Feelings Schmeelings

I am often asked to write about love. I haven’t been in love in so long — what do I even know of it anymore? I can speak profoundly of friendship and familial love, the loves that take up a great amount of space in my life. But what people want to hear, what people think I have a lot to say about, is romance.

But, much like a language that hasn’t been practiced in a while (and who’s to say romance isn’t a language in itself?), the absence of it that has caused my heart to un-learn it. It has become slightly familiar and largely foreign.

I have been asked if I miss it and the truth is that I miss it on a perfunctory level. I miss the small conveniences: a date on Friday night, a default person to talk to, the assurance of having someone to be held by. But I also miss it so casually  that these things seem to be of minor consequence, like an itch that goes away after a second.

“I want that. I want to get to the point of not feeling,” my friend, Crae, tells me. It is hard for me to explain that I don’t not feel. I feel quite a lot, actually. I hope a lot, too.

Top 3 Things I Feel Strongly About
(as of May 19, 2016)

  1. I don’t want to admit it — because admitting it makes it real — but I’m sick. I hate it. I’msickI’msickI’msickI’msick. I’M SICK. I take pride in having a pretty good immune system. My friend, Abraham, once called me one of the healthiest people he knows. (And he wasn’t saying it in the way Filipinos mean it, as a euphemism for ‘fat’.) ‘The healthiest person I know’ — that’s the kind of statement you keep and hold on to as a badge of honor. I mean, ‘beautiful’, ‘sexy’ and ‘smart’ are great adjectives. I strive for them on a lot of days. But good health is mythical and almost elusive. Everybody wants to be healthy because healthy people get stuff done. Healthy people are tied to the stuff of life. Being sick upsets me because if there’s anything I surely want, it’s to be truly, fully, completely alive.
  2. I just want to make something that matters. I blame Lin-Manuel Miranda for this. On a different day not too far from today, I will write about why I fell in love with Hamilton. But for now let me tell you that there is a man with a brain wired to build things that have only ever been revolutionary. And he makes me want to build things too. Things that stand, that are relevant; things that tell the truth. The problem is that I’ve been creatively stagnant for so long that I don’t even know how to begin. But, man, do I want to. God knows I want to.
  3. If there’s one word I want to be known for (besides ‘healthy’), it’s generous. It is such a good word, a solid word. I feel neither good nor solid so I look to it as a compass and guide. Perhaps a part of me hopes that in doing so, I will eventually become it.

It is in between all of this feeling and hoping that I’ve stopped waiting for a man to finally, finally, show up. Maybe it’s age or reason or maybe it’s a case of being too tired of whipping my head back each time an interesting guy comes along. I’ve arrived at a point where I cannot bring myself to long too desperately for an idea, no matter how beautiful. The real world finds ways to pull me back onto its shores.

My feelings are reserved for all that is there. But, in case you’re still wondering, I’ve set aside a small amount of happy-nervous speculation for all that isn’t.

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