Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Telltale Hands of Fate

Like two doomed ships that pass in storm
We had crossed each other's way:
But we made no sign, we said no word,
We had no word to say.
---"The Ballad of Reading Gaol", Oscar Wilde

Excerpts of a chat with JK:

K: It was our anniversary yesterday. I wasn't sad at all the whole day. When I got home, my tita was there. And when she hugged me as she said goodbye, that's when I felt it. Out of the blue, it hit me. It was supposed to be our day.

I was surprised at how I felt. I decided to call him, just one attempt. As my BFF V said, it was a special day and I could try. He didn't pick up.

JK: OMG! Didn't that crush you when he didn't pick up?

K: I was more prepared. I was more disappointed, more sad than hurt. Unlike before, when you're more hurt than sad. Do you ever feel you can switch your emotions on and off?

JK: No. That's something beyond my capacity. I don't have a switch. I'm more like firewood. I keep burning until I'm all consumed. In fact, I'm getting a phoenix tattoo.

K: For me right now, it's like a switch. If I turn it on, I feel sad. If I switch it off, okay ako. Unlike before, walang switch. Puro ON.

JK: As for me, kahit anong switch on ang gawin, I really don't feel anything for my ex na.

K: You've completely exhausted what you can give him.

JK: That would be very accurate description of how I feel right now. I don't regret anything. I'm happy that I've give all that I could give. I don't regret about not having given enough at least, because I know I gave my ALL.

K: That's what I mean when I say you reach a point na alam mong tapos na tapos na. Ako kasi, I know I CAN still give. But I'm hesitating.

JK: It's either your fear or your pride. Your love has turned conditional now, I believe.

K: Yes, it has. It's my fear, not pride. It's the fear of letting the hurt happen again.

JK: Which means that now you're more concerned about yourself than him. I think that's a big step. If you're trying to get away from him.

I was in a state of turmoil. I have been trying to decide if I should continue trying to win M back, or if I should let go. If I listen to my head, it would list the one thousand and one reasons why this relationship will not work. What am I thinking? Do I actually think we would survive a long-distance relationship? That we would be the exception rather than the rule? Besides, isn't he "seriously dating" someone right now? Aren't things messy and complicated enough as it is? Wouldn't it be better if I simply step away and let go?

I wanted a sign. I wanted M to initiate a point of contact with me. I wanted to see if he was still willing to have some form of communication with me. I was waiting for a star to fall.

A few days later, I lost my phone. During my state of panic, I called M using my other phone. he didn't pick up. I sent him text messages. He didn't reply.

The next evening, I was on the phone when my mobile phone rang. The number seemed familiar until I realized it was him. M was calling me. I answered and asked him if he could call me back.

We spoke and we had a great time. He asked me how I was and we exchanged stories. I was surprised how easy it was for both of us to fall back into our old selves. He told me his sister was getting married, that he was now working at the ICU department at his hospital. I asked him how his plan of leaving for the U.S. was coming along, how his mom and dad were doing.

Needless to say, I was shocked. I got my sign. Fate has intervened. But the next question is: so what?

I know what I wanted but I realized I wasn't brave to do it. I texted F, "Honey, are you brave?"

F: What you mean?

K: I know that I still want him. It's just that I'm not brave enough. My self-preservation instincts are kicking in. I don't want to hurt again. But if I ask myself honestly, I know that he is worth it. I know it F. My blood, my heart, my soul knows it.

F: I have always believed I am braver to let go of something rather than brave enough to fight for it. I still miss D. I want to see him again. It has been three months since we last saw each other or talked or even exchanged text messages. There are days when I want to just go and show up at his door, unannounced.

K: Why don't you?

F: Honey! What about my pride? Hindi ba nakakahiya iyon?

K: I think there is no shame in fighting for someone you love. Why don't you just go? You want to see him. Do something crazy for a change. Wear your heart on your sleeve.

F: You really think so? OMG! I can't believe I am even considering it.

That night, F went to see D, unannounced. The next morning, I got this text:

F: None of it happened. No fireworks in the sky or a serenade in the night or a happy ever after. This letting go happened in a quiet, almost gentle way. I was ready for that conversation. I guess I just didn't know it then. So the cat is out of the bag, and the heart is on the sleeve. And it is not meant for me.

But more than understanding what happened is the discovery of the self. That one can step out of all things predictable and rational, get into a cab, and head to the home of the one she loves. And tenderly, oh so tenderly, tell herself it is finished. The curtain has fallen. I love you hun. Thank you for giving me courage.

I imagined F going down the building after work and hailing a cab. How she jumped in and told the driver, "Manong, sa Valero!." She told me how excited she was during the trip from Ortigas to Makati, how she felt so alive. How a grand adventure it had seemed.

D was surprised to see her at 2 in the morning. They talked for exactly 30 minutes. She timed it, that's how precise we are. He told her about the girl he is pursuing, why he wanted her, why they cannot see each other anymore, why she cannot sleepover, and why they cannot have sex.

