Not a sprint but a marathon

Earlier this week, someone I was sort of seeing reminded me of one very, very important thing: to be good to myself. Big talk I know for someone whom I’ve let disturb equilibrium the past three weeks since the day we met, but I knew without a doubt that he was right, philosophy units put to good use. Such goodness he says should be exercised at once and often, the most basic way by at least making it a point to get some decent sleep every night, else I’ll find myself burned out and disenchanted with people and life in general at the tender age of twenty – one. For the very first time in my life, I listened. Which is not to say, of course, that I’ve found some glorious spell to help my thoughts slow down — what’s different now I suppose is that I can now catch myself thinking too hard and too much and implement regular, sharp, intakes of breath.

Due to some issues at the Philippine office, work has been pretty crazy lately, and I have fallen into the habit of coming home at midnight and collapsing into my bed by 12:05 sharp the last three days. Not that I’m complaining. Now more than ever I am assured that this is where I want to be, and being provided so many opportunities to sustain my staying in this field doesn’t hurt either. Since the reshuffling issues were resolved a few days ago, we have redefined the local campaign’s goals and partnered with an organization aiming to marry human rights and climate justice — pretty much my personal stake at this all this time anyway — as opposed to just serving up interesting ways to communicate the science. I couldn’t be happier to be given the liberty to take charge of something that could possibly, even in some small way, make a difference in people’s lives. Since we aim both to influence policy and we have plans to do grassroots work meaning I get to get out of Manila for a month to travel the entire country, it is all I could ever want in a job. Frankly, I have no memory of working this hard for something.

But like I said, things are complicated, and not at all the enveloping glow of hard work for me. I still have yet to graduate college, mainly because I’ve evaded going to school to even file a leave of absence and have yet to revise my thesis which is due in 10 days. Again, no complaints there — I’ve managed to find a way to dive into literary and cultural studies by tackling poetics and form and the most basic of my urges, mere interest, is working its magic and making me power through. The episodes of blinding sadness — now mostly just drawn – out moments of utter disbelief that I’ve deviated so far from the life I had been planning six months ago with someone else — still come, but they are not as confounding as before. I am still confused as ever with how things are going to go now in that department, but like I’ve said, I’m learning to take slow, deep breaths. I’m not going to waste sleep being confused by things that should be as obvious as day anyway.

I just have to find more ways to observe the being good to yourself thing. I have always been identified as intense and have fallen into the lifetime habit of throwing myself at things (people, haha) and then subsequently losing interest. Pacing is an idea so foreign that its introduction to my life as a way of dealing with things now just seems ridiculous, but otherwise couldn’t have been more perfectly timed.

On the necessity of small sadnesses

Look at me mulling over an encounter again. I couldn’t stress further how radical the changes in my life have been in the span of seven months wrought by someone’s sudden departure and thus invalidating everything I’ve grown to know, love and want out of life, so imagine my surprise upon stumbling upon the realization that I’ve allowed a perfect stranger to inhabit my thoughts this past week or so, despite said thoughts being plagued by questions about my supposed inadequacy and other similar indulgences since January. My bestfriend tells me it is just like me to dive into something head first and without much care for the consequences I’ll probably chalk up to experience anyway, the recklessness then being justified by, at the very least, a tighter grasp on things I’ve given up trying to comprehend because of the aforementioned departure, a fuller understanding of life, yada, yada. That sounds like I’m fulfilling some pretentious artist stereotype, no?

