Overbearing Melancholia

by Maricel

I am writing not because it’s mother’s day today or because it’s All Souls day or because it is both. I am not particularly picky about what to write about today. I guess I have written enough of what has gone since more than a month ago to start digging up the grave again where I had left off. It’s exhausting to even think I would have the heart to even consider that. But on second thought, why not? This is exactly why this has been here in the first place, right?

It’s been pretty much the same. Nothing new has come up. I still rant about my exhaustion with work. Sometimes when I think about how the career has gone since I joined in, at some point, I wished of having the nerve to tell the boss that the multi-tasking I do is already beyond what I am capable to handle. I had been juggling with more than the usual stuffs I used to take care of before that promotion and this has gotten a bit crazy. I don’t have a life beyond work. When I should be spending some time with friends or families on some days because I deserve to give myself times to recharge, I am instead spending time at home doing homeworks. I understand, I am getting less efficient than I used to. I can’t even look people in the eye for fear that they might see how broken I truly feel inside. I lost a part of me there where I found what I once hoped for in life. And just how ironic life can get.

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I am not going to wish about things that would never come. I will work for it to become real instead because only then will I begin to start living again.  I felt so alienated with my old self that I find it hard to accept the person I have become now. Not that I have turned to be a terrible person. I have become tougher than I used to, more opinionated and straightforward, even blunt with my choice of words especially when dealing with corporate politics involving alpha males in the organization. I think people have already began to notice that, although some still see the old self in me— unabashedly kind, considerate and diplomatic. All of these changes I had to put up because my responsibility calls for it and I am held captive without a choice.

As I walked on my way home last Thursday night after yet another exhausting day at the office, I realized just how I miss being alive. The moonlight awakens a deep longing to keep my life at still and just appreciates the world around me. I stopped and looked up above half smiling. It was past ten in the evening and it was unbelievably bright and quiet. Where I live, it is surprising that people had already surrendered to the call of the night at that time. If anyone ever saw me being too emotional, well, it was the least of my worry. I was thinking about a lot of things and I knew right then and there how lonely I had become over these years. I just miss being alive. It is like those overwhelming moments when you saw someone laughing over something trivial and you know it was a genuine laugh and you start to think of the last time you did the same. As I head home, I smiled for the sudden euphoria of having the chance to witness such a beautiful night. But I was crying at the same time which was probably more obvious if you saw me than I was about being happy. I used to see the grandest nights of my life when I was younger. However, these moments seem to drift and disappear as I grow up. Despite how difficult life has been when I was young, it is during these occasions where I am mysteriously transported to the past that I realize how I loved my simple life before.

This made me wonder how mother must have felt about hers.

Almost every year during her birthday, she would travel all the way to her birthplace in San Remegio which is a bloody 131 km by bus from our place. We let her because we know she misses being there. She misses her parents who were both buried in a remote cemetery in Busogon and her siblings who live nearby. I’ve only been there a number of times and I definitely understand why she braves the agonizing crowd every year just to be there. Does she also look at the moon every night and cried in silence for the times she could not recover? Did it occur to her to wish that life was something different?

Most of the times, I would miss seeing mother before she leaves home. During All Souls Day when we should be spending time together because it’s her birthday, we go on our lives separately. Father would leave home early to go to the cemetery and offer mass, my brothers who are both married will go with their families. I would go there late in the afternoon. As I woke up moments ago, the silence in the house beacons that indeed, mother has already left home. And she’s not coming back til I guess, tomorrow morning. I am not sure.

I would have wanted to buy her a cake but it seems nothing will change this year.

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