I guess it’s just not about being weird. It’s not just about my looks. I guess I was cursed. Perhaps I’m not a human being. Maybe I’m not of this world.

I just can’t help but pour out my lamentations on my poor grubby pillow, for I am not just often offended by people around me; but an essay type of confrontation about an offense that I unintentionally did just crushed my heart into pieces and left me feeling ashamed of myself. I just don’t think that I can still afford to live in this world anymore. I took a giant leap by trying to live in a place which is culturally different from my hometown, and I reckon that it’s also a big mistake. I am different enough in my own city, and it was a fool of me to challenge myself to fit in a place where I really don’t fit in. I’d like to get rid of my heart for it aches so. It was like a very big REJECTION was slapped on my face that I couldn’t help but weep.

It hurts how people judge you first by the way you look. I have this serious face and I always put on a natural pokerface whenever I really don’t have something to smile or laugh at. However, I, being timid by nature, was always labeled as icy and snobbish – even though my intentions are good. It hurts that I am just trying to adjust myself in this unfamiliar society and I scarcely interact with people because I barely know them but it seems like Satan whispered to every ear that I am a hateful person and they should hate me. It hurts that when I finally warm up to someone, they’d still be quick to spot flaws on me because their first impression of me hasn’t been forgotten.

It hurts how people label me as weird. It is quite unfair, for I believe that every person has their own unique traits. That “weird” label of me seems like a barrier between me and them, which was put by them, not me. That “weird” label affects their interaction with me, and makes me aloof to them in return, because of the hurt that I feel. It hurts that when I try to be finally friendly, people still say “How weird,” behind my back. I am also a human being, and I am a girl: what’s the big difference between me and them?

Like every other person, I also want to be loved and accepted; but it hurts that even though I am not trying hard to please people and desperately want them to like me, I unjustly get scorn in return. I really wanted a peaceful life, but life blesses me with foes of which I really didn’t ask for. It hurts that when I just wanted a simple life like those of the settings in children’s literature where I could just frolic and say “Tralalalala,” my life is being turned into a tragic one, wherein the hero experiences too much devastation that he may even think of getting revenge. But no, I am not a vengeful person, and I was not taught to be like that. It’s very hard to try to live in an environment wherein people don’t like you, but still you ought to live with them because you have no other option.

Now you may think that I am exaggerating this trial that I am going through or that I am just overreacting just like any of the naturally emotional women. Actually, I heard my mother despise me when I was just on the innocent age of three, when she and my drunken father were fighting. I was peeping and eavesdropping, but it was worthless for the voices were too loud. “Maghiwalay na tayo! Akin si Camille, sayo si Thea! Bagay kayong magsama! Umalis kayo dito!” were the words that were engraved in my naïve mind, and cannot be forgotten until now. I never could really understand why that is so. Perhaps my little sister was cute, and I was not. I was just a quiet little girl then and that was the first sign of rejection slapped at my face. It hurts more when the people you love do this to you. Then, when I was kindergarten, I was always bullied, and I still don’t know why. I thought that maybe I was ugly, or maybe it’s because of my unbecoming hairstyle which was the same as Dora’s. But it’s unfair that Satan already whispered to the ears of the children that they should hate me when I was still little and helpless at that time. I never said a word. I never took revenge. Even my teachers were not acknowledging my voice when I timidly tried to report the bullies. I was alone.

It’s hard to be unaccepted by the society. It hurts so much especially when you’re rejected face to face. I cannot do anything but just break down and cry silently and hidden from everyone on one dark corner of my room when everyone is asleep. Sometimes I just think that I still have the angels in heaven, my guardian angel beside me, and Jesus who love me for who I am. However, since my soul is still one with my flesh, and it’s still a long way before I reach the Celestial City, I’d still feel unloved for the thought of having only invisible beings to love me is pathetic.

My Idea of a Perfect Love

Many people confuse true love with infatuation and I admit that I am one of them too. We have been influenced by teenage love films and some literary works about passionate love; and that led us to think that we just have to sit pretty and wait for our prince charming to come to our lives and that we could recognize them by some sort of heavenly feeling or a feeling of kilig when our eyes met theirs. Yes, most romance pocket books usually have the main characters fall in love at first sight, and that also leads us to think that love can happen to two people that quickly. I strongly disagree on that point, because love really takes time, and what we call “love at first sight” is nothing but just physical attraction.

I have been disappointed many times in the subject of romance, and you can always hear me say the thing that I fear the most: “I’m destined to be an old maid!” However, in response to that, my elders always tell me that I shouldn’t be in a rush because love really takes time. From what I have observed, the love that’s so easily gotten can also be easily gone. Love that progresses very quickly often leads to the couple being tired of each other right away.