Write about what you know, they say. And so, this return to blogging as I re-learn how to churn out poems for that manuscript I’m finishing. To be honest, at this point, I’ve given up trying to hold back the urge to get to know someone I find intriguing, strings attached or not. I’ve so much to worry about and opportunities to look forward to lately. I go at them full force, yes, but unfortunately, I employ the same temper with these things. I wish I could stay afloat and feign nonchalance but I’ve given up too on childish pretensions. It’s been so long since I actually admired someone and felt the need to learn from and all about them, from what makes them tick to what resurrects them at their lowest moments, so it’s just unfortunate how my heightened interest caused the dwindling of another’s, and without so much as a warning. Earlier this week too, someone who has been around for years told me how a horrible human being I must be that I’ve grown blatantly unaware of the fact that I’ve kept him around despite the certainty that I won’t be able to reciprocate what he has been offering for so long. That felt like a slap, a sign that I’ve to detach myself from this new one, thinking I’ve better chances of staying sane especially in light of everything else that is happening in my life if I just let this one go as early as I could, seeing as it is that everything has officially stopped making sense in this department to me. Like all else, though, this shall pass soon enough.

However, I refuse to accept that this is just the nature of encounters at this age. I’m terribly romantic and gravitate towards things, be it a cause or another encounter, who carry the possibility of consuming me. Despite of all that has happened this year, I still believe there is no other way to go but through this route. Meanwhile, there’s revising my thesis, Barthes, a paper for my first conference, work, and trying to get fit despite injury. I’ve better things to do with my time, indeed, but this one is really, really, just a shame.

Live Poem

Some people just make you want to slow down. Retain faith. Learn patience.

Sharded Verses

“Love is a choice,” my mother always says,

But this time her spatula did not point
Pragmatically in my direction.
It stirred silence on the boiling broth,
Ripples matching the excited rhythm
Of the TV sports anchor’s voice
In a basketball game my father is watching.

Now that I’m older, I’m forced to reconsider
You and my fixation on the Addams couple
As our role models forever.
One always hungry for the other.

I never listened to my mother,
But every day I see her.
And I’m older and love must be domestic,
Responsible, sensible as a haircut in summer.

Is it possible for us to make something more
Out of what we are about to have?
Of course, you do not know.
Even I do not know.
Why did I even begin asking questions?
I just wanted to write you a love poem
But I can only live one…

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21

Safe to say that things didn’t go quite as planned. Five years ago, I clenched this idea of the best version of myself, and when you’re young, you take having defined the mold you want to grow into as the mark of maturity. I was as self-assured as I’ll ever be then. I thought that I was going to graduate college by 19, and be halfway done with law school by the time I’m 21, possibly in a relationship with someone whose dreams exist in the same wavelength as mine. Writing this now, two hours before I add another year on top of my last two decades, it puzzles me how everything turned out just differently — not better or worse, mind you, I’ve since learned to appreciate the way I deviated, but just differently.

I’ve yet to graduate college, I still have my thesis and Spanish units to complete. I’m considering totally abandoning my law school dreams in favor of a career in development, which I figured I could jumpstart now. The man who I thought was the love of my life turned out to be just one of those guys you meet in college who gift you with your first real heartbreak. I’m about forty pounds above my desired weight. I’ve stopped writing altogether, for the Nth time. Most nights, before drifting off to sleep, I am paralyzed by the fear I may never measure up the high standards I have set for myself, or never see daylight again to actually enforce them, believing all my life for some reason that I will never die old, reach old, be old.

