August 17, 2014

Liberty is the possibility of isolation

A liberdade é a possibilidade do isolamento.

I was introduced to Fernando Pessoa’s works at a fairly odd time during my college year. I was in between semesters, in transition after a summer back home, and definitely in search for direction and a career path. I’ve always found myself rocking back and forth on leaving or staying in the States then. I digress. Distractions aside, I found myself spending time in between classes to read The Book of Disquiet and lose myself to questions and philosophies. I wasn’t searching for answers in particular. But there’s this void you desperately want to fill and you don’t know how else except with words.

I’d woken up early, and I took a long time getting ready to exist.

I don’t usually watch a film thrice or read a book twice, but I found myself leafing through his works to gain some stable footing when life rattles and blurs perspective. What better to save me from myself.

I want to wake up to quotes I can brood on, lyrics I can sing (in my head) to, words I can be empowered by… It’s difficult when there so many routines to go through before you even have time for yourself. Words for a tired soul is as pointless as it is mindless. This rat race will consume us whole. So sometimes we have to lean on songs that drive home or words that warms you enough to sleep easy till the next light.

**
I’ve seen an image like you somewhere in my daydreams and some part of me knows that I’ll recognize it when I see you face to face. You’re quite the open-ended joy I didn’t plan for. Sure, I’m building castles in the air, but for the first time, there isn’t any collateral damage or façade to upkeep. Let’s just be.

August 11, 2014

Metronome

I don’t know about you, but songs with “somewhere” in the lyrics are an instant draw. Perhaps it is that realm of uncertainty–closer to hope than misdirection–that ignites me from wood to white.

Somewhere we can both be right/Somewhere where imagination grazes in the half-light
(Brett Bixby – Fireside)

But nothing hits home like Keane’s Somewhere Only We Know. Richard Hughes (drummer) aptly explains it:

We’ve been asked whether “Somewhere Only We Know” is about a specific place, and Tim has been saying that, for him, or us as individuals, it might be about a geographical space, or a feeling; it can mean something individual to each person, and they can interpret it to a memory of theirs… It’s perhaps more of a theme rather than a specific message… Feelings that may be universal, without necessarily being totally specific to us, or a place, or a time…

Somewhere Only We Know – mv

Lately, I’m feeling like a bird of passage. I’m drumming to a beat, but there seems to be no haste or slack. Somewhere really cuts it. If there’s no port, then why the hell am I cruising for? My patience for the extrinsic is wearing thin. I’m going to dive head first into the abyss for an anchor and hopefully come to the surface and greet the green light, vis-à-vis.

August 10, 2014

“I write emotional algebra.”

I’m entrapped by the litter of good reads around me. The hour-long escapade to my favourite nook has been my saving grace from the horrible run of events this July. I thought I would be hallowed out from work; scraped dry and too defeated to lean on any understanding. I was pretty sure I would “contract” logophobia after this stint. Funny how I found myself steering back to a thirst for literature and debates. I want to be provoked by reason and awakened by schools of thought. I quaffed enough for a weekend, but I want something substantial to last the week and all the waking moments in between.

Do you know what I would answer to someone who asked me for a description of myself, in a hurry? This:

?? !!

For indeed my life is a perpetual question mark–my thirst for books, my observations of people, all tend to satisfy a great, overwhelming desire to know, to understand, to find an answer to a million questions. And gradually the answers are revealed, many things are explained, and above all, many things are given names and described, and my restlessness is subdued. Then I become an exclamatory person, clapping my hands to the immense surprises the world holds for me, and falling from one ecstasy into another. I have the habit of peeping and prying and listening and seeking–passionate curiosity and expectation. But I have also the habit of being surprised, the habit of being filled with wonder and satisfaction each time I stumble on some wondrous thing. The first habit could make me a philosopher or a cynic or perhaps a humorist. But the other habit destroys all the delicate foundations, and I find each day that I am still…only a Woman!
– Anaïs Nin

***
There’s a inherent danger in believing–or investing trust. I’m quick to be engulfed by profound thought and simple truths. In that same vein, I flip with disregard in tangent to fallacies and less structured arguments.

