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I remember quite vividly how hard I bawled that one night when I put away all these little keepsakes; how, at this very same spot, back when it was nothing but an empty basement with an old couch, I fell asleep crying, lingering on the sweet memories of the past that at the time brought me endless pain; I remember how at that time, I promised myself not to open the small box that contained all the remnants of the past two years, at least all that remained, all that I managed not to throw away. 

I told myself I would keep it hidden, away from my prying eyes and eager hands; away from that part of myself who wanted to relive those happy moments–even just in my mind, in my memory; away from myself who did not want to let go. It would be locked away until that day comes when I would no longer crave for the experience of anything–pain, or joy, or hurt, or gladness–anything that reminds me or connects me to that same person. 

For the longest time, I found myself unable to stop the tears that flowed at the thought of seeing all that remained from my failed relationship, and the irony at how the smallest and littlest of things enclosed inside that box were representative of the biggest turning point in my life, how those little keepsakes that, practically speaking, are insignificant and of no realistic value, became the most valued reminder of my reality, did not escape me. 

Those were all true until tonight, when for the first time in what seemed like forever, I found myself smiling at the thought of all the cute little moments those items carried with them; I found myself not bitter, or regretful, or resentful; instead, I felt quite fond of the memory, as if I was looking at a photo album that contained images of my past, recollecting what the stories are behind the pictures, with a kind of ease and peace of mind that was not present before.

Looking back, I wish I kept more things–photos, receipts, movie tickets, and what not–just to have something to look back on and remember the fun stories, the good old memories, those fleeting moments that were a huge part of my life at that time. From tonight on forward , (at this very same spot, which is no longer just a barren basement but my very own room fully equipped and furnished allowing maximum functionality LOL), I will remember how liberalizing it felt to be able to reread those letters and to see those sentimental items without any trace of hurt or regret. I learned that after some time, (and gosh, it took quite a long time!) you will reach a certain level of emotional and mental freedom to the point wherein there remains no room for any heartache or pain, anymore–all that you’re left with are a bunch of fond memories and ancient history.

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Moving On and Getting Over

John Mayer: The Search for Everything. April 17, 2017. Rogers Place.

I went to see John Mayer’s concert in Edmonton with my friends, and I remember how weeks before, one of my best friends urged me to write a post on my blog after the concert, hoping for me to reveal some of my innermost feelings and concerns she knows all too well that I’m burying deep inside. At first I laughed her off. But after finding out last night that John Mayer’s new album is entitled, “The Search for Everything,” I decided to give it a try. So here goes nothing.

By alone, I mean when I’m driving and then John Mayer’s Gravity starts playing on the radio…[and I remember] how that song is one of your favourites.

I thought the hardest part of moving on is forgetting about the person, letting them go and all the memories you shared–both the good and bad. I didn’t know, up until recently, that its actually letting yourself go, and eventually allowing yourself to love again, that is the most difficult part of it all.

It’s not to say that letting the other person go is easier. Rather, the difficulty is different in comparison: on one hand, letting go of the other person, means you no longer have to be connected with them–you severe that connection the moment you let go (or at least you try to); on the other hand, when you let go of yourself, you never lose that connection; rather, you become even more in touch with yourself, with your truest feelings.

And most of the time, it’s a great thing to know just what exactly it is that you want, and think, and feel. Knowing that it is time to say goodbye helps you prepare yourself for the future ahead; being aware that you want nothing but to get back together sets you up for what you should do next in order to get just that. But there are times when it sucks knowing, when all you can do is just that–to know. You cannot alleviate  the uneasiness because how are you supposed to not know something once you’ve known it? Even harder, how can you forget when its something that is directly about you, that directly concerns no one but just yourself?

