Girl Code: The Heart Wants What It Wants
Okay. Let's try this diary thing. Journaling. Whatever it is people call it. So... am I basically writing to myself? Like talking to myself? Okay. This is weird. Whatever, Lissa recommended I try keeping track of my thoughts so here I go.
A month since Ben and I broke up and we have not spoken to nor seen each other. It’s so weird. How does someone that used to be a part of your life every day just disappear? I’m still upset that he thinks this is all my fault. It’s so typical of him. I can’t really figure out my feelings these days. Do I miss him? Maybe I miss being somebody’s girlfriend more than I actually miss him. Having someone who knows everything about me. Like how I cry whenever the animals die in movies so he fast-forwards those parts… or that a good cheeseburger is all I need to turn a bad day around. It’s scary thinking about meeting someone new and waiting for them to learn all these things about me. Ben was so… familiar. He was home. I get it, though. I’m only 22 years old. I have my whole life ahead of me, as mom always says. I wonder how many times I’m going to have to do this whole dating thing before I find “the one.” God, that’s so cheesy… but it’s gotta be true, right? I mean, there must be someone out there who I’m going to end up with. Someone who can put up with my Snapchat addiction and shopping obsession and doesn’t think I’m shallow. Mom said that I should find someone who pays attention to my details. That sounds exhausting. I think I need to be single for a while. Focus on myself. Focus on work. Focus on friends and family. I talked to Rae yesterday. Well, we did this note thing that we used to do when we were younger. It was cute. I was supposed to watch The Notebook and ugly-cry with her. I should go see what she’s up to now.
Hey, this diary thing is helping.
Flipping through the pages of an issue of Candy, I waited for my pedicure to dry. I know, I know. Rae getting a pedicure? I 'usually allow anyone near my feet (it's a weird thing I have), let alone touch and alter them with sharp, metal things. But grad ball was nearing, and my mom insisted on getting my nails done. She literally dangled my camera in the air until I said yes. Ugh. Mom.
As I'm reading about The Vamps, I see a guy in a blue varsity jacket near me. It's Diego, James's teammate.
"Hey, Rae," he says as he hands me a pack of Polaroid films.
Diego just shrugs, laughs, and leaves.Confused, I read the note on the box: Now that your pedi's done, go to the playground to have some fun! X
The manicurists at the salon giggle and push each other. Are they in on this, too?
I put my sandals on and am about to pay until I’'m told that "it's already been taken care of." By whom?! I fast-walk to the playground down the street, and I see another teammate, Seth. He dribbles a ball and chest passes it to me. I fumble and am about to bend down to pick up the ball when I feel Seth's hand grasp my shoulders from behind. Then he blindfolds me. Ohmygod am I getting kidnapped?! I'm about to kick and scream for my life until I hear a familiar voice say, "Relax. It's just me. Follow my lead!"
I'm too stunned to speak, so I just follow. Seth guides me inside a car I assume is Mom's by the familiar bubblegum air freshener scent. Seth is beside me, so Mom must be driving. Oh God we're gonna die. I hear Mom start the engine and say, "Buckle up, honey! We're going to the beach."
Charlie: Oh my god, giiiirrrrllll, I see them!!
Raya: Huh? Who? Please tell me you're looking at the Azkals right now.
Raya: Please ask Neil Etheridge for his autograph!!!!For me. Please.
Charlie: Ugh, Raya, nooo!
Charlie: I see Rae and James!! They're together right now! In the court!!!!
Raya: Ah... you got me all excited, girl!
Raya: hahahha they're at your home. Jk don’t kill me.
Charlie: Nah, dude... ahh well kinda true. Was tryna practice this lay-up trick I saw on TV, but I'm failing horribly.
Raya: Or are you failing horribly, because you see them?
Charlie: Aghh, I'm still at the court. They're still here.
Charlie: I mean there are a ton of people here right now, so I don't think they noticed me.
Charlie: Never mind, James just waved at me.
Charlie: Rae waved at me too.
Raya: What?? Hey, that means they're nice!
Charlie: Do you think they’re together again?
