Thoughts Outlet: (Dis)closure

“So what now?”, she asked.
“What about?” He looked at her as if she’s speaking a language he couldn’t understand. They have been sitting side-by-side on a stone bench for quite some time now and while he does enjoy her company, he would also very much like to go to bed and pull up a blanket for some warmth. After all, it’s getting late and he found himself shivering at the blow of a cold midnight wind. He could really use a thick beer blanket.

Hers is a different case. She feels warm all over and she was even thankful when the cold air brushed her tear-stained face. She could hear the fireworks at a distance signaling the end of their college life and could barely make out the bright sparks in the night sky because of the trees blocking the view. She could not believe she is actually missing the finale. She vividly pictures how her friends must be hugging each other now, saying their goodbyes and how they might finally notice that she has gone missing. She tried to brush the thought off before the guilt of not being able to thank her friends properly for the last four years creeps in. There’s a reason why she decided to share this last moment with this person and she meant to tell him that except she’s stumbling — desperately crying — to find the right words. She was never really good with goodbyes.

How does one handle this kind of moment? A kiss on the cheek? A gentle hand squeeze? A pat on the back? Tomorrow will be both different and the same. She will have to put all of her things in a box and bid goodbye to her dormitory while he will stay for another year in the university. She will be off to another city, writing a new chapter in her life, while he will still be living in that little university town, will probably go cafe-hopping with a new set of company, and will certainly be drinking the Friday nights away in that bar they used to frequent. She shuddered at these thoughts and felt a lump form somewhere in her throat.

“What will become of us?” She rephrased the previous question with a clearer one. Although she’s not so sure anymore what she wants to hear. She feels another batch of thick hot tears stream down her already puffy eyes and for the very first time, the thought of leaving saddens her so much. What has become of that person who is always in for an adventure? The wanderer who never wanted to be tied down nor give a single care to what lies ahead? She glanced at him to see if he is feeling the same confusion as well. But just like before, his face never gave anything away. Despite being there for her through thick and thin, she never really quite figured out what this person feels for her — or if this person feels anything at all. She dropped her gaze and acknowledged the only explanation that she could formulate upon his absence of any emotion in what she thinks is a very frustrating situation:

Maybe he isn’t bothered at all. Maybe he’s just there out of pity or obligation and if there was anything that he could feel right now, it must be relief for not having to go through another bothersome year — 

“We’ll still be friends.” He said firmly before the little voice inside her head could finish the sentence.

That’s all he managed to say. After all, there isn’t anything more to tell, really. He even wondered why she asked. He values her as a friend and he couldn’t see the point of doubting it just because her graduation is three days away.

Upon realizing that the conversation is over, she takes a deep breath and tries to calm her nerves down. The fireworks display had come to an end and the crickets have started singing again. A cold March wind blew once more and everything is as normal as it can get. Nothing has changed. Two people can either be lovers or friends and they can decide to stay or go on separate ways in a blink of an eye without anyone noticing it. He’s right. It isn’t really much of a big deal. One heartbreak would not keep the world from turning. Nothing will change.

He stood up and motions him to follow her. She grabs his arm for support before letting her hand slide down to his. Interlocking their fingers, she squeezed his hand lightly as a sign of affirmation. Still friends. The words are now stuck in her mind and it is definite that she finally found a reason — although now she’s not sure if it’s a reason to stay or to go.

Cars zoomed past them and the street lights gave the impression that the night is still young. It’s just 12:30am; a bit too early for goodbyes, and yet they have already reached her dormitory. She tiptoed a bit and gave him a goodnight kiss on the cheek. He didn’t seem surprised.  He whispered a soft goodnight before they went on separate ways. Tomorrow will be the same. Indeed, nothing can ever change. And with all the normalcy around them, she wonders to herself if it is really possible to just stay friends.

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Slow Me Down, Lord

Slow me down Lord
Ease the pounding of my heart
By the quieting of my mind
Steady my hurried pace
With a vision of the eternal reach of time.

