There Will Be a Fish

“Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.” ~ Ovid, Heroides

Last year, I made a life-changing decision to try one more time.  One last attempt, I told myself.  I fought with myself for weeks, oscillating back and forth from “should i do it?” to “I will definitely do it!” and I did definitely do it, and looking back, I am glad I did.

It was not easy.  I felt as though I had to swallow every last shred of pride and dignity that I had left, and I had to stop my mind from going back to those dark years of my life with him, but I somehow managed to pick up the phone, dial his number, let it ring, hear him answer, and simply talk to him.

The first few minutes were awkward, strained even.  But I was determined.  I had to let him understand that I was not reaching out to him for any other reason other than to try to bridge the years and the distance and the time lost between my daughter and her father.

He did not believe me at first.  Too much time had passed, he said, and he didn’t see the sense of it all.  Deep down I felt that he was scared.  Scared to make the effort, scared to feel the fatherly feelings towards his daughter, only to find her rejecting him in the same way he had rejected her all these years.

I begged him to try.  Not for me, but for her.  Because no matter how we felt for one another, she was innocent.  And she deserved to meet him at least one time in her life.

I told G that I had contacted her father.  She immediately wrapped her arms around herself and her body stiffened.  I felt her bracing herself as I summarized my phone call with him, and told her of our plan to meet.  She was silent.  She looked apprehensive.  After a few seconds, she said, “Ok.”

She met her father for the first time on a cold night last January.  It was anti-climactic in every way.  There was no big crying reunion scene between father and daughter.  Instead, it was an awkward and tense evening that left all of us emotionally drained.

If one were to ask me that night how I would envision the next year to be between us, I never would have imagined the situation that it is now.

Now, one year later, after many rough months of ironing out of differences and building trust, she divides her time between her father and me.  Sometimes she is with him (and his new wife and her son), and other times she is with me.  While he and I will never be friends, we get along better now than ever before.  It is a relationship born out of the mutual love we have for our daughter, and while far from perfect, it is better than I had even hoped.

I am proud of myself for giving him one more chance, even though I felt at the time that he never deserved it.  But G deserved it.  And I’m glad that I fought for her chance.

Nobody Knows

“He took his pain and turned it into something beautiful. Into something that people connect to. And that’s what good music does. It speaks to you. It changes you.” ~ Hannah Harrington, Saving June

I recently lost my mobile phone and lost all my data along with it.  I was quite lax with syncing my mobile and saving my data to a “cloud.”  As such, I lost hundreds of songs that I had saved on my phone.
Thinking of songs to download and then to upload onto my phone has been quite tedious.  Rebuilding my music library has been painfully slow.  Oddly enough, as I was flipping through channels on my television, I stumbled upon a 90s music station and I sat there and listened to the songs for a good hour.
It was like having the radio on, but over the television.
Although I really consider myself an 80s music kind of girl, the 90s were also an important decade in my life.  It is the decade in which I graduated university, and it was also the decade when I first got my heart broken.  I’ve always believed that you are not fully an adult until you have had your heart split open into a million pieces.
I spent much of the 90s loving, and then pining for the one who I have come to call my Immortal Beloved.  I am over him, now, but during that phase in my life, every breath that I took, every beat of my heart, and every thought in my head was for him.
So, as I sat in my living room over the weekend, transfixed to the 90s music station, I was transported back to that sad, lost, and depressed girl crying over her first lost love.
Listening to the music, I remembered the pain that I had felt back then, and the hopelessness that ran through my veins.  I did not know then that the heart is an incredibly durable muscle and can withstand multiple wounds and even be put back together after it has been crushed.
One song that I heard on the music channel was Nobody Knows by the Tony Rich Project.  It is a song about lost love and living with the pain of that loss everyday and no one knowing about it.  This song perfectly expressed my life when my heart was first broken.

Restless

“I search for the words. Restless. As if you haven’t really met yourself yet. As if you’d passed yourself once in the fog, and your heart leapt – ‘Ah! There I Am! I’ve been missing that piece!’ But it happens too fast, and then that part of you disappears into the fog again. And you spend the rest of your days looking for it.” ~ Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing

February 2014.  When I sit down and think of what year it is now, I get anxious.  Where has all the time gone?  There is so much to do, and too little time to do them.  I am unsure of where to begin and what I should do next.

I miss traveling.  I miss going to foreign places and immersing myself in the culture of whatever country I am visiting.  I miss the feeling of stepping foot in a place where I have never been and anticipating what adventure awaits me next.  I want to make plans with friends to visit somewhere new and spend some time in the summer drinking cocktails under the stars in a quaint little sidewalk bar.

I miss the smell of newborn babies.  I want to have more children and watch them grow right before my eyes.  I want to experience youth again by living through my future kids.  GP and I have been trying for six months, and as yet, have had no luck with conceiving.  Although I am not yet technically “too old”, I am on the “later” spectrum of the breeding years and I have been advised by a fertility specialist that “time is of the essence.”

Travel?  Or try to have more kids?  Realistically, I cannot do both at the moment.  I have to stay focused on one thing, and my mind is racing a million miles a minute.  I am tired, but yet I feel restless and unsettled and I ache to do something.  Anything.  

What plans should I make for the rest of year?  Should I make travel plans for the summer, or should I buckle down and start fertility treatments?  I don’t know.  I have to decide first what I want to do.  But I want to do it all.

