Archive

Tag Archives: depression

spreads I’ve taken out from the daily paper + two-month-old magazine issue + sketch pad for poster entry brainstorming + distractions

Lately, I’ve been feeling like my life’s just a list of tasks. I am not creating nor am I even consuming. I don’t know where to start or when to stop. I have ideas recorded on paper and typed on notepad files that never flourished enough. This must be what quarter-life crisis feels, assuming I live to 88. And it doesn’t help to know that others go through the same thing, or that others have bigger problems, or that it will all be okay. It’s irrational albeit comforting to say any of these, because these words are kisses to a man with a broken leg—it makes him feel better, but it does not fix his injury.

The thought of the future brings anxiety to the present. I see where the lives of older people have headed, and I am afraid of two things: becoming the mess like they are, or growing up not being as good (what does that even mean?) as any of them. Everyday, I walk to the station where I get my ride home; I know the route, but I feel directionless.

I’m under the pile right now, and I need something to push myself up. Until when will I be a wallflower? Will I ever shine?

It was almost 3 AM, and I was sitting among the disarranged monobloc chairs, and people were leaving. My hair was in a ponytail, a slight mess like it always is, strands brushing my face like I just got out of bed. Beside me was my friend. Let me describe what was in front of me: An interviewer holding his list of questions; a boom mic hanging above; the cameraman and his recording device; and the man I decided I would want to see  again after that day. His overbite smile and singular chuckle as he looked for a second to where I was sitting was enough to drown the voice of my friend who was telling me something, but I cannot remember what because I was not listening. My nervous self unknowingly smiled back.

Three months passed, and the plot which I primed myself to be familiar with has come to the inevitable point. I was careful with my heart, knowing sweet words were things he has said to those he might have loved or fucked. I made certain that his whispers did not mean too much to me, but eventually the words that came in one ear and out the other took a different direction and entered my bloodstream to affect me like any substance can. I was a seventeen-year-old again, turning the apple and refusing to see what was rotting here and there; I made sure the fresh crisp peel was all I can see. And I took a bite. I allowed myself to be special to someone again. It was a risk I was willing to take on again—letting a new person into my life, like one would open a door for a stranger to step into one’s home, going beyond the doormat that says welcome. I wanted to ask him who he is, to know who he is, to see who I am, but I held back from speaking my soul out of fear, out of logical excuses of the mind.

There were things I wanted to say—how I loved his eyelashes that pointed down, making his eyes look sad, delicate, but beautiful; that a month before his birthday I was already excited to get him a present, to write him a letter, to see him again and tell him how happy I am to have him around, to invite him to my home, curl up and talk for hours. But I only exist in one of the parallel universes, and to where I belong, he has decided to set me aside like a task and end a budding connection with an unapologetic lie—the funniest part that came with the twinge in the organ under my left ribcage.  And because the right time I was waiting for was not to come anyway, these words are only meant to be written, and maybe shared, but never spoken.

Not all the time, but enough times to say this is true.

It sucks. It really does. Don’t listen to good music when you are depressed—ever. When I feel like nothing, not even ice cream or a kiss or a half-pound burger can make me feel better, I listen to good music. There are enough rock songs that tell me to stop thinking and just sing along. I try to read a good book too. And then I listen and listen to the same album until I feel better, and then I can’t listen to these songs anymore. I’ve tainted them with history I’d rather not remember, and off with those are some songs that could’ve made my day, some day in the future.

Music, at the lowest points in life, can temporarily distract me from insistent thoughts and fill my head with loud steady beats. I can’t give you a playlist, because I always pick the ones that don’t speak of anything I feel anyway. And what’s worse is I have to postpone listening to some music for better appreciation, appreciation in a moment when I can let sound pass through my ears and think only what a great song that is. So sometimes I don’t listen at all; I just deal with my thoughts along with the sound of the droning electric fan in my room. It’s just better than mixing a beautiful song with a mind in riot.

I’m not the first person to put this into words, because I’m sure you’ve felt this: you feel that your life is like a movie—you are the character to whom all attention must be given, the soundtrack of your life plays on your iPod, songs perfectly fitting into place. Yes, that’s right, sun’s shining bright, I feel good! Wow, some happy catchy beat is on air! how did they know? And then there’s the other side: I have no direction in life, I just had a break up, everyone hates me. And yeah, radio plays your favourite misery tune.

Radio always has a way of making pop songs to be the soundtrack of the moment. I would have loved these songs that will one day be classics and much cooler to listen to when we’re all older, but I just hate how they have to be the perfect accompaniment to make things awkward as they already are, only because they manifest what I’d rather not say, or even think of at all. And I wish one thing: that it’s the same way for you, that it’s an experience you feel no one can understand completely and knowing you have the same sentiment will make me feel less lonely.

But time is always a slow painkiller. One day good music will be good music to me again, and I can finally listen to them thinking only, “Dang, this is good.”