Where There’s A Will

Aside

I don’t believe in fates, or predestined lifetimes. I don’t believe in right people and wrong times. I don’t believe in luck. I believe in wills. I believe that, no matter how cliche it sounds, life is what you make it. I believe that you’re going to come at one point wherein you’re going to make the decision of accepting things the way they are or you continue with faith in your vision.

It’s pretty morbid, actually, how I’ve come to that mindset. I read a short horror story called Where There’s A Will when I was around ten, and the story stuck to me ever since. A man found himself buried. He crawled his way out, and though I have yet to recover my copy and refresh myself – as me as a ten-year-old didn’t particularly get the gist of everything – I remember his rants and rambles of rivalry, about how he’ll show them that this “joke” of being in a coffin was going to be turned around on them. He managed to find a gas station and called his wife, but he got hung up on in the middle of discussion.

When he turned to face the mirror, he found himself staring at a reflection of a decaying corpse, the flesh already eaten away to show bone. I remember reading about a lighter he found in his pocket, engraved with a name and the phrase, “Where There’s A Will”. He continued to look at it as the shock dawned on him.

It was the first time I admired the extent of how powerful a human being can be, and only with his will. The character was fueled by pride and vengeance.

And I’m fueled by the means to prove and improve. I believe in wills, and I believe in mine. And I will myself to be on a gradual rise to success. No matter what happens. I believe in it. And I believe that somehow, somewhat, what you believe in reflects in your actions. And so visions become realities. I believe in yours. I believe in everyone’s will, as well as the universe’s. There’s this possibility of a higher being around us and upon us, may it be God in your religion, or maybe you don’t have one – but I believe in its will. It’s the moral compass, the limit, the ever-present reminder. I believe that fighting for something as long as it’s moral and doesn’t step on others and you have the actions to back up what you envision – it will happen. Because you willed it to be.

I don’t believe in fates, or predestined lifetimes. I don’t believe in right people and wrong times. I don’t believe in luck.I believe in wills. It sounds cheesily optimistic and new age, but I believe in it. In envisioning and establishing and enacting through it, in the long run, you’ll see yourself in the place you dreamed you will be in.

Problems and doubts aren’t challenges with it, and being content with “that’s just how it is” isn’t going to work, and neither is expecting the world to revolve around you. Work with the world. Work with society. Never just settle for less than you can possibly give, or get. Choose your own fate. Predestine your own goddamn lifetime. Make the time right.

After all, the other half of the saying does say that there’s a way.

 

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Cutting Ends; Cutting Ties

Standard

This is personal and is going to sound ridiculous.

It’s been over two years since my last haircut. It went from the small of my back up to my shoulders, and there’s no denying, perhaps, that I look better and it’s more efficient during the summer, but God, it felt so much like a symbolic act. I’ve been holding off cutting it, even when everyone was telling me to do so. All the way home, I kept fingering the ends of my hair and running my fingers through it, getting surprised every time I see my reflection.

I don’t look like myself anymore. And I think I no longer am.

There’s a bullet point in a list of signs of a suicidal individual. It states there that sometimes, when people feel like they’ve lost control of everything, they control something that they can, and that shows in said bullet point: a drastic change in appearance.

I think, for me, it was the other way around. Everything else has been spinning out of control and I refused to admit it, refused to address how chaotic everything was, how it’s been taking a toll on me – I was in control, as far as I was concerned. Even when it was obvious that I wasn’t. Haven’t been for a long time. I wanted to reach for the scissors and cut off my goddamn hair so many times but I couldn’t; I would look too different and I was staying this way; there was nothing wrong; I didn’t want anything to change. Nothing was going to change.

But they did. And I was there, holding onto everything, still reliving yesterdays, still waking up at times with dreams of how things used to be, still crying in the morning when I realized they weren’t true. I’ve been crawling my way back up. I’ve been handling things fine; better than I thought I would; but I was feeding off the fact that I was holding on.

Until today. When I realized I should be practical and cut my hair off because the heat in the Philippines is close to hell during summer, and it’s time to stop being this way. It’s time to admit that I’ve changed, and that everything has.

There’s a piece of writing on my desktop that remains unfinished. It was one of those writings – I know this has a term that I forgot – where I was referring to a “you”, having a one-sided dialogue that I can post without people having to know who the hell I was referring to. Sometimes it’s fictional. Sometimes it’s real. It was the latter that time, and I was talking to myself. I accused myself of wanting to set a girl on fire and have her ashes scattered away by the wind.

