I can compliment you all the time.  I can tell you how good you look.  How amazing you are.  How talented you are.  That’s all it is a lot of the time.  I’m still unseen. I know that you won’t see me that way- it’s impossible.  I am crazy to cling on to any sense of hope.

Yet, maybe it’s the monotony of my current situation that keeps you on my mind.  That keeps me thinking about you.  I still like you (gagging at myself).

I am going to visit home in a few weeks.  I should be very excited.  I am, I will be.  There is a lot of nostalgia on life 10 years ago.  The parties.  My God, the way we partied back then.  I cringe at the thought of how I was back then.  How reckless it all was and hilarious. I realize how temporary those times are.  How so many moments I’d lived through in the past were so magnified- then gone.  The Manila years in my early twenties were a rush.  I could go back just to recall and relive the hot mess I was back then- simply for the fun of it.

I long for change, for excitement.  I feel God with me.  I feel Him present in a way that I haven’t let in for a long time.  I realize how much it’s how we, or how I resist Him.  When He’s always here.  I’ve turned away.  A lot.  It’s making more sense now.

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Baclaran.

It gets a little easier.  Through time.  Through a constant reminder to myself of delineating what’s created in my head and what’s actually there.  With infatuation, it’s easy to hear things the way we want to hear them.  I would give so much meaning to words that were said especially coming from someone so eloquent.  I already know how vulnerable I am as a person.  How quick I am to attach to something, even if it’s not real.  I chalk a part of that up to my abandonment issues.  Maybe it’s also innately my character.

I can write for hours about how I had a biological dad who didn’t want me.  I could re hash the time my nanny who I loved so much left when I was 6 and I was just told she was going on a vacation.  She never came back.  As I write this even now, I feel remnants of before.  I miss her still.  Then I could write about my years living in a home where things were unstable, life and death at one point.  But ultimately, I came through okay.  I came through just fine because the love my mom had for my brother and I, as neurotic as she can be, was the underlying foundation of who I am.

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My mom must have been around my age now when this was taken.

2.40 pm

“I ran into him on the street corner.  The last person I thought I would see.  He looked at me first.  I could see that he recognized me.  I wasn’t sure.  By the time I had looked over, it was too late- the moment had completely passed where I could ignore him.  I had to say hi, to say something.

He recognized me.  He had acknowledged me.  I felt the rush of something familiar pull on the pit of my stomach.  One that I encounter so many times and want to suppress, but don’t.  I’d hidden it in the late night escapes, the aliases.  This had happened for years.  The feeling.

Yet when I’m in it, I imagine.  I imagine it’s real though it’s absolutely not.  But I seek the affection that I’d never had.  A passion faked and pretended, but so much so that it’s real.  At least to me.  Mix that with liquor and I’m in an altered state of an imagined connection. That’s happened to me.  I mistake that emotion the next day with a real one, when all along it was a confused moment.

There he stood, in his glasses.  His face familiar, even though I’d only known him for a night.  I felt what was all too familiar.  A few words exchanged in the extreme heat of midday.  All the while, pushing down what I can’t control but carry so much guilt over.  He walks away, and I wish I had been the one who walked away.  It scares me sometimes that this is the way I know how to connect.”

night.

Last night, before I head downtown, after putting myself through another anxiety ridden audition (which turned out well regardless of outcome)- I downed two old fashioned drinks.  I was nervous to meet you.  Over texting and brief phone calls, I had already felt a sweetness and connection.  While everything around me is so instant, these little gestures touched me.  In recent days when I’d been struck with feeling lost and in despair, I felt an openness to anything.

I met you.  I had an idea- as I had already stalked who you might be.  I found a way to find your last name and see you.  Was I attracted?  I was not sure when I got there.  I wanted to be, but I couldn’t force myself to.  This isn’t because you aren’t handsome or attractive, no, not at all.  But I didn’t feel connected with who I had been in touch with the last few days through the words on my phone.

No drinks this date.  Which in the end, I was grateful for.  The few dates I’ve had previously, the alcohol preceded anything else.  The altered state was whom we had gotten to know. You talked.  I listened.  You shared with me.  You were open.  You had a charm, a self deprecation, a vulnerability.  You shared things with me that were completely honest about your life.  Things one wouldn’t share when they first meet someone.  You shared stories that were tragically funny.  You smiled through the pain.  You were smiling.

The night was perfect.  The backdrop was perfect.  The way you had held my hand and even held me was perfect.  The words you had said to me touched me because it there was something so giving in the encounter.  In a city where I can isolate myself, those words and actions spoke volumes to me.

While everything seemed right and perfect- it was simply that.  There wasn’t the intangible thought of wanting to see each other again.  Rather, hesitating and wondering “if” we should.

I spent the next day feeling overwhelmed for whatever reason.  It wasn’t until I had spoken to a friend who helped me figure out the reason I had felt that way was because I had encountered someone who had been that sweet to me and I didn’t expect that.  Despite the lack of attraction and connection- probably on both our parts, I was touched by something I hadn’t encountered in a long time.  In the words of tita Cynthia Alexander (chos)- Woke up this morning I was staring at the ceiling Cracks and roadmaps and landscapes and highways I have seen I have been To places far and deep in my mind Only to find Comfort in Your Strangeness

21.  I sought refuge in one that parents would disapprove of.  I was in cars, parking lots with you until early morning.  Why that happened, and why I succumbed, I can’t say.  I drove to you one night- barely finding my way through the Manila highways in places I would have never been allowed to drive.  How I found the place, to this day, I wouldn’t know.