I admit I am quick to judge. I would think it developed as a hazard of my previous job, or as a shell of too many dumb/drunk conversations. I marooned myself to a lofty rung, and the view isn’t too bad from here. I am not entitled anything, and even less expected to reciprocate. This dome does sound like a self-fulfilling prophesy, but I sleep easy to it.

I sleep easier to this detachment than the circuits of your mind.

The concrete conversations with you make me question answers that I was contented with. You make me dizzy with choices and you make hovering between ideas–and not actually having to have an answer to everything–appealing. As unsettling as it may be, I’m grounded by the tennis game action of provoking and resounding. While you dislodged my faithless stance in people, you’ve also weighed my mind with your quips. Perhaps when we ever do lay the cards on the table, we’ll be the makeshift vanguard of judicious conversations and pseudo wins.

We need mimosas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then, we need more meals in a day for more excused crutches.

July 2, 2014

Kaleidoscope

I took a minute to lie between the covers and hear the silence of a Wednesday night. Thirty minutes later, I’m still stretched on my back and waiting for a comet to dazzle the bleakness of nights.

Work is work; I enjoy it enough to wake up at 8 promptly, and I loathe it in equal amounts when I take home the shoulder knots, pounding headache and checklists.

These days I take to the books to find solace since I spend 3/4 of my work hours in conversation. Therapy in words is unlike a familiar tune you hum along to. I’ve made good homes of the reading nook and crannies, as well as punctuating the seemingly endlessness with a night cap. To swirl in the comfort of my favourite words and rhyme is to fall asleep to the stars.
*
And we forget the moon somehow. Without its own light, the moon pales to a backdrop of light speckles and sparkles. It leans solitarily on the knowledge of slumber when the world moves madly on. Yet it doesn’t quit on being a beacon in the murky waters. It doesn’t leave to love another. It turns to the cold so you’ll have more.

And if we can sleep soundly in the crescents of the valley tonight, maybe, just maybe, the moon doesn’t have to take flight.
*
I’m a deadbeat sweetheart beat. I can’t shine when in your parameters. I want to just be. So let’s lead parallel paths and let me be someone else’s moon tonight.

May 2, 2014

Gush

Every so often, you become a different person when your environment changes. It’s not akin to shedding new skin in light of a new affair, but more of a metamorphosis and revelation of sort.

This progressive change stems from a chest of fears that you want to bury so deep. Unearthing it would mean to face your demons, that’s why you keep your heart close. (Proximity and figuratively. Ha) But when you don’t have to fight your battles alone anymore, this struggling episode means you’re living to a certain expectation. Essentially, you’re no longer a driftwood.

Fractions of the waking hours: There are lazy mornings, contented afternoons, happy evenings and therapeutic nights. The anticipation of conversation, laughs, affirmation, discussion, learning from and about each other is truly a driving reminder of being truly blessed in uncountable measures.

With a supportive nucleus of friends and family, it is easier to take leaps of faith. For that, I’m confused at times if reality is pulling a prank with all the pieces falling in place. I worry too much. Some say I worry as though it’s my job. But sometimes I think I need to let loose on the reins of precise planning and calculated emotions. As much as a crime scene triggers a OCD clean fiend, I’m troubled by still waters. Go figure.

April 22, 2014

Do you know where I can get me some momentum

fireside has been a song I go to when work starts to pile up or when I’m at a loss of what to feel next.

I’m a planner and I find it hard to not plan out the routines or itinerary of the day. Right down to “what I have to think about tomorrow” is often quoted scribbled in on messy post-it’s. I want to shift gears and take a breather. Take me away where I can watch movies without worries or laugh until it hurts. I want to lay on my back and watch the world go by, even if it’s only for an hour.

