Reflections

Ok, I’m not here to post fancy things or write about the things I am normally concerned with. I just want to greet you, my reader, a happy new year. The post may end up being aimless, senseless on some parts, meandering as a whole, but I hope to share things and insights about the things that had gone on during the past year.

2015 had ended about four and a half hours ago in my part of the world, and 2016 had come in its place. Yet again, we need to put up a new calendar and remember to write “2016” instead of “2015” on all sorts of things.

The past year had been an amazing ride.

Let me share something about the way I think – I am a mix between an optimist and a realist. I set my expectations realistically, but my aim is for the most optimistic result as possible. In this manner, while I recognize that this is the one year in the many recent ones that lots of bad things came my way, I just cannot the the past year as a whole as a big failure, nor that I came up short on things. Rather, I see it as an amazing string of 365 days of learning more about life. There are happy days and sad days, and I refuse to weigh life towards the bad against what is good, which I believe life mostly is.

My outlook towards life swings wildly between me being optimistic bordering on crazy, to my regular and stable “I don’t give a fuck attitude” to a downright pessimistic “Let’s blow everything the fuck up” mindsets. There are times that I want to talk like a running politician, and times that I refuse to talk to anyone but the four walls of my room.

My friends everywhere, even my girlfriend had termed me as complicated.

I am.

Not surprisingly, real life is as well.

Still I believe life is a learning experience that never stops. Just like the mythical Ouroboros, it eats us up bit by bit, but we end up growing some more, only to have more of it eaten as we go along in it. The process never ends, and won’t until our last breath.

 


 

All This Time

I broke up with a girl I was in a relationship with for eight years. I had a really good time with her, but unfortunately towards the end, I couldn’t carry the burden and pain that had come during the early parts of our relationship. We had some really bad issues that I prefer to keep to myself. Had I ended up with her in marriage, I will not be happy, and if I am not happy, I cannot make her happy and it would still either end up in failure or we’d just go at it to keep the promise made in front of people. Hell no, I am not doing that because I for one still believe in the romantic ideals of marriage.

Yes, even heathens like myself still hold to the ideal version of marriage and commitment.

She cannot be replaced – there can be only one of her ever in my life. I choose to remember the best parts of what we had, and hopefully the nightmares of our past that kept haunting me and our relationship then will quietly go away.

After an alcoholic spree that lasted a good two weeks or so post breakup, when I spent my days drinking my ass off daily after office hours, I had found out about the things that I should have thought about many years prior. The problem as I see it was I refused to admit that I was in serious shit emotionally. I held on stubbornly to our relationship simply because I thought that I had no right to be hurt, nor do something about it.

I thought that I had the problems, that I was the cause of all of it. I thought that by being with her, and attempting to carry the weight of our world was going to do the trick. It didn’t help that she didn’t want to help me carry the weight, and while I knew I was going to be carrying that weight for a long time, I just kept carrying it even if she had no intent to help me in the long term.

I was never so wrong.

I was as wrong as a snake crawling across an eight lane freeway.

I am still in the process of healing myself, and I am now with a wonderful girl who’s helping me with that. Like the me of old, I had decided that I am in this for the long haul yet as much as I want to tell everyone that, eventually, only time will tell. There is much work to be done, and as long as I do not repeat the mistakes of my past, I have nothing to lose.

Of course I have fears about being in a relationship again – that the same things will happen to me, that I will get hurt again, that I will be trodden upon again, that I will not receive as much affection and attention as I need. These are the things that keep me on my toes now, and on a hair trigger to pull the plug on things and go walking away. I know that this is not the correct way to be thinking about it, but the trauma is fairly great that I feel like I have no choice but to think about these.

The only difference between myself then and now is I now know that I have to take care of myself first, and have somehow come to terms with my limitations as a man so I can be the best that I can be for her. I was at my best and gave my all, but I got shot down. I was shot down many times, and while my mind thought I could stand up again, my heart was already bloodied. You see, I had always thought that love is a choice, and choices are made by the brain and not the heart.

However…

Being in a relationship wasn’t and isn’t all about logic as I wanted and thought it to be – there has to be a balance between what the heart feels and what the mind thinks. And while everyone is an idiot while caught in the maelstrom of love and romance, I can say that the idiot in me had somehow been educated. Still an idiot, but less so I should say.

I refuse to walk back into the night. The rays of sunshine had shone in my face again, a first in a long period of time. There will be days of gray, and there will be rain. But the sun’s light and warmth will always find ways and times to break through the veil of our doubts and uncertainties.

 


 

Thank You For The Music

Within the year, I finally took the chance I should’ve taken many years before. See, I was offered to play guitar with a local band that I had long idolized for their music and image. These guys are like small town heroes for me, and to be given the chance to play with them is such an honor. Many years ago, I was offered the same chance but I was reluctant to take the reins because I thought too low of myself and my skills as a guitarist. This year, while I think I have lost the fire of youth in my playing, I have gained the experience and confidence to stand behind my skills. I thought that these guys looked back to me, again, to help them out so at the very least they recognize my skills, or at least see me as someone of enough caliber to be able to play and write music with. We’re still working some things out for the band, but I hope that we get to gig soon, and work on more songs to finish the debut EP.