Hours later, I lay there, impossible to sleep.  I lay there for hours in an endless wanting to leave.  I knew this was wrong from the beginning, from the very first night.  But I had nothing at that point.  I wouldn’t listen to anyone around me.  In a thrashing of words and Sun Cellular sim cards with my mother, I knew this wouldn’t go anywhere.

Then I jumped to the start of something new (pun intended*) .  In a new you.  You who would make sense, who’s voice and cadence I was intoxicated by.  When you called me in the airport a mere 2 weeks after we met, I was hooked.  I was weak in my stomach for you.  Everything about you, I couldn’t get enough of.  How I would sneak off with you hours into the night in that one place that I shouldn’t have been, but I did anyway.

Then a night in LGV.  When I knew that you were right- that this was something we shouldn’t have gotten into.  I felt I was going to lose you.  I felt with all my heart that this had meant everything to me, though it had been a mere 3 weeks.  Again, I hadn’t been more lost in my life than at this time.  I should have listened to you.  Hung on to every word of uncertainty that you said.  But I was selfish- overwrought with emotion and resisted.  I got what I wanted.

Almost 4 years later, in our place (the one where we had started), I cried at the end of you.  I cried so hard though I knew for a long time, you were gone.  I never cry in real life.  In character, yes, I can because that isn’t me.  But I lost you.  We had lost each other somewhere in year 2, maybe.  When before, the simplest gesture I had in mind, the poem I had found and given to you, brought you to tears- now there was nothing.  When you’d see me cry on film, on stage, you would cry.  I could no longer make you feel anything.  Nothing.  You sat there and watched me cry that last night and that brought hardly anything out of you.

I had prayed the week of my birthday, for what was best.  Two days after we ended where we began you admitted it all to me.  You admitted where you heart really had been for a long time.  I felt a shock, a literal shock in the pit of my stomach.  I couldn’t cry anymore, I had cried too much the other night.  You were a wreck, in tears.  I brought you water and clarity and once I knew you were calm enough, I left and I was numb.

Now there’s you.  You don’t see me.  I wish you did.  You don’t.  But that’s ok.

 

 

The waiting is agonizing.  The meaning I put into something so small overwhelms me.  As of today, I need to let that hold go.

I did this to myself.  I can only undo it.  There was a void filled- one that I got used to.  But it wasn’t real.  The feelings were real.  For me, they were.  But I was never, for one second, delusional about the situation.

So, I’ll find comfort in the fact that I’ll let it go.  Slowly, surely.  Hopefully, it’ll go where it’s supposed to, what I can give.

The past month has stressed me out more than I have ever been since I moved to the States.  Things had been unearthed that I could not control, for the simple fact that I was not in Manila to be there to mediate situations.  I’ve never been more evasive yet involved at the same time.  I felt my faith re awakened, jolted daily as THAT was the only thing I could hold on to.  I’d never felt I wanted calm so badly up until now.  Even though things have subsided (for now), I live in the constant anxiety of the next trigger.

some days

I feel incredibly, incredibly thankful.  Some days I feel like myself again and my purpose is clear.  He is very good, despite everything I’ve been through and everything I’ve done, I can only try to be better now and bring that humanity to the work that I do.

With every ending comes another uncertainty.  It’s in this uncertainty I find myself at my worst: lethargic, hopeless.  I can only hope that I’ve learned from that and that I can move forward better with gratitude, focus and a sense of being present.

And on you.  I don’t want to care about you the way I do- but I do.  I’m so aware of the reality.  Then I get annoyed at myself- wondering why, seriously why?  There are qualities about you that I do like and the ones that I don’t I find oddly charming.  I will miss you though you don’t see me in that way.  I’ll miss you and I better get over this soon.  If only you knew.

“You’re the best”

“Thanks for your willingness to help”

“Couldn’t have done this without you”

“You’re my rock”

The worst part is, sometimes I’m okay with that.

on you.

There are days I feel like I’m 21 again.  I’ll leave it at that.  The best part is that with age, I think I accept things as they are and I no longer place an expectation on an end result.  But no, that would be a lie.  I think I’ve leveled out better.  I think I can enjoy something for what it is a little more now than I would have used to.

It’s with this that I feel the songs I used to sing with Mr. C come up again.  The classics like “Kahit Ika’y Panaginip Lang” or something as staple as “Kailan.”  Which, I just can never get that sick of.  Why?  I love them.  So much.

Yes, I have my fears.  As always.  I am only now dealing with myself I guess- in a deeper way.  I couldn’t have come to this point earlier.  It’s hard to go there, it’s hard to re live certain things so to speak.  However, I will say that God has aligned things for me that I can only see as a way for me to heal.  A way for me to forgive.  Ultimately forgive myself- which I am not yet at and it still seems like an unimaginable feat to get there.

It’s been awhile since I’ve felt a little like myself again.  Reminded of what I do and more than anything wanting to enjoy it instead of being overwhelmed.  But I will say to myself, now- Ingat lang (with regards to THAT).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Loss

A coworker of mine in my “day job” unexpectedly passed this week.  There is an interesting sense of “closeness” when it comes to the job I work.  We can have the best time together while on the job. Then we go about our own lives outside of that with little contact.  I do find myself randomly laughing about things that were said or that happened on a given day.  Really laugh.

Although I wasn’t conventionally close to my coworker- it’s been on my mind a lot. For many reasons. Maybe because I’m trying to make sense of it as well.  So I pray. Asking God for her to finally rest.

I will miss you Vicky. The most hilarious and warm hearted 80’s chick I know.