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Saw Harry Styles live for the first time today! I told Irene I'd probably be thanking her repeatedly for forever. She wanted to see Harry and she did something about it, while I also wanted to see Harry but gave up on the first few half-hearted attempts of securing a ticket. I had excuses, etc. Afraid of crowd, know the set by heart already, just see him in Japan or something. Irene reached out to someone and then, tickets! More than anything, the story and lesson here for me is: If you want something, get it. It's that simple.
There is an old toilet tank in our backyard repurposed as a planter. For the longest time, only one kind of plant managed to survive in it. It's been around 8 years that it's been there, on a ledge maybe 4 feet off the ground. There's now 3 to 4 kinds of plants thriving. One has grown maybe 5 feet tall? It has to be said, no one tends to this planter. It's on its own. At a certain time of day, I can see the plants through the dining room window, in blinding yellow light, standing like royalty. Calm.
In my late 20s, after having lived in Baguio for a cumulative 7 years, I tended to see summer in Manila as unfair and malevolent. Gradually, and this took years, I came to see it as a friend. Laundry dries beautifully. Everything dries up so fast! Noon to 4 p.m. there is an abundance of yellow and white light, too harsh and too lively, but comforting all the same. 6 p.m.s are breathtaking! Nights are cool, some of them at least. Sometimes we're lucky to have summer rains that actually stay the whole afternoon. It's quite nice.
Every time I start a new entry here, I am tempted to write about something negative about someone. People I dislike, people who are being difficult, etc. Sometimes, like now, I am overcome by that temptation. It's always easier to point out other people's flaws than look into one's self, yes? And by writing this, I am again giving myself permission to forego necessary introspection and justify my bad and judgmental thoughts about a lot of people, some of whom I actually love. "I don't want to lose you" is a classic reason why someone does something bad, something unforgiveable.
There was someone in my childhood, a girl. Someone I had deep affection for. We do not speak now. I saw her at a mall once and avoided her. I was afraid of the emptiness I felt. If she saw me, I wasn't sure she would say Hi. Even if she did, I knew it would be awkward. Or maybe not? Maybe it would be like what often happens: People forget their differences, smile about it, hug. "See you around," we say it like it's true. I'm afraid of what happens after forgiveness. It's forgetting, isn't it? Permanence. Goodbye. Finito.
"For my next trick, I am going to make it about me." Being with him is like being in a magic show, there's always a sleight of hand, a split second after which I believe he loves me, then I'm falling into a water tank and I'm in chains. He manages to get me out of there, "I saved you." He faces the audience, bows, "Me. I did that." I am standing beside him. Wet and relieved, but on edge. A put-on smile. What comes next? "I will slice you in half." I believe he will make me whole.
Around 10 years ago, someone gave me a Murano ring. It was green, also broken, when I opened the package. I am still unsure of where or how it broke (in transit? while package was being opened?). When I saw it, the worry began and never really stopped. Broken glass. Bad luck. The works. It took a while to shake off the feeling that it was my fault (did I squeeze the package too hard? was I too excited?). If it was my fault, it was easier to think of how it could have gone better. Or so I believe.
You cover your face when you're laughing hard. Why? I suppose everyone does that, no? When I watch you from across the room, I like predicting when your hand/s will go up your mouth area to stifle a laugh. Often, it's that moment right after you bite your lower lip. When you're with a close friend, there's no tell, your laughter comes in bursts. I like stealing a look at you--face covered with large hands, catching your breath. I love you. There's a photo of you, open-faced, laughing. Blue sky, clouds over your head. My favorite photograph.
It is dangerous to give people unlimited access to the Internet. Myriad possibilities and resulting impossibilities. Imagine: 24-7 in bed. Swipe, swipe, swipe. Scroll up, up, up. Glazed eyes. Fried brain. Crusty morning glory. Weeks go by. Rain, sun, wind. Still in bed. Crooked neck. As one looks up from their phone, their neck breaks. Death! Kidding. Or not. What impossibilities, you ask? A life, love? Children? Happiness via human touch? LOL IRL. The sea? Holding a seashell to one's ear, smiling to a stranger, being able to say "I can hear 20 oceans," believing it to be true.
I have to point it out. Rereading past entries, I notice my frequent mentions of "2 p.m." and "bright white/yellow light." There. Pointing it out to myself actually. Now that's done. How is your Thursday coming along? Are you sometimes wary of talking in general? One slip, one excess word, one omission can cause a misunderstanding. Thing is, the other person may not even point it out. They will be offended secretly, continue speaking with you like normal, then proceed to ice you after. You are then left with questions. Like a train not knowing where to go.
