Not blind as a bat. But close.

It’s almost the weekend and I’m here sitting in the office, too early for work and yet dreading the whole day because I can barely see. I left my spectacles at home and I could only see these words blurring together– just like my unknown future–hazy. I will probably strain my eyes for the next eight hours, alternately squinting and widening my eyes just to get a clearer view. I have worn glasses on and off since I was nine. But people who have been blessed with better eyesight still do not have a clear grasp of what I see and cannot see.

For the most part, the world is a blur. I’m hopeless with reading and stringing letters together at a great distance. And that’s also because I’m not a fucking owl. I could see people, their shapes, what they’re wearing and their profile. If I have known you for some time, I’ll know it’s you because of your profile but you can’t expect me to see how your face looks like. Your face is a blur and any hope of eye contact from a distance is next to none, because to me, your eyes are hollow black holes. I could have missed your stares from across the room because I won’t ever see your pupils dilating, or your eyes narrowing unless I have my glasses on.

You’d think being nearsighted for most of my life, I’ll be dependent on it for everything. I am– to a certain degree.In moments, like today where I’ll feel handicapped working without one. Other than that, when it comes to human interaction, I tend to be stubborn and used to not donning glasses just to avoid eye contact.

Myopia is so convenient when people ask why I didn’t notice them. You won’t ever know if I purposely ignored you or if I genuinely didn’t see you. There is a certain level of comfort when I don’t see people’s faces as clearly. Or maybe that’s just my self-absorption coming into play. I barely give a fuck about the world around me. You may be falling in love with me from afar and I wouldn’t know. You may be wishing I was dead with murder in your eyes and I would have no clue until you’re significantly closer or in my face. You may be rolling your eyes at the absurdity that I am and I’ll only know if I’m wearing my glasses and happened to look at  you.

A 20/20 vision is sometimes, a burden you know. You’re responsible for a lot of things whereas myopic hoes like me always have an excuse. I really don’t have a point. I just wanted to rant and then go home to get my glasses. I have eight hours and 47 minutes to endure. The computer screen is less than a foot away from my face, today.

 

Good luck with that.

*

 

 

The Benefits of Pushing People Away

1. What better way to insulate yourself from getting hurt than walking away first?

2. You get a clearer picture on who would fight to stay and who would let you walk away.

3.  The luxury to practice ambivalence.

4. They’re too good for you and they deserve better than the flighty, blubbering mess that you are– never ready to fully risk it and backing out at the slightest hint of pain.

5. You eliminate the chance of them trampling all over you.

6. It’s only fair because you’re less than deserving of their affection.

7. It is easier to push them away than let them in.

8. You ultimately die alone.

**

 

 

I Am Not A Writer. I Just Have Internet Connection.

For years, I have been deluding myself that I could actually write something worth reading. Must have stemmed from elementary and high school journalism classes I took. The truth is, I’m a better reader than a writer. But when it comes down to it, I simply enjoy reading without the requisite poetic waxing and over analysis that comes after finishing a book. I could enjoy plots and characters without looking for metaphors or deeper meaning that the author may or may have not directly intended. I have only began analyzing it after reading reviews in Goodreads and I’ll be asked to rate a book I have finished.

Some people would go as far as to tag me as an intellectual when really, I am an escapist who finds solace in books. The habit has been ingrained ever since I could remember. My mother taught me my letters when I was three. Lucky for her, I have fallen in love with reading when I should probably be playing outdoors with other kids. As an avid reader, I have this notion that I could also write. Ah, what conceit. When I was in third grade, I signed up for a journalism class because I thought that’s where all the cool upper classmen were. I was right but I have no clue what I should be writing and a lot of times, I just wished I’d quit and stay home after school. The biggest joke was when I was assigned to be the editor for the fourth graders. The hell do I know about editorials and news-writing at nine? Yeah, yeah, they taught me all I should include when writing in the opinion section. What I failed to articulate was that I am mostly apathetic even at that age and I’d rather write about trivial things like what my class mate, Francesca, the feature writer was free to do. I couldn’t care a fig about current events to voice out an opinion. For the rest of my elementary years that I was stuck in editorials, I envied  Francesca her lot in life.

