I never thought Friendster would affect me like this. I almost forgot about the site ever since I started Facebook. When I heard that it would shut down, I never bothered to worry about it or even have an opinion. I just thought, oh well. That’s life.

On a whim, I decided to open my Friendster account for one last time. It was a whirl of emotions. I felt loved because all my testimonials had good words. More than half of them said they missed me, they loved me, were asking where I was, etc.

It also brought back a lot of painful memories. I saw my exes, guys I went out with who I gave my heart to, and two exes who passed away, one of them including my first love. My first love was a great guy – he left me but he taught me to love. Honestly, I was very wild back then but he told me to focus on my life and pick up my act. The reason why I’m so successful is because he inspired me to be the best I can be.

I feel so nostalgic. My Friendster account is full of people who loved me, hated me, screwed me over, and knew me inside and out. But I understand that all things must come to an end, including Friendster. What I don’t understand is how I don’t recognize some of the people who tell me that they miss and that we should hang out again.

Boyfriends and tea

Last night, I went to Alabang to meet a client for my case study in Guidance and Counseling. Because I was desperate to have him as a client, I bribed him with offers of dessert in Coffee Bean or in any dessert shop of his choice. He agreed, which was a blessing, because the thought of pouring your innermost problems to a relative stranger is unlikely, even at the thought of free French apple pie.

I’ve been hanging out a lot in Coffee Bean lately so I decided to try out their collection of teas. I’ve been a fan of CBTL for three years and have sampled most of their coffee so I thought why not their tea? I’ve been trying to live the healthy lifestyle and tea is as healthy as you could get. This was actually my first time because I always order the tea lattes.
Maybe it was my expectations, but I wasn’t satisfied. Perhaps it was because I drink tea practically everyday, but I expected a special something, a kick that would say that this is designer shit. I ordered the strawberry flavored green tea after the recommendation of an HR supervisor in Generika who used to work in Coffee Bean. I don’t know, but I actually prefer the Earl Grey being sold in supermarkets by the bunch. I’m still open to trying their other flavors, though. The raspberry looks really promising.
What I did like though about the tea in CBTL was that you can ask for hot water to steep another cup. This pleased my stingy heart because I could have endless cups of tea for only php95.
While I was listening to my client’s stories of abuse in college, my mind wandered to the sheer joy of having another cup for practically nothing. I also made a silly but thought-provoking analogy regarding tea and boyfriends. This is, however, not the first time I connected the two because I once called someone my Earl Grey because I didn’t know whether to like him or not. It takes a while to get used to that guy, and bergamot in general.
So, my analogy is this. I’m not going to expound on it, seasoning it with quotes from chick flicks or theories from psychologists, because I was trying to focus on the things my client was saying. I realized that ex-boyfriends are like tea. You enjoy it, basking in the bold flavor of jasmine or oolong or chai while you do your activities. But in the end, you finish your cup, and you’re left with nothing but the residue of leaves.
However, what’s good is that you can refill and enjoy your cup of tea again. Like ex-boyfriends, you can take them back and relive the thrills, the joys, and the good times. Sometimes you have to put more sugar to capture the taste of the first cup, but still, it’s attainable.
But there is that point where you get tired of it, that one cup is enough. There was this one time my friend gave me a pack of Japanese rice tea which tasted really awesome. When I tried to make another cup, it made me want to puke. I suddenly remembered this ex-boyfriend who after three years is attempting to make contact and rekindle the flames of romance. He doesn’t make me want to vomit, but I think once was enough.
After I got my second cup last night in Coffee Bean, I wasn’t able to finish it.
Ha. I feel like such a genius.

Liar, liar, Gucci pants on fire [take a bow, this is your curtain call]

Okay. I lied. I said I’ve moved on, but I really haven’t. I did think about the situation and rationalized everything, but I seem to be incapable of internalizing my realizations. I always thought that if I don’t talk about or think about A, I could fool myself into thinking that the mess never happened. It was effective, but it was wrong. For a moment, I seem to have forgotten the point of defense mechanisms, one of them being repression. A defense mechanism is just something the ego does to avoid tension. It avoids tension, but it doesn’t necessarily get rid of it. Repressing my memories is a way of running away from the pain. It does not make me strong as I mentioned in my previous entry. It makes me weak.

