Realizing why

More than a year has gone by but I still haven’t broken the link between hurt and thoughts of my past. I don’t know if this also holds true for a lot of people, but there’s a certain feeling inside me that no matter how hard I try to separate the two, there isn’t any way I could dissociate them.

Simply put, when I felt pain, I would always think of him.

It’s not a matter of not being able to move on with what I used to have. The fact that I can now openly talk about it means I’m over the phase of hating everything that had to do with my past. I’m in a better place now and even if that took me so long to realize, I’m glad that I finally acknowledged how much I’ve grown ever since. I would never trade anything for what I have, what I’ve done or for where I am now, but I’ll be honest when I say that sometimes, I just wish I never felt the pain I went through before. It changed me in a lot of positive ways, but it also left me pretty brutal scars which I can never take back.

Some of those scars are translated in the way I see myself and the work that I do at present. I’ve had a lot of doubts about my ability to lead and direct the vision I have for the people I’m handling. I can’t avoid the familiar feeling that somehow, I’ve been through this before. Whenever I have self-doubts, it always goes back to the time I felt like I’ve been questioned by that one person I thought would trust me no matter what. I don’t want to experience that again. I don’t want to go through all the drama of convincing someone that you can salvage something broken because it’s a process that’s just too damn hard. Right now, I’m scared to let down the people I’m working with. I never, ever, ever, ever want to make them think twice about their decision to trust me because I don’t want to let anyone down ever again. For history to repeat itself is not a possibility I’m welcoming in.

I guess this is rooted in the fact that although I know it wasn’t my fault (because really, I’ve tried and tried and tried), my ex made me feel like I let him down. He made me feel like I what I did was not enough…that I was not enough, that I was never enough. There were so many things I was doing “wrong” that nothing I did right was ever acknowledged or heard. I was doing everything I could to be the perfect girlfriend, but all he saw was everything I didn’t do to make him happy. I thought I was that girl and that he was my one, but towards the end, all I felt was that suddenly, all that I’ve worked for did not hold any bearing on the relationship anymore. When he made me feel useless and incompetent, that’s when things began going downhill and that’s when I decided that it had to end.

It is because of this experience that makes me hurt more than I should be at the moment. I know that my current work and my previous relationship have no correlation at all, but the disconcerting feeling of the possibility that I could fail someone again bothers me to no end. I love what I do and I love the people I’m doing it with even more that the thought of merely letting them down a single bit is something my conscience cannot take. I’ve invested so much of my time (my entire college experience, to be exact) in this organization that I want it to end perfectly. I want everything to fall into place at the right moment, at the right time. I don’t want these four years to go to waste because I know it feels. I know how it feels like for your perfectly planned out future to vanish in an instant. I know exactly how it feels like to have your whole life turn into an empty investment overnight.

Things get better and it has, of course, but you can never take away the impact of being shot at a million times. Sure, you go on, you move forward, you stand up again–but it will always sting, bite you in the ass, torment you at night. It will always creep back up during times like this even though you try so hard not to let it get to you. I honestly wish I could get rid of this trigger but I have to face that instead of wanting it gone, I should instead focus on accepting its inevitability. I can’t escape anything, and this shouldn’t be an exception.

I have recently been battling an existential crisis of not knowing what to do next, where to go, or even who to be in the future. Senioritis is probably kicking in faster than I thought it would, but this on-going roller coaster of feelings have left me in such a mess these days. I’m not doing so well in the things I usually do good at. My academics aren’t reaching my standards, my work, although I get done, does not fulfill me as much as it used to and well, my personal life has been a constant game of hide and seek. There are days when I think I know where I’m heading towards, but then there are moments when I find myself thinking, “What the hell am I even doing here?” The past used to scare me, but now, it’s the future that haunts me to no end. What if there was no future? What do I do then?

I’m hurting so much right now and it’s funny because for once in my life, it’s not about a relationship or a lost loved one or some boy I’m secretly crushing on. It’s something bigger now and I guess that’s why I’m doubly scared. This is an organization I’ve been entrusted with and I’m putting so much pressure on myself to do the job perfectly. I’m probably going to hurl at these things I’m saying in 10 years (because I know I’ll get through this soon), but I guess that’s better than still feeling this way by the time I’m 30. By then, I hope that I’ve finally set my feet somewhere stable and can look back at all this with a (judging) smile on my face. When that time comes, I hope I’ve gathered enough wisdom through the years to be able to say “It will be okay,” and believe in it myself.

For now, at least, allow me to indulge in my sappy teenage “Oh my god, it’s the end of the world” story. Allow me to go through these #feels because last time I checked, keeping it in never does anyone any good.

asianTraveler’s 10th Anniversary Issue: OUT NOW!

Tweetie de Leon-Gonzales poses for asianTraveler in this month's Passion Capitals issue

From October-December of last year, I have worked closely with the team of asianTraveler Magazine and helped produce their 10th anniversary issue, with the theme  being ‘Passion Capitals’.

The issue is out today, so I do hope all you folks in Manila and those taking flights in Singapore and Malaysian Airlines, secure a copy right now. I’ve done a couple of pieces, with my recent trip to India being one of the highlights of this release.

I do hope you guys enjoy this issue. I’ve had so much fun working for this publication and I’m sure it’s evident in the pieces that I’ve written. I can’t wait to get back home and hopefully find work again!


The ‘working’ girl (October 18-26, 2011)

I walked the streets of Makati after attending the Rags2Riches Masaya Collection Launch by Oliver Tolentino and only one thing was going through my mind: Gusto ko nang magtrabaho.” After graduation, I bet I would most definitely disagree with my statement above, but as of the moment, I couldn’t have asked for anything more than what I’m doing.

I started working last week for asianTraveler Magazine as an account executive trainee handling client relations before moving on as part of the editorial / writing team. Although I enjoyed managing accounts and doing media visits, I instantly found my comfort zone in being absorbed into the publication.

The photo above contains some of the snapshots I’ve taken throughout the entire week. My officemates, Argie and Mia, made it so easy for me to settle in and I could not have asked for better co-workers ever! They made my first week a smooth-sailing ride and made sure the first job jitters were things I wouldn’t have to deal with anytime during my stay.

The Foto a Foto Exhibit in the Metropolitan Museum of Manila was one experience I’ve added to my list of forget-me-nots. Getting to meet President Aquino III (from afar, though) and the Ambassador of Spain, Jorge Domecq (with photos, too!) in person is probably one of the many highlights this job will get to give me. The Rags2Riches Launch was something interesting, too. As it was my first time to watch a fashion show seated in prime seats, I was definitely awed when the models who graced the stage were right within my reach. Talk about tangible beauty!

This was real, I thought to myself, and it felt so great. I’m pretty excited for the duration of my stay with asianTraveler. I will be eternally grateful to the entire publication, board, and staff for giving me the perfect training ground that I have been long in search for.

Until my next (and hopefully more exciting) post, safe travels ahead!