of late

Yesterday, my dad told me, “You’re just a great waste of a brilliant mind.”

His words rang in my ears the whole day, haunting the very recesses of my brain. I spent the entire afternoon crying in bed, my room a mess, me still wearing yesterday’s clothes and with unwashed hair. I was heartbroken, I must admit. I took two sleeping pills to calm myself down and spent the night drifting in and out of sleep, unable to determine if I was in a dream or reality. I woke up at midnight, my head feeling heavy and cloudy; I hate taking sleeping pills because it always gave me bad headaches. I spent an hour editing my staff writer’s article before falling back to sleep. I woke up this morning with a heavy heart, hesitant to step out of my room, feeling like a stranger in my own home. My eyes are swollen and my nose feels stuffy; I refused to eat lunch with my family for the second week.

It’s seven in the evening now and I’m sitting in a cafe away from home. I still feel a bit irritated from the inquisitive taxi driver’s endless questions; he spoke like a machine gun, very persistent with his inquiries about my personal life. I don’t like talkative people, to be honest, and my energy was drained by the time I got down from his cab. I bought a ticket to a math rock band I love; I thought it would be a great experience going alone, but I’m sort of regretting it now. I feel queasy and my knees are gelatinous; why on earth did I bother going alone? What if I look awkward? What if some creep tried getting it on with me? I have an hour left before the concert starts and here I am, sitting in this cafe with my overpriced watered down espresso, trying to calm myself. I find it so funny that I went out tonight for a concert, yet I still brought with me my journal and a trusty book. Tonight’s pick? Odes to Common Things by Pablo Neruda. And I can gush all night about Don Pablo because he is out of this world, but I don’t want to sound annoying. Anyway, I am sitting here and I’m torn between writing and reading. I haven’t written much, but I haven’t read much lately either, save for a couple of short stories from Bradbury’s Golden Apples of the Sun. I have finally convinced myself to push through with the concert anyhow. I don’t know why I’m freaking out. I love being alone. I’m a loner. Being by myself is my thing but maybe it’s because of the situation. I wouldn’t mind being alone in a library or a cafe, but a concert where people are usually in groups? It gives me the heebie jeebies. But of course I will keep on. I came here for the music and most likely I’ll stay in a corner at the back. I should stop being so neurotic. I’ll probably write about the concert when I get the time.

Here’s an interesting thing (and I feel shy admitting it to myself in my own journal ugh). I think I’m attracted to someone. I know it’s real because I couldn’t care less about his physical appearance. If I asked myself a year or two ago, I would say, No way! But I really like this guy. And I think it’s real because I don’t care if he’s shorter than me (I’m 5’9 anyway so) and that he has horrible fashion sense (white t-shirt, baggy jeans with frayed hem, anyone???) but I don’t care. I like him because I can trust him and he’s brilliant and honest and noble and intellectual and kind and thoughtful…I can go on, but I think I’ve made my point clear anyway. I like him, but wow, I have no way in telling if he likes me back. I doubt it because my intuition tells me he only thinks of me as a friend or, worse, a child—and that royally sucks, okay. But yeah, I like someone! I think this is serious stuff because it takes me an eternity to be attracted to someone! Also maybe why my mother thinks I’m lesbian lol.

Anyway, it’s now 7:18 and I’ll be heading to the concert hall in 27 minutes. I feel so weird. First time I felt anxious being alone but who knows, going alone to a concert can be the worst (or best) idea. God, I should stop being a tool. Who even overthinks this much?!?!? Holy shit. I’m supposed to unwind tonight; that’s why I left the chaos of my house in the first place. I can’t be stressed here too. I should stop overthinking things.

Moving on. I’ve been plotting my life timeline a few days ago and I plan to leave my parents’ roof by the time I turn 22. My goal in life is to be independent and self-sustaining, and free myself from my parents’ chokehold and religious carceral bondage. Another goal of mine is to help my younger brother do the same. My parents are so radical with their views they’d disown me if I left the church, but I’ve been contemplating for the past two years and I realized, I don’t mind. Anything for my freedom and happiness, and I realized, there’s no excuse to not be able to live my life. I don’t mind (but of course I do) if they disown me, as long as I am free—even if it means losing everything I have right now. And that’s why I’m busting my ass every day because I know I will suffer even more once I get out, but I also know that at least, if I do make it in the end, I can call my success my own. And I also accepted the possibility that even if I work so hard every day, there’s no guarantee at all that I will be successful. And that’s okay, too, but I’m living every day with so much determination to get myself out of here. Everyday I am mentally preparing myself for The Great Leave, whispering goodbyes to my favorite inanimate objects at home because I know I wont forever see them, that home wont be home some time soon. My four walls are testament to my nightly cries of the heart; they have seen everything. And I will get myself out of here.

