“People always say that once it goes away, you forget the pain. It’s a cliché of childbirth: you forget the pain. I don’t happen to agree. I remember the pain. What you really forget is love.”
~ Nora Ephron
I cannot believe it’s been three months since I last wrote about my whereabouts. July, August, and September were crazy folks. They’ve been vicious by showering me with too many deadlines and mean people. I’m certain that I don’t like them but I’m not thanking them either – maybe not now, but soon. Only the Highest Being knows.
A heap of significant and insignificant things also happened but it’s best to focus on few so you won’t loathe me for wasting your time here.
One month ago, I received the news that my friend’s mom has passed away. She was my classmate during elementary and we coincidentally went to the same university all throughout college. We’re not that close now as we used to be when we were just nine years old but that information hit me so much. Maybe because she and her mom have a relationship that my mother and I can never have. Or will never have. I don’t know. It still hits me right on the heart whenever family matter is involved. It’s because I don’t have a perfect one. Although I always wish I have. But it never happens. Santa Claus never granted that wish of mine. Jesus might not hear my prayers about fixing my family life. And that’s why it really hurts me. My friend and her mom have always been together. Her mom raised her as if she has a father and made her feel like they have a complete, happy family. Just the way I used to imagine mine. Yeah, I’m not imagining that sort of thing anymore. You may say that I sound old but that’s just how things went. When you’ve been in too much pain for countless times, you’ll learn to have an aversion to the things that you like to take place but never will. You’ll learn the art of giving up and looking for other things that could fulfill you.
And then you’ll learn to forget and remember.
Nora Ephron once said, “People always say that once it goes away, you forget the pain. It’s a cliché of childbirth: you forget the pain. I don’t happen to agree. I remember the pain. What you really forget is love.” I couldn’t agree more. You’ll never forget the pain – it’s always there. It haunts you at midnight. It strikes when you’re extremely happy. But what’s important is it shapes you to become a tougher person - definitely, a better version of you.
Whenever I remember the pain, I always remind myself of the day when I decided to forget my longing for a perfect family and settle to what I’m capable do with my life. And that’s plainly to be a happy person, the one who’s not a sponge sopped up with human emotions.
As I say farewell to my mom’s friend, to the months of July to September, and to the pain that’s been part of my life for almost two decades, I’ll embrace October with pure gladness and fresh mouthful of air.
I’d say hello to my new office, make new friends, and write further.
That’s how life works for me. Sometimes I can be awfully indoorsy by staying at home for one straight week or more. When I say home, it means my room. I just go out of my room when it’s time to eat and take a bath. Otherwise, I can be tremendously outdoorsy – I can go somewhere far, just to be away from the city. I’m not a traveller myself. But amazingly, I’ve been to Pampanga, Boracay, Bacolod, Puerto Galera, and Batangas in less than a year. When I’m away, I forget all the things that cause me too much anxiety and I remember how lucky I am to be alive and to witness all the endearing places and people this country has to offer.
I let things happen. I let people make me happy or lonely. I allow myself to cry because if I’m desperate to live this life perfectly, I should have emailed Oprah and ask money from her. But I won’t. Not just because I don’t know her email address but also because there’s no such thing as perfect life. We need mistakes so that we can live our lives like we’ve never failed before. And if there’s really a “perfect life” that would be a life where you’ve failed many times but still living it the way you want it.
And if there’s one thing I want to do for the rest of my life, that would be to forget the desire for the things that’ll never happen and remember the things that simply keep me breathing. After all, that’s all I need.
This is how we should recycle our vintage cameras. Awesome.
“What a man wants is a mate and what a woman wants is infinite security. What a man is an arrow into the future and what a woman is the place the arrow shoots off from.”
~ Sylvia Plath
We don’t know anything about love unless we experience pain from it. May it be from the past or just recently. What matters is how we have been through or going through the process of overcoming the grief.
As my sequel for Catcher in the Rye luckily won at Jessica Zafra’s Fan Fiction Challenge, I received the book “Much Ado About Loving” by Jack Murningham and Maura Kelly as a prize.
