sleeping and dreaming

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photo by Shaira Luna

Last night was the first night of good sleep that I got in the past two months.

It has been a tough two months. I think I’ve been saying that often here. The initial rush and momentum that pervaded my return to Manila ended abruptly in the second week of June. A guy I was dating ended things. We just weren’t a good match. It broke me but he was possibly right and he did it in the kindest way possible. He was very kind and I am very grateful. But it happened coincidentally when many of my major projects were either postponed, delayed, or didn’t fall through. Not only that, but payments were delayed and the emotional burden of the “break up” was compounded by the real world problems of a financial snag.

I had money owed to me and I had projects that would pay but I had no access to the funds and the work was pushed back so I had very little to keep me busy.

It was very tumultuous. I think I fell into a depression because I couldn’t sleep before 3am. I’d be in bed early but I wouldn’t be able to sleep until way past 2am. I was unfocused and hurting. All my insecurities surfaced and I was hating myself for reasons that don’t really make sense now.

I am way too hard on myself.

Then last Monday, I got invited to drinks and to catch with the guy and I wasn’t sure what I was doing when I agreed. But it was good thing that I did because he was amazing again and allowed me to say things that didn’t need to be said, really, but I’m the kind of guy who has to articulate my feelings. He listened. And that was amazing. I knew it was over but I just had to tell me what I was feeling — that he broke me when he ended things and I had to hear why he ended it and that I still wanted him, though it’s fading — and he listened and he answered everything honestly and I needed that.

We spent five hours just catching up. We talked about him too and we talked about movies and life and plans and things that friends talk about. And I came to realize that I’m not as confident as I project myself to be. I hide all my insecurities and my extremely low self-esteem in helpfulness, generosity, wisdom, and joy. I really don’t think highly of myself, even though I also know my worth. It’s like I know it but I don’t believe it. It’s been my problem ever since. He tried to help me realize it and tried to push me to be more assertive of myself.

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photo by Shaira Luna

But through that, I realized that I needed to say these things out loud because I felt small and tiny and insignificant. But he let me say what I wanted to say, to say what I feel, which made me realize that it was okay to feel this way and that it won’t change anything and that gave me impetus to finally start moving on.

It’s okay to still love him even though he doesn’t feel the same way. There’s nothing wrong with that. And eventually, the feeling will fade. We are friends now but I still carry the torch. Soon, we’ll just be friends and whatever feelings I have now will just be part of our personal history.

And then yesterday, a work situation suddenly became a true opportunity and paid me a downpayment that would stabilize my real-world problems for the next month until all my checks come in and then I’ll be okay for the next three months.

I can now stop worrying and just focus on my work. I can stop accepting new projects and just work on the jobs I have now and just finish them because I know I’ll be okay for the next three months.

For the first time since June, I slept heavily. I slept before 2am and woke up at 8am and I’ve been working like a fiend. I cut my hair, like I always do when faced with a huge workload ahead of me. And I’m hopeful and optimistic again.

The past two months, I’d have a light and restless sleep and the dreams were always so frustrating. Everything was frustrating in my dreams. But this time around, my dream was so realistic but it was hopeful. It was still difficult and challenging but I wasn’t ever going to give up.

This is what my life is going to be like. The life of a freelancer: the unpredictable day-to-day of a person who chooses to live. It’s what I chose. I knew that this is what happens. I’ve been through this before. Back in 2004 to 2006 and then again in 2008 to 2010.

Welcome back to being alive, Wanggo. Now, find a way to deal with your self-esteem and insecurities. You deserve to be here. You are worthy of your place amongst your friends. Know that inside your heart. Sleep deeply and dream of a better future.

That’s my message to myself.



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