Kuya Rob once told me, in this very blog, a great paradox: to commit your self to someone or something is to set yourself free. It has been roughly a year since that comment was made, and quite a lot has changed.
Now in this room, the condo unit that I share with my brother RJ and our cousin Jester, I’ve found another irony. The place is cramped with so many things—and memories, too—and yet it’s also empty. Remember how excited and at the same time uncertain I was with the prospect? I imagined that we would be bonded: sharing secrets, enjoying meal times together, having lots of happy memories, and all that. At first, it was fun. Chores were done, meals were shared, and a few stories were told. As it progressed, chores were dropped, meals weren’t eaten together, and there was almost no communication anymore. Somewhere, something changed.
I have always wanted to be a good ate to them. I have wanted for us to have regular eat-outs to share what’s going on with each other’s lives. On that part, I wasn’t really successful. Only a few months are left and soon they’ll be graduating from culinary school. RJ is barely here now because of his OJT. Jester’s schedule is always changing. In fact, both of them aren’t even here now.
I miss our chitchats. I miss their noise. Most of all, I miss us being complete in this room. It’s quite rare now because of their crazy schedules. Sometimes, though, we still get to talk. And I’m happy that at least we get to do that—you know, laugh about silly things and whatnot. Even if RJ could be stubborn, I still love that kid. Jester is a quiet guy, but still his presence is something.
I feel like the place is eating me up, and so is the emptiness haunting me. Actually, this isn’t the first time I felt this way. That’s why sometimes, I’d really want to just go home to Laguna, or if that’s not possible, to at least just go out and breathe even the polluted Katipunan air. Which leads me to one fact: isolation is bad for my psychological well-being.
I mean, I do appreciate me-times, those moments of solace where I could freely bask in the rays of my raging thoughts of different sorts. But then, my schema for solitude/me-time is the image of my own bedroom. Put me alone in a place where my schema tells me it’s a place I share with other people, and it shouts of a scene not at all meant for solitude.