Conversations with Paolo Coelho's Brida

>> Saturday, January 24, 2009

I read for one evening Brida (Paolo Coelho), the book I bought for my birthday and I thought that I made the right choice. The book was really worth buying. The whole read was like a journey, somehow Coelho had some knowledge of the profound truths of the universe and he had the wisdom to back it up. I didn't know him personally and it was my first time reading his book but somehow I believed him. I find some of the passages in the book imitating life itself. I find some of it similar to what was happening in my life if not applicable to the predicament I'm in.
Coelho talked about those people who are addicted to loneliness, and he wrote:
"people who believe the world to be undignified, inglorious place and who spent their evenings and nights talking on and on about the mistakes others had made. They were people whom solitude had made into the judges of the world, whose verdicts were scattered to the 4 winds for whoever cared to listen."
and I thought this was like me. I always complained about others, about my father and mother and what they did to me, about what others thought about me, about what my friends didn't do that made me upset, about the silly things I complain about just because I was not the center of all attention. I then had the urge to deny this but then, I realized, it's true. I am lonely and it somehow stinged a little, but then I understood and I forgave myself. I felt as if a heavy weight has been lifted off my chest.
Then there was this passage:
"She sensed that she was missing out on something very important in life and that if she carried on as she was, she would simply continue to repeat the same experience over and over again." and so I thought I am missing out on life. This was what my friends have been telling me all along but I never really listened. That's why I repeat the same mistake over and over again and it pressed on me the urgency to find a break into my vicious cycle. I haven't really thought of it as important before not until now, and this book made me realize that.
"By taking risks, by risking failure, disappointment, disillusion, but never ceasing in your search for love. As you keep looking, you will triumph in the end." and then there was this passage. This is another inner conflict I have been denying and belittling all along. I have been always afraid of rejection and my silly preoccupation to it led me to this path of loneliness. So it seemed I found the answer that I have looking for all along.
Coelho continued:
"I'm always starting things and then giving up. She thought rather sourly. Perhaps life would soon realize this and stop presenting her with the same opportunities over and over or perhaps, by always giving up when she had only just started, she had exhausted all possible paths without even taking a single step. But that was how she was and she felt herself growing gradually weaker and less and less able to change...she knew other people who did the same - they, too, got used to their mistakes and it wasn't long before they began to see them as virtues and by then it was too late." and I thought I am now weak, but still able to change. I have gotten used to my mistakes but I think I don't see them yet as virtues, not yet. So this means, I still have time to act and so something about it.
Coelho also talked about choosing paths:
"Choosing a path meant having to miss out on others. She had a whole life to live and she was always thinking that, in the future, she might regret the choices she made now. She wanted to follow all possible paths and so ended up following none. She feared pain, loss and separation. These things were inevitable on the path to love, and the only way of avoiding them was deciding not to take that path at all. Life is so complicated. You had to take risks, follow some paths and abandon others. There are people who followed certain paths only to prove that they weren't the right ones, but that wasn't as bad as choosing a path and then spending the rest of your life wondering if you'd made the right choice. No one could make a choice without feeling afraid." and I thought no one understood me. I was afraid, too afraid in fact, to move and do something. I haven't took the risk at all, it only remained as a possibility for me and I was neglecting the fact that pain, love and separation is inevitable in the path to love, so what's wrong with me?
"Perhaps the time when it goes wrong are teaching you something. Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day." so I guess nothing is really wrong with me. So what stops me from doing something?
Then Coelho said "Never stop having doubts. If you ever do, it will be because you've stopped moving forward, and at that point, God will step in and pull the rug from under your feet. If for any reason we stop, whether out of complacency, laziness, or out of a mistaken belief that we know enough, He forces us on. On the other hand, you must be careful never to allow doubt to paralyze you. Always take the decision you need to take, even if you're not sure you're doing the right thing, you'll never go wrong if, when you make a decision, you keep in mind an old German proverb "the Devil is in the detail". Remember that proverb and you'll always be able to turn a wrong decision into a right one." And there, the answer I have been dying to know all along. Suddenly the path that I need to take became clear. This is what I have to do get me out of this mess. And I thought this is what God wanted me to do.
"Life is about making mistakes. It was a mistake that set the world in motion. Never be afraid of making mistakes. Never be ashamed, accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted, some should only be sipped, but with others drink the whole bottle. You can only know a good wine if you have first tasted a bad one." and I say Amen! to that. Certainly Brida has paved the way for my long-awaited change to consummate. Finally! after a year and almost all my lifetime, the epiphany I was asking for came.


