Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Fix

April 12, 2010

When we were still together, I asked myself all the time, “Why is it that after a break-up, some girls either get a full-on makeover or don't bathe anymore, go on a diet and start working out or become emotional eaters and get fat, go to a psychologist or a psychiatrist, frequent clubs and bars or stay home in seclusion, date different guys each week or hate dating forever, turn to drugs and alcohol or turn to God? Why do they have to change as if those guys left them because there is something wrong with them and not with the relationship? Why can't they just be who they really are and wait patiently for the one who will accept and love them the way they truly deserve?”

Then, yeah. After we parted, I had to think really hard about what to do with myself. I've been in love with him for almost ten years. He is 50% of who I am. I asked myself, "What do I do now? How can I be whole if part of me, that is him, is lost? How can I be myself if without him, I don't know who I am?"

I decided to do nothing. I just stayed in the emotional state I was in, and hoped that eventually my heart will stop bleeding. It didn't. The scab that will slough off to reveal a scar did not form. I just bled, and bled, and bled. It was then that I wished I'd gone to the salon, ate a gallon of ice cream, went to a shrink, went to a bar, got drunk, made out with any guy OR girl, or anything else that could make me feel better. I remembered how much I loved to read when I was younger. I started to buy books. As I read, I felt the fascination I had for words as a kid return. I used to write poetry in elementary and high school but college, work, and relationship issues left very little time for writing. I have plenty of extra time for that now, so I started to write again.   

We cannot judge a person's way of coping as right or wrong because when the same thing happens to us, we realize that there is no right or wrong way of coping.  We just do whatever we could think of, sensible or not, as long as it could ease the pain. When we have overcome life's challenges, we begin to see things differently. When we meet somebody who is going through the same problem that we had, we see in them ourselves. We’d wish them well and give them hope so that they’d survive just as we did. For now, writing is serving its purpose: to help me heal. I'm feeling loads better.
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Wrote Him Love Letters

March 24, 2010

 As a young girl, I was very fond of reading. I'd read every book, magazine or newspaper I laid my hands on. I didn't understand most of what I read but the words put together to form sentences, paragraphs, and stories fascinated me. Reading took me to different places, made me feel different emotions, and enabled me to imagine myself in different situations with different kinds of people. It was and still is, my favorite escape.

It was through reading that I developed my flair for writing. I thought, "If these authors whose books and stories I read can make them, so can I". I wrote my first poem at the age of ten. It was for a poem writing contest. Even if I haven't tried making one before, I just joined anyway. I didn't win, but my teacher said I came close. I didn't feel bad. I just went on doing essays, more poems and just recently, I started writing songs. When I met him, then fell in love with him, I wrote love letters.

After we broke up, I asked him to give me my letters back. I reread them according to the dates they were written. I felt my love for him grow deeper once again with each letter as I did when I was writing them before. I returned the letters to him and asked him to read them again with the hope that he'd feel the same way. I wanted him to remember how much he was loved. Last I asked, he said he threw them all away.

I was hurt on so many levels. Every word in those letters was my love for him that overflowed from my heart. It sucked that I can't be mad. Whatever his reasons were for throwing them, whether he couldn't get himself to read them, or he simply didn't care anymore, was his business. The letters were his anyway, and I could only try to understand.

Several months after that, I took the letters he gave me from hiding. Yes, he did some writing of his own. I drove to the Japanese Garden near the beach where we used to hang out as a young couple. I took them out and started reading. One moment I was laughing. Then, after a few more, I broke down. I came across a letter with a line he wrote in Tagalog that said, "I will love you even after your love for me has gone" ("Mamahalin kita kahit hindi mo na ako mahal"). Funny and sad at the same time how this line of his then is mine now.

I burnt all his letters. Having kept them all those years was like me holding on to him and the time has come for me to let go. The wind blew on the flames and it got bigger, reducing the papers to ashes. I noticed a tiny piece that remained unscathed. I put it back in the fizzling fire but it just wouldn't burn. Curious, I turned it to the other side and saw the scotch tape taped on top of the words "I love you" beside a smiley. I smiled. I was loved.

I decided to keep it. I put the tiny piece of paper in my pocket, stood up and prepared to leave. God just told me in strange clarity that love’s what’s left after all that's been said and done.

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Monday, July 4, 2011


Dear You,

A year ago on this same date, I accepted your offer of commitment. I was supposed to know better. Before I became your girlfriend, I spent the past five birthdays of my life, waiting for the one I loved before you to show up at my doorstep, carrying a gift box with the date September 19 in it. I would cry like a baby, wanting to have my birthday back. I wouldn’t wish that annual excruciation on anyone, much more for the one I’m in love with, but I just couldn’t miss that chance to make your day special. I gave you wholeheartedly, the best and the ONLY gift I can give you from where I am: my heart.

I remember feeling uncertain, terrified even of entering another long distance relationship. I knew firsthand the hardships of being with BUT not being with the one you love. Haven’t I learned my lesson? Why did I allow myself again to fall in love with someone who can’t be where I am? The answer was in front of me every time you gave me your time. Seeing your face and hearing your voice was what made me turn my back on the possibility that you just might be the next heartbreak chapter of my life. I made that jump because I knew we’re in it together.  Had you been bolder when we were in grade school like you were a year ago, you would have been my first boyfriend. I gave out a faint laugh at the thought of that. Had I been your girlfriend before, would we still be a couple today? Reality gave me a slap on the face. We’re not even together anymore.

As much as I’d like to just be “okay” with everything concerning you and me from then until now, I can’t help but be sad over the fact that the reason for our separation isn’t because you’re there and I’m freakin' here. It’s simpler. I’m not the one for you, you’re not the one for me, and today is not for us . I cannot even begin writing about how painful and potentially incapacitating it is to wake up every day knowing that I’m no longer yours and you’re no longer mine, but there are more important things. One of those “things” for example, is the TRUTH.

This is my truth: I don’t love you as much as you think I do. I love you MORE, but it's not enough. This is the reason why I have chosen to set you free. My comfort in my suffering is in knowing that I did the right thing for the both of us. No matter how strong my feelings are for you, they can’t take me to where you are. They can't take me to your doorstep so I could give you back July 4 in a gift box personally. Maybe not. If love was enough, I would've been with you every second of everyday. Maybe, things would've been different.

This year, the best and the ONLY gift I can give you wholeheartedly from where I am is my unconditional forgiveness. With it, I give you my sincere apologies for whatever inconvenience my existence brought you. Thank you for giving me the most important thing one can give: your time.

From this point on, I will be nothing but grateful for all that we had and the love that we shared. I will continue being your friend by praying for you always. I will keep my promise to you that I’ll be in your life forever by being the lesson you will NEVER forget. I will open my heart to life's endless possibilities and hope that you’ll do the same. I will always love you for who you were in my life. I have let you go. I won’t look back.


P.S. Happy Birthday.  

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