because we refuse to admit how wrong we are? Because we refuse to understand how she feels.
Then was it really about the promise or the pride you refuse to reduce? Does your loneliness make you feel so entitled you want to hear what you want to hear?
Does your promise to God weigh lesser than other promises?
And do you honestly think (in all honesty your aching heart can muster) that your mother or to whom you said you made a promise to will be happy with your choices? Will it make her smile thinking how you have to lose your own family to save hers?
Was it really about the promise or the selfishness? the nuissances?
You can fool the world and you may even fool yourself for a while, but after all has been said and done, and you know in your heart it was never about the promise (a promise you keep turning into a shield) once it breaks, once you turn around and you see no one but the reflection of your choices – you standing alone and feeling alone – maybe then you’ll know what really matters and how too late it would be for you to do anything and all you can do is die.
Maybe then you’d finally have the slightest hint of how much a promise truly weighs.
2019… How should i bid you farewell when you made my year so full of decision makings i thought you’d be a bomb that would explode the moment i choose the wrong choices. Here are some big and little decisions i made during your (shall i say) glorious regime?
First, I decided to leave my job of four years where i made great friends and had a very supportive management. I swear I kept thinking how life would be without them boosting my morale and making me feel I was at home. I almost wanted to retract my resignation because i didnt want to leave. I thought about it for a month while rendering my last days with the company. I wanted to stay in the comfort of them. But then again, comfort can be a scary thing because it does not allow you to grow. I strengthened my will and gained that courage to walk out of that zone to make myself grow, I hoped.
Second, to pursue working abroad. I have always loved the idea of being far from home. Not that I dont love my family. Im convinced we all do. My family though has been nothing but a China wall. It protected me from unwanted attacks but has also prevented me from expanding the territories of my learning. Staying home felt an almost perfect reprieve. I want to get out and explore that world and see for myself if im going to love it or hate it.
Third, to let father undergo total hip replacement surgery. To others this may seemed less stressful since it is elective. Let me tell you, it was stressful and daunting. There were nights when i’d cry and couldnt pinpoint exactly what is it that im scared of. Even if i have prepared myself for that moment as much as i can, when the time came, it still shook me. Worse, it made me question the allegiance from some of my trusted friends. I realized they can not be there for your battles all the time and you should be okay with it. More often than not, they’d choose to live their lives and you learn not to hold it against them – little by little. The biggest lesson though is realizing that you can not make people feel the way you want them to feel and that the years you spent with them is not a guarantee that they would share your grief.
Fourth, i lost my passport a day before my visa appointment and decided to move on from it. There was a point when i wanted to sit in the middle of the road and let trucks run over me for being so careless. How could i lose it? But i decided not to be defeated by this hurdle. I passed the tests I needed and there is no way something like this shall stop me from making my dreams come true.
Fifth, after suffering from irregular menstruation for four years, i decided to have myself checked. I have never regarded my reproductive health as a serious matter. I guess a lot of us don’t. However, it dawn on me that if i really want to take care of other people, i must take good care of myself first. I am now on my fourth pack of pills. I should see my OB soon for a follow-up check up.
Finally, forgiving friends for nothing but being honest with how they feel. I have this tendency to shout at people (when im angry) out of familiarity and sometimes, out of superiority. I always thought it is okay to show your closest friends how you feel whether in public or in private. I was aware that lashing out on people may belittle and hurt them but i still did. My reaction on things are too quick at times and i just act based on what my emotions are at the moment. My ego told me to let the silence between us last until the other party can no longer take it. Or until, i feel better about the things they said. I realized until you forgive, you never really feel better. Until you say the words to yourself of how right they are and how you could have acted better, the anger never learns to subside on its own. You have to do something about it. The fall though… I do not know how to act around them anymore.
One friend has told me that I make her do things that are not her. There were moments when she gets confused whether to be her or be the person I want her to be and that I make her feel how my friendship is far better and how she is always fucking up. She did say she accepts me for who i am but it is me who cant accept that i make her do things or make her feel that she is falling short. For the time being, i decided to have that distance between me and her. Until i know how to be a better friend to her because she deserves that. And if she finds someone who can take care of her better, whom she’d feel appreciated and loved more than i could ever do, then i’d be happy.
