Galing akong high school reunion kanina. Dun ko nalamang may mga nagtatanggol naman pala sa akin noong kasagsagan ng kabaliwan ko sa high school. Maraming salamat. Pero wala akong pinagsisisihan noon. Wala lang talaga siguro akong pake kung magmukha akong weirdo sa paningin ng lahat. Well, maliban lang siguro sa anger management problems ko. Gaya nung may binato ako ng upuan at saka hinagisan ng bangko. Pati na rin yung mga sina-stab ko ng ballpen. (Sabi sa inyo, may anger management problems ako eh.) I don’t do them anymore. Still, I don’t give a fuck about what people think about me.
Whenever I get to act as I am without having to worry about what people will think of me, I feel free. Don’t worry. I don’t stab people with ballpoint pens anymore. I don’t throw chairs at people that piss me off as well. I have become more “humane” as I aged. I think this is the main reason why I don’t have a problem growing old. Because I can say that I have experienced a lot in my quest to create my own happiness. If I can’t chase happiness, I will create it myself.
Has it really gotten that hard to be happy nowadays? Maybe. I like the times whenever I get to do as I please and not worry about what will people think of me. Way before being weird is pitched as cool on social media. I have become weird. I have evolved into my old little rebel self. Not because being a rebel or being different is cool. I have discovered a way to love myself just because I have feared that I will be pulled into another mistaken notion of friendship all over again.
Some of my childhood friends once warned me about someone who has user-friendly tendencies. I was in Grade 5 then. Several classmates approached me about my then best friend and how she’s using the friendship she clinched with me for her personal gain. They were blunt enough to tell me. “We saw her copy your notes in lectures, quizzes and recitation sessions. She’s just using you.” I just told them that she’s my friend. And I can’t turn my back on her. I was that loyal of a friend for a time.
Years later, I was broke. And I am too shy to ask her for my money back. By this time, I have given her more than my share of successes in the academe. From school projects traded (she would keep blaming her youngest brother for her destroyed rosaries and baskets that we had as school projects and trade her destroyed projects with mine) to lectures copied to notebooks borrowed. Yes, she’s partly the reason why one of my notebooks got destroyed because I was busted for having incomplete lectures. It took years for me to realize how much of a parasite she is.
Why am I looking for her now? I don’t know. Closure, maybe. Or some other reason apart from masochism of the emotional kind. Even if I Google her name now, I can’t find her. Maybe it’s the universe’s way of telling me that I don’t deserve a parasite like her. Even if I am still willing to treat her as a friend. While I see Facebook friends complain about how true friendship has become hard to get by in this age of social media, I have experienced the worst of what human beings call “friendship”.
It pushed me to a life of being alone. Testing myself if it meant loneliness too. Turns out that it wasn’t. And I consider that a good thing. Don’t worry. I still enjoy having friends to hangout with whenever I get the time. That’s why reunions still appeal to me. I discover true friends and find myself in good company. Because moments of being alone made me discover my worth as a person.