And that is what I know. That I am afraid to love again. Or maybe that I cannot seem to allow myself to fall in love again. Or at least with the same depth, or same vulnerability–I do not want to let go of myself in the same manner as I did before. Because I was reserved and in control of my emotions, making sure my feelings were all in check. But I let myself go, and allowed myself to be free spirited, and it burnt me. And I cannot forget, because how can I forget something that is a part of me–that is me? How can I not know the extent at which I am willing to be broken once I have been there? How do I ignore what I have become as a result of what has transpired?

It’s not like I always think about these things all the time. It’s only on those rare occasions when I am confronted of certain things that do remind me of it, when a memory or an event triggers something inside this brain of mine. I am doing fine, great even. I spend more time with my friends, with family, going on road trips, concerts, and what not. I honestly am having what could possibly be the most thrilling, most adventurous, and most exciting year, yet. But just like what one of John Mayer’s songs say, “moving on and getting over are not the same, it seems to me.” And it’s only recently that I learned that’s how it is for me, too. The mind has forgotten, it’s gotten over the person; but the heart hasn’t moved on, and isn’t ready to let go, not necessarily of the person, but of the fears it had developed. I am genuinely happy, but I am not ready; I am not just whole yet.

The hardest, it seems to me, about this phase, is letting myself go.

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Never Wondered

I have never wondered if maybe I could’ve done something more…”

My friend tagged me on this facebook post about another blog and it made me want to write this quick and short post: ‪I have never wondered if maybe I could’ve done something more or what not, because I know that before I gave up and threw the towel in, I gave it my very all.

Sure, I have thought about if maybe I was more mature, or more selfless, or more understanding, things might’ve turned out differently. But never for a second did I think of “giving more” and “putting in more work” because I did–I had, to the point of complete and utter exhaustion. By the time the “towel was thrown,” there was basically nothing left to give, not a single thing left, not even for myself.

Life in General

When It’s Wrong To Just Go With The Flow

1I know, that title is a bit mouthful. But that is exactly what the last three months have been. When I came back from my vacation, I was certain with one thing: I want to enjoy and go with the flow. I’m the type of person who usually knows what she wants, and what she doesn’t want; why I do certain things and avoid some. But after Philippines, I did not want to know anymore. I wanted to explore the “uncharted waters,” to “go outside of my box.” And so I did a lot of things that were highly uncharacteristic, such as going out on dates, and partying and getting drunk (among other things).

It was also when I came back decided to try out something I have never considered before: dating a friend. At first I was insisting that it was all casual and friendly, although I know I wasn’t fooling anyone (not even myself). In my previous relationships (there weren’t many, just a couple), the guys I dated were never “just my friend.” We didn’t become friends or get to know each other just to be friends; it was always for something more, or maybe it was just that way for me. I have never considered dating a friend because one, that opportunity didn’t present itself that much, and two, once I consider someone a friend, it’s hard for me to think of them in any way but that. But because I just wanted to go with the flow and do things outside of my box, I gave it a try. I thought, “we’re friends, so going out should be okay.” And it was okay–great even. I liked his company and enjoyed our conversations. The past couple of months have been filled with a lot of firsts, just trying new things. But there’s just one thing: I like him as a friend.

I was so involved with my own feelings to the point that I only saw me; everything else–everyone else, was just a blur.

For the most of this post, I kept going on and on about what thought, about how felt. wanted to go with the flow. I was so focused on me that I forgot that there was another person who’s feelings I should consider, my friend’s.  But one late night conversation with my sister brought me out of my fallacy. She asked me: “are you sure you’re not just leading the guy on? what will happen if while going with the flow, you get carried away too far off the shore?” After all, I didn’t wander off the shore the last time but I still found myself drowning. How much more now, when I’ve decided to actually take a dip on the wide ocean while exploring the uncharted waters? The waves are higher this time, and the chances of me drowning again are greater. Her line of questioning felt like a huge bucket of water was dumped over my head and it brought me back to my senses.

To end this post and continue on with the metaphor, I told myself: now that the waves have calmed, and the storm is no more, exploring is over–and back to the shore I go.

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No Next Time

“To say it was horrible would be an understatement. And maybe a little bit mean.”

