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merry christmas malu

In fairness, I watched Christmas pass without the usual melodrama which I feared was beginning to enjoy its presence in my life. 

My recollection of my previous ‘Christmases’ was not really a happy picture I could hang on the wall. I was either heartbroken or cold or indifferent. Last year, I was dumped by the man I was supposed to marry. But that’s already an old story. 

So much has happened this year. Great things which totally rocked my world in a beautiful way. Things which I sometimes take as life’s way of making me forget the point where I almost stopped seeing meaning in going through another day. Things which at the end of the day would just make me feel thankful for trusting that everything really happens for a reason. I may not have become ‘the wife’ — the woman I’ve always dreamt of being this year but I’ve tasted independence in my lips. I’ve been to 12 countries, enjoyed a very worthwhile experience in each country and gained valuable lessons in life. I went home 5 kilos heavier, but my perspective expanded exponentially. I liked every inch of it. 

But you know what, at the back of my head, I am nagged by a single question. “Which would I have picked had I been given a choice— my wedding or my European experience?” And I am surprised at myself for even hesitating for a minute there. I was actually thinking how much I would have missed had I indeed tied the knot last Dec 8.

What does this hesitation tell me? That I could actually give up the chance to be with him forever for 6 months in Frankfurt? That I’d choose career over love? Or could it be that my love for him wasn’t as strong as I thought? My love for him wasn’t as solid, as my dream?  

Honestly my answer would have been different had I was asked before he left me. Had I been asked to go to Germany when we were still so in love, I would have said NO right away. I loved him so much that time, I wouldn’t have had the courage to leave, and welcome a very big distance between us. Had I been given that choice last year, my answer would be to stay with him. 

But as you know, he was the one who left me first. I should let that old story end here. 

Let me just go back to the fact that I have every reason to be thankful this year.  

It was like having a very bad tooth extracted. Soon I will forget losing that tooth. And then I will forget the pain. 

I am just thankful for having my life, my family and my friends. I may have spent Christmas being single again, but you know, the reasons to smile never end.         

one more chance

Last night, I saw a short clip from the movie One More Chance starring Bea & John Lloyd. I have to say I was touched, for a minute I had goose bumps all over my body. I can’t relate in exactly the same way most people who are in a long-term relationship probably could. The truth is, I’ve never been in one – if you define long-term as a period that at least exceeds one year. The longest I’ve had was 7 days before our first anniversary. The shortest was 16 days. In my six equally colourful relationships, the monthsaries never got to anniversaries.  

While on the train, my mind was somewhere else. I had questions I was afraid to answer. Why did things end? How in the world did I end up getting to Ex # 6? How did I not ever find myself being given a second chance, or being begged to give it away? 

Three times I begged for another chance, and it was always too late. In the past, someone asked for one more chance, but I chose to be fair even if it meant breaking his heart. Recently Ex # 6 wants us to get back together, but subject to conditions. My ex-fiance is asking for another chance, but I feel like the love left in me is like a little candle trying to find its way in a big dark room. I feel silly, for the longest time it’s what I’ve always been praying for, but now, that it’s laid down before me, I am thinking twice. 

Why is it that there was never a time when a second chance felt so right? 

Today I learned that ex # 5 just got engaged. It’s been 2 years, I know, any feelings I had for him I’ve put together in a box with the good times I chose to keep over the many nights I cried myself to sleep. But somehow it made a thud in my heart. I never imagined him to marry early, I never imagined he’d be capable of committing. He must have found ‘the one’ already. 

I ask myself why I hadn’t been ‘the one’ for him, or for the rest of them who are all happily married by now. 

I know there must be something amiss about me, but until now, I haven’t got to the bottom of it. I could start counting my inadequacies but by the time I reach the end of my list, I would have lost my esteem already, much more my sanity. I could wallow in regrets and second guesses but clearly there is nothing to be gained, once spilled, it’s spilled. I have made many mistakes, but isn’t love all about acceptance? Isn’t love about second chances? 

People promise you forever, and you trust, and then you break into pieces. It seems like in my case, it took significantly more time stitching back the pieces together than the time I ever felt whole. 

It bothers me, you know. It worries me that I’ll forever be swimming in that big ocean. I will never settle.   

i wanna be in love

I’ve mentioned this repeatedly in my previous blogs. I came across this article about KC Concepcion and she said this line that kinda struck me— “I don’t wanna be content, I wanna be in love”. 

A week ago, I had this interesting conversation with my good friend Melai (she was my classmate from German class and while here in Frankfurt, we clicked!) about why Carrie Bradshaw should end up with Big instead of Aidan in Sex & the City.  Not everybody understands why she had to let go of Aidan, the almost perfect guy who loved her so much, to chase Big, the elusive guy who pops in and out of her life like a mushroom. Not everybody thinks she’s made the right choice, but I do. 

With Aidan, she is content. She is safe, she is secure. He gives her peace of mind. He loved her unconditionally. He even asked her to spend the rest of her life with him.  

But Big was inconsistent. One day he’s at her bed, another day he marries another girl. But she was madly in love with Big! For her, nothing can top that. 

I remember the song “Are you gonna stay with the one who loves you, or are you going back to the one you love? I was asked where I would go. And my answer had always been — To the one I love. 

My dad kept telling me, it should be the other way around. We can always learn to match the extent to which someone loves us. It just takes time. 

I didn’t think it was fair. Or fun. It wouldn’t feel complete. So it’s always been ‘The one I love.’ 

Until more recently I realized I’ve grown tired of chasing love. I’ve grown tired of making someone love me with the same depth as mine. I’ve grown tired of making someone accept me. I’ve grown tired of making someone stay.

 I told Melai, in my case, the older I got the more exhausted I became, about the wild goose chase… or simply about waiting. 

