Knowledge is power.
That’s all I have to say about that.
grateful slice: knowing what I’ve been dreading to know and facing the worst of it head on so that I can move on.
There is an old adage that goes something like this, things get real crappy before they get better. Right.
This is what coming home to Manila feels like.
Like falling out of the fiftieth floor of a building,
face first on concrete,
then getting up all messed up
to go back to work.
It hit me while being in Narita watching all the Pinoys stand and line up to board the plane when seat numbers were being called. We were the only race clogging up a boarding gate and the only people the nice Japanese airport crew had to police and traffic to stop blocking the rest of the walkway.
It was funny and annoying at the same time.
I slept through the entire last leg of my flight home (read: avoidance) and
then, waking up only as the plane slowly descended onto the decrepit Ninoy Aquino International Airport landing strip, I finally just let my heart break.
I’m home, I thought.
Shit, I’m home.
And sulking and jetlag — not a good mix.
I spent my first day back, wandering around and puttering about like a zombie, eating many Filipino things, sleeping at odd hours.
It was not a pretty sight.
I managed to reply to two friends who texted me about my being back and hibernated from everyone else.
I get it. (read: how a place can kill someone)
I have confirmed it too, what I want. (read: how you can want and then leave a place before it kills you)
I hoped I wouldn’t have to go through this but I am.
Like I said, I guess it gets ugly before I stop resenting being here and not there.
I mean, I remember being excited to come home (read: refer to previous entries)
So I am caught a little off guard by this sadness. (I vowed I wouldn’t ever complain since I did so viciously after coming home from a trip to New York years ago. It was boring and unbecoming. LOL)
This time, I thought I was really okay leaving NYC and my sis (gulp!) and friends, and that other life that I hope to have in a few years. I was so freaking hopeful and doe-eyed.
Yet yesterday, just being back in Manila managed to suck the life out of me.
I was so unhappy, I was catatonic.
I was so mayabang pa to S. Don’t worry, I told her. I’ll help you out of your Leaving-NYC funk. Come on! Let’s be positive and all that shit. It’s all good, I said.
Little did I know, I’d be swimming in my own bluesy marinade of withdrawal symptoms and separation anxiety to even ask how her first day back went. I was afraid I would fall apart if I had asked her, so I just watched old seasons of “Desperate Housewives” for hours between Pinoy snacks to kill time and numb the pain. LOL.
Mr. Wallace was a gem though. He followed me around and sat and slept beside me, wherever I was, whatever time. He suffered through seeing Teri Hatcher’s botoxed face with me too. I think he is trying to make sure I don’t bolt for anywhere anytime soon.
Aww, I missed you too, Mr. Marsellus.
Anyway, I’m thinking today is another day.
I let meself sulk and feel like crap for one day and I’ve decided that it has got to stop.
I promised to make the most of everything wherever I am and I intend to uphold that promise.
So many things are different now, so it’s not a mere meshing into old routines to feel better. It is also living in and loving Manila a certain way this time around (while I am still here) precisely because I now re-know what is out there; what I will soon have. I can’t take this time for granted.
Does that make sense?
Anyway, I have a plan and I hope it works.
It involves going home to my apartment after spending a little more time with my dad, unpacking, putting things away, purging, doing grocery, signing up for unlimited yoga in Pulse for a month, doing some prelimenary work for inservice, bringing the cat to the VET, looking at the documents for my IB workshop in September, backing up my pictures and spending a lot of time for thanksgiving for a truly wonderful trip that I wished never had to end. Sigh. I miss my sis.
Well, thanks for listening.
I tried not to b and m, really.
But it caught me by surprise too.
Hhmm…it ends here though.
After I eat this pancit.
grateful slice: acknowledging something icky, to honor it, then being able to let it go so we can all move on. (oh and for Mr. Wallace. He has been the best)
Has a nice ring to it.
I will miss my sister and I know the fact that we are a gazillion miles away from each other (again) will hit me a few days after my jet lag wears off.
I will also miss my friends – old and new.
I will especially miss the cities I reconnected with, as like, an older person. (LOL)
But that’s okay. No drama.
Missing is normal. ; )
And sooner than we think.
grateful slice: the best summer ever
Thank you, Ms. MM.
You made my heart fatter today.
grateful slice: new friends who can bake up a storm
There is something about being with some of your oldest friends,
in New York,
(Kylie lives in New York and A in DC)
It’s more than comfortable, there’s a feeling of unbreakable belonging.
We don’t just laugh, we make halakhak till there are tears.
We can be doing our own thing, and still be absolutely together.
There is a fearlessness to just be and be yourself, a finishing of sentences and completing of thoughts, and great expectations of stupendous comedy.
There is also the golden, precious silence while watching Law and Order SVU.
This doesn’t mean we have not changed.
In fact, I think we have all evolved wonderfully.
But our friendships remain strong, unwavering, faithful.
Thank goodness for that.
grateful slice: old friends who have seen you through shit and are still there to love you.
Woke up feeling I needed to share something today.
It was not instantaneous, mind you. I had to pray and think about it. A conversation with M also helped unravel the emotions and the labels. And what began as a comparison of states of being (read: captured by photographs), has turned into a confession.
My brother took these pictures a few months ago, during a really sad time.
He called it bittersweet.
I called it whatever won’t kill you, will keep you breathing and give you eyebags.
See the sadness in her eyes, they said.
I wanted to flick a cigarette at them.
Even if they were right.
His pictures told a story. One I didn’t want to be the protagonist of.
But I let him take them anyway.
