Sunday, February 1, 2015

Random musings

From the moment we learned to take our first step, next instinct was to continue taking another step, and another, and another, until we reach mommy's hand and giggle our way with our achievement. Everything begins with a first step, as the old adage says.

In learning our first steps, we trip, stumble, lose our balance, and fall to the ground. We cry at first, but somehow we learn and pick ourselves up and try again. This time, our destination isn't just mommy's arms. It can be a toy, a chocolate, or towards a favorite aunt or grandma. The more we got used to walking, we then turn it up a notch and learn how to run.

And with learning to run, we go through the same learning cycle. Only this time, since we've picked up speed, falling down means bigger bruises and cuts and wounds.

It's all about the money...

Yes.  They say money makes the world go round.  In some ways, there's a truth to the adage, and it also gives some people, groups, even nations an edge over others.

Early on, my mother taught me the value and how to value money.  Just because we have it does not necessarily mean we spend it all.  And yes, at an early age, I've learned the value of saving and frugality.

Fast-forward to growing up.  Every little aspect of our lives would involve some monetary transaction: bus fare, lunch, buying school supplies, quenching your thirst with a drink or two, paying for services rendered (as a student it would involve paying for photocopies of pages and pages of readings), and the list goes on.  Everyday details of our lives involve a lot of modern-day bartering, however mundane or trivial it may sound.  Suffice it to say, each person is a microcosm of the bigger economy that keeps the wheels turning and churning.

Economics was one of my least favorite subjects while I was still attending university.  During classes, the concepts seemed.. so alien to me.  It even came to the point, I started questioning myself whether my professor was just not good at being a teacher or that my level of comprehension was just shameful.  I've read the textbooks, supplementary readings, but my brain did not seem to absorb anything!

And then, the work I'm doing now is all about economics.  Monitoring economic news, developments, etc.  I was like, universe, what are you doing?

But as I go through the daily grind of work, I started appreciating the importance of economics in the minute and large scale.  Yes, the concepts are still alien to me, but I see it now as a challenge; to revisit an old puzzle and try to look at it, through different eyes.  I'm older now, hopefully wiser, and appreciated certain aspects of life I took for granted in my youth.

So now, I begin my course in macroeconomics.

And the journey begins.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I thought being alone would allow me to fly, but I don't know why I seem to be more lost than ever. I've grabbed whatever I can grab, indulged myself in whatever I can indulge, and tried all means I can to escape. But the more I do so, the more lost I seem to be.

I guess it's true what they say, that once you've experienced loss, you'll never really be the same afterwards. I know I should be smart enough to suck it all up and move forward. But how can you, when you could not even find the strength to just be yourself?

Monday, May 3, 2010

I'm 32

I'm 32 and I'm looking for you.
Every nook and every crate,
Night and until the morning dew.

I'm 32, back then I knew I found you.
Not even searching
But then again onto my doorstep you flew.

Before I was 32, I have found you.
Met so many..
But none of them was close to being you.

Before I was 32, I had you.
I was happy with the life I had
And planned on sharing more with you.

Before I was 32, you had me, and I had you.
I've never loved anyone
As much as I loved you.

Before I turned 32, I somehow saw I don't know you
Anymore; the way I used to.
Somehow, you didn't seem to know me anymore, too.

Shortly before turning 32, I lost you.
Broke my heart to pieces
As I lost myself too.

Close to being 32, I knew I already lost you.
As time flew,
I know, I could never have you. Anymore.

And here I am, almost 32,
I find myself out there
Still looking...... for someone like you.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The girl in the red hat....

... touched my life in a way that I least expected.

She was just passing by
And wanted a place to stay.
She said it'll only be for awhile
She would go and I, on both our individual ways.

I did not realize
Nor completely fathom
As the days passed,
We were both all around the city and doing a roam.

I started to see again,
The world through her eyes.

Why, such short a stay,
And a stranger she is,
Moved me this way?

Time passed and she had to go,
We bade our goodbyes and well-wishes
And I waved to the girl with the red hat.
Went back to my home, back to a quiet flat.

I wonder, for someone I barely knew,
Why am I enveloped with a certain sense
of sadness, of loss?

Slowly dawning in my head,
She reminded of what I was,
What I dreamed of,
What I had hoped to be,
When I was of her youth.

She reminded me,
Of what I was.
What I loved about life
And living.

She reminded me of that part of myself
I have lost
As I started living in this world.

The girl in the red hat.
I'll never be the same again after that.

Monday, March 1, 2010

O heart..

I've been going through a roller-coaster of emotions since Thursday last week. What was so significant about last Thursday that sparked such a reaction from me? It was my ex's birthday.

Every year, I never miss greeting him on his birthday, Christmas, and New Year. At first, I was hopeful he'd reply back especially during Christmases. But then again, last year, I decided to stop. For this year, I also did not greet him on his day. Not anymore. I did this to show that we're cool, after all that's said and done, we're cool, I'm cool and we can remain civil still.

I knew he had moved on and was in another relationship. My reaction upon seeing his picture together with his new girlfriend was something that surprised me. I thought I'd be cool with it; thought that I'm completely over him. Then why did I feel this way?

