Future · Life

If it were up to me…

If it were up to me, we’d be beside each other at this very moment.

Talking about the vastness of space and the great unknown.
Or the stubbornness of your code.
Or the complexity of international politics.
Or the latest addition to your playlist.
Or that series I’m watching (or re-watching, so I’d finally get to hear you say: LET’S WATCH K-DRAMA TOGETHER PLS. I brought fries from Potato Corner too.).
Or that gut-wrenching meme that I still don’t get, but had you laughing for weeks.
Or the heartbreaking lyrics of Coldplay‘s recent release that drove me to tears the first time I heard it.
Or those sick handles that broke your friend’s ankles.
Or that up-and-coming indie band’s solid set on their first gig at Jess and Pat’s.
Or that insane guitar riff that just came to you while in the shower.
Or that lovely tea we had at that quaint tea shop we accidentally stumbled upon when we got lost.
Or @chrisburkard‘s latest content on Instagram that has left us awestruck yet again.
Or @NASA‘s breathtaking photos that are out of this world…literally.
Or just, nothing.

Here with you, this is my safe place. I am safe with you.
You are my safe place.

We’re holding hands and my head is on your chest, as we’re laying on the grass, under the stars, marveling at that stunning moon in all its fullness.

If it were up to me, I’d lean in closer, so that my face is now only a few inches far from yours. I’d plant a kiss on your forehead, then breathe in slowly, and then close my eyes. I’d find your heart and feel it beating.

1, 2, 3…you’re alive and you’re here. And you’re with me.

I’m alive and I’m here. And I’m with you.

Thank God we’re alive…with each other…for each other.

If it were up to me, I’d let you read this piece, and you’ll find that every mention of “you” is followed by your beautiful name.


Okay na ako (I am now okay)

Most of us have been here, at this moment. You have been carefully nursing your wounds from a painful heartbreak, patiently waiting to move on to your next season. Or, not patiently. Sometimes, you get frustrated with the lack of developments and you wonder, is the pain ever going to end? And then that monumental day comes, you are finally okay. It didn’t come easy, of course. But it finally happened. You are now okay.

may know how it feels. Is it even enough to say that it is one of the greatest feelings in the world? 🙂

Write about it. So you won’t forget. So you get reminded that victory is possible.

And if you find it hard to start writing, let me help you. You may use the text below as your template.

Fight. Fight hard.

– Charlocked

Please, come back

“Pls ha. Come back agad pag ok ka na.”
(Please ha. Come back as soon as you are already okay.)

This was what you told me 3 years ago.

This was your response, the first time I told you I wanted to end…whatever we had.

This was your pleading when I unilaterally decided I wanted to back off.

This was your assurance that when I eventually become “okay”, I have you waiting for me.

This was seemingly your desperate request that warranted an affirmative response from me, in the form of a promise.

This was, I guess, the last (documented) time that you felt that you loved me enough to try again in the future…when I am already okay.

After 3 years, I finally have a response. A reluctant one, yes, but a response nonetheless.


3 (long) years, in a nut shell

Looking back, I now understand that I was (or, still am) so selfish. I had no regard for what you may have been feeling that time, I didn’t even bother consulting you on what you thought. All I had was this horrible audacity to throw this at you: Ayoko na.

It was a low blow. It was something you didn’t deserve. But being the annoying know-it-all that I am, I have chosen to justify what I did as a reckless move by a sheltered lady who was a newbie in relationships.

But that is not an excuse for how nasty that cheap shot was. I took you for granted. Thinking that I would regularly get a pass for every “mistake” I’d make, I kept pushing you to your limits…and not in a good and healthy way. I’d always argue, “I am sorry. Rookie mistake.”. But the rookie didn’t seem to want to learn. I’ve gotten used to drawing the newbie card, and by the time you realized I was abusing you already, I felt what may have been the first subtle indicators of your future hatred and disappointment towards me.

I can never forget what you said:

Hindi lang naman ikaw yung baguhan dito eh. Hindi lang naman ikaw ang nag-aadjust. Ako din naman.
(You’re not the only novice here. You’re not the only one who is adjusting. I am also a newbie. I am also adjusting.)

All I wanted was for myself to feel great. 100% great. Although I absolutely loved being with you, but being with you felt wrong. And because I didn’t want any hint of wrongness, like a scared little girl who gives up when the going gets tough, I chose to throw my hands up and decided: Ayoko na. (I don’t want this anymore.)

Now that I think about it, I don’t even have a clear answer on why I said “Ayoko na”. But, this doesn’t matter now.

