Mula pagkabata, hopeless romantic na ako. 

My dad would always ask me where I got this weird trait because my siblings are not as emotional or as idealistic as me. I often tell him it’s because I’m the only sibling born in July and cancers are already cuckoo to begin with. Because of my infatuation with the whole idea of love born out of my combined passion for Sweet Valley, Baby Sitters Club, Chick Flicks, and of course, the local teleserye, I already thought I fell in love in the second grade with no other than Patrick Garcia. Since then, I’ve had my fair share of crushes and because I was such a fat dork growing up, I have never experienced having my crush like me back – ever.

As in, I have never had the joy of receiving roses on Valentine’s Day, Friendship Day, or even being asked to prom. My nights were often spent watching One Tree Hill and sighing over Nathan Scott instead of talking on the phone with the “love of my life”. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had guy friends. I was the girl best friend they shared their love problems with (yung totoo, ano ba alam ko) and the ones who planned all those promposals for them. And it never really bothered me, I loved digging into the love lives of other people simply because it seemed fun.

Without boring you with the already boring details, it wasn’t until college that I experienced my first ever telebabad session with a campus heartthrob (disclaimer: hindi niya sa heartthrob material ngayon). In fairness to my dorky self, I also experienced some level of effort from the member of the opposite sex but I never really understood what was happening until the guy has either a) made out with another girl who wasn’t me or b) disappeared and fell off the face of the earth. 

So in a way, I have always been the clueless girl who never played the game. Unfortunately, this pattern continued but I only went out on my first “real” date when I was in my second job already and again, I don’t want to rehash details but that “broken heart” lasted up until 2013. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had crushes, sometimes guys to text with (lol), and even a few “almosts” but somehow I believe they were just all in my head because I badly wanted to feel what my friends felt. 

In a way, you can say because of certain beliefs (that I no longer want to discuss because it’s a) personal and b) too long to share here) I have remained single for the most of my adult life. I could tell you it’s because I’ve been so focused on my work but up until recently, it was really because nobody cared enough to stay (hindi drama, reality lang). 

And up until that point, I’ve always mistaken the “almosts” for the real thing until I felt the real thing. Sometimes, you really have to be careful what you wish for. My baby brother would often say that we look for what we don’t have and just like the dreamy fifteen year old that I used to be, there were days when I dreamed of the stuff I read and watched.

I got my wish. I got my answered prayer but you know how God works, He won’t tell you the real reason until you go through that season. Now, I’m not saying it was a major thing. In fact, I think the main reason that it hurt was because to the other person it felt so basic, so normal, so ordinary. 

Here I was feeling such intensity of emotions and to him, it was simply an order of business as basic as eating, working, and sleeping. And I don’t mean to play the embittered girl because I’m not, in fact, I don’t blame him because he did come with warning signs and yet, I went ahead and fell in the ditch anyway.

I never really talked about this with anyone exhaustively because for the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why I was so hurt. It was nowhere near a relationship but somehow, I think it hurt because I intentionally believed the good in the person despite everything I heard about him. And I don’t regret that because I honestly believe that he is indeed a magnificent human being but somehow, I was hurt for reasons I still don’t understand myself. Was it because I wanted it to be more than what it was? Was it because I badly wanted to save him and I couldn’t? 

Or maybe, at the core of it, I was hurt because it felt like nothing. It was a hurricane in my life, as in for the first time ever, I experienced the can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t talk, can’t function and waking up in the middle of the night with my heart physically aching. It was really pointless because what I experienced in 2008 was worse but this one, this was the storm that shook my otherwise calm existence.

It made me reevaluate my beliefs, my choices, and to the extent of making me question who I was. It challenged my set of values and made me wonder if it was worth throwing possible happiness out of the window.

It became a period of growth because my values were tested and I stuck with them. Kahit na gumagapang at umiiyak, I held on to my beliefs and faith knowing that God knows what’s best for me, but that’s another entirely different story all together.

I don’t feel angry. I don’t mind being rejected for being who I am. I also don’t feel the need to wish “him” bad because in all honesty, wala naman siyang ginawa but it could also be that indifference that broke my heart because it made me feel like it was all nothing. Like opening up your soul was nothing because it came so easily to him. The fact that it meant nothing to him stings the most because I was sincere with my friendship. 

I never wear my heart on my sleeve on this blog and in the past five years, I have been successful in keeping it at bay. However, tonight, I just felt the need to do so without going into detail. Somehow this heartbreak (and for once in my life, na experience ko na siya ng legit) humanized me and another experience God is using to humble me. 

I could easily say I regret letting the person in or I can whack myself in the head for being stupid in my choices when everyone around me warned me about it beforehand. I could go on that tirade, I really could, but what would be the point of it? 

The main point of the story is this: everything has a purpose. Before meeting this person, I was praying to be the kind of person who loved unconditionally and who gave without counting the costs. I wanted to be mature in the kindness and in the friendship I sowed into others. I wanted to be steady. I wanted to shape my character in order to be the kind of person who remained true to who I was despite the shifting circumstances externally. I wanted to see the best in people and most importantly, I wanted to be brave.

Without realizing it, through this crazy ordeal that may seem so normal to others, my prayers were answered. I thought I was finally finally going to be Haley James but God, as He always does, had other plans for me. He taught me that I didn’t need anyone to be complete or happy. He solidified the things I’ve long believed in and most importantly, He taught me to lean and rely solely on Him. This situation also taught me to stop putting up a tough front and in allowing myself to be vulnerable, I discovered the real meaning of bravery. Bravery is wearing your scars well and soldering on despite the pain. 

Bravery is also recognizing the situation for what it really is and allowing yourself to not be consumed by your insecurities. It’s about boldly accepting situations for what they are without having to prove yourself worthy. 

Minsan kasi when we get rejected, we often want to fill our social media feeds with us “being okay” but the reality is, it’s okay to not be okay. We sometimes also want to prove something to the ones who rejected us: maganda ako, matalino ako kaya dapat ako ang pinili mo. When in truth, it has nothing to do with that. Hindi lang talaga, the person has reasons that we have to accept.

And most importantly, it’s about letting people be. Someone once told me that sometimes it hurts because you were sincere in your intentions, whether it was for a friendship or something else, and the other person was not. But what can you do? That’s life. 

Kahit anong bait ko or kahit anong maganda ang ipakita mo, kung ayaw sayo, ayaw sayo and someone not liking you or fighting for you should not be a point against that person. Let’s stop making excuses and simply let things be.

And also, it’s time to stop counting our good deeds. We are good because we are good not because we want something from someone. We have to be authentic in our relationships. We do things because that’s who we are, not because we want something from another person. Oo, masakit mareject, but that’s what makes us human. That’s what reminds us that no matter how far we go in life, there would still be situations that won’t go our way and that’s not a bad thing. 
Okay lang iyon. Hindi nakakabawas yon sa pagkatao mo and most importantly, walang mali sayo if you were rejected. Work on what you have to improve on, learn the lessons, and hopefully finally move on from it (and no, moving on doesn’t mean wishing the person becomes alone forever, moving on means wishing that person well and if that includes him being happy with someone else, then so be it).

And lastly, it may have been a chaotic summer but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. My dad would always remind me that at least I finally experienced it, at least I finally felt it, and most importantly, I learned. Life would be boring without its seasons and as gut wrenching as this season may be, I don’t regret it, I just want to put it behind me because how else can I enjoy the next season if I don’t close the chapter on this one?

Because who knows baka sa next season eh panahon ko na but until then, we keep learning.