One Light’s Out

CHESTER

It’s been almost 4 months since his light was put out.

That one light that lit up one dim moment of my life.

When I was in grade school, I barely had true friends. Most of my so-called friends then are just people I had to be with because of same advanced classes and school projects. We were plotted to closely work with each other since we had to closely compete to be part of the top list.

Most of them transferred to science high schools and I was left alone, scared of what awaits me in high school. I dreaded moments that I might be an outcast since I was a geek, that I might take meals alone and not really have friends at all.

At that time, my brothers introduced me to different types of music, but Linkin Park’s songs stuck with me.

Their songs reflected my struggles but Chester Bennington’s powerful voice helped me face school days with grit. Through their songs, it felt like someone understood what I’m going through, that it was okay to feel angry and pained and confused all at the same time but you have to rise and face challenges.

I overcame my fears, gained friends and survived high school through their music.

I swore to myself I’d watched them perform live when they get here in the Philippines, but due to my parent’s rules and my brother’s condition, I had to miss both of their concerts held in Manila in 2004 and 2013.

By April this year, news spread out that Linkin Park will have a tour again in Asia and the Philippines was part of their list.

I was ecstatic since I was sure this time that I had all the means to watch them perform live but come July, another news broke out that all the LP fans dreaded.

Chester died due to consequences of his depression.

It was the first article I saw the moment I woke up that morning of July 20th. I didn’t want to believe it, I expected it was just a hoax but more reliable sites released the news. I wept all my way to the office and I cried while working and listening to their songs.

His death was just too painful to face, that we had to lose him to depression that never shows its face.

People may think I was overreacting but it was obvious that from all over the world, millions were affected by his death.

Tributes and benefit concerts were held in different countries to celebrate Chester’s life and different inspirational stories from friends and fans came out and proved that he was the voice of this generation; that his voice lit up not just my life but also those people who had to deal with depression and life-shattering struggles.

Now if you’d ask us who cares that his light went out in a sky of a million stars? Well we do.

But for us, his life, voice, and the light that he instilled in all of us will continue to flicker.

 

 

 

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Mourning

My aunt, my mom’s sister, died last Sunday morning due to cancer cells that have already reached her brain and had spread all throughout her body. She had been fighting cancer for a year so her death wasn’t that abrupt, but it hurts just the same. Actually, I didn’t expect it to hurt this much.

Growing up, my aunt and I weren’t really that close. I knew that she didn’t treat my mom well when my mom was still pregnant with my eldest brother that’s why I always looked at my aunt differently.

I would barely talk to her when she visits us. I would even shrug when she asks too many personal questions or I’ll even leave the room when she comes. Yes, I was that cruel.

So yesterday at her wake, I stood beside her lifeless body, regretting that I didn’t spend that much time with her. Tears of remorse were gathered in my eyes, ready to flow along with my realization that you really don’t get to realize someone’s significance to your life until their gone.

In seconds, flashbacks of her laughter, her captivating smile and her singing voice came to me and I realized that because of my initial anger, I’ve totally forgotten that she was indeed a ray of sunshine on earth.

And I know she’ll continue to be one even if she’s physically gone. She’ll live on with us.

Full Circle. Almost.

I was always told that closure was the best way to move on. 

That when two people are already able to talk about how they feel, whether it’s mutual or it’s one-sided, everything will be better and settled.

Case closed. Full Circle. Everyone gets to accept the truth.

But this wasn’t true, at least for me.

I wasn’t told that the circle does another turn, and I am brought to the start.

My feelings were suddenly back thought not as intense as before.

But the circle does a faster cycle this time- that after I realize I’m relapsing, the realization that this is a situation that is out of my grasp comes right after.

And as I try to breathe in between sobs that I try to contain as much as possible, I chase the other end of the circle so I can hang on it, so I can come to a final full circle.

I have to make sure I tie it into a thousand, maybe million knots so I really get move on this time.

 

He will be out of my life soon. I should move on.

I will move on.

Untangle.

People have always known me as the brave, tough girl. That no matter how fearful or cautious I sometimes am, when the situation calls for it, I go for it, I risk it all.

And of all reasons that I have to be afraid of, I am afraid that I’m becoming happy again.

God knows what I’ve been through the past two years. I reached rock bottom- I lost the career I thought I’d be doing for good and the love of my life left me.

I was beyond devastated.

Then  unexpectedly, there came this man.

With his sunny disposition, appetite for food and life, and harsh yet more often funny antics, I am blown away.

Cliche as it may seem, hours became minutes when I’m with him. Laughter became natural again when he’s around. His wisdom, curiosity and gentleness drew me closer to him.

I get nervous every time I am about to be with him but the moment his gaze meets mine, the kicking heartbeat goes away. I am calm and just… happy.

A friend once told me that when you’re supposed to be with someone, that person shouldn’t make you feel uncomfortable, nervous or too giddy. That person should feel like home.

And somehow, that’s how he makes he feel. Home.

But before I let myself feel anything more intense, I’m writing this down not to confess but to remind myself that I shouldn’t let my emotions win over my sanity and reality.

That no matter how many people say and think that we could ever be together,  I have  this inkling that he’d just shatter me so I’d better save myself before that happens.

Silver linings

My mom’s voice reverberating in the room as she sings 70’s mellow songs while I wash the dishes and my dad folds the clothes for laundry.

My brothers laughing crazily as they makes joke about me and yet I’m loving it.

Smiling at the Christmas lights show like a kid, then I see my good friend standing right next to me with his usual silly face and I realize, he’s going to be my friend for a long, long time.

Visiting a big bookstore with my set of friends and walking around the metro while just talking and taking photos.

My best friends finally getting to laugh after I make fun of the men who broke their hearts, which was then followed with eating too much and drinking until we got sleepy.

Hanging out with a good friend on a weekday, reminiscing just how much we’ve gone through and celebrating our moving on success with two mugs of blueberry beer.

My work friends singing like drunk kids in a car after just belting out songs for three hours in a karaoke bar.

 

 

As I get older, yes I still appreciate the grand gestures, but these simple moments matter more now.

And I’m writing this all down because I want to read this again someday and realize that no matter how difficult life is, these moments served as silver linings.

 

Pause

Today is an emotionally loaded day. I am about to take another step farther away from where I am.

At one point, my heart and mind says go, push yourself to the limit and be in an environment where you thrive.

But also, my heart and mind says stay, don’t move yet and see where this roads lead you first.

Flashbacks.

I gauge my life in flashbacks today. My mind goes back to the days I do field work, days that I go home and cry because I am just too tired yet I sleep peacefully, knowing that I’ve surpassed a very challenging day, I’ve done a difference in this world.

A little fast forward, my mind also reminisces those days I get to spend more time with my family, when I get to do more things for myself because I have more time in my hands.

Do I stick with practicality rather than passion?

Shall I stay or should I go?

I wish it was easy to get answers, but life is a gamble. I have to take risks so I won’t regret anything.

So help me, God.

Crossings

We met at a traffic light

With my head held high, I looked at you

Searched in your eyes where this road leads

Or is it even safe to walk beside you.

 

Hastily, you walked across

Stepping on every line even as the traffic light said go

You called for me, telling me to run

With trust, I tried to catch up.

 

Fear clung to my veins

Yet I followed you with my eyes closed

For several times, I almost got hit.

Gladly, the light finally said slow down.

 

Inch by inch, I threaded the distance between us

Carefully avoided the lines you stepped on, yet I failed.

The moment I got to you, your hands were already cold

Should I stay away now, just as the traffic light says stop?

 

Going back, will I cross the road alone this time?