Sunday, January 26, 2020

A Love Letter to My Friends

2019 was a bad 'friends' year for me. Although I definitely met a lot of amazing people throughout the year, there were moments when I self-invited myself to places and showed up unannounced at people's houses.

I found myself constantly reaching out to people to start conversations and to ask them to hang out. And when I didn't message them? I would never hear from them.

There were days when I was completely breaking down and tried to reach out to people for help, but no one cared. It even came to a point where I felt like I was forcing people to hang out with me. Little did I know that I was simply 'friends' with the wrong people.

I think one of the best decisions I made recently was to invite Rasta to hang out. I remember the first time I thought of inviting her to hang, my then-boyfriend looked at me and said, "Well, that's random. Are you even friends?" Obviously, being the weak woman that I am sometimes, I started doubting what I wanted to do and didn't push through with it.

And look at us now. Ayieeeee!

Hanging out with Rasta and expanding my friends' circle, in general, is probably the best thing I have done in the past few months. I used to keep my friends' circle super tight because I don't like people, in general. It just turns out I hadn't been meeting good people these last few years.

When looking for friends for keeps, look for people whose energy, whose mentality, and whose level of crazy matches yours. Look for people who will laugh with you and will never judge you. Look for people who are genuinely interested in what goes on in your mind: all of the pain, all of the scattered thoughts - mental health issues and all.

Look for people who voice out their desire to help, even if they don't know how to because they want to make sure you are always okay. Look for people who will take you aside during your moments of weakness and remind you to fuck what other people think. Look for people who will have your back, no matter what, and who will defend you even when you're not around.

Look for people who check up on you because they genuinely care about you. Look for people who will reply to you, especially when they know you really need them. Look for people who will apologize for not being there when it mattered. Look for people who won't let you down. And be that person for them, as well.

It may be daunting to get out of your comfort zone, but don't be afraid to look for new friends when you realize that the ones you currently have are no longer beneficial to your growth, your lifestyle, and your mental health. Don't feel guilty for leaving old friends behind. Because if they cared, they'd speak up and not let you leave in the first place.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Make time.

"Make time." This is probably the hardest lesson I have had to learn so far. See, I'm a lazy ass. That's no secret. I may seem super excited about something at one point in time; but then on the day itself, I find myself wavering. Should I go? Should I push through? Will this be worth my time? Do I have enough energy to last me through the meeting/event/party/etc.?

Newsflash: some things should be worth your time. When they involve important people, make time. You never know when you'll see them next... or if you ever will again.

One of my good friends, Loise, died yesterday. And it was so heart-wrenching, I had to take myself away from the world for a whole day. I found myself re-reading our past conversations and wondering if there was anything I could've done to help or prevent it or even just be there.

But that's the thing. People don't know that I'm that kind of person because I don't usually show it. People don't know that I tend to drop things without even thinking twice just in order to be there when people need me - like really need me. People don't know the worry that goes through my head when they don't reply or they show up late or they don't show up at all. What if something happened to them? What if they died?

I get angry when they eventually show up or finally reply because I worried myself shitless. That's just the kind of person I am. I would rather you cancel on me last minute than suddenly grow silent on me because I overthink to the point where my mind goes absolutely nuts. But that's what you do when you love someone. You overthink. You overworry. You overcare.

I have a conversation with Loise where I sprak-ed because he didn't reply and I thought he had died... and now he actually has and all of these regrets have popped up into my head.

The last time I saw him, he told me to message him on his day off so we could hang out. I never did because I got so caught up in the drama of my own life that I didn't even give him a second thought. I wish I had. I wish I had been more present. I wish I had cared more. I wish I had been a better friend.

And just because I don't broadcast to the world how much I care about you, that doesn't mean that I don't. I have felt so left out from all of the happenings surrounding his death. I've been pestering people just to tell me where his ashes are. I've called random friends that I'm not even really that close with just to cry and let my feelings out.

Loise was our ball of sunshine. Despite everything, he always had a smile on his face. He had the best stories. He had such a positive outlook on life. He was apologetic. He was funny. He was understanding. He was fun. He was real.

A few years ago, during what I now call Benz-time, he was the only one who tried to understand me and stood by me through it all. Not once did he judge me for my actions or decisions. If anything, he kept me going. He kept a smile on my face and pulled me aside to tell me that what I was doing was wrong and that I needed to learn how to respect myself and people's relationships more.

