Monday, August 01, 2005

A New Beginning

After weeks of grueling tasks of hospital rounds, nursing lecture classes, doing undergrad research thesis, and preparing for the feared periodic and oral examinations, complicated by a gross self-disorientation and an inevitable emotional disarray and breakdown, last Friday’s all night out provided a breather, or at least a buffer, to my neurotic borderline life.

With my self-proclaimed dissuasion to engage in any intimate personal contact with complete strangers of all sort, I avoided at most any circumstance that might expose myself to the world. I eschewed all the invitations from my closest acquaintances, from coffee breaks to flirting with men. I kept my exposure to the minimum. My life evolved from hospitals, to my college, and to my house, and occasionally, to this local bar (1611) where I spend my weekends with some close friends.

When my good girl friend asked my affirmation to come to her “breather party,” I vehemently refused without any consideration for my part. It’s not that I hate socializing with people; it’s just that I have no motivation or enthusiasm to come. Added to the fact that my parents might not approve of it, particularly my mom who has the incessant enjoyment of deliberately calling my friends just to know my whereabouts. But as the day of implementation approaches, I developed the gusto to come, and eventually to leave my hermetic life and spend some quality time with the living.

Admittedly, Makati is not my crowd; I would’ve enjoyed things better if we were in Malate or at Government in particular. Greenbelt used to be that same old, same old place where eternal chitchatting and meeting artificial ostentatious people abounds like cocktails in a bar. Conversely, GB has changed since my last visit quite a few months ago. It had become a totally novel place, an alcove where candor and realism is possible, where people are breathing more or less in an honest space, in a place of sheer lucidity amidst the mist hazy with smoke of uncertainty.

I was able to meet new friends in the bar we went into (Temple). Never in my mind have I thought of myself as attractive, or likable at least, but as some men approach me and stayed with me even for a little while, I developed a positive self-regard. It’s as if I felt accepted even for some little borrowed time. A precious little stretch of time where it almost feels like it had been forever.

Then it dawned on me, I miss the feeling of being appreciated and liked, things I lacked when I broke up with my significant other. Even for such little time, I was fulfilled of that need. And it felt good. And it even took a stranger I knew nothing of to enlighten me of my lacking.

All this time, this is what I failed to notice—that I can find affirmation and hope even in the most insignificant, trivial places. There is optimism behind the blinding lights of the darkest bars. Hope flourishes even in the most desolate, barren alleys. There is truthfulness amidst the crowd teeming with people wearing masks and fa├žades. Because as always, it is what in the inside that matters. And what is outside is not always what it seems.

As we went home, I was left contemplating with what might have happened if I didn’t come. Perhaps the party might not be as happy as it was, or it might have ended in an earlier time. Yet in my mind, I felt extremely grateful to the wonderful souls who made me believe that life is still beautiful. There is still more to life than all the bitterness and lies. That behind the darkness and hopelessness lays a streak of light radiating its luminous resplendence predestined to envelop the gloom.

Maybe it’s the spark of optimism or it’s my conscious effort that I have willingly decided to just let go. All this time, I was shrouded with the pains and regrets of my failed relationship with Marco, but through the help of my loved ones, I was able to emerge from my self-created pit of loneliness and despair. I am now moving on. And I have let go completely. And what is left in my heart is the eternal hope and faith that somehow in this crazy twist of fate, I will find the predestined someone who will share with the journey of my life. A journey towards eternal love and happiness, starting with me, towards a new beginning.