But to dwell on these things is to discount how well things have been going so far. Two nights ago, I was hired by an international NGO whose goals I believe in with all my heart, andw will now send me off to places I’ve never even dreamed of to make at least a wee bit of difference in people’s lives. Before that, I have gotten two job offers from two wonderful institutions despite my lack of a degree. I’ve just gotten a raise in the part-time gig I’ve held for the last three years, and I am more or less financially independent the moment my first payday comes. I’ve a good grasp of the people I call my core, and a burning desire to hone these relationships forever. I live in a place that affords me the most marvelous view of the city I call home, and so wake up with renewed energy and purpose everyday. I have started eating clean, and taking care of my body well. I’ve been reading again and managing to mute the doubting voices in my head more often because of this. I have lost the energy to put up with people I don’t want around me, and have learned to stay away from relationships that are as draining as they are inauthentic. I am actually not afraid to admit anymore that I want a relationship with my parents. I kiss my eighty-one-year-old grandfather often, and feel my heartbeat quickening whenever he laughs at my stupid jokes. I am seeing my siblings doing something worthwhile with their days and going at this with a passion I wish I had at their age, and feel myself beaming with pride. I am as reckless and as impulsive as I will ever be in sending applications, approaching strangers and declaring what exactly what I want and need, and feel liberated that I no longer waste energy in holding myself back. I feel myself yearning to make reparations to people who have gotten from me less than they deserve and less that I am capable of giving, whether said reparation comes in the form of an extra credit assignment, or a rekindled friendship. I have managed to see myself through the lowest moments over the last few days, and have chosen to be resilient and live through these times rather than make hasty decisions driven by mere nostalgia. I have learned that although my twenties is indeed the period for a manic chase, I now know myself well enough to know exactly when to step back and breathe everything in to avoid burning my fire out.

I guess my point is this: from now on, I am refusing to plan. Obviously I have a good sense of what and how much I want to achieve in the next nine years, but I am no longer subscribing to some manual. I am still as ambitious and as hungry as I’ll ever be, yes, but I will no longer hold myself responsible for the things I might not get done in time, believing now that whatever it is that I truly want, I will go after with the urgency I expect from genuine desire.

Greeting this day confused and tired and wanting and lonely, but hopeful. Always hopeful.

Holy week musings

I.

In the past three days I have learned more about myself than the last three years. For example: I like medical dramas. I like strange terms buzzing in my ears, tinnitus. I couldn’t write, or read, or pretty much do anything else, with music on — if I’m blasting anything, especially the bands I like, it means I am hopelessly up to no good. I have zero tolerance for reducing appliances to bolts and screws nor do I have energy to put them back to work. I like buying my mother gifts. I like how the sky is a myriad of colors at daybreak, and pretty much just blue, then black, at night. I accept the fact that I’ve come to a point where I don’t put up as much pretense as before in my writing, because there is nothing to put up, really —  I haven’t written in a while, years, even, and I’ve loosened my grasp on metaphors and imagery and all things that make horrible things sound pretty.

II.

Because that is not the point. Throughout the last several months, I’ve been asked how far I’ve gotten in that story I’m supposed to be writing, that manuscript I’m supposed to be submitting for this and that fellowship, and I’ve responded with feigned nonchalance, a rehearsed four-sentence explanation of why I’d quit writing, an additional two-sentence rebuttal if the companion is a friend who had seen me stamp then remove then re-stamp the writer label onto my forehead unabashedly for years. This is not a phase, I’ve said one too many times, I just don’t have anything left to say.

III.

And that is so unfortunate, isn’t it, in an age which prides itself on how easily it succumbs to blab?

IV.

But to dwell on my inability to draw a response from myself would resemble a session with my therapist, if I ever had one. I imagine talking for hours and arriving at nothing, but the recognition of how, for years, everything tastes like stale breakfast left outside somebody’s door in those telenovelas. A knock on this door bolted shut didn’t do anyone good. So I let the flies hover and refused to digest what was before me, fasting without true cause, all in some god’s name.

V.

But like I’ve said: I’ve learned more about myself in the last three days than in the last three years. How I can love two people at the same time, each love bringing no threat to the other. How no amount of caffeine can keep me up better than a bottle of water. How romanticizing the smell of rain irks me to no end. How I understand fuller now that it’s a different journey for each person, and at 26, whether I find myself with child, finishing up a PhD, still climbing mountains or still in college, I would be just fine. Because I’d still find myself writing.

VI.

Sometimes I’d look at my grandfather’s face and it would take an effort to locate his eyes somewhere beneath the folds of his splotchy, drooping skin. Then I’d remember the importance of detail for a look to qualify as gaze. And then I would realize that the last three years of my life can be summed up without making much use of insight.

VII.

