Law school, Letters, Love

Impasse

 ​1

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.

2

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.

3

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.

Advertisements
Standard
Love

Inconsistency

​Funny how your memory starts to play tricks on you after some time apart.

You remember hating how he treated you before, how he took away his hands everytime you wanted to feel his warmth, how he pushed you on the side of the road when he got annoyed, how he changed from being the guy who wrote poems for you to the guy who would not even look at you when he plays his stupid games unless he needs something.

Some time apart and all of a sudden he sends you lengthy messages of how much he misses you, how he is willing to wait and change to make things work, how supportive he is about you chasing after your goals; some time apart and all of a sudden he volunteers to make notes for your subjects, ask you out for a movie on a proper date and offers to take you home to make sure you are safe.

You know what terrifies me the most? It’s how you are starting to fall for the same tricks over again as if you haven’t had enough.

Honey, how many times will you have to check whether he has changed for good? How many times will you let him come back to your life only to mess it up once the fire sets low and you two are back at being this stagnant, dreary lovebirds?

Let me tell you this: the moment you begin to question whether it was your fault why he mistreated you before or if it was your fault why you two never worked out your differences, is the moment you fall back into the same cycle you already have long gotten out of. Sure you may not be the perfect girlfriend and you had your fair share of madness but that does not mean that you should settle and accept things that deep in your heart you know you hate.

Stop regretting the decisions you made for yourself just because you miss feeling something. Stop doubting the sets of facts because in this world full of relativists, the only absolute truth you need to get hold of is that you deserve to be treated better and there is no excuse for the mistakes he did.

Maybe he loves you, maybe he did change, but are you willing to risk it all again for that slim chance? You are fine now, remember that.

Standard
Love

This is how I’ll remember you

I guess it’s about time I write about what happened between us.

No, this isn’t going to be a heart-wrenching story of two individuals who decided to end their relationship when everyone else insisted that they were meant for each other. This is not going to be one of those letters where I angrily blame you for everything, despise all the men in the world for being such a douche, and vow to an eternal promise of never loving again – that is not how I want to remember you; that is not how I will remember us.

I want to remember you for who you are and who you were to me. I want to remember you as the man who patiently took care of me for more than a week after I caught measles, preparing my food and making sure I take my medicine on time, risking your own health for hugging me despite my objections.  I want to remember you as the man who went to my place in Scout Barrio late at night, sobbing, asking for forgiveness after we had our first huge fight. I want to remember you as the man who I went to night markets with, the man I visited local bookstores with, the man I went to art museums with, the man I celebrated every Panagbenga with. I want to remember how your family accepted me, how I loved them so much as well, and how thankful I am for ‘earning’ another family I knew I could rely onto.

Cedric, you were such a good boyfriend and I probably have lost sight of it most of the time. The years that we have been together were so beautiful and real that perhaps the changes that we had to take were not something we were ready to face. We used to be each other’s comfort zone, being the kids we were, so when it was time we had to start seeking our dreams we both got lost and confused.

For the last time, I’m sorry. I guess the core of all the problems which led to our breakup was truly because of me, because I got so engrossed chasing my dreams, fearful of disappointing the people relying on me, that I took you for granted. There is no more point in trying to explain my side because the bottom line is, as much as I have tried my best to, nagkulang ako. Nagkulang akong ipadama kung gano kita kamahal, nakalimot sa lahat ng pinagdaanan nating magkasama; sumuko, umayaw, bumitaw. I admit all the mistakes you pointed at that I kept shunning the day we broke up and I truly understand and respect the decisions that went with it afterwards.

They say that the saddest thing in the world is when two people who love each other so much lose sight of that love, give up, and decide to end it. But you know what they missed? They forgot that loving another does not always entail owning them, or being with them; they forgot how love conquering everything is sometimes just an empty cliché – because I could have chased you and asked you back but the truth is, my circumstances right now cannot handle the commitment that you deserve.

I do not want you to compromise and forgive me for every dates I cancel, every messages I cannot send, every anniversaries I will have to miss because of some serious commitment. I do not want you to hate me every time you feel like I am becoming a different person, someone foreign and odd to you. I do not want you to see me burst into tears every time I crack down with all the weight on my shoulder. I do not want you to take all the anger and frustrations that I have and carry them with you. And most importantly, I do not want you to feel unloved and uncared for.  You don’t deserve that.

