the greater adventure

So, here’s the thing: I refuse to commodify adventure.

It happened some time this semester when I desperately wanted to go on an adventure – which translated into a hike/beach/road trip or any forms of travel in the literal sense – in the hopes of taking myself out from a dull routine. But because of time and financial difficulties as a student, I was left with the following ordinaries: poolside meetings, travel between home and school, early dinners in convenience stores and street side eateries, and frequent visits to the bookstore among others. And it is in these seemingly forgettable moments that I was reminded of a different sense of adventure.

This is the kind that makes use of the common, the kind that magnifies the ordinary, for it to metamorphose into a meaningful encounter. The kind that is quieter, less costly yet equally, if not more, lovely. The kind that is, with constant training of the mind, always readily available. It can take great efforts at times to see from this perspective, but never stop trying. Somewhere along the way, I am hopeful you will meet rare souls who will let you experience every day as a new exploration.

Adventure in the literal sense is great. But I hope you also find excitement and wonder in sitting silently next to someone while watching the rain fall, in dancing to the music played in convenience stores, in the bus rides between home and school, in going past strangers on your way somewhere (every. single. day. THE WORLD IS BIG), even and mostly in mere conversations.

 

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a foreigner in the land of the forgetful

Most of the time, I feel some kind of disconnection from my generation, if not from humans in general. Perhaps this is caused by the diminishing wonder in most people as they enter the world of adulthood, or such that comes with the realization that the world has its terrible parts. Although at some point, I, too, am guilty of this – I have become one with the forgetful and have not taken notice of life’s charm for a while. I can’t blame people. It’s very unchallenging to hate the world. If you’re not careful, you could easily become some sort of a machine who wakes up to the same day and sleeps on the same night for the rest of your life, which is one of the scariest and saddest things that could happen. I have met so many people who are exactly like that. They walk in such a manner as though they are always late for something. They do not bother to look up, or to look outside, that a sun rises and sets without their awareness. Such are the people who have gone blind.

But you can fight this threatening loss, no matter how long you journey in life. It is by remembrance and further exploration that one can battle against forgetfulness. Needless to say, these require deliberate actions. This may mean slowing down, taking a necessary short pause. I must warn you, though. In the land of the forgetful, many raise their brows on whoever refuses to be like the rest. They call those who see things that they don’t many names – weird, alien, crazy. But you must not lose heart. In the land of the forgetful, blessed are those who are blind to the ordinary – the only blindness one should possess.

And if you never stop praying, seeking, and waiting, you will come across people who will stir your fascination and passion in life. Build connections with such souls. They are beneficial in maintaining the magic in your journey. Sometimes, they are the magic. Sometimes, they are home.

 

a conversation about the moon

I told him of when I was younger, how I thought the moon always followed me as I walked and looked at it. He said that’s what his younger self believed, too. I talked about how I used to stare at it and think that daytime was swallowed by the moon at night, reason for its splendor. Day skies hid itself in the innermost part of the moon. And days were reborn, ran freely in the horizons, or spat out by the moon come morning. It didn’t really make sense, but he found it interesting. He said that the moon could be a place to preserve the day’s memories. Whenever a person felt sad at night, he only needed to look at the moon to remind him of the day’s joy. I wanted to ask my friend: what if a person never had a happy moment in a day? I didn’t ask, anyway. It felt too heavy for the inner children in us then.

But tonight, the answer comes to me: he will look for the moon, but he will not find it.

7.5.17

  • Had I not let my guard down, I wouldn’t have to feel this kind of sorrow. Connection is so addicting it scares me. Whenever I come across an interesting fact, a new place to explore or a fascinating story, there is always the intense desire to share it with someone. Not that it’s necessarily wrong, but I mourn for the time when I could easily do it on my own. It scares me how dependent I’ve become on people these past months. Yesterday, I’ve set a boundary in one of such connections and woke up with a heavy heart this morning. I keep missing people and moments too much lately. Send help.
  • I’ve lost track of who I am. I am not worth pursuing is something I’ve been thinking for weeks. I don’t know if it’s just a lie from the enemy – God, I hope it is – because I feel like I’ve been just trying to console myself by believing it’s a lie when it really is the truth.
  • Depression? I’m not sure, but: blank pages for over a month, sleeping the day away, spends most of the time reminiscing about distant past, no excitement in life’s wonders.
  • I miss You. I’m so sorry.

to C, & all the friends who came and went

I only had a best friend once, and that was way back in 3rd grade. My earliest recollections of us include an exchange of handwritten letters and stationery sets, conversations about home works and crushes, and Girl Scout camps. That went on until she had to transfer to another school. Even then, we still talked online and met every once in a while. Slowly, she started to drift away as new friends arrived. I lost my best friend some time in high school.

Of course, I had other friends. But none replaced old ones – that isn’t really possible, is it? Subconsciously, I’ve set a boundary as to how far these relationships could only go.

Lately, I find myself in situations where I am tempted to let my guard down. The thought of having someone (and not merely a journal) to talk to about the ugly and interesting and all the in-between details of life, of not having to be alone in your pursuit of elsewhere, of being completely known and understood and loved still. I long for this kind of connection but each time I try to take a step forward, I stop; I think I will never be ready for this kind of intimacy.

And it is this fear of impermanence that denies me such desire. Impermanence is solace to the suffering but also an enemy to the easily, more so to the overly, -attached.

But if you are fortunate, there are hands that constantly reach out no matter how far you draw back. There are people who willingly listen to the stories in your head, who insist that you go on each time you pause. There are those who look at you and see you and choose not to walk away. There are those who, even with the surge of other friendships, remember your name not out of necessity but just because.

Such souls, rare as they may be, inspire me not to forget, but rather to accept the reality of impermanence. They speak to me of the beauty of relationship despite the inevitable future separation that comes with it in different forms.

There are faces that come in mind as I write this and I am reminded of moments – happy, sad, frustrating, painful, beautiful. I am no longer friends with my 3rd grade best friend but that did not, does not and will never change the fact that she was my 3rd grade best friend. The same goes for all the friends that came and went. And I was, am, will always be that friend to them.

I suppose there will never be an end to farewells. But perhaps this human connection is worth the pain of impermanence, after all.