My younger brother told me three days ago, “You don’t have to do things alone.” And I get his point because he has an amazing support group, from his huge group of friends to his best friend who is also his lover; his support system is really solid. I have a few countable people in my life who I trust, but no matter how much I trust them, I will always keep them at arm’s length. And this has nothing to do with me not trusting them enough; it’s just the way I am, I suppose. I keep to my own. My problems are my own. I get my brother’s point, but I also felt angry when he told me that. I don’t have to do things alone? No shit. I have to. He doesn’t understand and perhaps he never will and that’s okay, but I can’t go around twiddling my thumbs. I have to do things alone, just like how I always do. And I can. And I’ve done it before and I will do it again. I don’t need a support group. Yeah okay sometimes I envy him and the love he receives from his friends, how they always keep each other up; how, no matter dark his day gets, his best friend / lover is always there to kiss his sorrows away and sometimes, sometimes I long for that kind of intimacy. Just someone to squeeze my hand, I guess, and kiss my ear, in silence, and the silence will mean everything. But I guess just that one person who I can run to every night. I don’t have that person in my life. I have never. And sometimes I wonder if I will ever have that or will I never because of the way I distance myself from people; but you know, it’s just a silly thing, I guess, more of like a fantasy, I think. The thought is very tempting to entertain, but I think in reality I’m too proud and too chicken shit to open myself up like that to someone. And that has its advantages and pitfalls. By keeping people away, I am able to displace myself and my baggage from burdening anyone, but I also risk losing the people that matter to me by isolating them. And I will never win this, I think, but knowing my stubborn self, I will still keep on. Until, I guess, someone slaps reality to my face. For now, I am fine this way.

***concert update***

Right. So it’s 7 am of the following morning and can I just say I had such an amazing night last night! It wasn’t as awkward as I dreaded. Apparently while I was in line to go inside the concert hall, I met an acquaintance and his friend and we pretty much just stuck to each other the whole night! The atmosphere was phenomenal and we grabbed dinner and a few cold beers afterwards. I’m weak shit, so I felt out of it on my second beer. We finished around midnight. It was pretty funny, I think, because I am not in good terms with my parents but they fetched me last night because it was late; I think even though my parents and I fight all the time and don’t see eye to eye, I think they will always worry about me. And that makes me feel bad as a piece of shit daughter; of course I appreciate them picking me up and not wanting me to go home late at night by myself but that doesn’t change my plans, of course. I still plan to leave this place. People would say I’m an ungrateful bitch. I don’t think I am. Maybe some people will never understand, but like what I said, there’s no excuse to not be able to live my life.

So today’s a Monday morning. Quite thankful my professors canceled classes today because I need the extra hours to myself; I still have to go to internship this afternoon, but I also have a lot of things to finish. I have to get some reading done for my research and of course, editorial duties again because when do they ever end??? I’m not complaining and I don’t want my staff writers to think I hate my job because I don’t; I dont want this editorial job to feel like a chore. I want to love what I’m doing and I do, but sometimes it just feels robotic. Or maybe I just lack discipline so I guess I need to work on that more… Internship is also ending; today’s my last week and it is bittersweet for me. Glad I am out of this bureaucratic corporation, but sad I will be leaving the people behind, these people who are trapped in this bureaucracy with no choice. I’m going to miss them so much, but I am also ready to move forward. I’m thinking of taking spinning class or wall climbing next term; I got soft this term because I didn’t work out at all. I will give all the excuses and reasons (because I’m busy with school and being an editor and with internship and my part-time job blah blah blah) but really, I just sound like a dumbass. I need to be active again and of course, lose the pounds and just be healthy. I may be vegan, but I’ve been eating shit lately. I have two terms left before I graduate from university; the fact itself makes my heart race, out of excitement and anxiety, but leaning more towards anxiety!!! I still don’t know what to do. Definitely not a corporate job in HR, that’s for sure, but lately I’ve been exploring a lot of stuff, such as online content marketing writing and data analytics and the opportunity presented itself a few days ago when an older woman who i met from one of my writing gigs two years ago messaged me and asked me if i wanted to do content marketing for her because she’s now, apparently, a digital marketing content manager—a work-at-home job that allows her to be with her baby the whole day, i suppose. and it’s cool, because the opportunity came in good timing and at least i get to earn a few bucks from it. good enough to cover my allowance when my mother’s been withholding mine l-o-l.

wow. i’m like a bottle that has lost its stopper, my contents flowing freely from my mouth. i don’t mean to ramble, but it just feels so good to write this down. maybe it’s because of all my pent up emotions; the release is almost orgasmic. ha.

i’m looking out the window of the kitchen balcony and looking at all the things in this floor and it’s just sad that i would have to say goodbye to all of this soon. i think of all the people in this world, those with no families, those who left everything behind to build a new life, starting from nothing, as if reborn again, but this time without the support of their parents to teach them how to walk. how did they do it? what if i can’t do it? what if i fail? and i think of people who don’t really have homes, and of people whose only homes are themselves. like snails. like me. what makes a home? is it the presence of a family? of one’s favorite things? peace and quiet? Solitude? a welcoming doormat? is it the contents of one’s cupboard? books gathering dust on the shelf or the kind of flowers in the foyer vase? is it the notes held by magnets on the fridge? what makes a home? is it the photographs that hung silently on the wall—silent, but speaks a thousand words? or is it the shoes stowed away behind doors, or the laundry basket filled to the brim with soiled clothes, or the waste basket with its certain sundries, each piece of trash personal and distinctive to its maker?

I’m only twenty, yet I feel so old, as if I’ve been around forever. And i feel so so weary, as if I can sleep forever. I’d like to believe my life is just starting, not ending, even though I always feel like it is. I’m still trying to make out what home really is and what it really means; what I have right now is not home, but I will figure out someday what home is for me. I will make my own home. Away from here.

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