A Dead Dream

Have you ever been in love? I have never been in love. I’ve been into relationships but never felt the need to spend my whole life with someone. I’ve had my share of break-ups and tears but I never had my heart broken. Today, I woke up alone, as always. As I was sitting quietly with my breakfast in front of me, I mourned over a lost love. I mourned about a man I have never met in this life. Memories of events that never happened surged into my mind and it felt real.

In those memories, I was in love. I was in love with a man who is also very much in love with me. We spent a very short time together and we had to part. I pictured him standing in front of me. We’re about to part ways and would never see each other again. We said goodbye and I cried. It was hopeless. I thought, “What kind of barrier could ever stand in the way of love?” If one of us is leaving, the other one can go with him/her. It makes no sense to lose a love over something so small. But in those memories, there was nothing I can do. Like a movie, there was nothing I can do, I can just sit through it and watch. It was just that. I watched the love I finally found, my first love, go away. The thought that I would never see him again killed me.

What is it with this man and how did he capture my wild heart? He was not a skilled hunter. He was the man who connected to my other side or what I call “my soft side”, the real me. He tamed my soul and took my heart. I’m two people at once but most could only see one. Just like twins in a very complicated birth where the other one has to die in order for the other one to live. Naturally, the strongest one, the one more capable of surviving this world was chosen. The dead twin refuses to be forgotten. Time and time again, her presence is felt. When I decided to kill her, she understood. She did not judge me. She did not get mad. She simply understood. As I write this, I cry as if I just had an abortion. A few moments ago, I was mourning about a lost significant other and now, it seems I am mourning about a lost twin and a lost child. None of the people I cry about even exists.

You see, I’m a dreamer. I fit into the common description of a writer, an artist, and an old soul. When I was a kid, I liked to draw. I wrote poems and turned plenty of my notebooks into comic books. I liked to sing, too, and I also used to dance. When I was young, aside from having several ambitions such as being an astronaut and going to space, being a pilot and cruising through the skies, and being an architect and designing and building beautiful cities, my greatest dream was to have a sketchbook. I used to call it “a notebook with no lines on it”. All I wanted was a notebook with no lines on it! Now I can buy as many sketchbooks as I want but I never did.

I’m afraid. Even when I hoarded notebooks, I always hesitated to write on them. I’m afraid to make a mistake, to ruin something so clean and perfect. I’m also afraid that the notebooks hated me. High school was the end of my creativity. High school was the time I burned all the comic books I made. It was the time my peers have accepted my talent and my family did not. I used to have my classmates borrow the comic “notebooks” I made and read my stories. I used to have people ask me, “What’s gonna happen next?” Now, I don’t even remember what the stories I wrote a decade (or more) ago were about. I burned it all. I thought to myself, “I could write it all over again. I will draw again.” Then I asked myself, “What’s gonna happen next?”

Years later, it never happened. The surviving twin successfully earns a great amount of money in her career. She killed everyone with her technical skills. She was able to afford renting a new place for herself. She severed ties with an abusive family. She lived alone peacefully. Sometimes I think what it was all for and I always get the answer, “So that we can do whatever we want, what we always wanted to do.” Then I ask myself again, “What do we always wanted to do?” And my mind goes back to the dreams I had decades ago. My first love. I want to make comic books again. I want to write stories again. Like a haunting memory, the dead twin wants to come back to life. Maybe she has never died at all, she just stood in the background as the stronger and more practical twin takes on the world to build a cradle just for the two of them. A safe haven where none of them could be harmed. A world where both of them can live and survive.

Maybe I was mourning not over a man, a sibling, or a child. But I was weeping about a lost love, indeed. And whenever I feel a barrier, maybe I should picture myself parting ways with a lost love and thinking “What kind of barrier could ever stand in the way of love?”

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A Dead Dream

Different And Alone

Hold on to your loneliness. Please hold on to that feeling. I know you feel different and alone. I know you see that everything around you is false and you can’t connect to anyone right now. I know you feel detached from it all. I’m not telling you to hold on with hope that the day will come when you will meet someone who understands you. That person may not happen to you at all. And I’m not the one who will break your heart by giving you false hopes. However, I can assure you one thing – there’s a place. A place you can look forward to. A place where you can feel safe and warm. A place that cuddles your solitude. A place where you belong.