When I needed something for work or for my hobbies, he'd get it done without asking for anything in return. He'd help me get shit done for my rakets. He'd randomly draw me stuff to lift up my mood. He'd listen to every rant, every breakdown, and every petty little thing.

Loise was the kind of friend you don't meet very often. And although we grew apart for a while last year, I'm happy I was able to rekindle our friendship before 2019 ended and that I was able to see him a few more times before his passing. I'm happy we talked a lot towards the end, but I also regret that I didn't give him all of those Mobile Legends skins he constantly asked for.

Loise didn't deserve to die and if I could take his place, I happily would. What I'd like to remind you is to never take people for granted. Spoil them. Love them. Show them that you care every single day. Take loads of pictures. Make as many memories as possible. I wish I had.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Our Story

You came back into my life at exactly the right moment in exactly the right way, and you blew me away in ways you had failed to do when we first met.

You read the right books. You played the right games. You spoke the right languages. You listened to the right music. And your persistence was admirable.

But as they said in '500 Days of Summer'...

Still, it had been a year since I had gone on a proper date with someone new; and you made it feel so easy, it was hard not to get swept up in the moment. You didn't care that I was utterly awkward, borderline alcoholic, and a massive nerd.

The familiarity was warm. The effort was real. The silence was oddly comforting. Your passion for the things that you care about was inspiring. You were refreshingly different; but in the end, we had a completely different set of values.

I will probably still think about you every now and then, but know that there won't be any romantic meaning behind it. I believe that everyone is a lesson, and you just happen to be my favorite one to date. You turned me into an unrecognizable version of myself that I didn't even know existed: vulnerable, patient, hopeful, and at peace (albeit also a little pathetic lol).

After seeing your true colors behind the rose colored lenses, though, I realized that you were never worth fighting for, even though I did fight for you - secretly and very fiercely. While you never gave me butterflies, you did give me hope - hope that after everything I had been through, it would be okay.

As I turn you into online literature like I always said I would, I am closing our story for good. But know that when people ask me about you, I will still look back at our time fondly for no one was as honest, as open, as straightforward, or as unforgiving as you.

"Eternity is hidden in every moment." Thank you for giving us our own little eternity in time.

Friday, January 3, 2020

"Remember: you're the girl."

I was having a conversation about dating with one of my closest friends recently and at some point in the conversation, he said, "Remember, Angel. Ikaw yung chix. Hindi siya." [Remember, Angel. You're the girl. Not him.] And while at first, that seemed like sound advice to me, I started thinking about that statement. I mean... what does that even mean?

I've always been a pretty straightforward person. When I like someone, I don't beat around the bush. I make sure he knows it. If there's one thing I hate about pseudo-relationships, it's the limited time of them.

Even if you do tell each other you like each other at some point, who's to say when you'll stop liking them? You might like someone in the beginning and then get tired of them or lose interest after sleeping with them or meet someone new while you're seeing them (all of this is what usually leads to ghosting).

So when I like someone for the meantime, I don't understand why I have to hide that. As the girl, am I supposed to wait around for something to happen? Am I supposed to wait for the guy to woo me and chase after me? Why? I'd much rather spend my time making the most of the potentially only limited time that we have together than pretend like I don't care.

I'm also a thoughtful person, in general; so when I see something that reminds me of someone, I don't hesitate to buy it and give it to them even if there isn't any special occasion. If I'm in an area and know someone's gonna be there, I make it a point to stop by and say hi. I make plans with people. I make time to send messages to people at the end of the day to ask how they are.

And this doesn't just pertain to romantic relationships, either; it pertains to all kinds of relationships, including those with workmates, relatives, and friends. When I genuinely like a person, I tell them and show them. When I want to show my appreciation for having them in my life, I do so in every way that I can.

So, in the world of dating, instead of living with the mindset that you're a girl and have to act a certain way, why not just do what you want while you can? Life's too short to hide how you feel. Life's too short to pretend like you don't care.

And on the flip side, if you've been seeing someone and suddenly realized that you're over it, grow some balls and tell them straight up. Don't just stop talking to them as if they never existed. Don't keep replying just to be polite, even though you have no intentions whatsoever to see things through.

There's nothing wrong with losing interest after sex or admitting that that is all that you were after in the first place. If anything, the mature thing to do would be to admit that so that the other person knows and can move on with their life without wondering what went wrong or what they might have done to cause a fallout.