You deserve to be loved day and night, endlessly and tirelessly. You deserve to have someone willing to skip anything important just to see you when you feel down. You deserve to be looked at like you are the only thing in the world that matters. You deserve someone who will hold your hand so tightly, someone will never let go, even if it things become painful. They say that such kind of love is childish and all people have to grow up at some point but believe me, you are still too young to settle.

I want you to be happy so I am letting you go.

Cedric, I will remember our more than four years of being together as one of the happiest years of my life and I hope that you do as well. I hope that whatever life brings you, you will look back into that time when someone like me came into your life and it will make you smile. Thank you so much for loving me, my teddy bear.

Standard
Love

53rd

It is our 53rd monthsary today, me and the boyfriend, so I thought I’ll blog about relationships, long distance relationships in particular. Having met during our college years, it was inevitable that we will have to go through a lot of changes including, of course, living in different cities.

I never imagined myself agreeing with this kind of set-up, but well here I am.

The idea of not seeing each other as often as we could was not something I was ready to commit myself into from the beginning. Long distance relationships, in my opinion before, are relationships grounded on the idea of love but not of love itself; basically a relationship of illusions and fraud. Cedric hated my cynicism and often mentioned that just like his parents, who are working as well in different cities, what we have is greater than the distance separating us and it should not in any way be a reason for us to end the years that we have been together.

Sweet, yes. But come on, let’s be honest: no one will willingly choose to be away from their loved ones; all couples, including us, just have to make it work somehow.

And often times, it feels empty.

It sucks not being able to hug him when he feels down, to hold his hand when he feels like giving up, to kiss him when he feels scared of how the distance is tearing you two apart. It sucks seeing your friends go out on dates with their boyfriends, and it feels pathetic wanting to watch a romantic comedy on the cinema alone. People will tell you how you should learn to rely on your own or persuade you to have a set of friends to cheer you up, but I have relied on my own for so long that there are times when I just wish he can be here literally in a heartbeat and even your closest friends would not cure the ache you have for not seeing him for a long time.

Still, instead of giving up, you fight.

But this blog isn’t a pity party for all people who find themselves stuck in the same situation as I am so instead of writing about the innumerable number of reasons why long distance relationship sucks, let’s focus on the values one learns from it:

1. You learn the value of communicating because no long distance relationships will survive without short yet substantial “what have you been up to today?” messages. You realize how trivial matters which you two might have took for granted before actually matters, like how his dinner was so late or how his sleep was too short. You notice nuances you barely knew was there, you hear how beautiful his voice is in the morning, and most importantly: you learn to listen and appreciate even the shortest of calls.

2. You start to cherish each moment and try to make the most out of the time you have together. Long weekends and holidays are no longer just about getting more sleep or studying for recitations and exam, but you try to plan the details of your out of town together or even just simple dates in restaurants you have never been before. And even when you are still unsure when you can see him again, it does not stop you from planning ahead because planning makes the time spent apart a little bit more bearable for you. The time you see him, even just for a few hours, make you realize how he is worth the wait.

3. You learn to trust you partner more. A lot of long distance relationships we see in televisions end up with breakups because of the infidelity on whichever side but in real life, you have to learn that not only are television shows full of clichés but more importantly, trust is the biggest gift you can give to your partner.

Worrying who he is with or what he’s doing every second will only cause paranoia and pointless arguments. As much as we find a hint of delight when we see our partner feel jealous, it becomes very tiresome when jealousy becomes a habit and he is starting to be suspicious of every person you are with.

On the other hand, this also means that you should learn the boundaries of friendship, especially between opposite gender. Considering how clueless I am with social conventions, what I do is to ask myself, how will I feel if Cedric is as friendly to another as I am right now? It helps a lot to place ourselves in the situation of another to be able to understand and empathize with your partner.

