Less Than Three

It is time I seriously jot down a proper article; my usual writings as of late are about my recent adventures, and although there is nothing wrong with writing, or blogging, about those shenanigans, I felt I am starting to stray away from my roots as a writer.

Anyone can write about their day, and it has been far too long, eons even, since I wrote something that I would be proud of publishing back in the days where I was still an Editor in Chief for various school papers.

With that, the inquisitive amongst you readers might ask, with a title like that, what in the world would he write about pouring his heart and soul into it like his past articles when he was still an active member of a school paper?

Well, you have the answer right there, somewhere, devoured by other words in the previous sentence: I will write about my “heart” and my “soul”.

Much like every other human being that is a prisoner to one’s own emotions, I too, sadly and unfortunately, succumb to these humanly emotions, and I look down on my own brain for submitting to these neurotransmitters that dictate these emotions. I always thought I would be far more effective if I were not susceptible to these emotions; that I would be able to reach far reaching places without anything idiotic like falling in love get in my way. I was wrong. I am still wrong. I will probably never be right.

Of course, before the pheromones of the opposite sex caused me to have transient mental dysfunction, there was a time when I was immune to these emotions.

There I was, a young lad, with bright eyes; everything he sees, he questions. I would rather study, even at a young age, I would rather read and do my homework, if need be. I would also rather play games that use little to no physical prowess and more of the intellect, thus, I rather play games like Chess and lots of video games that makes me think. I had the family’s encyclopedia collection in my room and when I am tired of reading for school or even playing games, I would grab a volume and read some more. Clearly, I knew my physical short comings, and would rather hone my skills in the intellectual world. Going as far as coining up the term “Intellectual Intercourse”; I would rather have an intellectual intercourse with a girl than to really have a normal lustful relationship – a modern day Platonic love, if you will.

Falling in love was the least of my concerns when I was much younger, and for that, I admired my younger self and felt he was the smarter form, and far better form, of myself. Back then I only had a clear-cut goal and I will stop at nothing, not even the aforementioned pheromones, to attain my goals. I always wanted to be deemed smart, thus I toiled away, day in and day out, sacrificing my overall physique, in order to concentrate on my studies and future career. I made sure I would know something about most things, and even though I may not know all of the aspects of a certain subject being discussed, I will make sure I know enough to stay relevant. And for the things I do know, I know them well.

I had and still have a lot of friends, but truth be told, I wasn’t always popular among anyone, because I was just shy of being a teacher’s pet; a little more, I would become Randall from Recess, minus the snitching of course. I always loved my studies, and as a friend, I will only be there when you need me, not when you want me; never expect me to be there for your birthday party, but expect me there if your life depended on it.

I am sheltered, to no fault of my parents, but I was sheltered most of my life due to my inherent want to just distance myself of the social norm; I am more old-fashioned, so forcing myself to the norm of today takes a great toll on me and made me hate people in general for their idiocy, fickleness, hypocrisy, and the list goes on.

As John McAfee once said: “People will be people, you can trust no one. It’s not a bad thing/cynical. I trust people to be people, to act in their own self-interests”, and I lived by this… Maybe I still do. But of course, there will come a time where I have to rub shoulders with other people and that of the opposite sex, as I continue my studies and my valiant attempt to reach my goals.

Needless to say, I started to lower down my guard about other people, I started to have my walls that sheltered me crumble as I started to understand the quirks and the things I hate about other people. Albeit, I still don’t like going to parties and the like, but I am slowly finding myself longing to hang out with my friends in the malls and whatnot. I may not accept the social norm of present day, but I was flexible enough to have my old-fashioned beliefs coincide in harmony.

Then it happened, I was still in high school then, but I felt something that I always heard about and dreaded about; what is this fleeting feeling in my chest? Why do I want to smile and chuckle without anyone talking to me or cracking a joke? Why do I feel like dancing with no music playing? And why do I not want to go home and be sheltered and surrounded by my books anymore?

I had my first crush. I was probably falling in love for the first time.