Fast forward to today, after more than 3 years, I am now able to give you this answer:

Okay na ako. (I am finally okay.)


Okay na ako (I am now okay)

To your “Pls ha. Come back agad pag ok ka na.”, I can now answer this:

Okay na ako. (I am now okay.)

But, it has been three long years already since this statement. A lot of things have happened. A lot of words have been exchanged, some not-so-good. We tried a lot of times to restore what got broken…but I guess we (or mostly, I) were both too hurt to keep trying harder. The constant discussions became too exhausting (mostly for you, because of mostly my stubbornness), and we just settled at a half-assed agreement: Let’s not talk about it and let’s not talk to each other anymore. Let’s agree to disagree.

We never really got to sit down and talk…really talk. This is mostly my fault. I didn’t want to talk, because talking will require me to face the facts and consequences I didn’t want to face. However, please know that now, I’d very much like to change that. While I do not know if you still want to talk, one thing I am certain of is this: we are both believers of the non-existence of disposable relationships.

Soon enough, we will come through.


Prior to writing this…

“Pls ha. Come back agad pag ok ka na.”

“Okay na ako.”

There were two questions that were almost successful in convincing me not to write about this:

  1. Will you even remember that you have asked me of this?
  2. What do I even mean by “okay”?

I do not know what would hurt even more: if you don’t remember that you have asked me this, or if you do remember but you no longer care what my answer is. The Filipino word “agad”, when translated to English, means of urgency and needing immediate action.

I am here, telling you that I am finally okay, writing to you “agad”, as soon as I figured out I am finally okay. But, the thought of you not caring anymore scares me. Up until last year, I may have found it difficult to brush this off, but now, as I am writing this, I can say that whether you do remember or not — it doesn’t matter.

What matters most now is that you know I am okay. And that now, this is for real. Hopefully, this will be a giant leap towards our complete restoration eventually.


What is “okay”, really?

One of the things that you absolutely hate about me is my annoying habit of answering vaguely. This habit has also caused a lot of our disagreements because you dislike having to figure out what’s going on in my mind. I didn’t want to let you in, so you’d often ask. And naturally, you’d get frustrated at how little I opened myself to you. Hence my tendency to be vague.

If it wasn’t obvious yet, you’d know that when it comes to talking about feelings, my expertise in all things vague becomes evident. This is probably why you didn’t get proper and clear answers from me when things get serious. For me, talking about my feelings is akin to being vulnerable. And I didn’t want to be vulnerable. Choosing to mask my feelings by being as ambiguous as possible probably meant I didn’t find you deserving of proper answers to your questions. I am deeply sorry for that.

But, please know these:

  • While I still think of you when I listen to Taylor Swift’s Back to December, Maroon 5’s Just a Feeling, and The Script’s Nothing, I no longer cry, which is a huge improvement. Because okay na ako (I am now okay).
  • Before, I’d stalk your availability on Messenger, and seeing you “Active Now” breaks my heart because I don’t get to prove this for myself since you are actively chatting with other people and not me. A short reply, although something I appreciate, would be something I would hold against you because “we can never go back to what we used to be”. Now, when I know you are online but choose not talk to me, it no longer stings. Most of the time, I don’t even remember, since I am not always on social media. Because okay na ako (I am now okay).
  • I used to hate it when you experience victories, for the selfish reason that I didn’t get to contribute to any of them. Now, I am excited to celebrate your victories, whether you are unaware that I am celebrating. Because okay na ako (I am now okay).
  • I had a number of altercations with people you got close to, simply because they were not me. I didn’t want to share you with anyone, and anyone brave enough to try to be close to you suffered with my hatred. But now, I am slowly mending my relationships with these people. Now, I am excited to share you with people. I am excited to talk to people about you, about how awesome you are, and how great these people’s lives will be if they have you in their life. I am thrilled to know that you get to meet more people, because then, more people will get to realize that they have been missing out on a lot during the times that they do not know you. I do not mind that when people need you or are looking for you, they do not immediately think of me. Because okay na ako (I am now okay).

Recently, I sent you this message:

I pray [that in] every day of your life, mas lalo kang ma-convince sa love ni God para sa’ yo (you will be more and more convinced of God’s love for you) . I declare and claim that God’s promises to you are all Yes and Amen in Christ Jesus! I promise to be one of the first to tell you na “Kaya mo ‘yan!” (“You can do it!”) when you’re doubting, hit your head when necessary, be merciless when you need to be called out, cry with you when you want to cry, and celebrate with you in your victories! Talk to you soon!

And I meant EVERY word.

Okay na ako.