There are so many things I want to write about. So many emotions I want to put into words. So many experiences I want to share. So many thoughts I want to convey. Yet here I am finding it difficult to express any of them.
I will never send this letter to you nor would you have any chance of finding out the existence of such pouring of words and feelings. Like all the other letters I had written in this little secret place, this one will also be thrown to the void.
I never meant to break your heart and I am sorry for doing so.
I don’t know when it happened or how it happened. I was a new hire in this division packed with pretty young people from my university. You were not present on my first week because you were with Mau and the rest of the DRM boys who were sent to the southern part of the country to assist in the financial forum.
It was the following week when we were introduced to each other. I vividly remember your reaction when I walked past you and went to the desk behind you. I didn’t say ‘hi’ nor did I blurt a word when I saw you. What I did was take a mental note of you in my head, “So he is the Q they were talking about. Pretty cute though”, was what I told myself.
You seemed to notice that I was occupying the once empty seat behind you which made you get up of your chair and walk towards Karen to whisper the question (which funnily was quite audible in my area), “Who is she?” I couldn’t help but smile and laugh in secret when I heard that. We were formally acquainted after and I couldn’t help but paste a huge grin on my silly face.
We instantly clicked– there was no doubt about it. We had so many things to talk about ranging from our lives in the academe (you were just two classes ahead of me and we had the same professors in some subjects) to random stuff about Star Wars. Officemates were surprised at how you seem to be more sociable and more human than before as we engage in more conversation day by day.
I thought maybe the rumors weren’t that true. Maybe they misjudged you– that given a chance to get to know you really well, you aren’t actually the callous-antisocial-math-geek that they deemed you to be. You easily warmed up with me and you were proving all of them wrong.
I saw a different persona in you, a very intelligent and patient guy who is willing to share what he knows of. You would teach me things I do not know and explain to me other matters relating to work which seemed complicated on my part. You were the one trying to put in layman’s terms Paul’s profound mathematical discussion. You were the one who tried comforting me when I had a meltdown in front of Ed because Ampee didn’t follow my orders to move the hundreds of billions from the account of our client (which almost screwed me up). You would usually leave silly notes and competitive challenges on my desk every morning before I get to work.
You emerged from your shell and started hanging out with us. You would join us in our beach trips and late night shenanigans. You became ‘normal’ in most people’s standard. You started to loosen up and started cracking up on our silly jokes.
I would admit that the incomprehensible character of yours and your perks initially attracted me. I had this little crush on you at the beginning. It faded as the two of us got closer and as I get to know the intimate side of you.
I never gave color to your actions; for me you were simply doing big brother duties. You were being a silly and overprotective big brother to me by lighting up a stressful week through your geeky punch lines, reprimanding me when I am consuming my alcohol too fast, watching over me when I was alone surfing at the beach, and whatnot. Everyone was teasing us but I wasn’t affected because I saw nothing strange in a bond between a guy and a girl.
I grew up surrounded mostly by guy friends with only the three of us females in the circle. Thus, I saw nothing wrong or weird about us being friends. I thought maybe they just failed to press the right button two years ago and that I did found the correct one.
Seven months after we first met, we sat under the moon surrounded by anonymous bodies and tall buildings. The air was mildly cold and filled with music that summer night. I was a little bit jumpy and uncomfortable as you talked to me. I wasn’t paying attention to what you were saying because I knew where the conversation was headed.
Days before that, I learned from the guys how you truly felt about me. How you are attracted to me and how you think that I am actually worth the shot. I felt otherwise and the thought of how I would break it to you was keeping me occupied the entire evening we were together.
I didn’t intend to hurt you or to wound you. I tried to soften the blow by trying to phrase everything subtly because I know that there is a possibility for you to emotionally explode– like what you usually do when you get angry.
That April night ended better than I expected. You tried to persuade me to give it a shot. But I am glad you concluded by respecting my decision not to take it to the next level for I couldn’t return the feelings you had for me.
I know my excuse was bullshit but I had no other justification as to why I didn’t want to atleast give it a try. I had to sugarcoat it in some ways for you are more fragile than most people I know of.
That same night you promised we will remain friends and nothing will change. However, promises get broken time and time again and people do change.
We stopped talking two weeks since that incident. I am never the kind of person who would push herself to someone who doesn’t like her or doesn’t like her anymore. I am letting you drift away because I can clearly see from your actions that you no longer want my friendship.
I am not the one who has foregone everything but I am not also the one who would chase someone and drag him home. I don’t let people go that easily however if it’s them who wanted to ran away from me I let them be.
I apologize and I do feel terrible about what happened to us. We cannot repair damaged goods but I do hope we find a way to prevent it from getting completely stale.
How are you? I really don’t know how to begin this letter. I thought that maybe, great grandma’s way of starting it would somehow work— I pray it does.
Remember how I always tell you that after college I want to be a lawyer? Remember the time capsule I made before high school graduation where I wrote my long term plans and the goals I should have achieved once I reached 25?
Yes, I had always been known as the girl who has big dreams and well-engineered step by step recipe for success. You even made a tagline for me, “What the princess wants, the princess gets”. It did work for me, for whatever I put my mind into I actually get.
It was not always easy, yet I still succeed. I know, I know that like everyone else you believe that I always have it in me. That I am a naturally born achiever, that I have what it takes to be whatever I desire. I believed that too— that I have the ‘it’.
I know you are pretty confused at the moment as you read between my words. I am definitely confused myself.
I am sorry to disappoint you, to have not grown up as the girl you always thought I would become. I put law school aside for now because I started doubting myself since third year college. I do not know how I lost that decisiveness that I once had when I was younger— that certainty to be in the psycho-political game.
