Tag Archives: Friends

Selling Happy Pills

Selling Happy Pills

I think this photo came at the right time, and I think it’s more than enough to express how I feel.

You see, all of this isn’t easy, and explaining everything that goes on in my head will never be easy. No one will ever understand because no one has ever spent at least twenty-four hours as me and exactly me. But if there’s one thing I know I can always do and do well, it’s focusing on other people. Infecting others with happiness. Throwing bombs of laughter at other people’s faces.

Let me say it like this: you see, when I was a kid, my mom had this store, and there are times when I had to watch over the store and sell stuff whenever customers would come by. The only rule my mother gave me was not to eat anything at the store because they were all for sale and were for customers only; that if I ever need something to eat, I should just go to the kitchen and grab some grub instead of eating things from the store that are meant for customers and only the customers. And that’s the thing: you have something, but you’re not allowed to have it. It’s intended for other people.

And that’s what I’m good at. I’m a mess, a mental wreck, and honestly I have no idea what to do with myself so I sell happiness, and a helping hand, free of charge, even if I end up having none of it in the end. They say you can’t give what you don’t have, but I think they’re wrong. I figured if I helped enough people, made them laugh hard enough and just gave them enough of my time, it would distract me from the real issue pushing me down, which is my mind. It didn’t matter if I still had to go through my own problems alone. The fact is that as long as I was being thoroughly distracted by other people, I was perfectly okay. I guess now I know I was wrong; that I could lean on my friends as much as they’ve been leaning on me, even if it’s all new to me and I’ve been so used to riding solo when it comes to my problems.

I shouldn’t think this way. No one should think this way. Everyone should be able to at least get a taste of the happiness they’re selling to other people.

Perhaps this is also why I take great pride in my loyalty, because in all honesty, it’s really all I can offer my friends that’s worth anything.

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The Problem With Sharing The Problem

Let me just clear this up.

I just don’t want to bother people with my problems anymore.

I saw this on Tumblr and maybe it’s not so bad that other people feel the same way I do.

It’s not that I don’t trust other people enough to tell them about my problems; in fact, I trust my friends with my life and everything that comes along with my depression package, it’s just that when I tell them about my problems too much and too often, I get scared that they may find my problems shallow and repetitive even when they aren’t and it almost kills me every day, and that’s one of the things I fear most.

I have always been this way ever since I discovered the existence of problems. I try to solve them by myself as much as I can so I wouldn’t have to bother anybody, and when I feel like I finally need a hand, I ask for it. Most of the time though, I just don’t know when to admit that I can’t handle something by myself and I really do need to ask for some help. I don’t think this is a matter of pride involving my abilities; it’s just the fact that I don’t want anyone to feel like I’m such a burden. I don’t want to bother other people. Yes, I find comfort in their company, but it’s just hard to be that kind of person.

I actually want to get rid of this quality and try to find more comfort in telling others how I really feel to lessen the weight on my shoulders. So that they may also help me in carrying my baggage the way they’ve always been carrying theirs just fine.

Though I suppose this also may have something to do with the way I see my mental and emotional strength, because other people depend on me too. Perhaps it’s a fear that I don’t want to show them any hints of weakness, that I may somehow be obsessed with the idea of being an epitaph of mental strength that this drives me not to tell anyone my problems and try to solve them all by myself, even if it costs me my sanity.

But like I said, whatever reason I have for being so secretive when it comes to my inner conflicts, if given the chance, the only thing I want is to get rid of it; get rid of the habit. Because I have always been this way towards everybody, there are no exceptions, and now that I am still this way, I’m afraid it’s been bad enough that I just might lose the greatest thing that has ever happened to me, and I can’t afford that. I have no idea what might happen to me or what I might do if I lose it. The mental and emotional strife of the present is more than enough for me to handle; I don’t know what’s going to happen to me if things got any worse than they already are.

I hope that never happens.

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The Sad Truth

It just really sucks, you know? Being somewhere you used to go to every single day, being with the people you used to spend every single day with, and knowing that no matter how hard you try, no matter how badly you still want to fit in, things will never be the same again. You can still be there, but that doesn’t mean you still belong there.

You’ll never get to hear their stories as often as before. You’ll never get to be in the pictures when something awesome happens in the lives of your friends. You’ll never get to be around for the laughs, the challenges, the great moments. And every time they tell you about it, this sentence will always be said: “It’s too bad you weren’t there.”

You have to accept that life goes on. You have to move on. You have to learn to move all on your own now, and you have to accept that you have to go through this alone, even if it kills you. No matter how much you know you’ll miss them.

Ram, you just don’t belong there anymore.

