Sunday, December 19, 2010

(Don't) Lose Yourself


When your head is bigger than your heart, then you have lost your heart.



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Blind faith.


Once you learn the secret to a magic trick, you just wish you could unlearn it.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hope


You cannot change in a day, but you can change the course of this day.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fine line

When you love someone, you love everything about them -- even the things that you hate.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Whores of this society

Please do not be offended by the title. It's provocative, but it is not as R-rated as you think. 


It was the hundredth time that Celine read her resume and motivation letter that day; she needed to send her folder first thing the next morning and that two-page Curriculum Vitae and letter had to be neat, flawless, picture perfect. Once more, she checked if there were any misspellings; made sure again that the punctuation was correct and asked friends one last time whether the content was downright coherent. Celine was delighted with the format she had chosen, it was professional and it fitted her personal taste as well. Finally, she looked at it from afar and as she put the folder in the envelope, it sent shivers down her spine. She had never felt more excited.  

Celine worked on that two-page resume and motivation letter for days. It all started with an advertisement in the paper -- a job offer, the job offer. Since she can remember, she always dreamt of writing for that kind of magazine; and her chance had finally come. She understood immediately that the employer would get thousands of applications, consequently, hers had to shine: she needed to flaunt her best, be the very best. All her hopes for the (near) future were enclosed in that three-page little bastard

The young lady dared to dream big. If there were the slightest chance to get an interview... Scratch that. Celine was mad enough to think she could land her dream job. Indeed, it was possible to dream. She knew she had something to offer, but it was not enough. She had to... sell her resume, and just pray they'd buy it. 



Today's society is all about competition. The job market, especially in the art department, has become so hard nowadays that each time such an opportunity arises -- given the rarity -- we are compelled to exude not only excellence, but uniqueness as well. Writer? Painter? Musician? Photographer? So many scripts want to be published, tons of paintings hope to make a gallery their home, thousands of singing birds wish to be heard and millions of photographs want to be sold... How many of us aspire to make a living out of our passion? It does not help that the the art department often lacks resources to begin with, but acknowledging the fact that the number of unique individuals having a similar dream increases thick and fast... Unsurprisingly, a real chance at achieving the dream becomes limited since more and more people queue up for the exact same 'vocation'.

This tough competition may force us to bring out the very best in us, as required, but the frustration and disappointment endured is like a bad joke told repeatedly given the reality: we are aware that it's a fight against millions, and only the 'most' gifted -- the luckiest -- will eventually get a breakthrough. It is not only about hard work or exceptional talent anymore, it is not even about confidence or lack thereof as a matter of fact. Like in Celine's case, it's all about embracing once in a lifetime opportunities. Count how many of us actually get that chance. So not only do we thrive for perfection in our resumes and act extremely competent in interviews or auditions, but many of us will do about anything to make it. We want to sell.

Having addressed this topic, I suddenly couldn't help but compare all the Celine's to the ladies and men working the streets. Although perhaps an offensive analogy, what is really the distinct difference? They might be selling their precious bodies for money, but in hindsight, aren't we all selling something fundamental 'about us' at some point in our lives as well? Think creativity, talent, beauty, imagination or abilities. The irony of it is that these attributes are, in my humble opinion, absolutely priceless. 

I started thinking thoroughly about these times we put a price(less) tag on ourselves. No matter how bizarre this sounds, we do have to sell 'ourselves' in resumes, we show off. In interviews, we persuade employers into buying our competence and personality. In the hope of making a living out of our dream one day, we bet on our so-called talent to work out. It might be insensitive to compare ourselves and these specific traits to products that are for sale. Nevertheless, our present-day, competitive world pushes us to believe that this is the only way the game is played. Knowing that we have something special to offer is not enough, because doing what we love for our very 'own' happiness will not automatically bring food on the table. In the end, we truthfully rely upon selling ourselves if we aspire to get ahead. Artists do not do it for the wrong reasons, they do not live their passion for money; but artists need money, just like everyone else. The only difference is that (struggling) artists despise the thought of getting a real job. 

