Category Archives: (In)sanity

May the Force

Six years ago when I had had more than enough I asked someone I barely knew to meet for a cup of coffee, and she said yes. In that single decision, she gave me back a city I so wanted to love, and so much more than that. Today, I do not wish to ever imagine my life without her. She is a joy. Tomorrow, she takes a big step. She is leaving her city. The one she has come to call home, but it is for the best possible reason, to pursue their dream. To make their life what they want it to be. I know that they’re worried, they are still caveating the decision with, ‘We’re going to give it a year.’ I would add those words too were it me.

I know that this is the best choice for them. I have been reminded often the past few weeks of something I told another dear friend, ‘The only regrets in life we have are the risks we don’t take.’ I know those words to be true. I also know those words have sometimes gotten me into trouble, but they have also lead me to paths and people whom my life would have been less without, including the friend leaving their city. Selfishly, I sill wish she wasn’t leaving.

I feel like I am almost back to where I was six years ago. Only, instead of wanting to be anywhere but there, I long for the city’s familiar streets and sounds. I miss the freedom given to me since the city and I came to our truce, I ask nothing of her and she takes nothing of me. Now, my talisman, the one I could turn to when I felt myself turning back, will be gone. I never thought I’d have to make this journey without them again. I have to ask myself if I have changed enough to be able to go back to her on my own. I do not know if I have.

May the 4th. As she leaves and as I return, may it be with us both.

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Filed under (In)sanity, I am

The “3-Oh”

I had planned on being in Cuba on this day. Sat on a terrace in Havana sipping a mojito. I’m not a drinker but I figured when in Cuba, why the heck not? Instead, because of a big ash cloud that up until a few hours ago was holding everyone captive – I’m here. I’m not angry though, that’s not an emotion I’ve had much to do with this latter part of my life. Instead I think everything happens for a reason. Some have said that maybe I was going to get hit by a car in Cuba or something; perhaps so. I thought I’d need a full year to figure out the reason, but it’s taken me less than that. Perhaps it’s a sign I’m getting better at figuring out my life. Possibly. Maybe. This trip, my staycation, it is characteristic of how I would describe my life: It may not have turned out as I had planned, but it has turned out how it was supposed to.

There is not a day when I do not think myself blessed for the life that I lead. Yes there are moments when I wish things were different – more money in the bank account, a Triumph in the garage, a spacious place all to myself…but like I said – everything happens for a reason. This year, I think I needed to be here today. I needed to be in the exact place where the people who mean the most to me, that I mean the most to, were within arm’s reach. I was told recently that I have no passion. Where an old me would have taken those words to heart, searched for the validity of that statement, this me knows it not to be true. My family. My friends. Those who transcend any label anyone could possibly give. They are my passion. These people are who I am my very best with. These people who do not feel I am ever too much and am always enough for. These people who say to me, ‘You could rule the world if you wanted to.’ They are my love.

This year I chose thirty people, thirty of those people who have come to mean a lot to me, some over many years of having them in my life and others only recently, and I asked them to do something for me. I hope that they take my request seriously because I have never meant anything more. Because of them, because of the world they have shown me, because of the person they have helped me to become and shown me that I am, I can honestly say that today I want for nothing. There is no gift that they could give me that could mean more than what they have already shared with me. My request is the only way I know how to begin to repay them.

This age, a milestone, the digits have changed and I know that there are many more changes to come, but there are some parts of me that I hope will remain the same. After all, it’s taken me a long time to become the person I am. I do not fear tomorrow and I do not regret yesterday. I wish I could tell people how I had come to look upon my life in this way, there are so many that I hope will one day realise all that they have instead of longing for what they don’t. Life has a way of placing you exactly where you need to be, and it is not always where you expected you would end up. If you’re lucky, if you are blessed, you will have people around you who will make you laugh till your sides hurt, who will support you without judgement, and who will know who you are even when you don’t.

Thirty years. I must be doing something right.

