Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nights in a Decade

Do good things never last? Yes, never for a long time at least. The greatest things that will ever happen in your life will happen in a few seconds, a few days, a few years. It will come as swiftly as a morning breeze; just to whisper in your ear, to give you hope, to give you something to work hard for and dream of. You'll never know what you're missing until you find it, and you'll never be complete once you lose it. That is the tragedy of life; the deeper the love, the more it hurts. It always comes together - pain and love. And as always, it is the one thing that remains constant in my life, as well as everybody else's.

***It's been almost a year pero ngayon lang ako nakakapagmove on. Ang hirap kasi lagi akong nadedepress before... iyak ng iyak. Naiinis na sa kin mga kaibigan ko dahil wala akong ibang sinabi kundi alex alex alex. Pero sa totoo lang wala na siya at hindi na siya babalik. Finally, natanggap ko na din yun and ngayon I wanna be happy again. Sana maging in a relationship na uli status ko sa friendster lol.***

To Alex:

Remember you told me a few days after you left that you were my greatest test?

The day I met you I was unsure of where I was. I was in a relationship that has been emotionally tiring. I have long fallen out of love. One of the reasons was because I felt that I could have so much more and that I could be treated better… loved better. But I stayed because I cared for him and I told myself I can settle while waiting for the one. But you told me that being with the wrong person not only means I am miserably with the WRONG PERSON, it also means missing out my chances in finding the right one.

You taught me that love is indeed patient and kind. The best lesson I learned with you was that of loving myself more. You taught me that I should never settle for anything less than what I deserve. You taught me people will only treat me the way I allow them to. You taught me that I should be treasured, respected and loved. You taught me that I was worth waiting, worth traveling a thousand miles and worth living sleepless nights for. Every single day that we were together, you made me feel that I was the most beautiful girl in the world that even up to now I still feel (in my own weird way) that I am.

I know that most people will never understand what happened but that’s what makes it special. It’s something that only the two of us can ever share. My friends say it was just a fling, a summer romance, a friendship that got out of hand but love is not a switch that you turn on whenever you want and turn off when things get hard. When love comes, it comes and it will stay. That’s what you told me and that was what I exactly felt. We were together for only a week but I treasure each day as if those were our last. Every cab ride, every Starbucks cup, every road and every walkway in every mall that we went to – I cherish them all. All those moments when you gently held my hand and told me that you were happy because of me, those countless times your lips curved as you struggle to speak in Tagalog, all those small coincidences that might as well be miracles where God chose to be anonymous – everything tells me that you came for a reason. And you told me that that reason was for me to learn and pass my test.

That is why on the day you called and said you were leaving; I spent my last 500 bucks on a cab ride from Antipolo to Pasay.

That is why I chose to hold on to you even when we were separated by a continent or two (not sure… not good at geography) and seven hours.

That is why I chose to cry with you while seeing but not being able to hold you during those times we’d chat for endless hours.

That is why I chose to spend my money for overseas calls and 15-peso text messages.

That is why I chose not to go out on dates and stay faithful to you.

That is why I, when you said things got busier, tried to do your part to make the relationship work.

That is why I went against my better judgment and made up a lot of reasons to justify why you suddenly changed.

That is why I kept calling you even when you no longer answer my calls.

That is why I kept sending you emails even when I know you’re no longer reading them.

That is why I kept saying goodbye but I’m still not leaving.

I chose to hold on to you because you were my greatest test and you told me before that you would do everything for me to pass it.

That is why even after a year and 8 months since we last saw each other, a year since our last conversation and 5 months since your last text message, I am still here waiting.

I am miserable and I don’t feel loved in any way.

But still you taught me my lessons well.

I just hope I realized sooner.

I’ve finally found the courage to let you go… because I realized that everything you taught me was not about you but about me after all and that my greatest test was not loving you inspite of everything.

It was putting and loving myself first despite of all.

I never, not even for once, doubted that what we felt for each other was love. Having you was more than a big ego boost. I loved myself more because you loved me. And I know that I can never go back to where I was before I became a better version of me. There’s nothing that I feel for you but love and gratitude for every wonderful moment and for every lesson I learned.

And with that I can say at last, I’ve passed my greatest test.

And I’m letting myself free, finally.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Swan

I was approached by a friend of mine asking me if I could help her with her makeover. I don't know why. Perhaps, it's because I'm the most kikay amongst our circle of friends or maybe because I look like I have nothing else to do. Lol.

"Do you think I have a chance at this?" She asked.

"Of course."

Kung ako nga namakeover, ikaw pa kaya.