All rational and logical thinking is thrown out of the hypothetical windows when you find that someone that makes your heart skip a beat. And even if I had no intentions of really falling in love before, I, like everyone else, would always have a list of the ideal significant other ranging from looks to personality, yet sometimes, or most of the time, you make exceptions to the rule and fall for that person that didn’t tick off one box, let alone all the boxes, of your list of traits you’d want in your ideal significant other.

But maybe that is why we “fall”; we don’t choose to fall in the very definition of the word, as falling down you may graze your knees, as well as, your elbows; you’d end up with skid marks and skinned knees, as they say, and seriously, falling down in general hurts. But when the time calls to fall down, such as the case of sports like baseball, American football, and soccer, to name a few, where either catching the ball or defending the goal, you’d literally thrust your body and end up falling to the ground, bruised physically, but when the attempt succeeds, you can stand triumphantly. The very thought is you take the chance to catch or defend, where you end up hurt, but with a good outcome, you feel elated. And that is exactly what falling in love is: you take the risk, you may get hurt along the way falling, but if you succeed and someone is waiting to catch you, then you feel elated; yet if there is nothing in between you and the pavement, falling, in this case, heart first, will hurt. Get up, try again. Or can you?

In retrospect, I have crushes on a lot of girls, some I know personally, some that are celebrities; others being real, and the rest being, well, gaming or anime characters. But out of the real girls I know personally, I only really liked 4 of them. And out of those 4, I only really fell in love with 2 of them. And with 2 of them, I really thought I’d end up with 1 of them.

Sadly, she was a star far too bright for my own galaxy…

I fell in love one too many times for me to really care for, but being the hopeless romantic I am, on those 2 times that I did fall in love, I loved a bit too much. It is probably hilarious to hear this from a guy, because let’s face it, all those romantic movies and what mothers would usually tell their daughters, it is us men that end up breaking their hearts, but believe me, much like falling in love one too many times, I got my heart broken just as many times for me to really care for.

Breaking of hearts is not simply the other person saying they don’t like you, it won’t work out, or something along those lines. More often than not, it is letting go of something that you know won’t be realized in fruition. But whatever the case may be, as hard as it is for women, it is just as hard for us men, especially a hopeless romantic like myself.

The hardest part is that, whether your relationship came into realization or wasn’t even given the chance to take off, once that person becomes your everyday, your ever hour, your ever minute, your every second, all the way down to a thousandth of a second, the moment you have to let go, and you are struck with the thought the very next day, that very waking moment, and that they are less of your everyday now and you are no longer theirs either, if at all, in the first place.

The thought someone else ultimately making her smile from ear to ear; someone else ultimately making her laugh with stupid jokes; and that someone else ultimately saying “he loves her” and she will say she “loves him back”; those thoughts gnaw and eat my very insides ‘til there is really nothing left.

But the heart still beats, though broken, yet do you really feel it beating?

Each time those heartbreaks occurred, I pined. I pined a little longer than most guys whose relationships end or didn’t even have the chance to blossom. I pined and everyone around me could see that I was pining. But like any soldier, I mustered up the courage to go on, dodging all the bullets and taking a few, jumping over hurdles and tripping on a few; and it was making me become someone else, someone that I loathed to be, someone that was not Christian.

My labyrinthine mind usually filled with science and whatnot, now started to entertain rhetorical questions like “was I missing something?”, “where did I mess up”, “was I, simply, not good enough…?”.

I was becoming just like anyone else. I was not that special person, that strong person I thought I was, with a clear-cut goal and will have at nothing to get in his way of achieving them. I was finally becoming human.

And I hated each and every time I fall and there is no one in the other end to soften that free fall.

So, why was I always eager to fall again? All knowing what it does to me mentally and physically? Because like all other human beings, I was just plain stupid – I was just not as smart as I first thought I was.

I am just stupid.

The old saying, “It is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all”, finally makes sense to me. Back when I was much younger, without knowing an ounce of truth of what love really entails, I always thought falling in love was easy; I always thought if you loved someone, and you showed them that you can make it to whatever ends of the world there is to prove it, that they’d love you back. Why would I lose? But alas, the naivety shows in my younger self. Love may be a many-splendored thing, but it can also be lackluster, confusing, and painful.

