Graduation Goggles – (n.) the relief and nostalgic feeling one has about a time in their life when it is about to end, even if the time was completely miserable.
Paskuhan Tree 2013.
Color Theory Workspace. My desk.
1 ID – 4. My blockmates.My friend, Martha.On the way to star gaze at Antipolo. This was my first time riding the LRT train.
Ann and I at Quiapo. We walked all the way from UST to Quiapo Church.
(I was a catholic then)We went to hidalgo to buy more film for my vintage rangefinder camera from my Lolo.Quiapo church.Side street.Mic Comia and Jam’s Elbow. This was before Mic formed Where’s Ramona and became it’s vocalist. (Check out their band).
A truck we found in Antipolo. We weren’t sure if someone died in it.Reason and Dale.View from “our balcony” as we call it. By our, I mean me and my boyfriend, Jam. This is one of our secret spots in the Beato bldg. I find secret spots for when I wanted to be alone or when anxiety gets too bad and I don’t want to face anyone but I can’t leave school. Took a while before I shared these secret spots (even to Jam). Which is also why it took me so long to decide if I wanted to share these photos to the world since it’s very personal to me. This was my corkboard in my dorm room.Basilio, the bunny. I don’t know whose bunny. I already forgot.This was our first day as a couple. Taken outside Antipolo church. (same as the photo below)Another view from our ‘secret’ balcony (same as the photo below).My love.
What happened to me when I disappeared?
The best and worst days of my life. They say it takes getting everything you ever wanted and then losing it to know what real freedom is. Disappearing was well worth it because I found something so much better than fame and fortune… myself. Although, I’m still on that journey of finding my happiness and knowing what I really want in life, being away from the scene that ruined my head helped me heal and appreciate the better things in life. Being away from the people that hurt me has allowed me to be myself, whoever that is. I’ve learned so much from my time in college. There were good times and bad.
My college experience started out really well. I felt accepted for a while. By the time I was on my third year, I felt so utterly isolated from everyone. I kept asking myself what was wrong with me and why I was always alone and how I both loved and hated it at the same time. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that no one really knows what’s best for you except for yourself (this applies to people who are 18 and above, please don’t disobey your parents. well, unless they’re abusive and all). I’m not telling anyone to drop out of college, move to a big city and just wing it. School is definitely good for something. I could confidently say that I wouldn’t be who I am today without everything I learned in school (the most important life lessons, I didn’t learn from books or adults or teachers but from my friends and from own experiences). It’s okay to feel alone and isolated. It’s not always your fault and it’s not always a bad thing. I certainly didn’t expect to be a college drop out and I never expected to end up where I am today but it’s important to know when to stop. I certainly wish I had finished my course and earned a diploma and I probably still will, just not at a place I don’t believe in and not around people I don’t relate to anymore.
To my love, Jam. You have given me so much and you made me a believer again. I could not thank you enough for being my rock. You never failed to be there through my ups and downs and my highs and lows. Thank you for showing me kindness, something no one has ever shown me before. Thank you for setting a standard in my life on how people should treat me and that has taught me to identify those who abuse and use me. Thank you for giving me courage to take big leaps in my life, including this one, even if it meant we had to be away from each other for a few years until you graduate. Thank you for loving me no matter how much I tried to push you away at first. Thank you for constantly telling me that I am a whole being even before I met you. I know I wrote a post on my old blog on how I wished that we were in another universe. A universe where I was not so damaged by my past that I could let you take care of me and maybe even love me. You have made this universe a universe worth living in by existing. I can’t wait to see you again.
I was experiencing graduation goggles (a term I learned from watching How I Met Your Mother) for a few months after I dopped out, while I was waiting for my papers to get fixed so I can move far away. Truthfully, no matter how miserable I was in my last few months in UST, I still miss it. I miss Moira Lynn and Kantunan and the people that work there. I miss Joyce’s, Joli’s and Jomar’s. I miss Cow Wow. I miss Dormus. I miss Galleria Suites. I miss my overpriced little apartment. I miss my ex roommates even if we’re not all in great terms when we separated ways. I miss Beato and my secret spots. I miss the janitors that open and close the elevators, they have become my friends during the times I felt isolated from my peers. My dear, Ate Susan calls me anak everytime we see each other. I miss my dear professors (except a certain bully professor whose name I will not drop but i will say that s/he was a big part on why i wanted to leave the school). I even sort of miss those rude ass street kids running around Espanya and P. Noval to steal food, skateboards and terrorize students (just kidding, I really don’t miss that).
I almost didn’t want to leave because my graduation goggles were so deceiving but I’m glad I did. No matter how hard it is to start fresh in a new country. It is what I needed.
To my readers: you are important, you are valid, you are stronger than you think.
(All photos were taken with my rangefinder camera, Nikon L35AF, 35mm film. Badly scanned. Most photos are from 2013.)