These days, I tell myself again and again to learn to be fully present. To allow everything from the most crippling desires to the most elating loves. To memorize scenes, from how a stranger could smell like someone so familiar and how I automatically assume panelled hallways are rigged with boobytraps. These days, I even dream in the most vivid colors,feel the weight not the lightness of a classmate’s lips, hear Bach in white-washed walls, and remember everything throughout brand new days even as I have slipped out of what resembles wakefulness and fly by my life as if now truly fully awake.

A que te dedicas?

I made some friends in a Facebook group for Manila-based writers, photographers and musicians way back in 2011, and in 2013, they were the ones who whisked me away to my first climb. Nothing major, just the typical overnight camp where we made our assault in the afternoon and descent the next morning, but damn, was I hooked. It wasn’t just with hiking, but travelling in general – with as little baggage, literal and otherwise, and with the least amount of money possible, which surprisingly sounded acceptable to my worrying mother.

Over the last two years, I learned to seek their advice, and usually their company as well, whenever I found Manila too confining, too suffocating. These episodes took over me more often than I would like to admit, and though I am so much better now clutching a new definition of the people and places I consider home, looking back I think the culprit was the confusion I’m sure most people my age experience when they’re about to leave the comforting walls of the academe. See, my problem was not how I did not know what to do with my life, but wanting so much out of it that letting one, much more several, promising options go sounded so limiting, instead of liberating. The time to make a choice is coming soon, if it hasn’t already, and I think I used to afraid of the thought of committing to just one, straightforward track, so I didn’t at all, dabbling on everything.

And so, whenever everything got too cloudy and I’d like to momentarily shed all weight, I found myself in the strangest places, or at least the strangest my student allowance could go. Whether it’s while joking about KathNiel with porters during a night trek , staring at bleak  Aurora hostel walls while sharing a comfortable silence with two other people, or watching the rest of the world transform into small, manageable dots en route an island in Zambales seven hours after a call in the middle of the night sent me stuffing all I now deem essential in a 40-liter pack, these excursions have coincided with issues that at my age, I am licensed to deem as too large, too confounding not to drown in and hyperbolize. I’m much more honest and accepting of the brewing questions now, but that’s another story for another day.

The subsequent departures gifted me with homecomings, of course, and I actually have more vivid memories of my trips back. I think the clarity of what counts as home is what everyone who has dared travel is after. That, or as Alain de Botton says, we are programmed to forget about the dull momentsin between, automatically blocking out the necessary consequences of bringing the self – one’s pains, one’s physical limitations, one’s boredom – in a trip, so that when we speak of our travels, we excitedly share the highs and lows, a flight upgrade or a flight delay, but never what leads to the highlights: the distracted gaze of an immigration officer, the lack of paper towels in an airport bathroom, a Spanish cover of Hoobastank blaring out of cab speakers, la rason es tu.

Either way, this trip is different. Not only am I alone with no one to bother with my existential drama  – technically, at least, everyone else’s company is just a necessary consequence of shared business –  I am also on a grant. I am free to eat, hike a mountain or two, shop to my heart’s desire, and not worry about not surviving financially. Even more so, this is considered an honor, and I am on leave from everything else in my life officially. I will remember Lima, Peru as where I realized so many people have chosen to believe in me, and I will remember how after that realization, I’ve quickly spiraled into questioning if I deserve the trust, the pride. I was sent by a UN unit in the Philippines as a youth advocate to learn, and got here with a pass that technically made me a member of the Philippine delegation, in awe of senior members of the team are hell bent on making a difference the best way they know how.

I will probably always say that I see climate change as more than just a scientific concern but a social, political and economic one as well, revealing power dynamics and the best and worst human tendencies, but what has been fueling me these past couple of days is how I am drowning in so much information and though really challenging, I have to specialize and decide where I will be most effective. That’s shedding hubris right there, isn’t it, admitting you are so limited and there is only so much you can do? This is the same line of thinking I used when I was debating whether or not I should proceed to law school next year, and how I concluded that I will probably be more effective as a teacher, but I digress.

