This is me: in an alternate reality, captured by an artist

I have recently come across a video that fully captures the essence of my paradise, the blog I have written in different forms since 2005.  Its surprising to think about it, almost a decade of thoughts scattered in cyberspace, not really physical in form but still alive, all  the same. You my dear readers, are seeing my thoughts and not merely shadows of memories. They are alive as if they happened just minutes ago and some of these ideas are questions I still ask myself up to this day. These are ideas that I have transmitted through my fingers to a device that forms another language, unknown to most of us but they are converted to binary symbols that you see as letters. Those letters are the specs of black dots in your screen and you understand my thoughts (even unspoken by myself), although most of you do not know me.

I am in world of my own creation, quite separate from the physicality of my own life, but probably mirrors its existence with a certain narrow lens. I am in a universe of emotions and thoughts which may be real or imaginary, yet in this world that I create, they are as real to me, like the breath that I take every second of my existence. I ask myself sometimes, why not discuss things that would gather people to look in my blog? Why not aim to get a bombardment of hits? Why should I? In a world evolving so that blogs are forms of money, I refuse to believe that my thoughts are made of gold, my thoughts are fuelled by likes or ratings. My thoughts, I believe, are simply an expression of my quiet paradise. So dear readers, I hope it brings you comfort that I am just like the man in the video, walking through the magnificent sceneries of my mind and looking at the face of the earth with longing and a certain sense of exploration to uncover the mysteries of life.

Birthdays and the happiness and loneliness attached to it

In a different part of the wold, my birthday has already started. Here in the Netherlands, it’s roughly four hours away. Tick tock, tick tock. Facebook will soon be flooded with greetings from online friends. We all know the drill, those closest to us give us messages in our phones and emails, some of them give messages in facebook personally, some declare it on your wall and others, just like other people’s greetings. At this moment I have received 1 text message, 4 personal facebook messages, 11 posts in my wall and 1 liked another person’s greeting. There are those valuable few who take the time to say, “Let’s go out and celebrate your wonderful day. Just you and me and let’s find somewhere nice.” You don’t get much of those these days. It now usually ends with facebook and real life meaningful talks are now a thing of the past. This blog even reinforces that I also am trapped in this, that me writing this means that I accept that I have a virtual self.

Far from the usual social connections, I am here living in my fifth country of residence away from all that I know and cherish but I am following exactly the course of action I wanted to take. This is the dream – taking a break from work, gaining new knowledge, doing a masters degree, traveling Europe and in the process learning the cultures of the world. Why is it that at this moment when everything seems to be perfect, I realize that the only place I want to be today is either in the waterbed of our house in Singapore or right beside my mom in Manila. I just want to be there, as if I never left, as if this reality is a mere dream and all the wonders of what I am experiencing is just a momentary flash of the subconscious that I will fail to remember tomorrow.

Birthdays for me are like wormholes of emotions. I just feel everything. I’m happy and sad at the same time. I’m apathetic but all so sensitive. The day feels like a never-ending story and facebook provides false hopes of warm smiles and kind faces wishing you good things.

A few weeks ago I was carpooling in France from Angers to Paris. I was in the passenger seat with this wonderful French lady that had an American accent and we were talking away as if we were the best of friends at the same time, wonderful acquaintances. We know for a fact that we won’t be seeing each other again at any point in our lives but we shared personal stories quite casually. She was divorced, had two kids living in different parts of France and one of them is going to Luxembourg with her grandson the month after. At one point in our discussion, she told me that she was attending a wedding of the daughter of a close friend. She then told me something unexpected – that she needed to go on a diet because she thinks she looks horrible in her clothes and that she wants to loose 5kg before the wedding. She also said that she was happy to go only if there were other people who are not couples. She gets too uncomfortable with all the couples who go back to their rooms, mind their own business and don’t really mingle. She had to ask her friend if there were other friends who were also going but not so boring like the other couples. I believe she was fishing if another friend, a single old gentleman was coming. And he was so she would too. After hearing this I suddenly asked her, “It never goes away does it, this social awkwardness we feel when have no other person is interesting enough (or interested with us) to speak to?” She said something like, “Some people are just so boring, I can’t bear being in the same table with them.” I thought this sounded like a discussion  of two teenage girls talking about the senior prom.

With these memory in mind, it dawned on me that even though life becomes richer, we add more years to our age, we get white hair (just like what I had for the first time last week) and lines are formed in our faces, our fundamental issues are the same as always. I’ve contemplated about my birthday since I was in my teens and I am again back to square one. My thoughts are probably different from a few years back, the issues become more complex but the same dilemma occurs – why is it that birthdays are such wormholes of emotions. I am basically going through a seemingly annual menstrual cycle wherein I am full of uncalled for mood swings that just doesn’t go away. Maybe it is good (this is optimism coming in). It is good because I know that this is not just an ordinary day, that my mind is telling that me that this is a Eureka Moment. I am growing up again and all these thinking keeps me sane and alive for the rest of the year. What is life without introspection? What is life without the passing of time? What is life without these impossible-to-deal-with emotions?

If I get to the point in my life when I will forget my birthday was coming, to forget that the day has a meaning and that this day I will see the usual signs of joy, if I forget that, will that be living? These honest moments of confused emotions is the indicator that I have a mind that wants to understand this. I have the heart that feels this. I have the fingers that type this and I have the eyes that sees everything that will happen in this day. I am alive and every birthday I celebrate this by flushing my thoughts and emotions out in the open. I am allowing myself to be vulnerable, accepting I am not a stone because I feel. This, I believe is the miracle of my birthday posts. I say this because I believe it has meaning. I don’t know if it will mean anything to someone else but me blogging reaches to out to everyone, “Hey I am here and today, allow me to contemplate my life and my existence, because I am alive.”

Here is the link of my previous birthday post: Opening the Gates on Oneself

Here is the link with my thoughts on Facebook: Breaking Free from the Digital World

Check out this video too and the effects of social media to society 

Blog Blog.

I never really see myself as a blog person but since it is available here in friendster,i guess i should try it out. siguro pang palipas oras lang, pampawala ng tension, pampawindang sa sarili. these things make me wanna stop for a moment and evaluate my life, introspect to say the least.

in the next few months, i will be needing this to blow off some steam from my super windang thesis and to give some time for myself to think of other things such as myself and my own sanity. kasi naman, ang thesis namin here in landscape architecture involves visionary landscapes. (if you think this is your typical garden, think again). me and my thesismate’s topic is a development in the seas. kumbaga garden of eden in the water. at san ka pa, gumagalaw! nagtotour sa pilipinas! navigating landscape. o diba? anyway. wala lang.

ei ga! miss na kita.

Transferred from Friendster blog, written 19 Nov 2005

Comments:

Aldrich ald1225@earthlink.net :

check out Hayao Miyazaki’s animes…

http://images.google.com/images?q=hayao+miyazaki&svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&start=0&sa=N

Not sure if you know him but he’s one the best anime producer/director. You’ve probably seen some of his old works there.

The reason I’m telling you this, is because maybe it will help you get some inspiration from his work. Like Laputa from Castle in the Sky

http://images.google.com/images?svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&q=laputa

by the way, also most visions of underwater developments of humans is “cold” or so distant to the life under the sea. Just thought that you should think of giving it warmth.

Get a shirt or at least change the default pic for you blog.

Gabriel:

thanks aldrich for that comment. yup, i followed your advice and put on my shirt. hehehe.

my thesis is having its deliberation on thursday, dec 8 and its still a bit rough right now but hopefully i can accomplish a lot before that time. another deliberation is set on february and thats the day of all days for me.