Song of the day: Tell Me How You Feel by Joy Enriquez

Our zumba instructor used this song in class last week and I was immediately hit by waves of nostalgia. I was in high school when this song was released, and I remember thinking how I could relate to the song. You know, the typical crushing-on-the-cool-guy-who-doesn’t-know-you-exist kind of thing. HAHAHA. Don’t tell me you never had one of those high school crushes?? Anyway, I think the beat of the song is quite characteristic of the popular songs of those years – around 2000-2003 – and hearing them always give me good vibes. High school wasn’t my favorite, but life was much simpler then, and that’s always a refreshing thought these days. 🙂

Post-clubbing thoughts

The only reason I decided to go was because I couldn’t sleep from all the endorphins released by my stint at the gym. I’d finally agreed to meet my friends at around 11pm. It was the first time in the quarter of a century that is my life that I’d stepped into a legit club. It was supposedly the newest and most exclusive club in town. The lobby was unassuming and normal enough looking. I was under dressed for the occasion, as expected, and had been told to please wear something closed or with heels next time. I gave the receptionist a small smile and shrugged, stepping tentatively through the massive black doors, Union Flag top and black jeans in tow.

Music was blasting against a backdrop of geometric and/or flashing lights that, to be honest, made my head hurt slightly. It wasn’t too full when we got there, so we proceeded to our overpriced table that was much smaller than the ones at Starbucks. Deciding to make the most out of what we’d be paying, I ordered a Jack & Coke instead of the usual beer. Minutes passed and people started trickling in. I was quite surprised by the diversity – everyone from foreigners to yuppies to college students to socialites to people who looked as equally uncomfortable as me.

I had no idea what the dynamics inside a club were, so I proceeded to imitate my friends and dance, though my move consisted mostly of stepping from side to side. I wasn’t drunk enough to bust more ambitious moves. And then suddenly four guys approached our table and started introducing themselves.

I will admit that what happened next was quite a blur – and I do mean this in an intentional way because I would rather not remember in detail the awkwardness that ensued –  but to summarize: I got hit on by a college student who thought my name was Julia, but decided on calling me Annie because I apparently reminded him of the said character in Community. I didn’t know whether to find it cute or insulting (he actually gestured that I had sizable boobs – what?), but I tried my best to roll with the punches. We had a decent enough conversation, with him managing to reveal how hard he was trying to make himself cool while exposing his naivete in the process. Thank god those places were naturally dark or else he would have caught me cringing more than once. He eventually had to leave and actually kissed me on the cheek before I’d even realized what he was doing.

That was not the first time our table got approached or handshakes were exchanged. Conversations were screamed, and half the time I didn’t even know what their names were or what the hell they were saying. So I just smiled and nodded and hoped they would eventually go away.

Since drinks were expensive, I never really got the chance to get drunk so I couldn’t let loose. To be fair, though, clubs are good venues for people watching. There were lots of attractive people that I could have spent hours staring at but which, due to propriety and whatnot, I couldn’t. Then there were the middle-aged people who were really going wild on the dance floor – and while it was slightly entertaining, I didn’t know whether to feel ashamed or sorry for them. But hey, it’s their life (and we later on found out they were on some sort of pub/club crawl and left for some other happening place). There also seemed to be an office gathering, a large group of people who were hooting and yelling at one another while bystanders watched bemusedly.

And then there was us. The singles. Were we there for the dancing? The music? The drinks? Or were we hoping to be swept away that night by some handsome man with decent moves and musty smelling cologne? Then again, what were the chances of meeting someone special in a club, when admittedly, the agenda of the majority was to simply have a good time? What were the chances of, at the risk of sounding cheesy, finding that one person for you inside a dark place with pulsating lights and music that wouldn’t even allow you to construct proper sentences? Perhaps we weren’t in the right place; or rather, I wasn’t in the right place. (I’m not saying it’s not possible, because I know some percentage out there might have met the love of their life at a club. I am merely speaking for my case.)

I’ve always been more of a pub/home drinking kind of person with great friends and even better music. I appreciate good conversations, and with house music blaring like we were all hearing impaired, the club was certainly not an ideal place for that. I had, however, always been interested in what goes on inside these exclusive clubs, and managed to get an idea that night. I know I shouldn’t generalize as it was only my first time, but it has cemented the fact that the clubbing scene is really not for me. I’m not an acquaintance type of person. I loathe small talk, and awkward first meetings are right up there on my least favorite things (right next to flying cockroaches). I don’t invest my time or emotions just like that, which is probably why quick fixes don’t really work for me in terms of relationships (whether friendship or something else entirely).