I was unsure whether or not I truly want to get myself into it, the very reason why I decided to take the usual track of corporate life after graduation. I went with the current along with other fresh graduates. Like them I was thrilled by the idea of getting a real job, of wearing black and white, and earning for myself.
However, while I was already walking that kind of path I realized that I do not have a sense of purpose in that field. I was making more than a usual fresh graduate’s salary but I could not see any meaning behind what I was doing. It felt like I was submerged in a pool of lifeless machines working day in and day out with “that’s the way things are” explanations about everything.
They are people too, only they have gotten used to almost everything that questions, wonders, and amazement became pointless. I felt so out of place in an environment where the people forgot that they too are persons.
Trust me, I also regret that I let a really big opportunity slip off my fingers. Call me crazy and moronic, but what would I be doing with that money when each day that passes by I was breading hate and alienation not just on my job but on the entire workplace including the people?
You can throw that stiletto on me. I would gladly take the hit for it truly was a stupid move to leave my previous work without any plan. Do not ask me what I would do now for I too do not know the answer to that.
I apologize to you and to everyone else that I had been bothering lately. I am floating in a vacuum and I do not really know what I want. I do not want to go to law school or to take masters or to enter a new job or to be part of whatever there is in which I cannot commit myself completely.
Forgive me for I am lost. Forgive me that I cannot figure things out. Forgive me that I have no sense of direction. Forgive me that I do not know myself yet. I am truly sorry.
What is the line between what matters and what doesn’t? Don’t important things start as “insignificant” until time casts its magic upon them that they turn valuable?
Distinguishing which is worth keeping and which is worth throwing away has never been my area of expertise. I am the kind who becomes sentimental even in the minute piece of trash— like a piece of paper with doodles and almost-illegible scribble passed on to a seatmate in one of the many classes I took up in college.
Such I guess is the reason why on Saturday (January 10) when I finally decided to clean and rid my room of university paraphernalia that were lying around since my last final exam (February 2014), it took me more than six hours [I am not exaggerating] to tidy up. A normal human being can finish a task like that with ease for two hours. What is so hard about separating rubbish from the essential anyway?
I will tell you what is so difficult about it. Every remnant of college, even the most little of things, reminds me of the good four years of university. It provides me with a comforting memory of the past, a past that I will never be able to revive again. I am indeed nostalgic, and the only way to appease my yearning to go back is to hold on to books filled with marginal annotations that agree and question at the same time, notebooks packed with lecture notes as well as casual drawings, pages and pages of essays bleeding with red ink and others with excellent marks, quiz papers with commendable and failing grades, and syllabi of terror and kind professors alike.
Let others laugh at my folly, at this madness— of hoarding junk and treating them as prized possessions. What can I do? Those pieces holding both beautiful and tormenting shadows of yesterday are my only anchor to the “I” who I will never encounter again. Those memories in concrete form contain my personal history and serve as my only portal to a reality that will soon be distant from the present. Wouldn’t anyone feel compelled to do the same?
It is common for people to say with ease and excitement that we have to give ourselves the chance to begin with a clean slate. To start fresh, they mean to bury the days of yesteryears in the depths of one’s consciousness—far from the human capacity of recollection. I strongly disagree however, on this concept of “moving on” for I deem it as a futile act of courage. It distorts a person’s perception of genuine boldness by masking the act of running away, of wiping the bitter tasting memories of the previous years as the authentic kind of fortitude.
Every human being is always bound by a past. Therefore, I believe that forgetting is not the formula for moving forward. It is the right amount of remembering paired with a heart that is prepared to embrace and reconcile with the monsters behind one’s shoulders that pulls a person away from the bondage of his/her history.
The year 2014 was not as friendly as I hoped it would be. It was, in summary, a period of turbulence. Many had not notice, but the previous year almost made me bend. Every single waking hour I would try to pull myself from my bed and drag my feet to the places where I was supposed to be— where I was expected to appear. I was living a life of pretention for months and a life of persistent melancholy for the most part.
I was faced with the constant struggle of parting with my university, with the place I called home for four wonderful years. It was not easy to simply walk away after investing time and effort in building ties and creating friendships. It brought excessive anxiety that terribly downed every spirit of joy in my system. I entered a phase of depression where I would secretly cry at night and fake a laugh at day time.
Not being able to connect with office mates and breeding hate for my co-trainees did not help either. The storm was further worsened by the appendectomy I went through. Those days in the hospital made me want to simply yield. Without anyone’s knowledge I was stealthily praying that my emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual agony be taken for good. I was already tired of being lonely that self-destruction was in fact a thing I considered. Realizing though that turning my back against life would be the most coward act, I diverted my attention to the nicer things it has to offer.
Today, I am here. I cannot help but smile as I reminisce the recent year. Maybe I am a lunatic for taking pleasure in the misery I experienced, a sadist for enjoying the memory of my suffering. I vowed to try not to consign to oblivion the austerity of last year, to not omit the days I was tortured by this universe. I made a promise to myself to always carry with me the memory of grief, that I may recognize genuine happiness; of weakness, that I may remember strength; of darkness, that I may be reminded of light; and of hate, that I may see authentic love.
I was bruised, damaged, and broken, yet I was able to rise from the devastation. I have not fully healed yet, nor am I completely fixed. I am still in the process of mending myself but I am pretty sure that I emerged a victor from all the challenges 2014 threw at me.
I wouldn’t be able to withstand everything that happened without the support of this crazy family who has always been with me and will always be with me in every battle I faced and about to encounter. I am simply grateful for having these people behind my back and for my takeaways from 2014. Cheers to 2015!
*An attempt to get the writing groove back.