You know the feeling when you watch a movie the second time around? How that sense of familiarity sinks in and you suddenly realize, Ohhh, that’s what it was all about…? I feel like I am watching things the second time around.
Or the third. Or the fourth. Or the fifth. Or the nth.
One time you took me to Makati and we spent a good portion of the night looking for an open coffee shop. The rain was drizzling on our cheeks. We paused. I told you the story of that one time we ran through the rain, when you sent me off to the bus going back to my hometown. You didn’t really remember. We walked on and settled on the café across the street from your office building.
I almost got lost the next time I tried to go there. Then by the next return, it was like coming home. And now as I roam Ayala’s pavements, I feel like I am watching this movie the second time around.
Today I choose to be grateful, thankful for what 2013 brought into my life. These include the memories (even though they weren’t so great, he tastes like you only sweeter – err, no). Kidding with the parenthetical remark. Yeah, sometimes my mind bursts into song, so forgive me for the Fall Out Boy reference there.
Truth be told, a lot of my memories this 2013 were great and it’s hard to pick only seven. But I can try.
Memory 1: Long Drive and Family Visit. Because I couldn’t go home for Christmas last year, guess who came over for a Post-Christmas + New Year visit? My family! Yey! How cool was it to have the four of us living together inside my apartment like it was some parallel universe where we all stayed under a roof on this side of Southeast Asia? And I got broken into my first super-mega-long-drive too. We went to Penang! It took us about six hours! And I drove a manually transmitted car! Yey!
Memory 2: Writing Revival. The first quarter of 2013 saw an abundance of blog posts both here and in my sorta-travel blog. I wrote in a somewhat feverish frenzy, churning out at least one entry per day. Things got a bit busy by the second quarter though. I started hitting the gym. I started focusing on other projects, too. But I kept writing. And I will keep writing still.
Memory 3: Bali Workation. I got to see Bali! And eat babi guling! Those two weeks in bali were definitely worth remembering. Maygash. I can still taste the babi guling.
Memory 4: Hearts All Over The World. We were churchmates in 2004. Awkwardly close friends in 2009. Ehrm, courter and courtee (okay fine — in the process) when the last quarter of 2011 rolled around. May 2013, I said yes to him. Not, “yes, I do”, but “yes, let’s be a pair” and “yes, I will subscribe to your magazine and all your issues”. Mushy, I know. But then again, I’ve always been full of cheese and mush.
Memory 5: Patico Nuptials + Tramian Adoption. Nanay Patty got hitched this year! Awesome, right? That was one sweet early morning wedding. May ushered in a new season for her and hubby Kuya Ico, but then May ushered in a new season for me, too. There were tears, there were singing (cue Mari’s shaky version of Christina Aguilera’s I turn to you) and some adoption-paper-signing (okay, not really) — 2013 truly marked a big transition in terms fathering in the spiritual sense. So… Group hug, everyone.
Memory 6: Online Learning. This year, I signed up for an online course. Though it won’t give me any credits or certification, it’s been giving me lots of fun information and inspiration. I’ll be sad when the course ends this December 20. Will we at least get some graduation rites? Huhu. (For those interested, my tumblr here keeps a record of things that I have been learning so far.)
Memory 7: Unstoppable Kingdom Moving. ICPM Bangkok. DM Anniv. The Big Move. So this is what it means to be an Unstoppable Kingdom Mover. I mean that both literally and figuratively. We’re staying in a new house now. How many muscles were flexed just to transport everything from the other house to here (we only used a push-able trolley). Are we unstoppable or are we unstoppable? Yeah.
And another yeah there.
Writing all these down, I’m realizing that 2013 has been good. Very good. :)
Now who here believes that 2014 will be even better?
The boxes of memories were piled up. High, one on top of the other. Behind the cartons, through the uncurtained windows, we could see the city skyline. It was different from the provincial view which had welcomed us a day, a week, a month, a year, several years before.
Something inside me crumbled as I realized how transitory time really was and how nothing remained permanent. We were in a new place now. A new season had opened up before us.
* * *
An empty carton lies in front of me. Several more needing assembly sit behind me. I start putting several items in — necessities like kitchenware, towels, and tablecloths. We should have disposed all of those stuff during the first move. But they did contain a lot of sentimental value. And you’ll never know when there’ll be a need for one dining set or more.
We’re moving again. I shall see those boxes piled on top of each other yet another time.
Everything, that is, save for Buffy (my external hard drive), Stevie Wonder (my iPad), Danny (my guitar), Decklen (my point and shoot), and Baggy (my office bag, the one stuffed with important files and folders and, yeah, the one whose name I had just made up on the spot).
I’m glad I was able to salvage them. But all my other belongings are nothing but ashes now.
The letters and memorabilia my friends gave me before I left for Malaysia. The police and AH1N1 reports I managed to collect during my first months here. The books and journals I kept to keep me company during my many moments of solitude. I had packed them all inside an ordinary carton box eons ago. I had kept them tucked under my bedroom’s study table so that I could go back to them antime I needed to. Funny how I had managed to bypass them in my frantic effort to save “the top and important five”. There’s nothing I can do to save them now.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Perhaps it’s a sign. Maybe it means I should simply leave the past behind and move on towards the future.
Accidental as it may be, the bridges have been burnt and now there’s nowhere to go but to go forward.