All over the world, people are losing their futures and yet there are people who are hung up over the past…

Today is a bleak day, with gray skies hanging above and just like the day that is today, I am feeling bleak with a cloud hanging above me.

Today I think about my past, my present and my future. I think about the places I have been, the people I have met, the different men that have touched my life and the various situations I found myself in in the short life that I have had.

On some days like this, I think about all the other lives in this world and realize how much, even though try as hard as we do, we really have no control over our lives.

I wrote the above paragraphs one Friday morning. It was the morning of September 25. The day before so many futures were lost just like that.

***

Some weeks back, I was really bothered about someone, someone close to my heart, who I have found to have taken me off her contacts list on Facebook and have not written back to the many messages I have sent. I kept thinking about what I have possibly done for her to, perhaps, write me off like that. Was there a time when, perhaps she sent me a text message and I have not texted back? I always reply to text messages. More so if from someone like her whom I dearly love and respect. Perhaps I had not received it? Perhaps I was out of town and did not have coverage? Did I fail her in some way? Did I make her feel like I used her? I kept thinking, “What did I do? What did I do?!” Then a common friend said to me when I told her about it, if I think I have not done anything wrong, then perhaps it is not me and that I should just let it go.

Some things you just have to let go.

There are friends you don’t get to see for years, friends you have lost communication with for years, but when you tell them you are in town or they tell you they are in town and you tell them you want to see them and get together, you suddenly find them standing in your balcony or outside your gate or you find yourselves at some cafe or bar or resto or diner somewhere close by. You start talking like the last time you saw each other was only yesterday. Those are your simply, truly, your friends.

I used to have a best friend in high school. The first true best friend I ever had. One day she wrote me a letter saying, “I’m sorry I can’t be your best friend anymore,” and I found myself thinking, “What did I do? What did I do?!” It’s been more than a decade now and when people ask me about her and what happened to our friendship, I still do not have an answer. It’s not that I have not tried to be her friend in the years that followed after she wrote me that fateful letter or tried to be her friend in even the simplest meaning of friendship but she has just let me go. Some friends just let you go like that and you have no choice but to let them go too.

There was a man in college. He was one man I believed I truly loved and when he refused to see me just like that, I found myself thinking, “What did I do? What did I do?!” He was one man that truly changed my life. He simply disappeared from my life. I went on the best way I could. A few months back, he suddenly reappeared – as the boyfriend of one of my close friends. When I learned about it, I found myself lost for a day or two. I did not know what to do. I have not seen him nor talked to him in years. Our closest friends, upon disclosure, failed to tell me things I would have liked to hear. Distraught, I came to someone who was the most unlikely person to tell my thoughts and feelings about . Someone who in the past must have at one point truly believed he loved me and that I refused to see just like that. In the most honest way, he told me what I may necessarily not have liked to hear, but something I badly needed to hear. Some people are like that, they are truly, simply, your friends.

One evening, after a night at the theatre, I found myself having dinner at some place with my husband. On the way home, he told me that the man from college was there, sitting at a table right behind me. I did not see. It could have been the first time I would have seen him in years. It was then that I realized I didn’t care.

I have not told my girl friend about this new man in her life, someone whom I believe makes her happy. I figure it’s not my place to tell her and if I did, what would I say? There is nothing to say. I have stopped caring. If in the following months, or years, they find themselves at their wedding, I will not be there, not out of spite but out of respect. Even if pasts needed and sometimes must be forgotten, it still deserves respect.

My life has not been easy. Some friends come and go. I am not perfect. I make mistakes, a lot of mistakes. But mistakes are past and like pasts, they need and sometimes must be forgotten. Just like pasts, mistakes deserve respect. I will respect my mistakes in the greatest way possible and that is to strive never to do them again.

My life will never be easy as lives never are but I try my best to be happy and be the best of who I am to people around me.

***

I try to take little walks around the village every now and then. It helps me clear my mind and make some sense of little thoughts. When I was living in El Nido, these little walks were in the form of little sit-downs on the sand in little, secluded parts of the beach. Where I live now, there is no beach, but there are some almost empty streets.

Overheard while walking down the streets:

Man to woman on the other side of the street: “Kamusta yung baha sa inyo?”
Woman: “Wala kami nung baha. Nasa Sta. Lucia kami. Pagbalik namin dito, wala nang baha. Wala na rin kaming gamit.”
Lesson: Trips to the malls must not be taken in the early morning hours.

Woman chatting to man in front of a car: “Kamusta yung kotse mo?”
Man: “Sa dalawang kotse ko, naayos na yung isa.”
Woman: “Insured ba mga sasakyan mo?”
Man: “Putsa, hindi nga covered nung insurance ko yung baha eh. Hinayang na hinayang ako, isang libo lang per year ang difference nung coverage!”
Lesson: Ang isang libo kung isang taon ang pag-uusapan ay napakaliit lang.

Overheard after I went inside the house after my little walk:

House help to hitherto screaming baby: “Nakita mo na naman ang happiness mo!”
Lesson: To some person, I am the whole world.

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