Steady

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It’s been a long time since I felt this kind of steady, this kind of calm. I cannot fully say I’m over whatever demons I got because that’s an entire encyclopedia of conversation to dabble in, so I’m enjoying each day as it comes.

The desire to go is still there and I think it’s never gonna go away. Maybe it was sidetracked a bit because of people. My kind of introversion sometimes finds solace from being pulled in by people. And finding someone to potentially victimize, errrr, fall in love with must have contributed. Whatever it is, I’m not daring to poke the fragile balloon. Not when I’m kinda enjoying life again.

Say It

Someone shared this tweet of a fictional character over Twitter. So timely.

No matter how loud, how “confident”, how put-together someone appears to be, you must not forget that asking someone out still requires a certain amount of courage. It’s a form of putting one’s head on the chopping block. Remember Anna Scott’s question to Will Thacker?

The thing with a yes or no question is that it could go either way only. So when you find yourself saying no, sometimes in the form of not saying anything, still be kind. And still be there. Do not go away. You might change your mind. Even if you don’t, when the dust settles (aka when the question/invite/expectation stops), you may even get a laugh out of it. Life’s like that.

If you find yourself receiving yet another no, sometimes in the form of not saying anything, understand and accept, and still be kind. Still be there, but not in an insistent kind of way. Do not go away; there is nothing wrong in asking. You might change your mind and find yourself not wanting to ask anymore. When the dust settles, you may even get a laugh out of it. Life’s like that.

One day, you will muster the courage to ask again and you will get that elusive yes.

Same Page

I no longer like the guy I pined for in the last two-and-a-half years. I checked and waited if it will change for about a week when I first felt the “meh.” Now it’s not just confirmed. It’s confeeeeeermed. And it’s a wonderful thing. My prayers were answered. I can say that our feelings for each other are now mutual. We are now on the same page. ūüėā

The Plague of the Vague

img_33761One good thing with our social media accounts is how we can post something, anything, that can be for someone without actually naming that someone. We are all treated to this everyday, and let’s admit it, there are times when the angry ones are the juicier ones, the more that catches our attention. On the other end, when you post¬†something non-warfreakish with a person in mind, we carefully craft it albeit vaguely, but it reeks of ‘This is for you, hope you get it” undertones. If the person is dense or uninterested, your message will just be liked by equally clueless friends (because that’s what they’re there for, minsan kahit hindi nabasa, like lang agad — nasa friendship code ba yan?!), and will be drowned by more pressing posts. In short, mapapanis. :-p Lucky for you if the intended recipient read it yet¬†didn’t do anything. Luckier if the intended read it, got it, and sprang into action. Ang haba ng buhok mo, girl. Ang pogi mo, boy.

On the other hand, ¬†your “vaguely crafted” message will also be read by people other than the intended recipient, unless you¬†restrict it to just the two of you (which will beg the question, hello, how psycho can you get?!). If it is a declaration of feelings, a pronouncement of whatever bubbling up inside, a subtle invite – lahat yan will be open to interpretation, and you have to be prepared for these, erm, possibilities. Particularly with regard to invites, we can be so engrossed hitting our target, tapos iba ang tinamaan. A different one took you up on it.¬†That will be so awkward to decline. Sige nga, ngayon ka magmaganda.

This blog post is a big obvious example of such vagueness. (Sana nga na-gets mo.)

This is exactly what I thought as one of the downsides of being vague. There, the very lazy word sana.

Life is too short and the cyberspace is so vast to not be specific. The vagueness protects us from putting down all our cards on the table, it allows us to guard our heart, but at what cost?

 

Rethink

Someone told me that in order to exorcise someone from your system, try to set aside the romantic aspect of your feelings and think of him as a friend. I mean, ask yourself, “If I am not romantically attracted to this person, would I¬†be friends with him?”

Applying it to my case, the answer is I don’t know. Really. Because I knew him and it was built around the perceived him which was thankfully substantiated by what he showed me and how he treated me.

