The scars of 23

A couple of weeks month late, but relevant all the same. As I’ve said a few times earlier, 2013 stands to be the one of the worst – if not the worst – years of my life. The year I’ve spent being 23, however, wasn’t as bad. There were lessons I’ve learned, some for the first time and some I had to learn again, and I have them to thank for making 23 better (while still painful) than 22.

(I’m in the middle of writing this and I just realized something very dire – I’m gonna have to apologize beforehand if this sounds way too much like Thought Catalog. That tone definitely wasn’t the intention; this list is for my own personal consumption as much as it is for anyone stumbling across this, needing any advice.)

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To the world

I’m alive! If anyone’s still coming here and looking for me, that is. I’ve just been terribly busy. There are things I’ve been meaning to write, but it just so happens that some priorities win out more than others.


My memories of Baguio are defined by the night. The journeys always seemed like longer, more entertaining affairs than when we were out and about in the city. Thus, I know and love Baguio better through the cold midnight wind, the only warmth being the orange of my beloved streetlights standing watch over the winding roads and their ghosts, and the sparse, quiet music that played on the radio in those wee small hours of the night.

11 years had been too long. I missed it so.

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When the world was new

This used to be great, you know – it was less about the heat and more about having fun together, doing as children do.

But time passes, leaves fall, winter winds come and go, and people grow up. Out of their old whims. Maintaining connections over the air instead of on the ground. Summers of old shelved away in boxes of memory.

Only the heat from the white-hot sun remains, stoking the flames of love that’s long lost its innocence; up until the wheel turns ’round again.

And it will; only you’ll be watching this time.

Phoenix songs

I’m taking back the music from you, one song at a time.

And then one day – I might realize it, I might not – I will no longer find you there, hiding behind each word, each note.


There’s always been this paradox within me which I refuse to acknowledge: I have always wanted to move out and away and live somewhere on my own, in a place small enough to afford and big enough to be mine, somewhere I can always hide when the world points too many guns at me; but I know that given enough time and enough people, it will eventually be haunted by ghosts I refuse to sit with. Eventually, the furniture will not be the only things littering the space.

Memories will one day settle on top of them, like another layer of cloth, always begging to be noticed. They will unfold, like a hologram, but faintly and easily dispersable – and that will be enough to trigger anything that can compromise me. I know this from many relationships and friendships that have failed, and rooms I’ve had to leave; sometimes against my will, sometimes voluntarily. It’s never a happy thing to do, no matter how good the move ends up becoming.

I guess I’ve always been looking for somewhere I don’t ever have to leave, even if I understand that no one can stay in one place forever. But would it be too much to ask for a place where the ghosts will never haunt? Where the memories do not manifest? Where certainty – and most importantly, love – truly live? Is this something I have to spend a wish from a magic lamp for?