Sunday, May 29, 2011

When Self Denial Becomes an Act of Self Preservation

Some of my most favorite things in life include peanut butter, chocolates, galunggong, ice-cold beer, coffee, music, taking pictures, getting on a bus to nowhere, and conversations with some truly amazing people. It takes hefty portions of discipline to say "no" to all these, and even larger, deeper, more profound reasons for me to turn my back on them. I love those things so much that getting fat, getting palpitations, or wasting too much time are not reasons worthy enough to leave them behind.

These days, however, I realize there are some things in one's life that need to be thrown away, discarded like pieces of trash - relics that were once loved but ought to be forsaken for the sake of moving on. The reasons may not be profound at all. They could be as simple as losing weight, or embracing a healthier lifestyle, or saving a few thousand pesos for the coming rainy days. Or it could be that you just don't want any of it anymore. Like you're too tired to give it a bit of your time, or you're too anhedonic to derive pleasure from that which you used to enjoy, or you're too selfish to spare a piece of your beat up spirit. You've given enough. That's it. Give it one more ounce of yourself and you snap.

Today, I just turned my back on one of my most favorite things. It's a desperate attempt at courage in the face of hopelessness, a final grasp for control over one's choices, my one-way ticket to finally be a victor over a 5-year battle with wicked and ridiculous Fortune.

Right now, I think I'm winning. I feel good! And to celebrate, I'm having some peanut butter and chocolates, a lunch of galunggong if I can find any, a warm cup of coffee, a bottle of ice-cold beer, and I might even hop in a bus to wherever tonight, with my iPod and my camera to keep me company.

Sometimes life makes jokes that are not funny, or jokes that sting. Sometimes, it spins webs around you that baffle and perplex and create false hopes. You struggle, you sometimes fail and get defeated. But you hang on. After all, it is human nature to protect yourself. I just hope that one day I'll be glad that today, I just did.