All¬†great relationships are rooted in great friendships. I believe that. You need not be friends for a long time though. Maybe it’s something¬†that you develop as you go along. So I hope I didn’t scare him enough to not want to even be friends with me. Masaya akong kasama, sabi ng iba, so feeling ko carrybells naman ako maging friend. Hahaha!

If at some point this takes a turn for the better, well and good. If it doesn’t, which looking at it parang ganoon na nga, at least I can look at him in the future and tell him, “Remember that time na gusto kita at inaya pa kita mag-date?” And then we’ll both laugh.

But I’m not there yet. A friend texted today, “Delay is not denial, so keep on praying.” I’m still at it. In the meantime, magbabasa na lang muna ako ng libro as I wait for it. Whatever that IT is.

Chillax

The second half of the year is shaping up pretty well. It’s a validation of sorts that people stop me now to talk about the date and immediately after that comes tiny twitches of regret that I wrote about it and was it even worth it. And then I sleep and eat fries and meh, it’s okay, I guess.

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I often joke that whenever great things happen at work, each one takes away twice the potential in my romantic life. That’s absurd, of course, and God does not take one to give one — it’s possible to have both at the same time. Not all the time but…you get the drift.

That said, one possible training is in the offing again although nothing is set in stone yet. There’s a competitive nomination process, for one. If and when I’ll be lucky to get a spot, that scraps my Penang plans in November — unless there’s a possibility of squeezing it on a three-day weekend which I know isn’t possible. If not, then back to the almost-made Penang drawing board which my friend RG helped me with given that he went last year and took amazing photos.

Operational changes are also in full swing at work and even though I still struggle to get them all in my (literally) big head, it’s exciting to be a part of something like it. Operations management is not my strong suit; I’ve always been the correspondence and social media person, so getting out of this small comfort zone is exhilarating if you’re called in to participate at the right moment.

As much as I contemplate working on my romantic life again, I cannot put sufficient energy to do it yet. I’m still reeling, you know. My very concerned friends had a lot to say but they also know I ultimately do not listen to them anyway. I never did. Buhay ko naman ito, walang pakialamanan. LOL

It’s not that I felt bad because maybe I did, parang noong ilang beses ako nag-apply sa (insert agency) and was turned down thrice (pero nakamove on na ako doon, I swear, lalo na when I see they’re more physically tired than us, hahaha). But there’s more “ok lang” than the heavy feeling. Either I have matured or sadyang makapal lang talaga ang aking mukha.

I guess I’m just this big spark douser that when I opened my mouth and showed my personality, whatever tiny possibility there was was prematurely put off. Wala naman pinagkaiba yan, reversely, when there were guys before who’d show me affection and I was, eeehh, sorry, but I still like to be your friend! Yung isa nga doon ‘sis’ na ako kung tawagin ngayon, o di ba? Nagevolve na kami. ūüôā

I am at that umay myself to pieces phase, taking everything I have related to it, and inuumay ko yung sarili ko by looking at it, thinking about it, for when it’s at its peak, the next morning, hopefully, the feelings will be gone. It has not happened yet. I’m not a fan of forcing myself to forget because they never work. Plasticada ng taon ang peg tapos at the end of the day, gusto pa rin naman pala. Gaga lang. So yes, just let it flow, ride the wave, until it subsides. After all, there are far too many things to do. Yung tinatawag na ADULTING ng mga bagets at hipster.

More importantly, there are more relevant things happening in the world, may it be here in the home front or overseas. The world just cannot catch a break. Humanity just cannot catch a break. We may not be in the position of power but as simple as praying for the world may help. And then educate ourselves and if possible, critically engage. If not up to it, it’s okay, too. Wala naman masama mag-chillax lang.

Hemming and Hawing

bitmoji-1972018012After a week of hemming and hawing, and a little wake up call from trusted friends, I am now laughing at the fact that the date I had last week is not getting another one. I don’t date very often so this is not so much a big deal but another worthy source of “Ano na namang pinasok mo, Juday” anecdotes in my sitcom of a life.

