31X22: Let’s Talk About Relationships

31X22: Let’s Talk About Relationships

Every year, fewer and fewer people remember my birthday. No. I don’t think it’s because lesser people love me. It’s more like people are getting older and are getting pretty bad at remembering occasions. How did I know? Because when I woke up today, I didn’t even remember that today is my birthday. So from the bottom of my heart, I am really thankful for all the people who never forget that today is a special day for me.

For the past ten years, every time this day comes it has been obligatory for me to write a blog. From Friendster, to Multiply, to Facebook, then a few years ago I started posting it on my blog site. Last year, I was so busy adjusting to a new life that I didn’t get the chance to write something. This year, I don’t want to make that excuse again. That’s why I tried so hard to think about what to write about. Usually, do it by listing stuff. Like facts about myself, things I like, people who made in fact in my life. But as I am getting older, the list that I need to fill gets longer. I don’t think I can do that anymore. So this year, I thought of doing it differently. Still, the bigger question was, what about? I jokingly said that maybe I should talk about love. But I can’t cause I’m no expert. Well, I’m not really an expert at anything. In the end, I decided to do relationships instead. Not romantic relationships per se, but all sorts of relationships with people.

With that, this year, I give you:  THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS.

  1. FAMILY. Let me quote from one of my favorite books a few words that based on my observation of mine and those around me pretty much describe what family relationships are like. Hermes from Rick Riordan’s book Sea of Monsters said,   “Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we’re related for better or for worse…and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.”

 Of course, we don’t really want to get to the maiming and killing part because (1) that’s a sin. (2) Unlike Hermes (from the story) none of us are immortal. But the rest of the words are pretty accurate for every family. We all have misunderstandings. My older sister and I are like Tom and Jerry half the time even at this age. But still, that doesn’t discount the fact that we love each other and that I know I’ll have her back anytime I need it. And vice versa. There are those who we sometimes wish, we could be detached in our lives and forget we’re family at all but still when tough times come we forget about all the animosity and are willing to lend that hand. No family is perfect. But you can never deny that you are related for better or for worse.

  1. FRIENDSHIPS. For me, friends are families sent to us by God through a different set of parents. Throughout the years, I met a lot of people. But unlike your blood-related families, these people can sever ties from you any time they want. The most important lesson I’ve learned about friendship is that you can be at your worst and the true ones will remain by your side. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known each other. Or how many trials you both went through together. Friendship is a fragile thing. I found myself losing friends because I don’t want to take sides in quarrels among my friends. The one remained and understood that I can’t go between whatever is going on between them, and the other felt like I was fraternizing with the enemy and removed me from their life. Of course, there are also those who you go a long period without talking but once you do, nothing changes between the two of you.

Another thing I’ve learned about friendship, being best friends doesn’t have to be a mutual thing. Of course, it would totally be a blessed thing if both of you feel the same. But I realized that it’s okay if I consider someone as my best friend even if I am not the best for her.

And with today’s technology, I even learned that one’s friendship could mean so much to you even if you haven’t them in person (hello to my online friends across the globe).

  1. WORKMATES AND COLLEAGUES Many people don’t know but I’m not really a people person. If I have a choice, I’ll take a job that does not involve talking with anyone at all. I guess it was partly because I was bullied, back-stabbed, betrayed, and cheated a lot during my formative years I didn’t really develop a sense of trust for people. Adulting 101 though involves going out of your comfort zone. That’s why through the years, I have tried so much to adjust myself. I’m really thankful to all the people who extended their patience for me until slowly I develop confidence within me.

There was a time in one of the places where I’ve worked when I felt everyone was against me. I even heard rumors flying around. One very wise stranger told me, “Don’t keep it to heart. Maybe they are envious. Or scared of you. Scared you might take their job. I know it’s hard to take it in now but you gotta be strong and patient. Along the way, they would forget they ever did that to you. Or that they even said things about you. If you take it to heart, you would always feel and think negative about them. Just give it your best all the time. If they see that you are not out to get them and that you are just like them doing their best to survive the tide you would eventually earn their trust and respect. It’s always hard to be the new guy at any workplace. But if you keep in your heart any ill feelings, you would strain your working relationship even before you get started.”

These words really helped me survive a lot of months. And the stranger was right. I was so stressed bottling up my emotions but in the end, everything work out. Along the way, the people who I felt were against me eventually supported me in my journey and even became my allies when things got bad. The stranger does know what he was talking about. I even learned to deal with people better. Today, at my current workplace, it helped me to extend patience I didn’t even know I have so that I can talk to people even at times  I don’t feel like it. Of course, I also have those moments when I lose my patience. And people do talk when I do. But it’s okay. What people don’t know is I am really hard on myself. If I make mistake I chastised myself so much about it. There is always room for learning. And people around you at work can always help you get better no matter how they treat you.

  1. LOVE. Since we’re talking about relationships, I felt like it would be cowardice to not talk about this one. I really don’t want to since among all kinds of relationships, this is the one I’m worst at. Either I love and care too deeply or I’ve been hurt so much I am so after to put my feet in the water that it tends to not work out. They say that loving someone involves getting hurt. And I know first-hand how true that can be. And that was why I also learned to take caution. But someone also said, loving someone cautiously is not loving at all. Hmm… too complicated noh? I’m with you there. There’s also that question, how do you really know if you met the one? I really have no answer. Like I said, this is one is what I’m worst. But still, I learned a thing or two from “all the boys I’ve loved before” (see what I did there?).  Here they are: (1) Loving someone means taking the risk of not getting loved back even if you give it your all. Time would come when you eventually have to admit defeat even if hoping would be easier. (2)Letting go is a process, but moving on is a decision. You can never really move on unless you decide that you have to and that you need to. (3) If a person wants to be with you, no miles or distance or time zones will get in the way. (4) When you say goodbye, mean it. I actually heard this a while ago in the grocery where a concert of Vice Ganda was being played. I remembered the words me and my friend used to say to each other back in college. “Kapag ex, ex na. Hindi na binabalikan.” And I think I silently observed this rule. She might have broken it about once or twice. But she’s happy now. And you may have observed that none of my learnings ended up in a happy ending. Just to be clear, it may not be a happy ending but that doesn’t mean that I’m not happy. ‘Cause one of the things that I also learned is that (5) I’d rather be alone than being with someone who will go running the other way at the first sign of trouble.

 I haven’t been into a lot of relationships. But the few that I’ve been through gave me enough lessons to hope that the next one might be better. It may not be much to some people but it taught me the difference between someone willing to give it a try, someone who wants to make it work, and someone who is looking for the first excuse to quit. I’m not closing my doors that true love may find me someday. I’m not also beyond looking for it myself. Who knows maybe my Mr. Right has a bad sense of direction and got lost in the way, right?

I have limited knowledge about relationships. But all the relationships that I have and had that I mentioned above, I value them and tucked within me the learnings that I gained through them. Above all. I thank the Lord above for this relationship I have with Him that has kept me sane, strong, patient, forgiving and loving all through the thick and thins of all the relationships that I have.

I’m running out of time. I have to have this up in my blog before my birthday ends. Since it’s already 9:38, I’ll have to end it here. Might have more to share one of these days. But since it’s already crunch time, here’s your birthday gal, signing off. I hope you enjoyed reading this year’s birthday blog from yours truly.




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