To me, year 2016 is a blend of life’s blacks and whites. It is a symmetry of warm and cold elements, of positive and negative senses, of high and low waters, of doubts and hopes, of failures and triumphs, and, of sorrows and joys. It is consistently unpredictable, irrationally logical, and undeniably unforgettable.

In the first quarter of the year, my heart got wrecked in pieces. I thought it’s what people call “heartbroken” but I realized it’s not. It never was because it wasn’t even love. Funny, but I am grateful it actually happened because now I know the difference between love and infatuation. Infatuation hurts for a while but love hurts for who knows how long. Infatuation is idealistic and love is realistic. Infatuation is what you see, hear, and feel but love is beyond everything. Infatuation is modest and love is profound. And I think I will never be ready for love. Yeah. To be honest, it scares me to death.

Thereafter, I was miserable for months because I was diagnosed with an incurable bone condition. My dreams shattered right in front of me. I began to fear what lies ahead because I have to live with it for the rest of my life. I started to doubt myself and the people around me. Life threw me off a cliff. I was about to give up holding on to that tiny little hope but a hand saved me. God saved me. Life is for living, He said and I listened. It was then that I realized that I have to live life more. My illness was certainly a blessing in disguise. I started to make things happen. I spent time more with my family and friends more than I did before. I began to challenge myself with impossible things and as of this moment, I nailed some of it. There’s more on the list and I have years to live, so yeah, way to go!  The thing is, it’s a bit brutal that I have to get sick first before I learn these things. That life is for living and not for other things like whines, doubts, and regrets.

Life is, indeed, a cycle. After the bad news regarding my health, I received the best news ever. It’s actually the highlight of 2016. I passed UPD and yes, finally, for my masters!!!! Next year, I will be a working student and I am proud of it. Teacher in the morning, student at night. Splendid. It’s going to be a hectic year and I will hold on. Yes. This experience taught me that there’s no harm in giving and believing in second chances. In the past, I was a firm believer of “first and last shot” and I never believed in second, third, fourth or whatever chances. But now I do. I’m now willing to give myself and the people around me a second chance for everything. There is no room for giving up but only for working hard. For this, I feel indebted for my co-teacher. She’s the one who pushed me to my limits. If weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have done it. She taught me to always believe in myself and never give up on my dreams. Today, I am proud because I consider myself as the “dream catcher.” Yes, I’m a living dream catcher.

I was in cloud nine for weeks but what is success without no one to share it with?  My family was supportive of me and I’m thankful for that. It’s just that, I consider my best friend as family too. But she’s nowhere in sight. I feel incomplete without this person. Not everyone we meet stays in our lives. Some are just passing by to say hi, the others are just lost in their own crisscrossed paths who happened to pass ours, and only a handful stay glued on the same ground we’re in. My best friend is forever glued in my life. She’s my backbone, my escape, my redemption, my pillow, my happy pill, just literally, my everything. Today, I am hesitant as to where I stand in her life or should I say if she even want me. It saddens me to have these thoughts but I just can’t help it. I know can always meet new ones and make new memories but to me, it will never be the same. We can have as much friends as we want but we only have one best friend and she is perfectly irreplaceable. I just hope she knows it. Well, I guess I just have to wait and do my best like I always do. I know forgiveness is hard to give but now, I’m pretty sure that earning it is a lot harder. But nah. I won’t give up, ever. ‘Til then, stories and secrets I have yet to tell her will be kept in the deepest den of my heart.

Some say that people learn the hard way. Not in my case, though. 2016 made me learn things in the most vicious way. I was caught off guard I almost forgot how to breathe. It was terrifying and upsetting yet I was able to pull myself together just because I didn’t have choice. Up to this very last day, I have no choice but to accept the bittersweet things this year has taught me. It’s kind of weird but I love every bit of it, though.



The Vulnerable

He said the pain is as vivid as it was then,..

The girl asked, “Why do you have to evoke such memories?”

He answered, “You don’t understand..”

“Then, tell me.” She demanded.

“You can’t escape pain. The more you ignore it, the more it twinges. The more you rebuff it, the more it clings unto you. The minute it grasps you, you start being nostalgic. And nostalgia hurts. Why? Because you reminisce all the nastiest and jauntiest memories; even the ones you wished never ever happened. Then you recall the breakups and heartaches of putting an end to something you thought would last eternity .” He said.

“Why do you have to end it? When it’s all but great, why do you need to cut the ties?” She asked.

“Because some things are bound to end. Whether you like it or not, things change, it breaks then it ends. Things end dramatically, you know. You build it for what seemed like forever then it ends as swift as a flash of lightning at night. I may yearn for more, but love is for two; two minds, two hearts, and two hands to go a long way. When the other hand lets go, you run for it. Then while going after it you realize one excruciating truth: that you can’t chase someone who intends to run away from you. That you can’t hold someone’s right hand for a long time if that person’s left hand is clinging to someone’s right hand. It sucks, you know, to love faithfully and be rejected unreasonably. Life is not unfair, love is.” Tears running down his cheeks while saying these words to her.

They remained quiet for a couple of minutes…

The man, wiping away his tears with his bare hands.

The girl, her deep blue eyes staring blankly to someplace outside the window only she knows.

Then she said, “Love is fair, the lovers are not. Some things end, yes. But do you know that a thing is only over if you choose to end it completely? It’s a decision, you know. If happiness is a choice then pain is a decision. Allowing something or someone to hurt you is a decision. And I can see that you know it but you are ignoring it because you like the feeling of reliving old memories in your head. You said that pain is inevitable but all this time I know that you are moving towards it instead of moving away from it. You said nostalgia hurts but you still continue to reminisce. You said that love is for two people but you still cling into it even if you know that you are now alone in the peak of the mountain. Why?…Why?”

“You know so much, don’t you?” He joked.

“Oh. I read a lot of books. So, why?” She answered.

“Because where there is pain, there is love. Because pain helps me to remember that I was once loved and cherished and treasured. And most importantly,because pain reminds me that I am still alive. Vulnerable, yes, but can be fixed and be loved in return someday, somewhere, by someone.” He grinned.

She smiled and uttered the words,.. “I want to be that ‘someone‘..”

“You will be that “someone” ..perhaps, in the next lifetime?” He said.

“Yeah. Next lifetime. When you are more sober and less vulnerable..” She answered.

“And you, a little bit older, young child.” He added.

They laughed and giggled. The train stopped.. At 5:34 AM, the sun rose. They saw it and they both knew that it’s time to part ways.