February 21, 2014

Strangers with Memories

The best moment (for us) to be anything but friends was the minute after the introductions and niceties. We could have gambled our insecurities and weariness from chasing an elusive idea and pursue a free form relationship instead.

We understood that the past can only haunt if the fear of it exists. Yet we fall into the creeks and waited for something to happen when nothing else could happen to wreck it at all. In the silence of time, it was a lot of doing and undoing, saying and not meaning, leaning and not fully understanding… It knitted into a tangled mess coiled for little success. Yet we cradled hope in the crevices of our soul and pray it withstands the elements and impossibilities, year after year. It came crashing as friends become strangers with memories and nothing more.

There’s only so much passion one can possess at a time.

December 22, 2013

Defeating Demons

I’m not sure if it’s the annual eggnog-poisoning or the Christmas carols on repeat, but I get retrospective around this time of the year.

2013 has one upped 2012 in several ways. From graduation to travels and self identity, I’ve come a long way from the serene days in January.

Recounting the year through photo stream, I ushered in the New Year in LA, skipped around California, danced in the streets of Chicago, weaseled through the belly of New York, woke up in the Botanical Gardens of District of Columbia, slept in Seoul Incheon airport, skipped around the shoppes of Hong Kong and lived the best weeks in Singapore. All while attempting to find myself.

I am truly blessed to have also make new friendships and fortify relationships. I’ve loved in a different light this year. Being more vocal about affection has made my life much easier.

I’ve always been more affectionate to those I truly care about, but explicitly vocalizing my feelings was a struggle throughout these years. There’s always the fear of not being loved back in the same measure. I learn my best and worst habits from my mom. :/ but I do think I’ve scaled considerable distances to confront affection and affirm my best girls in the way I know how…

Sure, drama still follow me like bees to honey. But I think my changing priorities have been a dual distraction and coping mechanism, in the most healthy way.

Finding community at work and at church are one of the few changes that I’m enjoying. I see myself making meaningful relationships and being vulnerable to some friends–a leap I’m willing to try because of the growing faith I have in the people that matter.

I’m most thankful for the gift of conversations and friends this season. Fear has been my biggest excuse and crutch, but perhaps 2014 will be fighting my own worst demons and an adventure for the books.

There and back again, perhaps.

November 10, 2013

I love you. Isn’t that enough?

As your words pale into the clouds of grey, it leaves a bitter taste and a crease between the brows. I don’t know how we arrive at this pit of angry words and sullen faces.

They say a committed relationship isn’t for you; a commitment is for the other person. Point taken.

Yet when we tear away the social expectations, we stare at the skeletons of our secrets–past and present–veiled by a foil of future demands. So then we question the vapid promises and lofty ambitions. We stripe down to the bare answers of circumstances. Then we ponder why the self-reproach and why the complications.

After denial and guilt–and sometimes, anger–we walk away. Because it is easier to take flight, we leave the dust of consequences swirling on barren trust. Now I see you through these iridescent lenses and I want to detach myself from where I am to be where you are. I will fight for you, but I won’t contest for you.

October 3, 2013

Happy Birthday

I remember it was your birthday this time two years ago when we were in the elevator, just us. We were always surrounded by people throughout the semesters and that was the only time, albeit brief, where we were not under scrutiny or hope. It felt like the longest elevator ride before it started with a “hi”. I thought it was a great friendship story to tell when I left the elevator that day. And it is.

I can’t remember the chronological order of the series of events after, but I don’t want to recall anything else. I’m just thankful manipulation was not on the cards. You’re not quite the douche in oversized sweaters and letters.

Happy Birthday. Stay warm.

