Mga ngisi at bulong,
Sa kumot at unan,
Pagod ay naiibsan.
Mamayang hapon ulit,
My name is 31-Year Old JD. We haven’t personally seen each other yet, but we have had a few email exchanges back in September and November 2008 for schedule swaps. We have only seen each other’s mug shots from that special access folder, and you have immediately assumed from my gelled up hair, shy smile, and overly-tight shirt that I am undeniably gay. I’m afraid to inform you that, unfortunately, I am your future husband.
I write to you to give you a heads up. About a month from now, you and 23-year old me will finally meet. You will immediately have a crush on me, no matter how much you still deny it up to now, while I will fall in love at first sight, no matter how much you still don’t believe it.
You were quite a catch in 2009. Beautiful, independent, smart, and a relatively free spirit. And you have a fair share of travel and backpacking stories. I, on the other hand, was a little awkward, always under-dressed, and ready to take your breath away with monologues about my adventures in SM Megamall.
Needless to say, we were a perfect match.
But I am not writing today to tell you our love story (I’ll leave that for you to discover). Instead, I write to you today to apologize.
In the next few months, I will sweep you off your feet. I will take you to dinner and movie dates, bring you flowers, and surprise you with sweet nothings. But I would like you to know that years later, I will change. That hopeless romantic that you will meet next month will just be hopeless, and I’m sorry.
I will make you feel butterflies. I will love your daughter with all my heart and in a few years, she will legally and wholeheartedly become mine too. But I would like you to know that some years later, I will sometimes lose my patience with her. And there will be times that I almost would give up on her, and I’m sorry.
And indeed, I will take your breath away. We will begin to travel the world. We will bask in powdery white sand beaches, crawl through steep ancient temples, and explore noisy streets of foreign cities. We will have a streetfood buffet wherever we go, and we will share a passion for cooking along the way. But I would like you to know that some years later, I will lose passion. I will be lazy. I will be difficult. I will be annoying and unbearable. And I’m sorry.
We will have thousands of fights, and we will sometimes have loud arguments in public. And I’m sorry.
I will be suffocating at times, and become what Thought Catalog would call a toxic partner. And I’m sorry.
You see, that guy you will meet next month will make you fall in love. But I would like you to know that that guy will not always be the same guy. He will change. I have changed. And so have you in my present time.
And by now you may have already decided that you shouldn’t meet 23-year old me anymore, and have that coffee that he joked about. I would totally understand.
But if you still do fall when you see him next month, and we end up as we have ended up right this moment, I would like you to know one thing that is absolute. He will love you always. For everything you were. For everything you are. For everything you will be.
With love from all timelines, JD
I realized that it’s alright to have sad holidays. Christmas can’t always be merry and new year’s eve can’t always be happy. Sometimes the sadness is too much that you can’t put on a poker face to the world and dance to Mariah Carey’s all-time Christmas chart-topper.
Some people are in hospitals, with loved ones suffering before their eyes. Some people are at funerals, mourning over the loss of loved ones. Some relationships are at the brink of tipping over. Some hopeless romantics are afraid they will never find that relationship. Some families are apart. Some families are just broken.
Not everyone can have a picture-perfect new year spread, with the whole family smiling into the year that lies ahead.
And it’s alright. It’s alright to be sad. As long as we don’t lose hope.
All jokes about my (lack of) haircutting skills aside, I would like to open up about our Sam’s haircut today.
I have been doing Sam’s haircuts for a while now. Yes, me. Not even BJ because Sam wouldn’t keep still. She fidgets less with me. Still does, but less.
Why that kind of haircut? In case I haven’t mentioned it enough yet for the past 8 years, my daughter has autism. Jared too. Now on Sam’s case, she abhors ponytails, hairclips, headbands, and pretty much whatever you put on her hair. She likes her hair free. And she doesn’t know how to comb, so most of the times it’s unruly.
During mealtimes, she dips it in ketchup, soup, soy sauce, or whatever liquid you put in a bowl beside her rice. In addition, she always chews on the tips of her hair.
So to those who ask why, I’m sorry that my daughter cannot conform to norms. If my daughter were a regular kid, I would have made sure to keep her hair ‘normal’, learned to braid it, and even bedazzle on occasion.
But my daughter is not regular. We have to be more logical and practical and unfortunately it is not by the universal standard of ‘normal’ and ‘beautiful’.
And whatever you see or standards you set, in my eyes and in my heart, my little lady will always be beautiful.
I probably haven’t told you yet. This was one of my favorite moments in the Banana Pancake Trail. We were too touristy in Malaysia, we were too drunk in Cambodia, and we were too tired by the time we reached Thailand.
But on this particular Vietnam night, after a long day exploring war tunnels, noisy markets, and eating our way through the alleys of Saigon, we decided to skip the rowdy Pham Ngu Lao and the Crazy Buffalo. We bought a pair of local beer at the Circle K downstairs and sat down at the porch of that cheap quaint hotel.
With our heart filled with love and endorphins, and our spirits tipsy with wanderlust, we spent a quiet hour at the gutters of sleepy Ho Tung Mao. We talked about the beginnings of our trip, our plans of travelling the world, our hopes of travelling with the kids and, most importantly, we talked about our lifelong journey – you and me.