My main band had stopped existing, but another group formed in its place. With this new band, which was a long overdue project in actuality, I was able to push the limits of what I thought I can play and do within a band. At first though, I thought I had failed as a player because I experienced stage fright, and subsequently struggled to get through the challenging instrumental song we were playing. What I thought was trashy playing was apparently seen by the crowd as heroic guitar playing, and it took me a while to accept that I was being seen as someone who has the necessary chops to play well. We have decided to give the said instrumental piece another go when we’re able to. Before my main band bowed out of the spotlight, we played some of the best shows we’ve had since our formation, and have become guest performers in quite a few big events here. We’d made quite a journey since the time over a decade ago of us just playing around with learning to play our instruments.

I also had the chance to meet and play with an amazingly talented group of people whom I have never even played before. This was the first time that I saw first hand the love child of chemistry and experience can bring to a band. We played covers initially for an audition that we didn’t make the cut for, but the amazing part about it is that we practiced maybe a couple of hours over two days, but the recording execs who were auditioning us were impressed with the overall sound of the band. One of the questions raised to us was “How long have you guys been playing?”, to which our vocalist answered squarely, “Two days”. We apparently had a tight sound to us, and while we didn’t make it, we had so much fun that our vocalist invited us to her hometown to play in her city for celebrations surrounding the city’s founding day. We took up her offer, and we had a blast playing her original songs, which were originally acoustic numbers but given a full band treatment. I met amazing local musicians in her city, experienced their food and culture and came back down to the lowlands with a renewed sense of love for music.


Friends

I made many new friends over the past year. A lot of them I had known as faces in the crowd in the places I hung out at, but never really met the persons within. From cosplayers to musicians, car guys and other fellow hobbyists, I was able to meet a whole range of people who have added to my experiences.  I watched the first ever concert of one of my favorite singers with a bunch of people that I only ever see on social media. I enjoyed that particular day with them, and it will remain one of my more vivid recent memories.

I enjoyed yet another week of vacation during our yearly summer vacation with friends. I was able to relax quite a bit, and immensely enjoyed my trip there. I also got to visit a famous surf spot and finally learned how to surf, which is one of my lifelong dreams. When I disappeared from social media for a time, my closest friends went out of their way to look for me and check if I was doing alright. It felt so nice being looked after and cared for by your closest friends.

My car guy friends suffered the tragic loss of one of our good friends. While I am not personally close to the guy, I was saddened by his untimely demise. The blow was so great to our small but powerful crowd that one of them even asked me out for lunch the day after just so we can collectively talk, and deal with the loss.


Taking Care of Business

I moved out of the comfort zone that was my previous job and position to work in another department in our office. I had been longing for growth within our organization, and while I loved the work and the department, I felt like I was no longer growing and learning as I should. I made the decision to pack my stuff and move to the other side of the floor all within the span of ten minutes, which I liken to throwing caution into the wind. I had never been asked nor have I chosen to make such a big decision in a short span of time – I usually like to take my time to think of things to make sure I was ready to make the choice and stand behind my decision. I half heartedly agreed to make the move, but now, some months down the road, I feel like I made the right choice. I have learned a lot of things, and every day is a new learning experience for me. The pace at which this new department requires its employees to work with is frantic at best, but I am enjoying it immensely.

I kept my actual goal of my move from my new workmates, and only my boss and the management people know about it. I want to keep a low profile for now, but I also want to show everyone that I can back up my smart talking mouth with actual performance figures. I have somehow landed a very good spot in our rankings, which I really didn’t expect, but am totally stoked about. I hope that I am able to achieve the ultimate goal of the moment, but until then, I will keep learning the ropes of my new environment so as not to disappoint the people who believe in me and my skills as an employee of the company.


Our House (Is a very, very, very fine house)

Overall, home life had been pretty much the same as always. However, some events towards the last month of the year had reminded me that as I grow older, so do my parents and that as the only man after my father, the responsibility of taking care of them will fall squarely on my shoulders. The events of the past few weeks have allowed me to demonstrate that I am able to take care of them, but I feel there is a need for me to improve in that area. I am currently taking steps to ensure that I am in the correct position, and able to care for my family at all times.

Still, home life is pretty enjoyable and it is still my place of refuge, a sacred sanctuary in which no one will interfere. I am still learning to cope around the fact that my parents are advancing in age and that they themselves are also trying to cope with the changes around themselves. It will take lots of work, and will most likely not end, but I am prepared to go at it with all I’ve got.

That’s mostly it for 2015.

And to those of you reading this, cheers!

Life throws you all sort of shit along with lemons. Avoid the shit, but bring out the blender for the lemons.

C’est la vie.

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