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Monday, May 21, 2018

The Empty Chair



The ship magician gestured to the empty chair in front of me. "I made him disappear," I said mischievously. "Pouff... Just like that." He looked confuse for a moment, and then he laughed.

I have always hated being alone. My solitariness is usually done out of necessity: nobody wants to hang with me. Or that I feel it's too much effort to get people to hang with me. Or when insecurity kicks in and I feel people merely felt obliged to take me in.

Yet last night, as I gazed on the empty chair, I found peace. My group was dining in the other dining area, but I choose to sit there by myself. It's lonely. It's quiet. It's an anomaly in a ship filled with thousands of people. At the same time, it's comforting.

That night on the ship's dining room I realized I have been gravitating away from my group almost right away. We started as a 36 people group, but I found myself hovering up and down the deck alone the very next day. A little lost soul floating around. And I loved it.

Being content is a dangerous thing. It's highly addicting. I wanted love and companion for sure. I will be lying if I said I wasn't trying to get lucky the whole trip. Or that I didn't feel a pang when I saw my ex-crush's post on Instagram. But I also want that empty chair.

I am content with myself. A great achievement, I might add. I finally loved myself enough to enjoy my own company. The empty chair can stay empty, I am not missing anything. I savor the experiences I have. Every single one of them is wholesome already.

The empty chair might not be empty one day, but it's not going to be an easy feat. It is not going to be mere physical attraction, it will be the dance of the dragons: synchronizing each other's minds and movements, welding each other's goals and passion.

That night a squad of girls walked by, the lead was wearing a sash that says "Bride to Be". A couple can be seen kissing each other on the other table. Insecurity came and climbed on the empty chair, and started to sob hysterically, "Why am I not good enough?"

Abigail, my innocent-looking attendant from Philippine, came and put down the appetizer in front of me. "Enjoy," she said warmly. I looked at the salmon cake. I looked at Insecurity, still bawling its eyes out. "Get lost," I said with a cold, dead smile. "That chair is taken."

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Itty Bitty Earthquake of Love



I have been blasting Rita Ora's "Your Song" for days now. The song made me realize: I was in love. And I am darn happy about it.

I know, I know I sound like a psychopath. The flow of my articles doesn't make sense. But listen, I lost my eyeglasses at the beach on Sunday. FYI, I am blind as a bat, and I lost it while just sitting around. Un-effing-believable.

Then I had to run home sobbing all the way from the theatre because a scene from a play reminded me of how the minority in Indonesia are treated. Those two showed how distracted I was about the Surabaya bombings.

F- yeah I'm gonna write about love instead.

And why not? When was the last time you were happy? The ideal answer would be you can't remember because it's just the norm to be happy, not because it has been far too long. Life shouldn't be that painful.

The thing is, we hold on to our pain and misery, yet not so much on our happiness. Which makes sense. Holding on to our pain allows us to be careful, to prevent ourselves from being hurt again.

Happiness, on the other hand, only make us feel more inadequate, especially when we can't be as happy as we were before. To say "I want to be happy again" takes balls, because happiness is not an easy feat.

But it is so rewarding.

I don't want to be stuck on how he's not in my life anymore. I want to remember the kisses we shared by the waterways. I want to remember his gentle breathing when he fell asleep in my arms. I want to remember his smiles and laughter.

I don't want to be stuck thinking I should have known better. I did. Yet I took the plunge. The big grin on my face when he texted me was worth it. The many things we did together was worth it. Falling asleep next to him on the couch was worth it.

I know I'm totally Taylor Swift-ing right now. Always. Because I don't want to forget. I want to remember the grief because it helped me to move forward. But I also want to remember the happiness, the excitement, the love.

Yes. It was love. Just like an itty bitty earthquake is still called an earthquake, I don't see why love has to be earth-shattering to be called love. Nor does it owe any explanation "I love that person because..."

Sometimes you ended up in love with a person, even when you tried not to [Ahem. Guilty as charged]. It's okay. Even when it fell through, you still get to taste Love. And that's awesome. Love is amazing and to experience it is always a privilege.

In this world full of pain and misery, let love flows like a steady stream. Walk towards it to find salvation, to drink from its endless flow. When you can't find any, keep looking. When you found it, carry some for your fellow travelers.

I have been blessed with love. The tokens of love I give and receive are everywhere around me. How does it make me feel? Grateful. Strong. Hopeful. For I have seen the best in human, and I know we can achieve so much more.

So go out there and fall in love. Enjoy the first kisses, the weakened knees, the butterflies in your stomach. Enjoy the feeling of how heavenly and fitting everything seemed. Enjoy the greatest gift humans are bestowed with: Love.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

I Kissed A Guy



I kissed a guy last night. Totally random guy. He took the empty seat on my table and we chat. We danced a dance, went back to the seats, and then we kissed.

It was the first time I got a random kiss from a random stranger. It was scary and embarassing, especially with other swing dancers around who might not know me by name but definitely recognize me.

But it was good. I needed it.

There were suicide bomb explosions in Indonesia last afternoon. It shook me. The amount of hate, fear, pain going through my timeline was immense. But what's worse is the amount of denial and, for some, silent approval.

I remember the seeds of hate that some people are nurturing, the "They are evil!!!" view for people who are not like them. The streak of discrimination and the obstinence to not speak out even when you disagree.

I was at a concert in Grand Park when I found out about it. I quickly turned into a mess. Dropped my phone, bumped my dance partners, absentminded. I was shaking with emotion, physically and mentally.

And then we kissed.

What I needed last night was a hug, a comfort from someone who care and understands why it unnerves me so much. Which is why I sat by myself at the club, unable to leave because I don't want to be alone.

The kisses gave me the human contact I needed to ground myself. It gave me the gentleness and physical warmth that I badly need. It reminded me that human is precious. That we are also capable of love.

In a dark world filled with fear and hate, we forgot how to human. We forgot how human feels like. We don't see us in other humans, we see danger and threat. And that is such a lonely, lonely existence.

We kissed again before he left, telling me he'll look for me again. I smiled, knowing fully well that I might never see him again. And that's fine. I got up shortly to go home, much steadier and more composed. I wont give in to fear.

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