Birthday Musings

They say life is a rollercoaster - sometimes you’re shot up so high above the sky, other times you’re riding low after going through an exhilarating curve. In my spiritual life, I am currently aboard the low reins of the rollercoaster, and I’ve been stuck here for a while…

I believe it started when my Lolo passed away. It was on the 5th of July, on a warm Sunday afternoon, when Lolo raised his arms and feet up as if being carried by the Lord. He was 83 years old, and he did not want to be a burden to us anymore with his severe pulmonary problems. Ako daw yung paborito nyang apo - though he did not have much choice, since there were only three of us as his direct grandchildren - at sya rin ang paborito ko bilang sya lang yung kinagisnan ko na lolo. I would consider that period as one of my darkest nights; I sought for the Lord, but my heart was not fully in it. I miss him every day.

Then precisely a month after, my Papa accidentally fractured his left arm after slipping on our rainwater-soaked tiles. Mahilig sa paspasan si Papa, lahat dapat mabilis at pulido - this nature of his was what caused the accident on a Saturday twilight, when the skies started pouring and he hastened to close an open window which already allowed a puddle to settle on the floor beneath it. I was the one who heard him shouting and found his arm swollen like a small purple balloon. Thankfully, he did not need surgery as the doctors were able to realign the bone so it will just have to be cemented for six weeks, but the temporary incapability left him frustrated since he’s the all-around man and because he was slated to go back on sea duty supposedly on September 1st. It’s a test of patience for our whole family.

But what my heart struggled with the most is my relationship with my boyfriend of three years, Paolo Miguel. The past months went by sluggishly, with work stress eating up our energies and stubborn arguments dulling our rare moments of togetherness. Not one to be confrontational, I observed and waited for the right time when we could talk about, and we’ve decided to ‘reset’ - to forgive, forget, and somehow start over. It’s not easy, but we’re trying. A devotional shared by a friend reminded me that, "Love is an active process, and we are fairly lazy. So initiate." Like we always tell each other, we’ll catch our breaks soon.

In spite of all these, the song Blessings by Laura Story resounds in my mind: What if trials in this life, the rains, the storms, the hardest nights, are your mercies in disguise?

My 23rd year of existence has been the most trying one ever, but God is in control of my rollercoaster. With faith in his strength, patience, and love, I’ll seek him and ride up again.

There is no settling down without some settling for. There is no long-term relationship not just putting up with your partner’s flaws, but accepting them and then pretending they aren’t there. We like to call it in my house “paying the price of admission.”

You can’t have a long-term relationship with someone unless you’re willing to identify the prices of admission you’re willing to pay — and the ones you’re not. But the ones you’re not — the list of things you’re not willing to put up with — you really have to be able to count [them] on one hand…

People, when they’re young, have this idea… “There’s someone out there who’s perfect for me”… “The one.”

“The one” does not fucking exist.

“The one” is a lie. But the beautiful part of the lie is that it’s a lie you can tell yourself.

Any long-term relationship that’s successful is really a myth that two people create together … and myths are built of lies, and there’s usually some kernel of truth…

When you think about it, you meet somebody for the first time, and they’re not presenting their warts-and-all self to you — they’re presenting their idealized self to you, they’re leading with their best. And then, eventually, you’re farting in front of each other. Eventually, you get to see the person who is behind that facade of their best, and they get to see the person your facade, your lie-self — this lie that you presented to them about who you really are. And what’s beautiful about a long-term relationship, and what can be transformative about it, is that I pretend every day that my boyfriend is the lie that I met when I first met him. And he does that same favor to me — he pretends that I’m that better person than I actually am. Even though he knows I’m not. Even though I know he’s not. And we then are obligated to live up to the lies we told each other about who we are — we are then forced to be better people than we actually are, because it’s expected of us by each other.

And you can, in a long-term relationship, really make your lie-self come true — if you’re smart, and you demand it of them, and you’re willing to give it to them… That’s the only way you become “the one” — it’s because somebody is willing to pretend you are. “The one” that they were waiting for, “the one” they wanted, their “one.”
Because you’re not — nobody is. No two people are perfect for each other, ever, period — no two people are 100% sexually compatible, no two people are 100% emotionally compatible, no two people want the same things. And if you can’t reconcile yourself to that, you will have no relationships that last longer than two months.

And you know what? It’s not going to be their fault — it’s going to be your fault.
— Dan Savage on the myth of “The One” and the unsettling secret of lasting love

Do you ever feel like so much damage has been done?
Would you ever go back?
Are you proud of who you are?
Do you even know yourself?
Am I being punished?
Why am I always so angry?
What’s wrong with me?
How come when something good comes along, something bad happens in an instant?
Is this just a phase?
Will things ever be alright?
Is everyone capable of forgiveness?
When will I be free?
Why is it so easy to say, but hard to do?
Why can’t they understand?

(via loyoung)