Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Swimming (in Shit) 2

Am I satisfied with my life? A constant topic amongst friends, either over coffee or buckets of beer, many of us find ourselves defending jaded and cynical answers. Though I often find myself espousing optimism, waxing lyrical and composed retorts, I cannot shake off a pestering thought: do I truly believe the words coming out of my mouth? I try to ignore it, even taking pride in having shared some glimmer of hope amongst a sea of negativity, but it revisits me whenever the question comes up.

Indeed, I am keen on believing that life ain’t all too shabby; and that there are many things one can truly be grateful for. Yet it seems un-happiness is a much easier thing to grasp. I tried writing happy poems once, but I ended up either cringing at the cheesiness of my metaphors or twisting the entire opus into a more dismal offering. Whenever I share how pretty things turn up in a film and wish my life to be similar, expected reactions include either a raised eyebrow or a mordant, “it only happens in the movies.” Speaking of, don’t you notice that even in the Oscars, serious movies have more heft; depressing dramas and tear-jerkers praised highly for their substance and truth? Why does tragedy weigh heavier than comedy? Why is it so hard for many of us to be happy? Have we all become that jaded and cynical?

We all seem too swift to resort to any possible drama and complication, keen on sharing and sometimes even imposing on generous hearts that lend an ear. Maybe because the pain is too comforting and real; and whatever all this shit brings us, we ironically find comfort in it, in its palpable familiarity. Maybe its that insatiable search for love that renders us to unnecessarily dwell in shit. We seek some messiah, some knight in shiny armor, to take all the pain away, whisking us to some "ever after", granting our wish of starting anew. The bigger we ache, the bigger the love we need. The human condition? Nah, Too easy an explanation...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

An Empty Plate

After aimlessly surfing channels on the telly, narrowing my eyes from the glares of random flashy images, I finally had the courage to turn the thing off. I worry not only that it has taken much of my time, affording me even more sloth and inactivity, but that the circles under my eyes have begun to darken and quiver from all the stress.

An empty plate sits beside me. The metallic scent of canned tuna I had minutes ago wafts up my nose as I examine the dried up remnants of the tomato sauce it swam in splattered on the plate. I remember how almost crimson it was earlier, how it offered me the promise of a delicious and nutritious meal, but now a decrepit orange crusts on the porcelain. The lingering odor has become rancid and annoying. A pang of discontentment and regret, as acrid as an impending attack of heartburn, settles.

This is how it is. I, with all my optimism and the best of intentions in tow, eventually end up with gnawing regret, doubt and dissatisfaction. I am well aware that the answers to whatever it is that troubles me lies so close and obvious, and that only I can take on a solution. However, isn’t it that whenever things are nearer, our sight of them falls even shorter? It is our great expectations, our dreams of grandeur, our pining for what things should be that catapult us to an expansive panorama of possibility. Yet why do we feed ourselves when the experience more often than not is overwhelming, exhausting and ultimately, disenchanting? Is it hope? Wanderlust? Wishful thinking?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


There is some sense of in-authenticity which pervades the back of my mind whenever people tell me good news of their personal lives. I know it is right and kind to reciprocate with a positive or optimistic response, to verbally support them in whatever journey it is they have undergone; but I cannot help shake off that cruel side of me riddled with envy and self-pity. I cannot help but compare myself with them. I cannot help but see the lack and emptiness that pains me, causing me to pine for some semblance of the glimmer that they’ve achieved.

Maybe “cruel” is too strong a word. Maybe I simply am human to want what others have. And I know that having such a comparative view can be ruinous to my self-esteem, but I cannot help it. Or shall I say, I refuse to do the opposite. Am I a phony? What is it that I get out from all this positive reinforcements for the people around me, when I end up always feeling on the losing end? Perhaps, if one cannot be happy and content with one’s self, one can never be truly happy for the others around him.

I cannot accuse myself of over-thinking, or even over-feeling. I may be a drama queen, but my current space of unemployment and inactivity has rendered me pensive and terribly bitter.

The other part of me, that which I claim to be more generous and loving, finds my offers of buoyancy to my confidants sincere. Indeed, it is a beautiful thing when someone finds somebody special; when someone finds their true calling; when someone garners praise and recognition for their talent and achievements. I guess it isn’t cruelty really. It’s not that I wish ill of those who’d like to share their joys with me, nor am I conniving enough to aspire to covet what they have. It is the cruelty to my own self that feeds my unhappiness. Indeed, whoever that was that ruminated and said that loving one’s self was the hardest thing hit the cold truth. I’m sure he must have felt like the loneliest and most resentful man in the planet then.