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Losing my mother was like skydiving and not having a parachute. I was fucked from the jump. Undeterred by the risk, I managed to survive with a only few intramuscular bruises, scrapes, and self-diagnosed cynicism.

September 28, 2012: A mother’s love is the most irreplaceable love a person can feel. It’s a privilege some fail to appreciate and reciprocate.

Before even entering the world as a human, we are loved. Since we’re already inside her womb and fed through the same digestive tract, we are nurtured and cared for as one. It is a love of pure selflessness. A love given with no expectation of anything in return.

Nowadays, it’s the little things that get to me most — Chanel Chance Eau Tendre, The Carpenters, extra meaty spaghetti, and solid black turtlenecks.

If there was something I learned from my mom, it wasn’t how to perfect winged eyeliner or the hierarchy of designer bags. It was how to love.

Though the wounds have finally healed, the marks she’s left will carry on forever, most relevantly, through my family, and of course, myself.

When the glass is half empty, add ice.

It’s been rumored that a taste from the fountain of youthful ignorance may cause false invincibility.

 

It’s true; it does. I dreamt dreams by day and fought demons at night to the point of self-defeat. My soul became unwantedly silenced by my own narcissistic lips.

November 10, 2012: Five years from now, I don’t want to drink watered down Starbucks while driving the same broke-down Celica through Mission Boulevard to work where I’ll be rolling eyes for eight hours straight. Then, come home to a place that’s fallen apart, sleep in fetal position for at least five hours, and psyche myself for the next auto-piloted day.

I want to learn something new everyday, go to places I’ve never been, and run towards the sun.

A small piece of who used to be a passionate and a bit overly optimistic catch drifted away to what is almost a memoir. But I’m still turning the pages — mostly forward.

 

A new year is around the corner, and like the rest of society, I am just another statistic scribbling down resolutions repeated from yesteryears. But it seems that with age, more unfinished goals and past dreams stack among each other, waiting to be recovered between dusty lines.

December 31, 2012: Is it not just a quick fix? The vicious card swiping. That last hit. The 2 a.m. Jack in the Crack binges. Alcohol. Whatever it may be that gets you through the day, it’s temporary pleasure. And although it appears to portray something bigger, a million pleasures don’t bring you true happiness — only more pleasure.

After all is said and done, you’re still at square one and in search for what you truly want, which is the same as everyone else: happiness.

It becomes easy to put shit aside. “I’ll start next week,” I convince myself, even though I already know next week won’t be a good week for me, because of so-and-so reason. Yet still, we tell ourselves, “Later.” For many, this process goes on without any progression for possibly even the entirety of a year. And it’s not until the start of another year, the first of the month, or a Monday, that we recollect and prioritize what actually matters.

Between losing yourself and finding life’s purpose again, don’t forget to finish what you have already started, or in some cases, wanted to start.

If not now, when?

 

The sharp-pitched and sometimes deep tone of your voice still replays itself, asking if the solid black turtle neck [like the other ten you owned] is maganda ba. In my head, these one-sided “could have been” conversations loop, and all I can ask for is to hear you one more time. But as time passes, the fading memories of when our lives intertwined cling to the remnants of my cerebrum while gently letting go of muted grief through mundane actions of just growing up.

June 16, 2015: What started as a splash in a shallow puddle grew into a wreck too deep to stand in. The more I fight against the current to float, the more I am anchored to the bottom by what-if’s and maybe’s. And as the emptiness of the dark waters steal every last bit of innocent life from my tar-filled lungs, the lifeless weight of my body sinks into a wasted abyss of lost hope. I never did not know how swim.

They say your life flashes before your eyes when reaching the beginning of the end, but only a handful of snippets from an abandoned time flicker, like a broken strobe light, in front of mine. And as I’m anticipating the impact of this long yet fast drop, I remembered that quote you made me memorize for five dollars years ago. “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” So after falling for what feels like almost 1,460 feet, I relax every muscle and let Mother Nature take care of the rest.

Just go with the flow; the waves will calm down on its own.

My mind plays tricks on me, envisioning a future with you in it. In and out of awareness, I contemplate whether this road I’ve taken is the one you had wished for, if not, better. It’s too soon to forget, yet also too late to still feel your presence — eyes wide open.

Sweet dreams, Mommy.

From weaving in and out of career paths, I realized I’ve been having a pre-quarter life crisis for nearly five years.

In between the vicious debauchery and resistance to growth, I brushed off every cliche piece of — what I thought was unrealistic — advice saying to “do what you love” and all that sugarcoated bull. And even though I wasn’t truly sold on the stethoscopes and scrubs, I half-heartedly kept pursuing the goals of another.

Sept. 18, 2012: Whenever I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom, I haven’t even touched Failure’s gray-picket fence yet. The cracked, blackened pavement and dried-out weeds scream to run, but there’s something intriguing about its door, like a gold plated envelope with an engraving that reads “Do not open.”

Flashing rays of light pull me in, and as my attention wanders into an illusory perception of happiness, I become hypnotized before I can even look away. I’m blinded and can’t tell the difference between real and what’s the other one? I’m charmed by fallacy, and the closer I get to #2 Much Hed O’Nism Road, the Gatsby-like mansion fades into a porta-potty-esque shack, which is inevitably what it is — full of shit.

The mesmerizing view flashes one last time into a possessing, airless shadow and swallows the entirety of my being into a solid state of darkness, where I am not only compelled, but lost forever.

After all the late nights doing the same old shit, I finally woke up old… still doing the same old shit.

Despite the fact that it took longer than desired to figure out I’ve just been mindlessly skipping in the wrong direction, now that I’m on the right one, there’s no going back — even if it is the road less traveled.

Follow your darkest dreams.