And it is true, now that I’m older, that it is far better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all. I know the highs of falling in love and the harsh lows of either falling out of it, or simply, not having been reciprocated for it. I have seen the immense beauty of it and I have seen the hideous side of it. I have been falling in and out of the idea of love that I can now easily tell whether the pain that I feel in my chest was because I fell for someone, that someone never loved me back, or something less stupid and something more real, like muscle pain.

I have loved. I have lost. That is good enough for me.

Whatever awaits me in this lopsided game called love, I will see it through. Whether that means love is truly worth waiting for or just something worth experiencing at least once in one’s lifetime – time will tell. And even if it doesn’t, time will, nonetheless, heal all wounds.

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To the Mall, A Wild Bowser Appears!

I had planned to go to the mall today to get some school supplies and some rechargeable batteries in preparation for my upcoming review. My move is fast approaching, so I need to make haste in buying all the necessary things.

I also had plans of either buying more Steam Wallet cards; so in case there is a good game on sale while I am reviewing. Or a new plushie that can become my mascot for my review.

A little bit of history people, yes, I do love plushies, but it is strange that a guy like plushies, or stuffed toys to most people. Well, it all began when I was in high school, a girl, who was a close friend of mine, gave me a little Teddy Bear for Valentine’s Day, and since then, I was always fascinated with plush toys. I do not buy myself plush toys, majority of what I own in my room are given to me by my close friends… or girls that were… yeah.

Sure, I was given Teddy Bears by my family when I was younger, one notable bear, simply named Teddy, was given to me by my eldest sister, and is one of my cherished plush toys. But it had to take a girl, outside my family, on a Valentine’s day, to get my fascination of plush toys up and running.

Like I always say when I give out stories… Like every great story, it’s all about a girl.

Thus, why a guy like me like plush toys in the form of cats, bears, and anything GEEKY. The latter can be gaming wise, computer wise, science fiction wise. The 2 former, well, it is self explanatory.

Now we know why I wanted to but a plush toy today.

Time for us to return to today’s interesting happenings.

So, I was there at the mall, after at least an hour after setting foot in the mall, I spent nearly 30-45 minutes just sitting down. It seems that my right knee still can’t take long walks. I found myself just watching the kids play at the back of the mall where there is a large open area for people to either sit or have some play time. I was just watching these kids running, jumping, and it got me choked up thinking, “Man, I wonder if I will be able to run again… or even jump?”. Yes, those thoughts have been circling my mind thanks to my injury since high school and subsequent surgery last year.

I was just sitting there, watching them play, and I just felt like an old man. I’m sure I will be able to have a complete recovery, but I will have to wait until my exams to return to rehab full time.

Looking at those kids gives me something to aspire for: I will run and jump again. And I will be able to do it better after my full intensive rehab is through next year.

Let us face it, my life and chosen career didn’t really give me enough time to recovery completely from my injury and surgery.

When I finally mustered up the required strength, I powered along towards the bookstore and bought everything a student going for review classes needed. I am all set for the most part. I still need to find cheaper alternatives to Field Notes and a better note pad for taking down, well, what else? Notes!

I was also able to buy some cheaply priced AAA Eneloop batteries that can be used for my recorder as I study; hey, talking to oneself and then playing it back seemed to help me back then. And it also serves as a replacement for my stolen AAA Eneloop, which were intended for my DSLR’s flash remote, that was unfortunately used with my penlight at the hospital and was that was taken away from me. Such is life.

An aspiring-doctor-to-be’s survival kit for the upcoming review classes!

I then ran into one of my best friends, Mick, and boy was I happy. Not only is he my trusted friend for nearly 10 years, but we both seemed to have gone through very sour relationships. We are a dying breed, me and Mick. Not that many guys would sulk about a bad relationship – they would try and find another girl to either show the world or the girl that they are just fine. But me and Mick? Nope. We take our respective relationships seriously, and when things go bad, we both sulk.

He was the first when to have his relationship go sour and he was quite open about him being down. I soon followed; I tried making things work, but alas, I had to let go. But unlike Mick, I was never open about having good or bad relationships; they were always very private for me.

