Sa dulo ng kalendaryo…

There is an old Filipino saying “wala ka na sa kalendaryo” (you’re no longer on the calendar) typically referring to women (or sometimes men) who are beyond the age 31, which is the highest number you can reach for a calendar month. They usually use this phrase to make you panic if you’re still not married when you reach 31 – “nasa dulo ka na ng kalendaryo, wala ka pang asawa” (you’re already at the end of the calendar but you’re still single). It’s as if when you get beyond the calendar unmarried, you’re doomed.

So, I’m already 31 years old as of a few days ago… and not yet married. I don’t have a boyfriend at the moment. Does that bother me? Not really.

The use of this phrase had become more rare as the years of late, perhaps because most of the people in my generation have started getting married much later than the generations before us. Most of my friends started getting married from age 28 up. Only a very few started families before 25. A lot of my friends right now are still single.

Some older friends and colleagues (belonging to earlier generations) often ask why in this generation most are getting married much later. Maybe it’s because there is the greater desire and need to be financially stable before settling down. Or perhaps it’s because there are so many things to do in the world now besides starting a family. There are so many time- and attention-consuming activities around, like traveling, post-grad education, hobbies, etc. We are more entertained and distracted now with other things, so getting hitched is oftentimes a non-priority.

But that’s not to say we’re not interested in settling down. Personally, it is in my mind and plans for the future, hopefully once I find the right person to spend my life with and raise a family with. However, I am not pressured or panicking even if I’ve already reached the end of the calendar. I’ll let it happen in its own perfect time.

HIMYM impending finale, and my fragile heart

In the advent of the upcoming How I Met Your Mother finale , I actually attempted to binge-watch everything from the first season. I started it around mid-February, and was watching a few episodes each night, but somehow stopped close to the end of the 2nd season. I did not stop because I didn’t like it or out of boredom. I stopped because I liked it so much but it was starting to eat me up emotionally. 

I therefore conclude that it’s not healthy for a chronically single, hopeless romantic like me to be binge watching HIMYM. My dreams of going through the entire series before the finale has gone up in smoke. But if I did continue watching it, it would be emotional suicide. I might combust with so much longing for my own Ted. 

But where is my Ted? Where is my Tom? Where is my Jonathan? Where is my Matthew? Where is my Alex? When will I ever come face to face with Griffin?

Add to this my random urge to re-read the entire bi-trilogy (yes, two sets of trilogies) of Griffin and Sabine.  I am close to the edge of embodying “hopeless” in the term “hopeless romantic”. 

The HIMYM ending is coming, whether I like it or not. I’d still love to watch the ending, even if it “breaks my heart”. I may still have a long way to go in my search for the love of my life, perhaps as crazy and complicated as Ted’s search, but I do have to carry on. 

One more dilemma is whether i should subject myself to watch “Starting Over Again” in the cinemas. It might be another self-torture decision, but I might consider… but that shall be a separate story on a different occasion.

#Valentines

This may be the first time after such a long time. It’s just a day and I could undoubtly say that I do not dread it any more. No more “Singles Awareness Day”. No more wearing of all black on the day of red. I might just actually wear red tomorrow. It’s not because I am un-single this time around. I’m still single, still waiting and searching (I wonder though which one is more effective). But I guess I’m ready to just enjoy this “holiday” for all it is.

Going out tomorrow night with friends. Nothing fancy. No dates. We’ll have fun. I do not dread going out on Valentines day this time around.

I’m not waiting for flowers or chocolates or romantic gestures from anyone. That will not define my valentines, at least for this year.

I’ve finally lost my antagonism against valentines, and whether there is a reason behind it or not, I welcome it. But in a way it feels so strange and new, but it does feel good. Perhaps I’m just in love with life. Perhaps I am no longer hopeless. Something tells me I’m going to find something good, whether it’s the near or not-so-near future. So maybe, it’s a good time to start enjoying Valentines again this year.