The responsibilities and challenges aside, however, even if I am living in a cozy room in a wonderful part of the city, being driven to and from a posh venue showcasing Lima’s neighboring mountains, and free to shop, pile in and bring home as much baggage as I want because of my allowance and my obscenely huge pink suitcase, the same rules apply when I am roughing it out in an island without electricity or a mountain summit. The obvious actually just hit me last night: I’ve been reaching out only to those that continue to matter despite the distance and the time difference. I’ve been worrying only a few things that retain their value to me, such as writing, grad school applications and this cause. Lastly, I’ve been functioning without (or, fine, the least amount of) posturing or pretension. I think everyone is allowed to ask for help and admit that they don’t know as much as they usually claim at whatever age and this is what most people are forgetting, but of course it’s a different experience when you’re a youth delegate – you actively seek out advice, you look up to everyone and learn what type of people you would like as mentors, and  finally, admit and realize how much you need to know and work in order to fulfill your model of what person you would like to grow into.

I would be lying if I say I have spent my last four years piling one crazy achievement on top of another. Whatever your God’s name is, He knows I have let a lot slip by my fingers, unable and more importantly, unwilling to spring into action. He knows as well that I hate it, and am now much more appreciative of opportunities to redeem myself, such as this one.

Finally, He knows that I have realized it isn’t just about me anymore. More and more people are deprived of the right to sit down, evaluate their options and grant their days purpose because of climate change and its ethical and political implications, the greed and corruption of the powerful, the apathy of the privileged, the choice to remain ignorant made by most because of ivory towers everywhere.

I will still be here when super typhoon Hagupit hits the Philippines in a few hours, unfortunately certain that concepts like mitigation and adaptation draw their limits when at the ground level, survival becomes not only the utmost but the only choice of millions. Accepting that thousands will perish with this as a goal in the middle of yet another disaster pains me greatly. Mulling over purpose and ideals and ten-year plans that include master’s degrees, travel and being mentored by the best in what they do is a luxury granted to me, a social class accident. The rest are sent scrambling to evacuation centers, used to this routine, and will most probably build from what remains again yes in a few months’ time, but will continue to think that such way of life is a given, with equal opportunities granted to each citizen inconceivable. Those enabled by the same opportunities granted to me, on the other hand, are in charge of transforming their plight into diagrams and reports. These will constitute DRM plans in the future, of course, but thinking about the time needed to translate this knowledge for the masses, empowering them to take matters into their own hands the way I have always been taught to, is sickening.

What we lack is the commitment to help those who were not granted the same leverage as us. I think I’ve spent too much time drowning myself in internal debates about what to do with my life and forgot all about the bigger, all-encompassing picture.

105 Ignacio Marriategui
Barranco District, Lima, Peru
2:41 AM

Update

Something has to be said about how well this week turned out to be. I’ve yet to re-learn how to write without having to force out the words via a ten-minute exercise I’ve imposed upon myself never mind the still-awkward bursts — but here goes.

For one, I made sure my thesis idea made sense to someone else, like my adviser for example, before I pitched it to my mother and boyfriend, which I am taking as a good thing for that must mean I don’t thrive on unconditional love and support alone anymore. I’ve set myself up for roughly three months of hard work but I’ve finally chanced upon a topic that’s both challenging and undergrad-doable at the same time. Three years ago, a boy I was interested in for a split-second asked me who the hell Nick Joaquin was and I laugh now thinking about how my entire paper’s goal is that it should suffice for an answer.

I’ve also realized that my next three weekends will be spent outside of Manila. I’ve been feeling boxed in and it’s nice to know the word someday suddenly seems so tangible. I know the geographic cure seems overrated or seems like an excuse but I feel most like myself after having been on a long journey, literally and otherwise.

