I went on and off blogging for several times but this is one of those long sabbaticals I took from something that I loved doing, since I was a small kid. The longest I’ve been away was 2 years, I guess 5 years ago. Now, I am again telling stories to strangers with the hope that this means would help me in the eventual healing.
“This is the world where I hide the pathos of my existence, far from the judging minds of those who knew me, but have cared less”. This blog is just one of those digital worlds that I kept with me as go on my journey.
And this sabbatical took me eight months before I regain the desire to be back up again.
I could write down every good and bad reasons why I stayed away in the past few months. But I don’t have the heart to divulge everything now. Yes, it always has something to do with the heart when I write. I don’t think I’d ever scribe something down without bringing my heart with me, without putting my heart on my sleeve for others to see, perhaps even, to be judged at for being something and someone I am not.
But it’s the least of my worry, to be honest.
The storm started in May. It went off without warning and the family got caught in a situation that left us all broken. May shook me. Maybe even killed a part of me at some point. But it was also the time that I learned how, despite the fact that I am the most emotional person in the family, I discovered that I could also be the strongest person there is for anyone to held on to. I stood when almost everyone was falling.
The Sound of Heartbreak, Nikita Gill
“It is eerily terrifying that there is no sound when a heart breaks.
Car accidents end with a bang, falling ends with a thud, even writing makes the scratching sound of pencil against paper. But the sound of a heart breaking is completely silent. Almost as though no one, not even the universe itself could create a sound for such devastation. Almost as though silence is the only way the universe could pay its respect to the sound of a heart falling apart.”
I will never forget the May that got me down crying inside the restroom like I am gonna burst and got out of there like nothing has happened. Got back into work and pretended I will be okay.
Most of the time, I was okay with trying to be okay.
You can’t be weak while others are weak. Somehow, someone has to stand, clinched fist and stare into the way the storm is heading and devise ways to surpass it. Someone has to muster the courage to choose the other way. The better way.
And I chose it.
I chose to trust my brain at a moment when I could not count on my heart to sustain me. I held on until everyone felt alive again. Yes, they needed to be alive. Whilst everyone was recuperating, I was oblivious to my own pain. Inside, I was already slowly dying.
All of a sudden, a lot of dreams have died. Five months later, the ghost still haunt us. I am not scared of any ghost personally, but I am scared for the people that I loved for when the ghost would frighten them again. Everyone is beginning to start anew. I guess we have learned to forgive those who have been the cause of our pain… or the majority of us had… but the ghosts, they just kept coming.
I wonder if it makes people happy knowing they have destroyed others. I wonder what words they say to themselves when they see their reflection in the mirror, everyday. I wonder what prayers they say every night when they go to sleep, or if they ever would say any. I don’t know. I really don’t know.
How much more are we willing to give in the name of love? How much pain are we willing to endure to sustain love?
I remember I wrote some years ago about a couple named Tony and Ellen somewhere. If we talk about love that endures, I guess I can go back into reminiscing how this couple’s love stood the test of time. But every good thing comes to an end. Tony, a good family friend, died of a sudden heart attack in early May. He was in his mid-forties.
These feelings of melancholia came about possibly because I wasn’t especially well lately. Last week, I only got a day of work because I was a bit sick. Nothing serious, just flu and some petty stuff. Four days out of the normal weekdays when I was supposed to be beating deadlines or putting off fires in the office. Four days is so long to just rest, eat, take medicine, study, read and then read some more. Those are the sacred four days that I completely went off the radar from the normal office life I have lived for five years.
Being ill has its advantage. Somehow, you realize the value of time. And you learn to appreciate and respect it.
For five years that I have worked in my company, this was the first time that I have attended to my body’s clamor to slow down and halt for a while. To think things over. For five years, I realized, I worked so hard for nothing. On top of it all, I realize how fool I still am to chase a life I never wanted in the first place.
I remember I took a vow to be grateful for what I have today. I still am grateful about a lot of things and a lot of people who have come along with me. I remember that vow where I said, I will love the life I’ve made. But after all these years, did I, really?