'Take the thing you love and make it your life.'  

Truth is: many of us might never get the chance to stand out the way we hoped and worked for, but it does not stop us of from ever trying, does it? We dare to dream big because even how aggressive the competition has become, giving up is not an option. It's a tough call, but we must believe we are tougher. We look up to those who have made it -- and pray that we will be that successful someday. Indeed, God willing, one day we will not only get to shine like a star, but we will be stars. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Flowers, not.


 It's our Birthday Gift-giving abilities that reveal just how well we know someone.


Creatures' different eye


All things in life are simple, ordinary. 

It is how they make us feel that is extraordinary. 







Thursday, August 26, 2010

Original Yous

It is very common to claim that people who go on vacation tend to be quite different from how they act in their everyday lives. Since the atmosphere varies, whether it will be freezing cold or scorching hot, both men and women feel a sense of diversion and project a warmer aura as they put their worries and even responsibilities aside (even if it is just for a brief time.) Most of us become more outgoing, when we are usually introverted or quiet. Some are definitely in a more laid-back mood, when you mostly remember them living in such a structured and fast pace. Lastly, we can find certain people who seem almost unrecognizable, as if they were playing another role or singing to an offbeat tune. In this case, please think out this example in a positive manner: Wow! I never thought you could be… This is ‘SO NOT YOU!' Unleashing something out-of-character which you never ever ‘in a thousand years‘ think you could do, is a good illustration of this feature.



Having addressed this subject, have you ever asked yourself why you might behave unlike your “customized” personality e.g. you acting more extroverted than you generally do? This question not only applies to the argument stated above i.e. being on holiday; but more specifically, this also refers to why this changing attitude happens depending on whom you are with and where you are -- thus on a daily basis. Of course, it is not hinted that you are being somewhat fake in some situations, but it is more about pulling out a slightly mysterious side of you every once in a while. So, what happens to your so-called altered self when you do not need her/him anymore? Does it remain in a hidden box until further notice? Or do you reckon that you might have found another – new -- YOU?

Thus being said… Who is the real YOU anyway?

This sounds like a trick question because my guess is that only one authentic you exists and ‘unique’ is evidently the best-fitted word to describe you. But I came to realize that the basic YOU is an understatement. Let us look closer into the details. It is true that adjectives, both negative and positive, have been invented to define every aspect of your personality and life. Someone can be so many things at the same time. And contrary to what the majority believes, it is not always a bad connotation: having “many faces” is possible and a wonderful gift. As long as all of them feel right and you are loyal to your values at all times, there is no talking about hypocrisy here. The serious you, the joker you, the ‘big brother/sister’ you, the artistic you, the social you, the professional you, the angry you, the lover you, the political you, the philosophical you, the wild you, the Zen you…! When you perhaps think that it’s getting boring, just remember that there are an infinite number of words that characterize your versatility. And these are not only moods and opinions that can be separated from you like accessories; they are part of who you are! Truth is: get to know the diverse yous “in you”, all of whom are real and worthy -- this is the great way to discern the original you (and you’ll no longer have any problem filling out the “About Me” section on your profile.)

On another note, have you ever wondered why you occasionally have the impression of leading different lives? For example, moving to another country or being a globe-trotter will establish a certain gap. My life here… And my life there! In effect, I am assured that the notion of different lives is caused by the environmental and social factors that influence your being. The two – or more – yous can absolutely be opposites, but it doesn’t mean that they cannot coincide.


Building up your personality will be a constant evolution, which will always take different shapes. In this day and age, the essence of uniqueness lies in continually discovering and creating yous-self.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lifetime


Who you will marry is the easiest and most difficult decision of your entire life; difficult because you want to make sure, easy because you are sure.




Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cookie dough


At times, knowing that we can have something brings more satisfaction than actually having it. 


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2o something woman

When you turn 25, you may reach a certain point where you start thinking about all sorts of quite important things. Questions such as what are your accomplishments so far, what are your sincere sentiments towards your present status and the whereabouts of your plans for the future may come to mind, which would most probably and preferably require a few good answers on your part. Some like to call it going through some kind of crisis. However, I’d rather regard it as simply evaluating the past, present and future situation.