He hugged her as she was about to go and told her how brave she was. "You're really something special, you know?" D said. She smiled and left.

F: It felt good to see him again. I missed him. I missed how he is.

K: I am so proud of you honey. This is the you that I have always loved, fiery and strong. You used to be unafraid of things, you were always the gaga one even before me. It is good to know you can still summon the courage, when needed. Rest well. It was a battle worth the fight. I love you.

After many days of night pondering over my situation, I have made a choice. I have decided to give it my all. I love M and what we had was one of the most beautiful things that happened to me. I have to try as hard as I can to win him back, and only then can I be convinced we are not meant for each other.

I have no illusions. I know that the chances are against me. I am not doing this, telling myself I KNOW we would get back together. You can never know the future, I've learned. You can only hope. And those little voices of doubts in your head will never completely go away. They'll whisper to you the absurdity of your actions. And they may be right.

But the thing is, you will never know unless you see it through the end. It's like you're driving at 120 miles per hour, and you don't know if there's a wall ahead or not, but you hope there isn't.

Because if there is, then you crash and burn.

"The world is full of mediocre things. Let my love be not one of them."

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Of Fates That Could Be

" . . . is there a man on earth
who seizes more joy than just a dream, a vision?
And the vision no sooner dawns than dies
blazing into oblivion."

---Oedipus Rex

"Metamorphosis happening. The Second Chapter begins," the Oracle told me as I sat in front of her inside a small shop in Cubao. It was raining that Friday night. S and I have known each other for six years and over that period of time, she has helped me make important decisions in my life.

I trust her absolutely, implicitly. I decided to see her and have a reading, hoping I would be able to make better sense of my situation. It has been six weeks since M and I broke up. I had struggled to fight for him and our love but I had failed.

I was in a predicament. I had reached a point where I felt I had become ready to let go completely, but I also knew I still had the energy to continue fighting for our love. I didn't know which road to take.

I listened to her intently as she drew the cards and spoke.

S: As you well recognize, pain bled though all aspects of your life, into your personal relationships with family, friends, and even work. It is giving you the last few inches of maturity that you need to grow into the shoes that you need to fill.

What happened to you was very jarring. It's like your eyes fell to the floor and you suddenly see things in a different perspective. You're seeing yourself in a new point of view, recognizing the kind of person you need to become, but at the same time you know you are not yet that kind of person.

I see you returning a gift. It is both physical and emotional, something unexpected, something so beautiful you enjoyed looking at it down to its very last angle. But I see you returning it with finality. I don't know what it is or who. It could be M, it could be something else.

Fire - this one refers to pain. It's like this. Three people were asked what was the most painful thing that could happen to their houses.

A: Burglary. Pinasok kasi ang bahay mo at ninakawan. It feels like rape.

B: Water is worse. To have your house flooded and your things destroyed by the waters.

C: Fire is more painful. At least you can salvage your things from the flood. But with fire, everything is burned down to the last ground.

Someone you know will experience this kind of pain, to have something you have worked so hard for all your life be lost.

Water - this one is physical. Someone you know may experience drowning or be drowned.

K: What did you mean when you said earlier that it's all elementals?

S: Everything is happening so fast kasi. For most people, for a particular period only one element is present and that element is either friend or foe. Change is coming for you.

You will rise above your work, work will become envious of you. It has begun; the prioritization of career as path, the lessening of the personal as self. It will come naturally. You will recognize what you need to do and you will adjust to it instinctively.

I asked her my seven questions.

Question 1.
K: If I decide to work on getting us back together, I just want to know if there is hope. What are the chances?

S: He is changing, constantly, and you recognize that he is changing in different levels. It will be too difficult, too heavy. It's just too much, too distracting, it will require too much energy.

He will want to communicate. It's not because you will be frustrated with how long it will take you to win him back. Your intellect will war with your emotions kasi. There might come a point in time where you might have to force yourself to like him? As opposed to naturally liking him.

K: Talaga? What happened S? The last time, the cards said we will get back together. What changed?

S looked at me and said, "You know what did? You did. The last time, you were pure emotions. I told you then that the intellect will catch up eventually. And now it did.

At that point in time, you loved him unconditionally, but now your love has lessened. Yes, you still love him but not as much as before.

When she said this, I felt something click inside me. She was right, I hadn’t recognized it but it is true. My love, my great big beautiful love, has diminished. I hadn't realized it until now. I felt sad.

S: There were certain things you didn't allow yourself to look at in your relationship because it wasn't necessary. It was uncalled for. But now the situation calls for it. You broke up. You're like this kasi K, you accept people first and you judge last. You're very accepting of people.

But now, you are re-evaluating your relationship and allowing yourself to see aspects of him which you didn't allow yourself to see before. Maiinis ka, you might be irritated by certain things and you will have to decide if he is still worth it.