Now that it's 2020, let's be more transparent about our feelings, shall we? Let's consider how other people might feel for a change. And let's not take anyone for granted.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Do hubadera posts bother you?

By definition, a 'hubadera' is a woman who wears 'revealing' clothing. She's basically not afraid to show some skin. This is probably the biggest problem I encounter when I get into relationships. I'm a self-proclaimed and certified hubadera and I'm not ashamed of it.

Why am I bringing this up? I may not speak about it much, but there are some trolls out there whose comments I subtly delete, asking me stupid questions like, "What the fuck are you wearing?" or "What in the world possessed you to put that on?" Never mind the fact that it was just a cosplay of Slave Leia.

Even friends bring it up jokingly. "Oh, Angel posts FHM-type photos on her Instagram" (again in reference to the Slave Leia cosplay above) or describing my everyday clothes as 'mahalay' (a term I hadn't even heard before, but which apparently means 'lustful').

There are actually several reasons why I wear skimpy clothing. First of all, we live in one of the hottest countries in the world. Why would I subject myself to hours of sweat and discomfort just because some people might think showing skin is lewd? Second of all, I don't have a cleavage to speak of; so even if I wear low-cut tops, there are zero chances of anything popping out of there, no matter how drunk I might get during the night. And lastly and most importantly, it's my body and my life, so get the fuck out of my face?

If my posts bother you, feel free to unfriend or even block me as you please. If we're friends in real life and my clothes reeeeeally bother you, feel free to tell me so I can school you on staying out of my business. (Kidding. I promise I'll make it a point to cover up a little when I'm around you if I care about you that much.)

For the strangers, for 2020 and beyond: if you don't have anything nice to say, how about you just don't type it down and just don't click 'send' for a change? :)

Love lots,
Your friendly neighborhood hubadera

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Surround yourself with the right people.

I ended 2019 on an amazing note. Yes, after everything.

As my dear friends know, 2019 was a real struggle for me. I may have added a ton of new experiences to my life story, but I also experienced a huge amount of breakdowns.

I experienced the second biggest heartbreak of my life this year when my dog died. I opened myself up to dating again after what was probably the worst relationship of my life to date, just to be reminded of how unworthy I am. And my room, like my mind, is still a massive mess.

Still, all that aside, God decided to remind me of the awesome people of my life - the people I should be surrounding myself with this 2020.

I didn't grow up here and I work mostly from home, so I will be forever grateful for meeting this amazing group of people - each of which I had met in the strangest ways possible. :p Although I only see most of them during birthday celebrations due to everyone now having relationships and jobs (some of them were still in college when we met!), our recent spontaneous Christmas party reminded me that I will still always be able to turn to them for advice and a ton of laughter.

Minus one person, I will be forever grateful for the people that I work with. Who knew that meeting my boss at some random event at some random bar would bring me to the best job in the world? I recently got a job offer at a company I had once dubbed 'my dream job', but recent events showed me that I would be utterly stupid to leave all of this behind. We have the most understanding and supportive (not to mention gorgeous) team ever with people who check in and jump in to help when it matters the most. I don't find that often in life, in general. What are the chances that I would find that at work? I definitely wouldn't trade it for any amount of money in the world.

My obsession with beer pong was at an all-time high earlier this year. I even found myself in Hong Kong at one point to play beer pong. Crazy. It became such an obsession that I found myself reeeeeally getting angry whenever I lost. I would also get really anxious on days when I couldn't play, even bringing workmates out just to play water pong after meetings and even training Syrena how to play the game. I also gained a ton of weight during that period of time, so I am proud to say that I have been able to step back a little bit and bring myself back into the world of sanity. :p Still, I met some of the best people in my life thanks to that period. Special shoutout to Tav, as well, where I constantly meet amazing people of all walks of life, some of which I can't even imagine living life without anymore.

And at the risk of sounding utterly cheesy... thank you, Lord, for answering my prayers within a mere 24 hours. I've always been a very religious person, but my last boyfriend couldn't care less about God and going to church. So, during one of my lowest points last month, I asked one of my best friends if I could go to Quiapo Church with him. I won't even sugarcoat it: I BEGGED God for something. Like really, really BEGGED. And exactly 24 hours later, I found myself at peace with all of my questions answered and my heart in a good place.

This 2020, I vow to spend more time with the right people: the people who care, the people who matter, the people who put in as much effort into things as I do. And I vow not to let unworthy people back into my life. Feel free to slap me if I break these vows. :p