I admire the insights the book conveyed because it would definitely help everybody in the course of up and down journey to an everlasting love. And of course, I would love to share them to you:
1. It’s scary when you start to count on someone. Because people feelings often change – and when they change from love to something less, it can be psychologically disastrous for the person left behind.
2. A relationship isn’t judged by how good is; it’s how you work through the bad that will make it last for the long haul.
3. There are times in most people’s lives when loneliness can feel like a fundamental human state – you’re born into the world alone and you die alone, as the saying goes, as if there were no hope of full connection or fundamental sharing.
4. Like cracked decanters, some of us can’t stay full, and there remains a bit of faraway sadness behind even the richest joys.
5. Writing, of course is a great refuge for the lovelorn and woebegone. As Henry Miller said, “Words are loneliness.”
6. While a guy may be too swamped at work to write the long, thoughtful emails some women seem to expect, he’s never too busy to follow up in some way after a good date – even if only by sending a quick text at four a.m. as he takes a car home from the office.
7. Accept the cold hard facts: You, as a human being, are entitled to fair and reasonable treatment, and if he can’t see that, there’s no reason you should be blind to it, too.
8. When and if you’re lucky enough to find true love, don’t muck it up with mindless adherence to convention. Throw away that list of requirements. Maybe you never thought you could spend the rest of your life with a guy who’s divorced or has kids or has an ex who is foaming at the mouth – but if he makes you feel more blissful than you ever imagined possible, please go for it.
9. For some of us, the seeds and soil of love can exist entirely in our minds; we nurture them, they flourish, but whatever bloom they yield are false, and time will prove them so.
10. Of course, machismo is still icing on the cupcake of date-ability. The most important things are still a good heart, the ability and desire to communicate, attentiveness and compassion, and a genuine want to be with another person.
11. I respond to books the same way I respond to men: If I’m hooked straight away, there’s little chance I’ll give things a second shot.
12. Don’t lose your life to a person who has dedicated his life to work.
13. What could be the joy of love and family instead feels like the final abandonment of self.
14. Despite what all the love songs say, the key to success is often less about whom you are with but more about how you’re with them.
15. I’ve always thought that the key to a relationship lasting is being able to trust that the other person loves us, and thus when he torches the chickens, shows up late, forgets an anniversary, or flies off the handle, we are capable of remembering that he’s not doing it to hurt us and that something else must be at play. He’s weak, he’s struggling, he’s unhappy, but he loves us and is probably still trying in whatever way he can. And if we help him, hold him, and most important, don’t take it personally, then we can get through the moment with all parties seeing that the love and commitment can handle a few road bumps. We might even conclude that we really are right for each other.
In a far away place, people seem to find peace in every minute. Time walks little by little like our footsteps in slow motion. There is nothing left to hurry and no one’s asking if you’re going to meet the limit.
My mind starts to settle in a space full of harmony and silence as countless great views occupy my eyes. Every angle is like a box with surprises in it, waiting for me to open and discover what’s within. Every touch of wind tells me there’s something wonderful in this world despite the difficulties the city life provides. Every moment I spend is an escape to the fast paced soul satiated of nerve-racking arrangements, familiar and stranger people.
As I lay leisurely on the cold sand, I can feel my heartbeat like I was just born and nervous, but in a happy kind of way. There’s something in this place that makes me want to stay forever, if I do believe on everlasting. There’s something in me that has snapped and become satisfied with the idea of living the life against the secluded place I used to be acquainted with. There’s something about the people who smiled and waved at me in an unusual but gracious manner.
In a far away place, the pointless disagreements seem to find the right formula for its closing stages. The waves – big or small, are somehow remedial as it teaches me the significance of chasing after the direction of your choice. A choice no one will regret.
Sunlight strikes blissfully on my skin like a touch from a longing lover. It doesn’t hurt this time. Sun is a friend in this far away place. We’re together, amazed with each other.
In a far away place, everything that remains unsolved for so many days has come to another beginning – something that we call an end.
It is a replica of everything I have in mind. The melody I love to hear. The reality of my dream. The cure for my frustrations.
It’s somewhere I want to stay. It’s somewhere my joie de vivre lingers.