Before I get started with the drama, I'd like to get something off my chest. I've heard, in the span of one work week, at least three people who have pointed out that I should proofread my blog. Now, while I appreciate the honesty and whatnot, considering that I'v e said this before, it's starting to get annoying. So, for the last time, I do not proofread my posts, and furthermore, I will not proofread my posts. I type it, I post it. Done. I don't write a blog to showcase my life to people. I do it cause this is an avenue for me to express myself without inhibition. (And, what with the slippery memory I have after all the drinking and other equally mind numbing activities, documentation.) If it's getting too hard to read, no one's twisting your arm to read the damn thing. I rarely advertise the blog, and whenever I do, usually it's to update specific people that I haven't seen in a while so I wouldn't have to talk about my life at length. Telling me to proofread my posts is like telling me how to dress in public. If you don't like anything I do or say, you can simply divert your attention elsewhere and we can all live in peace without getting into each other's business. (I'm not starting any fights, here. I just thought an explanation would be far more mature than responding to these people with "blow me".)
With that out of the way, I'mma get my rant on.
The Early Onset. There aren't many people who have been unlucky enough to experience this in my presence (and to those that think they are, you're wrong), but every December my "episodes" get worse in terms of intensity and frequency. It's not something I'm proud of in any way, but it's a part of me and it's not going away. On certain years, they tend to start earlier, and such is the case for this year.
As the latter part of November rolled around, I increasingly have been handicapped by anxiety attacks and depression and all of the wonderful things that come along with the package. In the past couple of years, I've managed to get by with the simple act of getting drunk every day, a luxury that I don't have this year thanks to my job and recent exodus from my spheres. This year's annual blues tend to be a tad more challenging, considering the amount of time I spend at the Think Tank and the number of people I interact with. All the changes that have been circling around hasn't helped at all.
One instance was when I had to buy food from the nearby mall. (On a somewhat related note, it's called fast-food, not take-your-sweet-fucking-time-food. Dicks.) So I got there, and I sat for two hours, staring into space, feeling my left arm tingle and my heart race for no good reason. I felt detached to the point that I nearly panicked, and I found myself clutching this lucky charm I usually carry around with me. I started clawing at that spot in my arm in hopes of snapping out of it. Once it normalized, I went and bought the medicine one of my teammates required and the doughnuts another colleague asked for and went back to the office like nothing happened.
I've been running on low energy and spirits for weeks now, and so far I think I've done a good job of hiding it from my colleagues. Now that December has started, I'm just hoping I am going to be okay enough once my birthday rolls around. I don't think this year's crazy days phase would be worse than last year's, since I've managed to separate myself from many triggers of last year's hubbub, but then again, I think I've uttered those same words before.
I'm just glad the office is open on the holidays.
Breakfast of Champions. In an act of complete self-indulgence, I joined the rest of the Breakfast Club to Manila to eat the biggest burger I have had the pleasure of (mostly) enjoying. I've had a lot of people point out that the majority of my friends are on the umm… "heavier" side. It's true. I never really felt all that much comfortable with people who exhibit self restraint on things and activities that they liked so much. (Having two exes who have uttered the words "I'd rather be miserable as long as I'm thin" strongly reinforced that preference.) It's no surprise that I'm enjoying being a part of a team composed of heavyweights.
Back to the burger breakfast… we had what they referred to as the Tombstone Burger. It was a two pound burger composed of four half pound patties, each with a slice of cheese, slathered in cheese sauce. It also came with a shit load of fries and iced tea.
None of us managed to finish our meal, and we went back to the office and worked with an extra two pounds in our system.
This Year's Rock Pile. On the third weekend of November, I was to go to the beach and read poetry with the rest of the OWLers. I was hesitant at first, but considering I really needed a trip tot he beach, and here's one that's offered that I didn't have to pay for, I thought I said yes. I even agreed to do it for free. As I left the office on a Saturday morning to go to the shuttle that was taking me and the others to Coco Beach, I figured this would be a nice weekend shared with fellow artists and I was more than willing to be as hipster-iffic as they are. Just this once.
None of the other poets showed up. Motherfucker. The whole spoken word part of the program got nixed.