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Filed under (In)sanity, Revelation

Leaving on a jetplane…

12yrs ago a guy met a girl, possibly over a canteen table, maybe in a college hallway. I’m not sure. I remember the beginning and I remember the moments in between. There have been many, and some of them may have been difficult, but they stayed the course. Tomorrow we get on a plane to fly 13,000 miles because that guy and that girl have decided to get married, and we, as their friends, have been asked to share the moment. I can’t believe it’s been 12yrs. Where did it all go?

I’m going through my travel routines. Luggage is packed. Just the handcarry to sort now. Several trips have taught me to whittle it down to the essentials, but somehow I still manage to overpack. Backing up the PC, life has taught me this to be a wise move, not just travel. Memory cards wiped. Wallet. I should sort out my wallet. Sunglasses. Liquids in a resealable clear bag. Gadgets set to charge before I pack away the multitude of chargers in the morning. I may be running behind but I have the routine down now.

It still doesn’t actually feel as though I’m leaving even if I will hopefully be sat on a plane in 10hrs. I’m not looking forward to this flight. The US is easy. Direct flights under 10hrs. Nothing compared to the gauntlet before me. Still, if I could do it for Cambodia then I can do it to go home. Home. It’s more unfamiliar than any place I choose to travel to now, but it’s where my roots lie. This is where the people that I am made up of came from, even if the people who have made me who I am are scattered around the world.

Vacations stopped feeling like the getaway they were supposed to a long time ago. My phone providing instant access whenever someone wants to reach me. The Crackberry no doubt making that even more possible. Wi-fi connections and the netbook assisting further. The scenery changes but I keep those close to me nearby. They’re my (in)sanity after all. I’m sure there will be moments though, when the beeping of one device or other no longer sounds, and I’m home again.

So many of us headed to the same place. Still missing some, but knowing they’ll be in our hearts. Moving on and getting married. Moving out and buying homes. Moving away and making new lives. We’re growing up. When did that happen? Leaving on a jetplane, am I ever the same when I come back again?

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Filed under (In)sanity, Far Off Adventures

Bleeding Heart

Going through the motions but lacking any kind of sensation. Everything tasteless. Disappointment acknowledged but not felt. The heart aches. Not wanting to play this out in view of open eyes you withdraw.

In these moments you come to realise who holds you.  Those whose arms wrap around you instinctively to hold you together before you fall apart. That one who tries to make you laugh. Wrong words chosen, but a slight twitch of your lips shows you that could you smile, you would. And them, the one you turned to, to take you out of your head. Seeming at first to care but then always their truer nature returns. This you knew. It is why you go to them.

The words unbelievable. Having to remind yourself that this is how you placed the pieces. Each one fulfilling the role assigned. You can’t be angry, only you are. Growing resentment that they would choose now to do this. Had the roles been reversed with a fraction of the relevance this behaviour would not be tolerated from you. Never able to see as you do. Oddly thankful that this you can feel. This gives you something other to think about. This was the reason why you made that choice again. Perfectly selfish, always guaranteed that in their presence nothing you feel matters. Your dysfunction showing. The tactic does not work.

Your thoughts undistracted. They always remembered your name. They always cared to ask how you were. Their voice familiar on the other end of the phone, you couldn’t help but smile when you answered. It feels heavy. The memory of that last time. You shared a meal in their home. They were supposed to be getting better. They wouldn’t let you hug them. Too much affection, you knowing your arms would embrace them too tightly. Them kindly insisting that it was only because they didn’t want you to become ill. Not even a kiss goodbye. Just wave.

The miles too many to travel I stay on my side of the ocean. Too affected by a sadness that should not be so overwhelming. Their loss, mine. I will miss their kindness. I will miss their laughter. I will miss their smile.

~ R.I.P. Auntie Norte ~

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Thankful

A few years ago I made my first Thanksgiving Dinner. A friend of mine was dating an American who was in the Air Force and this was his first Thanksgiving away from home. I used it as an excuse to play house and have all of the people I cared the most about in my home to share a meal. I did the whole bit, used real napkins, and even made an apple pie from scratch. Topped off with a few rounds of karaoke – we’re Pinoy after all.

