Saturday, January 1, 2011

To Owe Juan One

A New Year Monologue

What comes next may not necessarily reflect the pun and fun in the title of this post. But for the sake of instant creativity, let’s say I’m calling my blogsite Juan, which, yes, could also pertain to the archetypal Filipino—but I digress too quickly like always, and to imply that I have so much social relevance in me may sound pretentious—so let’s just go back to “Juan,” my blog personified with a new name, but just for today, alright, and let me say then that I owe him big time, because I haven’t paid my respects to this sweet electronic home of mine, I haven't blogged for so long, and so, indeed, I owe Juan one.

It’s amazing how that previous paragraph counted more than a hundred words already yet had very little essence. Life, my life, that is, may have been like that lately. Too many events, developments, if you will, but hardly enough significance. Or maybe this is just me indulging in self-pity again. I guess it’s because I’ve been listening more and more to D____ R____’s songs in the wee hours of the morning, which is considered taboo: You do not listen to D____ R____ in the darkness of the night lest you will be driven mad by the most artful, romantic, and poetic but nevertheless suicide-inducing music ever!

But let’s leave my good friend Damien alone; this post is not about music or suicide or death, but rather self-introspection, new beginnings, and, well, life. Whoever is not urged by the onset of a new year urges to look back into the past year, to see what we have done, what have become of us, and what have not? Positivists would say, count our blessings and aspire for more. Looking back now, my own 2010 has not been that bad. Actually, it was exciting. I didn’t have a car, or got a raise, or have some awesome love/lust life. Nothing “major-major,” really, but still, it wasn’t that bad.

Wait, (as I pause in writing now), I realise that when someone uses the phrase “not bad” instead of “good,” that means something, right? (Shit, now I have just used two indefinite pronouns in one sentence; had I/it been so freaking bad?) Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I could have been so much better. But still, who wouldn’t? Maybe the man (or woman) who won the 700-million-peso lotto jackpot. Well, he/she may be so freaking rich now, but is he/she really happy? (I had to say that rhetorical question, for the sake of emotional argument, but deep-down inside, I really think whoever that super millionaire is must be so freaking happy now.)

Going back to the pith of my post, I’m glad to say that I’m still thankful for everything that went my way in the past year. I don’t intend to define or measure my happiness right now, but let me just say, I’m not “that sad.” So whatever transpired in my 2010 anyway? Well, I finally left ABS-CBN and am now working for a new (non-television) company somewhere across UP. And oh, UP: I was admitted to the open university program last year, but I didn’t, couldn’t, pursue it. Maybe this year? I don’t know, I don’t think so. I visited the campus a couple of times last year and felt that it wasn’t the same great school I left six years ago. But that’s another topic…

So what else? Right, I was in love. Not just once, but twice! (Or thrice was it?) And got heartbroken, too, not just once, but twice! (Or thrice was it?) I, too, may have broken some people’s hearts. I can’t be too assuming; I’m not as hot as I used to be, haha! And I would rather be the “heartbreakee” than heartbreaker. It was an exciting year, I told you. But again, that warrants another blog post.

On friendships, I got into some real serious quarrel with an old friend. And then months later, we’d patch things up. What reconciled us: Distance. I also met a couple of interesting new friends. And interested ones, hehe.

On being an ________, it was generally an uncreative year for me. I did not go back to ___________ like I planned. I still haven’t bought a guitar despite having bookmarked too many guitar lesson websites and even made deals with actual guitar tutors. And about writing, like I’ve said, for a long time I haven’t blogged, which is already the simplest form of writing for me. Which means I did not write at all. Well, I studied and wrote some poetry last summer, but beyond that I had no work of art (or work of heart) that would have been worth publishing and sharing to the world. Plus I got rejected by two national writing workshops, and as usual got depressed and lost confidence in myself, and so I did not submit at all to any writing contest. I could have applied to the Ateneo Workshop, but I was too faithless and lazy to write at the time. The closest I got to being creative is writing English subtitles for indie films. But that wasn’t too challenging. It was more of translation than real writing. I have a whole library of untouched books back at home, and the apartment I now live in has even more awesome books that are just waiting, begging to be read. I didn’t just did not write, I did not read too. This part of my life really sucked. I always thought of myself as a writer who may never change the world, but could his own, yet I was always preoccupied with, uhmm, procrastinating. If I were to make a concrete new year resolution, it should be this simple: To Read and Write.

I didn’t get richer, too. That one’s obvious. Dead broke a couple of times, jobless for a while. Bought a new laptop, though, but no new phone. I’ve never been a gadgety guy, anyway. (Because if I were I wouldn't use the word gadgety.) I didn’t have new shoes or jeans either. And I did not travel at all. No trip out of the country, not even beyond Luzon. Nothing more to put in the log sheet of acquired things. So I’m afraid I’m still someone who could look and sound sosyal, but is so dugyot deep inside.

Oh, yes, but of course, I got a new puppy named Stanley whom eventually got called “Tan-tan” (a pet's got to have a pet name!). A fluffy white bunch of joy who has dugyot blood too but mixed with some handsome spaniel breed, he is the current love of my life. (And he’s turning a year old on 9 January, on the very feast day of the Nazareno.) Tan-tan is like my second child, after my twelve-year-old sister Kim, who is actually my niece, but is really more like a daughter to me. See, that alone sounds complicated. I guess that’s just my life. Not just my 2010, I suspect this new year, too, as all my future years will be.

As far as I can tell I murdered no one, or got anybody pregnant, or stole anything that costs more than twenty pesos last year. If every January I have to be thankful for I’m alive and that my family’s healthy, well, that can’t be too bad, eh? So I guess it was a good year, after all. But who am I kidding? I could be writing this in the new year of 1999 or 2012, and still mean and feel the same. A cycle of regrets and hopes, that’s just how life goes. I think what counts is that one has the sanity and strength to look back and feel, and move on and feel. If we all could feel the energy to be good or power to be better only once a year, then this is the best time for that, when we are starting all over.

So who is Juan, really? He could be this blog which is a blog post richer today, an impassioned one at that. And Juan could be you, my reader(s), whom I wouldn’t really urge to read my articles here any further, as this is just full of my emotional crap and shitty heart.

Or perhaps Juan is myself, and I am Juan. And I owe Juan so much.

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