High school was a reprieve because when they held auditions for the Journalism club, I did not hesitate to apply for the feature writing slot. I got in after impressing some upper classmen on a piece I wrote about Avril Lavigne. Several contests and campus newspapers in, I was high on my imagined success. Though I did not pursue it as a career. Perhaps I have decided I wouldn’t after realizing that writers in this country barely get paid. Coming from a huge family, I could not afford to be a starving artist. I needed a job that would pay the bills and help the family out. Writing? I could do that on my free time while being a white collared professional, right?

College has humbled me enough after rooming with three Communication Arts students. Those girls were required to read wonderful books for classes and write essays and reviews. Even their exams are about in-depth analysis of great novels of Dostoevsky, Kafka, Hugo, name it. Who am I to think that I could write worth shit? Why I bothered three years of studying Human Nutrition was partly due to a misguided notion that I will finish a bachelor of science degree. It’s so lame when I think of it now. I could have switched majors before I flunked all my Chemistry classes.

If I would list down all the wrong turns and decisions I made in life, I’d start with the degree I’ve chosen and failed to finish. That was eight years ago. I shake my fist in the sky but it does me no good.

A month ago, I quit my job. I decided that my sanity was not worth losing over a very good basic salary. It’s one of my many selfish acts for the year as my family have been depending on me for five years now. What’s more selfish was that I did not have a fall back plan nor did I find a new job right after quitting. I did manage to read over 30 books, sleep whenever I want, hang out with friends with what little money I have left and told myself that I would work from home instead. Anything that will allow me to earn without being boxed in an office.

More than a month has passed and I’m still unemployed and too busy reading. It’s  not even the lack of job opportunities that hinder me from being back in the work force. Too lazy to look for a job but not too lazy to finish a book until seven in the morning. Work from home sounds so good to me because of the flexible hours and lack of stress from an office environment. Then I daydream of a job that will allow me to travel, read some more, pay the bills and upend my roots when the whim strikes. A writer can do that, can’t she? So what have I managed to write so far? Essays, sure. Features, hell yes. Poems, yep. Short stories, dipped my toes there.  A novel, not even close. I’m turning a quarter of a century by the end of this year and it’s also when I’m all over the place. It’s not rock bottom but boy, I have gots to get my shit together. And soon.

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**

The Fault In My Star

In the last couple of months, I have enjoyed the privilege of being friends with someone who works for a digital marketing company, in that I have copped free advanced screening tickets of several movies and events. Yesterday was no different, except that it was one highly anticipated film adaptation for the fans of the book The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I have read that book late 2012 when my gay ex-boss lent it to me and boy did I cry buckets over that story– and that was even before someone died (Oops). Back then, my boss warned me that it was heartbreaking but I was skeptic that it will make me cry and that I was chalking it up to my boss being more emotional than I am. Several chapters in and I was crying like a baby.

 

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This sweet treat (http://instagram.com/p/ovVqJ5nvvf/)

The Fault in Our Stars is a 2014 romantic comedy-drama film directed by Josh Boone, based on John Green‘s 2012 novel of the same name. The film stars Shailene WoodleyAnsel Elgort, and Nat Wolff. Hazel and Augustus are two teenagers who meet at a cancer support group. Hazel’s condition is terminal, and Augustus decides to grant her wish to meet the author of her favorite novel An Imperial Affliction in Amsterdam. (Wikipedia, 2014)

 

What struck me more than the poignant star-crossed lovers plot was how Hazel’s parents are strong, loving, solid and hopeful. The kind of couple that holds on to each other amidst a strong current instead of being swept away by the looming possibility of cancer taking their only child away. I have only read the book once but that stayed with me. Let’s face it, grief can do a lot of collateral damage to those left and relationships can crumble by the sheer weight of it. Seeing the adaptation, I was wondering if it will strike the same chord with me and I was surprised to find a different one instead. I usually avoid reading/ rereading a book so close to the film release, so that I would not obsess over minute details not present in the adaptation. From a book fan who waited a year to see this, I was not disappointed.

