I can hear the hums of the airplanes as I step out of the taxi. Some people were jumping with joy, and some are crying as they bid their last goodbyes to their loved ones. This will be an adventure, I thought to myself. It was the summer I lived in my full potential.
As I hear the doors of the airplane close and the engine starting to roar, my heart began to thump loudly. Two hours later, I’m standing at a pier in Cebu overlooking the ocean. My stomach was growling. But it growled louder when I heard that we are going to travel for another hour to Bohol. Thankfully, I didn’t puke on the boat trip even though it felt like an extreme ride in an amusement park. On the last day I was able to take a stroll with my family along the beach. It was past seven, and the different constellations smile at me from above. There they were, pinned to the sky like a masterpiece. I hear the salty ocean air reverberate as if I placed a shell against my ear. There were people talking nearby, and the distant lights make it look like a scene from a movie. I will keep that moment in my heart forever. That view, together with the rustling leaves and the camera clicks are one of the most exquisite moments in my life. Those are the kind of moments I live for. “okay ka lang?” mama asked. “this is beautiful, ma.” And she just looked at me.
The thing is, while I was walking, I didn’t notice that there was a string slightly above the ground. That made me stumble, which made my family laugh hysterically. And even though my whole being crashed in the sand face first and I had to change my clothes after, it was the best stargazing experience I had in my life.
(image from WeHeartIt user @hiba_11)
I do not waste my time and energy on useless conversations, love. Talk to me about your fears. Or what keeps you going. Tell me about your dreams, your thoughts, and your eyes. How do you like to see things through them? Tell me the first time you were able to forgive yourself. Tell me a story, a good story. Maybe about a little boy who fell in love with painting and never stopped. Or a teenager with that fucking fear of asking a girl out. Or that “live in the moment” kind of man who stepped out of his comfort zone raising a middle finger at life.
See, I crave long and intimate conversations at 1:58. But not the kind that makes you want to have sex. I have my own definition of intimacy.
I want to hear what you think. I want to feel the warmth of your soul. I want to unravel you without being naked.
Take me to an art museum and then stare at me like I’m a masterpiece.
Kiss me while I’m in the middle of saying something.
Tell me if I’m being a pain in the ass.
Pick fights with me, spoil me, drag me to the roof and convince me how important it is to see how beautiful the stars are tonight.
Handle my feelings with care and I will love you forever.
Give me your heart and in return,
I will give you
(photographer yet unknown)
No matter how much the wait stings
or how much you annoy me
or how often you try to kid around just to make me laugh
I will never
that I love you
because by that time
you would have known it already
or guessed, maybe
you will smile
and wonder what it feels like to be held
by the universe
I will smile back.
For that will be the moment
will have completely known
that the you you are now and the you you will be
(Photographer yet unknown)
On my way home, I was thinking.
It may sound crazy, because we’re always thinking. When you’re about to make a choice, you think. When something really bad or really good happens, you think. You think about everything. You’ve had words in the back of your mind even before any of it comes out of your mouth. In short, thinking is part of being human.
I was in a deep state in thought, and then here it goes again. I don’t know why I keep stumbling upon one of the demons that was assigned to me at birth. Its name was Insecurity. We don’t usually hang out, but I often feed it. I don’t know why. I give in to it when it whispers on my left ear, telling me I’m still not good enough despite of all the things I’ve done and accomplished in my age. “I’m a different kind of insecurity,” it told me one time. “I’m independent.” A little startled, I asked, “What does independent mean?” I knew what it meant. However, in order for me not to question the things I think about, I listened to its answer. “It means I don’t need anyone or anything to make you feel insecure,” it said. “I let you think it all . . . so that you’d wish you had more than just this.”
It was months later when I understood what Insecurity meant. Because I was feeling it again. But this time I had not give in, instead I was just thinking, thinking, and thinking. I did not oppose it, but I did not also agree with it. And I think I know why…
Because it’s life.
And life will be life even after we stopped existing. I understand things when I think about them deeply, not harshly. And that was the moment I kissed fate. Screw it. You lose some and you gain some.
It’s like a pair of shorts I found at a mall with my friend. I had money to buy it, but it was too small for me. It was the size of my friend, but she didn’t have the money to buy it. And I thought about how people are linked in that very same situation. You wish you are someone else but another person wishes to be you. And that’s what Insecurity was telling me. “I let you think it all… so that you’d wish you had more than just this.”
It was the moment I knew I wasn’t having a normal affair with words in my head like every time. I was really thinking. Like, genuine thoughts splash in my mind every 5 seconds. I imagine words flowing in and out of the view. I was having a conversation with my soul, and it tasted like hope. Never will I be the most positive thinker I know. Never will I have the most ecstatic mind in all of earth. But just having a nurturing sense of self acceptance, I was limitless. That was one of the rarest moments I felt like I was myself, in this world surrounded by people who think they are better than everyone else. I was thinking that I was not. We posses the same qualities as humans, but as I go further I realize that I’m not better than everyone else, just different, just unique.
I was thinking about the world. I was thinking about me. I was thinking about how we were all so different and yet the same. I was thinking about life. I was thinking about everything I never imagined I could think of. I accepted things as they were. I closed my eyes and felt my surroundings. I was breathing. Still breathing. And once again it felt extraordinary, because I now knew what it’s like to have deep talks with my soul without leaving internal scars. It tasted like freedom.
It tasted like hope.
(artwork by Henn Kim)
*For all the times you sent me sweet good night texts or attended my plays or watched something I said was good. For all the times you had no one and I cared about you so much I couldn’t leave you alone. For all the times we were actually friends.
I have always hated the way you talk to me. I was just too blind to notice since my feelings were “partly cloudy” because of you. I wrote you a poem. Damn. I wrote you a hundred poems. I hate you. Fuck you. Fuck. You. I hope you die and go to hell.
Your haircut sucks. You look like a demented iguana. I want to punch you in the face so bad. I hate you for making me feel like SHIT. Oh yeah, you wanted to feel good about yourself. I was your safety net. But guess what? FUCK YOU. I am not falling for you. And your sweet moves. Never again.
I am an independent and beautiful young woman. I shouldn’t be crying because of pricks like you. My mind is a complex whirlpool of secrets that you don’t deserve. Because you suck.
I fell for that stupid smile you make when you try to annoy me. Well, fuck your smile. Fuck your witty opinions. Fuck your carefree attitude. Fuck everything about you. I could snatch your eyeballs and sell it. I am so moving on. I’ve actually come up with twenty three ways on how to kill you.
Jo dear, I know you always loved to kid around but I am not a joke. I am not a kid. I don’t like jokes. And I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. And I hate you for making me hate you.
(Artist yet unknown)
When the music starts,
it doesn’t feel like something nice.
The trees say hello
but the doors bang louder.
It keeps on telling you
because you’re blue,
The tides splash in unison
that swallow you whole
down the seabed,
around the ocean floor.
When you tell yourself it’s time you do,
they remind you that you’re blue you’re blue you’re blue.
The streaks of your long, vibrant hair
fall under your lower hip.
But why do you sell yourself short?
The color of your eyes begins to fade
and your life has been miserable for the past decade.
When the only person you can trust
it’s hard to forget
(Artist yet unknown)