It kills me to know that not only have I lied, I also realized that what I have been doing proves how weak I am. I always thought of myself as strong, but I realized that flushing bad thoughts to the unconscious just shows that I am a coward. Instead of facing my problems head on, I run away from it. I believe that it takes more strength to admit defeat, and now that I have realized my mistake, I am admitting mine.

I said I’ve moved on, and for a while, I thought I did. But when I think about A, all the memories that I’ve sent away come flooding back, and it hurts. Repression works. It’s tried and tested, and there are days when I don’t think about him. But on the rare chance that I do, everything comes back, and it’s just as painful. For the first time, I reluctantly entertained the thought that I will never be with him again. It was hard, but I knew that it was highly probable. I used to fervently hold on to what he told me the night we broke up, that now is not the time, but I finally resigned myself to the thought that I might not be able to see him again and hold his hand, kiss him, hear him make nyar nyar and Kokey sounds, and play the silly games that we play.

This morning, I woke up with aching limbs and an aching butt. Yesterday, I went ice skating with my brother in Mall of Asia and it gave me a high I haven’t experienced in a long time. Despite the one false move I made while helping my brother up [and ending with my butt on the ice], it was fun. Because I couldn’t move, I spent the morning watching Meet the Robinsons on Disney. I liked the movie when I first saw it [I cried], but I didn’t expect it would hold new meaning for me. Keep moving forward was the key quote, and I remember liking it while I was drying my tears in the theater. If there was a quote that I should internalize now, it would be that. Keep moving forward. I once said that you shouldn’t let your failed relationship ruin everything else, but it also means you shouldn’t let it ruin the romantic aspect of your life.

I think it’s time to face the truth. I haven’t moved on. I still love you, and maybe I forever will. My love for you was pure, honest, and selfless. I have loved you in a way I haven’t loved anyone else, but I have to move forward. Lewis in Meet the Robinsons was given the chance to go back in time and see his mother the night she gave him up for adoption. He had the opportunity to change her mind, but he didn’t. He was about to tap her shoulder, but he realized that if he did, the future would change and he wouldn’t have the Robinsons as his family. Like Lewis, I will not tap your shoulder. As much as it hurts for me to let you go, I know I have to. I too, am going down a downward spiral, and the only way I could break out is by moving on. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. Kathy told me that I can never find somebody better if I believe that I have already found the best. I will, no, shall, move forward.

P.S. But on the off chance that you do change your mind, let’s give it a shot. I read somewhere that The One is not pre-ordained. You work for it, and you fight for it, until you are each other’s destinies. If you feel and want me to be the other half of your circle, I’m here. (after all, I still am in the process of moving forward)

Follow the royal road to the unconscious [it has yellow bricks too]

Repression by far is my favorite defense mechanism. Though the one I usually practice is displacement, I recently discovered that you can wilfully raise your defense walls with Sigmund Freud’s concepts. I always thought this happens automatically, but I was surprised I managed to send bittersweet memories down the royal road of the unconscious.

I learned from someone that if you don’t talk about a thing or think about it, it might as well have not existed in the first place. I forgot the name of the concept but this idea is quite similar to an ancient chinese riddle: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

If I don’t talk about what happened or think about it, maybe I can deceive myself into thinking that it never happened. Of course, distant echoes from another time still creep in my head, but I flush these thoughts away and focus my thoughts and my energy into something else. It actually works. I must admit, I still am sad, but I don’t really know why. Eventually, through repression, I let go of all my angst, and emerged with what Alfred Adler would call a healthy personality. Now, I can think about things related to what recently happened without bursting into histrionic tears [I’m exaggerating to prove a point]. This I guess is the Freudian definition of moving on.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People author Stephen Covey states that unexpressed feelings never die. They are buried alive and come back later in uglier ways. But so what? I’d rather have it ugly and happy than pretty and sad.