A different kind of throwback thursday – A letter to my future husband

Because the past may be about the future that isn’t in the present yet…


September 7, 2011

Dear love of my life,

I am having breakfast and coffee by my own right now, and I just thought of writing you a letter. How very much I wish you were here with me because I know any morning started with you will just be a wonderful day no matter what. I know you can’t be here now. Not yet.

It would’ve been nice to tell you that I had a nice drive to work today, or maybe even how wonderful the ride was with you driving. I would’ve wanted to tell you about my plans for the day. Imagine all the funny, absurd, geeky, serious, and all other things we could talk about. Imagine how we couldn’t run out of things to talk about. I sweep off all the strawberry syrup and whipped cream I could with my waffle slices, and you don’t mind. We finish our waffles and coffee, and you tell me I could beat Starbucks belgian waffles and coffee anytime. I promise you I’ll cook for you tomorrow, and any other day you would crave for them. We know it’s time to part for the meantime, you walk me to my office and kiss me goodbye. I tell you how much I look forward to see you at the end of the day.

It would’ve been wonderful to spend the morning with you, but I understand why you can’t be here now. You probably are somewhere driving to work alone and just having brewed coffee from the office pantry. You don’t know me yet. You still haven’t found me. I don’t know who you are yet. You could be anywhere.

But don’t mind me yet. I am happily having breakfast by my own at a corner starbucks near the office. Happy, because I know how blessed I already am, even on my own. Happy thinking of a wonderful morning in the future spent with you.

I’m done with my waffles already, but will probably walk back to the office with a half-full cup of latte. I look forward to seeing you when the time comes. 🙂

I am not quite there yet

Every time I go on Facebook, I find around 50% of my friends’ posts are about their babies/kids and/or husbands/wives, and a lot of these coming from my own generation. I can barely relate to most of this now. I’m not quite there yet. There is no boyfriend or husband-to-be, and no babies-in-the-making for the next few. I am honestly enjoying my awesome single life, and a family life is very far from my mind right now.

Am I out of place? I do hope not. I know of a lot of other friends still in the same stage as I, but possibly we’re just being out-posted by those with lovely babies and hubbies/wives. What interesting things can single, child-less people like me contribute to the social media circle? Perhaps a narrative of travels and adventures, but I don’t think its manageable to do that every day. Maybe I can post about food, movies, books, yoga, an what-nots. But for some reason, I know it will all be trumped by the cuteness of all those babies and sweetness of all those lovely partners.

It’s all good. It’s lovely to see all those, and I’m not complaining. I don’t feel envy, I just feel different. I’m still far from being in a similar situation, and I really don’t know how it feels to be starting one’s own family. I still feel so normal and comfortable with who I am and what I have right now, and yet I seem to be approaching and going after very different things compared to most people from my own generation. I hope I don’t seem weird or immature. But this is my reality, and my reality is different. I’ll live with what I have.

Why are you still single?

At 28, and much more often than before, almost everyone is wondering why am I still single (and uncommitted). It’s a very interesting question, because there really is no particular answer. It’s like asking about the meaning of life, or searching for one’s purpose. Interesting to think up possible answers too, and the following may be the usual retort:

  1. I just haven’t found him yet…
  2. I’m focusing on my career first…
  3. The last one was too horrible…
  4. I really don’t see the point of being in a relationship…
  5. I’m non-committal…
  6. I haven’t found anyone who fits my standards…
  7. I’m still waiting for that “spark”…
  8. The one’s I like are as nimble and adventurous as me, and it’s so hard to catch them still…
  9. I don’t think I’ll still be able to find one in this country…
  10. It’s none of your business…

Which one do you think is the best answer?

To say the least, I actually would rather not think about it. I don’t want to look at being single as a problem to be solved. I don’t want to spend even the tiniest effort worrying about it. It’s my current state, and as far as I am concerned, it does not limit me from doing or achieving anything. So, why bother? It will come when it should, if it should. If it doesn’t, then there is always another way of living one’s life. 🙂

The Crossroad

I may have been standing at that crossroad, unmoving, for the past few months. I’ve spent four years of my life toward one single goal, and after that goal was achieved, I was not quite sure what the next move was. Hence, I remained in my comfort zone, in what is already familiar. I stood at that crossroad for the longest time, until something hard hit me in the head and I was brought back to sense. It was time to move on.

