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.

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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.

Again

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was right before the very first date ever in my life. Valentines dance in high school and I was only 13 (if I remember correctly). I was with my bestfriend (who went to a different school but I invited over) and we were just enjoying the day of the school fair. But as the evening approached and the inevitability of my date dawned, my insides just went topsy-turvy.

I remember it distinctly. That giddy feeling bordering on nauseous. I tried to eat a slice of pizza and finish a bottle of orange soda (Royal Tru Orange!). For some reason, I couldn’t hold it down and had to throw up everything. Everything. I blamed it on the orange soda and sort of stopped drinking that from then on.

It may have been the first time I ever fell in love. In retrospect, there’s strong supporting evidence to back that up.

Many years after, he could still remember what I wore that day. Many years after, I remember that single pink rose he gave me, the one that I took home and stuck on the ground and lived for a few years more. I still remember the songs that we slow danced to, and how much taller he was that made it a challenge to put my hands on his shoulders and around his neck.

Unfortunately, my first love never really became “us”, although the ghost of our feelings for each other haunted us beyond a decade. I guess it just wasn’t really meant to be.

I just remembered this from long ago, because I was reminded of that giddy, nauseous feeling. Here it comes again.

Old Shorts – “Too Late” (A Short Story)

It was raining quite heavily. A grey Civic drove slowly into the parking area of the airport. A young man came out. He had strong features, fair skin, and round eyes. He ran under his blue jacket through the pouring rain, towards the arrival area. At once he caught glimpse of his friend, sitting next to a pile of baggage.

“Hoy Antonio! It’s time you got here. I’ve been waiting for you for hours!” his friend jerked. His features, weaker than his friend’s, glimmered in the pale lights. He had tan skin, chinky eyes, and pale lips. “Is that the way you are going to greet me after five years we haven’t seen each other? I think the last time I saw you was at my wedding, wasn’t it?” Antonio replied, jokingly.

Yes it was, the other man thought. He remembered it bitterly, but tried not to show it. He tried to remember Andrea’s face. She seemed so happy. Very happy. And he’s giving her away to his very best friend Antonio. He tried to ask her to come back to him, but she refused.

“I’m really sorry I’m late. I got stuck in heavy traffic. So, how was your trip?” Antonio asked.

“It’s okay, but I’m really so tired. I think I’m going to be sick.” he answered.

“Maybe it’s just the weather.” Antonio said.

The rain calmed. They walked towards the car and shoved two big traveling bags and a medium sized box. They both hopped into the car, and started a long drive home. When the car got out of the airport, it began to rain heavily again. The traffic was jammed and the road was flowing with water. It will take some time for them to get home. “Are you alright, Jonathan?” Antonio asked.

“Yep, just resting.” he answered.

Antonio popped a tape into the car stereo, and the air was filled with song.

my lullaby
hung out to dry
what’s up with that
it’s over

Jonathan closed his eyes and tried to sleep. He remembered the song. It was one of the songs Andrea used to sing. He remembered Andrea. He met her back in high school. They were sophomores then. A friend introduced him to her. She was not that attractive. She’s the type that you’ll only appreciate if you look at her more closely. It also goes for her character. You’ll never appreciate her unless you know her really well. As for him, he knew her very well. He became a friend to her. He also appreciated her beauty.

The road became less congested, but the rain continued pouring. Antonio drove his car into a gasoline station, and got fueled up. Jonathan went down to find something to eat at the snack station. After fueling, Antonio parked the car in front of the snack station and got out.

Jonathan got out with a sandwich in both hands. After getting into the car, he handed Antonio the one on his left. Antonio began eating it clumsily, spilling some filling every now and then.

This is my best friend, Jonathan thought, biting into his own sandwich. They have been best friends since their first year in high school. They’re already twenty-seven, but almost nothing has changed. He could not imagine how different they were, yet how they agreed and got along with each other. He also could not imagine how Andrea got to like him. Perhaps everything Andrea couldn’t find in him, she found in his best friend. The way Antonio was so carefree about everything, while he always worried about how things will work out.

my mouth is dry
forgot how to cry
what’s up with that
you’re hurting me

The song continued playing. It lurked into Jonathan’s ears once again. He remembered the day they parted. They didn’t break up because of a terrible fight. They broke up because they realized they wouldn’t work anymore. It was before graduation. Andrea cried, but he didn’t. He was still so in love with her, and was so numb at that time to feel the pain. They broke up as friends. This was the last song that she sang to him.