I swear, I won’t bite your head off.

There’s probably a reason why most [if not all] your past relationships didn’t work. It’s probably because they were unconsciously preparing you for this. For the relationship that you know will last forever.

Now, I’m not saying I’m in love. I’ve caused quite a stir with my previous entry and I would like to clear it by saying that no, I am not in love. I just made a few realizations.

I learned. I realized that the worst boyfriends are the best teachers because they teach you not to make the same mistake twice [oftentimes thrice for those extremely hardheaded people like myself]. Not only do they teach you to avoid men like them, they also teach you to grow and become a better person.

I love my shitty ex-boyfriends. Those that sucked my dignity, my pride, and my sanity deserve my gratitude because if not for them, this wouldn’t be right. This wouldn’t work. It came with a price which come to think of it, was worth it. I wouldn’t have become the fine upstanding man that I am today without the help of boyfriends from hell. And besides, most bad boyfriends give great sex. A person can’t be all bad, right?

So maybe they weren’t that bad.

Ako Si Wonder Woman

While the trio of typhoons have been beneficial to me by suspending a week’s worth of classes, it did have its cons like dampering on my weekend plans. So instead of having lunch with Arvin and then a movie, and attending a restaurant opening, I found myself walking aimlessly around Alabang on a Saturday night. Well, I did buy an Oleg Cassini dress shirt so it wasn’t really THAT aimless.

On my way home, I was listening to the radio. Being a Saturday night, most stations played dance music, and lo and behold, what else could be playing but Deepest Blue. Deepest Blue is a song I’ve been enjoying for many years but listening to it last night, all the painful memories of Quincy came back. Months ago, I dedicated that song to him, and whenever I hear it, I think of Quincy and how much I love him. I know it’s pathetic that I’m still obsessing over him, but I can’t help it, I love him. There hasn’t come a day when I haven’t thought of him, and last night, the aching was too much to bear. I wasn’t really mad at him, I was just disappointed. I just wanted him back.

I will forever refer to him as my sweetest downfall. As much as I wanted to move on with my life, I find that I couldn’t. I had no idea why really, since during the 3 months we were together, he was only present for a month.

As I pick up the pieces of of my shattered heart, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was a test of my character. I have always considered myself to be strong, but after Quincy, I was left bloodied, weak, and unstable. Prior to, during the, and after the break up, I was an interminable wreck. I couldn’t focus on my studies and my stellar performance in my academics dropped. In fact I couldn’t remember doing anything profound after the prelim period. I could only guess where my professors would get my midterm grade. I became physically and emotionally stressed, and I became sick. Very sick. I was drained. I was frightened of the intensity of my emotions, and I asked myself, was I as strong as I liked to believe? Was I as my mighty as my facade? It ruined me, broke me, to know that my exterior was a sham. My indifference, my nonchalance was just a cover. Inside, I was just as vulnerable as everybody else. And what hurts me the most is that not only did I lie to the world, but I lied to myself.

Weeks ago, I spoke with a guy and I spilled my grief. Although we ended bitterly, I must admit Jeff has taught me an important lesson. I am just human and there was nothing wrong with that. I was initially aloof because I was still under the illusion that I was Wonder Woman. But then now, after reflecting, I realized Jeff was right. I was just human.

As I pick up the pieces of my shattered heart, I couldn’t help but wonder if Quincy was a test of my character. I will forever refer to him as my sweetest downfall, but a downfall nonetheless. In spite of that, I will still respect him because he has taught me an invaluable lesson – being humble. I still see myself as Wonder Woman of course – fierce, headstrong, and capable of dishing it out like a real man. But beneath the sleek outfit and glossy hair, Wonder Woman is still a woman – delicate, fragile, and vulnerable.