Through the Looking Glass, Darkly

Sometimes I have that weird habit of viewing things in my life as if I am a complete and uninvolved outsider, as if I am watching my life from a distance. As if my daily life is a performance of sorts and I had to evaluate it from the eyes of a voyeur or an uninvolved person.

Because of my prejudices, I tend to view life through a dark looking glass. Dark because it’s painful, dark because I am not perfect, and dark because in my limited vision, I am not bound to see the sense of why things happen the way they do. I just see pain and more pain. I feel like I don’t exist, that I am just like vapor in the dark mist of Freudian slips and sinister things.  I’ve been a daughter of the shadows, a regular grief-stricken maiden who always hits the lowest of the lows. And it makes people uncomfortable because these days, only good vibes are trendy and worth reading.

It can sometimes be viewed as harshness or coldness when I am in a state where I am just being realistic and brutally frank. Often, I say what I observe especially when I have observed it happening so many times that the hurt that comes with it can no longer be ignored. No matter how much I love, I could not turn off the head that likes to think and read between the lines.

Years of hard work and numerous experiences have taught me that cold efficiency works when you are just floored and broken in different directions, that feeling hurt for prolonged periods will not get you anywhere at all, and that in life, sometimes you uncover unpleasant answers or truths that can kill. You have to brace yourself for the bombs that explode at the time that you least expect. And try to walk, nay crawl, out it if you still manage to come out of it alive. 

So you need to mentally take a distance from yourself and from the ones you love occasionally, with the hope that you can evaluate things for what they are and not for what you desperately want them to become.

They say that truth sets you free. Nobody said that sometimes freedom can crush your heart into a million little indistinguishable pieces. And after you face up to the worst of yourself and worst of the person you have chosen to prioritize and love, you try to live with it.

Many days, I wished that I can just suspend time and keep things in a place of eternal youth and giddyness and appreciation. Try as I might, people and things move in a not so crystal clear or linear fashion. That affectionate man caressing your hair at this very minute may be the very same man barking at you in irritation two years down the road.That very same hand that holds you will later raise those hands in exasperation and say the meanest words that can crush your heart beyond repair.

Even if you beg that this man will stay the same, you know that when you grow old he runs the increased risk of taking you for granted than taking care of you in your old age. Life is so fleeting. People are so fickle and people forget their promises of love so easily. You can only read old love letters and wonder where has love gone and why has it gone so fast?

No matter how many promises people make to the ones they love, there will always come a day where they will forget those promises and destroy everything in a moment of anger and anguish. They will fail you no matter how highly you esteem them or you shower them with love, affection, and best intentions. They can even consider you an enemy even when you only have the best things in mind or in heart.

Even the best lot of them can have the worst fits, and only true love can make you accept that person for his limitations. And sometimes, accepting certain limitations that you never imagined possible, the darkest ones that few microscopic eyes can see, are the worst bitches in the course of trying to sail smoothly in the middle of any meaningful relationship.

Gone are the days where I would head bang to rock music in a makeshift concert hall. Gone are the days where I can just ignore tiny things because I know that these very tiny things can lead to worse things later on if left unaddressed or unattended. These days, it’s just one worry after another. I feel like one day I am going to die choked with worries. I am tired of worrying this much. So I assume a stance of indifference.

And since even when I have assumed a safe position in life, I still feel threatened… I think it’s good to take more risks. Whether you go out in the fields or stay indoors, the same fate befalls us. The sun shines on the wicked and the good, indeed.

Today, I write about this because I think the chasm that connects me to my innermost self and the looking glass has been broken sometime this month.And I don’t know how to go back to how things were. I don’t know how to pick things up after this particular fall. Because some falls are more fatal than others.

There are falls where you still see the pieces lying on the floor and with blood on your hands, you painfully pick them up one by one, get some glue gun and paste them all together.

But there are falls that have pieces of your heart exploding in numerous directions, and honestly, you do not know where those pieces are. They have been taken away by that moment that your love has failed you in a terrible way. And when that happens, there is no more going back, only a going forward.

I better get a hold of my smiling pictures. It is slowly becoming a vintage collection.

Smiles have become rare on this side and at this phase of life.

Hopefully my luck would turn up again. 🙂

April used to be such a lucky month. My first internship in a marketing firm, my first published article for a magazine, and my first ventures in online writing all happened on an April in years past.

