I didnt want to call this depression/ ‘thought it was normal/ To be tired on a constant basis/ To look for temporary happiness in little things like memes/ The number of likes these faux friends give to the photos that try to mask how unrewarding it really is to live/ To miss people I decided to leave and fill up the vacuum I created for myself with uninteresting men/ To regret the mistakes and relive each one of them through the nightmares I make/ But then 1am hits and I lay in bed/ Typing down my thoughts in my futile attempt to feel better/ Repeating to myself “youre not depressed”/ “Tomorrow will be different”/ “Maybe you just need an extra hour of sleep” or “lessen the caffeine”/ Until the words feel true and you go on with your life/ Have you ever wondered though/ How many lies do we tell ourselves to survive?
I honestly have no time to do write this right now but I feel like I have to – just so I can finally clear up my thoughts and focus with the loads of cases I have to read. Hence, the title of this post.
My life has drastically changed since February came. It started with the unfortunate and sudden death of my uncle which sent our family nothing but grief and shock. I remember those sudden bursts of emotions; the crying, the resolve to act tough whenever I had to visit relatives and accompany my grandmother in attending to the burial preparations of uncle, and how physically tiresome it was for me to go on visits and attend to my lessons at the same time.
Unfortunately, I ended up not being able to attend his interment though, which honestly felt totally unfair for my part considering all the efforts and visits I willingly gave uncle for that span of time when we were still waiting for his body to arrive from the US up to his wake, because I had flu that day and my parents told to rest instead so I wouldnt miss my exam the following day.
I guess part of me wished I went nonetheless. To a certain extent, burials are closures for the ones left behind, especially for those who still cant fully grasp how our loved one left so early. And I needed that that closure so much.
Then there was the conflicts of law tournament too, immediately followed by our midterms exams the next day. Theres not much to say about this part of my month though except for the fact that it all happened at a fast succession, and at one point the burial overlapped with my preparation for the labor exams, that I never even had the luxury to stop and assess how I was faring. It felt like a constant struggle to chase lessons after lessons while trying to bottle up unwanted sentiments in the meantime.
I still cant believe how I managed to survive after all those event.
The latter part of the month still had me drowning over backlogs but at least it was for a good reason. I honestly want to speak more of this part of my life just so this post wouldnt be as depressing as it already is – but I dont want to risk my stay in school as well – for the slim chance that some stranger reading this blog might understand what I am trying to talk about and sell me off. I would be lying if I say that all the change isnt making the nerd and anti-social in me freak out but just like any other human, I try my best to cope. I feel very thankful though for having met so many kind people over these past few days who made this point of the year so much better; and relieved as well, because I know I made the right choice and found the right company I was secretly hoping for.
Anyway, going back to my depressing and sad self… I wish this is a figure of speech but I tend to forget how to breathe lately – like the inhale and exhale sequence, which is odd. I only realize that I am holding my breathe when my chest starts to ache from the shortage of air. How did I end up forgetting something so natural though? I guess this is my arrythmia making her dramatic return, not sure but I hope not, or maybe the caffeine.
I still have lots of shit on my mind but I guess this will do for now.
The night before I felt different sorts of shame and hatred all at once. Shame for succumbing to fear when I have long supported the causes of women activists, including empowerment, and call myself a feminist even. Shame because I let my aggressor go after he casually held my ass as we walked past each other on the sidewalk. Shame that after having been harrassed before – although not at this humiliating extent – I still ended up freezing and clueless and had no balls to stand up for myself.
I did pause a couple of times though but then I saw the man continue with his walk; his muscles lean and unapologetic, his stride as confident as the hand he used to touch me. Right then I knew I had no chance winning against him and that for all I know he might do something crazier so I decided to run back to my dormitory instead like a defeated little girl.
But the shame came in late, before the self-pity and crying there was anger. I did a lengthy rant about this with my girl friends to warn them not to be fooled by how clean and decent a man can be, because mine looked sharp and harmless until he did… that. I warned them that the streets are still unsafe at this day and age and that you could be wearing a shirt and a jeans and still be a victim of harrasment. All these things I had to be reminded of the hard way. The least I could do for now is to help them through my depressing story. So I cursed the man with every cuss word I know in every language I speak. I wished for him to die in his sleep or on his way home. I prayed for misfortune for all his loved ones.
Nothing felt enough though – because earlier today I still woke up with a heavy heart and a defeated soul. I admittedly am one of those people who just has so much faith and trust with humanity before last night happened but, no more of that – thanks to him the streets scare me now and men scare me even more, thanks to him I will probably spend more time being cautious and wary over people than even considering befriending them instead. I skipped classes today because aside from wanting to study for my other subjects, the thought of stepping outside was something I was not wholly comfortably with.
