My Little Beating Muscle

20 Jun

I take a sip of my black coffee and stared at the people walking past by my favorite cafe. I’m trying to collect the thoughts that have been building up inside me these past few months. The last time I wrote down a piece, my heart was in turmoil and I was all over the place. Not that I’m all better and collected now, but I’ve been magically hanging on by a thread since then. Getting broken made it easier to write, recovering isn’t as inspiring. But writing down my feelings have always been my way of comforting myself. Reading my emotions always made everything solid and real. It keeps me sane, knowing that by chance, maybe some people feel the same way I do. And I would feel normal.

What amazed me these past few months is my heart’s resilience to embrace loss. Like an elastic band that can be stretched and stretched by circumstances, it somehow snaps back to its original form after some time. No matter how brutal, no matter how impossible it felt like, it somehow found ways to survive.

The past was the first to toy with me. Romping up and down, parading what I lost. Pressing on the bruises that felt like they were never going to heal. And like every other human being, my initial reaction was to back down, hide, and let myself wallow in self-pity. But slowly, I was able to convince myself that the past wasn’t going anywhere — until I let it.
And so I did.
I couldnt make people disappear, so I taught myself to get used to the pain, until it becomes numb and it can finally move past what used to be very defining.
My heart adapted.
And it decided to stay whole.

Then the present decided to take its shot by challenging me with the crippling fear of seeing someone I love go through pain I was helpless to control. I mentally held my breath as I willed myself to depend on other people’s ability to do what I cannot. I’ve never felt as powerless as I did that day. That was the first time in my life that the only comfort I could find was when I was on my knees, praying the hardest I’ve prayed in a long, long time. But then I looked around me, and I realized my heart was being selfish. I was too focused on what I felt, I almost forgot that I was not the only one who was suffering. The fear I had was not mine alone, everyone else around me felt the same way.
So, I decided to share a bit of the pain to ease theirs — and mine.
My heart expanded.
And it decided to stay whole.

The future wasn’t going to let this pass. With the picture of what I wanted started materializing, the uncertainty started haunting me. The realization of the enormity of the change I was about to subject myself into started weighing me down. And like anyone, I felt my heart getting convinced to give up on a dream I haven’t even started yet. I fooled myself into believing that a life lived within my comfort zone was better than a life lived in question. But day by day, I realized that I was actually screaming for change. Seeing the same people in the same places was becoming too much of a routine, my heart was scared but everything else was ready.
So, I’ve decided to just take the leap.
My heart fought to breathe.
But it stayed whole.

Three defining circumstances that shaped me in a span of months. It subjected my unwilling heart to a rollercoaster ride, scarier than anything it has ever been in before. But as I said, resilience. It fought to adapt, expand and breathe all along. Somehow, this little beating muscle stayed strong. 

I packed my things and started to get up from the cafe stool. I smiled to myself and thought about what I lost and gained. Not everything is in place yet, but for the first time in months, I can see myself moving forward, peeking backward, but always moving forward. 

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Walk Away

6 Jan

And then she saw him. He walked in with the girl in his arm – strutting in like he owned the world, and he didn’t owe anyone an explanation.

But he did.

He owed Demi every single explanation.

Demi caught her breath when she saw them.

“Not now.” She whispered to herself.

“Why couldn’t I get a decent night out without having to run into my past?” She grumbled.

She felt the familiar twitch of pain pulsing through her heart.

This wasn’t going to be an easy night.

She watched her.

She couldn’t help asking herself, “Why?”

Why was it so easy for him to find someone new when she couldn’t let herself be with any guy without thinking about him?

Why did he choose her? Because she was younger? Better-looking? Sexier?

Nah. She looked plain and fat.

She giggled to herself.

Then Demi stood up, and walked towards their direction.

They were a few feet away from her.

What should she do?

Demi wasn’t really catty or scandalous. In fact, she was one of the nicest girls in the world.

She couldn’t let this measly guy change that about her.

She watched their backs as they laughed and joked around with their friends.

All the time never leaving each other’s sides and letting go of each other’s hands.

She just stood there.

Frozen.

Unable to take her eyes off them.

She caught herself thinking, “Is that what you really want? To own the hand his holding? To be the reason for his smiles? And to be in his arm every time he walks in anywhere?”

Then it all came back.

All the fights because of his numerous girls, the countless negligence because of his flabbergasted ego, the endless tears because of the drama, the sadness and disappointments.

And then — The End.

No. She got out of that because she wasn’t happy.

His part in her story was over. And him parading his new victim shouldn’t make any difference.

She won’t let it.

She stepped back, and turned around.

Demi took a deep breath and kept walking farther and farther away.

Some questions don’t deserve an answer.

They are asked because it’s human nature to think, and to ask, and to wonder.

Life has a way of making you feel pained about the choices you made.

But just because it hurts, doesn’t make it wrong.

Most of the time, the right ones are the most difficult to make.

Demi told herself, “He’s moved on. Why shouldn’t I?”

Sure, he was being disrespectful about it. Parading around like he wanted to prove to everyone that Demi really didn’t matter.

That doesn’t say anything about Demi, but it says everything about him.

And she’ll let other people be the judge. She was over being in that level.

For the first time since she saw them, she smiled.

Because Demi finally knew what she wanted.

And it wasn’t him.

She never wanted to own the hand he holds, and yet feel lonely.

To be the reason for his smiles, and yet cry herself to sleep at night.

To be in his arm every time he walks anywhere, and yet feel empty and stupid.

An occasional vision of the past shouldn’t be a tug to the heart, but a needed jog to the memory.

She whispered to him in her head,

“Thank you for being the best worst decision I’ve ever made.”

She looked back at the new girl and silently said,

“Thank you for making it easier for me to let go.”

She got in her car.

Started the engine.

And drove away — tires squealing, wind blowing.

Blurred In-betweens

4 Nov

And as I looked up the starless sky, I whispered my final goodbye to the love that I gave completely, but was never returned really.

I look back at the time that has gone in the blink of an eye — an unexpected hello, a consenting commitment, all the blurred in-betweens, and finally, the struggled but expected goodbye.

As clear as it has ever been, I know in my heart that this chapter has to end.

The pain of realizing that despite all the smiles and tears that were given, taken, and exchanged, it was meant to go. Like every wave that hits the shore – loudly crashing but quietly settling as it hits land.

I take a deep breath of sea air and exhale away the doubts.

God has a plan.

I need to rekindle that faith and just give in to it.

It has been such a long fight, too long of a road to keep on going. The rocks I thought I was meant to overcome were actually quiet signs that it was time to let go. I didn’t listen until the whisper turned into a shout. My heart had to be broken again and again before I finally listened.

It’s such a strange thing – to tell yourself to stop loving someone you’ve loved for years; to teach yourself to force away every memory in every crevice of your senses.

But as I look back, I feel lucky, lucky to have given the kind of love that is this painful to lose.

Some people have it easy, they meet the person they love and end up with them for the rest of their lives.

Some people jump from one love to the other without really getting hurt because they never really truly loved the person they were with.

And there’s me – the chosen few who gets to experience the kind of pain you only get from loving the wrong one too much.

A billion people in this earth and every single one claiming to understand love in their own ways.

But for me, you’ve never really loved until you’ve experienced loss.

Because I get it now.

Though all stories have a beginning, a happy ending is never promised.

Some stories just end.