By CLARIELE JERRINA GATDULA
Dear Love, there are many that needed to be done. And yet, I let the guilt bug me as I finish this very sentence because, unlike on the days that had passed since I knew you were not him, I just felt like writing to you.
You. Have I met you? You see, sometimes I fancy the thought of that one article I came across. It said, on average, one has already met his or her soulmate in her early 20s. So, as unrealistic as that statistic could be, I toy the idea that maybe, I have already met you. We have already met. In a coffee shop, we may have sat across. In a bookstore cashier lane, we may have been two people apart. Or maybe, we are friends now. If we are, then this will be a good laughing stock in the future. For now, I should tell you, none of my guy friends would make me think, “yes, he can be the one.” Or, are you him? That one person that has been filling my inbox with notifications these past few months? I don’t know. We don’t know, just yet.
Love, I have just graduated. I have just started out. And though I have already thought and felt like I have been working for life already, every day does have its own challenges and learnings that I allow to break, tear me down only to be picked up and rebuilt by them, for me to fight another day.
Adolescence has made me imagine you a lot of times in many ways, personified you in all the ones that lit my eyes up, whether for the minute or a lot longer. And adulthood, with a sheepish smile to admission, has not changed that.
But, love, please, not now. Not just yet.
I am not rebuking you. This is not a form of resistance brought about by prior heartbreaks that had made me stone cold defiant with falling for someone again.
I have to be honest, there is something about solitude that, I think, cannot be replaced or repriced. When I learned to conquer my fear of going to the theaters alone, when I started working out alone, when I started going out without asking anybody else’s free time, I found that I have been undervaluing the joy of being happy on my own all along. There is also that perk of knowing that all my earnings now are only spent on me—I date myself, I give gifts to myself, I spoil myself. And, I am accountable only to me. I can spend my time however I want without having to feel guilty about someone who’s waiting for me to get home, to know that I got there safely or that I was not texting or calling the whole day as if I have to be sorry for wrapping myself to my blanket and my thoughts with no regard to the time, dreaming of the things I want to accomplish, planning them all in my head today and grabbing them all the next.
During this somnolence of yours in my book, allow me to be further broken, torn down and bruised. Allow me to incur abrasions. Allow me to heal from every fracture and every wound. Allow me to be revealed of which becomes incurable and which becomes a scar. Allow me to bear the pain. Allow me to grin from every gain. These are things I have to go through, and these require all the time I need. But, rest assured, these will be the ones that will mold me into the woman who is meant for you.
Allow me to be selfish of sharing myself for now. Allow me to not call for you even when I know I should. Allow me to run away. Because, since we are the ends of our red string of fate, my destination will be where you will find me.
Allow me to love myself, too much and too good that I will not think that I need yours. For allowing me to see how good and how much I can is allowing me to gauge how much more I can love you.
See, love? This is not refusal. Rather, I believe, this is already me loving you.
Because I need you. But, come to me when I already want you.
Clariele Jerrina Gatdula is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Far Eastern University. She considers herself a success in the making – one failure at a time. Read her previous essay here.