Monday, March 23, 2015

tangled in taguig

Dear citybuoy,

I recently broke up with my boyfriend. We were together for almost three years. I’ve accepted the fact that he’s gone but there are a lot of other complications that came up after we parted ways.

It all started when I reconnected with an ex. There was nothing going on between us but obviously this didn’t sit well with my boyfriend. Truth be told, he and I just weren’t where we were three years ago. There was always this tension between us and it wasn’t healthy for me anymore. In the end, I asked him if he loved me and he said he didn’t know how. After all these years, he still doesn’t know how to love me. That’s when I knew I had to end things with him.

All of our friends told me I should end the friendship with my ex in respect to my then-boyfriend. When we finally broke up, they stopped talking to me. Initially, the friends and I were supposed to get an apartment together but after all that happened, I decided to rent my own place. I told them it was something I had to do and I wanted to know if I could really stand on my own two feet. They refused to listen to my reasons and instead concluded that I was moving in with my ex.

It hurts like hell but what I think hurts more is the fact that all of our friends have left me. They turned their backs on me and judged me. They left me all alone just when I needed them. It pains me that the people you loved and cherished could desert you like that. After all that we’ve been through and after all the things I did for them, they left me in my hour of need.

After the breakup, my ex and I started talking again. He started paying me back for all the wrong things he did to me. He said I was forgiven for everything that I did to him. He even offered to be my best friend but I rejected him knowing that there’s too much history to sort through before we can truly be friends.

Now I’m lost. I have no one to hold on to. I realize that I relied on my friends for support and now I’m just… I don’t know who to turn to anymore. There’s a voice in my head that says I should resign and come home to the province to finish my studies. Maybe then I could get enough credits to leave the country and start anew. But wouldn’t that just be running away?

My question is: Am I fleeing? Is it wrong of me? What should I do?


Tangled in Taguig


Dear Tangled,

Honestly (and I won’t spare you anything but), it sounds like you’re mulling over something trivial when you should be spending this time learning lessons from the breakup. Breakups are never easy but we strong bitches. We use the pain for our art. Why don’t you take this time to feed your craft? Paint a picture, compose a song, write a heartbreaking story. Real pain is universal. It’s the kind of thing that fuels art that lasts forever. Channeling all this darkness and confusion into art will really help with the mending process. Some of my best stories came from the worst moments of my life. When I read them now, I still remember being hunched over in front of my journal with tears blurring my vision. But there’s also a sort of comfort knowing na I’m not that guy anymore. That I’ve somehow become better after all the crazy things I did in my early twenties. I don't think I'd be the man I am now if I didn't hit rock bottom (let’s face it) too many times. So relish the experiences. It'll give you something really genuine to write about.

Your friends mean well and you have to understand that they have every right to choose a side. When a couple breaks up, the friends who they mutually shared once have to support the injured party. And speaking as an outsider, you broke up with him and so he technically needs the sympathy more than you do.

But if they’re angry and refuse to support you when you really need them, then perhaps you’re better off without them. I don’t know all the specifics but if you are in the right (and one can even argue it’s really not their business) then i-kebs mo na yan! Di naman sila nagpapakain sayo. If you have friends who jump to ill conclusions then proceed to icing you out, then they will not help you become the woman you need to be. I cut off all my toxic friends when I turned 25 and I haven’t looked back since. The folks you hang around with at your age will be the people you will be with for the best years of your adult life. Surround yourself with people who love you and who you love back wholeheartedly. Kasi right now you're in repair and you need all the love you need.

As for the ex reconnecting, if you think it's worth it then by all means, explore the relationship again. Single ka naman. And if you end up together, edi good! If not, edi at least alam mo. And you'll be stronger after. Then you’ll have even more things to write about.

I think it’s great that you’ve got some plans for the future. Going back to college and going abroad, these are big decisions. Yes, it may seem like fleeing at first but that’s not always wrong. I think you should do it but ONLY if you’re doing it for you. Don’t do it so you can escape some little breakup. If you’re leaving because you want a better life for yourself then by all means. But if you’re doing this hoping that your ex or your friends will feel sorry for you and come begging for your forgiveness, mapapanis ka niyan mem. The worst times I've had was waiting for some plot twist to unfold or for conflict to resolve itself. I walked away hoping na magigising sila and see their loss. Sa pelikula lang yan! Life isn't like that. One of my favorite quotes is "If you don't like a part of your life, stop living it." Make the choice to change your life, not their minds.