Everyone is asking and wondering why I am leaving. Everyone thought I was happy where I was and I loved being there. They were NOT wrong. I loved the project with all my heart. I don’t think I can ever point to one single reason why I have decided to leave. Perhaps the best explanation I have is that everything in life has a beginning and an end. The stage of my life has brought more than four exciting, challenging, and fruitful years to my quarter-life, but now I have come to its end and it’s time for me to move on to my next adventures.

What do I do now? I can’t jump into specific details yet. I am cherishing the time for myself, and re-experiencing the outside world that I have almost forgotten of these past few years. I have two travels scheduled in the next few weeks to two new destinations, and will definitely immerse myself in that. Christmas season is also approaching, and I do have the option to get into some money-making schemes like I used to back in college. There’s a chance to revive the entrepreneur in me.

I have a new ultimate goal for next year, and I have sworn to give all the needed efforts for that. I’m crossing my fingers and praying to the highest powers to grant me that.

Maybe love too? They may have been joking or serious or both, but everyone’s wishing for me to find a lovelife now that I have moved on (from work). I’ve been single for the last five years, and everyone around me is dying to see me finally be with someone. I am ok by it, but I am in no rush. We’ll get there in time. 🙂

All I can say is, these are exciting times. I am brought back to life again. Wish me luck. 🙂

100

100-mylene-dizonOne lonely evening when I had all the time to myself and not the drive to do anything else, I decided to be the couch princess. I turned on the TV and came upon this relatively recent Filipino movie on Cinema One. It could be that it has just started when I saw it, but the first few scenes I saw glued me to the screen until the movie finished.

The title of the movie is “100”, starring Mylene Dizon. It was about a single woman in her mid-30s who has found out that she has advanced cancer and had roughly 3 months left to live. Knowing this and accepting it, she started to write on post-its everything she wanted to do before she dies, and she tried to do all those things one by one, taking each finished task off her wall after accomplishing them.

The most difficult things for her to do were to tell the people around her that she was dying. Although she had already accepted it, it was an entirely different thing to make other people accept it. One of the best people in her life was her best friend, who after uncontrollably sobbing upon knowing about her fate, finally just gave in to her request to just spend the rest of her days having fun with her.

Maybe most will think it’s like the usual “Bucket List” movies, but I would think it accomplished a lot more than that. In the popular Bucket List movie, the story was about a much older guy who may have accomplished a lot of what he wanted to do with his life already. But in “100”, it was about a woman in the prime of her career, haven’t even gotten the chance to find a partner in life and settle down. On the contrary, she has also lost her father just a few years before, also to cancer, and had a “love of her life” that can never be hers.

The movie expressed a lot about tying loose ends, seizing each and every moment, and realizing what is important and essential. In a lot of ways it came close to my heart. There was something so real about each and every thing she was doing, about every little thing that she writes down and decides to do, and about how the people around her were reacting.

Perhaps such a dreary movie? Understandably, I never saw this movie distributed commercially. It was something that wasn’t too appealing to the Filipino movie-going public, most of whom would rather watch about cheesy pickup-lines and happy-endings. Let’s admit it, it’s really hard to sell meaningful and really meaty movies and story-lines as a commercial Filipino movie, unless they find a way to have happy endings with the protagonist not dying in the end. However, I always wonder when the Filipino movie-goers would be mature and ready for wonderful movies such as these. Critical movies need not tackle the most horrid, or the poorest, or the most shameful things in life or in the society. Sometimes things as real and as simple as these can make really good movies too.