It dawns on you that you have stepped into a stage of your life where everything around and about you should either make a little more sense, or on the other hand, unfortunately still leave you slightly confused and clueless. This actual state of mind is of course but the result of this path called “your life (until now)”. With so many individuals, places, videos and photographs that have sustained it, reminiscing brings you to once again truly relive your incredible journey. How you remember your childhood. So cute, innocent and surely without the responsibilities you have today! How it was to experience the delicate years of teenage life, whether you enjoyed it immensely or really just feel like you’ve survived it! All know that trying to find a place in this world can be tough, especially during those crucial teenage years! And today, you acknowledge the woman you’ve become. This woman. Who she is, with all her assets and all her ‘little’ flaws.



Looking into the past stages of your life may somewhat seem like reading a book. Actually, yes, it is your biography. Having addressed this subject, going into your twenties compels you to embrace the reality that the chapters of you “growing up” have manifestly been written. Already. Doesn’t it feel like it went by like the blink of an eye?! It can be a weird feeling to accept that statement i.e. to be considered as a full grown woman, but the maturity and wisdom you have acquired so far also makes you aware of the fact that thus certainly doesn’t mean that you have stopped growing. Because you never do, there will always be so many different fields for you to explore and learn from! Growing goes hand in hand with utterly what life is all about. That is the beauty in all of this.

Look into the mirror. This face. This body. This woman. No one can deny that your twenties is being at the prime of your life. How insensitive the following may sound, you will never look lovelier than you do now. (Well, and of course, for the next couple of decades!) Furthermore, this period marks the end of your studies and the start of your career. How exciting can this change be ?! This is also the perfect age to still do those crazy 'CRAZY' stuff, go on a world tour, even find that man at your side, perhaps prepare a wedding and desire a baby as well. But let’s not be hasty, those chapters are still to be written. Let's be glad to be writing this one right now.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Coffee Society


  • Let's meet up for coffee?
  • On va se prendre un petit café?
  • Zeit für einen Kaffe?
  • Prendiamo il cafe?
  • Fika?
  • Kape muna tayo?
  • Vil du ha en kafe?
  • ............................. ?

As this suggestion can be translated in all the different languages, not only do we understand why the coffee culture is a timeless phenomenon; but we get to realize that it is also one of those things we can consider "spaceLESS" - a custom which all nations/people seem to like having in common. From the traditional black coffee to the hip caramel macchiato (of course never forgetting some of those lovely pastries accompanying our drinks), from Vienna to Manila passing by Capetown to Buenos Aires; our interest for "coffee time" -- or the more accurate term would be our enthusiasm for coffee get-togethers -- is why I proudly announce to be part of the coffee society... And adoring it.
It is weird to mull over it but don't you believe that many nice feelings occur in these spots without us even being truly conscious about it - and thus on a daily basis? Just the taste of this rich aroma is a wonder and appreciating it with a good read or the quotidian su-do-ku can be the highlight of one's day. Yet the coffee society is manifestly more than just the love for coffee, it is the people blending with it. The coffee break with colleagues grants us small but well-deserved 'victories' in our everyday, busy lives. One knows how blissful it is to have the 'usual" place to spend quality moments with friends and loved-ones. Meeting up for coffee after an eternity in order to catch up always sounds like a great idea. And do you remember that whimsical get-together? 
When I sometimes look back, I recall having defining encounters around the coffee table. Simply being in the company of .........! I remember those conversations that  mattered, that meant something, that changed days, opinions and even lives -- whether those talks were wanted or accidental, serious or easy-going! I can still see, smell and taste every single moment as it revives and sweetens my precious memory and/or presence of these unique individuals. I have influenced a few people and they have inspired me! I've been through hardcore laugh and have shed profound tears as well! In the end, it is always a delight to touch a life in the most basic way: by talking and by listening.
The coffee society then remains one of the best things that illustrate beauty in the ordinary. Indeed, we might regard it as absolutely normal, part of the routine and being without any particular importance whatsoever... and it certainly is! But we can ascertain that this natural product turned out to be the easiest yet most effective way to bring people together. It starts so small. It begins with you and me. Looking into each other's eyes... And God knows that having two persons intertwined has the possibility to trigger a bigger-than-life follow-through. Interacting, discussing, sharing, reaching out, enjoying and literally crashing into each other's lives -- is sight for sore eyes. And doesn't the coffee make the ride a little more tasty? Sure it does. Drink away.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The first date

