Out of nowhere, in mid-thought or sigh, you wake up to the realization that this cubicle nightmare of an internship just might well be your future. You stop what you’re doing, breathing heavily against the gnawing thought that suddenly crept like a ghost into the back of your mind. You start to envision yourself wrapped in scarves and grey sweaters to fight the relentless cold of the air conditioner, a coffee mug with the company logo, bored listless eyes glued to the computer screen, your fingers typing away the same thing that you’d been typing for weeks at a time and your mind drifting off, counting the minutes ’til you step out of the office into the sunshine, into the world that had been waiting for you since the moment you opened your eyes this morning.
You head to the bathroom, wanting to curl into yourself -to fold in half like paper trying to keep a secret all to yourself. On a piece of tissue paper with a pen you took from another employee’s table, you write.
You write about the world outside the office window. You write about the world and the people in it. About how it all seems like a museum, where you look at them from a distance, glass between. About how slowly the child in you dies, everyday as the distant, incessant, dull music of keyboards and beeps grow louder and louder.
“Always live a life of excellence”
He said with a faint smile on his mouth. He gazed at them ,all of them, -his students, his legacy- and with the words he had spoken, placed upon their shoulders his vision, his hope and everything else he believed them to be.
As to whether all of them were paying attention to his fruitful words, one cannot say.
In that semi-lit room, some were chatting, some listening, some daydreaming, some regretting and the rest might be doing whatever else they are preoccupied with.
It was Java programming class. A Saturday. In the AVR room of the Roque Ruano building. That numbingly cold room smelled of socks and paint and technology. We were sleepy and brain-fuzzed -having a mind boggling quiz on Philippine Literature earlier that morning. Some of us stank of coffee, others the smokey smell of Lacson Ave, the rest newly pampered and perfumed.
There were those who believed they will succeed. And there were those doubted their capabilities. There were those who thought they were in the wrong path. And those who simply went with the flow. We are all different. One can easily figure us out in the logic that we use in our programs. The shortcuts we make. The complicated twists and turns. The copied. And the wrong logic.
“Always live a life of excellence”
“Do everything with excellence”
And then you will succeed. One must not live with the Filipino saying: “Puwede na”. Be ambitious. Now what you are capable of. Know who you are. And you will succeed.
Success is within arm’s reach.
To a person who knows where it lies.
I wonder what it feels like to be boundless. To be free of the strong ribbons of society and its expectations. To just ride off into the distant wherever, not minding the dust clinging unto our hair. Feeling the wind blow hard on our faces, arms raised up high, lips stretched into smiles, hearts beating wildly, eyes closed. There will be no worry on our foreheads nor fear in our chest. We will not fear death, or hunger, or being penniless. We will only fear not being able to live out the life bestowed upon us.
I can do this. I know.
It is easy to throw everything -or everyone- away in a snap. I have done this before. Countless times already. Too many wonderful friendships wasted just because I was scared. Turning your back to everything that you’ve known is easy but winning them all back again is a different matter.
It will be beautiful to be boundless. But do I really have the courage to throw them all off my shoulder and ride on towards something uncertain. Into the arms of cruel future with nothing but music and spirit. It will be enough for the courageous. Those who were blessed with steel hearts. Those who are unafraid of the unknown.
Those who are boundless.
Rectangle. Circle. Inverted Triangle. Square.
I felt infinite.
Last night was a flurry of colors and music. Of arms raised up high in nostalgic adoration, of tears falling. Of smiles and laughter, of strangers uniting under the voice of one man. Trumpets, trombones, violins, guitars, and etc. A night of lessons, of gratifying the ignored, of loving everything that is to be. Of fixing the seams of every individual. Of singing together, of dancing and moving and listening. Of knowing where your home is, of realizing that ‘every little thing is goin’a be alright’. Of loving who you are, of looking back through all your years and I realizing that you’ve come a long way. And that you did it.
It was beyond beautiful.
Beyond what I thought words can convey. It was everything I needed. I cried. I laughed. I sang. I danced. And as that man brought us -all of us- into his wonderland of plain music and love, I knew right then who I had to be. Myself. Simply myself. There is no use trying to act like any other individual other than myself. I am no better nor worse than the next man beside me. He made it clear -as he lifted his arms into the air and closed his eyes to the spotlight- that all of us are the same. That all of us must stand and care and protect one another.
He smiled as he sang to us. Serenaded us with his music making all of us fall deeper and deeper into the wonderland that he created. A wonderland where every man is mighty, where every woman is beautiful. There is no intellectual caste system. No rich or poor. As long as one loves he is loved and will be loved by those who also do.
He made us realize the ecosystem that we live in. That every man is needed to fulfill another man’s dream. That everyone in that stadium is beautiful, grand, sublime. He instilled into us that hate is a total waste of time.
“Understanding love is one of the hardest things in the world.”
I have a long way ahead of me.
But his words from last night will always echo in my soul.
This will be my diary now.
A diary to put my memories and misadventures in. I’ve been having trouble hiding my Paris notebook for quite some time now and I cannot bear to think of yet another place of which to put it into. Thus, I took it to myself to just create a private blog and write my days and nights in – afternoons and midnights. I’ll illustrate every passing sunset that I behold, paint every color in the sky and share my secrets and that of others. My thoughts will be confined here. And when I logout, this place exist no more.
This is some sort of escape world.
An imaginarium, if you will. A world I’ve constructed from years past when I was but a girl of an age of innocence. A world I made when reality was harsher than the wildest wave and unpredictable as flames can be. This world of mine lies in my words and in my heart where my rage and love stirs within. Where my God pulls me up and my demons drag me under. I am in constant battle as all of us are. I am no different than anybody else. I am not beautiful. I am not kind. I am as readable as can be.
I am armie.