He seemed happy, and for that I am glad. It saddened me, because it made me remember the times I spent with him, good and bad, and how I promised him and myself that I will be him as we face more good and bad times in our lives, together. I had dreams: of being there for him as he finished law school, on attending his graduation and passing the bar; getting married with him in a garden in the presence of our immediate family and closest friends; choosing furnitures and fixing our apartment or house and making it a home we could call our own; building a life with him and eventually build a family, have 2-3 kids, and raise and nurture them together, read our beloved books, watch movies, listen to music and talk about these and whatever catches our fancy. I have already pictured our life together and I promised in my heart that I will love him until the end of our days. And even in our next life, I said I'd find him still.

Then he left me.

Now, I don't know where my heart is.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Loss That Is Not a Loss - Part 2

Prolonged singleness can seem like the magic of being sawn in half without obvious wound.

It is like a cut that hurts but does not bleed. It is like falling from a great height without only internal injuries. Prolonged singleness is a loss that is not a loss, and thus it is a pain that we are not allowed to feel or mourn.

Here, in the ‘tween’ time, we who are single must face the difficult task of resting and hoping, of contentment tinged with dissatisfaction. What seeks to unearth us is the uncertainty of our situation. Life seems to involve few answers and a multitude of questions. We stand on a Rock that is Christ but our fears, howling with the wind, cry out:

“Will I ever be married (again)?”

“Does God WANT me to marry?”

“Is God punishing me for my past?”

“Should I wait for so-and-so or should I move on?”

“Should I just settle for anyone?”

“Are my standards too high?”

“Am I already too old?”

And the most brutal of all …“What’s wrong with me?”

The questions are the seeds of frustration that only deepen over time. Time marches on, and we battle not only the loss of hope but also the loss of “what might have been.” Because, to marry now is almost certainly to never have a marriage of fifty or forty or thirty years in which memories on memories are stacked and stowed away for rainy days.

It means never having the husband or wife of our youth because our youth is behind us. It means giving up some dreams like children of our own. It is a loss as any loss and perhaps more perplexing for its very ambiguity—it is a loss that is not a loss.

It does not count as a loss because it cannot be tallied, cannot be weighed, cannot be measured, scanned, or sorted and yet it is real. Somewhere in the heart of each of us the future is as real as the present and the past. We each live life purposed towards things that are as yet—not REAL! For those living in prolonged singleness, each year seems to steal from a storehouse of hopes and dreams of what might have been.

Ambiguous loss stems from the uncertainty of the loss, the uncertainty that accompanies a traumatic event that has no closure. Pauline Boss, the author of Ambiguous Loss, wrote, “Most people need the concrete experience of seeing the body of a loved one who has died because it makes the loss real” (26). It seems that our dreams have died but where is the body? We have no closure because, while we live, hope still exists.

The single suffers a real dying of sorts, a real hoped for life that, in dying, must be mourned. But it is the ambiguity of the situation that makes this process so difficult. We dare not be premature in making the funeral arrangements. We dare not prepare the eulogy while hope exists. Yet life is lived perilously if it is lived in the in-between—in that gap between what is real and what is hoped for.

The hard thing is to move on, to accept with joy the place in which life finds us, and to accept that God is still with us, still blessing us. But being told to “move on” feels like giving up and I cannot give up while my desire exists. “Move on” feels like surrender and I am a fighter. But what if “moving on” meant finishing the race in whatever state God gives me—even with a limp? What if it means running alone and hoping another committed soul joins me along the way? This I can do. This I am doing.

There are greater truths than the burden of our singleness. Even the married must reconcile the demise of dreams and come to stand on that which is certain. If we seek relationships for love there is the ultimate love of God. If we seek relationships for companionship, then there is the extended family of God. If we seek relationships for children, then there are the orphans of the world. But each of these, while good, is no substitute for the real longing. What our heart craves cannot be dismissed, masked, or replaced but perhaps we can learn to live and thrive even in the midst of the loss.

Boss wrote, “The uncertainty prevents people from adjusting to the ambiguity of their loss by reorganizing the roles and rules of their relationships. …” Not knowing whether we will be married tomorrow, next year, or ever, can paralyze. We must reorganize the roles and rules of our relationships in order that our hunger does not make us ravenous wolves. But the uncertainty leaves us confused. We must reorganize the roles and rules of our relationships so that, as singles, we return to our sense of worth in living.

I do not like to think that I “bear the burden of singleness” as though it were a scar or a curse. Rather, I walk the path of singleness. My role in the community, in life, is determined by the call from God to love Him, love my neighbor, and to consider others as better than myself. While these are the qualities that make a good husband, that make a good wife, I pursue them because they benefit me as a single—because they are good.

My relationships are not determined by my singleness. I do not approach every woman, first, on the basis of her availability but under the command to “love one another.” I do not reject the company of those who are not “possibilities.” I am not immune but I define my relationships on the basis of the greater love in Christ and build friendships because they are worth their weight in gold.

Given the sorrow I sometimes feel, I take God’s promise to heart. With all the years gone by and the feeling that my spring has turned to summer, and summer to winter, I cling to His words, “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm” (Joel 2:25). The longing can seem like a swarm sometimes. Yet we cannot live for what might be tomorrow. We don’t know His mind completely. We know only that He loves us and will bless us. What form that blessing will take we are not told. What we have is today; a today filled with flowers, and rainbows, waterfalls, kittens, and so many people in need of love.

Today’s certainty is found in the one who is pure of heart, who calls us saying, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

I am weary but cannot relinquish hope. I am burdened and long for rest. So, I will go to Him and sit quietly near Him; my tears wetting his feet. My comfort is knowing that He is, “gentle and humble in heart.” There I will find rest for my weary soul. Of this I am certain for He says, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:30).