The moments before one of the most stressful situations ever called the first date; and the impression you get – from that person in all his *something something*, from the impact you believe you made on him –  is truly the most hilarious time to ever go through. The little voice in your head. The feeling. The atmosphere. There is definitely a whole lot of preparation and analysis – before, during, after - Please, don’t you just wish you won't screw it up?

Yes, indeed. There are a few rules that remain timeless for the WOW! date. For instance, you honestly need to look your (very) best, but not in a way that your outfit may be too revealing nor to have make it appear like you prepared for it way too long, way too much. Looking good... Looking fine ? Alright... Next step. There is a list of Don’t-s you are aware of; and should preferably avoid in any given circumstance. Talking about ex-boyfriends and your weird obsessions, for example, may appear on top of that list. Acting cool... Acting fine ? Alright... Next step. Finally, all know that the one essential tip to a perfect rendezvous is to simply be yourself.

Be myself... Be MYSELF?!?! Yes, about that, it’s actually not that easy when you are nervous like a wreck. It is not that you don’t have any trust in yourself, but you surely do not trust the YOU who is jumping all over the place! This is the part where self-confidence needs to kick in immediately. "You got it, girl! You know your thing! That it is, woman!


Hmm... Honestly, I hope he doesn’t realize that I’m a total freak!"

haha!


... But what if you did cross the line of the Don-t’s list? What if you were plain clumsy when that was the last thing you wanted to be? And what if, curiously enough, that actually made it funnier and you had a good time despite all the mistakes? Were you not ridiculously happy? At this point, you come to realize that having 
this kind of behavior i.e. being clumsy is also part of being... well, yourself. And of course, isn't it triggered by how much you like your date as well?

Your first impression after the WOW! date is truly the most hilarious time to go through as you also wonder how things can/might turn out in the near future. "Is there going to be a second date?" But when the first date's conclusion is that you had a whale of a time and laughed through the night – against all the odds - Please, don’t you just wish you won't screw that up? That little voice in your head. That feeling. That atmosphere. There was a whole lot of preparation; but for the first time for a first date, maybe not one bit of analyzing. It was so horrible, it was actually awesome.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Grounded


In the long run, all it takes to make a woman float on cloud nine is a down-to-earth man.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Audition


You need to invest in your talent before anybody can ever invest (money) in you.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Double standard


Having a prestigious family name is a blessing.
But just because you got the privileges and comfort that go with it;
Does not mean that you shouldn't prove yourself as one, single individual. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Profile picture







No matter how gorgeous, plain or photogenic you are,
 
A genuine smile will always be your best shot . 


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pressure cooker

It is very common for people to claim that no one, and that means absolutely no one on the face of the earth, comes close to their mother's cooking. This is especially, but not necessarily, a typical remark from individuals coming from Latin-speaking countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Philippines or Mexico. Both women and men feel this way about their mother's food: they praise her delicious dishes, brag about them to everyone and indubitably, they will miss her baking, her roasting and her grilling immensely when they haven't got a taste of it in a long time or do not eat it as often anymore. Case in point, a mother’s kitchen remains a sacred place: somewhat impenetrable and never, ever replaceable.

It is a very interesting – and yet at the same time, a questionable – observation since I could not help but wonder… Food for thought: If the world's best cooks are mothers i.e. women, then why is it that the greatest chefs nowadays are men? Shouldn't it be women since a majority of people value their mom's cooking so much more? [Pause for reflection] If you haven’t noticed it yet, just look around the next time you hit the restaurants; there is a very high chance that it is a man who is preparing your next, great meal.

