Many felt that my change in status defined 2005 for me. Well, partly, it did, but not for any other reason other than it started for me some changes that made 2005 such an interesting and unforgettable year.
The break-up took everyone by surprise, but no one was more surprised than I'd been. When the shit hit the fan, I was woefully unprepared. For a time, I made irrational decisions and moves. Then the reality of what transpired woke me up from my fantasy world and I realized there's no turning back.
There was a time when I felt so angry for being the one who was left behind. The person I expected to be with me at my lowest point wasn't there for me. But how could he be? He was the one who brought me there. I grieved for the lost of something so dear to me, something I had cherished for most of my life. It wasn't a fun feeling, being lonely. But my feeling of isolation was entirely my own fault - I did not confide to my friends. Pride has a lot to do with it. I refused to be cast as the victim, I hate to be made to feel more hurt than I already was, I hate to be looked at with pity. But it was a self-fulfilling prophecy because the more I isolate myself, the more I felt miserable.
So I opened up to my friends - not all at the same time, not all at once, but slowly and in the manner I'm most comfortable with - and from the moment they knew, they were there for me.
Despite the distance, the long absences from each other's radar, despite their own busy schedules and own problems - my friends had risen to the occasion to show support. They never asked me to tell them the whole story, they never presumed to know better, they never judged. They made it at least bearable for me to deal with the pain, to forget for a while, to make sense of what happened. They understood why I needed to be silent for a while.
They did lots of things for me, little things I knew were their sweet effort to cheer me up. An invite to a dance lesson, rocking till the wee hours of the morning at Fete dela Musique, a surprise birthday treat, coffeee breaks, lunch-outs and dinners, telephone calls and text messages.
A lot of things were said, but there were those I will remember the most. "You sleep tight, don't think about anything else". It told me that it's okay for me not to face everything all at once, that I was not expected to solve the problem at the soonest. "I always include you in my prayers". It was something I really need during those times I didn't have enough faith in me to say my own prayers. People keep on surprising me. The ones I least expected to be there were the most ready to lend their ears, shoulders and patience. Sadly, there were some who still managed to kick you in the rear even when you're down.
I met new people, gained new friends and reunited with old ones. I saw through their eyes the kind of person that I am. With all my faults and mistakes, with all the mess I stubbornly put myself into, still they've shown faith and loyalty I am not entirely sure I deserved. But I'm trying to be deserving of all that, not just because I owe it to them, but mostly because I owe it to myself to become a better person.
My regret is that I lost the friendship of the person who was my bestfriend for a good part of my life. With all the triumphs I achieved, there is this small ache in my heart for my inabilty to share it with him. Still, I pray that for all my small successes, he may also have one of his own. There were moments when I remember him with fondness and times when I want to shut my mind and heart from the pain of remembering. But time does heal all wounds. I am no longer angry nor grieving. But I'm surprised that there are those who still want me to be. I don't care. They don't know me well so they will never understand the choices I made. The experience was painful, but I learned that there are a lot worse things than a break-up. A friend lost her baby, another had an unplanned pregnancy. There were other break-ups, rejections, friends moving away, an illness. Outside my circle of friends were other heartbreaks: deaths, accidents, disasters, scandals. Other people, friends and strangers, suffered, too. I was not thankful that they lost much more than I did, but it put my grief into proper perspective. I was not singled out to bear this pain because I was not good or faithful enough. Shit happens not to punish us but to test us, to teach us, to make us stronger, to make us hope.
But it wasn't all that bad. It was also a year of blessings and new experiences. Meeting new people, going to exciting places, seeing things in a different light. It was the year that Harry Potter book 6 came out, when I disocvered new books and other authors, when the OPM rock band scene flourished, when I bought an iPod shuffle, and later, an iPod nano, when I got hooked on American Idol and Lost, when I went back to Enchanted Kingdom, when I started to blog.
It was the year when I got to watch a rock gig on my own, when I finally pluck the courage to take a Law school entrance exam, when I invested in mutual funds, when I had my first and unpleasant visit to the derma, when I organized a bridal shower and a children's party, when I tried getting drunk, when I started to bond with my younger brothers. There were plans and schemes, most were half-finished, and some were scrapped altogether. Most didn't pushed through but at least I know I started something.
There were new crushes, chance meetings with old ones, lingering glances at handsome strangers, harmless flirtations, there were friends who tried to play the matchmaker. There were chances I let pass, there were times I was tempted to play with fire. Sometimes I wonder of the could-have-beens, but mostly I feel I am not ready yet.
I learned that some things are fleeting, but just because these ended doesn't mean these were not important nor true. I learned not to judge people based on what I think I knew about them but to give myself the chance to change my opinion of them. I learned to see beyond first impressions. I learned that failures aren't all that bad. I learned I can't forget the past but I can choose to see it in a different light.
It was a year when I woke up and realized I just don't want to exist, I wanted to believe I can make a difference. 2005 was a paradoxical year: so much had changed, yet so much felt the same. There were things I lost and things I found. Times when you just want to hang by the moment but you keep on going. When so much needs to be said but you just give in to silence. When you suddenly found courage when you were most scared. When things felt so awful and so wonderful, so limiting and so liberating, all at the same time.
When 2005 ended, I did not breathe a sigh of relief. I did not wish for a better year than the one that just passed. I did not consider 2006 as a fresh start for me. All I have is a hopeful feeling - may 2006 be the year that I get hurt and still be able to roll with the punches, that i fail and be humbled by the experience, that I get rejected by the wrong person and be found by the right one.
To God, my family, my friends, to everyone who survived the year with me, who gave me reasons to go on. To those who slapped me back to reality, to those who screamed at me to shut up on my overanalyzing. To my friends who are my harshest critics and staunchest defenders, who never always understood but loyally stood by me, words are never enough to thank you all. But still I say it - THANK YOU SO MUCH.
"...for what it's worth, it was worth all the while.
it's something unpredictable,
but in the end it's right,
i hope you had the time of your life..."