Feeling lethargic is real. But I do not want to just sit and serve myself these emotions that aren’t helping me. I have brought in my books to cheer me up. I have my LinkedIn short courses waiting to be completed as I near the deadline. I have reports and proposals pending my update… language courses where I am stuck at. These and all while my sketchpad is stretch on the bed…just waiting. However, I am instead pounding on my keyboard trying to scribe something worthwhile for my soul.
But still, I feel depressed. Maybe because of waiting. Waiting for the storm to pass. Waiting for me to get that courage to leave and live my life. Waiting for time to grant us the complete healing for all these wounds. Waiting for something that may never come in my lifetime.
How much more am I willing to wait? I don’t know. All I know is that, time won’t stand still and wait for me until I do something.
How unfortunate, Maricel.
These subtle moments where I am able to reflect and contemplate just made it even worse how I feel about failing myself, for not having been true to my calling. I knew I wanted to do a lot of things. At 33, I am still torn among different pursuits that really interests me. My hunger is insatiable. This desire of really wanting to learn new things and never ever stopping (while on a very limited time), to be a part of something bigger than myself that would create a great impact on the society, to travel, learn and live with different cultures and help people, to experience sunrise and sunsets at different points of the Earth and to capture, to draw and paint them, to write stories about them, to inspire, to motivate people to be the better versions of themselves— to be a better human being. To make use of my limited existence to help transform the world in a positive way. Yes, I have a very big dream. Even bigger than my foremost dream to become an astronaut, you see. This is my existential bummer—the fact that I am still struggling to get one thing done at a time. And I feel I don’t have much time left to do all of these.
Recently, I have stayed away from several friends on social media. Even if it hurts, I have said goodbye to some few good people I met. To some others, I went completely silent. At times, I would try to gather up my thoughts and attempt at getting in touch with my dear friends again, but I lose at my attempt. I am saddened at my lack of courage and for some reason, I am baffled why. At this point, I am deciding on whether to delete everything that bears my name online, if that is even possible.
Tired? Surely I am. Broken, yes obviously.
Melancholy chases me down every waking day. I am still battling the storm from that May incident. I wasn’t even well aware that I am still into this battle until it resurfaces again very recently. Somehow I felt tricked into believing I was already okay. Or perhaps, I was being an a#$h*le for not really accepting that I still am not okay.
There are hurts you only wish did not come your way. There are pain so great that made you question what is God’s purpose for letting it befall you. But they did. They happened. Maybe even on purpose. But right now, inspite of everything, I choose to thank God for it anyway. You see, there are lessons after every storm. And that is what I looked forward to every time I wake up. That is the reason why I never grew tired of chasing after sunrises.
With all of my pain, life will not end for me yet. No dear, I dare not say no. Ever. I would still endlessly chase over sunrises and sunsets to witness them. To see that there is a new world that awaits me every waking and dying of the day. And I will sing, dance, paint and draw all these aches away. Maybe at times I would write them here or in another. Whatever the case, I am never relenting to these demons. We all have them. Our demons, they will try to drown us in whichever way they could. Until we raise the white flag. That is what they do right? But dear, I am not letting them, I’m sorry.
“If I should have a daughter…“Instead of “Mom”, she’s gonna call me “Point B.” Because that way, she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.”
She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried.
And “Baby,” I’ll tell her “don’t keep your nose up in the air like that, I know that trick, you’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else, find the boy who lit the fire in the first place to see if you can change him.”
But I know that she will anyway, so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boats nearby, ‘cause there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks chocolate can’t fix. But that’s what the rain boots are for, because rain will wash away everything if you let it.
I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, “There’ll be days like this my momma said” when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,” ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away.
You will put the “wind” in win some lose some, you will put the “star” in starting over and over, and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life.
And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting I am pretty damn naive but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it.
“Baby,” I’ll tell her “remember your mama is a worrier but your papa is a warrior and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.”
Remember that good things come in threes and so do bad things and always apologize when you’ve done something wrong but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining.
Your voice is small but don’t ever stop singing and when they finally hand you heartbreak, slip hatred and war under your doorstep and hand you hand-outs on street corners of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.”
― Sarah Kay
So for now, just let me. I will battle my storm. I’ll savor this pain and I will come out of it healed, stronger and a learned woman, I suppose. If everything is clear and I am back on my track, you will all know.
If you can wait, just meet me when this storm is over.