Sunday, June 17, 2012

On The Descendants.

I love this movie, The Descendants.

Yes, yes. You probably haven't heard about it, to some it won't even be rental worthy. George Clooney is in it; that girl from Teenage Mom.  Its not an action film or a chick flick. Very Sideways and About Schmidt-like. I watched this the first time when I was with in LA with my mom and again in Boston with this guy I didn't want to watch anything romantic with/knew I can't wait until the DVD came out.

I find this the most appropriate for today. Father's Day, Hawai'i, a parent passing.. I realized the reason I loved it was because even when a parent or a person passes away, the film reminds you it doesn't necessarily clean their slate. Yes, it is easier to "let bygones be bygones" but the thing is that there are actual consequences to the choices that those who had passed away made. They just don't go away after they die. We, the living, have to work through their choices even when they are gone.

For example. My father. Now, I am not saying that my entrance to this world is a mistake, per se. But I wonder. Does my father living a certain life that may not have been parallel to what he may have wanted, take away the credibility of my existence? Yes, yes. Heavy. But my point is that I was searching for a long time if I was meant to be here. Not this, what is my purpose in the world kind of thing but more of, if me being here was an "oopsie" then is there a deliberate reason or telos of why I am here. The only way I can justify this is that dads, moms - parents are fallible. Just like their children.  There is no miraculous shift when one becomes a parent that makes them impervious to mistakes. They are human beings. They lie, they cheat, they lack confidence. But their mistakes are not necessarily their regrets. Nonetheless, I wanted him to explain himself. I wanted to know the truth, give him the third degree. I hated that any information I would get from him, to understand him, was always secondary. From what he wrote, from people's stories, from everything else but his own voice. Side note, there is a quick taping that my cousin has, from an interview he had with my grandmother on a tape. His voice is so soothing. Eloquent. Anyways, I guess the beauty of not being able to speak to him now is that there is no additional info infiltrating in, I can just work with the facts I do have and mobilize it to an idea of him in the present. Makes it easier to juggle. Not fun but easier.

People tell me he loved sitting outside at caffes, spending hours at museums, knew plants scientific names. Unfortunately, my image of him as a father is faint. I'd pretend that he would have enjoyed my presence, my conversations, my thoughts... my hugs, as his daughter. I hate that I am limited to any tangible experience with him. But back to the movie. There is this last scene where it ties in so well with my father's narrative. I would picture myself in the waters of Hawai'i, giving peace to him just like in the last scene. Nonetheless, let the records show, it was my choice to not have gone. I did not want that to be my last image of him. I hope he's not mad at me for not going. But if I could explain to him about that day, it would be: I'm sorry Dad that I couldn't have been 'there' for you. Both when you were here and when you were not. I was limited and fallible in what I knew and what I was wiling to accept in my life at the time. I know you wish you were with me here, too. I love you. Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

On Sayin I Love You.

I have this profound fetish for saying "I love you" to my friends. Whether they like it or not. I know it sounds juvenile, this amicable puppy love. Its commendable but not of merit. I mean, I get it. It's not the same love 'love' we give to our significant other. I know the difference, I've shared those words in a number of serious relationships (and grateful that I have) but there is something so cute about saying those words to a friend. Especially for the first time. There is this gittyness, this rush of feelings that consume you when say I love you to that friend, dare I say, can be as delicious as saying it to a lover.

Why is it that, just because we don't share the most intimate positions - I mean, conversations - that they are any less important? The beauty of any friendship is that it doesn't need as much diligence as an intimate* one, but its resilience seems to be so much stronger. I joke with my best friend that she's been my longest relationship. She's been there from the very first one and to what feels like my last - though I'm not entirely giving up, quite yet - but we'll see if ever I'll be as lucky :) Anyways, the fun that comes out of love from a friendship, in contrast to the intimate type, is that - monogamy's not necessary. How awesome is that. Love is love. After my break up, I thought that my love from him sort of dissipated to my friends. Like this transfer of energy that was necessary for it to thrive. But one doesn't "transfer" love. It is not a limited entity. As a child, I thought love was given as 'tokens' - that there was a limited amount that we can give to others. How wrong was I. CS had my love and I had his; while simultaneously, sharing and enjoying the love for my friends. Exclusive to that of his. And thank God it is. 

I never really understood what it meant to be "in love" with my friends before until this year. I've had great, great friends in the past. From cheerleading to high school, to college and dancing buddies, to the people I met in New York and now Boston. The fun thing about my Bostonian clan is that none of us are really from Boston. It's fun - this immigrant-like family of mine, full of nerds. The range is aspiring. There is a certain spice that each one brings. I love them. Cue barfing noises.. But there is something unique about them than other friends. It's like we're going through a war together. What we all went through this past year together - this current vulnerability that we all are facing and the constructive ways we try to care for one another. Yes, most of the time our means of reacting to stress was consuming alcohol, blah blah. But there are moments in between - I swear - that are so sweet and sincere and generous. I love it. Whether it was getting coffee with me, getting ice cream, beers... hmm now I see why I gained weight these past few months.. for letting me crash at your place, for giving me hugs and/or handwritten notes; the conversations we had were so much sweeter than any pastry I ate. We have went through such a hard time together and there is still so much more to come. Even amongst the very short time we spent together, I am eternally grateful. There is still a long way to go but thank God I am not alone. And I hope that they feel that same sense of consolement when with me as well - I have no problem giving my love and attention to those who want it. 