I’m taking my final PE class this sem as well and it infuriated me at the start how I can manage with barely enough food and water on the mountains or hitching rides alone miles away from home but could never seem to learn how to hit a table tennis ball consistently. My professor and the varsity player he has assigned to take charge over my progress keep talking to me about control, this wonderful thing called control, repeating it again and again like a mantra I would hopefully learn to live by. I think of them as faith healers and believe them when I say I’m not so much of a lost cause.

I’ve decided to push through with SC and joining this other writing org as well, and this week practically marks that decision to act on this boredom I’ve unwittingly brought upon myself. Some friends with good heads on their shoulders talked to me about asserting myself more especially when it comes to things I believe in, that I should stop assuming people know my side of the story and stop waiting to be courted, as if the world owed me an explanation. E also talked to me about actually committing to things and making long-term plans suddenly started making perfect sense.

I’ve made peace in my own way with a couple of people, whether they know it or not, and I think what really matters is that all in all, I think I’ve finally come to the point where I see thinking in the present tense as a healthy alternative, and looking back with fondness at those we’ve lost is the best way to let go with grace.

I’m finally feeling not so confused about everything, and it’s a welcome relief.

 

 

 

 

Beta

Yesterday I had lunch with some random people from school and spent the entire hour laughing with – or rather, laughing about – a girl who was with us who reeked of naivete. Said girl talked about taking all sorts of measures to “better” herself: quitting cigarettes, turning down drugs and alcohol, actually attending her classes, skipping the late night Mcdo binge temptation – all this, so that she can be a better version of herself for The One.

We were all incredulous, of course. In an age that prides itself in its cynicism, her innocence, her frank optimism and yearning for love in its purest, best form, sent us all into fits of laughter. This poor girl, we thought, still believed in mythical creatures, and even more so, declared herself unsuitable, at least for the time being, for this elusive figure.

The two boys who were with us then sought control of themselves and proceeded to give the girl a lecture about self-confidence and how love should mean accepting the other person for who he or she is the moment you meet, since deeming yourself a yet-to-be-improved version only means that the would-be Beloved is esteemed higher, lionized even. I suppose the other guy we were with was on something, but he then set his hands on the table, slid them apart, and then moved them forward together at the same speed. “Look, see? No one is going faster, no one is being left behind. You are both moving in the same pace. That’s the way it should be.” The girl gave him a blank stare.

He continued, smiling at me and one of my friends. “Tignan mo si Bea at Jem, feeling nila hindi na nila kailangan maging better version of themselves just for The One.”

Of course that sent us over the edge again, and we high-fived each other the moment his sentence broke free from his lips. “Kasi nga, sobrang conceited namin.” Laughter again.

“Nah, I don’t mean that in a conceited manner naman,” the guy replied. “It’s just..”

He did not finish for the other girl cut him off with an explanation of her diet plans.

 

 

Later that night, a couple of hours past midnight, I was ranting to my boyfriend about these recurrent feelings of inadequacy, of emptiness. I have been struggling with depression – because hey, aren’t we all using this term very loosely these days anyway – for years now, and I felt like I was stuck in a vicious cycle which entailed me feeling like my regular, happy self then spiraling downward into a blackhole, and then recovering and stabilizing, then back again, ad infinitum. Perhaps it is PMS, but it did not help that I felt utterly useless on finals week. He has been sleeping over more than usual lately, supposedly helping me get back on track my academics, but he usually catches me asleep on the couch the moment he does something else while I “study.”

I have been single for two years, and though I was seeing someone last summer for a couple of weeks, I still was not accustomed to the whole sharing-your-life thing. I got to know myself in the process, and knew just how I tend to lose equilibrium whenever someone comes into the picture. I’ve unwittingly declared that I am at my best when I am alone, valuing freedom and all that jazz, and believed the only way I could get my shit together was to spend some time with myself for a bit.  I proposed a break while I pull myself together, telling him I refuse to weigh him down with my usual drama queen bullshit about how I have stopped liking my course and how I want to move to Baguio because I have it too easy in Manila, having everything and anything I could possibly want with the least amount of effort.