We wish for more time, but we waste what we have. It's like wishing for more time to waste. "Yes, what's wrong with that?" Nothing wrong, mayhaps. Nothing right either. And why is it when we are cornered, our instinct is to ask "what is wrong with what I did?" As if we already know, and admit, that we did something wrong. Alternatives would be the simple "What?" or "Huh?" Yes I am encouraging you to play dumb. Or okay, anything but an acknowlegment that you deserve to be cornered. Laugh it off, that is, if you're sure you're innocent.
Dreamt of an old officemate who went crazy in an amusement park and tackled the scariest rides like it was nothing. There was a ride that had you transferring seats vertically, which required you to jump backwards, up to the seat above you. There is a raging river below you, btw. Then when you're at the top, you have to jump onto the river and let yourself be sucked into a hole. You will then surface somewhere else, dry yourself like it was nothing, walk away. In the dream, I was watching her and wishing I could be as brave.
Bingeing on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Bingeing on free time, to be honest. I plan to fix my life on Monday (tomorrow). Wake up at 4 a.m., sleep at midnight. Pack my hours with sensible activities. I look at the Internet and see people being adults, and I know they say do not compare 100x, but what else is there to do? That's just me focusing on negatives again. What else is there to do? Get off the Internet, obviously. I crafted a daily schedule. I'm ashamed of who I am and what I want, it's tiring to pretend otherwise.
Looking at my résumé and getting discouraged, being reminded again and again and again how scatterbrained I am. Editor then writer then barista then writer then editor. If I were an employer, oh you know. I know and understand this now, of course, how if you look at my CV you will think, "Oh, she likes 'gap years'." I remember one job interview where this lady verged on harassing me because I mentioned I resigned from a couple of jobs in order to take vacations. It sounded stupid, yes, but looking back I think I don't know so much.
IDK what the exact components of social media etiquette are, but I'm pretty sure if there was an inspection, I will fail. Five percent nearing zero compliance. IDK how friendship is defined nowadays. I'm just certain that being friends entails the same elements as that of being a person. Fundamentals. Kindness, honesty, compassion, decency, not-being-a-dick. It took me years to fully undertand the meaning of "codependency," and yes I misuse common phrases amd idioms (e.g., gap year). I had a point somewhere, before. I guess, be nice in person, be nice on the Web. Always! Everywhere!
She dreams of a foreign land where nobody knows her. Houses are simple--no pompous, useless energy expenditure. If an earthquake destroys everything overnight, it's okay. Shrug. So what. She does not know where this foreign land is, only that it resides in her head. Unreachable and there. Distant and present. There are days she can access a door, an arch, a sound. She knows it's from this foreign land because there are things you just know. Or hope so much to be real you convince yourself you're sure. Same difference. She moves towards this dream, cautiously. Wary and certain.
There are Unwieldy Weeks. You know the ones. You start off with a promising Monday. Early and bright, coffee at the right time. Meal time. Work. All on schedule. Home at a reasonable time. Time is funny and not worthy of trust. Or is it the other way around? I forget. I fix my life and it falls apart. I give up control and it fixes itself. Cliches. Pshaw. Believe in the power of Taking It One Day At A Time. Then it's Friday again and what have you accomplished? Less bit afraid. Sleepier afternoons. Hesitant 7 a.m.s
In 2009 while going through a rough patch, I learned I only need to brush my teeth and/or take a bath to feel better about myself, however momentarily. Anything water-related. Many will understand the willpower necessary for such tasks. It is a sort of victory, being able to bring one's self to the other side of his bedroom door. To shuffle downstairs and see what's going on outside the house. To not lay down again and hide under the pillows, in broad daylight. There've been minor and major victories. The important thing is not get too cocky. Pace.
I can either go on along this path or find another. Once I decide on what to do, there is also a need to keep myself from going back to this path. This here is comfortable, predictable, safe. I have a compulsion to check people's age. I get anxious when someone is in their early 20s and have their life seemingly in order. It's calming when someone is in their late 30s and...oh you get the drift. This is a dangerous path. You know how it's unsafe to give something a name because then you will get too familiar?
The guard promised that she would get out by the eighth day. She clutched her son's letter and kept a close eye on it all the time, even while bathing. In the letter are directions to their new home, a complicated password, and a series of numbers she is supposed to declare at the gate. She held the letter to her chest while eating, while socializing, while at the doctor's. She will not lose this letter. On the seventh day she happens on an old photo of her son. That split second of distraction will cost her six days' work.
I've recently unfollowed/unfriended social media accounts of some people, most of whom I dearly love IRL. In the past, this happens because of too much negativity or the like. Somehow, as of late, I've also found myself cringing at too-positive stuff. IDK. I will now insert a sentence saying, yes, I am guilty of being too-neg-pos, too. Also inventing annoying words. Anyway. Looking at past journals, I am reminded of past attempts at minimizing screen time. Fail! Also six years ago I was a little in love with a boy who would never love me back.
