You could have been home if it weren’t to your closed doors and closed windows. The light could have gotten through the thickness of the darkness inside, like a candle or maybe even a firefly. There could have been a lot of chances and maybe moments where you could have taken my hand and walked with me through all of this. You have could have seen what I can offer, what I can do, what I am capable of because the love that I have in me is the only love that I can give you. And it’s pure and with no ill intentions. I only want what’s best for you. But you’ve got open hands and I’m seeing now how you can let go of me anytime.
Oh, love. Everyone is sad. Stop romanticizing your sadness because you think you got it harder than everyone else. So you’re tired. You spent the last eight hours stapling papers together, running errands for your boss, and dissecting every detail of your proposal and you think, “Hey, this is okay because this job pays.” But you’re not happy. You spend your nights wide awake from your bed, looking at the ceiling, and wishing that it falls down on you so everything will finally end. But it doesn’t happen because you’re still alive and you still got papers due next day and you can already feel the exhaustion creeping in your bones like little ants making its way to your brain. And you’re sad and lonely and somehow the feelings get all mixed up inside you and it just exhausts you. But you still get up in the mornings, put on a smile however genuine or fake it is, and brave the new day ahead. Love, everyone is sad and lonely and tired of this life but I hope you find something good in it. I hope you find something worth looking forward to.
and fall apart.
Flowers, the sky,
and our hearts.
But that’s how
the light gets through,
how we stop dealing
with our old, sad self,
how we learn to grow
i. There was once this boy who dreamed of creating a world out of films. Ever since he was a child, he thought things should be stopped for a while, a handheld memorabilia that would forever be frozen in time. He liked the idea of looking at them in their pristine condition, tracing the echoes of their trapped voices in the tips of his fingers, recalling their little distant memories. He liked photo albums the best because he could still see the past in them, could still hear the laughter…could still feel the emotions.
ii. Growing up, he learned that people change and feelings fade. He learned that the boy you kissed back in freshmen year in college isn’t going to be the boy you’ll be kissing in your early twenties. He learned that hard work doesn’t always pay off and there will be nights where he will stay up late, contemplating and regretting the times when he could have just quit this damn job and this life and set off somewhere far. Anywhere but this lonely place he thought was home. He learned that life is too short and that he could have been wasting time chasing dreams and not really making any efforts to get them done. He learned that love isn’t just about other people. It’s about him being enough for himself. After all, as we all go home after our work or after days rendered in school, all we truly have is ourselves. He’s all he has.
iii. On his birthday, he was given a roll of films. On that same day, he learned that people and places are far better preserved in films and photographs. He smiled, because by then he knew that people and places never change in photographs. They stay in their original condition. He stayed happy in them.
One of the things I don’t understand is this immense and deep obsession people have when it comes to heartbreak and pain. They say that when you undergo the process of getting your heart broken, we give birth to our art. That’s why we are familiar with Cobain’s words, “Thanks for the tragedy, I need it for my art.” We often nurture the feeling as if it were our child, being cradled in our arms, pushing away its hair off of his face, and encouraging him to grow to the boy he is about to be in the future. We often romanticize the feeling of staying up late at three in the morning, eyes puffed up from crying, lips stained with prayers and wishes that someday this pain will make absolute sense to us. We write about our experiences, ink them on journals and back of receipts, paint them on empty canvasses and create sculptures out of them, immortalized the emotional state you’re in, and beg that words and colors would be enough to delay the agony that’s been raging inside our chests.
But that’s where we are wrong. Heartbreak and pain shouldn’t be the benchmark of the art we’re going to make. We should write when we are happy, when we are in the highest state of our minds, with the world under our feet and the sky just within reach. We should write when the tears in the corners of our eyes are creation of joy, when our hands shake because we are so damn happy of the state we are in, when our knees turn soft because we couldn’t stand the fact that here we are, frolicking in the waves of pure bliss. So that when we are sad and feeling the blues, we have something to read or something to look at and think, “Ah, those were good times. Those were the happy times. Those were the best times.”
People will always tell you these romantic things. You know, ‘I’ll always be there for you when you need me.’ ‘You can always count on me.’ ‘Call me anytime and I’ll pick up.’ ‘I’ll walk the earth for you, even cross oceans for you.’ ‘I love you, you’re really important to me.’ But it’s all bullshit and sometimes you don’t realize it until it’s a little too late. Why? Because when you need a ride home after a terrible night drinking alone in some pub downtown with your head aching like a thousand phone calls ringing or when you need someone to talk to on a Monday night after exhausting yourself at work and they’re too busy. They don’t really pick up the phone. They’re not always going to be there for you. Believe me, when all these flames had worn out and the feelings had gone cold, they won’t really walk the earth for you or cross oceans for you. And you don’t need that kind of treatment. I know I don’t. I don’t want anyone to just say those things, I want them to do it. With me. Walk the earth with me. That’s all I’m asking.
That’s the thing about being the one who truly loves. Often we find someone whom we think are worthy of our being. We give our time to them, extend our hands, and try to grab every opportunity just to spend every second with them. Holding hands in dark theaters, walking down the lane of state universities, talking over the phone for hours, embracing each other’s arms. We give our soul to them, strip down ourselves right to the core, take off our clothes, bodies pressed, legs intertwine, lips wet from a kiss, breath short from a moment that will always last forever in our minds. We give our heart to them, still beating like the pulse from your wrist, full and whole, ready to be broken anytime, innocent and shy. We give ourselves to them, not asking anything but to love and be loved in return, body and soul, heart and mind. We share our dreams, envision the future together, won’t talk about our past, trying to enjoy the present. Ah, but that’s the thing about being the one who truly loves. We only think of the moment happening now. We don’t think of what’s coming next. All we know is that this will work. There are almost no other plans next. All we know is that this will last forever, that there’s nobody else going to replace you. But it also almost doesn’t that’s why we’re almost also surprise when it does. Almost always.