I hope I will be a litte bit better tomorrow but for now, fuck this messed up world.
So many things have happened since the last time I was here, by here I mean in this blog – and I want to apologize for not writing about all the shit I should be writing about. A lot of these events involve a decent amount of sentiment and for someone who is days away from taking her midterms, I dont think I have the luxury to pause and assess how I am holding up. Trying to keep my cool has always been my forte pero mahirap pala. Ah basta, not now.
I didnt even plan this post. A minute ago I was just trying to lessen my backlog in admin law but Rico Blanco played over Spotify and valentines day just ended so my strong-and-independent pretense is at its limit. I wonder if I should cry again. I wonder if I should cry for my beloved uncle who died and who still isnt home, for the pressures to do well this upcoming exams, for my indecision whether reading all my backlog in full text is a wise move, for missing how it feels to have someone I can disturb and talk to at any second of the day without feeling guilty for being a fucked-up burden, for friends and for so many realizations I still dont want to accept.
Joke lang. I’m okay, just a little tired.
I think I am ready to move on from all the shit that has happened last year.
Frankly, this draft has been on my phone as early as December. I thought closing last year would be simple: just write about how law school went, your friends and family, the highlights, etc. But as much as I tried to look back to the year behind, all I can recall are blurry images of studying at the library, drinking beer outside with some friends and embarassing recitations in class that I wanted to forget as soon as I sat back to my armchair. In some of the fragments, he was still there: the clandestine meetings, the small fights and the countless times I doubted whether it was right to let go of someone as dedicated to me as he was.
So why write this now?
Nego: the subject I was almost a hundred percent sure I’ll flunk were it not for His goodness and better plans – yes, I passed – and the relief is too much for me to contain that I immediately started continuing this post as soon as I got to my room. Ugh. I still cant believe I passed.
I was never superstitious before and neither was my faith as strong as it is now that I am in law school but I guess when you push people to their capacities you really start laying everything else to the universe and God as well. Today, I am taking this good news as a sign that for whatever doubts and insecurities last semester made me feel, there is the universe telling me to pull myself together and stop sulking like a crybaby for every parakol and bokya recits. The timing for the release of the grade is uncanny because last night was my first recitation under Dean Sundiang and well, the universe decided to punish me for the days I spent slacking over my homework by calling me on a topic that was neither the coverage of the homework for the day nor covered by any of the chapters we discussed so far (earlier today a very sweet blockmate shared that the recit questions are in the G Sundiang Notes which I should get a copy from Ate Jackie at the library, sayang). It was a fair recitation under those circumstances but fair is the last thing I want for my grades right now – I need a freaking miracle.
Sorry, I digress…
Yes, the timing for the release of the grades could not have been more perfect. I guess I needed that sign to hold onto.
I am closing last year with resolve to become better each day. I am closing the semester I had too many bad recitations thus pulling my grades below, the indecisions I made as to him and commiting with him, the times I kept my mouth shut and accepted apologies I deserve but never received. I am closing the passive-aggresiveness and silence which has more often than not prejudiced me. I am closing the sentiments I shouldnt have developed for people I cannot end up liking and the toxic relationships I somehow keep coming back to. No more of that please.
But last year wasnt entirely bad. 2016 was also the year I grew closer with girls and wore more dresses and skirts, tried on shades of lipsticks to school without caving in to the desire to remove it after few seconds. It was also the year I found out that James Reid looks good, that Korean series and dramas revolve around anything around the sun – mermaids and soldiers and babies buying sugar and soysauce in convenience stores – and that my girl friends are probably more obsessed with chocobutternuts than ate and I combined. It was also the year when my sister and friends pulled off the most memorable birthday of my life. My birthday week fell at the same time I constantly crying over my Persons grade (which I successfully got reconsidered, thank goodness) and these people somehow managed to cheer up someone as pessimistic as I am. The sheer amount of sweet messages and help I got from friends that time was overwhelming. Ate took me out to a laid-back and much needed picnic, my girlfriends Areen & Jam surprised me with a chocolate cake while I was cramming some paper in Cubao and John gave me a pen with an engraving of my surname with that coveted prefix Atty. That was the point I realized that I could not have asked for better law school friends. While it took me awhile to get back up from that dull point in my life, it was really a humbling experience to be surrounded by people who believes in me more than I have ever believed in myself.
Hello, 2017. Please be good to me.