Your heart is stronger than you think. One day, you’ll look back and it won’t hurt as much (or anymore). You can be whoever you want to be but it all starts with you deciding for yourself.

All the best,

♫: Alanis Morissette | Out Is Through (2004)

#dearcitybuoy So I got this strange message today and though I’m no MGG, I thought I’d give this advice column thing a try. If you want to send me your own love woes, email me at cityb_oy [at] yahoo [dot] com. If you have other advice for our dear letter sender, leave a comment for her below. I’ll make sure she gets it right away.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

on how I got over him

And you wonder how it happened. How you jumped heart-first off a skyscraper and into this stranger’s bed. How you trusted his words, the little they meant, the iceberg you imagined he implied. He looks at you and you think that he sees you. You think he listens to you but he just hears you. He draws cartoon hearts on your dirty dishes and you start to believe it could be that easy. That you could just meet somebody and begin your happy ever after. It couldn’t be that easy. Nothing ever is.

And you wonder how it happened. How you woke up one day with your heart caving in. How he threw you away like a discarded syringe. Use once and destroy. You pray that the hours will be more merciful. That the hands on the clock would start telling time and stop measuring how long it’s been since you last saw his sullen eyes or heard his beautiful voice. You type furiously into your phone praying for the courage to hit Send. You draft questions laced with accusations. Where are you? Why did you go? Did you really love me? You are asking the wrong questions. Or rather you are asking the wrong person. Where did I go? Where have I gone? Why didn’t I love myself?

And you wonder how it happened. How you thought the world would stop spinning the day he walked away. How you couldn’t find the strength to put one leg in front of the other. And then that leg in front of the other. But the world kept its axis and you, too, found the courage to crawl. You prop yourself up and you start to walk. You gain momentum and you run. You close your eyes and you fly. You thought it would all end the day he said goodbye. But it didn’t. It couldn’t. Maybe you don’t know your own strength.

And you wonder how it happened. How you could love someone so deeply, so irrevocably one instance and feel nothing the next. How you see him one day and it doesn’t feel like anything. You put a hand over your heart and find it’s still beating, still keeping tune to a song. Except this time he doesn’t know the words anymore. This time, he cannot hum along. And so you look stare at him. You pick at the scab that was your love. You will him to look back at you. And he does. But he pretends he doesn’t see you. And he keeps walking away and that should wound you. But it doesn’t. It doesn’t. Why doesn’t it hurt anymore?

And here’s how it happened. Here’s how you walked away from the car crash that was your life. Science tells you that the heart is the hardest working muscle in your body. That it pumps out 71 ounces of blood every beat. That it could beat three billion times in a person’s life. That even as you weep, you sleep, you breathe, you eat, it beats and it beats and it beats.

That’s 71 ounces of I could have loved you. Thump thump.

That’s 71 ounces of he’s not coming back. Thump thump.

That’s 71 ounces of I don’t love you anymore. Thump thump.

That’s 71 ounces of I choose to love myself. Thump thump. Instead. Thump thump.

That’s 71 tiny ounces out of the 213,000,000,000 ounces you’ll ever pump out in your entire life. Thump thump thump thump thump.

And so you watch him walk away. Like he did five months ago. Like nothing ever happened. Like it was the easiest thing in the world. And you move on with the rest of your day because it doesn’t sting as much or at all. It doesn’t hurt anymore. He’s just a boy you loved who left you, just a mistake among many, many, many wonderful mistakes. You plug your earphones in and listen to a woman singing words she pulled right out of your 71 ounces.

Dreams are dreams,
Will alas come true?
Skies will clear,
Leaving me bright and blue.
I will raise my glass to my heart and say
“Here’s to tomorrow, not yesterday.”

My heart proved stronger than your love. Here’s to tomorrow, not yesterday.

♫: All Saints | Dreams (2000)