Today, I Turn Twenty-four

My Symphonies: Home / Day Wave

Wasting Time / Day Wave

Semi-rocking the guybun in 2016 (*Not a recent photo, thank god!).

So today, I turn twenty-four. 

I remember typing out almost the exact same words back in May 2013, when I wrote Today, I Turn Twenty. This time is different, though. When I turned 20, I felt a lot of uncertainty and discomfort towards aging. In fact, I used to be a self-proclaimed ageist. The mere thought of being a year older always made me feel nauseous and quite anxious. Every year, when I “celebrated” my birthday, I would always try to hide how upset I was with the fact that humans have to naturally age. I hated the concept of getting old.

But this year is different. For the first time, I actually feel very at peace with turning a year older. And not just that; I also feel very at peace with the fact that every year, everything and everyone else turns a year older. It is finally safe to say that I have come to terms with the way the world works – Things and people age; there’s nothing we can do about it.

I am writing today not just because it’s my birthday, but also because I want to acknowledge change. Change, who comes when it’s time for it to come. Change, who is the master of beauty and tragedy. Change, who is the initiator of bliss and chaos. And Change, who so effortlessly comes with aging.

When I think of my life from the beginning leading up to this point, I see it in chapters. And what’s great about chapters is that they tell us that apart from the end and the beginning of every book, there are tiny little ends and beginnings in between. And these little ends and little beginnings create something beautiful – something worth reading, worth telling and worth living. This has been my life:

The Childhood Years, when I first learned to take life one step at a time (literally); when I played in playgrounds and scratched my knee like every kid did; when I looked at grown-ups around me and wondered if I, one day, was also gonna be as big and as complex and as successful as they were; when life was a never-ending cycle of naps, tantrums, school, lunch boxes and Cartoon Network…

The High School Years, when I tackled so many things for the first time without much knowledge about life and the world I lived in; when I fell in love for the first time, got my heart broken for the first time, failed an exam for the first time, topped the class in something for the first time, made great friends and mortal enemies for the first time, and played in the field of teenage angst, romance, betrayal and overall drama for the first time; The High School Years was that one chapter that gave the first definite shape of my personality…

The University of the Philippines Years, which gets a special chapter due to the silent but steady impact it had on me. This chapter was when I learned that I can handle change (a major change) for the first time. I learned that simplicity doesn’t have to mean boring, and that modesty doesn’t have to mean defeat. I learned to take matters into my own hands, stand up for myself and carry on through the tough days without having to cry for help. This chapter was when I started to really genuinely appreciate sunsets, deep meaningful conversations and the importance of getting to know people outside of my shiny little bubble…

The Great Move, the chapter that tells of my move to Canada with my family. This, more than anything by far, has been the greatest teacher. This chapter was when I found myself in a world so different from where I grew up in. I learned so many things about other cultures especially when I was in Vancouver Film School. I learned so much about the sad realities of life, and how we all have a choice to bounce back from them. This was the chapter when I went through depression triggered by an unrequited love, and later on realized it was all just a lack of love for myself. I would say that without this chapter, I wouldn’t have been able to handle the next…

The Dark Ages, was a chapter that started out so magnificent, and so daring, and so adventure-filled and exciting. But I give it its chapter title due to the overall draining energy that surrounded it from the beginning, and more so towards the end. I fell in love with a guy that was ready to give me the world, but wasn’t ready to love me for who I am. I experienced physical abuse, verbal violence and worst of all, emotional manipulation. I learned that love isn’t enough – a relationship has to have friendship, compromises, acceptance and most importantly, respect. I learned that I am resilient, and that no matter what life was gonna throw my way after this chapter, I can absolutely handle it…

The Renaissance, cheesy, I know, but whoever said “There is light at the end of the tunnel” is hands down a genius. It’s true! Now I find myself in a place happier and brighter than anywhere I have ever been. I can definitely say that I am right where I am supposed to be in life right now, feeling exactly what I am supposed to be feeling at the moment, and being with the people whom I am most precisely supposed to be with at this chapter in my life. I am grateful for the genuine love I’ve found, blissful for the friends and family I have been blessed with, and ecstatic to take on the coming months and years of this journey called life…

I look at where I am today, and I realize that I should be happy about turning a year older. Turning a year older means I am still alive right now. I can still do whatever I want to do with my life, and go places, see new things, meet new people. Turning a year older means I have survived all the years before this; that I have embraced change time and time again, and that I have triumphed over obstacles and challenges that went my way.