You want to know what’s so good about this place? You’re the one making it. Whenever you look around and see people with their families, I want you to consider that “That may not be for me.” This is not to deprive you of the joy of having a family. I just want you to stop thinking about it. Every time you look at those people, I want you to stop thinking “That’s the standard of happiness. That’s what we all should do or have.” I want you to keep dreaming about the future but dream about it as a whole. I want you to stress about the future of the universe as a whole. I want you to not waste that beautiful mind of yours conforming to what your corrupted mind tells you. I want you to realize that this is not you talking to you but the collective opinion of everyone else that came before you.

Before you go to sleep, I want you to look forward to the next day. In the morning, you will have scrambled eggs for breakfast, maybe some bacon, coffee, or anything you like. You will shower and bathe with the scent of the soap you chose. You will listen to a podcast or a song you really like on your way to the office. You will take breaks with tea, biscuits, or anything you prefer. And if you don’t like your job, you will find a new one. You will go home, eat a great dinner, and read. You will spend time working on your personal projects or other interests. You will lie in bed, maybe bring out some scented candles, stare at the ceiling, and think. You will fall asleep and do it over.

What is it that we find so bad about repetition? Our own dislike of it is what’s making us miserable. We crave for something big and new all the time that we fail to notice the small details that change in every second. Have you ever stared at your tea and admire its color? Have you ever looked at other people’s writing and yours, and smiled? Have you ever loved your blanket so much as if it was another person? The way I see, you’re already happy and society keeps telling you that you’re not. No, you don’t want a celebrity status, someone else wants that. No, you don’t want a child and that’s totally fine. No, you don’t want a big house with twenty rooms, you just want your bed and your blanket.

There’s nothing wrong with you and I want you to know that. You are already happy as you are and who’s to say that your goal should be “to be happy” in the first place? That may just be the idea of many but you could be different. And in that difference, most often, you will be alone. That’s okay, too. I don’t want you to wait for the time that the world would recognize, appreciate, and accept you. I want you to think for yourself and re-assess your own thoughts if they are your own.

Now that I’ve told you that things I want you to do, I want you to ignore them and listen to your own mind’s advice.

Different And Alone

Turn Back Time, Into The Darkness

A few days ago, I had another dream of dreams within dreams. I had a dream about a mad physician, of me facing a wall, an old man showering in front of a mirror, the clock running backwards, and everything turning dark.

In the first dream, we were having our annual physical exam and I was standing in a line with other colleagues when I overheard the physician angrily giving a sermon to the person he was checking. It didn’t make any sense but I thought, “Good thing I had an appointment with the dentist before this.” And then I woke up.

In the second dream, I woke up from the long line for the physical exam and found myself driving a car. I drove the car into what seems to be an industrial warehouse and parked between a big truck and a wall. To my left is the truck, to my right is the wall, and to the front is another wall. I got out of the car and observed the wall in front of me. And then I woke up.

In the third dream, I woke up from observing a wall in front of me. Now, I am watching an old man shower in front of a mirror. He has the typical Santa-like body. Big belly, the top of his head is balding but he has a few graying and white hairs in the sides, and he has a beard with the same color combination as his hair. He was shampooing his hair from the sides to the top. But there is no water, no shampoo, not even a shower head. He stopped for a while and walked backwards to the right of my view and up to the stairs. As he passed, I heard a clock ticking. I saw a wall clock that looks like some lucky cat Chinese decoration. Its hands were moving backwards. And it made sense to me that time that “Oh, so that’s why he’s moving backwards.” And then I woke up.

In the fourth dream, I woke up from seeing the cat-like clock, of time moving backwards. This time I found myself lying on the sofa where I really fell asleep on that time. I stood up, as if waking up, and turned the lights on. The lights didn’t turn on and when I looked around, all the rooms were dark. I walked towards the balcony to see the other buildings and found residential buildings that weren’t there before. The doors and windows were dark when it was still a pretty bright afternoon. I’m guessing the bright orange sky you get just before sunset. And then I woke up.

In the fifth dream, I found myself lying on the sofa again. I grabbed my phone and I actually felt I was holding it. Thinking that I was awake, I looked at my phone and it wasn’t there. I was holding something rectangular that wasn’t there.

In the sixth dream, I found myself lying on the sofa again. This time, I am very unsure if I had really woken up. I’m very aware that I’m dreaming but I couldn’t wake up. I was in another sleep paralysis. I clenched my fists and did everything I can to wake up. When I finally did, it took me a while to believe that I wasn’t dreaming anymore. I put on clothes and went outside.

I like to think that this is my subconscious telling me something but I am more likely to believe that these dreams are combinations of things I’ve seen before. I try not to make much sense about it but wouldn’t it be cool if it did mean something?

Turn Back Time, Into The Darkness

I’m Closed Off? It’s Because You Kept Undermining My Struggles

Never explain yourself. I thought I would never have a motto in life but somewhere along the way, I found myself saying that. I’ve said it to myself so many times that I added it to the rules I live by. It seems very simple, those three words, but it took me a long time to master it. There are plenty of things I do that I consider pointless. There are pointless things that I like and pointless people that I happily spend some time with. But when it comes to matters that triggers frustration, I always look for the point. The point of having an argument with someone. The point of telling the whole story. The point of telling my side of the story. Every time I feel the urge to defend myself, I ask myself “What’s the point?”

I’ve been judged my whole life for doing things that do no harm to others and for occasionally choosing my own sake over taking responsibility of the mistakes of irresponsible people. What I learned over the years is that no amount of reasoning, truth, and effort can make people value your perspective as long as they do not benefit from it. There is no amount of words that could change people’s minds even when you’re right. So what did I do? I moved away. I lived alone and every time I come across an abusive person, I don’t bother. I just don’t bother anymore. Every time I get the feeling or I am informed that some people are making judgments about my decisions, I let it go. What’s the point?

I remember buying my mother a card when I was a kid. Our neighbor thought it was sweet so I was excited to give it to her hoping that it will make her happy. My mother said, “This is a waste of money!” I didn’t think much of it before but looking back, I realized that was the beginning of my self-inflicted isolation.

It has been more than a year since I stopped seeing my mother and pretty much all of my relatives except for one of my brothers who occasionally stays in my place with his wife and son. Before I stopped visiting, I spent at least another year and a half visiting only on holidays or some birthdays. My mother has spread a lot of drama against us especially me. After all, I am the daughter who stopped visiting and responding to her calls and text messages. I am the daughter who gave my relatives (cousins, aunts, etc.) a mouthful each time they attempt to suck me into the hell hole the whole clan has dug for themselves. For me, it wasn’t just a choice to distance myself from these people, it was a necessity. It’s like choosing not to drink a slow-acting poison. I did it because I didn’t want the torture and I wanted to survive.

I wanted to live what’s left of this life. For decades of existence, I felt like I never lived. After I moved away, I felt alive and I started to see the potential of having a great future, a future I can write for myself. I felt unstoppable and that I have no other step but forward. Before I moved away, I had no dreams for myself. All I wanted was to someday buy a house for my parents and give them a rich life. My mother crushed that dream with her constant “That’s gonna take a long time, now. We’ll be dead before that ever happens.” That dream eventually died. But before it did, it gave birth to a new one. A new dream just for me. I realized everything that I want.

I want to build an establishment or perhaps, a school, that teaches and trains people to gain the skills necessary for us to advance into the future. I want a new kind of literacy, not just read or write. A new literacy more fitted to the future. Aside from that, I want a house and a farm, or a village of my own. I want my own home office. I want my own business. All of these dreams, I could not have entertained if I didn’t leave the people holding me back. If I never left, I wouldn’t have found a purpose. And that purpose grows each day I dream and work towards my dreams. That purpose grew a spine, enough to stop me from ever going back to what killed the old me. And as time goes by, I no longer feel the pressure and no amount of relatives and harassment can ever make me go back to that past. I have moved on but I still remember. I have to remember. But it’s just like remembering a past life. Surreal and makes no sense in my present life anymore.

