The not so bad things of the past

When I’m sick, I have the tendency to go through my old stuff. Today, I found my old doodles that I did during my otaku (anime additction) days. I remember being fond first to the sentai series (Bioman, Maskman, Shaider, etc). My Fridays nights are filled with the line up from ABS-CBN’s primetime shows (X Men, Power Rangers, Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210, Baywatch). Since Friday night is the only time I can watch TV as much as I want, I make sure I don’t miss this line up.

In anime, I remember being fond of Voltes V, Daimos, Princess Sarah (and all the ABS CBN morning line ups) and, yeah, there are the latter animes—Yuyu Hakusho (Ghostfighter), Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X), Fushigi Yuugi and Vision of Escaflowne. And during this time was the peak of my fondness for doodling. I used to like designing clothes because I’m always fascinated with prom dresses featured in Seventeen magazine. But, as I grew older, I shifted to more structured type of drawing – anime.

So much has passed, I remember that time giving up this hobby because I always have this eye for perfection. I easily get frustrated when I can never get things right. I tried doodling my favorite characters, and when my end product doesn’t look like them, it frustrated me a lot. I had a lot of insecurities to the people around me, it discouraged me, and I thought, I’d draw a few pieces the last time and stop. That’s it. I also can’t afford to keep a hobby while trying to get decent grades in UP. I’m not as smart as everybody else. So I picked up my pens for the last time, popped my favorite CD (that my bestfriend gave me) and drew, and drew. And drew. These were my last pieces.

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Rurouni Kenshin’s Kaoru Kamiya. *Sigh* I like how I drew straight lines back then, because, frankly, I can’t draw straight lines well

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Rurouni Kenshin’s Kenshin Himura. I remember I can’t draw his eyes so I had to resort to this. I can’t remember the meaning of the Japanese characters I included. It looks so long ago, I regretted even folding the paper into two.

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Card Captor Sakura, one of my sister’s favorite anime. I also like how “clean” and cute the anime looks like. Kerobero’s head looks a little eggy, though.

It looks basic to someone who knows how to draw, but to me, looking at it now, 13 years later, these were precious pieces. Because I knew I put my heart and soul into it and this is the best pieces I’ve made (I wish I could do an Amorsolo or even a greater painting, but because I decided to stop pursuing this hobby, I could only be proud of this). But I feel proud of myself now because I realized that talent may not fade, but you need the skill to do it again. It’s like if you have a creative talent, even if you stop drawing, you will just express it in other forms. Like right now, I try to design science-based communication materials, and sometimes I would still be fascinated with something beautiful to my eyes.  I realized some things never fade. So I tried to draw again, and here’s how my skill was, 13 years later.

After 13 years, I picked up my pen and tried if could draw again. It could be a start.

After 13 years, I picked up my pen and tried if could draw again. It could be a start.

While I was drawing this, my fingers were shaking as I attempt to grip the pen right. I was shaking, and had not direction where my shading would go, but it was a nice try, I guess. After this, my left hand was aching maybe because I gripped the pen too much and I drew too heavily on the paper. Actually, there were some pen bleed on the next blank page.

I admire people who do not get emotional attachment to things, or music, or anything that would link them to their past. I know some friends who are like this and I admire them being amiable and not to hold grudges of the past. A friend told me that he is not attached to things given to him that’s why when I give him things, it doesn’t stay long with him. While I, the ever sentimental, I try to keep all the memorabilia of a certain memory. Because, for me, as the name itself, it brings back the feeling, if not the memory , associated with that thing.  As for me, I always come back to my memory box, reading all the letters and looking at doodles given to me by friends. It brings a lot of memories back, something that’s irreversible and  intangible; but these pieces reminds me of who I was, what was it in my past that I loved before that I decided to throw away (like doodling, art, and everything related to rendering my emotions). Years ago, I decided to throw these away hoping I’d be better, but, I always go back to this, and I miss the feelings that I associated with the pieces of memories I now hold in my hands. I miss some things that were part of my past.

There are some things I miss about my old self, and there are things I like about my new self. I still have to find that silver lining where the link between the best of the old and the new me would emerge and become the person I envision myself to be. A carefree, loving person who is not afraid to take risk and be fearless of the unknown, strong enough to wield courage to emerge victorious in moments of despair, a woman of grace who can be rational but unselfish, a child who finds pleasure in life’s simple joys, and always hungry for new wisdom.

Maybe, if I draw again, then I might discover something new and beautiful about me.

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Countdown to thirty three Part 1

That should be about 116 days from now. I’ve encountered articles writing about decade-long learnings– i.e. Things I learned in my 20s, etc. My learning, didn’t begin until I reached 30. I think  I was swept off with chronic bouts of depression over the last three years since I entered that magical decade, and was not able, until now, to say I am ready to wiggle out of my hole. Yes, it took me this long to think through and rationalize thigs– what worked, what didn’t work… everything was an iterative process. And I cannot wait to write it up until I turn 33 or even 40 before I compose and article “Shitty things I learned when I turned 40,”  so let me cap off what happened in that three dark years:

Love. I finally took it upon myself to TRY telling a person that I liked him for the years that we’ve been together as friends (that maybe he DID notice, but was polite to brush it off). But TRY is such a big word for me, so nothing materialized. I remember reading a spiritual book by Elizabeth Phillips that females who are attracted to the opposite sex, should learn how to keep their feelings. So I still kept it. Guarded it. But, because the feeling was too much to take, it couldn’t help but fill up the brim sometimes, I behaved harshly, I put up a wall between us so as to guard this feeling so much. In my attempt to do so, I pushed the guy away (at least in my perception). then I would feel morose. Then I would like to “take it all back.” Be apologetic. Then I see something, I behave irrationally again. I was crazy. Crazy little bitch. Until recently, I just don’t feel like talking anymore. I was too exhausted. I feel like I am an empty shell. Void and cold. Uninspired. In deep shit. I remember my sister who coaxed me to watch “Frozen” because, she described me as Elsa. Someone who guarded her feelings so much when actually it’s okay to be yourself and you are just vulnerable as anyone else. Yeah, let it go.

Last night, during dinner, I was able to blurt all of these to my friend, who’s a good listener (Really, I should have her skills). I realized then what was SO wrong with me. Where is this all bitterness coming from. “I cannot give, what I do not have,” I recall telling her. Even if my guy friend who keeps showering me with affection, could not fill the void that I am feeling. I also acknowledge my feelings that I am really feeling low. That I am feleing empty and that I forgot how it is to be happy again. I realized last night that I miss my old self– when I was below 30, then. I was a poor employee, no regular salary, but then I could not recall the exact moment, but I remember the feeling that time– I was in my happiest form then. I have the world in my hands. And then, I turned 30 and I was not the same. Maybe it’s the choices I made. I didn’t love myself enough to know what I deserve.

So at 32 turning 33, life taught me how it is to feel empty. That deep ingrained loneliness that you don’t know where it’s coming from and such an emptiness that no one can ever seem to fill. And at this age, I realize, I have to chase after it and then be joyful.

At this age, I realized I do not need a lovelife or another person to play my cards with; I don’t need to look for happiness again. I need to learn how to be joyful. In every loneliness, in every circumstances, in every pain.

I was thinking of a perfect bible verse, but one of my favorites kept running in my head: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. This is my season of finding joy. I have to bring myself up again. It’s been too long already.