On my Birthday

>> Friday, January 23, 2009

This was my journal entry last Friday, January 16, 2008.

"Today was supposed to be a happy day because after all, its my birthday. Ironically, I feel empty and unbelievably angry and I don't know why. I still haven't probed deeper on the reasons behind the feelings I feel right now, but now is the right time I guess.
I feel empty, maybe because there are so many things that I want to achieve and yet those things remain out of my reach, and that frustrates me. I am getting no younger and yet I haven't proven something yet, I am still the mediocre "nobody" that I was, insignificant and broke. I still believe that there's more to me than this but I don't know what to do. Somehow I am waiting for something but I am getting impatient. I think that life is telling me something but I refuse to listen because I am too stubborn or too complacent. Back then I would argue with my reasons but now I'm starting to doubt myself and the reasons I held back then and now I am so left behind.
I feel angry, maybe because of the apathy my father is projecting. I know I should've not expected my father to be something he is not but something in me longs for that. Am I wrong for asking such a simple thing?
Or maybe its because some of my friends have not remembered my birthday. Not that I want them to reciprocate with the effort I made to remember all of their birthdays but there's just a side of me that needs attention. I know its no big deal really and I will not make such a fuss about it, but somehow its true.
There is this side of me that wants to get even and I don't know yet if I will let it win over me because I know its bad. I can get bad karma too but there's something about consummating a well-thought revenge that makes me enthusiastic. I don't know, its the genes maybe and now I sound like my father.
I want to get a job, but how can I? I have sent resumes all over but they don't call back. What should I do? Shake their heads off till they consider my application?
This dilemma is getting a bit overrated really, and I'm getting a bit desperate now.
In spite of all the pessimism I still feel grateful though. I am now 27 years more wiser than before and I hope I use it right to get myself out of the junkyard I am in.
So the day of my birthday, my father gave me money, although he sounded sour and somewhat forced, he gave it anyway and it annoyed me. Like I needed his money, but I accepted it anyway so I bought two books, the elves of cintra by Terry Brooks and Brida by Paolo Coelho and I thought that it would somehow make teh emptiness I felt go away. For a moment I thought it did but after that I realized its still there so I gave a holler at Weng and to my surprise she hollered back. Weng was with Gersie so I decided to go there in Mandaluyong just to be away. Away from all the people and things that cause me pain.
I came at Gersie's place at around 7 pm and caught them watching Friends. Gersie is having a DVD marathon while Weng was flirting online at downelink.
We watched, talked, and laughed watching Friends wand waited till Danvy, Gersie's new boy toy, arrived. He bought with him food and a couple of beer and when Weng had enough flirting for a day, I had my turn and chatted online. After about a couple of hours I gave up because the crowd at downelink are a bit snobbish. I was about to sleep when Weng asked if I'm sleepy. I said no and like a light bulb I thought I saw her face lighten up and then I remembered she has been bugging me and Gersie to go out and have fun in Malate but I had to say no, so she suggested to have coffee instead at Starbucks Pioneer and I agreed. So Weng and I went out and left Gersie and Danvy by themselves to give them the privacy they needed. It was about 5 in the morning then.
Weng confessed that she wanted to cruise that's why she wanted to go out, and somehow I understood what she meant. Since Yhen's death, Weng has been misery's constant companion and we knew its hard really. Every time I feel the need to talk nothing comes out, and it makes me feel powerless to help her. It's not because I have nothing good to say but I'm afraid I guess that I might say the wrong words and do more harm than good. So we had some coffee, talked and pondered on things. We stayed till 7 am and thought we gave Gersie and Danvy enough time.
Weng and I agreed to have a haircut and stroll in Alabang just to kill time. That gave me the impression that somehow she doesn't want to go home just yet. But knowing Weng, it didn't happen really because she slept it off while I busied myself chatting at
I met two guys there. One doesn't want to give his real name, but it's okay, I don't give a damn really though he was intellectual and I had fun talking, I mean chatting with him. The second one, well I don't remember his name, was just for sex. He invited me to his hotel room in Makati, but I dissed him because I was unprepared and looked haggard, so I can't really risk going there, meeting someone for a hook up when I am unprepared and all.
That afternoon Weng received a text message from his brother that his uncle Ed was rushed to the hospital, eventually he had his third stroke. But strangely, Weng just ignored and ironically felt annoyed because she thought his uncle was being stubborn again. Hours passed and that evening while on the bus going home, her cousin Janet called and told her that uncle Ed progressed into coma, and she broke down. I consoled her on the way and did every thing I can do. We arrived in the hospital soon after and I left after about an hour when I was sure that Weng was somehow okay. The evening after, his uncle Ed passed away.