So, for my friends that had known me for years but may not know my current agenda and for the friends I see every day that may not know my past - I love you. I am enthralled by you. WarningPlease do not misunderstand my love because I give it so freely. It does not mean less to me nor should it be taken for granted. I know I can be overtly generous, in more ways than one, trust me, I wish I wasn't sometimes. It'd be less painful. Yet I will give because I believe you deserve it. Everyone deserves a little lovin. So don't abuse it. I am happy - in gratitude - to be surrounded by so much love. Thank you, Friends. May our love be one heck of an affair. 

Dedicated to you, a Spice Girls cover song but with swag.

* intimate = your standard boyfriend/girlfriend or boyfriend/boyfriend or girlfriend/girlfriend situation

Saturday, June 9, 2012

On Newton's Third Law.

Inspired by an old Facebook "note" I wrote back in 2010.

Who is it to say that you or I deserves anything or something? We have been taught to believe that when we do something, a certain effect must happen. The third law of Newton states that a certain force equals an opposite but equal force. Despite how we know this to be true in the physical world, how true is it in the intangible?

Is it that when we do a certain deed or act a particular way, we must await a certain reaction to our actions that compensate for it? For example, if I were to do something good, would I then have to believe that something good will return to me? Or vise versa, if I were to do something mean to another person, should I await the terrible consequence since it'll 'come back' to me in the end? The reasoning behind cause-and-effect bothers me. Frightens me, really. I hate to believe that what I do in the past will have a certain reprimand to it. People guise this as karma but that's not enough. Because the reality is, we've all fucked up at one point. And yet, despite those poor choices, we have been granted some break, some sort of grace from the universe - and even for us sometimes, a second/third/fourth/and counting..

Everything is not quid pro quo with the world. What are we to do then, if our world is so inconsistent? Maybe that's the beauty of it. The reality is, if we were truly 'awarded' for all the dings that we've created in the world, we would be screwed. We're aren't perfect. And because of that, to resolve the inevitable, what are we left with? To forgive and forget when we screw up - when others screw us over. Is that the force that we are supposed to reckon with? Reconciliation?

But Newton said, paraphrasing here, when something fucks you over, you push em right back. That's what the F's stand for, no? F = -F ... I wish I could. "Return to the favor" I never do. Unless I'm driving.. Because even after all that is said and done, particularly the situations I've had to deal with in the past months - whether it was the ex-boyfriend, or guys in between, or even worst, the one crossed the line - I'm still their friend. Seriously. Like I just had coffee with one of them the other day, sent an email to another. Oof and I'm sending back my ex-boyfriend's stuff that he left at my apartment on my bill, after he had left me for another girl. The hell is wrong with me? I actually still genuinely care for them. The hell. Even after all that. Shouldn't what they've done - cheated on me, stopped speaking to me, done things without my consent - come with much more heavier consequences? I should be the enforcer to this, hold back my time and my energy towards them. But I don't. I should equally hurt them as much as they hurt me. But I don't. Why would I provide not only my forgiveness but also a friendship to people who just don't care. About me. What does that say about me?  Am I the sucker, the pushover, the idiot? I would hate to think that this act of benevolence to forgive another makes me stupid. Vulnerable, yes. Stupid, no.

Forgiveness is the only compensation to our shortcomings. For others, for ourselves. Its like a hidden catalyst, a secret weapon in creating a swift, unpredictable change to our current predictable system. Much has happened in my life. Much. That required me to yield such regard. For my uncle, my grandfather, my 'friend' that went too far and most importantly, myself. Should we enjoy/fear what might happen to us because we 'deserved it'? Or do we hope to fall in this net of forgiveness? In the end I strongly believe there is only one option. I actually do not think that because I am willing to forgive others that I'm lame. I get it; it does make me defenseless against the dumb actions of others. Yet, I wouldn't have it any other way. I guess the reason I do this is, is because I know that I've messed up in the past and will continue to do so: act like a fool, fall on my words, regret my actions (goodness, I feel like that now). I just hope when it does, when I do mess up - someone will meet me with same amount of compassion along the way - not that I deserve it but because we all need it at many points in our lives. So, I guess in a way, it all does sort of balances each other out like Newt's said, when one force must equal another. Except this time, the "g" comes not from a direct recompense of equal malice but instead a place of kindness and compassion. That I can easily quite accept. Wouldn't you? A world balanced, grounded in much sweeter restitution. I most definitely would.