It isn’t necessary for my future husband and me to have intense attraction on the first few times that we meet. I actually fancy someone – who may be my childhood friend, my “enemy” during high school, or just an intimate friend during my teenage years to be my future husband. He doesn’t have to be my first boyfriend. He doesn’t have to be my boyfriend right away. I want friendship to pave the way to our fondness of each other that would eventually lead to true love. Sometimes, I think that people who get into relationships right away may be driven by lust – and I wouldn’t, of course, want that thing to get in the way of my relationships.

It’s nice to have a special friend (of the opposite sex) to ask advices from, laugh with, exchange opinions about everything, spend time together, sit together in silence, sing with, eat with, debate with, have quarrels with, exchange gifts with, tease, support, walk with, run with, etc. You know you’re friends and you’re fine with that. You love each other as friends. You may even have misunderstandings and have silent treatment afterward but still forgive each other at the end of the day. You just enjoy each other’s company, and you don’t expect anything. You’re just really fine with being just friends.

It’s also nice to have a childhood, elementary, or high school friend who used to have fun in pulling your pigtails. Then, after several years, you’d meet again and marvel at how much both of you have grown. Physically you may have changed, but that person you used to play with is still the same person. Still, you are friends because you have already been friends before.

Love is present in friendship and it shows in the way you treat each other. He’s the one you go to when you’re having problems. His shoulder catches all your tears. He knows how vulnerable you are. He knows how crabby you really are. He has seen you when you’re not dolled up. He knows a bit of your history. He knows why you are like that. He knows how much you have grown. You know each other inside-out, and you already know how to handle each other. You have known how to love each other.

And while being friends, you are unconscious of the feeling that develops between you. Surprisingly, you’re starting to feel a bit of physical attraction for them. You’re starting to list all the similarities you have, and how much you look alike. You may have a bit of crush for each other, but you never tell it. You know that it’s not yet time. You enjoy the present. You enjoy your friendship. You are just happy when you are with each other and that’s all you know.

Then, when you’re already on your mid-twenties, and you’re already financially stable, physically capable of reproducing, psychologically matured, or just simply gone wiser, that’s when you think of a potential spouse. The physical features of an ideal mate you may have listed during your high school days is already unimportant. You’ll pick someone you’re harmonious with, knows you inside-out, knows how to handle you, capable of being a responsible father of the family, and whom you undeniably love. I love it when a long-time friend would be my husband and not a stranger, because we already had happy, sad, and exciting moments together that would build up our love to each other. Passionate and excitable love is already inconsequential, because marriage doesn’t need dramas. It needs harmony, sweet joy, love, and peace. Your memories of your youth with each other could just be remembered with love. Friendship turned to love makes the strongest relationship.

Childlike Innocence

People tell us to grow up, act more matured, and leave our old childish ways – but why is it that when we see children doing things out of impulse and having outbursts of laughter, we wanna go back to being little children again?

People do not take children seriously. They get sentimental in every little thing they do – whether they waste rice by seriously making balls out of them using their two cupped hands, clumsily learn how to walk, cry over their departing yaya, give you a weed flower they saw while they were frolicking outside, or get angry at themselves for not drawing a stick figure very well. There is something about them that makes them special. Yes, they are cute – but is it only because of their littleness, chubbiness, and incomplete sets of teeth? They have something that adults do not have – and that something can just melt or touch you.

Just look at that sleeping boy above. His softness, vulnerability, helplessness, naiveté, and mildness makes one want to protect that little one and make him smile after he wakes up. He isn’t exposed yet to the harshness of the world. He knows little of evil, and always trusts that everything will have a happy ending like the fairy tales read to him by his mother. And although we would want him to stay like that forever, every single child wants to grow bigger so quickly that they may do anything they want without any restrictions.

They don’t stop themselves. They just do what they want. They eat when they are hungry, and stop when they are full. They sleep when they are tired, and play when they have that sudden burst of energy again. They won’t stop exploring what the world has to offer them and they’d want to learn anything they want to learn. They would beg you to teach them how to draw, then clap their hands with you after they finish coloring their masterpiece that just looks like a doodle. They’d sing their lungs out even if they’re already off the melody and dance as if the world is their audience. They don’t worry about their self-image. They laugh when they are happy, cry when they are sad, and have fits of temper when they are angry. To adults, having no control of emotions is despicable, because they say that adults are cool, impassive, and invulnerable. Children just don’t care about what other people say. Emotions are human qualities. Self-expression to them is boundless.

"And Jesus called a child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily, I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as a little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." - Matthew18:2-6

Jesus loves the innocent little children. He wants us to humble ourselves like them. Suppose that the grubby little boy above just had his father killed by perhaps an enemy, his mother had an incurable illness, and they are living in extreme poverty. Yes, you may see him cry, for he isn’t still aware of the macho image that he has to project. He will cry because of sorrow, helplessness, and self-pity. However, children are still incapable of holding grudges and taking revenge. If ever that little boy has been taught by his mother about the greatness of Jesus’ love to him and praying to Jesus, he may just put all his worries to Him and keep his mild temper, being just an innocent little darling.

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