I have long trusted Shailene Woodley’s ability to make me cry after seeing The Descendants. Any other cracks rendered by the film adaptation to the hollow in my chest was entirely my undoing. What translated into film as I try to see it in the perspective of someone who has not read the book yet, is that the love between Hazel and Augustus, is all the more important in its immediacy and the fact that they would not be around long enough (um, cancer) to further explore the highs and lows of a relationship. Levithan once said that,

 

“People take love’s continuity for granted, just as they take their body’s continuity for granted. They don’t realize that the best thing about love is its regular presence. Once you can establish that, it’s an added foundation to your life.” (Every Day, David Levithan)

 

Hazel and Gus certainly did not take their love for granted. Risked falling even when they know that their days are numbered. There was a scene where Hazel’s dad was trying to comfort her and he states that Hazel had the privilege of loving Gus. How many of us can claim deeply loving someone and that a world without them is unimaginable? Count me out. But it didn’t stop me from crying. Even the innate strength of Hazel’s parents were apparent in the film. Gus’s parents though barely made a dent. In the book, there was a foreshadowing about Gus’s fate before they left for Amsterdam. None of that was shown in the movie which has blindsided the viewers who have not read the book. Other than that, I cannot complain on what has been a wonderful retelling of Green’s novel that has reached out to people outside the target audience of Young Adults.

Could the kind of love that Hazel and Gus had survived if we take cancer out of the picture? I’d like to think so. It is hard work and takes certain amount of risk to fall for someone, much less continue loving them for the rest of one’s life however short it may be. There are people lucky enough, and brave enough to find that kind of love– the kind that is lasting, hopeful, strong, solid and real.The fault was solely in my star, in that, I might never find that kind of love in real life.

**

Blurry

For the first time, since I have started working, I have felt that I can breathe and think about myself. A chance to take a rest and decide what I would like to do next. A window of opportunity to depend on my parents again after five years. Our roles have been reversed in the last five years– at least in terms of supporting the family.
Two weeks ago, one of my parents came into a small inheritance. Quite small, but enough to tide us over should I decide to stop working in an office and consider what I would do next.

 

I’m dying to breathe in these abundant skies

It certainly wasn’t enough to make me consider going back to school but I felt relieved that I could breathe again, even for a little space of time. At the same time, every day that I stay with the company I am working for, is a struggle. Daily, I am tempted to skip work, or maybe go AWOL. Sadly, I am hard-wired to be responsible and I end up going to work every day and on time. I’m such a ninny.

It may be too early for burnout as I have only been in this company for almost two years but I am tired of being on the frontline. I want to venture in a different industry altogether.

At 24, the vision for the future is blurry. I keep dreaming about living abroad for years at a time. I am in no way near that dream. My portfolio is next to non-existent, personal savings is a mess, my net worth– no idea. It’s a day-to-day survival with little regard to the future, however much I look forward to it. I have not gone to places, seen people nor feel anything in a bigger scale.
There is a dark, restless thing that resides in this soul. And I only know what I do not want.

x

Mitty-esque

Five years ago, I have envisioned myself with a job that could support travelling the world. To be exact, I saw myself in Brazil, in time to watch FIFA Live, 24 years old and living the life (however vague that is).

I turned 24 last December, but the vision had long changed to what I wanted to watch live, overseas: tennis and basketball. All the grand slams– Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open, I’d like to see at least once and go watch the Lakers at the Staples Center.

I may as well go backpacking around Europe, Central Asia, South America and here in my country. Crowd funding and coach surfing are appealing and though I barely have an idea how it works, it seem so exciting.

So far, though, I may have secured that job that will pay for world travel, but I am not without baggage. I will not bore you with the many reasons why I can’t impulsively go backpacking abroad but the main thing is that a breadwinner can’t afford to leave people behind.

Every year, I get scared that it’s too late and I won’t ever have time for any adventure– couch potato and sedentary person that I am, my feet are itching and I look to the skies and wonder.

Seeing The Secret Life of Walter Mitty gave me hope. That a life of adventure awaits, and I just have to take a step towards it.

So when will I?

Heh.

Go see the film.

To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.

Happy 2014!