Thursday, August 23, 2007

Letters from Home

I wrote about the truth once, and it wrote me back.

June 20, 2006
It's been a year since the Boracay/Guimaras trip, taken almost on a whim but against all odds, during the height of corporate warfare, a shot at rebellion that turned out to be the one thing that turned this whole shit around. This whole shit being what had become of my life because of a couple of wrong turns. That one trip reunited me with the world's promises, and hoards of postponed dreams. It was not so much the place itself, although the beach and the water and the air {were the stuff sticky poems were made of} could make one giddy. It was mainly the sheer contrast of what life outside of work could be like versus all the shit I had to contend with on a daily basis. There was wonder, and magic, and rainy days. The feel of the sun on your skin was like the elements talking, asking you where you've been. I've been gone too long, living in boxes, turning pale. And there was laughter. It is only laughter, really, that rings true.

October 1,2006
In its letters, it worried about me. After all, quitting a relatively okay-paying job at a nice big company goes against the grain. More so if it's to take a wild and crazy U-turn from the drab but stable. But there were secret harnesses it did not tell me about: the trip back was not as treacherous as it looked from afar.

January X, 2007
In its letters, it thanked me. For acknowledging it, preaching about it, initiating spontaneous counseling sessions with friends to remind them of it. But it's my gain mostly. There's no other way. We spend all of our lives looking for answers to questions we never really sat down to ask ourselves. In the rare event that it comes to visit, look truth in the face and say hi. Pull a chair, never mind what you're wearing, ask it to join you, like some dear departed friend coming back to pick up something it lent you long ago.

August 23, 2007
In its letters, these days, we are friendly. It's the price you pay for walking away. Now it's just you and the truth, forever after, but it really isn't such a bad thing. I've seen everything. Nothing shocks me anymore. I've seen the low and high of human spirits, I've seen most of what they're capable of doing behind other people's backs. I've learned to make friends with an open mind, I've learned there is beauty in despair, and frustration, even anger. It means changes are coming.

But not always. It tells me stories, too, about how some are left to wallow in that ugly middle ground where they've settled for mud for sheer fear of their true selves. It has become my job, really, to talk them out of it. It works sometimes, life is good, but in the end it's our own choices that save our lives. Friends are there as extra eyes, but it is you who must do the climbing out thing.

In its letters, I could feel a measure of pain, and disappointment: It had been screaming at me for years. What made me think this was the life for me? What did numbers and spreadsheets and cubicles and shit have to do with the things I want to be caught doing when I die? What joy can I give the world if my insides were withering away? I feel its screams whenever I sit down to write, whenever I read what I've written and feel the pain of not getting it right -- for even in that pain at least I know it matters to me. There are very few things that are close to my heart. I feel its screams whenever I travel, whenever I hear about friends going abroad, whenever I hear about friends going after their dreams. A measure of jealousy, cloaked in arrogance, that this was the right thing: staying may mean death, but it is a death for others.

Sadly, that, in itself, is not true. This was meant to be a happy world. It is really, truly, as simple as that. The truth is that we know what we're here for. I cringe when they tell me they don't know what to do with their lives. Of course they do, we've been born with inner compasses leading us through the open seas. We can be anything we want to be. It's just, too many voices, considerations, realities, compromises -- kindness kills. The truth is we owe ourselves our own happiness.

Things are better now. Lesser hang-ups, better moods. I still scream at the parents sometimes, but mostly it is a pattern of reaction. And so there's this Bob Marley song, about sunshine-y days.
Mood: Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

No comments: