Madonna was wrong. Madonna was dead wrong.

Madonna was wrong. Madonna was dead wrong when she said that time goes by slowly. Time actually goes by fast, very fast, and we just don’t notice it because of all the trivial activities we consume ourselves with. It seems like only yesterday that I was struggling with my grades, going out almost every night, and wrecking my entire life with my decadent irresponsibility.

I barely attended my classes then [there are times when I wonder if the only reason why I go to UST was to drink iced teas with my friends and burn my lungs away]. Often, I think about my stay in UST and I end up regretting wasting two years of my life. I was accepted at one of the premiere science schools in the country, yet I threw it all away by boycotting classes, learning to smoke, and passing only three subjects [during my first semester in my first year]. I was given so many opportunities but I threw them all away. Not only was I accepted for my first choice in a prestigious university, but I was also handpicked [I was one of the first who were picked] to write as a features writer for the college publication. I was eventually let go because of the deteriorating quality of my articles.

I was a staple in Makati and Malate. I would always be in the late night hotspots, drinking, dancing, and incessantly smoking. I even tried ecstasy once. I must admit, it was a fantastic feeling, but it quickly wore off when I realized that the phone I begged from my mom for many months got lost. All my money was alloted to cab fares and notoriously expensive drinks.

Once, I stumbled on a blog I used to maintain and I can’t tell you how shocked I was at what I read. I was embarrassed at its content, and the only feeling I felt while browsing through my entries was a feeling of happiness, bliss, no, relief, when I realized I was using a pseudonym. Yes, I’m not going to deny I wrote well, but the image I projected was that of a slut, and not of an intellectual. I don’t know what went through my head when I remembered I was proud of being labelled a whore. I was not just a whore. I was trailer trash. I guess it was that infantile mentality that a lot of men found me sexually attractive that thrilled me into a promiscuous frenzy.

For two straight years I was intellectually stagnant. I juggled boys, sex, cigarettes, friends, and parties. I called that phase my Paris Hilton years. I spent my time sleeping, sitting pretty, clubbing, and posing for the camera.

Things changed when I met Quincy, the man responsible for my image overhaul. I guess it’s different when you really love a person. Thinking back to all the men I’ve slept with, the men I’ve dated, and those I’ve had “relationships” with, Quincy was the only man I honestly loved. I still consider him the love of my life, and I must admit there are times when I hope things would eventually turn out for the better between us. I believe that a relationship is healthy [and good] if your partner brings out the best in you, and Quincy did just that. His over-achieving mentality rubbed off on me and I became focused, determined, and ambitious. I tired of the club scene [I discerned that there are far more productive things to do than go clubbing every week], and my priorities in life were set straight. True love would do that to you, all right. I’ve changed. I’ve completely changed. A lot of people could attest to that, and they were very surprised. I’ve been told many times that the new me was not the Koji they knew. “That’s not you!”, they would often say. This is the new me, all right, and maybe the real me. Loving someone for the first time made me realize who I truly am. I miss Quincy. Yes, I still love him. Maybe the reason why I am still alone since we dated is because I am looking for someone who is just like him.

Time goes by quickly. Life zips by you if you let it go unnoticed. One minute I was in UST, enjoying the company of Ysa, Kay, and Eunice [the three people I consider my true friends], in Coffee Indulgence, smoking pack after pack of Marlboros while sipping iced teas, and the next, I am in Perpetual, slaving away to get stellar grades.

Here I am now. It’s four in the morning and my first class of my second semester in Perpetual will start in five hours. I slept ten in the evening, woke sometime around midnight, and I’ve been awake since. I can’t sleep, but I’m happy. After toiling my ass off, I passed the first semester with flying colors [Fil3: 1.75, FCL1: 1.75, English+: 1.75, Nat.Sci.1: 2.50, Nat.Sci.3: 2.25, Logic: 1.75, NSTP: 1.25]. I spent my semester break drinking with my friends [the last being in Cavite to celebrate JM’s birthday], going shopping [clothes and books], and bonding with the folks.

This is the new me. I’m still talkative and bubbly, but not as loud as before. My grades are my top priority. Not far behind are my family and friends. Yes, I still go out, but I have decided to change scenes. These days, I go to friends houses and have drinks, but I still go clubbing once in a while. I’m not dating anyone [it’s so hard to find someone to replace your great love], and in turn, I’m busying myself with extracurriculars. I’m involved in the university-wide publication of Perpetual, and I’ll have my day soon. I’ll be the editor-in-chief in a few years [Elydia, the EIC, has been dropping colossal hints about this]. I quit smoking. And of course, I still shop. Lately, I’m going crazy over plain tees and statement shirts.

I have no regrets. I did not regretting boycotting my Zoology Lec. class in UST because that was the time Kay and I became really close. Neither did I regret failing my Zoology Lab. class because I met Ysa during our second take. And for sure I did not regret learning to smoke, because it was between cigarettes that Eunice and I divulged our innermost secrets. I also did not regret clubbing my life away because it was at a party that I met Arvin, one of my most treasured friends. Most of all, I did not regret transferring to Perpetual. It may not be as esteemed as UST, but my friends here are just as genuine.

I have accepted the fact that time does not go by slowly. But I believe in the saying that time flies when you’re having fun. I may die tomorrow, I may get struck by thunder this very moment [it started to rain, oh no! I was planning to wear my vintage aviator sunglasses to make a fantastic entrance], but I can assure you my life was stellar to say the least. And you can take that to Paris Fashion Week.


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