As I tried to come up with some answers on my own, I realized that it was such a difficult task since I was left completely clueless. I tried to foresee, imagine the reasons behind this certain phenomenon; but none that quite satisfied me. So I surveyed around, asking friends and family about their opinion on the given subject. To their own surprise, my inquiry made them contemplate for a while [“Oh that's right, I never really thought about that…”]; and my research resulted into odd, comical situations. Many, like I, just could not find a direct answer. Some presumed that it was because these male chefs learned from the very best (i.e. their mothers) after all; others believed that most women prefer to keep their cooking low key (i.e. mothers do not automatically want to bring their talent to the public and/or work in a restaurant). A few then justified the fact that men ultimately have another – perhaps an even better – ‘culinary’ touch. Finally, I had a few people who were more straightforward, and suggested that men simply, genuinely aspire to become chefs more than women do.

It is only after discussing it with this one special friend that I stopped my investigation, finding the answer I was looking for. The weird thing is that it was only to discover that becoming a chef has basically nothing to do with being male or female. The reason why a large number of people – men as well as women – compliment their mom’s cooking more than anyone’s is because, in the end, a mother’s kitchen is more than just her exquisite cuisine. My very good friend mentioned a passage in one of his favorite books entitled “For One More Day” by Mitch Albom, that reads: "It was as delicious as it was familiar. I don't know what it is about food your mother makes for you, especially when it's something that anyone can make- pancakes, meat loaf, tuna salad- but it carries a certain taste of memory." Enlightenment.

A mother’s expertise, more than preparing the best meals in the entire universe, does indeed give a taste of memory; and it also procures the feeling of belonging and symbolizes the warmth of home. It is then no surprise that every single one of us searches, longs for, needs this somewhat empowering, comforting sensation; especially when we have been away from it for a long time. In the end, this particular taste will never be replaceable; just like a mother can never, ever be replaceable. Sadly, not all of us grew up with a mother (figure) and many claim not having such a great bond with theirs. But if we were lucky enough and were blessed with such a wonderful and admirable person in our lives, we should always be grateful for it and never take her for granted. Being a mother is not a job, it is a vocation. So let us show her how much we appreciate: from the second we were born to us eventually becoming responsible, independent adults; we should learn to sustain and always cherish the relationship we have with our mom. It is a gift from God to have someone care for us, and whose love we will never be able to see the limit of it. It is unconditional, and like her cooking, nothing ever comes close to it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The smartass theory


There is no such thing as a dumb question.
Only people who say there is make a fool of themselves.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Come What May

There is a special time of the year that I always look forward to. It is when spring reaches its glorious point: with its green coming out, the flowers blooming in all their beauty, and it finally comes the time to bring our lovely selves out there with our (new) sexy shades and clothes! Bless, only one (or two) layer(s) needed! Ever since I can remember, no matter what I am doing and whomever I am spending it with [and not], the month of May has always been my favorite moment of the year!

We all have noticed how time goes by so fast. It is already May... As a matter of fact, many of us may have the impression of not being able to keep up with the pace. Something and everything is always happening! Work has to be done, exams are to be prepared, errands are to be run, summer holidays are to be organized (though we shall not complain about that!)... Don't we sometimes feel like life is moving one step ahead of us and it is quite hard to catch up with it? But even though I feel the immense stress and the time pass much quicker during this period of the year, knowing that the academic year is on its final straight line, I cannot help but be mesmerized by/during this month. 

Something sensational in me arises -- each time, every single year. And the funny thing is that I cannot really define the taste, whether it is sweet or spicy. Light flutters. Like a grasshopper jumping from one leaf to another, like a faded smile wanting to reappear, as if the heart had its own melody... It is an afternoon delight slowly melting in my mouth: at times it is sweet and fruity; other times, the feeling is more spicy and hot. Maybe it is the sun or even the rain, it is  perhaps due to that particular smell or the season's sale, we are also able to take the coffee outdoor at last... Or, in the end, isn't it simply because of all this positive energy that we people produce? It is then no wonder why 'love is in the air' is a common belief during this period.  

