List 33

I just had to do one for my annual birthday post, albeit belated.

33 things that have happened to me in the last 12 months (in no particular order)…

  1. Toured my grandmother around Sydney.
  2. Got an Apple Watch.
  3. Went back to visit the Philippines 3 times.
  4. Attended two weddings in two countries in the same weekend. In the same dress, shoes, and makeup.
  5. Had half of my thyroid removed.
  6. Discovered Tokyo.
  7. Watched Adele in concert.
  8. Watched Coldplay in concert.
  9. Watched Lea Salonga live at the Sydney Opera House.
  10. Started an online business.
  11. Traveled to a far-away place in Australia (Mount Gambier).
  12. Drove around Sydney (up to the western suburbs and hunter valley).
  13. Explored new places around NSW.
  14. Developed great friendships and found my social circle in Sydney.
  15. Realised that my good friends in other parts of the world are there for me anytime I need them.
  16. Met up with old friends visiting Sydney.
  17. Met up with friends and former colleagues while on vacation in the Philippines.
  18. Wine tasting, wine tasting, and more wine tasting…
  19. Learned the basics of contouring.
  20. Made pizza from scratch.
  21. Discovered new restaurants, cafes, and bars in Sydney.
  22. Went to dance classes.
  23. Gained weight.
  24. Lost weight.
  25. Bought a telescope.
  26. Donated blood.
  27. Got my work contract extended N-times.
  28. Dated more than ten guys (separately, of course).
  29. Dated guys of different nationalities (separately too).
  30. Dated someone for more than a month.
  31. Fell in love.
  32. Had my heart broken.
  33. Moved on.

Moving On

Nag move-on na ko. Seryoso. Approximately 5.33 km. In my two-inch heeled boots. In one hour and fifteen minutes. Di ko man napansin na tumakbo ang oras.

Seryoso, nilakad ko. Mahigit limang kilometro, mula opisina hanggang bahay. Bakit nga ba? Di ko rin talaga maipaliwanag. May tren naman, wala pang labin-limang minuto kung sasakay ako. Pero gusto kong maglakad. Ng malayo. Ng mag-isa.

Hindi naman masyadong malayo. Di naman ako napagod. Di rin ako pinawisan. Para lang naman mahigit dalawang ikot sa Acad Oval ng UP Diliman. Pero ansarap ng pakiramdam, yung alam mo na malaya kang gumalaw mag-isa, pumunta kung saan mo gustong pumunta.

Nung nagsimula akong maglakad, siya pa ang iniisip ko. Alam kong malapit sa kanila yung dadaanan ko. Alam ko din naman na hindi ko siya makikita. Ayoko siyang makita. Ayoko na siyang makita kahit kailan.

May iba din akong gustong daanan. Isang lugar na nagpapaalala sa akin ng masaya at simpleng buhay noong nasa kolehiyo pa. Tinawag ko na ngang “mini sunken garden”. Sarap sana tumigil at tumambay dito, kaso gusto ko na rin makauwi.

Habang naglalakad ako, may iba pa akong nakita. Basura lang sa sahig, pero parang may importanteng gustong sabihin sa akin…

Pagkatapos ng mahigit isang oras na paglalakad, nagutom na rin ako. Naisip ko rin kung anong gusto kong kainin kaya bumili ako bago umabot sa bahay.

Nag move-on na ko. Hindi man kapani-paniwala, pakiramdam ko malayo din ang na move-on ng puso ko pagkatapos kong maglakad ng mahigit limang kilometro. Pagdating ko sa bahay, may iba na akong iniisip. 🙂

 


Nakikinig nga pala ako sa Spotify habang naglalakad. Ansaya pakinggan ng playlist na ito, lalo na kung gusto mo lang mag-emote. :p

Quotes from “By the River Piedra I Sat Down And Wept” by Paulo Coelho

I’ve probably read “By the River Piedra I Sat Down And Wept” by Paulo Coelho at least three times before, and lately I had the urge to re-read it again, but I couldn’t find my paperback book anymore (my guess is someone borrowed it a long time ago and it never made its way back). I checked my options, buying a new paperback, getting an ebook, and trying my very first audiobook. I ended up doing the last one, and it was an interestingly different experience. I might try audiobooks of Coelho’s other books in the coming days.