Raya: Well, in my opinion, I highly doubt it. They could just be casually hanging out.
Raya: I mean, you just randomly hang out with guys too, you know.
Charlie: I'm just really sad right now. I feel like my heart is at the bottom of my stomach right now.
Raya: Look, Charlie. I know you've been crushing on this guy for ages. I know it's difficult to not like him. Your heart doesn't choose who to like, or who to love. You just do. It's difficult, but you have to move on from him. But just because you've moved on doesn't mean you love him any less. You moving on will mean that he won't distract you and hopefully, it will make you love yourself more. Charlie, what's not to love about you? You're beautiful and amazing. The heart wants what it wants sometimes, but sometimes, you can’t always get what you want.
Charlie: I love you, Raya. I think I'll change first. I need a long nap. Bye, see you soon, please.
Raya: See you soon too, best.
12:14 AM. I'm done feeling like I'm living half a life.
5:30 AM. Bus left on time. Thank God. Where am I going? I don't know. When am I coming back? I don't know. All I know is I need to do this. I want to do this.
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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.
And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.
Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.
Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”
Here's my two cents on the letter, call for help of our medical frontliners. Let’s hear what our healthcare workers have to say and try to understand it from their point of view, they have every right to criticize how this medical crisis is being handled by the government... after all, they're the experts on the topic. Though we see the frontliners as heroes in our eyes, the lack of concrete plans from the government to combat COVID-19 makes them feel otherwise. Healthcare workers are already starting to voice out how they feel as though they are being sacrificed as they follow through their sworn oath. We wouldn’t send our soldiers to war unarmed and without a concrete plan; the same should be expected for our frontliners. How can we send them to battle without proper gear? Why is there still a debate on whether mass testing is needed or not when the experts on that field continuously insist its importance in flattening the curve? Why is this still not the priority when it’s literally our lives on the line? It’s not like the medical experts demanding for mass testing are just stating their opinion about this mindlessly, they studied this laboriously. Make them feel heard so that all the sacrifices that they’re doing and all the deaths of their colleagues are not in vain. More than the words of praises, what our medical professionals truly need right now is TANGIBLE support. Here is to hoping they get that soon. @errren.22
*Minor edits have been made for clarity
Here is a photograph taken yesterday from the photo shoot I did in our house. ? I really love dressing up and being dolled up, it makes me feel great and confident of who I am ?
I was actually hesitant to post these pictures of mine. My sister eveb asked me to change my Facebook Profile Picture and it took me hours to decide if I should. But, I realized that this is me, the real me. I should be confident of my body and of who I really am.
At the end of the day, I dress up not for other people but for myself ? To all the ladies out there and even gentlemen who are taking a second to think if they should post their pictures, worried about what will others say their body, remember that we just need to be just ourselves. Be confident and let us support each other ? Let us be friends! IG: @romynaaaaaaa_
They say time heals all wounds, but it has been ages - is heartbreak exempted?
I have forgotten when was the last time we shared a smile - the last time when I saw the glow in your eyes and the last time when you whispered an I love you to me. I have forgotten when, but here I am - writing to you again.
I do not know if you will read this or you will just add this one to my proses and poems that you left unread, but you see, I am still hoping. I am mailing the pain of us to the gods out there - hoping they can take the pain away. I should have gotten over you, but instead of forgetting and accepting our ending, I am writing about us in tissue sheets, carving about us on trees, telling about us on the back of my journals, hoping that a thousand or a million write ups about us, can make me forget about what happened.
I am writing, waiting for the point where I can no longer write anymore, for I have none to tell - but when? I have nothing in me anymore, but the memories of us - and no matter how hard I try put those to its own grave, the memories grow back like lilies in the swamp - painful and beautiful at the same time.
No matter how hard I try to silence those and put it at the back of my mind, those ring back, playing like the favorite song we used to listen. They say heartbreaks turn into poetry and that is what happening to us - but poetry should be dulcet and dreamy, why does ours sound like pain and agony? They say time heals all wounds, but it has been ages - is heartbreak exempted? Darling, I guess not.