Kudos to the director/writer Chris Martinez, the lead Mylene Dizon, and the entire cast. I know this was released in 2008, but I hope it’s not too late to find and watch the movie, and give a full bow of respect to all of you.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1244491/

Redemption

The matters of the heart may be one of the easiest to write about but oh-so-difficult to post. I don’t think I have divulged all the beautiful and nasty that goes through my heart, ever. It’s a battlefield. There are times that it is full of blood and gore, tears and sweat and all. Other times it is full of all the sweetest and most romantic things you could imagine. But why write about it for all to see? I don’t want to be misjudged by some people and misled by others. Nope, I haven’t lost my mind yet to reveal to you the state of my heart right now. Let’s just say, scars and bruises and all, it’s still beating. Perhaps that’s a good sign. It hasn’t given up yet.

But for some reason, it always feels like a moment of redemption every time I am able to find myself again, to reassure myself that I can survive on my own. It’s such a great feeling to be in control, to know that one’s happiness does not rely on the presence of another being in this world.

And I am so deathly afraid to have my heart shattered once again.

“There’s a reason I said I’d be happy alone. It wasn’t ’cause I thought I’d be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It’s easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don’t have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It’s like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.” – Grey’s Anatomy

Emotional Limbo

(http://pulanglangit.blogspot.com/2008/07/emotional-limbo.html ; july 14, 2008)

Limbo – a state of waiting or uncertainty, in which final judgement concerning the outcome of a decision is postponed, perhaps indefinitely.


Emotional limbo is that state when you’ve gotten out of one relationship and have somehow gotten over it, but you’ve not quite completely moved on to a new one yet. Sometimes there is that emotional gap in-between.

Luckily a lot of people do not have to go through that. The luckiest people just try once, and they immediately find a love for keeps — no time needed to move from one to the other. There are others who just can’t live without having a “someone” in their lives — those who sashay from one relationship to the other, leaving virtually no time in-between.

I am not a stranger to emotional limbo. Most probably, I’m in one right now. And I’ve been there possibly a few times before. Let me describe how it goes.

The time after the dissolution of an actual relationship. It doesn’t matter how short or long the relationship lasted, but what matters is how emotionally involved you were during the relationship. The more intense the emotions in the relationship, the harder it is to let go. But after the letting go, what comes next?

Sometimes you end up asking that a million times to yourself, not noticing that months, or even years, have passed. Somehow at the back of your mind, you know the answer. Somehow you know that the real question is “who comes next?”

But you can’t answer that just yet, because your last relationship probably taught you that there was something wrong with the choices you made before, and you need to somehow re-think your criteria. You can’t answer that yet, because part of you is afraid of the possibility of being emotionally involved and being abandoned in the end. Maybe you’re just too emotionally exhausted to move on to a new relationship right away. Or maybe, you actually don’t want to answer that yet, because you’ve found the extraordinarily wonderful satisfaction of being on your own, sans the complications of a commitment.

I, me , mine. There is no other person involved in the equation to complicate any decision that needs to be done. All that is critical is your happiness or your despair. You can spend all the time and money on yourself, pursue the things you’ve been wanting to do for the longest time.

There will still be times you’d miss the old times, that feeling when someone would call you everyday just to know how your day has been; when there’s someone to snuggle up to during weekends that you share doing nothing at all. All that emotional residue will always be there.

Sometimes you look forward and wonder where the real love of your life could be, if you have already met him/her, or how and when you’ll meet him/her and how you would know that the time has come. Anticipation for what is to come.

It’s not at all bad. It’s how you deal with it that can make it worthwhile. A period of waiting could be the best opportunity to do productive things or just absolutely random things. Travel. Learn a new skill. Shift careers. Meet new people. The opportunities are endless.

One nice thing to do is to write “100 things I want to do while I’m in emotional limbo,” or something like that. You don’t have to write all 100 in just one sitting. You can start with 10 and add to it as time goes by. I did that once before, and it turned out to be really interesting. But I didn’t finish doing the 100 things, then a “someone” came along. Maybe I should do a new 100 list now?

But don’t mind me, I’m just making all of this up. The emotional limbo is an abstraction I chose to create.