Anyway, one thing I love doing with Coelho’s (paperback) books are earmarking and listing down my favorite quotes from each book. It’s just almost impossible to do with an audiobook, but I’m lucky that I already did this before on my N-th read of the paperback. Sharing my favorite quotes below:


By the River Piedra I sat down and wept. There is a legend that everything that falls into the waters of this river – insects, the feathers of birds – is transformed into rocks that make the riverbed. If only I could tear out my heart and hurl it into the current, then my pain and longing would be over, and I could finally forget.

By the River Piedra I sat down and wept. The winter air chills the tears on my cheeks, and my tears fall into the cold waters that course past me. Somewhere, the river joins another, then another, until – far from my heart and sight – all of them merge with the sea.

May my tears run just as far, that my love might never know that one day I cried for him. May my tears run just as far, that I might forget the River Piedra, the monastery, the church in the Pyrenees, the mists, and the paths we walked together.

I shall forget the roads, the mountains, and the fields of my dreams – the dreams that will never come true.

I remember my “magic moment” – that instant when a “yes” or a “no” can change one’s life forever. It seems so long ago now. It is hard to believe that it was only last week that I had found my love once again, and then lost him.

I am writing this story on the bank of the River Piedra. My hands are freezing, my legs are numb, and every minute I want to stop.

“Seek to live. Remembrance is for the old,” he said.

Perhaps love makes us old before our time – or young, if youth has passed. But how can I not recall those moments? That is why I write – to try to turn sadness into longing, solitude into remembrance. So that when I finish telling myself the story, I can toss it into the Piedra. That’s what the woman who has given me shelter told me to do. Only then – in the words of one of the saints – will the water extinguish what the flames have written.

All love stories are the same.


Son los locos que inventaron el amor ~ It must have been the lunatics who invented love.


But love is much like a dam: if you allow a tiny crack to form through which only a trickle of water can pass, that trickle will quickly bring down the whole structure, and soon no one will be able to control the force of the current.

For when those walls come down, then love takes over, and it no longer matters what is possible or impossible; it doesn’t even matter whether we can keep the loved one at our side. To love is to lose control.


“It’s risky, falling in love.”

“I know that,” I answered. “I’ve been in love before. It’s like a narcotic. At first it brings the euphoria of complete surrender. The next day, you want more. You’re not addicted yet, but you like the sensation, and you think you can still control things. You think about the person you love for two minutes, and forget them for three hours. But then you get used to that person, and you begin to be completely dependent on them. Now you think about him for three hours and forget him two minutes. If he’s not there, you feel like an addict who can’t get a fix. And just as addicts steal and humiliate themselves to get what they need, you’re willing to do anything for love.”


But love is always new. Regardless whether we love once, twice, or a dozen times in our life, we always face a brand-new situation. Love can consign us to hell or to paradise, but it always taks us somewhere. We simply have to accept it, because it is what nourishes our existence. If we reject it, we die of hunger, because we lack the courage to stretch out a hand and pluck the fruit from the branches of the tree of life. We have to take love where we find it, even if that means hours, days, weeks of disappointments and sadness.

The moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us.

And to save us.


I also knew that from this moment on I was going to experience heaven and hell, joy and pain, dreams and hopelessness; that I would no longer be capable of containing the winds that blew from the hidden corners of my soul. I knew that from this moment on love would be my guide – and that it had waited to lead me ever since childhood, when I had felt love for the first time. The truth is, I had never forgotten love, even when it had deemed me unworthy of fighting for it. But love had been difficult, and I had been reluctant to cross its frontiers.


If pain must come, may it come quickly. Because I have a life to live, and I need to live it in the best way possible. If he has to make a choice, may he make it now. Then I will either wait for him or forget him.

Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.


Love doesn’t ask many questions, because if we stop to think, we become fearful. It’s an inexplicable fear; it’s difficult even to describe it. Maybe it’s the fear of being scorned, of not being accepted, or of breaking the spell. It’s ridiculous, but that’s the way it is. That’s why you don’t ask – you act. As you’ve said many times, you have to take risks.


I loved him. With every minutes that passed, my love was growing and transforming me. I once again had faith int he future, and little by little, I was recovering my faith in God. All because of love.


If I have to fall, may it be from a high place.


I think that when we look for love courageously, it reveals itself, and we wind up attracting even more love. If one person really wants us, everyone does. But if we’re alone, we become even more alone. Life is strange.


