Dear twenty three year old self,

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I know you’re thinking you’re living your life, but believe me, your adventure is yet to start. Don’t even bother with that boy you know from the past, his on-and-off girlfriend is pregnant. You’ll also meet someone who will make you laugh. You’ll fall in love with him but he’ll hurt you along the way. Be patient with him, learn how to forgive him fully. Things will not work out, and if you can leave, leave right away. You’re probably thinking he’s the guy you want to marry, but no. It’s not meant to happen. You’ll be alright, don’t worry. If you could, maybe leave that job you’re excited to get as soon as you feel it’s right. Trust your gut, believe me, your gut will save your ass from all the stress and unhappiness.

You’re not safe from what people call “the quarter-life crisis”, but you’ll learn a lot from it. You’ll find out what you want. People will question your choices, and you will prove them wrong. Your love for surfing, even if you don’t surf as much, will take you places. You will come to know yourself more.

Learn how to drive a motorbike, it will come handy. You will suck at surfing, and it’s okay, don’t take it seriously, don’t be too hard on yourself. Maybe work on your upper body strength to help you with it. Also, learn how to cook, and don’t be lazy.

The independence you’ve been yearning will come to you soon, don’t worry, Mom and Dad will try their best to understand you, just make them realize why you want this, explain it with a level head. (Surprise, you’re living in an island after four years!)

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Don’t be afraid to meet people, you’ll love it. You’ll be able to manage your social anxiety, just be yourself, the right people will love you for it.

Above everything else, learn how to forgive yourself. Your choices are yours, how you choose to live your life is up to you. You will fuck up, definitely. You’ll fuck up more than you hope, and it’s okay. Take it as a learning experience. Love yourself and you’ll be fine.

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Love,

Your twenty-seven-year-old self

mari_fotor

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Don’t Fall In Love With A Traveler

I made the mistake of falling for one, and when I look back, here are the things I realized..

Highly likely, you’re not part of the plan.

They have plane tickets booked in advance, even before you happened. They already have plans, and chances are, you will not be a part of it.

You will have to rely on WhatsApp or Instagram to talk to them. 

Unless you’re not into that, stop.

They’re constantly moving, and if you don’t have the capacity to follow around, just don’t bother.

What I realized is I’m a traveler too, I like the company, I love having someone around. The difference is, I don’t have a plan, and even I can’t handle my uncertainty.

Don’t fall in love with me unless you can keep up. 

You’ve Been Unexpectedly Beautiful, 2017

If I say that 2017 has been a whirlwind of emotions, that would be an understatement. I feel like I always write a year-end entry talking about how bla bla bla. 2017 has been a breath of fresh air for me, especially the latter part of the year. Earlier this year, I tried to ‘travel-solo’ but not really cause I went to Baler, and the kids were with me, looking out for me. Now that I’m thinking about it, my midyear literally just flew by.

The latter part of this year, I got out of an almost four year relationship, forced myself into solo travel and fell in love too quickly with someone else. I also went to more parties than I have in the last 5 years, had one too many guys in my life, and I’ve also had more beers than I have in the last 4 years-ish. I also tried things I’ve been meaning to try but always had an excuse not to. I renewed my passport, stayed at a hostel, met a lot of wonderful people, managed my anxiety better, talked to cute boys and went out on dates.

I’ll admit, I lost a lot of people in my life because of the breakup and because of my choices, but I think it speaks volumes and it’s okay. People that we lose aren’t meant to stay. In return, I’ve met tons of wonderful and kind people, people who see past whatever my choices were and still accept me regardless. I have learned a lot about myself as the year was nearing its end. I have also come in to terms with my feelings and anxiety. I am slowly learning to not compartmentalize what I feel about things, sometimes, things are just are. I am also learning how to slow myself down when I’m over thinking and over analyzing a situation. (Key words: Trying and slowly.)

This year is a year for growth and getting to know myself more. It isn’t as bad as I was expecting. I mean, when I became single, I fell in love right away to another boy, which is a little bit out of character. Well, everything happening to me because of my choices are out of character, but I guess that’s how you grow. Anyway, the boy who I fell in love with ended up breaking my heart, I can’t blame him, he has his life ahead of him, and he cannot afford an ‘excess baggage’. My anxiety worsened and I relied on beer to put me to sleep. I went to La Union to try things differently. There I met a lot of wonderful souls who’ve helped me understand what’s going on and has guided me on how to manage whatever is happening in my head. I met another guy, who’s worth mentioning as he’s been making me genuinely laugh the past few weeks. I will be honest, I do not see a future with him as our arrangement is quite interesting – to say the least. But, it doesn’t scare me, for now, I’m making the most out of the time we’re together.

I’ve met and became friends with beautiful souls who are beyond lovely, who listens to my stories no matter how senseless they are, tries to give me brotherly and sisterly opinions, who encouraged me to go after what I want, be more sociable and things like that. I am forever grateful to these people, my friends from the hostel, who always puts me in the bawang committee, who makes me laugh and lets me be myself.

