The black elastic bracelet—its wooden pendant carved 04/21/09 I left inside the drawer with printed copies of his conversations. They’re peppered with sweet good-night wishes, promises of a future where we’d always hold hands.
I included the pair of innocent silver promise bands he bought for us. These lasted longer than my wedding ring.
For some strange reason there was only nostalgia. Not joy or warm fuzzy feelings, but a deep longing to return to Manila of six years ago and rewrite that part of my personal history.
Such dreams are never good for the health, so I decided it was time to stow them all away. It’s all about living in the moment now.
Last February I was just inches away from my first love after ten years of forgetting.
I guess I didn’t do a very good job at it since memories of the swan lake remain vivid—high-resolution memories that should’ve aged over time.
He messaged me that same hour asking if I was at the same restaurant in Quezon City with my sisters. He kept laughing through written emojis, sketching the layout of the restaurant hoping I’d see just how close we actually were at that time.
Why didn’t he approach me, and said, ‘Hi’? I asked myself later that night. He never really bothered to show his damn face after ten fucking years. Perhaps it had all been just on one side. His teasing and flirting could only live behind the screen. I smiled through the mild ache.
Thanks anyway though.
That night, I finally casted his stone into the river.
—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
“One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop (source)
Clothes, notebooks, pens, pencils, sharpeners, plastic toys, crumpled paper, cardboard packaging.
This entire year I’m learning the art of letting go.
In letting go I create space. In letting go I’m allowing my mind to expand. In letting go, I’m getting to know myself more.
Letting go of any piece of tangible or intangible object is facing myself in the inner mirror. It demands that I be mindful of my relationship with that object and the memories tied to it. I’m forced to look and admit that this is what I’m spending for and this is how it’s going to affect my environment.
Letting go is a commitment. It needs to align with personal goals, communicated and respected by others, else you find yourself with a solitary endeavor. But thanks to Rilke, I’m learning to accept my solitude and to bear its burden till my entire house—my entire late 20s—is clean, spacious, and meaningful.
I’ve been thinking about the legacy I want to leave on this earth.
Such a big word, right?
And with such a big word, you’re bound to make big and costly failures. I’m proud that I’ve got three under my belt, but the scars—how they burn. They’re iron chains around my waist, and I refuse to let go of the key.
What if my path isn’t this straight and monotonous road after all? I knew that voice inside my head would soon ask this question. It fills me with milky dreams:
- Starting my business
- Growing a community
- Earning more than enough to give my kids the springboard they need to pursue their own paths
- Making an impact
- Bringing happiness to others
And just like that I’m back on the road less traveled, but I promised myself that this time I’m not playing the lone ranger anymore.
I’m learning to let go of my failures. I’m learning to accept my wasting thousands of pesos on untested ideas and painful business mistakes. I’m learning to stay calm with the ghost of my family’s disapproval.
I’m letting go of my habit of clinging to solitude by asking people for help. I’m letting go of my thoughts by placing them on paper. I’m filling my space with things, people, and brands that inspire me so that I can let go of envy.
The year is beginning to set, but I’m satisfied spending its first half on nurturing a better version of myself.