For me personally, I blog without really thinking about who gets to read my posts or who could possibly care about what I write. When I say I now have 6 readers, it’s because I know of 6 people who actually read the blog. People have come and gone — and some very interesting ones at that — but bloghopping, like any other hobby or habit is something that comes and goes.
And occasionally, someone pops up from out of nowhere and brings a smile to my face, like my old, old friend Bobby (Robert below) who took me by surprise that he did stay and read and even left a comment:
Robert said: I never count the days, I only see what I can do for the day and the things I can improve on tomorrow, and you know what… ang haba ng araw ko…hahaha, Godspeed.
The Pinay New Yorker says: Thanks for the words of wisdom, Bobbie (yes, with an “ie” for me..) — maybe I’ll write about our story here one day. Not quite ready to reveal that much just yet.. Give me a year or two…
There are also gems and rewards like this note from Shay who replied to my post below, acknowledging her first comment but a few days ago:
Shay wrote: I’ll start this with a smiley because I have huge SMILE on my face whilst writing this. I was telling my Mom about your blog the other day and how we have inter-acted through email… I told her how you took time out to respond and even thanked me for reading when in fact I should be the one thanking you because I, too have been struggling with some things and reading your entries about being patient and how you are as a Mom, daughter and a sister.. it makes a difference. Dinna ( if I may), Thank you for this. some people when they go through something they work internally, through meditation and other activities which I feel is equally solitary to reading blogs like yours..I wish I am as eloquent as you so that you’ll know how grateful I am . I’ll check on your Art Journal some time. for now, I wish (you) Goodnight.
The Pinay New Yorker says: I am touched. Right when I had made yet another stubborn decision to set aside writing here for a while, you come back with a message like this which tells me I was wrong to do just that. And just when I needed every bit of encouragement, you gave me a wave of them which totally knocks me off my feet.
It is a difficult time for me and I’m trying not to be too transparent lest people think this is a virtual wailing wall for me, although it is that and so much more in reality. And when one writes and pours out her soul in the open, you tend to invite unkind comments even when it isn’t intended to come out that way. Not everyone is as kind and appreciative as you, Shay. Others just want to read and look, and then they judge or just presume anything they say or do will be fine. Thanks, yet again, for another warm hug to the heart.
I am still in the process of fleshing things out in my mind. I feel like I have so much on my plate right now that I wish I could just play hookie for the day and roam Manhattan at will without worrying about getting to the office on time, or getting home in time to cook dinner and do homework with my son. But there are things that cannot wait.. and they are not always easy tasks.
I am trying to solve problems back home and help provide a solution — and at the same time, I’m trying to get a semblance of order to what I want to do here in New York.
I managed to begin my first 5-decade rosary ever in a long time during the walk from the house to the bus stop. Unlike previously where my petitions per decade of the rosary were very specific, this time around, I thought of people and just prayed for their intentions, not for anything specific to happen.
I stood at the bus stop where three express buses pick up passengers from my side of Queens, all headed for Manhattan. The difference was where they headed — there’s a 3rd Avenue bus, a 6th Avenue bus (my usual) and the Downtown loop which heads towards Wall Street. I told myself I was getting on whichever of the 3rd or 6th Avenue bus came first and take it from there. I wasn’t particularly feeling adventurous — my brain just wasn’t processing things too well and I thought, why fight it? As it was, the 3rd Avenue bus came, and as I had intended, I got on it.
The bus wasn’t full so I had a two-seater all to myself. I finished my prayers, drifted in and out of sleep, painted my face before hitting the tunnel, and decided I would get a few things my sister, Ofie, had requested. I usually head this way when we hold meetings in our posh meeting center in that building bearing my company’s name atop Grand Central, and I have my routine down pat every time. I always make it a point to stop at the The Church of St. Agnes between 3rd Avenue and Lexington on 43rd Street. As I walked towards the church, I almost hesitated because this is a very emotional place of worship for me. This was where I had cried the time we thought Dad was dying, and I was agonizing about a decision to go home which was a trip I actually made. My Dad survived then and even had another Christmas left, but eventually succumbed to his ailments a year later.
It’s not a very big church which made it very homely. I walked in during the end of the morning mass and took a space in the corner. I just stood there, clutching my bags and simply stayed silent. I felt I had nothing to say — He would know. And I just let it all in…somehow I knew, He said, “You’ll be fine” — and with that, I stepped out. It wasn’t that the burden would be lifted — the answer I heard was “You’ll be okay.” I don’t know how or when “okay” or “fine” will come, but knowing it will helps.
Walking out, I made a mental note to myself to write here specifically (to Fe and my sister, Ofie) that when I go, I want my memorial service in New York to be at this church for the spiritual and emotional significance it has always held for me. This is where I want to have the prayers for my eternal rest to be said. (No one seems to want to take talk about this eventuality seriously… )
I went about my errands and had three stops before I finally went through the sea of people streaming out of Grand Central and I crossed to the side where I took the bus to my building. (Not an easy task when they’re all filing out of the doors and you’re trying to get in!) Found my stop, took my bus and my work day started. For all the uncertainty of my morning, I actually accomplished quite a lot. Lip butter for Cecil taken cared of.. shower gels for Ofie — DONE! And what’s more, I got some French Macarrons for myself (yum!) but I resisted my favorite chocolates because this was self indulgence galore as it was. (I guess I’m skipping lunch…)
I realized, as I walked across the huge lobby of my building that although there was a sense of ambivalence in my heart, I wasn’t weighed down. I had a sense of calm in my heart even if I felt the storm raging all around me. I thought about Manila, I thought about my family there and my family here — and I didn’t stress out about e-mails left unanswered from the people I had written. I told myself they must be busy, the answer will come in time. It’s just that sometimes, I get so impatient myself, and I forget that though I asked the question, I can’t control when the answer will come.
Of course there is always the possibility of disappointment or failure — but I cannot not try. As Fe would always remind me, “You have to do what you have to do.” In all this indecision, I have never been more resolute about doing what I have to do. There is always that need for space.. that need for air.. that need for time to just reflect and let it all sink in. Then you just zero in on the answer to your question.
And in the midst of all this thinking, I realized how so many others have answered my questions although they were not the ones I had originally asked. People from literally another life have crawled back from the woodwork so to speak, and have been very encouraging. (Yes, Bobbie, including you. =) And even complete strangers (like Shay) have been so kind to offer the words of encouragement I would’ve expected from friends of old. (Fe will say again: that it is the universe listening… Indeed.)
Most mornings I start my day listening to “Anima Christi” or “Panalanging sa Pagbubukas Palad”. I listen and pray. I just listen.. I don’t even ask anymore. Sometimes we’re too busy asking that we fail to hear the answer or the “yes” or “no”, or “not yet”. But it’s there. So we plod on. I move on.. and the world just goes on and on. And the little gifts from out of the blue land on our lap, taking the heartaches and confusion away even if only for a moment.