I feel like this entry is all over the place. There’s so much to say, it’s just that I’m at a loss for words right now. 2017 has been insane and messy yet beautiful at the same time. It’s a year of self learning and growing, filtering out what people has to say, hearing the words of encouragement as they’re coming from a place of love.

For the first time in a really long time, I am excited for the coming new year. I’m looking forward to you, 2018.

mari_fotor

 

 

 

I Fell In Love with a Boy Who Continuously Break My Heart

Unknowingly, unwittingly.

I fell in love with a boy who I had a beautiful connection with.

It was short lived, but it didn’t feel like it. With him, the past and the future didn’t matter. What mattered was the present, the time we have together.

He made my heart full in ways he couldn’t imagine. The way he held me close, the way he touched my soul.

But this boy, continuously breaks my heart. Said there shouldn’t be an us.

Said we should remain friends.

My heart has been longing, missing him.

On days where I feel like I’m moving on, accepting this fact.

He would reach out. Not that I don’t want to, but it’s a constant reminder of how we’re never are.

Darling, This is How You Broke My Heart

Mindlessly swiping left to a bunch of guys on Tinder, I recently became single and meeting people have been exceptionally difficult especially if you’re not making an effort to. I ran out of boys, again. I was about to throw my phone out of frustration. I have not been hanging out and meeting new people, and I feel like I’ve been hanging out with the wrong people which is probably the reason why I can’t meet new friends. I installed Tinder because I enjoy flirting. Something I wouldn’t admit, but it’s true. Half the time, I’d be too scared or anxious, I wouldn’t bother meeting people I flirted with online.

Oh, hey, new boys, there I saw you, your photos were too far and or too goofy, I thought you weren’t bad, actually kinda cute. I swiped right, and hey, we matched! You sent me a message telling me you’ll arrive in the morning and wondering if I know of any place you and two buddies can stay, being the anxious person that I am, the first thing that came to my mind was “Definitely not where I’m staying else I’ll be forced to talk to you”, so I told you to ask the van drivers, it was a quick chat since you sent me a message at an ungodly hour. If I remember correctly, I checked up on you later that afternoon and you replied in the evening as you were catching up on sleep. You asked if I have WhatsApp since chatting in Tinder is sketchy, you said, I hesitantly said yes, and you gave me your number and I sent you a message. We would talk on and off, ask about how our day went, I also told you how I wanted to go up north, but no one will drive for me and I’m too cheapskate to pay for a habal driver, you asked for a pin on the map, and you said it looked cool. Somehow, you were able to go  up north and I didn’t. (My fault, I was preoccupied with the wrong things.) You were able to identify how I’m not spontaneous, and how the littlest things worry me. As I’m nitpicking our conversations now, I realized how easy it was to open up to you.

One evening you sent me a message asking what I was doing but I only replied the following day because I think I was asleep. It was a Sunday night when I agreed to a new found friend to party with her since she didn’t want to go alone. I was looking out after her, having some beers and hanging out with a boy I shouldn’t be hanging out with. My other friend arrived almost the same time as you did, and there you were. I knew it was you, and I thought, damn, he’s really cute. Yes, you didn’t look drunk, but you and your friends were crazy dancing and it was quite amusing, never told you but I loved the energy you guys brought to the party, I was laughing my ass off out of amusement. I looked at you again and you caught me, didn’t know if I should say hi or even just smile. I looked away, and thought to myself, I don’t want to put myself in an awkward situation since I’m with someone that evening. I’ll be honest, I was drawn to you and kept checking you out. I think you disappear into the night, and couldn’t find you as I was scanning the bar.

The morning (or afternoon) after, I remember the night before, and I sent you a message asking if that was you last night. You said yes and didn’t want to say hello because I was with a boyfriend, I told you he’s not my boyfriend, and you didn’t pry. Still making vague plans of actually meeting, I realized it’s my last week in the island, and I told you about it. You wanted to pick me up from the laundry shop but I declined since *surprise-surprise*, I was too anxious to meet you.

We made it happen tho, that evening, we met up at a restaurant near your place, had a couple of beers and talked the night away. As it was closing, you suggested to go to my place and hangout some more, buy a few drinks from a store. I (reluctantly) agreed, but I’m glad I did. You fixed my sliding door, and we talked about everything. We also watched a lovely French movie, as you said, it’s a *must* watch. As it was past midnight, we said goodbye, I walked you out, I was sitting on a ledge outside and you gave me a hug, I didn’t know how to react, and you said “No hug back?”, and I realized, silly me, I did not hug you back. So as you were sitting on your bike, I gave you a big hug, and told you it was really nice meeting you.