I am filled with dreams and yet people find me so cold. Aloof, hard to read, closed off, and detached. I believe that every one of us has their own back story. A series of events that made us the way we are. Every one of us has their own shell. Each one is different, forged with a variety of pain and struggles. I told you a small part of my story. I would not tell you the whole story because what is the point? You’ve made your judgment by now. You’ve probably said to yourself that my struggles are nothing compared to others’. Or maybe you’re one of those rare kinds of people who understand that you have to live through another person’s life to see the whole picture. Maybe you’re nothing like the people I share my DNA with.

There was a time when I sent money for my father’s surgery which is probably one of my mother’s lies to get more money from me because after that, people have seen him drinking alcohol in the middle of the afternoon. Do they know how hard it was to earn that money? Do they know that afterwards, I had to gather coins just to have enough money to buy myself a small pack of biscuits and a can of tuna to eat for two days? Do they know that I had to borrow money just to get through the rest of the week? And the time they constantly guilt-tripped me for breaking up with a guy they thought was rich. Do they know that he borrowed plenty of cash from me that he didn’t pay and even got money from my ATM without my permission? Do they know how I felt working so hard, earning so much, and yet ending up starved? Do they know that the same abuse they inflicted on me since childhood, he inflicted on me, too? Do they know that he also tried to sabotage my career by constantly making an argument on how I earn more money than he does?

Aside from constantly telling me that I’m ugly, stupid, and would probably just get impregnated by some man and die poor, I guess my parents never really knew anything about me. And it’s too late for me to say anything because they never listened in the first place. They never cared unless it involves them having money. Now that I’m typing these, I feel stupid. That I’m a whiner. I whine too much about small things. I feel guilty because that’s how I was programmed to feel for the rest of my life. I’m too dramatic. I deserve to suffer, not to complain.

Would I rather be called all those things or be called “cold”? Guess which one I chose.

I’m Closed Off? It’s Because You Kept Undermining My Struggles

Life in fast forward

I’ve been spending some time looking for new units to live in. My current rent contract is about to expire in a few months and I’m considering moving to a place that’s five minutes away from work. That means saying goodbye to the view that I love. Every time I think about the day that I will move out, I look around the unit and think, “how can I ever live you?” Then I think about the first day I moved in here. It was a nice unit but it was foreign to me. Everything smelled new and it didn’t feel like home. It took me weeks before I can finally sleep. I must admit that I have developed a bit of an attachment and familiarity to this place. It was my home for a few months and I’m afraid that if I stay longer, it may hold a greater value to me and that’s something I cannot afford.

Lately, I feel like I cannot waste any more time even in transportation. I’m never one who likes games that has time limits but I feel chased through most of my life. I’m on the move. I’m always on the move. Even when I’m sleeping or procrastinating, I’m always one step ahead of what’s about to happen. I do not think that I’m better than my peers because such comparisons don’t make sense. I’m on a different race, a different timeline, and the destination is not yet clear but still, I move. It’s something that I feel is wired to me. I have this thirst for something but have no clue what it is and I’m afraid I’m gonna spend most of my life looking for it.

To most people, what I do is torture. Most of the people I know would never dream of living alone or leaving a familiar home. But what I’ve learned in my years of existence is that everything changes and the people who are the fastest to adapt to different environments and changes are the ones who survive. I’ve been told plenty of times that I’m quick to learn new things and that I’m wise beyond my years. Somehow I managed to be aware of things that matter without making a conscious effort. I see and remember every small detail that most people think is useless and simply ignore. I connect the dots and form a prediction. I don’t even see it as a prediction. To me, it’s common sense, what’s about to happen is what’s supposed to happen. It’s as if I lived in the future, thrown back into the past, and now I’m chasing towards my home – the future.

Maybe I move, leave, and disconnect too often to strengthen myself or prepare myself for whatever I sense is about to happen. I expose myself to difficult decisions to train myself to make an impossible decision that I may be presented with in the future. I do not deprive myself of emotions. I allow myself to feel sad when I have to leave the place I used to call home or the people I spent my every day with. I make peace with the fact that I may never see them again and they will all just be a part of my memory. But I also acknowledge the fact that holding on to things I cannot keep will only hurt me. I remind myself to be aware that emotions and feelings are just that  – emotions and feelings. I remind myself that every person I meet starts out as a stranger and as life goes on, no matter how strong the bond we’ve established, we can go back to being strangers.

Life goes on.

Life in fast forward