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the night, mostly because of my friends. But I’ll tell you what, I had an even better time after, when my friend and I decided to leave early and stuff our faces instead with pancakes and hash browns at a nearby IHOP while we lamented existential matters and the state of our love lives – or in my case, lack thereof. Ah, yes, now THAT was a bloody good time.

wondering (and wandering)

i wonder how it feels
to be consumed with passion about something
or someone, maybe
but more of an experience
of not being able to breathe or sleep without working towards it
to the one that consumes your thoughts
the one that gets you out of bed every single day
and be the best you that you can be
(or not get out of it out of the sheer helplessness of wanting)
because knowing that you didn’t give your all
would break your heart
because it deserves your best
it deserves your all
and so much more

i wonder how that feels
and i’m scared
because i might spend the rest of my life wondering

Nowhere else to place my feelings

Last night, I had the opportunity to see The Script live in Manila for the second time. I’d first seen them back in 2011, and that was when I officially became a fan. At that time I’d only known their more famous songs like Breakeven and The Man Who Can’t Be Moved. A week before their show, I scrambled to learn the rest of the songs from the Science and Faith Album. When I heard You Won’t Feel A Thing live, it instantly became one of my favorite songs of all time. It is beautiful lyrically and musically. Nothing was bittersweet in delivery and the story behind it was something many of us could relate to at some point (at least in feeling, if we never got around to picking up the phone).

I swore I would watch them again if they came back. And they did, last night. While it was evident that touring was taking its toll on the boys – they are only human, after all – their spirits still defied physical constraints and their emotions bled through every song. The crowd was so much better and much bigger this time around – the energy was electric and constant. Not a single moment when no applause or scream or declaration of love could be heard. Goosebumps were ever present and the coliseum simply flowed with appreciation for the band’s talent and hard work.

Watching and hearing them also, if I may borrow a line from Love Actually, put my life into a rather harsh perspective. As Glen beat the shit out of the drums, and Mark danced with his guitar across the stage and Danny sang his heart out for the audience, I felt so small. There they were, touching and saving the lives of people through one of the most potent platforms humanity has ever created, and here I was, still unsure of my purpose on earth.

Music is one of my greatest loves and my frustration in life (among many) is to be a musician – be it a singer or a guitarist or a bassist or a producer – I don’t care, anything to do with music! To see other people be able to do that with so passion and ecstasy (their smiles on stage could be seen miles away) breaks and mends my heart. It breaks my heart because how I wish I, too, were doing what they were doing, yet it is mended because I am extremely grateful that people like them exist. People who can create such wonderful words and rhythms and thoughts that we barely have the ability or courage to muster. People who take away the burden of keeping everything inside us and allowing us to feel things organically through their music.

I’ve been seeing posts  somewhere of The Script not being just a band, and I think I understand that now. I would like to believe that it is never too late for anything – and who knows, I might find myself involved with music at some point, producing at the very least  – but for now I will live vicariously through them for their songs are those I wish I had written to help people heal, feel and keep on loving.

why am i eternally restless?

that constant feeling of wanting to crawl out of my skin gnaws at the back of my mind every single moment of every single day.

i do not want to be here. i want to be outside of me. i do not want to participate in life – i want to be on the side and look. observe. feel things for others. bask in the joy of others. but i do not want to feel for myself, because it scares me. it scares the fuck out of me. it causes me anxiety to no end.

i do not want to feel anything. yet i want to feel everyone else’s everything.

i am so tired of feeling restless for no particular reason.

Note to self

This week I got some good news at work for which I have mixed feelings. I looked back to my performance last year and this was how I felt I did: I was unfocused, almost everything I did was reactive rather than proactive, and I truly believe I could have done better if I’d wanted to.

Yet these people still chose to see past my inabilities and recognized me in ways I never would have thought of about myself. I would have given myself a 5/10 at best based on last year’s performance, but they gave me more. And it was more than I feel I deserve.

Then again, aren’t you your own worst critic? Isn’t your greatest enemy yourself? I could have done extremely better if I’d wanted to, but I didn’t. This is what frustrates me the most. I do know, though, that I gave the minimum requirements. No matter how much I questioned everything I did, I still tried to deliver what was expected of me. Exceeding expectations was not my main goal. I just wanted to get by with a decent job.

The feedback blew me away. I think my boss was a bit puzzled as to why I was so incredulous when she revealed their rating, but given how I’ve evaluated my performance so far, she would’ve understood.

I do not mean this in a gloating or, on the other hand, a self-deprecating kind of way. More than anything, this is a reminder for me to shape-up and be more focused because what I do (and what everyone else does for that matter) is of value to something or someone. The opportunity to contribute, to help in something or someone’s improvement is always there, and if you’re going to, might as well contribute the hell out of it.

*feels pressured already*