…because knowing the end is the surefire way to move forward right.
I AM rewriting.
Writing is thinking. Writing is rewriting. Three months ago around this time, when I didn’t think of committing to anything and started thinking about death, I took a mental note of the following message on a rainy day, when late-night crying in the shower felt so good.
Darling relax ok? dun depress anymore.. mum say to papa all now mum know how you love mom very much n how you try your best to make mum happy. Thank you my love.
Thanks so much my love.. mum will not blame you again in the future coz i know you try your very best alrdy. Thks so much my love.. mum apologise if make you depress
Papa promise me to send you money till enough n not make you stress anymore
We all love you so much darling
LAST NIGHT, when Reed and I was out (and quite frankly the whole day), he told me: “The best way to learn your way towards success is to read biographies, biographies of people who have done it.” It’s been a while since I truly admire the words of someone else. You can hardly find a good man out there who speaks decent words, no matter how hard he tries to look at you as anything else but a woman. Oh boy, don’t think for a second there that I forget he smokes.
I think my autobiographical memory works best during showers, so I went for a little shower again right after he dropped me off my place. I pondered on some questions in my head, holding its pieces together with the mental note in my head and looking at my thoughts in so many different ways.
There’s so much decisions to make becoming an editor, and there’s only so much things you can handle at once. My mother told me I was a tiny dot on the globe, so I’ll have to always remain objective.
It was a very windy, cold, and rainy day. As usual. San Francisco’s weather was getting moody during that time of the year. Two weeks ago forecasters predicted a snowfall since the last thirty years. It was as cold as ice, but in the end, we didn’t see any snow in downtown, though.
I got home from school, got off from my night class. It was drizzling on my way home, and I got my hair all greased and bag all wet. So I decided to take a night shower.
I checked my blinking BlackBerry. A message from mom. Again.
I went to the shower to, just, let go. My body doesn’t feel like doing anything but seep into the comfort of lukewarm water. I was hoping the freshwater showering on my face would wash away the tears slowly dripping out of my eyes. Sooner than I expected, my nose became runny. I sniffed hard – the water’s running at its warmest, but my body’s still feeling cold.
I MISS HOME. I haven’t feel – been at home for so long. I haven’t feel like I have a home for so long. I’ve gone so lost in thoughts and in the randomness of the American society that, in so many ways, I’ve lost sight of who I am and my sense of self.
The more I go on these runny waters, the more I realized that my only purpose here in the U.S., getting a degree in communications, is to learn the many ways to communicate better, so that I can be that glue that holds back the separated members of my family.
FOR A SECOND THERE, I had a silly recollection. I saw the happy faces of my mom and dad, dancing their cha cha. They asked me to turn on the stupid cha cha music that I thought was just simply horrible, but I love watching them dance anyway. It’s always much better than watching the news on the TV that evening. And then, by 9 P.M., they would ask me to go to bed already. Every single day, at 9 P.M., I say “good night” to both of them. I never missed a day not saying that, because they would kiss me on the forehead.
Was I ever that little girl? A year has gone by so quickly and that memory feels like a memory I secretly stole from some happy little girl down the street.
I closed my eyes to feel the tears falling down on my face and the waters washing away the tears. All these waters just keeps going in and out of my body like rivers flowing. Right at that moment, I no longer know what my dreams are anymore. Why am I here? Why San Francisco? Why go so far, chasing after what dream?
I used to have many dreams. What are they again?
AS I SPATTER on some soap on my neck and brushed my legs, stroking one way to another in all kinds of movement, an epiphany struck me hard – If I had to choose between my dream, living to my fullest potential, going after all that I want, developing to the best source of hope I can ever be, and making the world a much better place for everyone, and with the other choice as taking the best care of my family for the rest of my life, risking all that I have, all that I am, and all that I may and will potentially become, I would choose the latter.
I’d spend the rest of my life giving my all to them. As long as I can see my mother, my father, my brothers all smiling at the same time, at the same place, and sharing the same moments and memories together like a moving picture on a photograph, it makes me feel my warmest.
I don’t need a loving husband. I don’t need a shopping spree. I don’t need a huge diamond ring or a golden necklace, never a tiara to make me happy. Even if I can make each of my family members happy separately, like having money to take my mother to live out her dreams – travelling around the world, and make my daddy’s business thrive, by being the best ever salesperson I can ever be, and then move on to become a PR person of my big brother, who I’m proud of but nobody ever sees his skill sets, his sharp intelligence, and his charms, and for my second brother, with whom I can spend endless days and nights walking around the streets in Japan, exploring their world, experiencing their cultures… All these things are the only things I want to do. The only reason to take care of myself is to maintain my energy level just enough to spend my time doing all these things, nothing else matters.