Ticking

“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays.  Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.” ~ Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

My 42nd year of life crept on me a few weeks ago.  As was my wish, there was no fanfare and no bright lights.  But the people who mean the most to me celebrated my life by surrounding me with their love and warmth.

It was all that I wanted.

***

It’s difficult to not assess our life without thinking about the years and time that pass us.  When I met with old friends from my kung fu school a few weeks ago, I was made aware of the fact that it had been nearly a decade since we all had trained together formally.  When I realized that my birthday had come and gone, I could not ignore the fact that I am aging and that the time for certain events in my life might be coming to an end soon.  And when I received the news from my friend C that her mom unexpectedly passed away in her sleep, I had to face the realization that the last time I had seen her mother was when she attended my own sister’s funeral in 2000.  It had been thirteen years since I had seen her, and this past Friday, I saw her again for the last time, at her funeral.

Whether we acknowledge it or not, the clock keeps ticking.  Man may be the only creature that keeps time, but nature does as well.  That is why there are changes in the seasons — Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.  The seasons represent the time for rebirth, growth, death and rest.  Nature may not keep a clock, but it still knows that there is a time, and a season for everything.

Old & Afraid

“When you’re young, you always feel that life hasn’t yet begun — that “life” is always scheduled to begin next week, next month, next year, after the holidays — whenever. But then suddenly you’re old and the scheduled life didn’t arrive. You find yourself asking, ‘Well then, exactly what was it I was having — that interlude — the scrambly madness — all that time I had before?” ~ Douglas Coupland, Life After God
My daughter is turning 6 in March. She is beyond excited. This morning she asked me how many days until her birthday.
“Twenty-one days, “ I answered.
“21?!?” she exclaimed. “That’s too long!”
It’s funny how when we are young, we cannot wait to get older. “When I turn      , I’ll finally be able to do                     !”
But then a shift happens. Suddenly, we want time to stop. For me, it happened when I was 29. I remember crying for two weeks before my 30th birthday. At that time, I felt as if life was all downhill from there. I knew then that my body would never be as nimble, flexible or as pliant as it once was when I was a mere 25 year old girl. I realized that I would have to start competing in the “senior division” at the Kung Fu tournaments. I also figured out that my knees had turned into a fairly accurate weather predictor. I knew from the amount of pain and pressure I would feel in my knees on any given day if precipitation was to be expected.
I became more aware of the passage of time, and how once lost, we can never get it back.
I spent most of my 20s, 8 years to be exact, loving and pining for a guy, my first love, who had left me when I was 25 and had never looked back.
I spent my 30s stuck in a loveless marriage to a man who did not deserve not even one day of my life.
And here I am now, in my early 40s, and feeling no confidence in myself or trust in my judgments. And unlike my daughter, I am not looking forward to my next birthday. In fact, instead of looking forward to the future, I would much prefer to go back in time. Back to a time when I could not wait for the future, rather than being fearful of and dreading it as I do now.
I am afraid that I will squander my 40s. I am afraid that I will wake up when I am in my 50s and realize that I still don’t know what I want out of life.
I am afraid that the issues that do not seem so important to me now, will be of paramount importance in the future, and at a time when I will no longer be able to do anything about it.
Basically, I feel old and afraid. And it’s the scariest feeling in the world.
01 Feb 2013

Corruption…. Faceless

I am here in the Philippines on vacation. I have been here since the middle of November. I couldn’t wait to come here. I had been counting down the days, but since I’ve been here, I’ve been angry and depressed.

I hate that I had to come all the way here to see my family. My experience and outlook this time towards the Philippines is much different than in my previous visits. I actually hate it here.

The corruption is rampant and the poverty is stifling. I have seen no improvement in the country and the thought of it is sickening. How is it that other countries, such as Vietnam and Japan, countries that were once war-ravaged, are now prosperous, and the Philippines is still an under-developed country?

It is because the politicians here are corrupt and they only care about what goes in their wallets. Never mind that the mass population barely have enough food to eat and live in shacks.

Maybe the people of the Philippines should take lessons from the people of Romania. Remember what they did to Nicolae Ceauşescu?

That same revolution and bloodshed needs to happen in the Philippines. Otherwise, I fear that the so-called leaders of this God-forsaken country will continue to hold down this country. It is in their benefit to keep the people in oppression.

~~

These past few weeks that I’ve been here, I’ve been having vivid dreams of the past – the times when all of my family were together in the U.S. The dreams feel so real that I wake up disappointed to find myself to simply be a guest in my parent’s home in the Philippines. I wish I could turn back time to happier days and happier situations.

These past few nights, I’ve been having dreams of an unknown person whose face I cannot see and do not recognize. It is the unrecognizable face of a man who makes me feel safe : a man who doesn’t get drunk and then becomes intolerable, a man who has dreams and ambitions of living a simple and normal life, a man who does not let his vices and whims control his life or destroy the lives of others, and a man who stays true and loyal to me as I am to him.

I have never seen his face yet, but when I do, I will know, for it is the face that both haunts and graces me in my dreams.

I look forward to seeing him again in my dreams. Although only a dream, the faceless man has made me feel safe in a way that I have not felt in a long time.

I will take it any way that I can – even if I have to simply dream about it.