I was never the one to go on dates–I only ever entertain someone I genuinely like. Or at least, I was that kind of person, up until a couple of months ago when I decided, “why not give dating a try?” What’s the worst thing that could happen, right? Well I recently learned what that is–worst first date.

I met this guy at the bar my friends and I went to, and we talked for at least a week before I finally agreed to go out with him. I didn’t really have an expectation for first dates aside from enjoying some good food and good conversation. At the time, I was going out on casual lunches and dinners with another guy friend of mine, so I thought, it should just be the same. (Stupid me, of course it would be different because I’m already friends with the other guy for a long time now, while I barely know the guy from the bar.) When on dates, I would normally pay for my own meals and what not, unless they insist otherwise. However with this guy, I got the impression that he’s the type to pay for everything on the first date because of the following actions: insisting on picking me up, that we watch the movie on an IMAX theatre, and to go to a fine dining restaurant, not to mention the TOWER–that’s right, the Tower–on our first date. (After much debacle, mostly on my part, we ended up getting dinner at a more casual diner, thank God.) I got the impression that the guy was a traditional, a gentleman-pays-on-the-first-date kind of guy, although I would later learn that I was wrong.

The night could be simplified as this: movie was boring, conversations were dull, lots of awkward silences, and for the most part, he just stared at me, like really really long, weird staring-contest kind of thing, where he would try and say something and then cut himself short, and then he will, again, just stare, and not in a make-you-feel-good-and-beautiful kind of way.To say it was horrible would be an understatement. And maybe a little bit mean. I tried to lighten the mood and dropped some jokes here and there, shared some funny stories, and asked him some questions just to get the conversation going and hopefully salvage the night. But in the end, I was met with stares, and more stares, and if not those, then some weird, irrelevant, and even random questions that lead to nothing but even more prolonged dead and awkward silence–and stares.

The last straw for me was that it felt a little bit shallow and superficial, like he didn’t try to get to know me, the person, and instead just score a date with someone like me. Now that may seem a little self-conceited, but I am in no way suggesting that I’m so great and mighty. After all, I took advantage of the night by basically getting a movie and dinner for free, not to mention that, towards the end of the night, I was basically very straight up to the point of being arrogant or even rude just so he’d get turned off and maybe get the hint that there would be no second date. I’m not defending my actions, but it just felt like he only saw the surface, and to put it bluntly, the beauty, and had no real interest to get to know me, the actual me.

“it just felt like he only saw the surface, and to put it bluntly, the beauty.”

In the end, I realized two things: one, there’s a first for everything, even first worst date. And two, you shouldn’t agree on a date when you’re not really interested with the person; it saves both of you the time and the effort. And it could save you from awkward prolonged stares too.

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The Thing About Being Single

Following a breakup, you go from having a significant other to having no one special in particular; from looking forward to seeing someone to dreading the next time you’ll cross paths; from being in a relationship and happily in love to being single and lonely on your own (at least for a little while). The sudden change in your circumstance can at times make you feel empty and helpless, as if every single thing leads you back to the memories of your past. But all these sad, miserable, and utterly melancholic stages are all but that–a stage, a phase, that will soon pass and go away.

The thing about being single, is that, just like pain, it demands to be felt (the fault in our stars, anyone?) During the first few weeks, at least in my experience, there was a feeling of liberation, as if I have broken free from a chain that has been holding me back. Like the song says, I literally felt like I was “young and wild and free.” I would try and convince the people around me, and myself included, that I was fine and that I was having the time of my life.

When that phase was over, reality settled in and that’s when the second wave of sadness started rolling in (first wave occurs pre-breakup: events that lead to the breakup). It was a period of “crying-yourself-to-sleep-at-night,” “making-wobbly-tables-for-no-reason” kind of days,”why-did-i-breakup-with-him” moments and “i’m-never-going-to-love-again” episodes. It was like riding a rollercoaster that never goes up and instead, just keeps on sinking down.