I wrote about it¬†after it happened and reading it now, nah, it’s not worth publishing in its entirety. You know how they say you don’t rely on things you say when you’re emotional? So never mind. But many parts of it ring true:

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O di ba,¬†parang first meeting lang ni VP Leni with President Duterte: it exceeded expectations!¬†So yeah I did ask for the date because I’m an empowered woman¬†(naks). Funny thing, that “coffee” thing was tricky. He thought I was presenting a business opportunity. NAKAKALOKA. But it was a good segue to make the invite more casual because I found the chance to joke about it and say, “Hindi ko tatanungin kung open-minded ka, inaaya kitang mag-date ano ka ba?!”

I have not done this dating thing in a while so I really don’t know if they¬†changed the rules or what. It was only over coffee, meaning easier to bolt when things go awry. So when we’re there, parang shet, anong first question dapat? Good thing he started¬†with the book that was on the table and from there he became the Boy Abunda the entire time (meaning he asked all the questions, hahaha).

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Looking back, I did say a lot about myself, and really, kung masama lang na tao yung date ko, OMG he can practically sell me out, and use my identity to be implicated in some crime. Hahaha! But¬†I only cringed for a short time. Wala na, naidaldal ko na ang buhay ko eh.¬†Plus he’s not that interested anyway so¬†there’s even a chance he didn’t remember everything I said (though he might, matalino yon eh. Naks.)¬†You know why I don’t bother? Coz I know in my heart it was only my “jittery Juday”¬†reaction. Remember this?

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So sorry na lang, date.

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This is the part I’ve spent much hemming and hawing on. I told someone I very rarely feel this. So when I did, as much as I told myself never to expect, the silly expectation monster creeped in and waved its evil hand at me. See, this guy is so smart, makes strong cases about things even with what very little he posts on social media, and jeez, he types in complete sentences kahit pumapatol lang sa¬†shallow issues (minsan napapadami ang emoticons but it’s okay, my love, hahaha). Intelligence is really a turn on for me and add to that yung konting smugness na hindi naman tipong inaalipusta ka na, okay? He’s all that and more. He was evasive in spilling some details (that was a red flag there) but in topics where general thoughts were needed, ay mga toto at inday, swooning ako. Deep inside lang.

Where was I? Yeah, the part where I did not feel the compulsion to impress, and all the first date/best foot forward shenanigans. Wala. Waley! And yes, I remember using ‘waley’ in one of my comments to him. WAY TO GO, JUDAY.

If all these reasons made me oddly comfortable, could it be the very same reasons why he became uninterested (or disinterested ba? Help.)? Maybe.

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I mentioned above how I lived off on very little I know about this person before meeting him again. So I’m open to the possibility that I might see something off or iffy na matuturn off ako talaga. But I know it’s¬†God’s sense of humor at work. The guy was everything I made up in my head and more, like this little “MFEO yata tayo” moment:

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Although there is one thing that made me think a teeny tiny bit — when he told me I was brave, not once but thrice. Kinilig ako in a warrior kind of way (tapang daw eh), for it’s like a¬†validation. “And you said yes”, I even remember telling him. It would have been clearer had he finished it off with what that katapangan meant to him. Without it it’s like (this is the proud side of me talking), ang tapang mo ha, to do this to me. It’s hard to fully convey but sometimes, I think about that. Kahit wala — waley — naman na magiging effect.

That, and the reality that it’s been a week and there’s nothing, and then there’s the rain. When he was paying the bill, I knew I wanted a second, a third, a fourth date. When we said our goodbyes, I knew there’s never gonna be a second one.

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I knew it that early. It took me a week to process it fully. The wait was agonizingly slow. Kahit at the back of my head wala naman na akong hinihintay.

