Monday, February 04, 2002


I like to see people smile. Many people have wondered why I suddenly give gifts or try so hard to please them. Is it so hard to believe that I do it out of the goodness of my heart? I don't blame those who don't. After all, those weren't my original intentions.

When I was in high school, I often treated girls out or gave them some trinket which they were fond of. While I was pleased that they liked it, that wasn't the foremost reason I had for doing so. One reason was because I wanted to know them better and giving them a gift seemed the perfect way of achieving that goal. Another was to disguise my true intentions when I finally meet someone I found attractive. After all, if you were giving gifts to a lot of people, friends wouldn't suspect that you're actually interested in somebody, much less trying to court someone.

Unfortunately, like most things, things didn't work out as planned. The person I actually fell in love with didn't like me. I had met and gained the friendship of a lot of people? except the one I truly wanted. Or needed. She doesn't like me: I realized that fact. My life seemed meaningless. I was in a perpetual state of depression. I doubted if I would ever be happy again.

I wanted to be preoccupied. I didn't want to dwell on the tragedies that have happened in my life. I had a weekend and it seemed I didn't have any assignments or projects to do. I was free yet it was this freedom that kept me trapped in sorrow. I needed something to keep myself busy. Anything else was better than staring at nothing and remembering everything. I strolled around Greenhills. I found what I was looking for.

The CLC (Christian Life Community) club was holding a fund raising drive. Some of the volunteers were acquaintances and since I had nothing better to do, I volunteered to help even if it wasn't required of me. I wasn't even pressured to do so. For four hours of gathering donations, I actually did something productive. And it felt good. I was glad to be of service. I found happiness in helping other people.

I'm a person who is seldom happy. I treasure the rare moments when I actually find joy. Does it surprise you that I came back the next day to help out? It was then that I decided to focus on other things. I didn't need my crush to be happy, although I must admit that I was happiest when I'm with her. I read somewhere that you should try to think that people care whenever someone smiles. I took that ideology to heart and that soon became my philosophy. Whenever I saw a smile, I imagined that it was me they were smiling at. Some of the smiles were actually meant for me.

I'm not a person that smiles. That's why I often introduce myself as a person that's NR, the slang for no reaction. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate smiles though. I try to cheer people up and the smiles they make more than make up for what I lack. Whenever I make someone happy, I'm happy. I may not show it but that's how I really feel.

That didn't end there though. One way I coped up with depression was cheering people up. I'd loan my CDs to people who'd appreciate them. I even got a cute thank you letter from time to time. Another instance was when I'd treat my friends out, or when I bought a manga or toy for a friend who adores such things. I still felt the pain of a lost love but something else was growing within me. I still behaved the same but the reasons for doing so are different.

Some people might wonder why I have a lot of friends. Did I have charm? I wish. Was I friendly or kind? I often describe myself as being arrogant and annoying. I think the reason why people like me is because I'm sincere. A few months ago during the second major anime convention, I met Lea. We talked for awhile and I offered to loan her Roger Zelazny's Amber series. She was surprised that I was willing to lend the book to a stranger. I was shocked as well. I realized what made me different from the rest was my sincerity. I was willing to do something other people are hesitant to do. I was willing to entrust something I own to somebody I barely know. Perhaps my eagerness to make new friends blinds me to the frailty of trust. Or perhaps it's because of that same reason that people are willing to trust me more.

People often ask me what I want as a present. What I want is something they can't give me; they can't make my crush love me. What I ask from them though is the next best thing. I ask them to give me their prettiest smile and be happy. And it's true. It's been a coping mechanism for me and nothing gives me greater joy that seeing other people happy. I remember the times when I don't smile. I then remember the times when I make other people smile. To me, it all balances out. What makes other people happy makes me happy. It's weird but it's true. That's why until now, I still try so hard to do what I can for other people.

What makes me happy? Seeing my friends happy. Sometimes, I just wish that people would tell me what they want so that I can give it to them as a present, asking for nothing in return except that they smile when they receive it. Is that too much to ask?