I grew very fond of May over the years. And I presume I will always be ridiculously, deeply, unbelievably smitten with May... Like love, it is a beautiful feeling and I do not know why and how it has such an effect on me. It just has. And like love, all I know is that every single second of this month will take me to a higher place. I am clueless to how and why; but it just does, without any particular reason behind it. Sounds a lot like love, doesn't it? Come what may.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In-between

Without exception, every woman in this world who ever wanted to grow out her short hair landed in this particular situation, one that is truly problematic and discouraging; one that, sadly, can never be entirely avoided: this situation is none other than the detestable moment her hair reaches the mid-length level, only timidly touching her shoulders. At this point, it is neither amusing nor very practical to style: the hair is not short anymore but it is positively not long enough either. Being stuck in-between; the woman sighs, and comes to realize that she will spend the next couple of months facing quite an unpleasant music.

Dealing with it becomes a daily fight: she tries to come up with tricks that will put that flyaway hair into some sort of order. She seeks advice from hairstylists and also searches for “How to” articles in order to find even the slightest satisfactory solution. How she would just love to put that hair in a small ponytail at all times, but having a little tree hanging from the bottom of her head does not always look as cute as it sounds. How does she handle it? How does she get to the next level without the urge of pulling her hair out before? Unless she decides to liberate her anger towards that hair by getting some extensions – which does not necessarily appeal to all women – there is no other solution than to wait for this annoying thing to just grow. She attempts to remain calm and patient… and looks forward to the day she will finally look like a decent, neat human being with long hair again.

In life, we face a lot of situations that are similar to growing out a crop. Being stuck in an in an ugly period of transition equals to times of desperation, times of torture. Undoubtedly, this is definitely not about those in-between times that we consider as well-deserved breaks, for instance like that summer or sabbatical year between High School and University. What is insinuated looks more into those moments we feel a little more restless: being in-between jobs or in-between homes are good portrayals of messy times we are sometimes confronted to. Evidently, in-between circumstances are caused by different factors, whether we provoked them or not. Nevertheless, no matter what we leave behind, let it be good or tragic; and no matter what we are opting for, of course it is a situation that screams ‘for the better’; being in limbo is never a nice place to be: it often just leaves us anxious and frustrated.

Losing a job – and not knowing when exactly we will find another one – is one of the toughest standpoints we must deal with, especially nowadays. Many might find work as soon as they quit the last one, but others collect job ads or accumulate interviews in vain. Looking for a flat during housing crisis is equally exhausting; especially if the one we have ‘in the mean time’ does not come close to what a home should feel like. Like looking at one’s awful mid-length hair in the mirror, waking up clueless to what will happen in the (near) future slowly becomes an unbearable feeling. Then, we tend to hold on to the past – a past that might not have been great, but it was at least stable and safe. Indeed, periods of transition demand more patience and words of encouragement; and we can only pray for the next best thing to happen . How can we deal with it in a more efficient way? How can we get to the next phase without the urge of pulling our hair out before?

One thing that positive (such as holidays) and negative transition phases have in common is that we are well aware of the fact that they are momentary. There is a reason why a break has an expiration date. We are not satisfied with the actual in-between situation and we want to move up to the next level quickly. The only problem we have is that – as it is the same with growing out medium-length hair – we are too impatient to reach that specific goal. This is the reason why ‘now’ makes us cross and makes us curse at the exact same time.

So, instead of moaning and hoping for the next best thing to happen fast, we could learn to use this in-between situation in our favor. It is relevant to keep in mind that life is not a race: things will eventually turn around. And when it is that time at last, we will get into it with loaded guns. There are a lot of ways to make ugly transition phases quite fruitful: we can get another diploma, we can improve our language skills (or even learn a new one), we should be tourists in our own city again, we can take a short (or longer) trip somewhere, we can take dance lessons, and we can start networking more. Indeed, there are endless solutions to make time both pass and worthwhile.