I’m no longer in the business of dissecting what went wrong. The reason was simple. And once I (kind of) got past that, natatawa na lang ako sa sarili ko. Then I started remembering the little details. Plots B, C, and D kumbaga. Like hindi ko maexplain¬†kung kinikilig ba ako talaga or because I needed to pee badly (I had tea latte, and hello, diuretic). Or when I cannot look at him (dahil kinikilig ako), napapatingin ako sa payong niya (it was raining hard when he came) at naisip ko, Ay, floral yung payong nya. Pero sloppy ang pagkakalagay dun sa plastic. Isinaksak na lang talaga sa loob. Hihihihi. We’re good.¬† And how he’s taller than I expected. At mahaba ang paa. So hmm, divided by 2 plus 2. Hahaha! #objectificationofmen ūüôā Mga ganyang kababawan that I didn’t gloss over much dahil overall, every word feels like a shooting star nga¬†di ba?

I told myself I won’t be asking anymore. Tama na yung isang beses. Sometimes though, the stubborn part of me thinks, eh bakit hindi ko na kayang tanungin ulit? Bawal? That’s the struggle. It’s like applying for a job. Nainterview ka na. Ayaw ka nila. Humanap ka na ng ibang trabaho. The chances you will be given a second look and the decision will change? Possible but does not happen very often.

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This is not a unique experience. Braver people have done this many times that it doesn’t¬†even merit talking about it. As for myself, it could have been a great one kasi. Could’ve been so beautiful, could’ve been so right, sabi nga ni Tiffany. That’s what I thought of it. I still like him a lot.

So¬†why blog about it? Well, if I got a second date, I wouldn’t be talking about this. Eh waley. So, tadaaaaa! ūüôā

The Day I Gave Up Online Dating for Netflix

ehfornetflix

Logos lifted from okcupid.com, eharmony.com, tinder.com, iflix.com, and netflix.com. The cartoonized me is from Bitmoji.

With finality, I can say that I am done with online¬†dating. ¬†There wasn’t any “dating” that occurred in almost two years anyway. And before I believe (and you conclude, you heartless judgmental monsters LOL) that there is something fundamentally wrong with me let me tell you: most of its failure was for lack of trying.

Online dating sites are great. I know people, friends, who have successfully built happy unions that started via online dating. I encounter too many of them at work, too. They do work. But it’s not for everyone.

I had the guts to finally pay for an account in 2014 because it was almost Christmas and heck, I needed diversions. I forgot how much exactly but it was probably around $25, a one-time payment for one year. It allowed me to view photos, make my profile viewable to paid¬†account holders, and jump to the direct messaging option than wait four to five stages of pre-made questions and answers. Then when my one-year fee ended, there’s a retainer of $5.95 a month.¬†Not bad, ‘no? Not bad.

It was exciting at first. I “talked” to a few guys and siguro for lack of having someone who paid me attention, lahat sila interesting. Go lang, choosy pa ba? I talked to a teacher in Hawaii, a martial arts instructor in Fresno, some government guy in Virginia. I forgot why exactly they didn’t prosper. One guy I cannot forget¬†was the most polite¬†online¬†sex proposition I got. When I made it known I wasn’t into it (not yet at least; first night ng usapan, ganun agad nagmamadali, may lakad beh???), he politely said thanks and goodbye, and wished me well in my online dating journey. Made me think, grabe talaga ang Canadians, kahit¬†online predator activities, ang galang pa din nila.

I simultaneously¬†signed up for a free account in another site and it became my “local’ searching site. Medyo mabenta naman ako doon but for very short conversations. Yung iba pa jejemon. I mean, sorry ha,¬†kelangan talaga ang salitang “sabi” maging “sv” and ang “kuya” maging “kua”? Kuwa ang pronunciation doon, tigilan nyo nga ako! /rantover

It was also there where I met someone potentially okay pero — I didn’t even try that hard to research — a simple Google search yielded a child molestation record. It was in the past and I know people must be given opportunities to change¬†but…sorry. I also talked to someone who writes for a news website (one of the more mind-stimulating chats I had in recent memory; lasted a few days; mutual decision naman na tamarin magcontinue so it’s okay) and one also writes for print media. Both of them follow me in my social networks now. Ok lang kami. We’re cool.

