almost three decades

Thanks to those who have expressed their good wishes on my birthday.

It’s been my ritual to write a birthday post having started it in 2007. You may want to relive those days here, here, and another one here, and of course, last year’s. Or you may want to skip those tirades and enjoy going over these images taken over the past months. They’re snapshots of what I have experienced and undergone. I honestly am wondering where the HTML part of my WordPress post is. I would have wanted to create a photo stream, but good ol’ uploading will do. Come drop by soon to see these photos.

It’s been a good year. I met new people, established new friendships, started getting serious with my MA degree, and even went as far as trying out for a teaching post.

I would have wanted to write more magazine articles but the dearth of offers vis a vis a large pool of freelance, magazine writers vis a vis my lack of marketing skills have made it more challenging. But I fulfilled some vital dreams: I was able to experience travel writing; I wrote two articles for Monday Magazine; I was able to have my poems published in Philippines Graphic; I am a golden girl by claiming a slot in the 50th Silliman Writers’ Workshop and by being mentioned in a literary column.

Speaking of workshop, my memory is indeed failing me. A high school classmate also made it to Silliman, but I didn’t even realize it. She sent me a note via linkedin, and she said “I hope you remember me”. It was a good thing I reread her message; I would have sent a message that contained this line: Great to meet you albeit in the online world.

It is the girlfriend, Jazzy, who acts as my memory bank and so much more. She explained to me who the girl is. I then grabbed our high school yearbook and looked for her profile. Brain cells jarred… Ta-daah! Memory activated temporarily.

As a writer and as an aspiring poet, it makes me fear this imminent slide into forgetfulness. I cannot imagine myself not writing, and I am not gifted with the ability to write without any tools in hand. Fyodor Dostoyevsky did it for The Brothers Karamazov by dictating his novel to his whiz stenographer and future wife Anna. James Thurber also had the knack for dictating his thoughts to a hired person. What can a simpleton like me do? (cue Sustagen Prime ad)

And then there’s my actual anticipation of my parents’ deaths. SMS and calls late at night are interpreted by myself as emergency notifications. Unlike in movies featuring quick reconciliation, I cannot easily relate with them. I don’t know them apart from their role as my financier for my education; I am always at a loss what to say to them. I live away from them now. The only exchange my dad and I have is through peso currency; my mom, through SMS, with her crazy English:

“Gie [that’s me], I’m taking meds for my parchal syndrome….”
“Mommy, baka carpal. Did the doc really say it? Parchal?”
“Ay, tama ka, carpal pala.”

I’ve always thought of myself as a lost person because of my family. But in the words of Louise Gluck, it meant more than pain. Right, Quel?

I’m 29 years old this 26th of April, 2011. 29 being an odd number has a chilling ring to it. As was pointed out by someone, I’m a year away from the dreaded 30. Listen, I don’t dread it at all; it doesn’t make me fret. The girlfriend gives assurance: “We’ll be fine.” Maybe it’s also due to the fact that I have gained friends from Jazzy’s advocacy circle who are older than I am. They’re in their 40s and late 30s, and they’re fine. They have made crazy decisions, they are crazy themselves, but they’re also grounded. They share cautionary tales, but more than these, I see their battle scars, and these make them more endearing.

There are times I ride the MRT with my spirit burdened. That’s when I turn to my music player and get rescued by songs. I have been rescued several times by this song with its words, “And we’ll all float on okay”. And strangely for my personality, I believe it. I cling to it.

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One thought on “almost three decades

  1. […] Today is my birthday. I am 30 years old. As a way of looking back and as my usual way of nerding out, I present to you the links to past birthday entries I wrote for your sheer torture: 2009, 2010, and 2011. […]

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