Last night, I hung out with Jam Pascual, an incredible writer who I had the absolute privilege to work with during No Filter. We were both head writers for the play and we, together with Toff De Venecia, went over all the submitted pieces and edited them and that includes his work as well, and mine too. He probably has the most monologues in the whole play, both runs, and his work absolutely amazing. He’s much younger than me but I can see brilliance when I see it and despite a busy work schedule, which kept him from being with the rest of the No Filter family on every little hang out session, I’ve made a conscious choice that I would hold on and hang out with him when I can. He’s got this fascinating mind and I don’t have that many people to talk to when it comes to poetry and writing and creativity.
So last night, I finally got a chance to really hang out with him and we spent a good deal of time together. We talked about poems and poetry. We talked about creativity and our plans for the future as artists. We talked about the government and the way people have been acting online.
And I found myself saying things I’ve never said to people. I said things, about myself, that I’ve never said aloud to anybody else. Confession: I talk about myself a lot and I’m very open about my faults. I like to think of myself as very self-aware and I’m quick to share my imperfections as a means to create connection and accessibility. But there are a lot of things I do not say or admit openly. Like how I really feel about myself. Those I’ve always kept hidden, thoughts that I deal with alone.
Last night, for no logical reason that I could think of, I told Jam. In the way that I find myself very invested in his growth as an artist, having seen him work on No Filter, I think I ended up baring my most fragile and vulnerable self, the secret side of me, to show him why I go out of my way to encourage and support young artists that I’ve come across: people like him, and Apa (my director friend), and some of the poets of Words Anonymous. Any young writer that I believe in, I invest in the friendship in order to support and encourage their creativity and their creative pursuits.
As it was done for me, I do for others.
I don’t know if it was the full moon. Or if it was an apologetic stance as to why I was so concerned and invested, considering that we had just a year ago, and barely really hung out. I felt like I had to explain myself, maybe. Or maybe because he’s Cancerian and as a fellow water sign, I felt safe enough to reveal that bit about myself.
I still don’t have the courage to give away that part of me. But there is a certain sense of liberation to have finally given voice to those insecurities and, as if I knew he was the best person to tell those things to, he just listened and didn’t try to correct me. He didn’t invalidate my point-of-view, the way people do when someone shares their insecurities and failings. People do it out of love. People do it with the best of intentions and, not that it feels disingenuous, but it feels like they are not trying to understand where you are coming from. Not only did Jam listen, he understood.
I really appreciated that.
I asked him to read one of my poems, which is the most vulnerable I ever get in any social situation. I put my poems out there but I’m not usually present when people read my work. Last night, I made a poet I respect and admire greatly read one of my works and he didn’t treat me with kid gloves. He recognizes my flaws as a poet and he gave me the real deal in terms with which I could understand.
I really appreciated that.
Last night, I was completely fine with what I had admitted to but something switched on in me when I woke up today. I don’t want to let those insecurities hold me back anymore. I make jokes about how when I grow up I want to be just like Jam Pascual. Well, I’m willing to do the work now to be just like him. I want to write just like him.
This is why I enjoy hanging out with my younger friends. My younger friends now equal in number to my friends that are my age and are from my generation. I love their honesty and I’m inspired by their passion and drive. I learn so much from them and I hope they learn as much from me.