Then came Tinder. Ah, Tinder. I posted about this before:

tinderthought

Tinder was prospect-laden than most and to think it’s a free app. I also happened to try it fully when I was in the States in January and wow ha, if only for validation and score in the hookup barometer, ang daming lalaki!!! Hahaha! It’s a hookup site so location is material. I moved in three states in two weeks so mahirap yung iba masustain. Two guys came close and in one nagmaganda ako even though I had the leverage naman to say no. I was supposed to meet him at an independent bookstore in North Beach but put it off at the last minute. In hindsight it’s a combination of low self-esteem and weakness to say no. Kaladkarin nga ako di ba. So better nip it while I still can. Baka maging sex slave naman ako nyan without me knowing. The other one was completing his PhD in Archaeology so you can just imagine all the “digging and excavation” undertones in our chats. Hihihi. Let us leave it at that. LOL. Both instances though, wala din.

Okay, so why did I say I’m done with this whole thing?

It’s not¬†really for me. I have poured my energy on things and activities I wanted and I got results. I am no longer thinking hindi ako mabenta or anything because I AM NOT A FRIGGIN’ COMMODITY.¬†I put in irregular effort and time into them, and there were times babalikan ko lang ulit and ica-career when I hear someone na may bagong guy na kausap (momentary inggit factor, in short).

More importantly, through all the times I was searching online, there’s a guy I like at the back of my head. I was waiting for him to come back from his trip and then he did, so maybe I have been focusing on that rather than pursuing online¬†prospects.¬†And in general,¬†you know how it is — when you have that guy,¬†you tend to go back to him, the imagined him, the memory of him, regardless whether you have a hundred different sites you’re a member of. Kalokohang phantom loyalty, alam nyo na.

Again, it may not have worked for me but it did and it will for others. If you are still single, try it. Except for a few thousand pesos na pwede mo kitain ulit, wala naman mawawala. Iba din ang experience.

Now that I gave up my paid online dating account, I used the money to pay for what really makes my heart and mind rested and happy — TV shows and movie streaming! Netflix charges ¬†Php370 a month while iFlix charges Php130. Each has extensive TV shows and film collections, original series, documentaries, and local shows. Too many shows, too little time indeed.

Is it worth the investment change? Definitely yes.

Online dating isn’t for me but video streaming? It will always bring me joy. If you were me, obvious naman ano pipiliin mo di ba?

My 30-Hour-a-Week Lover

I wrote this 2 years ago. I don’t think my preference has significantly changed.

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Halata ba na gumamit ako ng Canva?

I meant to share this crazy computation since I conceived it one humid commute along Quirino Avenue. This was borne out of an impression that a man may think I would be clingy and may demand most of his time when we get into a relationship. I know I do not need to break it down like this but, just for fun, let me show you how easy it is to be with me. Well, THAT IS if you hate clinginess (is this even a word), Saran wrappiness (maybe not a legit word), and all that jazz. If you are the kind of man who is into tethering your girlfriend 24/7 to your man-shirt and man-pants, then it is a different story, and more importantly, I do not want to be with you.

See, we have 168 hours in one week. I am gainfully employed, with average social interactions outside of work, and so into television shows and books. So, in a week, I devote:

  • 49 hours ¬†¬†– Sleeping. I am not young in that I can no longer stay up until 3 am and go to work the next day. I have to get 6-7 hours of sleep per night if I don‚Äôt want to get sick on the 4th or 5th day of the week. I treasure weekends when I can sleep in longer.
  • 45 hours ¬†¬†– Working. Which includes my lunch break. I may stay beyond that but I don‚Äôt count them as work, being that I am only paid for 8 hours a day.
  • 12 hours ¬†¬†– Commuting. This is an average of the total time I spend five days a week going to and from work and my regular weekend plans, which means no out of towns.
  • 12 hours ¬†¬†– Reading. This is a conservative average. It could go higher¬†but I try not to get too invested in faeries, necromancers, political spies,¬†horny billionaires, and demon slayers, so let‚Äôs keep it at that.
  • 7 hours ¬†¬†– Watching TV or movies. Again, a conservative average.
  • 5 hours ¬†¬†– Socials. I have to have time with my friends and not always with you, my lover.
  • 8 hours ¬†¬†– Personal time. This includes actual grooming time and other lady quirks. But it‚Äôs only roughly one point something hours a day. I do not wear makeup other than lipstick which always gets smudged off when I eat my cheese bread in the morning so I don‚Äôt need much time beyond taking a bath and other personal, TMI activities.