The tale of the stick-thin nerd and the baston pants

I used to be one of the more popular students in class, I had lots of friends and I was almost a teacher's pet. Then things suddenly turned upside down. I got accelerated to Grade 5, my Dad died, my mom had a row with my Grade 5 teacher, I had to wear eyeglasses and acne started growing all over my face. I was depressed, demoralized and oh, so flat-chested. It didn't help that I barely knew my classmates. Me and the two others who got accelerated were sort of made into outcasts because well, they thought we didn't belong there. My classmates made fun of me ALL THE FUCK*NG TIME. At home was almost the same thing. My dad was gone and there was no one to defend me and lift my spirits up. You see, my dad has always given me an ego boost. He tells me I'm the prettiest of all (when my sister's not listening), he tells me I sing like a nightingale (even though everyone disagrees) and that he is always proud of me. When he died, I lost all that - including my self-confidence. My grades started to drop, I became insecure of my appearance and when my classmates tell me how stupid I look, I almost believed them (how stupid!).

Then came high school.

I thought things will be different.

And it did.

Only, it got a lot worse.

Freshman at QueSci, 1997

As if being stick-thin was not enough, I had a skin allergy back when I was in first year. Whereas my classmates called me "bangkay" (corpse), they started calling me "naaagnas na bangkay" (rotting corpse). Looking back now, it was so funny but back then I felt like not going to school anymore. I didn't have a lot of friends. I was always left out, when it was time to group the class into teams, no one wanted to take me. My classmates would deliberately hit me with crumpled papers, switch my softdrinks with one that is already a week old and so on. I was so broke, too. After our lunchtime, I would ask my classmates for their empty coke bottles and exchange them for coins at our canteen. I never had money to buy the things that I want. I only had one pants - the "baston", which everyone was fond of because I look horrible in it. My favorite shirt was a loose LA Lakers shirt which is full of holes because of ant bites (don't ask me why the hell is that) and my shoes were flat, pointed and were one size bigger. There was this one time we had to wear skirts and I opted for a mini skirt, a girl classmate of mine (let's call her Miss M) said I should NEVER IN MY LIFE WEAR A MINISKIRT AGAIN because my legs look like bamboo poles. And then a week before our school field trip, my mom in her fit of rage cut my hair very short. I was a physical and emotional wreck. I was seriously thinking about suicide. That was how miserable my life was.

Me wearing my uncle's jacket at World Trade Center during the National Science and Technology Week where our team was one of the exhibitors.

The Swan Lake

But things started to change back in my junior year. I moved out of my Mom's house and back to my grandparent's which was a relief when my grandpa wasn't there. I was able to find new friends who accepted me and gave me a place I belong to. My sister came home from the US for a short vacation and she sort of made me over (plucked my eyebrows, taught me how to put make up, etc) and bought me new clothes. It was still hard at some times. When my Grandpa comes home here, he messes my life. From 100 bucks a day, he changed my allowance to 80. He didn't want me to have a lot of shoes and clothes. I told him once, "Grandpa, mas madami pa nga pong sapatos yung mga katulong natin kesa sa akin eh." (Grandpa, our maids even have more shoes than me). But to no avail. It was the price I have to pay for being his granddaughter.

During college, I decided to study at one school where I know no one of my previous classmates will go to. It was a fresh start for me. I began working parttime and things started to get better. There was even a point where I had two jobs at the same time, working as a secretary for MRT and a cashier at my uncle's restaurant. I met a very wonderful guy who kinda reminded me of my Dad. I became used to stooping and keeping my head bowed down and he always reminded me to walk straight with my chin up because he was proud of me and I should be proud of myself, too. I think, that was when I began to realize my selfworth and slowly I regained my self-confidence. I had enough money to go to a dermatologist for my face. I bought a lot of clothes and a lot more shoes. My boyfriend back then pampered me like a baby, treated me like a princess and brought me to different wonderful places. I became more comfortable with my skin, I learned different tricks, I came across Girltalk for beauty tips and so on. There are still times when I feel ugly and fat but most of the time I know I'm beautiful and I guess that's all that matters. And that I can make heads turn, occasionally. Haha.

Looking back, I guess I didn't look too fugly but I felt ugly and bad about myself that it ate through the good things until all I could think about was how ugly and how stupid and miserable I am. I guess, that's the first part of any makeover. It should start from within.

Now, I just had my hair rebonded, I regularly go to the gym, my dermatologist and malls (to shop or window shop), I try to be positive, I go out with friends, I take a lot of pictures, I eat what I want and go places and I have a blog to celebrate my beauty, este, the beauty of life pala. Hehehe. I know there's still a lot of work to do. I still have a lot to improve about myself. There are times when I hear my brothers or cousins say that I'm too fat but I just laugh it off because I know that there will always be people who will criticize you for your waistline or the way you dress or how dark your skin complexion is. But at the end of the day, there will also be that one person who I know appreciates my not-so-big boobs, my "sun-kissed" color and that little black dress I wear - I've finally learned to love myself again.

And just for old time's sake, I checked my old classmates' pictures in Friendster (those who used to make fun of me) and boy I'm so glad to know that I look a hell lot better than them. And oh, I never took your advice Miss M. I think I look fab in mini skirts. Eat your heart out! Beh!

The bamboo poles now

Finally, the swan!