That piece is years old, and only recently did I figure out I was talking about killing myself. Over time, I managed to insert a paragraph or two on the metaphorical rebirth, though, like said above, it remains unfinished. I didn’t know how the rebirth was going to happen. I was stuck on the impossible feat of wanting to die and wanting to live.

I no longer am. I’ve died and I’m living, right now.

I think cutting my hair is no longer a sign of a suicidal individual. It was the end of it. Over two years of it and holding on and I’ve killed myself. And at the same time? I was reborn. I’m leaving myself behind. I’m taking who I’ve been for the past few months with me, and I’m going to have a pretty great time.

So, hi. I was the girl who cried over you. I was the girl who ruined your reputation. I was the girl who lied to get my way so that it could agree with yours. I was the girl you constantly undermined. I was the girl who chose people over herself to belong for once; to be liked; to be accepted. I was the girl who kept her hair long just because you once said you liked it. I was the girl who fought for you. I was the girl who manipulated you. I was the girl who shook with the mere idea of going up in front of thirty people. I was the girl who gave everything she could. I was the girl who didn’t know how to breathe whenever memories come up. I was the girl who could never leave people behind, not even when they themselves have left her. I was the girl you were all surprised to see to talk, to win contests, to get high scores, because I was the girl who was low and stupid. I was the girl who followed her own heart no matter where it led her.

I’m the girl who still lies to cover up her real intentions. I’m the girl who’s brutally honest. I’m the girl who tried all the things she used to be incapable of. I’m the girl who prefers to be alone. I’m the girl who never cries in front of people; who never could act properly because she no longer knew how to channel her emotion. I’m the girl who still thinks of you every night and every day, even when it’s been months and years since we last talked, let alone met. I’m the girl who will always love you but will never act like it. I’m the girl who’s expected to know the right answer. I’m the girl who’s stopped reaching for the phone to call you when I can’t breathe because I know you’ll never answer. I’m the girl who’s starting to achieve every dream she’s ever had. I’m the girl who cut her hair because screw what you like, anyway. I’m the girl who wrote you too many letters and a goddamn comic book. And I’m still the girl who follows her own heart, no matter where it’ll lead, but this time? I’m the girl who’ll think twice before she does it. I was all of those, and I am all of these, and now…

I’m going to be so much more.

Of Distinctions and Same Tales

Aside

“It is interesting to observe with what singular unanimity the furthest sundered nations and generations consent to give completeness and roundness to an ancient fable, of which they indistinctly appreciate the beauty of truth.”

“…This fond reiteration of the oldest expressions of truth by the latest posterity, content with slightly and religiously re-touching the old material, is the most impressive proof of a common humanity.

All nations love the same jests and tales, Jews, Christians, and Mahometans, and the same translated suffice for all. All men are children, and of one family. The same tale sends them all to bed, and wakes them in the morning.”

– A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, Henry David Thoreau

Quote above is one of the paragraphs I’ve highlighted whilst falling in love with Thoreau himself. However, it did remind me of a certain nagging thought buried deep in my head on complications of distinctions of humankind. Skin color. Gender. Race. Religion. Distinctions that somehow puts you on some hierarchy of humanity and of value; distinctions that some seem to think as dents on an otherwise uniform and perfect truth, that some think necessary to be weeded out, when in reality, and ironically, these distinctions are simply mankind being mankind, different, evolving, changed and changing, unique, seeking out the same truth as everybody. The fight against prejudice is still not won, for that is humankind, too; or rather, what humankind has come to be, with inheritance of a deep-seated prejudice with some caught unawares of it. It’s funny, really. We curse the ones that are different from us and yet we praise the one we believe made all of us with the same lips. We curse their different ways but choose to be blind on what makes us all the same. The same tale sends us to bed and wakes us by dawn. The same questions nag at us and force us to seek answers for our own. The same joy, the same sadness, the same complexes. One humanity.

It’s all that really matters.

Summer

Aside

She’s beautiful like summer, he thinks, beautiful and tragic like summer; warm, the days with her filled with anticipation, with free-spirited excitement and adventure and comfort. Her touch is the scorching heat, her voice the call of the waves against the shore, her eyes the brightness of the yesterdays remembered and the futures to be made, her lips the escape to jungles and seas; to adventure; to anywhere; to nowhere. Her presence lingers and never stays, but there it is, her raucous laughter turning into a serene tilt of her lips; the promise of return in her smile; the cool breeze setting in as she turns to leave.