If we add them up, that’s 138 hours in a week. That leaves me 30 hours to be with you.

Just 30 hours. You are free to suggest whatever we can do during this time.  I could make adjustments and include you in other activities like commuting, watching movies, socials, and sleeping (that is 49 hours I am willing to devote not purely to sleeping, wink wink). At best, this is what I can offer.

Kidding aside (well, who says I am kidding in the first place?), it only means there are forms of freedom I can no longer give up. And I think it is healthy to have something like that. Some may say I am actually busy with all these things going on in my life. But if you focus on that 30 hours, that is still a void.

Just putting it out there because even with all these fun times, sometimes it can still get pretty boring and sad. Now don’t tell me be careful what you wish for because you just might get it (just might get it); don’t ruin it yet. It’s only 30 hours I’m trying to fill.

However, if you want to be with me longer, we can talk about it. Madali naman ako kausap.

The Sweetest Fun

It was November last year when I started thinking of someone more often than usual. The ebbs and flows have been intense, and then not, and then it’s back again. In between working and extra-curriculars, trips and what-nots, of dead-end attempts to exchange Facebook messages, it’s pretty safe to say, I made it one year of this good feeling.

The difference is that this one is not within my immediate compound, one that I am prone to see, accidentally or otherwise. So I do not know if this bodes well in my favor or not, seeing that all my attempts have been naught anyway.

See, this is the same kind of routine that only changes the other personality involved. I do not know why I gladly go through this again and again. I mean, in the words of Bachelor Girl:

  • walking under a bus
  • getting hit by a train
  • sinking down at sea
  • crashing my car
  • going insane

It feels so good you just do it over and over, as if you’re on a trampoline.

Standardized

Things happened and they were many. Of them all, one stood out to me recently.

It was a very random afternoon at work, and I don’t know what led us (I mean me, one of my teammates and our acting admin assistant) to talk about relationships and starting a family. My lack of it prompted one to tell me:

Para kasing ang taas ng standard mo.

Kung binaba mo na dito (motions to the level of the table)

Ibaba mo pa dito (motions lower, almost floor-level).

Panigurado, may makikita ka na.

~ * ~

I long stopped explaining how and why I believe standards don’t exist because romantic feelings come¬†as if a switch was powered on.

And as much as I am grateful that people see me as someone who must be lived up to, I still cannot see how it works in my favor.

~ * ~

I smiled and turned away from the conversation. I needed to pee.

Okay.

Sometimes in life, things said or actions done would offend us. As time passes, we will feel that we didn’t necessarily forget them, and chances are¬†we really won’t, but they will be easier to bear. Easier to shrug them off and push them somewhere not near us. It’s still there, still valid, but we choose not to dwell on it anymore.

Because when things start going back to whatever kind of normal there was, when we find ourselves smiling again, we will find it easier to go through each day.

It’s just pride. Sometimes¬†we hold on so much to¬†a conviction that¬†we end up depriving ourselves of whatever little form of happiness¬†we could get. Again, letting it go and flow does not cancel out our feeling bad. We just chose to be on the happier side.

Someday, probably soon, I may still tell him I really got offended. But when things are starting to go back to being okay, it won’t work to my advantage, happiness-wise, if I still dwell and squeeze an apology because of something that even someone important to me said my self-esteem “should have handled like a boss.”

Nothing is still happening and with all likelihood nothing ever will [plus it’s not as if I’m not used to this kind of crazy ‘stagnation’ – lol]¬†but right now, it’s going back to being good enough for now. And it’s okay.