I am going to sit here with you by the river. If you go home to sleep, I will sleep in front of your house. And if you go away, I will follow you – until you tell me to go away. Then I’ll leave. But I have to love you for the rest of my life.


 

A thousand thanks to Paulo Coelho for the endless beautiful quotes  🙂

The art of poetry and forgotten feelings

It sometimes surprises me when I look back at the poetry I’ve written many years ago, and even those I just wrote a few months ago. I have this tendency to write poetry well when I am overcome with emotions, usually of the romantic kind, and most often due to unquenched longing, heartache, and rejection. Break my heart and I will find fuel to string words into poetry.

What surprises me the most is that many years after, the poetry still sound beautiful to me but the emotions that drove me to write them have disappeared completely. Sometimes the titles or the way they were written still remind me of who they are written for and why, but I have completely forgotten the feelings. At times I even completely forget who they were for. The bliss of the forgetful.

I am very optimistic that somehow I will soon forget about him. It has happened before, and I am capable of it I’m sure. He’s not even really worth the time and attention. And truly, he wasn’t worth the poetry.

P.S. The poem in the last post was because of him (whoever he is)

Silence (Poetry)

I have no song for you
Even poetry is hard to do
You appeared out of nowhere
But never really stayed
Never entered my life
But pulled me out of it
Lead me in to the deep end
Let me drown
And left me for dead

I have no song for you
Never really let me love you
And pretended that you cared
I was blind and misled
A willing victim for a while
Until you left me
High and dry
A pocket full of sorrow
A dream that somehow died

How can I sing about you
When I don’t even know
How to feel about you?
I know for sure
I never loved you
But I don’t know,
Why do I keep holding on
To an illusion
That was pure nothingness from the start?

How to be myself

I have always known that somehow I transform into an entirely different person when I feel very strongly for someone (note that I am not using the four-letter word here on purpose). I become someone else, someone I don’t know and I don’t like too much, and for the longest time it has been near-impossible to control it. But I have decided that enough is enough. I want to take back my own sense of self, regardless, or perhaps most importantly when I have to deal with feelings for someone special. I want to be myself again, the best version of me.

How to be myself? Can I be the best person to answer that? My close friends could also very well help me with that. Some of them have seen me at my best and worst, and I value their thoughts very much. They have been treasures these past few days, regardless of time or distance. How can I survive without them?

I have to get my life back on track. My life has been interrupted for a while, so I need to get my focus back on the important things. I have to remind myself of the high-energy, free-spirited me. Strong and feisty. I have the ability to conquer worlds.

Day in and day out I need to actively remind myself of who I truly am. Because I know that at the end of the day, it is this self that will draw true love into my life.

Time to welcome back the real Abii.

Numbers Game

Finding love is sometimes a numbers game, especially if you’re still playing quite late in the game. When you’re younger, it’s still a game of chance, of luck. Sometimes you get lucky and find your one true love in high school or university and you eventually end up together and live happily ever after. However if you’ve lost your chance when you were still in school, dating and finding a good match when you’re already out in the real world is a tough one.

I’ve honestly been searching for love for more than a decade. My last boyfriend was almost 10 years ago, and I met him at work. We didn’t really last long. But honestly, I’ve met a lot of guys at work. I’ve also met a lot of guys outside of work. I’ve been set up on many blind dates, gone to a number of speed dates, and even back-dated (i.e. dated people from my past). It’s tiring. And I was still unlucky at finding someone. It’s always either the attraction is one-way (i.e. I like him, he doesn’t like me back, or he likes me and I don’t like him back), or the attraction is mutual, but there’s something completely and absolutely complicated about it (and oh, I don’t even want to talk about it).

When I moved to Oz, the search continued. Somehow it was both harder and easier for different reasons. It was more difficult because I had a limited existing social circle, I came unfamiliar with the dating rituals and culture, and it was challenging for me to spark physical attraction because I can’t effing compete with those sexy blonde girls (not sure if this is true, but this is how it feels). I found it a bit more easy for other reasons because of so many ways to meet more people, such as numerous social events, speed dating events, dating apps, and online dating websites.

But alas, the search continues.

I do think that somehow it’s a numbers game. The more people I meet, the better the chances that I’ll find someone. As they say, the more entries you send, the more chances of winning. Of course, I also take quality into consideration. Meet more quality guys. That’s the strategy.