Distant Grumblings Part 2: Charlie is my love is my infatuation is my past is nobody

>> Thursday, January 22, 2009

"I wanna decide on something tonight. I am really confused because I can't seem to decide on what to do with Charlie. It has been two days since I last heard from him. I begin to question, if what he's saying is real. Are his feelings for me real or is he just playing with me? Maybe I'm expecting something from him when I shouldn't be expecting anything. We have not established the rules of our relationship or is there an actual relationship going on between the two of us? Certainly I don't want to feel paranoid every time he doesn't call, or every time I don't get to talk to him on the chat room. I feel something for him because I wouldn't miss him like this. I miss him like crazy. I want him to come back home and sweep me off my feet. I want to love him, but I just can't right now. I am not also honest about myself, because I say that his sexcapades there in Tokyo with girls is okay when I totally disagree with the idea. There are a lot of things I want to discuss with him but I just can't because what we have right now is so uncertain, so vague, that it is impossible to establish anything at the moment. Maybe what I would really want to do tonight is to just throw away these thoughts to oblivion and let myself be distracted by healthy thoughts."
"Three days now and still no word from Charlie. I miss him terribly, although I could've just opened my email and see if he has sent me a message. I didn't. I know that it is just pointless to think of things that I'm not sure if it ever happened or not. I had the opportunity a while ago but I guess I chose not to do it and now I'm bothered by the choice I made because if only I took a moment to open my email, maybe, just maybe Charlie left a message for me. That he can't call let's face it, he can't always buy a call card for me. He doesn't even know me that well. Certainly I made a mistake here, but what's good about this is at least I am aware of it. I am aware that I made a mistake and I know that it's too late to wallow on these thoughts but I guess it's good also to know that I'm able to express it all here. I just hope that tomorrow, I get to see Charlie on the chat room and finally talk to him."
"Earlier I opened my email and guess what? No message from Charlie. Days passed and something becomes clearer everyday, that I couldn't continue on with this. Day after day I become more aware that what I have and what I fee for him is nothing but infatuation. Although I am not sure yet if he is just playing with me but its not hard to assume. I finally set free this heavy burden that has been bothering me for the past four days. But what if he comes back? Then I'll talk to him, but I'll never fall for his pick-up lines again. If he is really for me? Then he must prove it. He must come home or it will never be us. Time to set my eyes around, my gaze has been fixed for too long."
"I was able to talk to Charlie earlier. Like what I thought, he was busy partying and he entertained a guest. All along I was waiting for the feeling to come back. But it didn't. Its like I'm more cautious, more aware, more doubtful of his advances. But I still like him though. He told me that he can't answer yet when he'll be back, if its for good or just a brief stay, because he's not sure yet, as if the answer is not his. And now I cant smile like before because now I am clouded with doubt and insecurity."
"Charlie is as usual a no show at the chat room today. I somehow expected it to be like that. Like I am numb to the pain."
"I tried logging on at around 6 pm. Charlie wasn't there. Maybe he went by and logged off early. I don't know. I just know that now its easier to breath because I know what I shared with him was just a dream and I had to wake up eventually. Its just sad to wake up from a wonderful dream but I gotta admit Charlie is far from reality right now. I'm kinda fed up of his excuses, he couldn't keep up with his own words, his words are inconsistent with his actions."
"Two days ago, I was able to chat again to Charlie. I learned from him that he had a car accident because he was drunk driving and so justifies his sudden absence. But to be honest, it never struck a chord in me. I felt pity for him yes, I still care for him, maybe a little, but I guess I have a grip now of my feeling for him. I am here and he is there, and now I am aware of that space between us."
"About a week ago I learned from Charlie the whole truth about why he distanced himself. He said he was kinda worried that I'm like forcing him to be with me, to go home, to be here and have a relationship. It was like a slap in the face. The words were like knives stabbing, but I guess the truth really hurts. What also is clear is that there is a big difference in our expectations. He was merely playing while I was getting serious already. At first I felt angry, of course it is an insult to my ego, but of course after careful thought I realized he has a point, I don't have the right to be angry, and so I said sorry. Now like before, whenever I talk to him, he doesn't seem to reply back. He tells me he's busy. I don't care."
"Two days ago I had a brief talk with Charlie. He said he had to cut the chat short because he was sleepy. It took me a day to realize that I should tell him what I felt that time. I told him the truth, that i felt angry and betrayed by what he did to me. So I told him I needed the closure so that I can move on, so that the next time we talk I can comfortably chat about it and remember it as nothing more but a lousy memory we used to share."
"I was actually more surprised to meet tokyoboy again at the chat room. It seemed a very long time since we last talked and yet I still feel a figment of anger I felt when I learned the truth from him back then. I actually planned on being silent until he noticed I was there. We talked much like before, updating ourselves of what has happened from our lives since we last talked.
I learned from him that Rayan was telling him the things that I have told Rayan about him. I was clearly annoyed but I had to pretend I'm not. Well as usual he said there's nothing wrong about it, because at least I was being honest and that he liked what I said. But it didn't affect me. He told me that when he comes home he will surely never forget to treat me. I don't want to expect anything from him anymore."