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Solid Foundation

Today, after spending an amazing day with my friends, I realized how much things are still the same, unlike before, when all I could think about were the many changes that are taking place and how I’m going to struggle adapting to them.

This will be my letter to you. The two of my greatest friends. I guess I no longer need to give you an introduction; you already know who you are, and everyone else probably knows that too, so let’s just get this started.

You see, these past few months really haven’t been that easy for us. The three of us all have our individual lives that have been knocked down like a house of cards, and we are still in the state of fixing everything up. And the thing that breaks my heart the most is that I can’t be there for you guys. I mean, I’m no longer a student. I can’t keep coming back to where you are and still spend every day doing nothing but smoke cigarettes, sit around and laugh, and just be there. And being there means a lot to me as a friend. And do you know what they say about days? It’s that most days of the year are unremarkable; they begin and they end with no lasting memories made in between. Most days have no impact in the course of someone’s life. You know I actually believed that before I met the two of you, before I had anyone I could spend every day with and not do the same things and never get bored at all.

Yes, most days are unremarkable. Not every day has to be legendary, because if they were, then we would get so used to it that we’ll start considering them as normal days, and when legendary days become normal, there’s just no way to top them. Call it one of the basic laws of the universe. I believe in that.

But if you put all of the days we spent together in one place, now that’s what you call remarkable. Now that’s something that has an impact on the course of someone’s life. The kind of impact that just punches you in the face just to let you know that your life is amazing. I mean, none of us became friends overnight, right after we met, but thanks to a great number of days, we’ve managed to learn a lot from one another until we realized the compatibility of the friendship. We’ve seen our flaws, and we love each other enough to accept those flaws. We found out about our baggage, and with your help, I’ve managed to carry mine easier while I helped you carry yours. We’ve also learned our strengths, the ones we cling to when one of us (or all of us) is down. And without realizing it, we’ve managed to build a strong foundation that can carry our friendship no matter how heavy it gets (because let’s face it, Nin’s fat and therefore heavy).

And with that, everything was amazing. No words can possibly describe how lucky I am that I found you guys. I mean, what if we flourished financially and I ended up going to DLSU anyway? What if Nin studied in Manila or back home instead of AMA? What if Meeku pushed through with his plans to be a soldier? The possibilities are endless, but somehow we ended up finding one another anyway. Would our paths still would have crossed if these things went their way? I can’t imagine not knowing you and bumping into you somewhere one day, and not giving a shit. Maybe that’s how it will be in a parallel universe, but I don’t want that universe. I want this one. I’m much happier here.

But the thing is, my good buddies, the one thing I have grown to enjoy the most in my entire life is becoming something that I only get to taste once or twice a week. I can’t spend every single day of the week with you guys anymore.

And I know you’re probably tired of me telling you these things: I’ll always be there for you still, just give me a call and I’ll listen to you if you find yourself in any trouble, tell me your stories if something nice happens or just how your day went. I mean, I say this to you and plenty of other repetitive things every time I come to visit you. I’ve noticed that too. And I just want you to understand that this isn’t easy for me too. I miss you every day I’m gone, and I don’t think you’re ever going to feel the way I’m feeling now. The feeling of graduating ahead of all your friends and wanting to go back just so you could spend time with them. Not being able to laugh at everything your friends say because they’re just that fucking hilarious. Being at home while they’re all at school hanging out or drinking out somewhere, and you’re wondering if they’re even thinking about you. Worst of all, probably, is no longer being the first person they turn to whenever something goes wrong simply because you’re out of reach, and if stricken by bad luck, being the last. If I could spend just one last trimester with you guys, I would do it. I knew this day would come, but I had no idea it would be this hard. I was so used to being around you guys. But I guess you can’t always have what you want. That’s not how life rolls. In fact, our friendship is probably the one thing I actually wanted and actually got. And for that, I’m grateful.

I just miss you. And I’m glad that I got to spend yesterday and today with you. And now that the week is over, I don’t think I’ll be coming in for visits any time soon. Thinking about it makes me miss you even more already.

I just hope that even though I can’t spend every day with you anymore, you won’t forget all about me. Please keep in touch, and know that if there’s anything you need from me, anything at all, I would give it as long as the world lets me.

You’re my best friends. I hope I get to stay yours too.

