Inside the snow globe on my father's desk, there was a penguin wearing a red and white striped scarf. When I was little my father would pull me into his lap and reach for the snow globe. He would turn it over, letting all the snow collect on the top, then quickly invert it. The two of us watched the snow fall gently around the penguin. The penguin was alone in there, I thought, and I worried for him. When I told my father this, he said, 'Don't worry, Susie; he has a nice life. He's trapped in a perfect world'. -The Lovely Bones, Alice Seebold
they were having a conversation about les hommes, and i was there busily and hurriedly getting myself ready for a fete celebrating my former's birthday. though it happened half a year ago, the moment would keep coming back- first in tiny little pinpricks here and there and later on in sporadic but big explosions in my head that would never let me forget and would constantly remind me. these are the key moments in your life- that unless you yield to it and do something about it, it will come back and haunt you. and it got me when i least expected it to.
my friends were sitting on the carpeted floor and i could hear them as i painstakingly plucked my eyebrows. "i would never ever settle""neither would i. it's just not right" and i quipped in that i wouldn't either.
oh but i did. this is not a personal affront or a subtle attack on lui, because i merely write to be able to be of use. i confess that i did settle. and i knew it in my heart and in my mind all along. we had our happy moments, but we fed on them as if they were just reserves with the sole purpose of only sustaining the relationship. we were running on low, like a car going on an empty tank. weren't thriving; we were as i dry as saguaro cactus. hehe enough with the comparisons, but despite all that i did want to work it out, and i know that i have given it my all, wanting to fix every broken step we trudged on.
thus i found myself situated in a snow globe: i have never felt so lonely in my life but at the same time i deluded myself into thinking that it is the perfect world, the world that i wanted.i was too much in love, and i know for a fact that how i felt was not and possibly never have been reciprocated. i guess what i'm trying to say is that we do not want to settle. because it clearly means that there is someone better out there. so why did i? why did i stay when i was evidently unhappy? for innummerable reasons; reasons that although could be coined stupid or immature by those cold, heartless souls (and even occassionaly by me, now that i think about it), are understandable ones for those who have been through the same thing as i have. the first one i can immediately think of is that i thought things will get better as we mature and get older. as well, if i left him i would be making the biggest mistake of my life, and that i would never be able to live without him. the latter i must say is pretty amusing now since i am clearly alive and kicking as i am writing this. the former, well let's just say that it's better for the both of us (although i do not like how it ended, but no break-up is ever great).
my friend asked me how i knew i settled. and i told her it was because i was pushing and forcing myself to stay. this is most definitely detrimental to ourselves and the way we will perceive relationships and most especially love. and this friend urged me on again, "but what else? how did you know?" honestly, all i can say is that you just know. inaccurate as my description is, i must say that once again it is that nagging feeling. tugging at your conscience, asking you, are you happy? is this the one? do you see yourself with this person years from now? (although there are many other questions but which i will not include here for i will never be able to finish this enry) and if you find yourself having a difficult time answering those questions but still with this person, then we may be possibly just using the relationship as a shield or a security blanket from our own selves- because we cannot deal with our failings and insecurities on our own, and that a partner is only someone who adds to our self-worth. those three questions i answered and they were very much in contradictory to each other. i thought this person was the one and whom i could see myself with years later, and at the same time i was being made unhappy by him. quite the oxymoron, isn't it? my idealism, fuelled by my love for dawson's creek and romance movies kept me from leaving as well. i wanted him to be my first and my last in everything. this is one of the reasons why i felt so crushed and brokenhearted because he had promised me the same thing too. but in the other, much brighter side, when we find this new person, it is a whole new set of "firsts". not everybody gets it right at the first try. and maybe by the second, we are much better at it, and ultimately much better people.
when we stay we see the ugly witch/bitch inside of us. we constantly fight, we want to bring down the world around us. we waste our time trying to fix and rebuild instead of progressing. we go nowhere. we walk aimlessly and blindly. i know because i found myself being mean towards others; bitter when couples were happy and "having it all" when things weren't going so great between us. i found myself craving for attention from him and comparing him to other people. in the end we were both unhappy and it wasn't fair to either of us. we should question ourselves all the time. hence, life becomes just as lonely as the smiling snowman, trapped in his seemingly perfect world, while everyone outside of him lived.
we are all deserving. we must love and give at no measure. a relationship is not just this "thing" that you take around for a ride, something that you carelessly throw away. it is not something that you brag having a lot of in the span of a month. people are in relationships for the wrong reasons: sex, the aforementioned security blanket, to cure the loneliness, and whatnot. it is no wonder that a lot of people lose faith in them, but goodness it is the most wonderful, most special thing, as long as it is based on love, which "is the only rational act". and, since it is, everything will fall in its proper place. a relationship shouldn't be treated lightly and by settling we would make the biggest joke out of it. in the loving words of the wise carrie bradshaw,"some people are settling down, some people are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies." sortez when you see there is something wrong with it. do not wait for two and a half years until a reason much worse than this emotionally crushes one of you. do not be a coward like me. or if you are, and as i have realized, then it is never ever too late to learn. do not live in that snow globe. do not give away your heart away just like that. for sooner or later it may turn you into plastic, or even worse, a cold, ceramic snowman.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Tuesday, July 5, 2005
a friend of mine gave me the idea of putting in inventory and into words what i have learned and how i have grown through this life-changing experience, lovingly called a break-up (its italicism conveys dripping, sweet sarcasm) that perhaps each one of us at some point in our short lives may have experienced. and so to please this friend and possibly elucidate a fellow blogger/reader who may one day stumble upon this weirdo of a blog, i write. i must warn you that i am not trying to lecture or to preach. you may be wondering why i am writing about something so personal. well guess what! it's my blog. thanks :D i speak merely from experience and with the intention of, as mentioned in title, to help make things lucid, brighter, for those who have been stuck in the dark for too long.a month and a few days ago, i guess i became a "statistic", and google is no longer just a research engine, but also the rapidly fraying rope that i clung on to with all my might, looking for every possible answer or remedy let's say, to ease the pain. ive typed every possible combination of "how to deal with a break-up" and felt totally embarrassed being caught at work with the aforementioned boolean term flashing brightly in the monitor. this embarrassment i felt is normal, but one thing i learned, and i also quote from my all time favorite movie, sabrina, that "loneliness is the only way to start", and that we shouldn't be embarrassed by it. we've gotten so used to "silencing the silence" by listening to music on the train, in the bus, or fiddling with the cellphone (believe me i've seen so many teeny weenies whip out their cell phones once they get on the bus-either to talk, text or just play with the ringer). we don't like looking alone. but just because we are alone does not mean we are lonely. there is a big difference there, and it took me a while to realize that. because it is when we are alone that we can think through things, learn more about ourselves, and most importantly even talk to God. and i do not talk about the "hallelujah, praise the lord!" kind of talk, but the kind of conversation you would have with your closest and bestest friend.