The thing is, bringing whatever is dark into the light only turns what has been dark into…well, light; turns it whole and sets it free. It only stays dark and deconstructed when it is hidden, embarrassed and ashamed. It remains broken, trapped, fearful and fragmented when it is suppressed because of disappointment and risking failure and humiliation. It is not the same as lying. That’s different because there is no denial. It’s just not articulating a truth boldly for whatever reason.
Today, I honor all that sadness, pain and loss and celebrate how I/We have brought it out into the light little by little with compassion and gentleness. Having said that though, I also need to articulate something else; the same way Adam Lambert was so obviously gay, but still had to come out and say it in his Rolling Stone cover article debut (Kudos to him! Go Adam!), I have been cryptic about what I have been going through for a reason and need to reverse that somehow now. I felt ashamed and sorry and sad that another relationship had failed. I couldn’t utter the whole truth because it was too painful. Even if I cremated it. Forgave it. Forgave K and Me. It was still a process of comings and goings. Of two steps forwards and three steps back. Of feeling like I failed. That I fell short. Yet again.
So today I say and share it point blank.
Because I am no longer ashamed of it.
Or ashamed. Period.
In fact, I want to be free from it already.
Just want to be free. Period.
Bringing what’s dark into the light so that it can turn to light.
So here goes: My Adam Lambert moment.
Kevin and I broke up last March 13, 2009 in Cebu.
And it made me really, really, really sad to lose someone so precious, to end something that meant the world to me.
There was a lot of pain and beating myself up even if I knew it was the right thing to do; even if I knew I did the best I could, loved him with all my heart and did things differently, with compassion.
We didn’t plan it, things just organically lead that direction.
And frankly, I was not at all ready.
But the relationship is over and for a long time I felt shame.
So I didn’t talk about it.
Not this way.
Even if I wrote about it in this blog.
I did so, cryptically.
Broken entries, just like how my heart and resolve felt and was.
Shamed by another failure.
Not anymore though. (and actually, for awhile now)
Because I have a brand new heart.
A fat one with a lot of love and gratitude, gentleness and inspiration.
I want you all to meet it soon.
Because here I am today.
If you have been part of my recovery (and you know who you are), thank you again and again for being part of the story.
For believing in the story.
I didn’t get here alone.
My new, fat heart owes its blessed obesity to you and you and you and You.
I am now the proud (read: I don’t mean the capital sin) protagonist.
grateful slice: freedom, happiness and confession
I believe I’ve known God all my life but there’s something about meeting him over and over again (which ultimately started early this year); recognizing him, paying attention to him, knowing him, developing a relationship with him, choosing him. He dropped hint upon hint; greatness upon greatness and used nature to pursue me with a vengeance. He was relentless and I am glad because it forced me to come full circle and not just stop mid way like I would usually tend to do.
Coming full circle began with my seeing the crater in Pinatubo for the first time after a three hour trek. I didn’t cry right then and there but you bet I would every time I remember it. That crater really made me not only see God, but it made me feel him and his majesty. Only he can make something so beautiful emerge from something so devastating and tragic. (Feb, 2009)
then the butterflies in Baguio (and everywhere pre and post that trip) which made my God symbol, the butterfly, official. It was his way of telling me he loved me…each time a butterfly (real or symbol) showed up. He relentlessly reminded me that transformation was taking place every second and that the finished work was on its way.
a lot of healing went on there but that was also where my mourning ended. I surrendered many things during my Boracay retreat. (May, 2009)
all this was leading up to today.
Today is my (new) birthday.
and everyone came for my party.
My sister and all her best friends (S, A and B).
Sacha, my sister-fairy godmother.
All the pastors (Pastor A, B, G, J and B.)
The MSNY staff-
Who stopped everything they were doing to fill the tub and pray over and with me,
even if they did not know anything about who I was apart from being M’s sister.
All I could think of the whole time was ‘thank you so so so so much’
‘oh, so this is how it feels … to be so profoundly loved, redeemed, accepted and forgiven.’
I was exactly where I wanted and needed to be.
Surrounded by total strangers in one of the most intimate and profound things I would ever experience.
I would not have had my birthday party any other way.
Just me, these wonderful, generous people and yes, the host, jealous G.
It was powerful
to have ALL the pastors prophesy and pray over me.
for my sister to pray for what she did, the way she did.
for everyone’s tears, including mine, to just flow and flow and flow
and my heart to keep from exploding.
I watched myself listen.
Then I just let go.
Not of my sister’s hand (which I crushed during the whole thing)
but my old self and my controlling, obsessive, overanalytical mind.
then they mentioned DNA, transformation, old skin shedding, traffic, counseling, wisdom, freedom, and change and fighting back to back. together.
Pastor A (right before I got dunked) said he needed to tell me the word, ‘jealousy’.
That G was jealous for me.
That there is a space reserved just for me.
Lush, green pasture, (a place out of the valley) that he holds only for me, so we can spend time alone together.
G made sure that I knew, that he would meet me there today.
That he would do so much more than just show up.
That I would feel this overwhelmingly special.
He gave me the best birthday gift in the world.
He saved me.
What a dream come true.
I was just so overjoyed, overwhelmed and grateful and relieved to be forgiven.
Because I have been sorry for so long.
All the remorse was washed away as that part of me died submerged in the water.
Died onto myself.
So, happy birthday to me.
I don’t want to know myself any other way anymore.
I am His child
G’s creation already perfect in his eyes.
For allowing me to come full circle.
And making my sister play a huge part in it.
I’m finally home sweet home.
And the tears keep flowing and flowing from its source, the well spring of life.
grateful slice: my water baptism and doing it in the most perfect and blessed way (with my sister, her new family, and with Sacha in New York City, June 11, 2009, Thursday.)