I dont like it when people stare at me so for the most part of my life I pretend not to see people and friends along the way and bow my head down when I walk on the sideways or in any crowded place just to avoid that split second eye contact. Some take me for a snob, easily spitting words as if it doesnt hurt or bother me, but I just laugh it off since I was never really the type to dismiss and correct what others think about me. Besides, who wouldnt want their social-akwardness be taken for snobbing?
But we have shared so many split seconds of stares at the library when we pass at each other or even some instances when I will chance upon you looking at me, that I felt it has become a habit – perhaps even an obligation – to recognize your presence which I surprisingly dont find irritating, but which I find weird because we dont know each other – unless we have met before?
I dont even know your name. I just know you must like studying at the library too, always sitting on the same spot, surrounded by your friends and on some days, with another girl who is probably your girlfriend.
We hugged the last time we saw each other and you pinched my cheeks like some neighborhood kid you havent seen for awhile. You told me that you left your job to move to the city soon. You didnt like how slow progress is in the province, and you felt that your engineering degree can do more than constructing roads and buildings for our town. Ambitious, perhaps a little too cocky, but I like that part about you.
You took me home when my dad started to call me at ten in the evening with the rest of the gang. We sang Maroon 5 songs on our drive home, occasionally sharing embarrasing high school stories and updates about the rest of our batchmates. At that point I realized how I missed high school so much and thanked God for having friends I am comfortable being with. That includes you, of course.
Few days later you sent me a message over Facebook. You said you wanted to see me and that you miss me, followed by some wide-eyed emojis and a blushing smiley. I was honestly taken aback by the sense of urgency in a message as straightforward as that but I didnt want to make a big deal out of it so I just said sure, maybe I can finally meet your long-term girlfriend as well the next time we hangout and that I miss you too, even if I honestly didnt.
Before waiting for your next reply, I bid good bye, using my loads of assignment as an excuse to end the conversation.
I feel like he should be a part of this. So here we go with another letter I will never send.
For whatever bitterness and constant push and pulls that we made out of our breakup, you deserve to be here more than anyone else. I hoped to write about stories that will never progress, tangents that will never meet. This tangent had a name, I think so. But for my lack of interest in mathematics, of course I forgot what that was. And you know how much I hate using figures of speech anyway.
You are different from the rest of these people I wrote about. We met and we fell in love and at one point I was pretty sure we could have ended up getting married. Next month would have been our fifth anniversary or sixth, maybe.
Now that I think about it, you havent been sending messages anymore. Maybe you grew tired of how I stopped responding to the messages you sent after our last chat just before the holidays. It was the night after we went out to watch a movie and the things we talked about got dragged too far that words we shouldnt have said came out. I am done apologizing for being honest though and I am done with clandestine meetings to see if we still have a shot at redemption, we dont, and we got to stop.
Maybe at a certain degree, we reached an impassé as well.
While you came close to my life and stayed for quite some time, you and I just came to a point when it was impossible not to ask ourselves if what we felt for each other is strong enough to embrace what we went through, what we were going through and what we will go through in the future; a point when I started feeling that you only realize how much you love me when I leave and that our relationship was too heavy for me to bear when the stress in law school was in itself difficult already.
You see, staying in a relationship is a choice we get to make for ourselves after answering one thing: is this love I have for you enough to make me endure everything else? And I think that was when we hit the high wall.
As of today, all my good friends already know the existence of this blog and frankly, it feels a bit weird. I have been hiding this for the longest time possible but I guess at some point, they will have to know about this shitty blog anyway. At least I would not seeing them any time soon so I still have time to hide and get over the embarassment I am feeling right now.
The thing about blogging is that while I am fully aware that the content of this blog is for the world to see, when I know that people I personally know read everything in here, I feel as if they are looking at me bare and naked: stripped of all layers of walls and distances that I build up from people around me, exposed to their criticism and judgment.
It scares me, really. Because in this blog I have been nothing less than honest and I have written about so many things I would normally keep hidden and unsaid during conversations – even after few bottles of beer. It is like exposing a different version of myself, the one which my good friends may dislike or hate and the one I feel uneasy exposing – and the last thing I want is for people who I hold dear to realize through this blog that they do not wish to be friends with the kind of Tanya in this blog. It becomes a different story altogether when it comes to acceptance or opinion of people who matter to me.
I guess the upside to this is that I no longer have anything to hide from them, right? Therefore, my friends who will keep up with my bullshit after seeing all the drama that this blog hold are indeed people to keep. Ganun nalang.
P.S. shoutout to John who mentioned that I only talked of him once and referred to him as the generic ‘friend‘. You dear will get your cheesy birthday greeting whether you like it or not, don’t worry. I just need to earn a photo with you na wala tayo ni isa, oddly.