Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The spectrum of a bus ride

Today, I owe my life to Peyton Sawyer. The fictional character who had saved me time and time again, with her words, her music recommendations, and the way Lucas loved her. I sit inside the bus, and I play her podcasts for the thousandth time. Each time meaning different things from the last time. She started off with a Nada Surf reference - I knew full well how she was going to end it. I knew she was going to utter those phrases twice, the second time more heartfelt and intense, the second time she bores the words into your soul you can almost feel a scalpel taking out a tumor. "The weight is a gift," she said, I replayed it, the weight it a gift. I replay it a couple more times until I started really believing that the struggle is all of life's meaning, that you were supposed to be hurt that way, that pain is a requisite. Thing is, I already knew this. All of what she said on all her 14 podcast tracks, I already knew them. I already knew the concepts exist, and I knew how exactly she was gonna tell them. Thing is, those could've been my words, those could've been my wisdom, If I had only been more focused, more positive, I could've found those words long ago. Only I needed to find them in somebody else. It makes more sense that way - I find comfort in knowing I'm not in this alone. That someone in the 8 billion people, there was a person who seemed as if he (asumming it was Mark Schwann who wrote it) had been inside my head and verbalized what went on inside there.

It had always been like that for me. I've always felt the constant need to look for answers outside of me - and it can be everywhere. I remember days ago when I found it in the eyes of my 6-year-old cousin, how he reminded me of how happiness can be pure and untainted, how 3 minutes of undisrupted playing with a child have so much beauty in it. How I've been so distracted by so much materialism that I've forgotten about the simple things in life. The simple things I used to enjoy myself. I have to always look for answers somewhere else.

Today it was also Paulo Coelho. The Zahir narrator cited to Einstein and how he said that God doesn't play dice with the universe, everything is interconnected and everything has meaning. I made some mistakes in the last months, some of them was easy to let go, some of them has haunted me until today, and it got me regretting doing things that felt so right at the time. And I thought about how foolish I was to believe in myself in a way that I allowed myself to commit such. In some way, it was the same thing he wrote in The Alchemist. That if you want something, the universe will conspire for you to get it. I believe in fate, if there's anything I've ever truly trusted, it was that destiny is on the works with your life. On that, I thought, maybe I had to make my mistakes, maybe they aren't even mistakes in the first place. Maybe they're just factors, variables of a whole, long equation. And where do I find myself in that equation? That, i still have to see. I'm 19, just out of college, jobless, coping with momentary depression, and making blogs to save my sanity. I'm just through the first mile on the road to Santiago - and the time hasn't come for me to sew. My Zahir is still up for grabs.

I'm just about to close the book when my mom called. It looks like I can go to London on August after all. At first, I got really excited. Images of stevenage and our house came flashing on my mind, and in a matter of seconds, I've drawn up a whole itinerary of what I was going to do while I'm there. Then she said she'd be gone for the U.S for most of the time and I'd only get to see her for a week tops. My itinerary involved a majority of her. It dawned on me that my answers aren't in London, they were in my mom, and I need to be with her to get those. It just so happened that for me to get to her, I had to travel that far. But I've always said that I could do with being with her for one more day. She was offering a week. I had to take it, for my peace and hers. Mitch Albom once wrote that times not spent with your mother is a lifetime in itself. And I don't wanna lose another lifetime - I'd take one week.

When I put down the phone, the thing more fitting to do was to listen to some feel-good music. Something that didn't remind me of my conscious efforts to be happy - so I steered clear of my "Be happy" playlist. But then again, a song from that playlist came up on the shuffle. It was Wakey Wakey's Dance so Good. "Sometimes I wonder why you don't go mad," the lyric said. And I wondered why I don't go mad. I've been told quite a lot of times that I overthink, that my rationalization was getting bad for my health, and that I need to stop thinking and just....live. But I can't do that. The only thing that'd make me crazier is that If I don't think. I have to, it's a coping mechanism. It gets too much at times, sometimes I create my own monster and be eaten by it alive, but I get out from it by thinking as well. By creating a way out of it. As Peyton said, "it's a self-fulfilling prophecy", and I know it needs to stop sometimes, but not completely. Like her, I, too, am a pathological skeptic, but I have my Lucas Scott.

My Lucas Scott is in many forms. The past few weeks, it had been in the form of The Jeep. My awesome friends who had been on the edge of the cliff, their arms surely tired from holding me up so I don't fall out, but they're still there - patiently waiting for the time I help myself up. Because it's the only time I can really get back and release them from the chore I've been putting them through. But I'm thankful. The most important thing I learned from Chiara is the beauty of gratuity. How to always remember the things I should be thankful for. Today, and forever, The Jeep tops my list. Followed by my family, who I've reconnected to after four college years of being so occupied. I've finally made time for family and learned for myself that blood is indeed thicker than water.

It was getting late and I can no longer see anything through the bus window except the darkness. It was a cliche to think of the David Sedaris quote, but I found it the perfect time to really contemplate on what it truly meant. "You look at life as if through the window of a bus, hopping off at that instant you instinctively recognized as your own." The things I let go of, those I've moved on from, those I've passed up - those places were not my own. And I believe that now, I live my life by gut-feel. I left London by gut, I chose to study at Bayanihan by gut, I took the USTET by gut, I confirmed for the Journalism program by gut - and look where it has taken me. Every decisions I made had brought immense happiness and I wouldn't have done it other way. Whatever I did, or did not do, I did them by gut, and it's time to believe that whatever hole I've managed to dug myself into because of them - it's all just a phase and I was just taken aback for a while. I need to trust myself, trust my faith, and trust in time. It will all get better one day - and "everyday is another day to turn it all around."

Today I decided to look for answers in Baguio. On Saturday, I'll try to look for them again back home. I can look everywhere. But life is looking through a window of a bus - I will look and I will find answers everywhere but I'll get there someday. I may hop back up and continue searching - and I'd hate to end this in a Glee reference - but 'who cares what happens when we get there when getting there has been so much fun?"

Today I finally see the subtext behind the saying that the "journey is the destination." Today I owe my life to Peyton Sawyer, to Paulo Coelho, to Mitch Albom, to David Sedaris, to Nada Surf, to Wakey Wakey, to my friends, to my family, to my mom, and to Baguio. Today, I owe my life to that bus ride. Today, I owe my life to me, trusting that I hop out at the right moment, at the perfect place, at the perfect time.


  1. it's so beautiful. you made me cry.
    thank you for sharing this, thank you for sharing your life. every second with you is a learning experience and it's making me appreciate differences and individuality more. you're an amazing writer, lian. i will always feel envious. :D there is an unbelievable strength i find in you -- transparency and sheer vulnerability, exposed in liberation.
    my goodness, you are such a gift.
    keep writing! <3

  2. I haven't read it yet Lian. But I'm glad you have this. I always wanted to read your pieces. God has given you the AUTHORity. May God bless the works of your hands even more. I miss you! :)

  3. I'm pretty sure God's preparing you for something great. I love you Lian. I'm glad you already have a blog, I placed it on my blogroll. I miss you!

  4. @Cara. How do I reply to something like that? You are more of a gift, cara! Remember what I always tell you, just write :-) There are so many things you have to share that this world needs!

    @Marge. I remember you posting something about the definition of authority, thanks for saying I have it :) I miss you toooooooooo!

    @Apple. Thanks, but...how do I get a blogroll? Sorry beginner. Haha.