After my tear glands dried up from all the crying, my body fatigued from all the sleep deprivation, and my mind stressed to the core from all the thinking and what not, acceptance, gradually, came crawling in, and over a little more time, found its niche in me and very soon established itself as my source of stability. I have learned to accept how, as cliche as it sounds, “some things are meant to happen, just not meant to be. Some things are meant to come into your life, just not meant to stay.”

All these stages and phases are like bridges, connecting you from one point to another.

I thought I was the kind of person who would prefer to be in a relationship than not–who would enjoy constantly having a special someone. But right now, I realized that I’m in the point in my life where I just don’t see or feel or think that having one is even an option. The thing about being single that I have learned to love and actually enjoy is the sense of just me. It’s that independence, of having no responsibility or commitment with someone whatsoever; it’s the feeling of being in control of my own time, and being able to make plans just for myself, and not having to think of someone else’s perspective (aside from family and close friends, of course). Maybe most single people think and feel this way; maybe I only enjoy it right now because it’s a fairly new experience; maybe, like everything else, this, too, is just a stage and a phase. Nonetheless, if this indeed is just a phase, that this too will pass, I plan to enjoy this moment for as long as I can, and hopefully, the next phase is just as enjoyable and as personally edifying as this one.

Life in General

When in Bora

15940742_10206247102096129_4390377124020398271_nBefore the year ended, I was blessed enough to be able to visit the Philippines for the first time since moving to Canada six years ago. And man, it was, by far, one of the best vacations I have ever had in my whole life. However, the most memorable part of the trip, at least for me, would have to be Boracay.

We were able to visit the beautiful island of Boracay and enjoy the powder-like white sand the beach has to offer. We stayed at a private resort and got a view of the island like no other while sunbathing by the poolside with frozen margaritas in our hands. One of the most unforgettable experiences I’ve had in Boracay would have to be our pub crawl experience. It was truly a wild, crazy, and fun-filled night.

For the first time in my life, I got drunk, or maybe just a little bit tipsy. For the most part, I remember how the night unfolded: we met at the rooftop of a Greek restaurant, met a bunch of people, had a couple of shots and cocktails before moving on to the next bar, a lot of small talk, and some flirting and attempts for conversation over the loud, and I say loud music, and what not. Even though I went to this event with a group, we ended up meeting a couple of nice people whom we pretty much spend most of the night with. As the event’s motto says, “turning strangers into friends.”

It wasn’t until we were at this very last bar that I felt the alcohol working its magic in me. A friend of mine bought our whole group a shot of Bacardi 151 to celebrate her upcoming birthday. Until then, I didn’t feel intoxicated at all–I felt normal. I remember pretty well how this one guy that we met kept asking me if I was still doing okay, and I kept saying that I was. But after downing that Bacardi, and a couple more other shots, I started to feel drowsy and dizzy and I could feel my control over my body and myself slowly slipping away. A couple more minutes later, I knew I was gone when I just wouldn’t stop talking.

I have never partied like that–dancing and screaming and shouting “yeah!” and whatever chants we seemed to be hollering–nor have I ever drunk as much as I did that night in my whole life. I only started drinking when I moved to BC in the summer of 2016 and I’ve never had more than three drinks. But during that pub crawl, I don’t even know how many shots I have taken. My friend told me that we didn’t really drink that much, but for me, it was enough to drive my immune system crazy because the next morning, my whole upper body was covered with rashes, which didn’t go away until three days later.

Through all that partying, I realized a couple of things. One, that I’m glad I did it with friends whom I trust completely to lookout for me and take care of me. There were a couple of instances wherein some guys would just not get a hint and just grind all over you, partly because they were intoxicated, and partly because they were in the zone and were just having fun. Also, I’m glad I did it and met people who, at least for that night, became our friends and had fun with. Finally, I also realized that I am never getting drunk again, because those rashes looked pretty ugly, not to mention they were very itchy.