However, the time alone did me a lot of good. I had the opportunity to do the rock pile thing I annually do at the beach. Since I never got the chance to hit the beach last year, I figured my rock pile was going to be bigger, so I went with smaller stones. I mentioned this activity I do before, but for the sake of those who just tuned in, I'm going to go over the basics. Every stone represents a shitty thing that happened. I bury the stone. I leave it behind. A year passes, I go back to the beach (not necessarily the same beach.) with a new set of rocks to bury. It's a personal tradition. The quiet time did me a lot of god, as with each rock I pick I had the opportunity to really reflect on whether or not that particular thing the rock represents is indeed something I should leave buried. For example, the girl that I fell in love with the day after my ex and I broke up. I eventually decided against pursuing her, initially because some people of questionable judgment told me to go for it, but eventually because I realized that in the long run, if I did truly love this girl, I would serve her in the best capacity I could: as her friend. She was not part of this year's rock pile.
The sun set, and I had drinks with the person who invited me to this shindig. She is an old friend and an ex, and this was the only time we got to hang out alone after we broke up back in college. She's doing well. Remarkably well, in fact, and I am proud of what she's striving for. She's someone who gets it, and I'm glad to discover there's someone I can call for when the weight of the unnecessarily complicated world we live in takes its toll.
Another Birthday Party. I went home from the beach the following day, and by home, I don't mean a comfortable place where one can truly ponder the direction with which life is going under a familiar and relaxing setting. I mean I went straight back to the Think Tank, where the majority of the Breakfast Club was there to get some work done before celebrating a team mate's birthday.
It was everything one can expect. An old guy like me sees things here, and an old guy like me knows to not say things about it until the time is right. I have shut my mouth on a lot of goings on in the office, and I have made it a point to play the part of the fool for the vast majority of the people of the Think Tank. There isn't a single person there that knows where I've been and what I've been through, and most especially, what I'm capable of. It's refreshing and interesting for me, what with everyone not really keeping their guards up when I'm around. They see one facet of who I am, and for now, that's enough. (I'll probably get into detail in my next post.)
I left the party in the morning, as most of them were stirring, and my thoughts were geared towards anything but work or comedy or poetry. It's hard to be productive, or funny or poetic when you're having another attack.
Thanksgiving Weekend. The work week was kinda slow, what with the lack of students due to Thanksgiving. The weekend came and I found myself having one of my worse attacks. I left the house despite the fact that there wasn't any work to be done, and dropped by the office. There were a few souls there, mostly the new managers and Erin, so I left after my brief appearance to wait for confirmation for this foodfest thingy that I agreed to go to with the rest of the team.
Wandering around Alabang did not do any good, as I found myself on the receiving end of another attack from my physical and mental condition. I went home in the vain attempt to find some peace. It wasn't until the day after, when the Island Girl dropped by for a visit, that things got a little better. There were crazy thoughts here and there, but I guess since I was around the right person, not having to deal with the extra strain of putting up a mostly okay facade I normally do at the office, it went well.
Faith. The day after, I worked at the Think Tank and even met up with the mother's boyfriend to talk about the upcoming job. I honestly nearly walked out when I found out that it was his recommendation that I was put in line for the position, not my mother's. She apparently believed that I couldn't do it, even refused to put me on the payroll for the next project, thinking I would have to prove myself.
Let's look at the facts here. Despite the bad shit that may have happened to me over the years, I've been living alone and doing fine all by myself. In fact, I've been looking out for myself ever since college, and once I graduated, I worked towards complete independence. I have done everything that i set out to do and I did so in a manner that didn't compromise my ideals, my principles or my decision to not ask for any of her assistance. I've been a teacher, worked for crazy politicians, religious organizations, TV networks, managed to work four jobs at the same time to a specific level of quality, (all of which I landed through my own hard work and, admittedly, lack of shame) dealt with both physical and psychological issues and most recently traveled overseas cause I was good enough to perform. More importantly, I never answered to anyone, and while that may have put me in dire straits before, and would definitely put me in trouble again, I've never wasted a second doing things in any way other than my way. And now, I learn that I have to prove myself to get a job that I didn't want and ask for in the first place? Shit, the only reason I'm living in her house (which is actually costing me mow money than when I was in an apartment ten fucking minutes away from the office) is because she asked. I was fine all by myself.
But, I will be the nice guy here. I plan to treat it like any other job (or relationship, har!) I've had. Provide my best, and then leave when it's no longer ideal. Again, it's a damn good thing I have work on the holidays.
"Now, for ten years we've been on our ownAnd moss grows fat on a rolling stone But, that's not how it used to be When the jester sang for the king and queen In a coat he borrowed from James Dean And a voice that came from you and me" - Don McLean, American Pie