Images can also be reflected in a puddle of mud, however unclear.
And in this night where no star can be seen, clouds are as unwelcome as this solitude imposed upon me.
A few days ago, I celebrated my third decade on this earth.
I can now review my life in thirds, very much like the term a photographer (which I aspire to be) uses. And so, here it goes.
The first third of my life was spent as a child, and solitude was my twin. You see, my mother had two miscarriages before me, and one after. I was never meant to have siblings. True, some of my cousins turned out to be siblings of some sort, but they all went away.
My childhood was rife with envy. Envious I was of my cousins’ toys, their experiences, their books and how I thought they had it all. I thought they had it all because they were rich, their parents were rich. Even as a child, I learned to blame. But on the positive side, I learned not to emulate the mistakes of those who came before me.
However, I harbored a vengeful loathing. I aspired to be rich, so when I become one, nobody will ignore me. And they will always include me in their parties, in their events. Or on the flip side, I will exclude them from mine.
Let’s say that sums up my first third. On to the second then.
Still trying to fit in, this was the theme of my second third. As is usual with people at this stage, I became more aware of the people around me. The world became bigger and I was scared. I was always scared. And alone. Solitude never left.
Life threw obstacles in my path. I stumbled a few times. Even to the point of feeling that rising from each stumble was becoming more futile as life went on. It was in this third that my mother left me. I remember staring at her, lifeless. That was not my mother. But a shell. An empty vessel. Her soul has left her body. And me.
But I tried to shake off my loneliness. Life went on. To repress my sadness and save it for times when I was alone. Oh, the deluge. Accompanied with that gnawing feeling, that drilling pain. It’s a wonder I survived. God must have some plans for me, I thought at that time.
So high school flashed by like a blur. You know, when you set the shutter speed to be slow and you unintentionally or intentionally shake the camera, you come up with images that are abstract, at best, and incomprehensible, at worst. That was high school.
Thankfully, college came and Solitude let me have some space. I made friendships, some of which last unto this day. We learned Accounting. I cheated and learned that this was not the way to learn. Thankfully, it was not too late to change. My friends had a huge impact on how I appreciated the big, wide world I was living in. And in the dreams I was starting to build. Of course, my family was always there.
I didn’t know the biggest failure so far in this life was about to happen in this third. We finished college, my friends and I. With flying colors, at that. I was so ecstatic that I barely planned for the next part: reviewing for the board exams.
It was in the third third that my heart first fluttered. The first cut is the deepest, as the song goes. I failed the exams, and I blamed it on my heart. I repressed the feelings and muffled the screams my heart was emitting.
I set my sights on becoming a CPA. This time, I was to make it through and come out victorious. And I did make it through. Thanks to my friends and family. Thanks to God who never left me. And solitude, for always being at my side. I was 22.
Flash forward to struggling in starting to make a living for myself. I carefully decided each step I made. Although, of course, this was intertwined with having fun. With newfound friends and colleagues.
Now I sit here in the middle of nowhere (only one person knows where this is). A Japanese girl is performing for a crowd at a nearby bar and it’s almost time to leave this place and head for home. Maybe I ought to watch her performance. I stand up and move toward the bar. And then go home.