Saturday, January 19, 2013

When a stranger speaks
       It was an ordinary day. The sun was slowly creeping behind the horizon and the morning air was wearing the same old scent, reminding me of a brand new journey waiting ahead. As much as I wanted to jumpstart my day with positive thoughts, I couldn't stop myself from thinking too much about a particular class I had to attend to that day. I was excited but nervous at the same time. All I could think of was that class. Worst case scenarios kept playing in and out of my head that I couldn't manage to control. Alicia Keys’ Not Even the King is playing in my IPod. I tried to enjoy the emptiness in the tricycle that I was in, before I get squeezed by another passenger who has bigger thighs than mine. Before I knew it, passengers began to come and started to fill up the empty seats of the tricycle. From a not so far distance, I saw a guy walking towards the tricycle and took the vacant seat in front. The tricycle we have in our place can carry six to seven people excluding the driver. Two to three can fit in front, two at the back and another two behind the driver’s seat. The other spaces were already occupied except that one remaining seat in front and so the guy took that seat beside me. He was an ordinary guy, wearing a white printed shirt with black pants. He’s probably around his 30s based on the wrinkles on his face. The tricycle sped away from the terminal and the cold breeze of the wind brushed against my face. It made me sleepy but the worries of the day kept me awake. In the middle of a 15 minute travel, he gave me a magazine-like reading material, the title went something like ‘Kapag Namatay ang Iyong Minamahal’ (‘When a loved one passed away’).

            For the next few minutes of that unforeseen encounter with a stranger, all I thought about the situation was odd. A stranger suddenly striking up a conversation with me and handing me a magazine talking about how people should cope with loss and all that stuff, everything seemed so creepy to me. I mean, I don’t see nothing wrong talking to someone you don’t know, for as long as nothing happens that go beyond your comfort zone. I guess I’m just not used to strangers talking to me and discussing about profound things in life. I wouldn't have felt uncomfortable if he asked about the weather, how the Kardashians are keeping up with their own life or how many more territories can China claim. We would've talked endlessly. His name is Wilson by the way. After introducing himself and the magazine to me, he followed it up with a talk about God and how things seen by the naked eye can disappear with a simple snap of a finger by God. He made a speech about how people should not keep treasures here on earth and start living in the name of God. He talked about why he didn't believe the Mayans’ predictions about the end of the world and he believes in what is written in the Bible about how the world will really end. I was already aware of some of the things he said and so I would occasionally nod every time something sounded familiar just to show him that I was paying attention. I took my earphones off my ears and let the music play without turning it off. Even if I wanted to turn it off, I couldn’t reach in my pocket. He was a big guy and he was unintentionally pushing me against the side of the tricycle. I had some questions in mind that I wanted to ask him but just as I thought it was my turn to speak, we just reached our destination. He quickly said goodbye and reminded me to read the magazine he gave me. I said goodbye and walked away briskly. I took a look at the cover of the magazine one more time while walking without actually looking where I was going and suddenly developed an interest about its contents. I held it until I got on the bus and began reading.
           I really don’t think about death that much or at least I don’t prefer to talk about it. Probably because I’m still scared of the fact that your life can be put to a permanent halt, leaving you clueless of what could be the next chapter, or it makes you wonder if there is even a next chapter if your time on earth has come. I guess, instead of thinking about the possibilities of what could be on the other side of life, I just try to live each and every day while being grateful of the air I breathe, the things I see, the emotions I feel, the challenges I face and the life that I get to live. Whenever we open our eyes to a new day, normally, what we would think about first are the mundane things we need to do and sometimes we get stuck by all this earthly activities that we tend to forget what it really means to live. With that note, I do believe that no matter how odd some parts of our life could be, we just need to look at them in a different way, in a way that could positively affect our outlook in life. Through that I guess, it would serve as a wake-up call and remind us about what it really means to live the life that we have. Having said that, I also believe in one of the most famous sayings that everything happens for a reason and meeting that Wilson guy wasn't a coincidence but a plan of God who simply wanted to remind me about life and how I should live it. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

I hope for a brand new me

“It’s been awhile, I’m not who I was before
You look surprised. Your words don’t burn me anymore
I’ve been meaning to tell you but I guess it’s clear to see
Don’t be mad, it’s just a brand new kind of me.
Can’t be bad, I found a brand new kind of free.”
Brand new me, Alicia Keys

     Last year, when some of us settled to believe that Mayans’ had cracked the code to the final days of the earth while others would rather go through the motions of life as if they had a million years permanently planted ahead of them, I trapped myself in a bully kind of life. A kind of life that, for some reason, managed to dictate the flow of some important decisions I had to make. Perhaps because I wasn't really paying attention to the important things in my life and like some other people, I was just going with the flow which I realized is a bad thing primarily because if the flow leads to a pile of trash and dung, you wouldn't know until a swarm of flies comes out from nowhere and starts to attack you. Basically, I was just letting days pass by without caring to look back and ask myself if I lived that day or if I just simply existed.

     Take this for example, whenever I woke up in the morning to prepare myself for school, I never really attempted to fix my bed. I didn't care to look at it even for one second and it might sound a bit exaggerating but honestly speaking, during the year 2012, that year alone, I never, even once, fixed my own bed. Yes, it’s a humiliating confession. I was a 21 year old flabby guy who lets his Mom does his bed fixing duties for him. Well, I have to be honest. I believe that honesty to one’s self is next to an endless freedom. Do I sound like I am sharing a newly-found wisdom or am I secretly covering up an embarrassing fact that I just mentioned about me? Anyway, yes you read that right, it was my Mom who would always dared to get into the battlefield, which was my room, and fix my bed for me.
     Another example of my mindless way of living last year, I've always told my friends that writing/blogging is my passion, it’s my life and it’s the oxygen that I inhale but how often did I update my blog? I've always said that I love reading but saving up money to buy even a second-hand book didn't cross my mind and even if it did, the money saved up might have been spent for something else. I've always tried losing weight but I would only last for five days. I would find myself back in the dump of food where the last time I found myself, eating uncontrollably.

     Most of the time, I came late in school which wasn't a habit of mine before, but for some reason I couldn't point,  I always found  it difficult to rise, shine and shake off bed dusts early in the morning. Maybe I should blame late night tennis tournaments and Saturday Night Live Replays or should I just blame myself for making such unwise decisions? The phrase ‘stupid decisions’ rushed in first because I thought that it’s a perfect description about how badly I weigh the options that could either help me in making decisions or break me into pieces the next day. I also thought it would sound too harsh so I used the word ‘unwise’ instead.

     I have a long list of confessions to make but the whole point of this post is to give myself  a big and hard slap in the face to make me realize that I lived in a box of mediocrity last year. I lived as if I had a million years instead of living each day as if it was my last. Now, things are about to change (desperately hoping here). This is a brand new year, brand new challenges, brand new reasons to be happy and hopefully a brand new me.

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