Give me amidst the confusion of my day
The calmness of the everlasting hills
Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles
With the soothing music of the singing streams
That live in my memory.

Help me to know
The magical restoring power of sleep
Teach me the art
Of taking minute vacations
Of slowing down to look at a flower
To chat with a friend
To pat a dog
To read a few lines from a good book.

Remind me each day of the fable
Of the hare and the tortoise
That I may know that the race
Is not always to be swift
That there is more to life
Than measuring speed.

Let me look upward
Into the branches of the towering oak
And know that it grew great and strong
Because it grew slowly and well.

Slow me down Lord
And inspire me to send my roots
Deep into the soil
Of life’s enduring values
That I may grow towards the stars
Of my enduring destiny.

Wilfred Arlan Peterson

Angst

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Some people asked me a year ago what am I planning to do after graduation. I think that is a common thing to ask given that we are expected to land on high-paying jobs in the corporate world because of our Atenean education (well, most of us, especially people in SOM). And I remember answering it nonchalantly with “rest/work/travel for a year then go to law school”. I was always so sure of my answer — particularly about the “one-year break” period.

But now that most of my batchmates who got admitted to UP Law School and Ateneo Law School are starting their first semester in a few days, I feel a pang of regret for postponing my dream for a year. Job hunting is fun and I enjoy going to interviews. Truth be told, I was even thrilled after receiving my first ever job offer. But after the adrenaline rush subsides, I am back to the realization that I still want to go to law school.

Boy I wake up everyday wishing that I could go to law school this year instead of getting lost in a sea of job openings and interview offers.

This is the first time in my life that I seriously do not know what am I gonna do. No plans, no directions, no whatsoever. For a year. Who would have thought taking a break could be this stressful?

But as the verse goes, even if I do not know where I’m heading, I will have faith that He is the wind that directs my ship towards where He wants me to go.

Blessed.

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He never fails to surprise me.

I guess it now depends whether I get the scholarship or not. But even if I do not get it, I am still thankful for all the blessings I am currently receiving. Thank You — for always keeping doors open. I know I haven’t been the best daughter and my record is far from being clean, but You always remind me to keep my chin up, have faith, and take courage because You’ve got it all figured out. Thank You — for showering me with so much love and grace. Despite my shortcomings and my stubbornness, You always make me feel I am worthy of Your forgiveness and sacrifice. Thank You — for never giving up on me.

And even if I sing for eternity a song of thanks and praise, I know it would never be enough. But knowing You, I am sure that the effort would not go unnoticed. And so, allow me to say another thank You — for everything that has happened and for everything that has yet to come. 

I love You. <3

Q: How Are You?

A: Summer has been good (and hot), so far. I have been trying to keep my hands full for the next three weeks of April by enrolling myself in a driving school (which will commence next week), downloading tons of movies and series (which leaves me with only 5 gig of free space in my local disk), reading and buying books of different genres, and doing some artsy-fartsy stuff. We’ve been planning outings and get-togethers here and there as well; though it is highly probable that more than half of those plans would remain as…well, plans. But then, there is no harm in trying (or planning) anyway so might as well keep nagging until everyone agrees to a proposition. And besides, I like planning. It kind of makes me feel that I am in control of something — not to mention the joyful, guilty feeling of being able to easily assign responsibilities to anyone. But believe me, that is not always the case.

About the driving lessons, I figured it would give me higher chances of landing a job in the automotive industry if I will get a driver’s license as soon as possible. I have been wanting to get a license since third year high school but was never allowed to because 1. I almost crashed our van into a sturdy tree in Daang Hari during one of my test drives, 2. my mom does not believe that I have long ago given up on my car racing dreams, and 3. she thinks I would be off to different places everytime once she permits me to drive. She eventually got over them, thank goodness. And just last week, I finally convinced my dad to pay for my driving school lessons. They were against it initially, saying that it is a waste of money and that my tita can teach me for free. Problem is, they want me to train first in a manual car…BUT we do not have a manual car anymore; hence, the need to enroll in a driving school. Anyway, I really need to get my grubby hands on a driver’s license already. Honda has a job opening for fresh graduates and I cannot apply without it. I have clear intentions, you see. But then again, I think my mom has a good point in her third argument.