THE REST OF THE WORLD IS FROWNING. Most people say the older you get, the less reason there is to smile.
Why did I choose the latter one? Because doing these things make me smile. The only true things that can keep me smiling for as long as I live.
The waters showering my skin, and underneath this skin I feel for the world and its tears, drowning itself to death because there are lesser and lesser reason to smile. Perhaps it’s one of the many reasons why I changed my major to communications. Perhaps, subconsciously, I thought that I can make everybody talk to each other, become happy together, and communicate better for a greater all, for some good, for the power of One and that is the Greater Good that we all believe in but too proud to admit that we believe in it the moment we grow up.
There are a lot of things we bottle up from each other. Which is not good.
How do I respond to a husband and a wife, sleeping on the same bed, but have never physically had meaningful conversations for over 10 years running? The only communications there is between them is nothing for themselves, never for their own good, none for it’s own sake; “It’s for the kids, or so they say. How much money would they need? How long will they graduate? What will they do later on?
I HATE LISTENING to the voices coming to my head when I had my most meaningful talk with my father 2 years ago, the last time I went back home. I felt his self-pity; I’m a failure, I’ve never finished school, I left school because I wanted to make money, now that I’ve made money I never get the chance to do the things I love doing.
I HATE LISTENING to my mother whenever she complains about how my dad mistreats her and how she keeps nagging away, or when she keeps cursing to herself: My life has no luck; I’m destined to be unhappy. Aunt so-and-so is beautiful, even though she’s divorced someone fell in love with her. Aunt so-and-so is lucky, she can’t handle anything in this world by herself but she has a husband that takes care of everything. I have no luck. I’ll just accept it as it is. I get what I get. Got it.
I HATE EVERY HATRED. I hate every negative voices directed through me. These waters flowing inside and outside of me. They’re killing me. Perhaps if I’m a better mediator, a better communicator, or an empty vessel but looks a beautiful body, I can change all these negative aura, or something like that. Like a vase.
Now that I have a little background in psychology, can I teach them to communicate better? Or will I keep on being a burden, the only reason that forces them bind their marriage together, the only reason why there must be some monetary income to provide me an education abroad? Here, in San Francisco? The only reason why they went on living, because they have high hopes that I will bring happiness to my own life?
WHAT USE IS AN ARTIST, I ask myself. Even if I’m still in the business of illustration, trapped in a fictional world where I draw out my own reality, unafraid of letting the world know what I think, what I feel, or how I act – I will never face the reality of the adult world. How do you guarantee a steady income when you’re an artist? Money is important.
Maybe I shouldn’t be a communicator, nor a psychologist. Maybe I should be a sum of money – an indefinite sum of money, which must surely be of high value because high value is useful and helpful to the pursuit of happiness.
These waters running through me, my skin soaked under these bubbles and liquids – can they be what the people in the financial department call “liquid assets”? With money, my father, my mother, and brothers will stay happy and continue living.
HOW MUCH is the sum of money I am? Uncertain. Since I have to aim high, I must be valuable.
The only thing that I can do now, the most direct action I am taking every single day, is writing down words.
A VALUABLE VOICE, then. a highly valuable writer’s voice. If so, then choosing the right words is a currency. What other assets are there in the back of my mind I can keep working on? Skill sets, good looks, and a smile everyday to at least lie to myself that I can still remember who I used to be, full of hopes and dreams to get to the person I’ve always wanted to be.
I’M DONE with my shower. There’s no more use in crying. As long as I’m a living, walking, breathing money, it’s all good. And I have four family members who love me just as much as I love them. And, I have God.
This time round, the shower felt better. At least I know that in the back of my mind, someone, or rather, everyone that meant the world to me, will always have my back no matter what. Just that when you’re far away from them, you tend to forget that. With words, you can remember so much. But in this diary, I remember a lot of other important things outside of my family by birth; as this journal also keeps the words coming from my family by choice.
“TO WRITE a good memoir you must become the editor of your own life, imposing on an untidy sprawl of half-remembered events a narrative shape and an organizing idea. Memoir is the art of inventing the truth,” writes William Zinsser in his best-selling guide to nonfiction writing, On Writing Well.
And then I’m done showering. Here I am, writing this.
SALUNA is signing off.
Saluna and her stories: View all / Diary entries