"It is always painful to accept rejection. How a person can sway you with words you believe at once and then you fall and then suddenly leaves you hanging.
It is always unfair to leave someone feeling the injustice of being not able to answer all the questions that baffle him that only the person that left can answer and realize that he is gone forever and that there is nothing you can do about it. A gaping hole is left. That person remains empty until such a time that he learns to forgive that person and himself and often forgiveness comes along only after so much damage has been dealt already.
This is reminiscent of what happened between me and Charlie. I still feel the hole he left when I read my past articles about him. Have I forgiven him? Yeah, I think so. I have accepted the fact that is just meant to be this way."


Distant Grumblings Part 1: Charlie is tokyoboy is my infatuation is my love

Since I can't think of anything to write for the mean time, I will be showing my past journal entries. This was written on last year, january 26, 2008 and it was about a certain man I met at Bi-laguna (MIRC).

"I met someone today at MIRC. His chatname is tokyoboy. Well when I asked him what brought him there, its because he was looking for a sensible person to chat with. Our chat was okay. I never thought I would ever feel this way again. The last time I remember feeling this way was when I and Larry (kingpokpok) had communication still. But I have learned my lesson, or so i think. But I do like him. I do hope to chat again with him sometime."
"I wasn't able to chat to tokyoboy today because I was out almost half the day. When I checked on bi-laguna, I was too late. He went offline already. I will chaeck on him tomorrow and I hope to see him there. By the way tokyoboy's real name is Charlie. I am just enjoying my time with him I guess. He has a baby coming although he doesn't want to tie the knot yet. He is kind and sensible but it is as usual too early to presume that I know him too well. He wished that I find my man soon. That would mean that he was not my man, although its best not to presume anything I still have my hopes who knows? i just dont want to expect, I just want to enjoy every moment that I have with him."
"It has been five days since I met Charlie and already I feel something for him. I dont know what it is exactly but what Im sure of is everytime I talk to him I have this special smile only he can make me wear. I know its dangerous to cross the river this early and yet something tells me that what is important is that Im happy right now. I know that I have my doubts as well, but will it do me good? I dont know either, this feeling is clouding my judgement.
Maybe what I should do is to stand back a little bit and assess everything. I know I have experienced this a long time ago. I followed what my heart told me and all I got was nothing. he left me and suddenly vanished like that with no remorse. I dont know why he left because he didn't even bother to explain why.
Earlier he was there at the chatroom, but he was idle I thought maybe he dozed off, or he's busy doing something, many things are running in my mind right then but they aren't healthy I know because Im setting my expectations again. I have to set up my defenses anew and check regularly on loopholes. I dont want mistakes again because I have learned my lesson."
"I was able to chat again with tokyoboy today, and it didn't went quite well. He was busy yesterday. I reminded him that I sent him a message about 3 minutes before he logged out, and it didn't affect him. Well maybe because he had a killer hangover. I dont know. I try to give him the benefit of the doubt I guess. I am confused really. I am torn between dissing him and remaining to be a stranger or understanding him and giving this another try. If I weigh the odds right now, Im on the losing side. Id my analysis is correct then I should be dissing him because, one, he is in Tokyo and I am here in the Philippines, two, he seems to be too much lax, too bad boy