But since April 2011, the month has reversed from lucky to absolutely abhorrent.

Still, I’m optimistic. After all, how worse can it get at this lowest point? This cannot get any lower. This is the lowest I can possibly go, emotionally. And like previous instances, I’ll just come up bit by bit. I just need to be patient. And turn away from the looking glass, darkly influencing the way I go about life.

Compared to the years past, I think I have a heightened faculty to accept these phases as they come, until they come no more and reality will once again be better than my dreams.

Cool as a Cucumber

Somebody once told me that I needed more tenacity. Also, I have personally noticed that as a fairly emotional person (and such emotions fuel my compulsion to write with so much passion), there are many things that I need to consider. I write not about my numerous foot-in-mouth moments. I will write today about a tiny victory or success that I had in employing more tenacity and self-control. This a real-life lesson in the work world that I think will be useful for a lifetime.

It was late evening and I was working really late. For one, the sets were cluttered and my machine was failing on me. For some reason, a very terrible incident brought mostly by circumstances had me in a tough spot. But I was not allowed to retaliate or explain my side. I did my best to keep quiet about it. It was so hard, considering how I usually justify myself if I know that I am not at fault. But I somehow did it. Some saint in heaven who magnified patience must have lent me some. I did not cry or buckle, although I really felt like doing so. I just continued working and I gracefully proceeded to find a solution to a two-day old problem which could have taken half a day if it weren’t the set of circumstances I was handed that time.

As it turns out, maintaining a state of calmness (even if it’s just outward and you’re paddling hard underneath) is a good thing. I read an article that it warrants good health and it also avoids numerous unnecessary conflicts. Young as I am in the work force, relatively, this is a tough pill to swallow. I grew up in a school where people easily fights for their rights violently if need be when it is being violated.

As it turns out in the real world, sometimes you have to somehow accept having your human rights violated temporarily if it comes with a good cause or if there is a greater good involved. To balance, it is not an everyday thing but an occasional spat or taking one for the team, so to speak.

A tiny victory showed me that I am in fact capable of handling myself in this manner despite the common stigma of my diagnosis. Few people would know how difficult that exercise was for me, because mood disorders usually have that thing going where they cannot always control their thinking and behavior. I guess in some way, I must be doing something right because I sense some improvement and this tiny victory is a proof  that I can actually stay on and practice without causing too much detriment to others or myself.

As a child, I had escapist tendencies and I used the world of books to shield me from the pains I did not want to deal with. Now, I still love reading books but I think slowly, I am becoming aware of how I should never escape when I can find solutions to problems. It’s a good trait to develop. I have seen people who are good living examples, and I am in a fairly nurturing environment (save for moments when a difficult client is in tow and is putting all his or her weight to conduct some power-tripping with their intelligence, position, or mental brilliance as an excuse). I just think that if all intelligent people throw their weight around, nothing will get done because everybody will just be busy enforcing their brilliance and intelligence to the point of not cooperating or giving way for far more important things like accomplishing a common goal that has some significance to the world.

The world has so many problems to solve, and honestly, an individuals rough attitude is super small compared to those big world-scale problems.

I guess it helps to control the ego that comes with being an individual when you know yourself and where you stand. It is not just knowing on a superficial level. But KNOWING really who you are, your place in the grand scheme, and its implications is something that ANCHORS you no matter what the circumstance.

Even if difficult people will tell you that you are worth nothing, you can’t do it, or that you are not meant to be in a certain place, if you know within your soul who you really are, it will not be a stumbling block to success. The world’s most insecure people are the world’s most difficult people, in my humble experience over the last few years of work life. It is because they are always on the run with their mind, always feeling morbidly insecure or lethargic about their existence. And it is this lethargy that they spread out to other people because they cannot give the happiness and good vibes that they do not have. The only question for a person who receives crap unfairly is this: Am I going to join the misery bandwagon? Or am I just going to stay cool as a cucumber.

That one time in a sea of foot-in-mouth moments, I actually did the latter. And I feel fulfilled and accomplished in a way that medals cannot really affirm, but this affirmation I gained is far greater and sinks deeper than accolades that we all like to hang on walls. I just know, deep down, that I’ve done the right thing and it was difficult exercise that was worth my while.