Chapters. That word is subtly synonymous to “hope”, to “life”, to “change”. And today, I would like to celebrate turning a year older by thanking everyone in my life (literally EVERYONE, including those who are no longer a part of it in the present) for making me who and what I am today.

Because, girl, I’m slaying. ❤ ❤ ❤

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Love is Not a Thinking Thing; Love is a Feeling Thing – and This is What it Felt Like

My Symphonies:

  • It’s Only / ODESZA (feat. Zyra)
  • Veins / Palace
  • Drifting / ON AN ON

bohemianbash04

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” –  Thích Nhất Hạnh

I need to say this to you now, before the storm becomes so brutal that it breaks everything apart. I need to say this to you now, before we both turn into the exact people we once swore we would never be, before we spit at each other’s red face with potent fists all embraced with pulsating nerves, before you call me a demon and before I call you the devil, before the bags are packed and before the doors are slammed shut, before our smiles turn to straight lips and before our glowing eyes become darker than our own shadows. I need to say this to you now, before we hate each other so much to the point of violence, to the point of indifference, to the point of eternal condemnation. And I need to say this to you now, before the day comes that we no longer even have anything to say to each other.

You always told me that in life, it is better to expect the worst from people, to carefully take into consideration the most tragic possibility before enjoying yourself the benefits of the good times. You were admittedly the pessimistic one, and you never hid that from me or from anyone. And I secretly liked it. I secretly liked the contrast we’ve both created the second our paths crossed. I am air and you are water, and would the ocean even be that beautiful if either one was absent?

I was never rational, though, to the point of madness. If there’s someone who can be a perfect epitome of the saying “love is for the fools”, that would be me. Without a doubt or any hint of hesitation. I’d gladly walk right up the stage and get my trophy as this generation’s number one fool. You see, love is different from relationship. You can love someone without being in a relationship with that person, but you cannot have a meaningful relationship without at least a dose of love; otherwise, it would just be like a casual business agreement.

As much as I hate saying this, I don’t think I am the relationship type of guy. But I do believe (very strongly) that I am the love type of guy. I mean, how could I not be?

How could I not be when I have loved every second of our first kiss? How could I not be when my heart always exploded with misery each time we had a fight, or when you were far away? How could I not be when I have explored every inch of you that there was to explore, even the darkest shades of gray and the maroonest shades of yellow? How could I not be when every time I thought of something to do or some place to go, you were always the first person, the first name, the first face that came to my mind, even when my mind was always a crib of a rainbow chaos? How could I not be when each time I held your hand I would see the universe as a perfect place again? And how could I not be, when all of the romantic comedies I saw in the past all of a sudden became pointless when I met you?

Because it was real, you know. It was never a rom-com. It was never some kind of a perfect story with a promising ending, but it was definitely a story nonetheless. A story, where neither you nor I plays the part of the protagonist. We were, if anything, the cover of the book. I, the front page with the title – flashy, bold, loud, eye-catching, but incomplete. You, the back page with the price tag, synopsis and all the reviews – detailed, keen, mysterious, informational, but written in very small font sizes, barely even readable. We both make up this exhilirating story of two individuals, but the story isn’t about us – it’s about someone else, some other couple who existed at an unidentifiable period of time in the history of human existence.

Because a day will come, my love, when I won’t even recognize you and you won’t even recognize me. We will become so different from who we are now that we will solidly question each other’s existence. A day will come when this little fort we built together crumbles down, leaving no signs of human touch. A day will come when those road trips, those summer vacations, those dinners, those lunches, those nights out, those parties, those friends and those songs that we had when we were still the you and I we met, just disappear into thin air, making the ultra convincing illusion that we were only nothing but mannequins – well-dressed, but lifeless. 

