Traveling Back to the Past

For the past two and a half days, I’ve been mostly bedridden at home because I had a dental extraction of my right lower wisdom tooth.  It was one of the worst operations I’ve ever had.  I’d even stretch as far as saying that it was worse than when I had my ovarian cyst removed two years ago… (although the post-op experience then was TORTURE!)

Anyway, so I’m just staying here at home reading “Sophie’s World” and watching DVDs and anything interesting that comes up on television, and yet I still have a lot of idle time in my hands.  I can’t very well go online and start working again though (even if I’m already itching to) because our opportunistic WiFi is acting up.  So for a few hours each night until the wee hours of dawn, I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, and unconsciously starting to think.  It took me a while to realize that I’m starting to brood again, actually.  It started with watching “High School Musical 3” – cause I’m sappy like that – and it made me realize how much time I’ve lost, how many experiences of love I wasn’t able to go through, and how insignificant my love life in high school was.  I used to pride myself over the fact that it was because I was “choosy” and I wouldn’t entertain any imperfect guy (I once hid from a guy I was dating when I smelled cigarette smoke on him.  I was so fumed because he said that he did not smoke!  I was thinking, “What a liar!,” the whole time.)  I guess a part of that is true, although another side of myself then was probably because I didn’t want to make any “mistakes.”

I’ve always been afraid of being the one people point to and say, “Oh that’s her.  She’s the one to blame for this,” etc etc.  I mean, I know we’re all accountable for our actions but I guess that is what actually makes me more afraid to do anything.  If I do something that I’ll soon regret, then I’d have to live with that mistake.  And though they say that mistakes are good because they teach us valuable lessons, it still takes time before we learn it completely.  And most of all, it is only true if we are able to accept and live through the consequences of our actions.  I don’t know.  Maybe it’s just me and my social paranoia.  I am always afraid of being talked about.  Especially when it comes to “boys,” I always prided myself by saying that I will never be hurt.  I will never be made a fool of.  If anything, I’d be the one to play with their hearts.  I’d be the one to hurt them and humiliate them in front of their friends.

Maybe that’s also the reason why I myself don’t take a “chance” at something serious now.  My friend said that I was the kind who “is looking for something serious, but is pursuing those that aren’t.”  He keeps reminding me that the boys I’ve dated throughout college weren’t men you can count on.  They were always those who can’t stand up for themselves, who’re relying on me to boost up their egos.  They were the tall, rich, good-looking/mestizo men of college, but were “patapon” – those who were constantly throwing their lives away – only because they can afford to.  They’d go into drugs, ditch their classes, party all night long, get drunk every night.  They’re the ones who don’t take anything seriously.  Because the consequences that they’re soon gonna face, won’t be that bad to them.  For one thing, they can always “buy” their fallback.

And how does a small little creature like me boost up their ego?  By being who I am.  I seem small, happy-go-lucky, and everyone’s amused by me.  I’m always game.  But despite all these, there is still a part of me that subconsciously calls out to be taken care of.  I’m still fragile, despite my outgoing exterior.

And by being who they are – the tough, rich, hot men, – they get ego-boosts feeling that they are taking care of little old me.  Buying me whatever I need, satisfying my wants, taking care of me.  And in return, by being who I am, I cater to their needs as well.  I am sensitive to their problems, I’d stay up with them all night long, I always respond to their calls.

And yet, after a while, it gets old, you know?  No matter how much the relationship was benefitting us both, we both knew it wasn’t going anywhere.  And eventually, things just slip away.  And we both end up dejected and walking aimlessly down the street, looking for someone else to fill that gap inside us that keeps us from being able to take care of ourselves by ourselves.  It’s a bit pathetic, if you come to think of it.  But honestly, what can you do when, while you’re doing it, you’re not aware of what you’re doing?

And to be a little more personal, why do I even choose these men anyway?  One reason I always tell this friend of mine is that it’s because no decent men get attracted to me anyway.  I’m not entirely sure that it’s true, but at least I can vouch for the fact that no decent guy has ever outright shown me that they’re interested.  I don’t know.  Maybe I get a certain warmth by the concept of having someone who’s rich and good-looking take care of me.  Or maybe I just like their bad-boy appeal.  Maybe that’s why I keep gravitating towards these notorious men.  Especially when I realize that deep inside, they’re as fragile as I am.  And it gives me a bit of an elation knowing that I’m one of the selected few they show this side of them to.  It makes me feel special.  In a sick, dejected, foolish way.