Last year there was an incident involving a loved one, a misunderstanding, and unsaid/assumed words that, for all I know, are still eroding whatever small mountain our relationship is. I have difficulty expressing gratitude. Someone does something nice for me, and I focus on how that something made my day worse, or how it undermined my plans (IDK), or...see, this is what I do: I make a spectacle out of my plans and then speak about them flippantly, then if someone disregards them, I go back to inflating and...okay, that's it for our episode of So What.
I've taken to following inspirational accounts on Instagram. My "collections" tab is replete with self-improvement quotes and lists. I can spend hours upon hours browsing the Internet, focusing on one person and admiring their life in general. This admiration sometimes turns into unhealthy comparison, and then a day comes when I am bringing myself down and I forget why exactly. It's a cycle. I know the solution to this, I do. But fear, inadequacy, and sadness are such cozy towns, I like visiting them from time to time. There are other towns, yes, I've marked them on my map.
Broadchurch is good! Also, Safe. Fixating on my LinkedIn profile. What else. I have to go forward five years from today and imagine how 41-year-old me would feel about May 2018. It feels like every day since leaving the job at Pioneer Street is a see-saw of emotions. The good thing is I can now decide, or allow myself, to end each day with an optimistic note. That should be a positive thing, right, even if it sometimes entails imaginings of ghouls watching me in my sleep. Understand, this is comforting sometimes. Night lights are nice companions.
IDK what it is about the first Deadpool that attracted me to not watch it. That was vague, but here, stay with me. Okay, this first, I loved Deadpool 2! I found the dubstep references hilarious. Okay, then, Deadpool 1. Haven't watched it yet. Parts of it, mayhaps, on cable. There is something resentful about popular culture. I've stopped following local movies after the Aga Muhlach-Richard Gomez era. Okay, tbh, let's say Jericho Rosales. What was my point here. Maybe "resentful" isn't the right word. Just, what's the point of ABSCBN starlets? There must be, no? Forgot the topic.
She had a glimpse of that other world again. In that place, there is constant scent of wet earth. Trees in the morning look greener, friendlier. Like they've been told overnight of a secret they're bursting to tell you, too. How can she go there for good? How does she find the way to this place so she wouldn't have to make do with a few minutes of familiarity only to be jolted awake into her reality? The answer, she feels, is in her now, here. She has to make a decision and follow through. She has somewhere to go.
What then, do we call this always-feeling of wanting to leave, of dodging attention, of not wanting to be seen or even thought of? Let's give it a name so we can know it and have reason to forget. If you go someplace new, you are bound to meet new people and settle into routine eventually. There is no insulation from newness becoming something familiar and comfortable, becoming old and cloying, becoming something you want to forget in favor of another newness. See, this is a cycle, a neverending hamster wheel. Cage door is open yet you stay inside.
You are a country I visited when I was young. I forget how many years ago. These are what stuck: Your small hands, your scent in the morning, the sound of your footsteps. There were so many areas to explore, but I could not leave your kind eyes. I wanted them to be my home. I still come to this place that used to be you. There is often a worry that if you see me, you would pretend to forget what we had. I knew you so well. I never knew you at all. Always, it would be both.
There's an overkill at my LinkedIn profile. I've filled out the Skills portion in a way that's...cringeworthy. I guess it's my way of making a comedic situation out of my current...situation. I keep looking at my former teammates' profiles (they have also left the job), hoping to glean some sort of story as to what it was we really did in Pioneer Street. I'm stumped, is all. At a loss as to how to describe it succinctly. I'm sure there's a structure to it. Now I'm just clicking on random profiles, searching for clues on how to proceed.
Bought a pop socket for my phone, it's been 18 hours and I still don't understand how it's supposed to improve my phone-using experience. Kidding. I can see how it can save my hands and wrists from utter demise. I am presented with a solution and I make it harder than it is. My petulance has cost me friends. Just a few minutes ago I went into overthinking about how people believe the first version of a story and never think to verify it. It's easiest to judge, yes? I want to be someone who always seeks other versions.
This is the plan: Make no plans. Oh maybe a daily list, but other than that you are to wing it. These are the only rules: Break rules and make your own. Do not hurt anybody. If you are afraid of being found out for who you really are (what you can and cannot do), stop worrying. That's it: Stop. We find what we look for. Take care of yourself. Whatever anyone says or thinks, so be it. It's simple. Go back to basics. A pragmatist will tell you it is supposed to be easy. Believe it to be true.
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