The U– love and friendship

I was skimming through my past journal. That Unscholarly Notes blog from way back when. It chronicled my journey from a budding program assistant/development practitioner. My posts were cynical, but a bit more independent. Less dramatic than my posts here. I wonder what happened. Tee hee.

Anyway, I just want to share this poem a friend gave me years ago. In my entry that contained this poem, I recalled it was given to me after I lent him the book “By the River Piedra I sat down and wept” by Paulo Coelho. Maybe , he saw that my eyes scream of “unrequited love” chuva.  I posted the poem on November 23, 2007, two days after his birthday.

It must have been the story that she hopelessly shared with the cold wind of midnight, the sole witness of her heartache;

It must have been the romantic, but quite painful story that gave her a bitter taste of love;

It must have been the tears that persistently came out from the eyes of a babe that seemed to hold the consuming fire of emotion for so long, and was no longer able to control the dam of tears from breaking out of the human walls;

It must have been the infatuation or juvenile affection that had floored her wit and composure in the world of make believe;

It must have been the innocence of youth that had fooled her fragile heart — leaving her groping like a blind, searching for her path going back to where her journey had begun.

I usually cringe at the sight of my old poems, but maybe, if I happen to write this one, I won’t. There’s no sugarcoating on it. Just plain truth. Just as our friendship is. No pretensions, just plain truth. Of the handful of friends I had, I really appreciate the fact that there is one out there that bravely crosses the line and never gives up on showing me the truth and still bearing with me no matter how bratty I get. I wish I could be like this to all of my friends. I wish I could be remembered like a friend who can say the truth but never affords to hurt the person for being plainly true. I wish I can manage to say the truth, yet stay behind despite the odds. It takes a lot wisdom and principle to be able to do this. And this type of person will always earn my respect no matter what…despite the odds.
But well, for unrequited love, I think, each one of us has a story to tell. At some point there is hurt, but most importantly, there is love…and learning. What is most important is that we know the value of it and we become a better and stronger person out of it.

the art of friend zone

It’s official.

I’m addicted to Sarah Kay, one of the fastest rising spoken word poets. And who has heard of  “spoken word poetry?” I didn’t know another piece of literature existed until a friend shared me a link to this girl’s youtube performance at SF Cafe. It was one of her, and her best friend Phil Kaye’s  (not in any way related to her) first performance, I assume.

They were standing at the stage in black sweaters, sleeves falling on the same place. Sarah delivered her first lines and I was hooked. They perfomed The Origin–it’s their poem for each  other. But as I listened to it, it was more than that. The first few lines hit me. “We decided not to go out,” they declared, and I  wondered why. Geez, I’d like to have my guy best friend for a husband, I thought, how come these two won’t want that? And as I listened on, I understood. I very well understood. Their poem below says why, and everything suddenly made sense to me. Yeah, there were days when I so long wanted to have my best friend as my lifetime partner, but, in case that doesn’t end that way, I could very well understand why. Now the song friend of mine doesn’t affect me anymore. That line when the song “now I know friends are all we ever could be…”  yeah, it could be lonely, but, as long as you know you can love the person and be his friend forever, that’s a feat. Friendship is also a relationship blessed by God so you can run to each other, less intimacy. You can love a friend as infinitely as you can love anyone else in the world. Through high hell and waters, you can always be there for each other. Your love for each other will be your commitment. You can always share your home to this person as well. You can fight him without feeling guilty, knowing that at the end of the day, you will still be accepted for who you are.

Who says, “friends are all we EVER COULD BE?” Friend is what I will always and can be, through thick and thin. In sickness and in health. I love you, but there’s no need to always validate it. I always will. A friend always does.

The Origin (Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye)

what are the odds of finding someone who can finish your sentences? who will let you cut in line. who knows not to just lend a hand or an ear when you need them to give you their spine. who keeps every secret, saves every letter, tells you how you really look. remembers every single one of your birthdays, without checking facebook. what are the chances of finding someone who knows your poetry by heart? who won’t freak out if you’re hanging out and accidentally fart.

I will always save you a seat. I will always pick you to be my partner even though you are terrible at handball.  when you lose everything in the fire, my home will be your home. when you get old and can no longer remember my face, I will meet you for the first time again and again. when they make fun of your accent, I will take you swimming because we all sound the same underwater. when Ellis Island tries to erase your past, I will call you by your real name. when they call your number for the draft, I will enlist to fight beside you. I will march with you from Selma to Montgomery and back as many times as it takes. we will stand together against the hoses and the dogs because it didn’t start with us.

it started with Lennon and McCartney. it started with Thelma and Louise. Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin. Bert and Ernie. Abbott and Castello. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Mario and Luigi. Watson and Sherlock.

