5

Note to Self

Written Christmas Day, 2006

I am used to defining myself with the relationships I am in–whether it may be a relationship with my family, my boyfriend, or my friends. I do things so my parents will approve of me, or so my special someone will still remain faithful, or so that my friends won’t even regret our friendship. My worth has been measured on how I measure up to other people’s expectations. I wake up everyday not knowing what my standards are. I have never really grasped the meaning of enough — I keep showing I can give so much of myself to others. I can only stop when my limits crash, when I find myself crying at night because I am already so tired of the predicament I set myself in.

I have lost love, for myself, to the child lingering within, and to the woman I have become. I have lost love to the fact that I love the day sky than the night, that I love my rice fried, that I never really love fish but vegetables are never a problem, that I love having profound conversations, but I also love to laugh over the most mundane, that I love to read and I love to write, whether my punctuation and grammar are in place or not, that I love dancing alone in my room, that I love exploring new places, that I love my man to be prudent and smart, and that I love dreaming big.

I set this to be published on a future date with the hope that I reach that day with a regained love of self. If not, I hope this will serve as a gentle reminder.

This is to remind you, dear self, that to comfortably deal with others, even with those close to your heart–especially with them–you have to treat yourself first with kindness and with high regard. When you fight your demons, when you question your worth, when you try to unlearn your bad habits, you must know that those who matter will, at all costs, safeguard your heart. They say people come and go, but the right ones will always stay. Live for yourself and for the people who will remind you that for them to stay, you have to stop trying so hard.

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Missing

I was telling my sister a while ago that I already have almost everything I wanted back when I was a kid.

Like, I really wanted a mall to be built near our village. That was granted a long time ago, when SM Bicutan was put in place, and now around a decade after, there’s a monstrous mall being constructed just right at the opening of BF Homes. I could not have thought of that possibility when I was ten. I was content with Tropical Hut, Ruins, and a few more stores in the village, at least traffic then wasn’t that bad.

I also dreamt of having the perfect laptop. I envisioned myself in my twenties, working on the go with that laptop tightly clutched to my arms. This was so because when we were kids, my siblings and I had to take turns in using the personal computer in my parents’ room. Now I don’t just have a laptop. I have a Mac AND an iPad, and both technologies are things which I could not also had imagined for myself. I could not have described perfect with these.

My point here is maybe I should just allow the future to surprise me, just like how my younger self would be amused if she knew I’d have what I have right now. Maybe, the point here also is to never stop wanting, because it seems I don’t know what I want anymore. I am in law school but I don’t know if I really want to be a lawyer. I am in my mid-twenties, the last time I dated was seven years ago, and I have no idea what really could be “perfect guy” for me (and if such being exists).

My younger self would have been amazed at my current self — with what I have achieved, who I have become, etc. — but the point is, there’s still something missing. And the bigger problem is I don’t know what that is.

Aside
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It’s my first summer break since High School with no summer classes/internship/anything school-related, although there are some BarOps/sorority matters to think of at times. But this is the first summer break (in a very long time) that gives me the privilege to stay at home if I want to. I have spinning classes as a reason to go out for an hour a day and our Hong Kong and Macau trip on May, but other than that and our enrollment in school, you can expect that I will reacquaint myself again with this bed, these sheets and the kitchen. I am trying to cook.

It’s the first summer break that will allow me to be a kid and an adult at the same time. I can go on a siesta or go on an out of town trip, depending on my mood and my funds. This is actually the kind of life that I’ve been dreaming of when I was a kid, wondering how it’ll be when I am 25 — except that this moment is only fleeting, like roller coaster rides and puppy love.

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The Weekend That Was

I really need to go back to my law books soon. But for the meantime—

I. Will and Grace*

We arrived at Mercato at seven in the morning. It was raining so hard; we were parked some meters away from the tent which housed the food stalls. You scoured through my car to see if I brought any umbrella. You were flabbergasted to find out I have none. To my defence I said, “Nakakasira ng porma eh.” You laughed and seized my humungous hairbrush, “Pero lagi mong dala ‘to noh?” You easily resigned to the fact that we have no other choice — we braved through the rain. We will brave through anything just for a tapsilog meal at seven in the morning.

II. Escape

The gym studio was packed. There were around fifty people inside — both ladies AND men who were anywhere in between their twenties and sixties. When the instructor started playing this happy, upbeat music (which started with Don Omar’s Danza Kaduro), I became certain I will be a regular in this class. A few minutes of carefree dancing already felt like I was at some Latin street party. Now I understood when my friend once posted in Twitter, “I just want to Zumba my life away.”

 III. Alter Ego

Today was one of our usual “study dates”. Today I learned from you that shabu-shabu is best on a rainy day, that graduate school (law school for me; business school for you) has made us feel both small and empowered at the same time, and that not anyone has the privilege of growing old with their best friend whom they met when they were thirteen. We have survived going through puberty, attending rival schools in college, and navigating our way through a foreign country. No one, not even the boys who were once close to our hearts, has ever really outmatched that.

.
.
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Putting off work is worth it.

——

* In reference to the television sitcom Will and Grace. Will is Grace’s gay best friend.

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Transport Me

I wish superheroes are real. Imagine if I were one, I’d be a law student with super powers. But if I were to be given one special power only, it would only be this:

When I am drained from all the school work, when I am nervous preparing for an exam, I can just close my eyes and dream where I want to be, and I’d be there. I can still choose to study in Starbucks, where I’d still be sipping my caffè latte, but this time, I’d have the view of the London Eye.

I can also take a break and run around Lake Saroma in Japan.
(I’d send a note to Haruki Murakami and thank him for the idea.) Amazed by the view, I can run without getting bored.

Then I can always go back home, to school, and you won’t hear me complain about a single thing.