Downloading movies and series and reading books actually contradict each other. I have not finished de Botton’s book because I got distracted with Game of Thrones. Now I am downloading Suits and I am days behind of my reading schedule (and yes, I put deadlines into finishing books so I can make sure I will be done by the end of summer). Also, I have not cleared my laptop yet from my accumulated (and now useless) files from 1st year to 4th year college.Not that I am being sentimental about it — I can be quite merciless when it comes to deleting files, numbers, and people accounts whenever they take up too much space. It’s just that I’m feeling lazy to open and assess what should go to the recycle bin and what should stay for a few months more.

As for the artsy-fartsy stuff, my mom bought me my second set of mud clay (or paper clay, as what my friends call it) project. I did my first one back in elementary and my mom said she wants to have another “work of art” hung on our living room wall. I am not sure how she is planning to do it considering that our walls are already full of frames (and I still have a jigsaw puzzle of Greece which is a work in progress and will be framed, too). Outside, perhaps?

And I have been working out! Jogging every morning (well okay, not every morning) and crunches every day. Hope it pays off soon.

So yeah, I guess I am fine. I am busy. But whenever I let myself become idle even for just a minute, sad thoughts creep in. And so I try to be busy and keep my mind preoccupied and try to forget that I sorely miss you. There are times when I feel like striking a random conversation with you like how we used to, but I always stop typing midway; not because there really isn’t anything we can talk about (I actually have a lot of things to tell), but because I feel like you won’t be there to listen. It isn’t anyone’s fault, really. Like what you said, things change. And whether we admit it or not, we have already outgrown each other. I miss you badly, but I don’t want to force it this time. Truth be told, I have not figured things out yet. And unlike before where I can always retreat to being friends, I feel like I don’t have anything to cling on to anymore. I could go on telling you how much I miss you but there are just too many “buts” strung along with it.

I still hope that you’d randomly hit me up one of these days and tell me your current state of affairs. I hope that you’d find time to actually tell me what you really feel (or even the lack thereof) so I can finally smooth things out.

I wish I could say I’m down with the season but summer’s fine and it’s actually just waiting for me to sweat it all out and enjoy the sun.

One Day

I don’t want you thinking I’m bothered or anything about last night. I don’t want your phone number, or letters or postcards. I don’t want to get married to you. Definitely don’t want to have your babies. Whatever happens tomorrow, we’ve had today. And if we should bump into each other sometime in the future, well that’s fine too. We’ll be friends.

– Emma Morley to Dexter Mayhew

April 2, 2013

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She held his face in both hands, looked at it.
‘You’re getting married?-‘
‘Yes’
-‘And you’re going to be a father?’
‘I know! Fuck me a father!’
‘Is that allowed? I mean will they let you?’
‘Apparently’
‘I think it’s wonderful. Fucking hell, Dexter, I turn my back for one minute…!’
She hugged him once again her arms high round his neck. She felt drunk, full of affection and a certain sadness too, as if something was coming to an end. She wanted to say something along these lines, but thought it best to do this through a joke.
‘Of course you’ve destroyed any chance I had of future happiness, but I’m delighted for you, really.”