It is said that the richest ornament of a woman is her hair. In hindsight, time is the richest ornament we have in our possession. Thinking about all the different phases we get to live in a lifetime, I have learned that no time is ever wasted – even times we spend in ugly transition. We sigh, we wait. Sadly, we cannot escape from them. But the thing is: it might not fly by, but it will go by. Meanwhile, as stated above, we should make every bit enjoyable. Let us simply look around, and remember how much society and our beautiful earth have to offer.  Now, don’t we have all the time in the world to explore?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

One-way street


Over time, it either grows or diminishes,
For Love can never be a constant.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring fling


I cannot promise you the world.
But I promise you my world. 


Absolute Power


It is funny how good weather can change everything.
Suddenly, 'having a bad day' seems like an inappropriate statement.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

The price of freedom

Five years and two months have gone by and just one reflection nurtures every single morning: “yesterday is today, and today is tomorrow.” What you once called your life, your choices, your plans and your destiny lost their very sincere meanings; as deciding now only belongs to the privileged and you have become subject to the strict lifestyle and schedule forced upon you. There are no fancy surprises anymore, no extraordinary affairs to look forward to. Only the occasional visits, which gradually get to be the highlights of your existence. For you, it is all written in the books. 



Recall the cards you wrongly played -- or even thinking how bad luck stroke and the cards handed to you were just plain unfavorable in the first place. The infamous moment that changed the absolute everything develops into a greater obsession as the clock keeps on ticking and ticking... Talking about regrets only is appropriate to those who get hit with this kind of reality. “What is life?” when you are compelled to the idea that the most precious gift given to humankind was taken away from you: your freedom. Jesus, does anyone ever know what it feels to be trapped until s/he are behind bars? In the absence of something so vital, cherishing it with every breath you take will forge the essence of your being. 


There are no misunderstandings. There are no excuses. Some people deserve what they are in for. (And of course, if that weren’t the case, then it’s not even bad luck. It is just very bad taste.) Meeting someone who is locked up will make you lose control over your emotions. Your heartbeat takes a slower pace, and bit by bit, it breaks down. Your heart is crushed into pieces. And they cut, they sting, they bleed. Immediately, an abundance of questions bring you to a dangerous yet somewhat pure, incorruptible place. Inquisition of fundamental matters, one would say. Does repentance equal to the absence of freedom? When does time stop and simultaneously matter so, so, so much to someone? What is innocence if you cannot ever come out clean? Where is your family when even just looking at their photograph breaks your heart? “What is life” when the light of hope does not even come close to the light of day?


Answers are not impossible, they aren't unsolvable mysteries. It is simply extremely hard to find them. Yet for the first time, questions seem not to require a direct explanation. Truth is: the answers are but overwhelming feelings, naming them near-perfection realities. Weren't they inside all along? 

Someone once said that the people you should love the most are the ones who are less fortunate. You underline that statement when you can seriously consider: Who could ever love a murderer? Who will grant forgiveness to a rapist? Who should even his/her precious time to talk to a smuggler? Who would feel sorry for an innocent man wasting his time imprisoned? Do you believe it is no one else but those who are close to them? It is definitely not the case. I am but a stranger who will look into your eyes, shake your hand, give you a tap on the shoulder. There is a reason why I saw you. But then again, I cannot help but wonder, against all the odds, could it have been that you saw me first? 

I will love you. Forever, until the end.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The expiration date

Everyone has come across this one particular situation. However, you would then agree that no one really gives it much thought until you eventually are bound to let it happen. Curious, aren’t you? Just imagine the following: you open the refrigerator and today, it flashes your mind to check if everything is still in order. So of course it would not be, since you quickly remember that it is about time that you bought a new stash of milk again. “How long has it been since I last drank some?” And there it is, lying there, sobbing in silence: the hopefully-not-yet-rotten carton of milk. Your biggest challenge of the day: it could have been consumed with no rush, slowly, delicately … But how you got it off your mind, for so many different reasons apparently. You search for the expiration date and doubt on whether you should feel lucky or rather displeased by what you see, because you just have enough time to drink it in one go, right before it turns unpleasant. An instant of hesitation as you ask yourself: “Do I chug it?" Yes, undoubtedly, for you do not seek to waste any… And you’ll regret it if you don’t.


