by José Garcia Villa

In my desire to be Nude
I clothed myself in fire:—
Burned down my walls, my roof,
Burned all these down.

Emerged myself supremely lean
Unsheathed like a holy knife.
With only His Hand to find
To hold me beyond annul.

And found Him found Him found Him
Found the Hand to hold me up!
He held me like a burning poem
And waved me all over the world.

Dear S,

I also suck at goodbyes but I’ll try anyway.

September was brutal. Even my horoscope said so haha. But the saving grace of that month was knowing you. Thanks for sticking around despite my weirdness/sadness/anxiety, for not thinking I’m stupid (because I actually am, next to your genius) and for being a patient listener.

You’ve done wonders to my mental and emotional stability. I’m still neurotic but it would’ve been way worse if I didn’t have you in my life the past 2-3 months. My stress levels and overthinking significantly drop when I’m with you. Seriously, thanks.

Thank you too for showing me around Auckland. It was a pleasure exploring bits of the city (and outside) that I would otherwise have not discovered on my own. The only bad thing about it is that I would associate a shit ton of places with you if things fall apart lol. Thanks anyway for the memories, good food, awesome movies and for adding background music to our nights (that Coldplay radio now has a special place in my heart hehe). You have spectacular taste 😉 You’re wonderful, generous and I adore your drive and wisdom. But my favourite thing about you is that you still tolerate silliness even if you’re mostly into serious stuff. You’ve somehow unleashed my playfulness. Calling me a goofball is one of the best compliments I’ve ever received.

I’m really going to miss talking and spending time with you. I’m going to miss you and your quirks. And our snuggles of course 😉

Keep in touch, ok?

Catch ya later!

A

Not that I have a chronic illness that I know of but this is still pretty spot-on, especially on days when I have no commitments. When I tell people I am in bed 12hours a day, it’s not 12hours of quality, restful sleep (kung pwede nga lang). What really happens is 2hrs of pre-sleep rumination, tossing and turning (doesn’t make a difference if I’m exhausted, which is everyday kahit wala ko masyado ginagawa; my mind still goes on overdrive once I lie down in bed); followed by at least 8hrs of sleep if I’m lucky.

When I finally wake up, I spend another 1-2hrs of feeling useless (right after the painful realization that I’m awake and have to face the world again). It’s another cycle of worrying, overthinking, overfeeling and hating myself. Miraculously, I am able to gather some energy(?)/motivation(?)/reasons to get up. Some days/nights are better than others. Hirap mga besh, pero kaya naman because life is still beautiful and worth living lol

25

Wrote a rough draft of random things I learned/experienced at 25 on my Notes app last month, a couple of weeks before turning 26:

Studying abroad is no bed of roses, contrary to popular belief.

If you say “nothing serious”, it could be interpreted as DTF. “Dating” isn’t exactly a walk in the park (but you will sometimes walk in parks hehe).

It’s possible to be over the moon and to feel sunshine on rainy days.

Someone will give you the exact shade of rose that you want. And if you want to press it, press it BEFORE it starts wilting.

Kung wala kang issue sa katawan sa sariling mong bansa, maglalabasan pagtira mo sa ibang bansa. Hello breakouts, digestion problems, losing so much hair on a daily basis.

Alcohol is a depressant. It won’t help you sleep and it makes you feel bloated.

Neil Gaiman is always right. “It’s like the people who believe they’ll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn’t work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. If you see what I mean.”

You think you will never enjoy cooking your own food – you will.

You would/should travel long distances, literally and otherwise, for people you love/trust/crave.

“Get your ass on that bus, girl”

Words are cool but actions are cooler.

You will associate places with people. A park, a karaoke bar, sometimes a whole city.

Make lists, use that notes app, that reminders app, jot it down on paper.

You could grow up grade-conscious and not care about grades too much when doing your Masters  (in other words, you change, you grow up, you realize you value learning, not scores)

It’s okay. If it’s not, it will be. 

So many things happened at 25, so much to be grateful for. Got a scholarship and extreme pre-departure anxiety, said goodbye to my WWF family, flew to NZ, Lived in NZ (still am and still pinching myself), had my heart broken, got homesick, had trouble sleeping, had trouble getting up, did counseling, cried like i’ve never cried before, cried even more, learned in the classroom, learned outside the classroom, had hairfall like never before, got facial acne like never before, got a number of other physical issues but hey i’m still breathing, survived my first semester of Masters and being away from home and familiarity, felt like complete shit next to my super smart and articulate classmates, shared laughter/beer/new experiences with an awesome group of Pinoy friends without whom i might have gone insane and eternally depressed, blew a huge chunk of my stipend on travel, explored new places and fell inlove with the bits of NZ i’ve seen so far, got pissed off and amazed by the changeable weather, met someone unforgettable, kissed someone for the first time, learned how to cook simple dishes and realized i enjoy it, baked for the first time, had my heart broken (again), realized how much there is to life, how blessed I am and how grateful I am for everything. Overall, my 25th year had been incredible. Special mention to my bedroom and my bed na araw araw akong sinasalo.

Masaya, malungkot, pagod. Mej luma na pero tama si Ate Katy Perry: no regrets, just love!