4. You mature, you grow up together. Cedric and I have been in countless fights over the span of time we have been together and often, it ended up with us breaking up. This time however I notice how different we have been in terms of carefully selecting what we say and picking up fights. Time has become a rare commodity for us and spending it fighting is definitely not going to help us survive the distance. Much to my surprise, having always been the stubborn and hot-tempered one, I learn to admit when I am wrong and to ask for forgiveness. As usual, he forgives and moves on as well.

So today I write for all who are desperately missing their partners and wishing to be with them the soonest. It is tough and I cannot really assure you that things will get better. Do know however, that perhaps even if it’s a total bullshit to say that love conquers all, there is still some hope left in long distance relationships. It’s a glass-half-full situation, you see.

In his words, and I hope this gives you all a tinge of hope as well, what is few years of being apart if we have a lifetime to spend together? Happy monthsary, love. Thank you for loving and being so patient with your stubborn girlfriend.

Standard
Law school, Love

“It might be a bit early for me to say especially since we just recently broke up a few months ago pero here goes. We might not talk about our future together that much but I think that’s the thing we need to prepare for the most. I want to grow old with you. I want to always be with you. So okay lang kung sa ngayon medyo magkulang man tayo sa oras na magkasama if we have a lifetime to spend together. That’s what I think. Kung feeling mo magbrebreakdown ka na, isipin mo nalang yung goal mo. Dream mo yan di ba? So kahit mahirap, kakayanin mo yan. Para sa future naman yan eh. Basta di naman ako mawawala. Basta di ka rin mawawala, magiging okay ang lahat.”

– A text message from my boyfriend assuring me that we will survive whatever lies ahead of us. God, what did I do to deserve this man?

I know you will be reading this Cedric, I love you.

Standard
Love

What this year’s Panagbenga means to me

I have attended every Panagbenga festival since I started living (and studying) in Baguio, four consecutive years to be exact. It used to be our tradition, starting when we first became a couple back in 2011, since our anniversary happened to fall in the same month as the festival’s.

I recall the first one to be the most memorable, because it was the first time we held hands in public. We were walking along Session road then, checking out various stalls, when all of a sudden you grabbed my hand. I was surprised and I stopped to look at you, puzzled and excited at the same time, but all you did was smile and say “Baka mawala ka”, that was probably the lamest excuse anyone can ever give but definitely the sweetest. I must admit how I loved the warmth of your hand pressing over mine, how reassuring it felt to have someone guide you through the large crowds.

But just like any other normal couples out there, we drifted apart.

Conversations became less frequent, date nights felt like a burden, suddenly you felt uneasy holding my hand when we were at school. Sure we barely really fought, but whenever we do, all unresolved arguments sprung out one by one pinning us down real hard. It became a relationship that was not bad, but was not good either: we tolerated the invisible distance, we became too comfortable, we settled for what we had. At least that’s how it was in my point of view.

This is the first time I missed Panagbega since I started living in Baguio, not only because I am a five-hour drive away from the city but because I have associated the festival too much with you that going there now is meaningless and probably pathetic – I might end up hating shawarmas, beaded bracelets, and fireworks. I don’t want to do that.

You told me yesterday how you would love to see me write something about you, about us – I’m not sure you will love this one, but this is how I feel. It has been months but I’m glad that I am slowly moving forward.

Standard
Love

Grow

I still smile when I look at your face when you sleep. You look so calm – like you are dreaming of something so tranquil and lovely. I wondered if I was ever part of it, of what makes you sleep so sound at night and wake up happily at the morning. I never asked but somehow I began to assume that no one will make you smile as I do, no one will love and make you happy but me. You see, I get pretty possessive sometimes. We have been together for three years now anyway.

But assumptions become doubts in the long run. And without a guarantee, it becomes painful. They say that silence means yes but you know that I would rather hear it. It was easy to know before because we were stuck like glue, madly in love not giving a damn with the way other stares when I cling to you and you kiss me on the forehead. But we have outgrown the kids we were and we cannot always be crazy about each other, love was never just about the excitement to begin with; so there you are sleeping while I type this mini drama hoping that while I am writing this, you will wake up, hug me and wish me a good day ahead or perhaps even ask me to just stay with you a little longer before I go back home. Just like the kids we used to be.

Because there are times when you miss being a child.

Standard