Knowing that he was in the same boat as me; sulking around, etc. I reached out to him and asked if he ever gotten over the hurt, yet. He wasn’t. I was really not alone. For in my case, I also wasn’t really fully healed.

Running into him, we both shared our experiences of our respective sour relationships and just gave each other a pat in the back; in time, we will both find another girl that can sway us, until then, we will take it day by day, it may hurt, but we both learned from each of our experiences.

But why does learning have to hurt so much!?

And yes, maybe I do still miss her…

After the strange sharing of life stories, it was time to just be the 2 geeky, witty guys we are known to be. We are natural comedians, though both of our jokes run along the lines of pop culture, geeky/techy things, and the like. Our jokes will not make our other friends laugh, but together, along with our Fil-Am friends, will kill.

His high school friend happen to see us just chatting while at Starbucks and decided to join us, too. As you all know, I am a free lance musician; I started playing the guitar, my forte, in high school and been in a lot of bands. But since entering medical school, I have left most of my bands to concentrate. Mick is also a guitarist, and to my delight, his high school buddy is a bassist. We tossed up the idea of creating a new band after my exams – I am happy Mick is in on it, because I can surrender lead guitar duties to him. I am already tired of being the lead guitarist. Too much stress.

After sipping the last remaining fluid that is called coffee and munching down and some cookies, we entered the mall again in search for the plush toy. I wanted a new mascot, a guardian, or a familiar, for my desk, my PC desk to be exact. This will also serve as my mascot for my studies. I wanted something in the vein of Charizard or if I am lucky, either a Cacodemon from Doom or a Tonberry from Final Fantasy.

As we entered the area that sells plushies, my eyes went straight onto a Bowser. It spoke to me and it was the most bad ass plushies out there. Hands down! I had to get it. So got it I did.

King Bowser!! Is my chosen plushie as my new mascot and guardian of the PC desk. He will also join me as my official mascot of my review in Manila.
Look at the quality! And yes, I am downloading Heroes of Newerth… read on below to find out why.

Just look at this thing, for under 10 bucks I am surprised by the wonderfully well built plush toy this is! And upon getting this, I can let it join his Super Mario plush toy siblings!

Family is nearly complete! Mario and Luigi were gifted to me by my sister, as for the shroomies, they were gifted to me by my classmate in pre-med.

Finally, we decided to leave the mall, but not to head home, rather to a local computer shop where we played some Heroes of Newerth (hereafter HoN). I don’t normally play MOBAs; I used to play League of Legends but not to a degree where I am near pro level. Out of all the MOBAs out there, I enjoyed Smite the most because of the controls. I am not fond of Real Time Strategies, whose control scheme seems to be in every MOBA, but in Smite, it uses First/Third Person controls that PC gamers are a lot more used to. – WASD controls.

So, when Mick was inviting me to play with him since last year, I was always finding ways not to play, however today, I had no choice.

“What am I doing here!?” – Me, as we were in a computer shop prepping to play HoN with my buddy Mick

I was surprised, I was able to pick up the game fast as it was really like any other MOBA game I ever played. Sure, I didn’t rack up the kills today, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. As to whether I will continue this in the future? Let us wait and see. I am currently installing it on my system, but as MOBAs go, I still enjoy Smite. Then again, I am not a MOBA fan as much.

Now it was time to separate ways with my best friend as we both wanted to go back to our homes. It was nice seeing my best friend, talk to him about my love life, or the lack thereof, and it’s ensuing problems it brings, as well as hear his story of his similar fate with his love life… or the lack thereof again. Got to buy my school supplies, batteries, and BOWSER! My mascot! I also got to chat with a new acquaintance in the form of Mick high school buddy and play some HoN.

Overall, today was just a way for me to unwind before the big review. It got me to deal with my sour relationship and able to talk about it when I otherwise can’t talk about it with my other friends (it helps that Mick is in the same boat as me I guess). It was just a great day.

And to cap it all off! I came home to this burger. It may look burnt, but boy was it tasty. Carcinogen tasty… Just kidding. Maybe… I don’t know.

Seems burnt…

I plan to meet up with most of my close friends this week before I move to Manila and I will make it as fun and worry free as today.

Til next time!