Monday, January 21, 2002

Moving On

I had always been haunted by my experience during grade school and the first year of high school. They all left permanent scars, none of which have been easy to bear. Just when I thought I had faced the worst, the days following my high school graduation showed me that I was wrong. I still had much to learn and change was an inevitable thing for me.

Depressed and frustrated, these emotions were augmented by the fact that it was my summer break and there was nothing else for me to do but to dwell on it. If there's any advice I can give to a heartbroken person, it's to keep busy. The more free time you have, the more you dwell on the tragic events of your life.

For nearly two weeks, I barely got any rest since I was plagued by dreams of Nissie. My dreams were actually pleasant. It's the fact that you know it's just a dream and that it isn't real that frustrated me. I'd become sleepy only to wake up an hour later, my heart beating rapidly at the sight of my crush. This would always happen whenever I closed my eyes so it was a miracle I managed to get any rest at all. That was just the first symptom.

As I wrote before, Nissie and I shared a lot of things in common. We watched the same anime shows, read the same books, and even went to the same places. Thus, any activity I did only made me recall what I had lost (I never "gained" her to begin with). Whenever I watched a show, I'd think of how Nissie would have laughed at that instance or smiled in that situation. Books where no help either. I wanted to loan her the books I was reading but I knew she wouldn't accept. Worse, I knew she'd enjoy the books. When a new book would come out, I badly wanted to tell her about it but I knew she wouldn't entertain me. It perturbed me that I had something to share but I couldn't do so.

Several days had passed and I had lost all my will to live. What reason did I have for existing if I can't be with the one I love? I may have all the material goods I want but it cannot bring me joy. Only other people can make me happy. Only Nissie could have made me happy?

I probably would have committed suicide then if it weren't for the fact that I had underwent a suicide phase when I was nine or ten. I had resolved since then not to commit suicide since it would have been meaningless; I'd accomplish nothing when I could do more by being alive. Another reason I didn't hang myself is the fact that my body had a strong will to live. It wouldn't give up on me and I didn't have the will to slit my wrist. Of course that didn't mean I gave up the idea entirely. Given the chance, I'd sacrifice my life if it could save another. Actually, one of my wishes now is that I could give up my life so that a friend could live.

By the time it was April, I had firmly decided to get over Nissie. The hardest thing for me to do wasn't to get over Nissie but to decide to do it. I was usually trapped with indecision, not knowing if I should give up or if I should still strive to gain her affection. After all, as long as there's a chance, there's still hope. And some people should know that hope isn't always a good thing.

My plan involved a threefold tactic. The first was to be preoccupied. The more free time I had, the more I'd dwell on it. Keeping busy was healthy for me. Besides, I'm not the type that liked to be idle. My solution to that problem was to look for a job. Guess where I got hired?

After getting employed at Comic Alley, I implemented the second stage of my plan. I needed a new hobby. What made it difficult for me is the fact that I always remember Nissie whenever I surf the net, watch TV, or read my books. I needed to do something I've never done before, something that I can't associate with Nissie.

I'm a reader at heart. When I finally got fed up reading fantasy (and my Dragonlance books), I started to look for something different. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle found me as I saw the compiled editions of all his Sherlock Holmes novels. For a time, that was all that I was reading. Everything else seemed to drift away like my anime soundtrack collection, the anime fanzine, and even the chatroom. I was reinventing myself.

The third phase involved meeting new people and making new friends. Don't worry, I'm not the type of person that rebounds on another person. I just needed to broaden my association with people and perhaps gain back a piece of my former self. It didn't work out quite well at first. For one thing, we once had a customer who looked a lot like Nissie. I couldn't contain myself and had to leave the shop even when the customer was still there.

During the entire month of April, I was busy recovering and getting over Nissie. I tried new hobbies, met new people, and preoccupied myself with the things at hand. It wasn't easy at first. I'd remember Nissie often (I was working at an anime shop after all) and I'd go into bouts of depression. As time passed on though, I'd only remember Nissie once or twice a day.

The pivotal day for me was in May. I had scheduled a meeting with Joanne, a person I used to chat. It was a Saturday and she was dropping by Greenhills with her parents and a friend to go shopping. I had known her since second year but I had never seen her. When she finally dropped by Comic Alley, I was shocked. She was beautiful. A friend I had talked to for the past three years was standing right before me and she was extremely pretty. We talked for awhile and then I had to say goodbye to her since I couldn't leave the store. It's a good thing I didn't.

As if determined by fate, an old acquaintance dropped by. His name was John and he brought with him his girlfriend and a friend. The girl's name was Therese and her friend's name was Rose. They were both pretty in their own ways. I laughed at the circumstances because Joanne was batchmates with these two girls. I surprised them by saying that their batchmate Joanne dropped by earlier. They were shocked at how I knew. I simply said that I was a stalker. =)

What made that day special was the fact that it wasn't until the end of the day did I realize I didn't remember Nissie. I was so happy. I had finally gotten over my crush. Of course I'd later miss the fact that I wasn't in love anymore. When my life returned to normal, things appeared "plain". I wasn't as motivated like I was when I had fallen for Nissie. My actions lacked the enthusiasm they previously had. I then learned the value of learning to love.

"It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all." I know the value of that statement. In fact, I don't regret falling head over heels for Nissie. I had everything to gain in doing so. Look at the new things I learned about myself. Count how many friends I had made in the process. Most important of all, it paved the way for new possibilities. I was forever changed and perhaps that change was for the better.

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