An hour or so passed, without a word between the two friends. They finally got to Antonio’s house. Nobody was there. The house was so hollow, and their footsteps echoed on the walls of the spacious living room.

Antonio unloaded Jonathan’s bags into the guest room, beside the wide staircase.

“Andy! Andy! Where are you?” Jonathan searched, climbing a few steps of the stairs. Antonio glanced at Jonathan with an uncertain look.

“I really don’t know how to tell you this but,” he stuttered.

“What? Don’t tell me she’s out of town. Didn’t she even wait for me?” Jonathan asked. Long silence.

“No, Jon. She didn’t wait for you… She’s dead.” Antonio sobbed.

“Tony, you’re joking! Andrea can’t be dead! She can’t be!” Jonathan screamed. He pushed Antonio unto a wall. “You never loved her! You stole her from me! Show her to me! Where is she? Stop hiding her!” Jonathan shrieked.

“She’s dead Jonathan, and I can do no more. I loved her, if that’s what you want to know. I loved her. She’s no more now. Not yours. Not mine. Go get dressed and we’ll go to her wake together.” Antonio said.

Jonathan released his hold of his friend, and scampered to his room. Both of them dressed up and got back into the car.

why, bleeding is breathing
you’re hiding underneath the smoke in the room
try, bleeding is believing
I used to

The stereo snickered. Now he understood.

They arrived at the wake. There were many people there, with some familiar faces. Jonathan went directly to the casket. He looked into her face. She still is beautiful, even though her face was now pale and lifeless. He missed her so much. He broke down and cried. It was the first time ever he cried because of her, after the time they broke up. It has been a long time. Now it’s too late.

Antonio patted Jonathan’s back.

Old Shorts

I was trying to reorganise the document folders on my computer when I came upon one folder that contained most of the short stories that I wrote a long time ago. I used to write a lot of short stories and poetry way back in high school and university, but not so much lately. Since most of them were written in my teenage years, a lot were about love or heartaches, and usually so much drama. Unfortunately all the files of my short stories are password protected, and I no longer remember the password I used so long ago.

I tried recovering the contents some way, and was able to find a way to access a few, but not most. I’m still contemplating if I should post one or two of those stories on here.

Between home and home

A very strange feeling this is. I’ve been away from home for more than three weeks, and I mean from my current residence in Sydney. I’m coming home soon, but I’m also leaving home in the process, and I mean our family home in Manila where I grew up in and lived until less than two years ago. I am excited to get back to my place and start the rest of the year, but at the same time feel that little bit of sadness as I again leave my original home and not know when I’m coming back next.

This trip has been a great opportunity to reconnect with people who have played significant roles in my life, both in the past and at present. I also rekindled my entrepreneurial passion and will be revealing my new business venture soon. I truly savored being able to celebrate Christmas and New Year back home like years past. Met up with my truest friends (who were in town) over coffee, breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or anything in between and shared so many stories that we have missed from each other. Spent time bonding with my sister and my cousins.

I somehow feel part of this world once again. But in reality, I am not. My current life now revolves in Sydney, and this is really just a break, a holiday from it all. Back to real life for me soonest. I’m not complaining though, cos my real life is also amazing. It’s just hard to reconcile that one cannot live two different realities at the same time.

See you next time Manila. ♥

A letter to my (maybe non-existent) future husband…

I don’t really know if there is any point writing to you again. I remember writing my first letter to you many years ago. Has it been six years past? More or less.

Sometimes I don’t really know if you even exist. And if you do, where in the world have you been hiding all this time? Because I’ve been trying so hard to find you, and I’ve been through so many disappointing situations in my search. I’m extremely exhausted. I no longer want to move, because no matter how much I move, it seems like I’m not getting any nearer to you.

I am okay. I’m doing fine. Life is not perfect, and I do wish things could work a little bit better. But I don’t mind being where I am right now. And to be honest, I don’t need you. I’m confident I can make it on my own even if you do not exist. I can make things better, in time.

But how I long for you. How I long to find you and finally be able to show you all that I have saved up inside. I know that I have a worth on my own, but I have a feeling that it will be so much better to have you around.

Maybe you don’t exist. Maybe you are just a figment of my imagination and this search is all in vain. Maybe. But what if you do exist? That would be the sweetest discovery.