Saturday, May 26, 2012

This is Really About...

Growing old is like a new song on the radio -- you hear one time and don't realize it, you hear it often enough and it creeps up on you. Next thing you know, you're singing it to yourself in the shower.

Okay, that's a very bad, nay useless, metaphor. It's 1 in the morning and my head is bursting to the seams with thoughts that run amok in your head when you let the reins go in the wee hours of the morning. I feel like I have to write my thoughts down but I haven't decided yet how intimate, personal, and embarrassing I will allow this post to be.

I guess my thoughts are just looking for an audience. I'm just not sure yet how much audience I can handle. I am sure I am definitely not word vomiting everything to a very very naked Facebook post. Cryptic tweets, maybe. Or if I can stay up long enough for it, an unusally naked blog post.

Hold on to your seats. Intimate and embarrassing word/feelings/secret secrets vomit in 3..2..1.

I feel alone. I feel like like that kid in class with no group during groupings. For the toy junkies, like that piece of lego you have no idea where to put after you finish building your pretty house. For the word nerds, like a dangling modifier. And just to satisfy that longing in me to add one more comparison, like that English-speaking tourist in a busy alley in Chinese-speaking Hong Kong.

It's not that there is a lack of company to merit the feeling of being alone. There are lots of people, actually. Friends and family and very nice people around me who never fail to make me feel that I am an adorable human being. But I've never believed it more true that you can totally be "alone in a crowded room."

Okay. Enough of the thin veiling. This is about being single. This is about being 25 and thinking about how the next 3 or 5 years will look like. This is about wondering whether building a family will be anywhere in the horizon or a craft (like cross stitching) or cats will be how my year 30 will look like. (And how my writing will always have horrible stereotypes like the one above.)

This is about finding my happiness. And wondering how that happiness looks like. Whether it will come in the form of a giant pile of money to afford me the time and resources to finance a full time Sociology education in London, alone. Or in the form of a pretty and snotty 1-year old showing mommy her chocolate soaked fingers and how she can stuff a whole chocolate bar into her mouth in one go.

This is about not knowing and feeling a tiny semblance of panic brewing at the pit of my stomach. This is about Not knowing whether it is too early or too late to not know and just feeling antsy just the same.

This is about feeling my way through all of my 25 years of life and wondering what's in store for me. This is about realizing that longing to belong to that sacred bond of a relationship. This is about not knowing what to do because none of these are in my hands.

This is about wondering how it feels to belong to a secret circle of 2. How it feels again to have that one constant to run to, to bitch to, and to be that one other human being that doesn't make you feel alone. To have that one person you can complain-brag about and make you feel a grown adult capable of being part of a grown adult relationship.

This is about having another person outside of your Mom who fusses over whether you got home safe or had lunch on time. This is about having another person other than yourself care about whether you are happy and is constantly thinking of ways to up your happiness.

This is about doing ordinary things like running in the morning, or walking aimlessly in a mall, or discovering a great ice cream flavor feel like a wonderful shared experience. This is about  learning to take care of another person's happiness outside of your own.

This is about getting consumed by the endless possibilities that is met with both fear and anticipation. This is about wondering. This is about hoping.

Go for broke.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Photo credit: PostSecret

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Looking for the Next High

Does growing older have the power to dull feelings?

I've been asking myself this question a lot lately. For the past year or so, I've been trying to look for the "next high" -- that moment of euphoria, that flood of excitement, that amazing sense of wide-eyed wonder.

First Time
I've been trying to get that beautiful feeling of a "first time" -- that moment when as a pre-schooler you step into your first museum or the first time you see lion up close in a zoo and you'r washed with this inexplainable happiness at the joy of the experience.

That moment when as a twelve year old you were allowed by your parents for the first time to go to the mall with your friends unaccompanied. That moment in high school when your Dad first lent you the car and you drove around with your student license feeling like a total boss. Small moments that make you feel invincible.

That time when in college you were allowed to your first sleepover, or first out of town with friends. The moment when you first walk the streets of a foreign country and the idea of being not in the Philippines feels so surreal. Everything feels so new and I love how you just drown in the novelty of it all and it's like an altered reality.

That moment when you first step into Disneyland where everything is magical. As a 17-year old, I understood that it was all "staged" but there was this undeniable feeling of awe in my belly. My brain, for that moment, chose to shut off all rational adult explanations of why and how things work. Smehow I found it in me to just get lost in the experience, to feel that spring in my every step in the park, to savor that "kid" that I let lose with every picture with Mickey Mouse and friends. I miss that feeling.

That time when you felt responsible for another person's feelings because you care about them so much. That time when you went out of your way because a good friend needed you to be a friend and you both felt like real adults talking about money and careers and marriage and children. It's small moments that make you feel like you are breaking through.

Insulated Reality
Just lately I feel that I am not totally "feeling" things. It oddly seems like things are happening around me and it doesn't quite register. New "first times" are happenings but I oddly don't feel like I'm there. It's like I'm in a bubble and I'm insulated from the event, just selectively feeling the more palpable parts. It's like my brain has a vague idea of what is happening but I don't quite "get" the whole experience.

None of the raw, exciting wide-eyed wonder. None of the weird feelings in the tummy. None of happy feelings of novelty. Only a muted, barely there sensation, reminding me that this or that event is happening to me.

Next High?
So there is this He that is playing this staring game with me. The "me" two, three years ago would've had this screaming teenager inside my head, giddy and brimming with excitement at just that thought of this He. Not even because this He is playing the staring game but just the idea of this He.

The "me" now is not moved. And it's not because I don't want to be. I want to be moved! I want to feel that rush of excitement and have that screaming teenager run around my head to remind me how fun it is to be young and carefree.

The "me" now feels like just standing idly by, watching all these things happening. Yeah, it's cute He is playing this staring game but it's not waking up the screaming teenager in me. Yeah, it is putting to action some imagination muscles looking into some future time when He actually stops just staring and actually starts talking. But it doesn't feel like a jolt to the system, it doesn't feel like an unnatural thought able to disturb the peace and the steady of my adult thinking.

It's not that I don't want to be steady or stable or normal. I guess I'm just looking to feel -- to really, absolutely, indescribably feel. I want to feel alive. I want that next high.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Adventures of She

It was a KFC buzzing with a handful of people. The aircon inside was freezing, stark against the sticky summer air outside. She made her way to a table which was probably a good twenty steps from the door. She wanted to talk to Ton to get a file from Ton's computer. As She approached, He started to look tensed. He looked a little panicked when He realized She was headed to His table. She was about 5 steps away when He realized She was there for Ton.

Somewhere along the conversation, He offered to lend Her his thumb drive. Ton introduced them, She met Him, He met Her. Awkward hello's.


It was one rainy Thursday evening in KFC (again). He was seated in the table by the door, She was seated in the table awkwardly angled with Her right side to Him. There was a space, where the tables part leading to the counter and another row of tables between His table and Her table. He was minding his thing, She was minding hers, while quietly stealing glances His way.

Not long after, Her friends started filling the seats in the table between them. He was on the phone, She was trying to crane her neck to steal glances His way. It was awkward, She'd look at His face for a few quick seconds and quickly look away. She didn't want Him to catch Her eye. Then it happened.

She slowly looked His way expecting to graze His face with her eyes, look at His cute little eyebrows, steal a glance of his perfect, beautiful hands, and then look away. But this time, Her eyes were met by His.

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