I had a dream, once, where I was being forcefully pulled away from you and I was holding on for dear life. There was just this sort of faceless void that was sucking me in and away from you. I was bawling my eyes out, legitimately fearing the possibility of having to face the world without you by my side. It’s crazy how real dreams can get, right? You’re a semi-expert in dream interpretations, so I know you know what I mean. And that dream, it happened so fast, so abruptly. I didn’t even have the chance to talk to you in that dream, and say the things that I wanted to say to you, in case the void was gonna be successful in pulling me away from you. The surprising part? That dream didn’t have an ending.  I didn’t get to stay asleep and dreaming long enough to find out if I was indeed pulled away from you. I didn’t get to see if you even did anything to stop the void from pulling me away, or if you were just sort of standing there, looking at me sweat and scream, just trying to keep close to you.

And that’s what gets me about dreams – you never really find out, most of the time. It’s like this very climactic scene is presented to you in incredible detail, but you never get to know how it ends, or even how the next scene looks like. But I have a theory here. What if our dreams are trying to tell us something? No, I don’t mean each of our dreams specifically, but the way all of our dreams generally come to us. Dreams come to us when we least expect them to, and then they end all of a sudden, without giving us a proper conclusion. But what if that’s the point? What if there doesn’t have to be any conclusion? What if, afterall, in that dream of mine, the ending is exactly just that – an image of me holding on to the edges of your shirt, while the faceless void was brutally sucking me in and you were sanding there, almost expressionless? What if the ending of our story is the climax itself?

I never believed in endings, though. That’s why no matter how much of an artist I am, I am always just semi-impressed with most of the films I watch and most of the books I read. I mean, there is probably only one fiction film that has ever been created (and that I’ve seen) that has convinced and impressed me with its incredible amount of realism. If you’ve seen the film called “Like Crazy” (starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones), then you probably know what I am talking about. It’s a great film, for me at least. It’s this story about an international student in the United States who fell in love with this American guy just several weeks before her student visa expires. And then there’s this video montage of the couple having so much fun and being so in love with each other, and it was also a very realistically cheesy montage – with shots of go-kart rides, walking along the city streets hand in hand, strolling at the beach, looking into each other’s eyes with a blush and an un-hideable smile on their faces (because, I mean, couples do this shit in real life, especially during the honeymoon stage). And then shit happens right when it’s time for it to happen, and complications with the immigration prevent the two from being together, so they have to be in a long-distance relationship. So let’s skip all the drama, the crying, the challenges and the brief appearance of Jennifer Lawrence in the movie and get to the part where they actually were able to find a solution to their immigration problem (yep, it involves a wedding). So, this brings us to the last three minutes of the movie, where Felicity Jones’ character finally gets to take a shower with Anton Yelchin and they finally get to be together. In the shower, the couple are neither sad nor happy, they are just there, alive. And then they both have flashbacks of all the times and moments they’ve shared together, right from the day they met until they got married. They both smile, and then they frown, and then they semi-smile, and then they semi-frown. And then THE END. Roll credits!

Yep. That’s how WTF-ish the ending of this movie is. But in real life, endings are always WTF-ish, and the reason for this WTF-ishery is that real endings are not glossy or pretty or even anything close to smashing doors, or parting clouds, or setting suns, or aerial shots of the city with the protagonist walking his “ending walk” towards god-knows-where. Endings are abrupt, and they are often cryptic because they happen without you even knowing it. Hell, endings can even happen right when you think you are on cloud nine. Because the reality is, endings aren’t defined as the last part of the story – in real life, endings can be just as calm, boring, so-so and noneventful as the day-to-day life of a fucking house cat.

My love, just like everyone else on this planet, I do not know what the future looks like. But I am doing this now – taking my time to appreciate you in my own literary world, and think of you – because you taught me to expect the worst. And if what you’ve been telling me all this time is true – if you and I really aren’t meant for each other – then know this:

I have loved you, and it has felt amazing.