Question 2.
K: Will he be able to leave for the U.S. this December?

S: He was really supposed to go before. There was a real opportunity for him to leave. He is going. But at that point, he either doesn't want to go, or is afraid to go. There is some form of emotional constraint. But the resources will be there for him to leave.

Question 3.
K: Given the three months we have left, will it be enough for us to rebuild our relationship, rebuild our love?

S: Okay, I have a stopgap. I can only say a couple of things. A stopgap is like an alarm bell ringing in my head that tells my I cannot speak too much of the question or else my personal biases will come out. It's like a door closing and I can rush out only a few words before it slams shut.

So in this case, it's Yes... and Sacrifice. I don't know what sacrifice or whose sacrifice, whether it's yours or M's. And I can no longer look at the question. But yes, the love is there, the foundation, the basis is there.

Question 4.
K: If I throw myself absolutely, completely at the M endeavor, how will it affect the other aspects of my life? What will I lose?

S grew quiet and took a long time to answer:

K: As the years pass, it's getting harder and harder for you to read me, right?

S: Yes, and not because I don't see the answers, but it's becoming more difficult for me to keep my biases outside of the reading.

I know, because you took a long time to answer and you had to smoke, I said laughing.

S: Okay, here goes. You will always be in control of yourself K. You always have been and you always will be. That's how you're built.

Okay, what's the most spiritual book or movie or short story you've read or watched?

K: What do you mean?

S: Something that made you wonder or believe that there maybe a Higher Being out there, a God?

K: Well, top of my mind, C.S. Lewis.

S: Okay, which book?

K: A Grief Observed

S: Okay good. Then you will like what I'm going to say.

Grace kasi K, once bestowed upon you, is absolute, is unconditional, whether you wanted it or not, whether you deserve it or not. But as human beings, we always have free will. We always have the freedom to accept it, or not.

I was shocked. The reading was getting more intense.

K: So what you're saying is that once I do this, doors will close for me.

S: No, not doors. Let's call them something else. Fates. May mga tadhanang mawawala sa iyo. BUT, what is important K, is that for you, it will be worth it.

K: From my point of view.

S: Yes, from your point of view, she stressed. Which is what really matters.

K: Will I be cognizant of what I will lose?

S: Oh God, I hope not and I will do everything I can to shield you from knowing what you will lose. And as someone who experiences unconditional love everyday, tulad nga ng sabi ng kaibigan mo, pikit mata, go. You had unconditional love, and that kind of love doesn't happen all the time. Who knows when it will happen again.

Question 5:
K: How does M see me right now?

S: Tries not to. Looks at you, gets angry. Looks away. Looks at you again. Gets angry. Looks away. Nakakapagod yan. Very few people can keep it up. The strain is too much. He is angry because he is not in control of his emotions. He doesn't like the fact that he cares for you.

K: Where did it really begin S? Why did he get angry at me?

S: It was your text. It sounded so final, you wanting to return each other's things. He was hurt. He was surprised he was hurt. He was shocked at how hurt he was. He got angry he was hurt. After all, he broke up with you. Then he realized it was easier to be angry at you. Aren't you glad it happened?

I was surprised. Many times over the past weeks, I looked back on that day and sometimes askws myself if I shouldn't have texted him that. After all, we were happy at that time, we were talking to each other and having fun. If I hadn't texted him, would things have turned out differently?

S: He is being forced to confront who you really are to him in the same way you are also being forced to decide if he is really worth it.

Question 6.
K: He is dating someone now and I want to know what will happen to them.

S: He will allow himself to be carried away. But it will not last. He will spit it out immediately.

Question 7.
K: I want to know how will we communicate again because at this point in time, our lines of communication has been completely cut off. I want to know who will initiate, will it be awkward? Will it feel natural?

S: People around you, your friends, will help. Fate will intervene. Despite the distance.

Very few people kasi K realize that unconditional love creates energy, whether it's good karma or in this case, Fate helping you. You will have points of communication, whether you want it or not, whether you do something about it or not, whether you force it or not. It will happen and it will bear fruit.

S: Something is bothering me and I'm not sure if it's because I'm looking too closely at the situation and I see spots. But I sense a hesitation in you. Why is that?

K: You're right. I don't know. I guess naguguluhan lang ako.

S: Pero K, you've always followed your instincts. You've always trusted it. Just remember, the heart is as important as the mind. It will tell you about the soul. Whatever you decide, it must be absolute. If you decide to cut him off, it must be absolute or else there will be points of stress as he will want to communicate.

If you decide to fight for him, it must be absolute also. You must want it completely, absolutely, or else there will be leakages. The heart and mind must be one.

What do I do now, I ask myself? Sometimes, you walk away with more questions than answers. Or the answers may be not what you wanted, or expected. And then there are those answers you wish you never learned. Waititng for the future to unfold.