it is hellishly difficult to get through a break up. this is not the first time i've experienced this, but put in an analogical perspective, the first one was just a drizzle, while the other, more recent one is more like a tornado. more tears were shed and the wound is much bigger and much more difficult to heal. of course it takes time, it takes herculean effort from yourself. even though i knew all this i found myself falling deep in "dark moments" as i call them, and it became increasingly harder to climb out. i would have my good days when i wouldn't even think about it and forgetting it is easier, as if nothing had happened. but one thing i learned is that i shouldn't try to forget, because we are made of these experiences. and when we are given these obstacles, we have to rise up to them and jump over them and not cower away like a coward. i must say that i was that coward, but im sure there is a lot of us cowards out there. but it is our growing resilience and determination that will help us make do with what we have and create or improve on what we are given. thus, i was handed a plate of well, something not so good like vegetables or raw tomatoes, and am still in the middle of eating it all up but i know that it will pay off later on when i'm old and graying...it is all for the best, no matter how cliched that sounds.
i am writing this because i see more clearly everyday that things happen for a reason...a really close and wise friend of mine sent me a story that she thought would help me surface from it all. how she found it i don't know, but if the person hadn't written this story and posted it up, then where would we be both right now? it obviously helped her and it has definitely helped me see things and even punctuate the one thing that i really need, and that is faith in God.
i've questioned God so many times...even though i knew that this thing was going nowhere. i realized that my happiness, my day, my everything depended on this person, and that is wrong. because, i quote my wise friend, we have to be happy on our own. we have to be our own sundae, our own cake. a partner, or whatever you may call it, is just the cherry, the fudge or the icing. we have to be happy to begin with. having more faith in God which may be by possibly going to church more often, praying and being a nicer person will help you find that peace and that happiness. it certainly helped me a lot. everyday i learn more and more that this suffering is preparation for something greater, something better. however i must confess that admittance to this and living it was hard to achieve in the beginning, but as i've said before, loving God and being closer to him is the only way. the story also talked about comprising God and putting myself and whatever i want first before what God wanted. sadly a lot of us compromiise God, but it is, again in getting up right away after falling that redeems us.
i think a break up could be seen as a pair of new prescriptioned glasses because it helps us focus on ourselves more and lets us see what or who is real, and who really love us (although we do not need reminding, but sometimes we forget that there are people, besides our former person, that love us). you rediscover the importance of family; i know i have. the saying that a girl's best friend is her mother is true indeed, because she loves you unconditionally and sees you as the amazing person you are (a father can also be your best friend don't forget that haha). definitely surround yourselves with friends, but at the same time do not depend on them for your survival. not only do you have to learn how to stand on your own feet, but also because they can only take so much. before having a relationship, maintain your friends because nobody likes a user. do not all of a sudden hang out with this one friend just because you no longer have a boy/girl friend. that is just wrong.
another essential part to this learning trek is myself. i had to learn how to love myself all over again. just as me and not as me and ____. find your inner strength, and as bridget jones calls it, "inner poise". cry as much as you need but you will one day just stop altogether, or have a "dry" period. you may have a few more afterwards but they get less and less frequent as the days go by. do not give into insecurites and self-consciousness. i know i have, and i believe it's normal, but you have to learn, i had to learn that i am my own person, that there is no such thing as better, worse, etc...we must not compare. time is another important thing. do not try to speed things up as i tried in the beginning with my infamous google searches. even though some people have calculations about the healing period, like giving yourself one month for every two months you've been with this person to get over him/her, this calculation is ridiculous. it all depends on you. period. it may take you a longer time or shorter period of time. the strength of your feelings and the length of the relationship may most definitely come into play, but you dictate your own time. know yourself. know what puts you in the most vulnerable position and what helps you be stronger. find that inner ice queen (again from bridget jones).
one thing you have to remember though is that just like in a math test, we can forget our formulas. i still forget all those things i've learned. but it is just a matter of looking over them again and reviewing your study notes. talk to your friends, print out their emails with so much words of wisdom and read them over again. up to now, the pain is still there. perfectly normal. but now i know so much more, and i feel much wiser and safer. these things you cannot learn through self-help books alone. unfortunately or even fortunately we have to play an actual role in them in order to learn it. according to c.s lewis, "experience [is] that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn". and all i can say is amen to that.