“Can I say something?’
‘Go on’
‘I’m a little drunk’
‘Me too. That’s okay.’
‘Just….I missed you, you know.’
‘I missed you too.’
‘But so, so much, Dexter. There were so many things I wanted to talk to you about, and you weren’t there-‘
‘same here.’
‘I tell you what it is. It’s…..When I didn’t see you, I thought about you every day, I mean EVERY DAY in some way or another-‘
‘same here.’
‘-Even if it was just “I wish Dexter could see this” or “Where’s Dexter now?” or “Christ that Dexter, what an idiot”, you know what I mean, and seeing you today, well, I thought I’d got you back – my BEST friend. And now all this, the wedding, the baby- I’m so happy for you, Dex, but it feels like I’ve lost you again.’-

-‘You know what happens you have a family, your responsibilities change, you lose touch with people’
‘It won’t be like that, I promise.’
‘Do you?’
‘Absolutely’
‘You swear? No more disappearing?’
‘I won’t if you won’t.’
Their lips touched now, mouths pursed tight, their eyes open, both of them stock still. The moment held, a kind of glorious confusion.”

– One Day, David Nicholls

Trying To Get That Feeling Again

I have this frustration.

I’m having a hard time finding my enthusiasm in any thing I do. Though my then-roommates once said that I’m lucky I don’t get addicted to TV shows and games that easily and that I could easily stop watching or quit playing anytime I want to. While it really is a good way of minimizing distractions, one cannot simply ignore the fact that this lack of interest may also be equated to a lack of enthusiasm…in anything.  How could I possibly get a job — let alone survive — if I don’t have the drive to earn it? This summer, I hope I could find that thing that I could be interested in for a long time. I would very much want to say more in this entry but I don’t feel like typing anymore. And besides, I’m sleepy.

I promise to try to go back to writing this summer. I need to get that feeling of wanting something so bad and working so hard to get it or perfect it.

Later.

The End

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2 Timothy 4:7
“I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”

Four years. Four wonderful years inside the protective arms of the Ateneo.

Thank You, for filling my cup with so much love and blessings that I am greatly and deeply moved to empty it out to others. I entered Ateneo with big dreams, but You proved to me that You have plans far better than what I could ever imagine. The “last blow” was heartbreaking and humbling and the view downhill is still hazy and unclear, but I will let Your guiding hands lead me from here on.

Thank you, Ma and Pa, for standing by my decisions whole-heartedly and for believing in me. Thank you for supporting me when I decided to go on JTA student exchange program which proved to be one of the best experiences in my life. You have realized my potential even before I did and I thank you for always keeping your minds, hearts, and hands open. I do hope I really made you proud.

Thank you to my family, Enzo, Ate, Ninang, Yayay, and everyone else, for the encouraging words whenever I break down because of school works. You have showered me with so much love, patience, and understanding and I hope to give it all back to you. “Salamat sa pagsalo sa lahat ng kasungitan, sa paghahanda ng baon at grocery, sa paghahatid-sundo, sa pag-aalaga, at sa pagpaparamdam na kahit na isang buwan na akong hindi umuuwi ng bahay, palagi akong may uuwiang pamilya.”

Blockmates, friends, professors, Jesuits, and non-teaching staffs — thank you for being part of this journey. It was not a smooth-sailing-walk-in-the-park experience but knowing that we have each other gives me strength every single day.

And thank you, Ateneo, for the gift of Jesuit liberal education and for opening my eyes to a lot of realities. I can honestly say that I never regretted choosing you over the other universities. You have molded me into a person I never thought I could and will be. You genuinely taught us how to be of great service to others through your liberal arts, integrated programs, and Ignatian spirituality. More importantly, you instilled in us the mindset of doing everything for the greater glory of God. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.
“Magis”, “Cura Personalis”, “Agere Contra”, “Man for Others” – you have equipped me well and I am now ready to go out and be an instrument of change.

Sabi nga ni Bobby Guev, kaakibat ng kasarapan ng pagiging Atenista ang masaktan dahil ikaw ay isang Atenista.

Lubos Mo akong minahal at pinaglingkuran. Hayaan Mong ako naman ang maglingkod para sa Iyo at para sa kanila. :)

Effie Fielle Montes Ignacio
BS Management, major in Communications Technology Management
minor in German Studies

Honorable Mention