Thursday, September 10, 2009

top ten things i learned from my two-week leave

My work shirts are starting to smell like my closet. My leather shoes have been untouched for almost half a month. I’m starting to doubt if I can still teach English (Don’t English me very deep. I did not study very high!) I’ve been on vacation leave since the end of August- the first vacation leave I’ve taken, uhm ever. I have a few more days left until I have to go back to work. So far, it’s been a blast. I learned so many things and I’m sharing a few of them with you.

1. When going on leave, have a plan but be prepared to break it. I was supposed to go to the beach. I originally took this leave of absence to clear my thoughts and find myself yaddah yaddah yaddah. My ten precious days off work was supposed to invigorate me and all that. However…

2. Do not spend all your money within the first five days partying. While it may seem like a good idea at first, remember to pace yourself. My first week on leave was a sick cycle of sleeping, drinking and being hung over. Pa-ulit ulit lang. Your body can only take so much abuse and you wouldn’t want to be stuck broke and sick for the remainder of your leave. Oo, ako yun.

3. The strangest things resurface when you clean your room. Sometimes, it’s the timeliest of reminders. I found an old journal from right after my last, err… car crash. In between movie tickets, pictures and haphazard movie reviews, I found this:

I once said that one day, you too will lose your power over me. I no longer walk in pain. The stars no longer remind me of you. Even your face, the one I longed to see for the longest time, begins to fade in my mind’s eye. The arch of your nose, the squint in your eyes, even the taste of your lips- all these are slipping from ‘memories’ to ‘lessons learned’.

And as I walk away from the car crash that was my private heaven and hell, I pick up the pieces of my sanity which I scattered like confetti when I was yours. A piece to restore my mind, returning self-awareness and self sufficiency. Another for my heart, so that when the time comes, I could love again.

I survived then. That was ten times more powerful. I will survive this. Especially because…

4. Lose a lover, gain a few friends. It all works out in the end. You may think the world is ending but the age-old adage is true. When God closes a door, He opens a window. (Cue Joseph the Dreamer) I may have had my heart broken but the Big Guy upstairs didn’t want me to be alone. So He sent in a few friends- really good friends. People I didn’t expect na madadala ako. Seriously, thank you so much for putting up with me during my darkest hours. You guys taught me that…

5. Emo-ness subsides. Skeeter Davis is a liar. The sun goes on shining, yes but it’s not the end of the world. Kasi nga the world doesn’t stop turning. It only feels that way when love ends but every morning that you wake up is another opportunity to prove your worth to the world. Sulking doesn’t get you anywhere. The sooner you shake it off, the sooner you’ll be fine. Also…

6. There’s no such thing as an easy break-up. You may think you’re fine but then a single text message can totally throw you off*. Relapse is a bitch* but that’s not your only problem. After you’ve given everything to ensure a sane and mature break-up, magugulat ka nalang, may mag-rereply sa isang post na naka-all caps. Hamuna. Ganun lang talaga yun. Hindi naman yun aalisin ni God if makakabuti siya sakin, diba?

7. There’s nothing that a long walk cannot fix. Aside from my really good friends, these long walks in Salcedo really kept me sane. Umulan man o umaraw, it felt good to have a routine. When your mind’s heavy and your heart knows no reprieve, just take a long walk. No phones, no Twitter, no connection to the outside world. Just you, your iPod and the pavement. You’ll be surprised at how therapeutic it is.

8. Eating fifty butter and cheese sandwiches* with non-fat milk will give you diarrhea. Seriously. It may seem like a good idea to eat and eat and eat pero I learned that my body has limits pala. Haha Another lesson (although it didn’t make the top ten) is if you have diarrhea, don’t leave home. Otherwise, you may find yourself in the middle of Ayala fleeing a cab and running for the nearest toilet. Err, no. Di ako ‘yun. Uhm, friend ko yun. Haha

9. Sleep. While it seems like a good idea to spend all night bloghopping or watching Sex and the City reruns, sleeping at 6AM with the sun in your face is hardly relaxing. Ooh, naps are also the bomb. It’s like a mini vacation within a vacation! I used to sleep 10 hours a day. These past few months, I could survive on just four. I’ve forgotten how good it feels to wake up after a really, really long nap.

10. When all else fails, there’s always Facebook. My goodness. After years of avoiding Facebook, I finally gave in*. If you’re bored, there’s sooooo much to do. I haven’t given in to the whole farming and mob-building craze but I am having tons of fun reading status updates and links and whatnot. It’s like having a window into everyone’s lives. When you want to tune out of the world, escape is just a few clicks away. Plus, when there’s no one around, it’s the only one that will ask you ‘What’s on your mind?’

Katy Perry
Waking Up In Vegas
One of the Boys