September 24, 2013

Luck of the Draw

This morning, I woke up undaunted. Although I resigned from my editorial job, I am much refreshed by the sounds of the morning rain and the idea of a good breakfast. I think this is a good lesson learnt early in the “career” path, so to speak. It is akin to playing the Game of Life and landing on defaulted salary (if there is one) and unemployment in two consecutive moves. I don’t know to deem it as unlucky, luck of the draw, or any term you sleep easy to when you’re down on your luck. But now, I feel liberated. I think the job market isn’t as drastic as it is out there, especially when you just keep trying. Let’s hope to score some interviews and complete my freelance projects before mid-October.

September 1, 2013

What is it like…

What is it like to struggle with an abundance of creativity in the form of inspiring friends and the proximate potential? What is it like to wake up and be excited about work and the people you’ll meet today? What is it like to know you won’t meet another face today because of your work load? What is it like to answer the 456th question on your full time job/freelance career/travel plans? What is it like to live out of a suitcase because you’ll never actually be home? What is it like to enjoy each waking minute that you try not to sleep in case you miss something? What is it like to be afraid that this phase won’t last? Honeymoons don’t last forever.

That’s the good problem, isn’t it?

The constant reliance that everything–your job, your friends, your lovers, your family, that cafe, that iCloud service you desperately want to like–evolves is comfort cling wrapped with doubt. The uncertainty of permanence (specifically: positive permanence) and clouded promises seem to grow deep roots somehow, and all the optimism in the world will expire and deflate someday.

But the buzzing creative energy is there. If it runs dry, move. Steer towards a different hub. We are nomads in our vessels, which are blessings disguised by perception. Moving doesn’t equate to leaving as how intellect isn’t determined solely by grades. After all, curiosity sparked everything. But don’t live with unanswered questions. Experience the answers somewhere somehow. It’s treacherous out there, but you wouldn’t know what’s behind the veil till you…try.

I’m encouraged for constant change without losing my bearings. The subsequent months would be a forecast of disrupted sleep patterns, serial meetings, and work travel. Little battles before the wars of distraction and distort. Sometimes, I wonder, where’d the weekends go?

August 24, 2013

Taking flight

Whirlwind.

That’s an apt description of my weeks passed. I’ve been working with the magazine for weeks now, and I’ve enrolled in University of Illinois’ Introduction to Sustainability MOOC course to find some direction for graduate school. Aside from that, I’m dipping back into the Japanese language classes and working freelance stints. Life’s busy, but the work-life balance has been working out really well. Staying in central Singapore helps; traveling across the island is no longer a chore.

There’s much to be excited for: work, festivals, travel, classes, social life, exercise… I’m in love with life. What I wish I could make time for is cooking, baking and/or coffee barista classes, painting sessions, massage packages, movie watching, discovering songs, dinner dates, and organizing my home office.

Since I’ve been back, family has been my top priority. They are truly the epitome of storge love. Also, my career plans are taking flight. Before I can rest on my young laurels, I have to consider furthering my education with masters in 2014. Being busy is great because the greater challenge is being excited to be awake.

2013 has been so good thus far. I’m blessed beyond measure.

August 19, 2013

9000 miles later

It’s been six weeks since I’ve been home and it is my favorite home coming trip yet. The birthday weekend in Hong Kong was a good break before I undertook the editorial job that has since consumed my life. But I’m not complaining. I like the dinners and the weekends that ensue. My job scope is simply put: my hobby amplified. I can’t wait to share the results of effective marketing.

Besides working from home (till September), I’ve undertaken freelance opportunities not limited to writing. These weeks have been refreshing with the weekends punctuating it right.

Being home is to be used to humidity all year round. But being home is also being close to my best guys and babes. It’s alot to make time in the week, but I’m glad there’s always an option to watch soccer (marriage of interests!) and work in flexible conditions. My sleeping hours are far and few in between. But I dare say, I’m reveling in this.

Never did I think my first job out of school is my dream job (of sorts). I can pursue my masters next year, and more immediately, Japanese language lessons for certification before the academic life revives.

I’m contented to filter the who-nots and the what-ifs out of my already cluttered life. Trouble is in the distant lands and unanswered confusion.