“Soul meets soul on lovers’ lips”

Curious, aren’t you? Why this sudden change of subject and more importantly, what in the world does this quote have anything to do with bad milk? Absolutely everything, actually.

Time had passed since these two souls last locked lips and shared a passionate kiss. Life got in the way, commitments and responsibilities were on the agenda. It was never the right opportunity to dwell on the not-so far away past. Yet as soon as they rekindled, there was no need for big words or long stares to create this fabulous, sincere and powerful, clearly still irrefutable connection between them. This kiss was not sweet; it was the sweetest taste of mango. It was not romantic; it was the romance that could set the world on fire. It was not music; it was the music where one grasps right there and then, what “all that jazz” truly stands for. Simply thinking about this special kiss gives them the shivers. 

When a moment becomes yours. When the outside world stops for you. When you can hold a feeling so tightly in your hands, almost believing that an emotion could suddenly be materialized. It is at times like these when it’s undeniable why desires and passion are worth… everything.

Then again, there’s a little lie in this extremely sensual, last encounter. Curious, aren’t you? The reason why it was never the right hour to dwell on the not-so far away past is because it had come the time to deal with the very-present present. That mind-blowing kiss might not have been their first, but it was certainly approaching their very last. Indeed, it wasn’t that long of a period since these two souls last locked lips and shared a passionate kiss. Only but a few if you measure it in days, but it sure felt like a lifetime seeing what this meeting would mean to them. Everything from the first second they gazed into each other’s eyes until the last instant they exchanged words was enclosed in that kiss. 

“Soul meets soul on lovers’ lips”

You open the refrigerator and you could have a nasty surprise since there is a possibility that you might have exceeded an expiration date. You did not wish for that to happen, but things are the way they are. Only a short span left, you kindly accept the situation and ask yourself: “Do I chug it?” Yes, of course you will, undoubtedly.

And that is exactly how you approach moments such as these, when you have no choice but to bid farewell to someone you truly care about. Curious, aren’t you? You do hesitate. You want out. You only get distant. For the obvious reason that getting to the good-bye scene in such a full blow could actually kill you inside. You try to get it off your mind as hard as you can, but it’s inevitable. The thing is, will there ever be a good timing to say good-bye to someone you love? No one is given a guideline to exactly when and how this is supposed to happen… even when the date is long written on the calendar. So what do you do when the infamous day is near and you just have enough time to make it still pleasant? You chug it, undoubtedly: the heartfelt tears, the hurt, the sadness, the memories, the love… And before you can understand it, amazingly, there can be sweet good-byes, even if there aren’t any smooth tomorrows... You take it all in, you will regret it if you don’t.

”Why have an expiration date when everything seems so right?” Curious, aren’t you? Perhaps it is because this beautiful story was actually never meant to be, for so many various reasons apparently. You do not ever hope for milk to go bad, like you do not choose when and whom you fall in love with. You did not wish for that to happen, but things are the way they are. Milk turns unpleasant, and you grow in love – even how wrong or crazy it is, and even if it narrows down to eventually saying your adieu! Life sometimes leads you to very unpredictable, uncontrollable situations, and you will always end up wondering why there is something called choice and another named destiny. Truth is, both meet halfway when good-byes knock at your door. And you do the best within what’s in your power. Maybe you’ll look back and your adventure will seem surreal. Maybe you’ll want to reconcile with why-oh-why you invested in something… someone, when you knew since second one that it could not lead you anywhere but here?

But then, you’ll come to realize that the very unforgettable kiss, the memorable rainbow, the way the clouds moved – so gracefully felt, shared, absorbed, was yours until the end of time. And doesn’t that, in all fairness, somehow make it the very first kiss? Untouchable.

Singer Raul Midon trusts that “expressions of love, [we] can’t deny [them], even when we say good-bye.” Not so curious anymore, are you? It is at times like these when it’s undeniable why more than desires and passion, falling in love was worth… everything.