To my surprise, the dimwitted fool laughed and shook his head, telling me my problems have now inevitably become his because, just to remind me, we’re now in a relationship.

Speechless, I went to sleep and we woke to another episode of me babbling senselessly for an hour about how down I’ve been feeling. He repeated his promise, and I am once again warranted mute. And now, he has curled up on my lap like a cat, after cooking breakfast for the mean old witch that is Beatrice Tulagan whose idea of a meal is Skyflakes dipped in peanut butter.

Perhaps it is really love where we get the strength that we feel has been missing from us all these years. I have never felt so vulnerable and invincible at the same time, if that makes sense. I am taken aback by how amazing this relationship is and I have actually started wondering if this is how everyone feels, or if I just did something utterly noble in a past life to deserve having someone who is willing to put in all the work and make me feel like life deserves another shot just because he sees in me only great things.

I understand now what our lunchmate was saying yesterday, though her words really did sound like the makings of a joke. What was I laughing about, anyway, and what right did I have to make fun of someone’s optimism?

The better version of myself, whatever the hell that means, is deserving of this love, this faith in me. I want to be able to break free from this cycle I have somehow started three years ago. I want to see myself in a different light, one where I could acknowledge my flaws and actually do something about them instead of just accepting them as normal, deeply entrenched habits I could now do nothing about. There is absolutely nothing in the world quite like the feeling of being looked at like someone believes in you so much despite it all, at three AM when you’re a sorry, crying mess lamenting about the pointlessness of your degree; at dawn when you refuse to wake up to do your papers, telling your boyfriend you need five more minutes of reprieve, your five minutes soon turning into an hour and a half; at 9 AM when you are whining about being hungry and being offered sinangag to feel better. I am beyond words thankful, and have never known bliss which empowers like this.

But no, I will not even dare fight those late night Mcdonalds cravings. Silly girl.

In medias res

These days, only sleep liberates me from being consumed by anxieties. I’m caught up in school, org and work responsibilities and I’m afraid if I don’t slow down and take a breather, I’ll end up just shutting myself down. God knows that has happened before. Perhaps it is this tendency to go in with full force making the moments of self-doubt inevitable. Still, I write this with the certainty that I will bounce back, and knowing myself, seeking temporary refuge in writing is imperative for recovery.

With everything happening all at once, taking even just a day off has become a luxury. I like to think I deserve this — the sweetness of doing nothing. The Italians have a word for this but I forgot.

If only it were possible, I’ll be camped on some mountain or by the beach but writing in my room in my bedclothes on a lazy Wednesday’s all I can afford for now. We get through with the simple things. That’s something I’m learning recently, from someone who has that superhuman ability to calm me down. And that’s what I’m focusing on, the little things. Reality gets too overwhelming, too imposing at times.

The problem with me is that I am easily excited by possibilities, and while that in itself is not at all a bad thing, it makes you lose sight of the here and now. Zooming back in helps the pressure dissipate, reminds you to use the present tense however far off into the future you’re looking.

Mind you, I’m not complaining. Lately my life has been brimming with laughter and light and dreams and goals being met one at a time and love — yes, love, as I’ve never felt it before, a feeling (or to borrow his term, a “filling”, of all the remaining crevices of heart and soul) that crept up one random Sunday morning — so I’m not short on my daily dose of inspiration.

I’m just exhausted, and I’ve found that I no longer spend time with myself as much as I used to, which is pretty much tantamount to feeling genuinely rested for me. On top of that, I miss writing. I pride myself most in being self-aware and losing touch with my own thoughts — a cliche that did not make sense to me until now — makes me feel like I am not really fully present. Balance is something I’ve correlated to how much writing I get done, and it bothers me that I haven’t put down a page in a long while.

And now I have. It’s not much, but it’s a start.