Afterglow

Hands down, 2012 is the best year of my life.

Allow me to start on that dreamy note, and perhaps to end feeling much resolved, grounded and pulled together. Because, simply put, I guess that’s how the year has been. I have been looking back on the last twelve months for the past few days and I am still standing by that conclusion.

This is not to say, though, that it has been the best because I have been stormed by good news and pure blessings of chance all year round. I was not. At least, not entirely. I had to endure much this year — most definitely just an iota of suffering if put in juxtaposition with actual, real-world problems — but hey, give me a break. This is, after all, what I am giving myself from time to time these days: sweet little breaks just to breathe and to remind myself of things that I could not (anymore) control, as well as to let go of that incessant drive prodding me to overanalyze every little thing, their place in the bigger, grander scheme of things.

For starters, I turned eighteen this year and it definitely is the golden age to say the least. I, however, keep forgetting the amount of years I have under my name. This swings both ways — usually I feel much older because for the most part I hang around older friends, the gap ranging from two years to seventeen. For some reason, I am not annoying them (as much) as teenagers these days annoy the hell out of me. For that I am definitely glad, it allows me to view life from their eyes — beautiful even with its chips and dents, the consistency of inconsistencies, the disappointments.

However, there are times (and they have been a lot, I tell you) that I have to remind myself of how young I am. The thing with me is that I have a grand repertoire of dreams, and while I would like to say I am hell-bent on achieving every single one of them, I am much too fickle-minded to actually get down to business and focus. I am a mess, really, and I say that with all the self-love I could manage. I am fueled by a lot of things, ergo I am not set on a predetermined, definite path, and while this allows me to acquire an adventurous, spirited image of myself, I believe it would do me some good if I finally decide on the things that I am a gazillion times over certain that I want. Which, I did, this year.

See, I am that annoying friend who does not know what she wants to eat and so stalls everyone’s plans while she’s trying to decide. This happened to the letter the other day, when I wanted to grab a late lunch with one of my best college friends but didn’t know what it is that my palette wanted. Apparently, a new friend was also waiting for me to finally make up my mind so that he can drive us wherever the hell I wanted to eat. They probably both got miffed over my impulsiveness — my girl friend and I ended up eating at a street fair I discovered and the new friend waited for, well, nothing.

See, this is where it all goes wrong. I am flighty and I am forever aware that I don’t have a bone of consistency in my body, but for the most part I get away with it because I am surrounded by people who find it adorable (yes, someone described my antics exactly as that, but he probably got tired of it anyway). I sound like such a spoiled brat right now complaining of not knowing what I want yet breathing in the same sentence that people will always put up with it, don’t I? That’s the problem here when everything goes right for you because of charm and rainbows and strawberry fields — you become numb to the things that you really need, and you become numb to the feelings of the people you hurt in the process of your indecisiveness. They don’t get what they deserve, and you, despite all your layers, still believe that every person you love deserves the world, the universe down to every dying star, from heaven through earth to hell, to borrow from Goethe.

I have been focusing a little too much on myself and have been advertising about being on the search of what I want all year. This is not inherently bad, Aristotle prescribed being a master of oneself, after all, and if anything that’s been what I must be trying to do for the last twelve months. However, like wallowing in depression or in anger after being provoked and all you can do is react, it could only do so much as a catharsis. I have been swimming in a pool of uncertainty for the whole year, thinking it is alright as long as I own up to it, but shouldn’t treading unknown waters have an expiry date? Otherwise, we are left to drown, lest we grab on to something, this time with a full-on grip.

I am not recommending forcing yourself to a specific path, I am a living example and I would attest to my last dying breath that doing so would only result in a fiery pit of disappointment. In due time, things make sense, and while you do have to allow yourself to get to that when you’re ready, it is not as simple as it sounds.  You have to be actively pursuing such realization, while you may not be sure of what you want specifically, you have to want the certainty it promises. You do not lie in your cozy couch for six months and expect an epiphany.

So did I end up with a beautiful realization, nonetheless? I guess I did. Writing this now while looking back at the same time on my disposition a year ago, I could say I grew up a hell lot and I owe it to self-discovery. Yes I sound like a damn therapist encouraging you to understand your EQ, but I am vouching for this only because it has proved to be the best thing I have done for myself: making a decision to finally make a decision. Hah.

What is it that I always wanted to do? Years ago I proclaimed all I wanted was to make a difference, abolish apathy, all that jazz. How I am going to, though, I did not know then. Now, I am sure of two things: I want to teach, and I want to write. I couldn’t imagine the years left to me being spent otherwise. Sure, Physics and music and performing and all those casual flirtations I have with other disciplines are still retained in more ways than one, but the key difference here is that as a personal stand, I want to want something that I would want all the time. I have the attention span of a five-year-old, but this sheer lack of focus is suspended when I speak of Philosophy and Literature. I am fueled by the two, and more importantly, to synthesize, all I want is to have a role in someone else’s realization of what it is that they want, what they would live for, what would give their life meaning.

That being said, what about the implications? A friend of mine jokingly called me out on the way I’ve been treating people, and while jokes are not always half-meant,this one is. I have prided myself in the way I see the world, I thought I have always been sensitive to how it works, that’s why I have always been at home with the arts. But, apparently, after much thinking, I realized I have been insensitive and just indifferent to some people who gave me and all my antics a chance, some rent space in their daily lives. I haven’t been grateful — on the contrary, I have always played victim even if I didn’t say it outright. I did not get this, I did not feel that, I have purely thought of myself. In the first place, I shouldn’t have gotten myself involved so much this year if I am, for lack of a better term, disabled, but with all the spirit and languor of youth of course I wouldn’t even think about being ready, I thought about today, and what this moment called for — nothing else.

It may be timing, yes. It completely wasn’t them, it was me. Come to think of it, I wasn’t even myself the whole year. Things only started making perfect sense recently when I called it off with someone I was dating and I was again plunged into the joys (meh) of singlehood, where I should have been all along if I am this — was —  confused. Still, though, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, all the fleeting run-ins with these amazing men. If only for a little while it felt nice to be cared for as much as they did, to each their own way. That’s another thing lesson I have drummed perfectly into my skull this year: you have to let things be. Things may not always be what you think you need, and they may surprise you when they are, but either way you are about as powerless as an old leaf surrendering to the call of gravity, however long you may dance with the wind at first.

There’s this simple rule in writing poetry: show, don’t tell. This year alone I am shown as much as I am told — and am being told — everything I could possibly need to keep balance in my days. I have a great family, no matter what. I have multiple sets of friends who have taught me so much, plus I have a more intimate inner circle comprised of people, wherever they may be in the world right now, who know me best and who would swat me in the head every time I needed it, much to my delight and dismay. I am never short of people who will tell me what more I could be and who inspire me every day because of how they manifest strength at the worst times. And perhaps, most importantly, I have someone who is aware of all these and who will keep reminding to appreciate everything that I have, to go after the things that I want the most, to take it day by day and enjoy every minute of every moment, to breathe and let go of what is unnecessary, to live and let live, period.

Guess who. :)

Because the best of us aren't spared. :>And now here is a picture of myself just because. :)
Because the best of us aren’t spared. :>
And now here is a picture of myself just because. :)

af·ter·glow  (ftr-gl)

n.

1. The atmospheric glow that remains for a short time after sunset.
2. The light emitted after removal of a source of energy, especially:

a. The glow of an incandescent metal as it cools.
b. The emission of light from a phosphor after removal of excitation.
3. The comfortable feeling following a pleasant experience.
4. A lingering impression of past glory or success.
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