Wow, what made me become this fucked up anyway?

Just last night, my friend and I were texting at 1 in the morning and he told me how he wanted to leave this country.  Being the cynical nationalistic snob that he is, he declares that the Philippines is making him deteriorate.  For some reason, I agreed with that.  Not that the Philippines per se is suffocating me.  More of the fact that I just want to leave here, where I am right now, because it’s suffocating me.  I feel as if I’m floating aimlessly in this place, with no where to go, no one to run to, and nothing to anchor me.  As of now, at almost 22 years of age, I don’t know what I want to do in my life, I don’t know what makes me happy, or what makes me feel like I have purpose.  Worst of all, after two decades of frolicking this earth, I find that I have not made any strong connections.  That I can easily be separated from someone and yet have a hard time reconnecting with them.  I feel as though my relationships in life are all underdeveloped.  There’s no one here who can recognize my call off the bat, no one who will run towards me and pull me tight when I least expect it.  I feel as if, no matter how many people surround me or how many groups of friends I have, I am still alone and nothing’s gonna change that.  It’s depressing the hell out of me.  And I don’t know how to change it.

I thought about it harder though and I realized that there are some people out there who are genuinely concerned about me – at least I think they are, – constantly asking me how I was and always wanting to reconnect.  I can see that in their efforts, but why do I always end up becoming irritated at them.  I don’t return their calls or answer the messages they leave behind.  Is it because they’re not the people I would want to be concerned about me?  Is it because I am still that choosy kid from the past?  But beggars can’t be choosers, Anna.  So why do I still keep on being finicky?

Just a few minutes ago, I started thinking about that again.  And the first question that went to my mind was this:

Have I always been like this?

I thought about it real hard and I realized that there might have been a point in my life that changed me completely.

My third year in high school was the best and most memorable time in my high school life in Assumption Antipolo.  I made a lot of good friends, everyone in class was supportive of each other.  We loved the company.  And best of all, I was starting to realize most of my potentials.  I was inspired to be better at everything that I did.  I became hardworking and I became a leader.  I was smiling a lot and I had a great relationship with everyone I knew.  The class was stellar, we were even called the “superstars” of the batch.  It was a good year.  I loved myself then.

But the next year came and we found our class rearranged.  I was separated from two of my closest friends in third year and I became stuck with a class I hardly knew anyone from.  It was a blow to my face, and even though our class adviser told us that it was for our own good – that it was because we were “shining” so much in the class that they needed to take us out to let others shine there and for us to “spread” our talents through the batch, – I realize now that it was a huge lie.  Nevertheless, I think a part of me snapped right then.  I thought to myself that this was reality and that everything is always changing.  One moment, you’re with the people you love most, the next moment, you’re separated because of one reason or another.  One valuable lesson I learned in my senior year of high school: NOTHING LASTS.  And looking back at it now, I think that that’s the reason I’m like this now – that I can’t nurture my relationships and let it blossom well.  Deep inside, I’m always afraid that someone or something will break us off.  And I’ll just be as devastated as I was back then.  I cried for weeks and I felt so isolated that time.  I think another effect of that was that I started “investing” in myself.  I suddenly focused on me and what my goals were, no matter how unclear they were, and separated myself even more from the rest of my batchmates, from potential friends and relationships that I could have nurtured.

After that whole incident, I would deliberately stop myself from being too attached.  And as a result, I have plenty of underdeveloped relationships, I don’t know how to balance things well, I keep on working towards something so far off the distance, I forget to appreciate the view and the journey right now.  I know that nothing lasts, so why waste time trying to make it last?

Maybe I was thinking too practically, I was thinking solely with my mind that I forgot to include my heart in my life.  Now, I feel as though I’ve become passionless, and though I sometimes have spurts of emotional crises in my life, I realize that they’re my heart’s cries to be heard.  It’s becoming more and more often right now, and I’m having a hard time dealing with it.  I realize I need to do something, if only to reorient my life towards something worthwhile and purposeful, but I don’t know how.  I thought that floating in space was supposed to be a peaceful experience, but now I hear so much noise in the sky.  It’s the noise of my past and my present, all shouting at me from different directions.  I wanted to travel here to see my future, but instead, it’s the only one that’s remained quiet.

How do I make this all stop?


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