That being said, September is going to be really great with work travel plans. Let’s see how saving goes. I just can’t pass up macarons.

July 19, 2013

bright-eyed

I’ve been back in Singapore for 1.5 weeks now, and before I jet-set to Hong Kong for a weekend with my best girl, I have to count my blessings. I have been offered an editorial position with a new magazine and I’m ready for the challenges of a start-up and a nomadic lifestyle. It’s a fusion of my passions and experience combined, so I’m really psyched for August. I’m glad my friends who know me are excited for me. There’s so much to be excited about and to anticipate. Finally, things are looking up.

*
I was worried for a long time before leaving the States that I would lose contact with the friends made in America. Thank God for technology and, sometimes, time zone differences. It helps, to wake up to texts about a hard day at work, or to sleep to a sunrise. The little things are making the transition easier and better. I’m at a good place right now with my favourite people abroad and ashore/local. I cannot wait to explore every inch of this sunny island and Asia.

June 17, 2013

Fallacy

Daylight in the city parts. What makes you sleep easy? What is your heart restless for?

Yesterday’s stars were today’s morning lights. To wake up to a permanence is to fall asleep weightless. To float is to forget abandonment and let be. Basically hope. Simply faith.

I have weaved in and out with the notion of an anchor: making home of something or inhibiting progress?

Every time I think of the things that stop me from dreaming, I wade around and wait for signs. What’s your biggest anchor? Can we tie a scarf around it and go on a vacation in the cold nights and perfect mornings?

What I would give for coffee under the South African skies by a fire and watch the world go.

June 14, 2013

The Sea Doesn’t Know My Name

This is a perfect Friday in; The smell of cinnamon bread filling the house, the flickering of candle lights and the dancing of shadows, the stillness of the precinct, the actual warmth from the baked bread and the layers of blankets, the perfect lyrics from the Passengers, and the weekend to fall back on.

If there is a certain calmness to achieve to feel alright with the world, I am here.

It is in this state of mind that I am detached from the little nothings and the no-ones. I’m not tired from bidding time, but I am jolted, from time to time, by the eagerness of purpose and the anticipation… of hope. It is almost like there is a foil over this nesting trunk that I cannot wait to peel. If this amounts to anything, it would be the virtue of patience as a choice.

I am more nervous than afraid. I am nervous that I have to mute my identity and the limitless aspirations because of obligations, expectations, and the in-betweens. I am struggling with the ideas of starting graduate school and gaining professional experience. Sometimes it feels like they can happen simultaneously, yet it is almost like I would break at the ends and be maxed out in eagerness to prove and rise to expectations.

Yup. This is “jolted.”

The contractual offer:

9 JUL – 10 AUG: Hong Kong

10 AUG – 19 AUG: Netherlands, France, Belgium

I’ll be in Singapore in 67 days. I’ll be home.

June 11, 2013

the happiest sad person

I’m the happiest sad person (in the room).

It’s almost like my weeks after a Nashville fun have to begin with the disclaimer embedded in “sans titre” header to be read in a drawl. This would defeat the expectancy of nothingness in its entirety since my bags are packed for a new beginning in Hong Kong.

When I’m too tired to be me, I dream.

It’s easier to detach from the permanence of routines and the sad tunes you can’t stop listening to because you want to find relevance and make the songs about you. Sad.

But you resist falling asleep when reality seems brighter and bolder than the obscure dreams–real waffles are better than pantone-colored waffles. A happy kind of sad (appetite), if you will.

There’s also the chance that you are free-falling into a abyss unknown to most and feared by some. You may land on your feet, or plunge into cold waters. Either way, you’ll wish for some beacon or some buoy to make your beating heart still or your lost breath found. Either way, you are orbiting around words and gestures, and it could elevate you to be the happiest (once-)sad person. Once you sort out the chain of events, that is.

Take courage, take heart, and also take caution. Wild abandonment is, after all, folly.

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