he following day, we were constantly texting each other, and you came back to my place to take a nap as I was finishing some work. By dinner time you left since you have prior commitments, and I thought that was it for the day. As I finished my work, you said you wanted to hangout some more, I was worried cause you’ve already had a few drinks and my place was a little down the road, and it was raining too. I didn’t want you to drive a motorbike while buzzed and raining. You came, you came that evening, reeking of alcohol, still cute tho. We listened to music, watched a few stand up comedies, and I remember telling you I’m worried you might be bored, you said that you liked just being with me. The tension was there, and this thought came into my mind if you were going to kiss me. We called it a night, and decided you’ll crash in my place instead of driving all the way back to yours. You were very careful when touching me, it’s as if you didn’t want to offend me. I let you hug me as we were about to sleep, the tension was too real for me that I had to ask, ‘Do you want to kiss me?’, being the funny guy that you are, you said “Not with my alcohol mouth, I don’t’. You always make me laugh with your quick wit and quips. We make each other laugh, which may be one of the reasons why it’s easy for me to like you. After a little bit, you threw the same question at me, “Do you want to kiss me?” and I tried to be funny and told you “Hmmm, yeah, why not”. And we did, better than I imagined. Good kisser, this boy. But then you said I’m very difficult to read, which puzzled me. But now, thinking about it, I was tensed as we were kissing. I think that’s just who I am since I was feeling nervous about you, I wanted to impress you, ended up mindfucking you.

The following evening, you came by again, it was an interesting evening as the boys I was trying to avoid ended up hanging out by the restaurant at my place, you were enjoying my misery, and I couldn’t help but just laugh at the annoying timing. You know how to make me laugh, you know how to calm me down when I’m feeling extremely anxious, you always know the right words to say. That evening, you told me again how difficult I am to read, and I told you to tell me about it, we talked as if trying to figure out the science of this problem, I opened up to you, told you my fears and worries, and you opened up to me. You hugged me wholeheartedly and assured things will be fine. That moment I knew, this boy holds my heart, he’s been making my heart full without even realizing it. The connection for me was so intense that I can’t even put it in words.

The following days, a friend is crashing by my place, and you said that a little break is good. My friend and I went surfing, and the shop where we rented boards was a place that made me more anxious, as I was fidgeting with my stuff, I looked up and saw you, you found me, somehow, in that little island, I told you how anxious I’m feeling and you said it shows, I feel as if you can see right through me, you calmed me down, as always. While in the water, you almost ran over me, and you were proud of what you did, grinning like a child when you approached me. You tried to tow me to the lineup, but that failed. It’s okay tho, I still had fun.

hen my friend left, I asked when you’re visiting me, and you said the following day, but you ended up asking me to order pizza that you’ll pick up so we can have a pizza and movie night. As soon as you got to my place, you told me how it was nice to see me, you gave me a big hug and a kiss. We ended up having pizza, and not watching a movie. Much better tho, we talked as usual, I love listening to your stories, tickle wars and you fell asleep as I was massaging your head. You were too lovely too look at, and much more to be with. You left as I had plans that night.

The following day was when you told me your fears about us, our non-existent relationship which you made clear from the start, you were worried that it might turn something else, and you wanted to end whatever we had. I was confused, and hurt. We didn’t see each other, until my last night in Siargao, I asked for a goodbye and you obliged. I was having dinner with my friends when you dropped by, you honked your bike’s horn trying to get my attention and trying to embarrass me a little, you made me laugh, you gave a hug, and you kissed me. We bought something for your sensitive tummy, and had a small chat. I was really hoping we could stay in touch, at least try to continue what we have, when I said it out loud, I realized how sad it was, but I didn’t want to give up. I hugged you real tight and told you what I wanted, you gave me a little hope, but you didn’t cave. It was the first time you told me that you missed me, and I was surprised when I heard it. Your actions are different when we’re together and when we’re texting now.

Long story short, I’m still hoping. My heart can’t find the strength to accept that this is the end of the line for us. You undermined what we had and I think that’s what break my heart the most.

Now, feeling lost as ever, cause if you know me, you know how good I am at moving on, it’s one of my skills that I can move on quickly. But not from you. I have yet to accept how things are. And everyday it kills me. Much worst than everything seems to remind me of you. Some days I feel like I regret meeting you and letting myself like or fall for you, most days I’m lost.

I have deleted my account in Tinder and I have uninstalled the app, I’m afraid I would not meet anyone else like you, have a connection like ours. I was told that I should be thankful that at least we happened and that connection as such exists. Day by day, I have this push and pull with my head and my heart that I can’t seem to understand. Feeling lost as ever, my soul and my heart knows you’re what I want, but my mind is telling me to be realistic, and to just accept that this is how it is, and how it will be.

It was a short-lived romance, hell, me moving on is taking longer than our non-existent relationship. Some people don’t understand, and even myself sometimes, but I know what we had was real and beautiful, and it’s what makes me love it so much.

Maybe not in this moment, or even maybe not in this lifetime. But my dear, you hold a place in my heart that no one can and will ever replace.