Everything is a work in progress. I am a work in progress. I want to remember every little and big thing this year so I wrote most of them on my notepad. The happenings have affected me and somehow made me see that there are a lot i need to work on. My temper for one, my expectations over people and my priorities. I will try not to make people do things that are not them. If they do not want to come on time on our gatherings, maybe we can reschedule. If they want to cancel on our plans, then they can do so. If they want to just live their lives the way they choose to be… then I promise to not stop them in anyway. I will move on and try to forget the things they can not do. I figured… it’s not all about me.
It’s a big world. And if in the end they choose to let go of our hands, it’s not because of us – it’s because of the differences of our priorities and how we should not hold it against each other. Let them grow where they want to grow and by that you let yourself grow too.
So i bid 2019 goodbye for all the pruning I had to undergo. I am now embracing 2020 for all the adventures and misadventures it will bring me. I say, bring it on! 🙂
Lately, I’ve realized how awful I am. How I have made everyone do things that are not them. I always think I am someone so important and I should not be kept waiting. No one should cancel plans on me. See how entitled I can get? I even thought people should be able to feel what I feel. What matters to me is a big deal and all the rest are nothing but dusts that can be blown away.
Lately, I’ve realized how people around me are just living their lives and I took it as them forsaking my existence. I took it as them being so happy even if they know I needed some help and comfort.
I am not going to make them feel guilty anymore for living their lives. This grandiosity I feel must come to an end and for that I decided to distance myself from the people I want to see happy.
They can keep their smiles pasted on their faces and mostly, keep their peace.
They need not please me anymore or do the things I expect them to do. They need not stop their celebration to ask how I am feeling. They do not have to feel that their efforts are being rejected or belittled. They do not need to do the things that are not them.
Finally, they do not have to deal with the sadness I feel. It’s all mine to deal with from now on.
I have visited places where I wish you were there. The chilly, mountainous Bukidnon where we could zip to Asia’s longest zipline. Remind ourselves how alive we truly are as evidenced by racing heart and sweaty palms. The screams we wouldn’t contain because flying with the help of engineering feels liberating and worthy of “shout for joy moments.” You would then hold my hand and squeeze them after outbraving yourself. You once told me you don’t spend money on things that only make you scared but you will make an exception to this. Not only because it’s too good not to try but mostly because you never want to disappoint me. You are always thinking what would make me happy.
I’ve visited Davao again to meet a good friend. You would have loved her. She showed me where you can eat to your heart’s content, Roxas Night Market. There were savory seafood and cheap barbercues. They also offer various fruit shakes and streetfood. I was too full after eating our dinner to enjoy all the food my eyes are feasting on. But I got to try their charcoal ice cream and you would have cursed on how it melts and the flavor it leaves on your tongue. You would not stop blabbering about it even when the last scoop of it has been totally devoured 30 minutes ago. You always praise mouthwatering food and exaggerate how sinfully good it was. Well, it’s a compliment so don’t you frown upon me.
Aside from the streets of Davao City, she took me to Dahican beach where the waves can hurl you into a curl in one moment or sometimes, let you believe you’re stronger than its foam. The long stretch of white, sandy shore would have been a delight to your eyes. You said the photos I took made the wondrous sea looked bad. Yet I know, you would have asked me to capture the cerulean seas with you doing several instagrammable poses. And I would have whined but would do it anyway. I wouldn’t mind the mighty sun gracing my skin, wanting a bite of it just to see your eyes glimmer against the crashing waves.
Dahican beach is a 3-hour drive from Davao City. The drive was easy except the part where the roads curve like a sound sleeping dinosaur’s back. You would have hated the traffic in Cebu more and cursed how narrow those city roads we had to deal with everyday. My friend was right when she said, “There’s a paradise at the end of these hellish, curvy roads.” Dahican beach was exactly how heaven must be. No crowd and no fancy balloons floating on its waters. Only the sun, the sea and the sand under the bright skies. I could die looking at the scenery forever while you would wish the waters be not as deep nor be as wild as it is since swimming is not one of your talents. You know what my favorite talent of yours is? It is you trying to read my mind and how you suck at it.
But the salty destination is something we will always favor. You and I must be cast out mermaids forced to walk on land. Ain’t that a little…disappointing…
There are so much more I want to tell you and places I wish to explore with you if time and circumstances permit. Maybe in a parallel world where you and I would not bear different dreams and priorities, we can spend time with each other. Maybe in that universe, there’ll be less wishful thinking and more dreams turning into reality.
Till then, my friend. I will keep looking back hoping to see you waving at me to take you where my light feet hopes to leave footprints on.