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Life of Leaving Home by Yellowcard

I can see all the footsteps left behind
Every second I gave
Every song was a snapshot of my life
I needed something to say

Started out in the last slow motion scene
Watching everyone change
Made a map of a one-way road from here
Had no reason to stay

I am awake and alive
There is something calling me
More than a moment in time
It’s a dream I’m following
On my own
More than a moment in time
It’s a life of leaving home

Think of me when the stars come out tonight
Take a look at the sky
Never said that I could burn out that bright
But I needed to try

I am awake and alive
There is something calling me
More than a moment in time
It’s a dream I’m following
On my own
More than a moment in time
It’s a life of leaving home

The day that I found my voice
I knew that I had no choice
The only way I’d ever learn to love
Is if I found it
On my own

I am awake and alive
There is something calling me
More than a moment in time
It’s a dream I’m following
On my own
More than a moment in time
It’s a life of leaving home

More than a moment in time
It’s a life of leaving home

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May 25, the Graduation Celebration

May 25, the Graduation Celebration

Thank you guys for coming and celebrating my graduation with me (too bad there’s no picture of Paul here). I know things are going to change for me soon, but I want to keep you guys around for a long time. I want pictures like these to be one of the first of the many others we’ll collect over the years.

I mean, I hate to sound all faggy, but goddamn it, I love you guys. And thank you so much for everything.

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Achievement Unlocked: College Graduate!

Achievement Unlocked: College Graduate!

May 20, 2014
I finally did it. Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, Best Thesis.

This wouldn’t have been possible if i weren’t for my family and the people in helped in supporting me through college, emotionally and financially. I dedicate this to them, and my friends, especially my best friend Meeku, who couldn’t graduate with me this year. Even so, I chose to honor him by putting our agreement into action: raising our fists to the sky as soon as we get our hands on our diplomas.

I don’t know what the future holds, but right now, I’m invincible.

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The Graduates

The Graduates

These are the people I’ll be graduating with this Tuesday. I spent the last four years with them, and we struggled together as a brotherhood even though the years have already changed so many things. I’m still happy that I met them, worked with them, laughed and cried with them, and grew together with them.

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“But there was one thing your aunt Robin never was; she was never alone.”
– Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother

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Looking Up

It wasn’t part of my plans for today, but I met with Nin again today at school, one day after she returned to Manila and twelve days after what happened, and I have to say, she looked better than I had expected. By better, I mean calmer and more grounded. I honestly expected her to still be somewhat fragile because it’s only been days, less than two weeks, but she looked like she was keeping it together quite nicely. Of course, this is only what goes on externally. What happened to her wasn’t easy, and she didn’t have to tell me, but if there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that the wound is still fresh and one wrong word from my mouth could either break her again or cause her to summon so much strength that it forms in her as a fist and hits me with it. 

So what did I do? I gambled.

Well, it’s not exactly something I thought of, I guess it just came out when she arrived. I greeted her like she just came from a vacation somewhere far-off and talked about things that were funny and had absolutely nothing to do with what happened to her, thinking that distracting her and making her laugh would be healthy for her after all of the tears I imagined her pouring these past few days. At first I felt like a jackass because I figured she might think that I’m an asshole for not being more sympathetic, which I wouldn’t blame her for if she did. And that’s the thing, because two of my best friends over the past five years already experienced the same thing she went through and I had absolutely no idea what to do or say, and today I still played the jackass as if I had learned nothing from the past two experiences. I was ready for her to punch me in the face if she wanted to.

The old Nin would probably do that. But the new Nin was the one who was with me, and you know what she did? She laughed along, she talked to me about the things we would normally talk about if what happened didn’t happen, and she finally opened up about it all by herself once the thought came to her. And while she was talking, while I was listening to her, I could still feel the sadness. I could still feel how her stories were hurting her, but she was never hesitant to talk about it. She never cried. Misty eyed maybe, but she never cried. I was never good at reading people’s faces, but it was obvious that losing a significant part of her inflicted a wound that was still fresh. But for someone like her, she was handling everything pretty well. I have never seen so much strength. For someone I still expected to keep cheering up even after she returned from home, she was doing a pretty good job doing that all by herself. To tell you the truth, the three of us all believed in her and expected her to be stronger than ever after the incident, but a part of me wondered what kind of strength it’ll turn out to be because I didn’t want it to be the bad kind. And I am thankful to all of the gods out there that it gave her so much strength and maturity that it made her tower over me. The Nin I spent this day with was stronger than I could ever hope to be, and I’m so proud of her. She was different, but a good kind of different. No words could describe how much I missed seeing her smile and laugh and crack her corny jokes, especially after the last time I saw her. It was refreshing. Pretty soon she’ll no longer be the fragile little girl I’ve always taken her for, to be replaced by a strong, independent woman who learned from every slap in the face life has given her, but she’ll always be my little sister.

She may still be on the road to recovery, but if she keeps going up this way, I guarantee she’ll be stronger than any of us can ever imagine her to be, and wherever she goes, we’ll always be right behind her, supporting her when the need arises. Why? Because that’s what friends do.

Wherever he is, I’m sure he’s watching over you and he’s proud of you for being so strong.

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