of an image, to wild to be tamed, too overwhelming of his personality, too unpredictable, three, he has a son who's in Davao and plans to marry a girl someday and have a family. This seems to be the most palpable mistake I will ever make if I then choose to make out with him. But then again, when I think about he coming here again, or I have prejudged his personality when I havent known him that personal yetand that all of my fears about him are just mere speculations that havent happened or may never evn happen, my mind makes a 360 degree turn back and bring all the odds in favor of him, this is why I am confused. Maybe I should just stick to the plan, and go along, besides its all too early to tell. I know my gut feeling will tell me what to do."
"I was surprised when Charlie called a while ago (11pm). Well not that surprised but nevertheless I was still surprised, because he said earlier that he would call. We were able to chat earlier at around 4 pm. He told me that he missed me and I told him that I missed him too, and that's the truth. He missed me a lot that he has been acting kinda wierd lately. Well not that wierd totally because I wanted him to be like this. He asked permission to court me all the time while we were chatting I feel like I am floating. He was saying flowery words and I will be true because I liked it. I like him and I don't care if he's not that gorgeous, because to me he is gorgeous enough. I hope that this goes well, I am just afraid that the same mistake I made with Joey will happen again. But then again these are all fears. Just fears and like all fears I can surely conquer them. What is important is at least I tried. Mistakes happen for a reason. I still want to think that maybe, just maybe, its Charlie this time."
"Charlie and I were able to chat again earlier. We talked about a lot of things. What I liked about him, what he liked about me, and other stuff. I told him what I think about him the first time I met him. I can't really describe the way I felt all the time we're talking. I was smiling, blushing and felt light-headed. It was something unusual to me because I never felt this before. Though I like him, Im afraid to fall for him yet, because it's too early. I just want to take things slow, and not rush and I hope Im right about this."
"My relatonship with Charlie has gone from a simple chatmate to somethin special. He calls me heart now. I am happy he does, but I am still confused, because there are a lot of things on my mind that is doubting my sanity, if my decision is correct. Well, I am not sure of long distance relationships, if it works. Ofcourse I still want him, but I want him beside me, so that I can tell him personally, or better yet so that I can let him feel that I fallen for him, that I treasure him, that I care for him, because its more than words can tell. I sound cheesy now. Am I in love? I hope not yet, because I dont want to get hurt in case, but isn't it true that to love we must feel pain as well. I am really confused. I hope I can maintain my composure for as long as I can, for as long as I need to be."
"Its 11:16 pm and Im thinking of Charlie. I really miss him. This is what Im afraid of, that if ever I decide to go and make out with him, I'll be doomed to be like this, always paranoid, always worried, always thinking of him. Certainly I dont want this but I dont want to lose him either. I think all I need to do is to distract myself for the time being. I need to make myself busy so that I'll lose focus on thinking too much crap."


Is getting older synonymous with getting wiser?

>> Sunday, January 11, 2009

Four days from now I will be a year older, but I have been thinking, will I also be a lot wiser? I think so and I hope too because right now I am stuck in my 'twilight zone' and it sucks. I am disconcerted with the thought of doing something or waiting for something to happen and from taking a big leap or accepting that I am contented with the bubble I made for myself.


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