12/31/2007
Tuning in to tomorrow

Many might want to think that 2008 is a very lucky year. The numbers, in some way, speak for itself - there is an eight, which is a symbol for luck, thanks to its infinite looks. There are also two zeros which, well, look like a fallen eight, which is still an eight whichever way you look at it.

Filipinos, being strong believers in fate, are also strong believers in luck - or, at least, things that would make them lucky. I think we've tried everything from charms to feng shui to absurd paranoia, and constant features at the end of each year on either psychic predictions or lucky tools have become part of what we call the new year.

Obviously I am also bitten by the bug - of course, I'm just your average mainstream fellow, unlike most of my friends who specialize in something. There's something in the way I argue about me being born in the year of the dragon even if everybody else insist I am a snake (because I was born on the fringes of 1989, which technically falls under the former). The newspapers have always said that the coming year is a lucky one for people like me, because of this and because of that, but so far, well...

Let's see. January, things were the same. I had constant conversations with Issa about Sarah. I was on the verge of constant conversations with Lizette, although (probably obvious to her) I was pretty uncomfortable in most of the conversations we had. I lost my phone, and my self-esteem started to drop, to some extent.

Maybe my year is about my ego. People eventually discover themselves, and other people discover them too, and old methods are replaced by new ones. Although I didn't really have anything to prove to myself, the feeling of failing on something has basically wretched me for most of the first half of the year. Things reach a peak, and it did the month after, until I eventually relented the fact that, yes, people have their own priorities, and I haven't worked on mine.

Some might want to tell me that this year was also about saving graces. Things do change. Old routines get replaces, old friends get replaced - that sounds bad, but it's true. I found new friends, sure, but somehow it had to be at the risk of "losing" old ones, either by priorities or just plain circumstance. My excitement gets in the way, and I am the one who eventually forgets.

But if there is a major thing to my last three hundred sixty-five days of existence, it's human nature. Humans live for relationships, and if this year is any indication, it's about "deprivation" as I somehow put it. It is supposed to be a running joke between me and Kor, but beyond my touchy tendencies, it has finally hit me. As bad as it may sound, a craving.

Even those who are most hardened to change want something that they can call their own, regardless of what happens. I haven't a chance to have one - things just change too often. The people you work with at one point become either distant the next, or an adversary, or just plain apathetic. I think my hyperactivity is my drug - say, from the moment I started chatting with Chex, or the moment I became (a bit) close to Naomi, or the moment I started cuddling up to the people I thought weren't up to any good, the excitement that I associate with it gets me through. Makes one think it's a big, positive development when in fact it actually isn't.

It isn't even good to hold on to things that are far gone. Eventually Issa moved on, and Lizette moved on (but not after a small spectacle), and people find people they agree more with. Have I stuck too much in what I believe in? It's a good thing, actually, being firm, but people do not appreciate it if they look like the lost ones with a road map in Chinese characters. People are getting better - and I am starting to become, well, irrelevant. August came and people were starting to dominate. An ego like mine doesn't like it, but I can't help it - I gotta look good too, of course.

So, where are the saving graces? They're convoluted ones, I believe - flimsy attempts for nothing at all. I added Anna up on LiveJournal for no particular reason, and surprisingly that's where it began. Maybe you could say I'm just being nice, like I usually am, giving my two cents on problems I couldn't solve myself. The same went with Celine. The same went with Piyar. Although eventually things make sense I can't help but think if I was too late to do something. In fact, I didn't know what I really wanted to do. At one point I told Jem I liked her, but that was it. Nothing more, nothing less.

I guess it lies on setting my priorities straight. In pragmatic terms, we've got one term left and we haven't a future in mind. On a bigger perspective, I haven't got much to do. Maybe this year I was so self-consumed, thinking about the people whose mere presence made me (and still make me) happy. Reality was slowly creeping in, and I managed to throw my own interests around with what I am supposed to do, and yes, that is fatal, with things usually ending up putting my thoughts in a compromise. Say, me wondering constantly about why bonds exist between other people, but not me.

And the cycle began again in October. Many prospects, chosen by convoluted ideas and twisted logic, slowly whittled down by insecurity to one plain unlucky choice, slowly powered by ill-placed insecurity and a lack of direction. You can freely substitute new names and new concepts for the rest - less conversations with old chums, new adversaries for once closest friends, Jose's lack of participation, thesis proposals rather than video projects, Majet's introspective text replies, and inevitably, misunderstood appeals and a constant name-drop.

So, was I really lucky during the past year? If we'd define luck as getting things that we've really wanted, then no, I wasn't. Even if I wanted insight all along, it wouldn't have mattered. I still have no idea as to what I really want - even this entry is broken to bits - and I don't know about next year, to be honest. If it ever is all the same, then only the heavens will know.

I read somewhere that, again, those born in the year of the dragon would be lucky in the coming year. It's a good decision not to believe it - I have read that for two years now, kept it in the back of my mind, and nothing happens. Horoscopes are recycled anyway. If next year means the cycle would continue - only with, say, Butch taking Misha's place, or thesis finally taking over, followed by graduation - then maybe I should just rest tonight and ignore the fireworks outside. It is still a health risk, after all. I might get sick with asthma because of the smoke.

But of course, I don't usually abandon things like these. I'm excited to hear everybody's replies, and they haven't.

And your responses...

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