Fast forward a few years and tomorrow I’m celebrating Thanksgiving again for the first time since the last time. This time I’m not cooking. That’s not the only difference, not a single person who was sat around that table during my first Thanksgiving will be there at this one. Part of me is sad at that fact, not all of the absentees by my choosing, but this is where our lives have taken us. Some geographically distant, the American boyfriend now a husband and with that a home away from us. Others distant because sometimes that’s just how it is.

Many of those friends that once shared my table, I make the distinction between them and the people I choose to share my life with now. They are the family I would never have chosen, but for whom I am incredibly grateful that someone else knew better. Those friends are now the people I see on special occasions, Christmas and the odd birthday here and there although we can never all seem to make it at the same time. They are the people who knew me before I became me, the ones who will always be in my life no matter how much time has been spent.

The ones I will share a meal with tomorrow, they are some of the ones I have chosen. They know who I am without perhaps the (dis)benefit of knowing everything that I was. I am reminded every day of the high regard these people hold me in, but I am only the sum of everyone that has come into my life and allowed me to be who I needed to be. Without judgement. Without restraint. Without fear. I am the person they have had the faith that I could become. For them I am always thankful.

You don’t have to be an American to take this time to look at what it is in your life you are thankful for, but it is sometimes a good reminder. There are of course the big things, a roof over my head, a bank balance that may not be in the best of health but that I can handle, and a year without having to spend too many moments sat by someone’s hospital bed praying they’ll be okay. There are the little things, a tweet that reminds you how brilliant we can be, Jessie’s laughter as we chase her around the park, front row tickets to your favourite musical. And of course there are those things we never expected, the friendships formed from acts of randomness that every day give you reason to smile, spontaneous words that become your favourite quotes, thank yous that you would never have asked for.

So if the question is asked, I am thankful for everything and for everyone. If it didn’t happen the way it did, if they weren’t exactly who they were – even those that ended up being the very worst person for me despite my continually believing they could be better, then my life wouldn’t be what it is – and it is good. It is so very very good.

Happy Thanksgiving, whether you celebrate Turkey Day or not.

“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”

– John Henry Jowett

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Filed under (In)sanity, Words

Wordsmith

I have no words of my own for them, so on this day when I celebrate everything that is them because they won’t, I shall borrow theirs and hope they don’t mind too much.

I see them in everything they write, but in this I see how they see the world and I am reminded of how wondrous a place it can be if you choose to look. They capture the moments that we lose in the cracks. I am glad someone does, and I am glad that they are in my life.

Happy Birthday.

sensation..

Monday, June 1st, 2009 at 11:49 pm

they looked at each other for just a moment. but sure enough to any that witnessed this moment…it lasted a lifetime. in that look they had their first kiss, their first awkward exploration, their first fight and make up. in a single moment gained from a serendipitous decision to occupy a similar space at a similar time they forged entire universes with their smiles.

then the train came.

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Seven Year Theory

Today a friend of mine enters the next stage of his evolution. Another 7yrs has passed and I wonder how different he is from who he was at his last phasing. He’s a father now, albeit to an overactive Jack Russell/Border Terrier mix who destroys everything he can get his teeth into – and that appears to be most things in his once pristine home. I know that fatherhood has brought him new challenges and at times he questions his decision, but deep down I know that his “baby” is a welcome addition to his life. It’s certainly brought us laughter as he tells us of Benjamin’s latest exploits. But how else has he changed?

I remember how I wrote of my Seven Year Theory at the time of my last evolution. I was so thankful for everyone I had in my life, and I really didn’t think that I could even dare to hope to know better people. Now, at the mid-way point of the second year of my evolution I couldn’t be more happy at how wrong I was. I dared my 29th year to try and even compare to my 28th (possibly my favourite of all my years), and half way through, it has answered that challenge. So far. Of course there is still time to go, but should things take a turn there is still so much I will remember this year for and feel nothing but joy in my heart.

18 months. At the start I saw how much I had changed in my 7yrs. If I keep on as I have, will I be able to recognise the next person at the start of my next evolution? I don’t know, but I do know if I do keep on as I have, that person will have the very very best of people around them and the biggest of smiles on their face. Because of who I have in my life today, I can’t wait to be the person I’m going to become.

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Filed under (In)sanity, Revelation, Words