The older I got the more open I became to compromise; the more agreeable I became to give people a chance to love me, and to give myself the time to learn to love them back. In my late 20’s, I have learned to want different things in life. 

Being simply content was okay with me. As long as I am safe, as long as I have peace of mind. 

Right now I am actually thinking whether it is on this premise that I almost got married last year. I wanted to settle down. 

But honestly, as I recall, there was no fire. 

Then he left. He gave up on me. For some time, I begged. Losing him took away the resting place that I had been in for some time. After 8 months, he’s back, and now he wants me back in his life. 

I am not in the position to decide right now. I am away, this is an extraordinary situation. I am vulnerable. 

He called me up this morning and it was obvious how distant we both were. I wasn’t even happy that he called me up. This confuses me. 

He was my Aidan. 

Now I want to ask, where is my Big? Or is there a possibility that Aidan can become Big one day? 

I wanna be madly in love. I wanna wake up wanting a person so much that it hurts. I wanna want him for the right reasons.  

I want fire.  

The contentment, safety, security, peace of mind — I’d like to think that these are the results of finding that one great love. 

I know I’m not getting any younger, but I have realized it’s not a reason to deny myself the chance to experience things that are way larger than me.  

My final question is, “Why should I settle for someone less?”

home

We’re down to our last five weeks here in Frankfurt! Our business trip, which seemed more like an adventure for me is gonna be ending soon, and as with many issues and questions going through my life right now, my feelings are mixed.  

I will miss this place. For more than four months, it has become a sort of a second home to me. I will miss my hotel. I will miss living alone. I will miss travelling during weekends. I will miss the cold. I will definitely miss the easy life I’ve grown accustomed to. 

On the other hand, the thought of home excites me to the point that I’m actually starting to rehearse how I would pack my luggage. Manila will cower in comparison to Frankfurt, but it is where all the people I love is, it is where I belong, it is where I’ll always go back to. 

Thinking of going back home makes me feel like a child contemplating about that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. There are so many beautiful things that I know are worth looking forward to, but at the back of my head, there are fears that the pot of gold may not even be true.  

Love may not be as real as it feels from a distance. 

Nevertheless, the thought of home warms me. Earlier today, I was out on my terrace, it was some negative degrees today (it’s actually snowing on the hills already), and holding a hot cup of coffee with my already freezing hands made me think about the day I’ll finally be on our doorsteps back home.  

I soooooo miss my family. I had not seen them for four months before I left for Frankfurt, (so add to that another four months) and I tell myself, heck, I wanna see them right now! 

Though I know it as a constant truth, I’m still surprised at how time manages to pass by almost unnoticed. The last time I checked we were 15 in the group and now, we’re down to 6. Everybody has gone back home.  

Just last Friday, I watched how Larn & Rikko (two of my closest friends here) waved their goodbyes from the car window. As with all goodbyes, it was sad, and I remember how it felt extraordinarily cold, as though the wind knew exactly what was going on. 

Oh well, I need to wait a little more days.  

Time has its reputation for sneaking out on us, and I bet the next time I stop and think, I’ll be home.

green apples

Current song playing in my mind: You’re toast and jam
And you’re cotton candy
You’re double rainbows
Beside a setting sun
You’re wood burning outside
There’s a fire glowing
You’re sweet as green apples
You must be the one
You bring me to the heart of a golden man
You bring me to the natural truth
You take me to a solid hollow
And keep me sailing this ocean of youth
So take me to an altar of diamonds
And run with me through sheets of jungle rain
Show me all your manly mystery
And let me heal your beautiful pain
Be my island
In crowds of faces
My oasis
Be there
Lead me to the holy water
Introduce me to the place you are from
Wherever you go you know I will follow
So take me there and I will come

 

stupid mistake

I have failed on my target again. I promised myself I will write everyday, but the past week has been very hectic and it’s only now that I can actually type these thoughts.  

Last Saturday, I made a stupid mistake again. We were in Prague, the second most beautiful city in the world (next to Barcelona) — at least for me, and I could not use my camera!  I had my camera with me, but the battery, I foolishly left in my room. I was charging the night we left, and I totally forgot about it. I decided to buy a battery there, but the price was insanely high, and it wasn’t even an original one.  I settled to just having my pictures taken by my friends.  

It’s ok, I don’t mind having my pictures taken by them. But when you see amazing things… and you know too well that these moments will pass… and you’re not capable of freezing those moments into a frame… I wouldn’t really blame you if you cry… 

I was soooo sad. Especially when we were on the New Charles’ Bridge…and it was drizzling softly… and the picture of autumn was perfect… everything was surreal… I couldn’t help my tears. 

It felt exactly the way I felt when I’ve seen snow for the very first time and I had no camera with me. 

It breaks me that all I had were photographs in my mind.

happy in the end

I’m officially 27 today. At first, I was a bit sad. It was just strange being so used to having people shower you with gifts. Here in Frankfurt, it’s not a common practice. I got a bottle of beer, an ice cream and a pack of chocolates. 

I console myself that it’s the thought that always counts.  But deep inside, it didn’t feel so nice.  For me, being remembered equates to being loved. I feel like this year, I didn’t get enough love. 

I’m being childish, I know. But it’s my birthday. The most special day in my life, and I’m in Germany, continents away from my family and friends. I think I have the right to be a little emotional. 

I spoke with my family on the phone. I miss them. 

My ex called me up 3 times. I miss him. 

The best surprise came from my roommates, Shirley and Tami!!! They sent me this video presentation with my photos and wishes from my friends back home. It was like pambawi from my negative feelings earlier. 

I only have to be thankful that I am still alive, and I’m here in a place where most people only dream about going to.

I miss all of them, and at this point I can’t help but wish that 6 weeks would be over and I’ll finally be home.