& they could tell you what a miracle this is. they could tell you how rare this is. but they could tell you how rare it always is. the chances are slim. the cards are always stacked against you. the odds, always low.

but i have seen the best of you and the worst of you and i choose both. i want to share ever single one of your sunshines and save some for later. i will tuck them into my pockets so i can give them back to you when the rains fall hard. friend, i want to be the mirror that reminds you to love yourself. i want to be the air in your lungs to remind you to breathe easy. when the walls come down, when the thunder rumbles, when nobody else is home, hold my hand and i promise i wont let go

[pagoda cold wave lotion]

This day is mentally tiring. I feel like a week’s worth of energy has been sucked out of me. For the past 48 hours, I feel like I haven’t been doing anything right. There’s the Hanoi workshop I’m organizing, the Rice Congress I’m assisting with (which includes some materials development), and the Poster that I have to do (for self-development thing). The problem with me, the moody person, is that I lie in the extremes: I deliver better when I’m in a good mood and I tend to mess up things when I’m pressured. I can deliver, but not the excellent output that I hope I could get; and when that happens, it frustrates me.

There’s still a list of to-do things that sits in the dark accumulating with cobwebs and waiting for attention. Maybe I suck in time management; or maybe I am wishing to be doing something else which I am not sure I am capable of; or maybe I am simply making a stupid excuse of being the best in not doing anything right.

It’s “just a job”, at the end of the day, but I don’t want to treat this day to day encounter to be a job but a gift, something that I will feel that I am giving my best and getting the feeling that I am getting an equal result. A social routine that enhances my interpersonal and negotiating skills. An analytical task that challenges my cognitive skills. Today, my love for myself has decreased for a few notches and I turn into second-guessing myself again. If I said something wrong, in my effort to be in my best form; hindi ko na alam. It’s tiring to be always conscious. When I tell people that I am unproductive they say, “Akala mo lang unproductive ka kasi hindi mo nakuha ‘yung gusto mong resulta.” Could be true.

I think I should just go home and call it a day.


Today was one of the days I felt deeply hurt. More than the mood swing; a simple banter could really hurt, especially when coming from someone who, by the rule, should be the last one who would cause you pain.

I’m trying to make sense of things as I know how lonely it can get for someone to be out there somewhere, struggling alone, away from home.  Maybe it gets too lonely that sometimes, it hurts already; it hurts seeing people happy. Seeing the people you love happy–moreso, it hurts to see their world go on as usual without you. It hurts when you know you are missing and yet the people you miss seem not to miss you at all.  It hurts a lot that the hurt becomes a host of insecurity…slowly spreading into the heart then the brain hemisphere and causes you to say something…something random, unintentional, yet hurtful.

I was one of the prey. A perfect prey for uninentionally hurtful tactless remarks. The ever tactful, sensitive me- who can tolerate a but clueless as to when patience will snap. A lethal cocktail of personality. And I was the ever, eternal victim…and I never learned, I never knew how to adjust.  And so when the damage was done (err…spoken), I resorted to nothing but questioning myself and faith all over again…just when I have put my self in place and started to find the balance again. Decades of conditioning myself to embracing what may lie ahead has become a million-dollar ugly question again: what could be wrong? Then a reinstatement: Something must be really wrong. Then a reiteration. Yes. There IS something wrong. Immediately, the walls start to break down mostly in the following order: Confidence, self- esteem, love for self (and I am not talking about selfishness); until my emotions are stripped raw in the palm of Goliath, ready to be crumbled into pieces… I’m a shattered shit, until I find time and ways to pick myself up again.

They say the best people to love are the difficult ones. And I knew that I shouldn’t be vulnerable to such people, my defenses should be greater. This has been a fact I’ve lived for all my life. But then, through the years I have lived on to this reality, I seem to have never, ever got myself into accepting these personalities wholly.  Sometimes I even ask: have they even thought of ways of loving me, so I can give them the best love that they wanted me to give them? and this is one ugly question I don’t want to dare ask, but when my walls are shattered, I find myself asking this.

Now I’m done asking, I tell myself next “Maybe I’ll just try to understand more…” but the incessant attempts and herculean effort makes me afraid as well–afraid that in my attempt to wholly understand and accept, I am starting to cut some strings as well…to remain rational. and the moment I become completely rational, emotions will be completely stripped off; all the ties cut off. I hope it won’t happen; I am still holding on to the tie that seriously binds. Happy times still outweighs irrational, insensitive remarks. I would still like to hold on to that–for now.