No fading

No fadingA while back, I started a new category here entitled “The People in My life”, hoping to write about those individuals who may have walked in to say hello, walked past me, or who had decided to stay and have been part of my life since the day they walked in. It just struck me that there are so many people in our lives we often lose track of. People who, whether in a deliberate or very passing way, touch our lives.

I have almost 49 years of those people. I still haven’t quite gotten down to seriously writing a piece about any one, I guess – but a phrase I said to myself the other day struck a chord when thinking of those people. “No fading.”

“Goodbye” seems to have gotten the raw deal when we think about the painful junctures in our lives. When we think about “sad partings”, we think about those times we broke off with someone, someone broke off with us, or when someone left for good to be someplace else. I think that no matter how goodbyes are said, the fact that they are said whether verbally or in action counts for something. There is a finality to it that allows you to put a period at the end of the sentence, instead of those three dots and a question mark. It helps one to move on.

I have said my share of goodbyes. Some were happy – like when I decided to move to New York 15 years ago. Some were sad, like when someone told me that although the feeling would never change, he had to say goodbye. Or when I bid my Dad goodbye on the cellphone as he was about to breathe his last – because he was 10,000 miles away. He couldn’t speak anymore, but I told him I loved him and that I was sorry if I had gotten mad at him, but that I was okay now and no longer angry. And yes, that he could go.. he need not worry about me. That goodbye still makes a knot form in my stomach.. even now as I write here. I have to take a deep breath so the tears won’t come.

But those are goodbyes that were said or made known. Sometimes you don’t need words, but then your actions speak it with finality.  Nothing is left to interpretation. It was goodbye, and that was that.

I think the sadder thing is when people just fade away.

You know how when someone comes and says hello, and you feel like the sun just started shining a tad brighter.. and just when you start believing it’s all good, that person fades away. No warning. No goodbye. Just plain fading. For a time you start thinking maybe this friend will come back. Maybe that’s why there were no goodbyes. Or maybe this friend just wasn’t really a friend after all.  There was a need, and being there met that need – and once the need was gone, so was this friend.

I have been guilty of fading away myself – years ago when I thought I’d be a coward and just slowly disappear. Is there really such a thing as “slowly disappearing?” We choose to disappear — period. We choose to be no longer a part of someone else’s life. Like those friends I might’ve run to when I felt like the rug was being pulled from under me – and while I was not asking them to take sides, they chose to take the safe side and not get involved. (I know I sound bitter here.. maybe because I am.) So I faded.. If I happen to meet them some place, I’d smile. I’d still talk to them, but they are no longer a part of my life just as I walked away from being a part of their lives. I have family that I wanted to hold close, but who, I guess wasn’t in the same frame of mind. No hard feelings. While we can’t choose family, we can choose if we want to be with them or not. So again, I faded.

“No fading.” That should be a rule of thumb between friends. A friend, after all, will always be there — whether 10,000 miles away or within the same time zone. So when someone fades, she’s just not being a friend at all.

We’re all entitled to change our minds. And sometimes, life does happen.  But wouldn’t it be nicer if we can tell the person affected we’ve decided to move on whether in plain language or in a definite action, instead of not saying a word, perhaps mistakenly believing it should be understood. Between friends, goodbyes are never implied. It’s like your boyfriend – you break up.

I’ve only broken up with one friend — someone who was like a sister to me and she and I continue to be estranged. Once upon a time, we just didn’t quite agree on where she thought I was coming from and where I was actually coming from. Major events took place and I was relegated to guest instead of friend or even the sister she professed she always wanted to have. Letters were exchanged — carefully worded, yet very painful — and in the end, we said our goodbyes.

No regrets.  I’ve moved on.  Do I miss her? Sadly, no. I think our friendship and even our sisterhood was meant to end then.

No fading. It simply ended. Perhaps that’s the reason it’s such a final goodbye – because it was actually very pointed and clear.

I try to think of the people who had faded away somehow through the years. Some, I think about wistfully and wish they had not.  Some, I understood the reasons why and leave it just as another one of those friendships or relationships that weren’t meant to be.

I guess I’m thinking about this now more for my benefit and to remind myself to try to be more mindful as I go through life from hereon.  No fading, Dinna..  There are conversations that will have to end.  People you have to say goodbye to.  People who will have to hear, this is it — I’m moving on.  While it may be easier to just stop answering emails or ignoring text messages and phone calls, there will always be that part of the population that needs things to be spelled out in plain and simple terms.  (As BFF Fe says, you have to dumb proof the statement.)  But in the grand scheme of things, it’s just a matter of kindness.

One final good deed when needed.  Instead of you just turning away, leaving another waiting.  Just think of it this way, if it were you on the other end, wouldn’t you want to be told instead of being left just hanging.  You wouldn’t want to be the one left wondering..

I hate goodbyes

We had a send-off for a retiring officer who just happens to be my boss.  (No cause for panic — I already have a new boss..)  I had served under this retiring principal for but a year and a half, but I can truly say she was one of the people I learned from the most.  Perhaps it helped that she has been with the company for as long as I’ve been alive — 45 years!  Through it all, she managed to rise from being a clerk out of high school who rose through the ranks, acquired an education, leaving the company as an Executive Vice President, occupying one of the highest positions in a company 40,000+ strong worldwide.

She likened her retirement to a wake and I can’t help but agree.  Everyone says nice things — things that should’ve and could’ve been said a long time ago.  Not that she’s griping, and neither am I.  I guess it’s part of the difficulty with dealing with goodbyes.

I made the gift tags for the candy bags we prepared for her and everyone raved.  They are scalloped tags which I printed on two sides.  I wrote half of her practically 500 strong department and solicited entries for a scrapbook.  It was a labor of love.  (And I am not exaggerating.)

I was going to provide my template for the scallopped tag then I realized that I cannot upload a PDF of the template as that would make it hard to actually type or write your own text or embed your own graphic.  Doing a word document would be difficult as well because of the intricacies of inserting text or an object which needs manipulating to allow the added item to overlap with the template.  So I said — forget it.

So much for generosity and wanting to share.

I really feel all tired and worn and just exhausted.  It’s as if all the effort I poured into the scrapbook and the business of preparing for this party suddenly caught up with me.  Not that I was alone — I wasn’t even the primary mover.  We have a lady who is the party expert in our department and who happens to be the closest friend of my boss in the company, so the logistics were a breeze.  I think it’s more of the emotional drain of realizing we’re nearing goodbye.

I have been very lucky as far as the people I have worked for are concerned.  Not only have I had the opportunity to advance financially, but more importantly, they were people of substance who contributed to broadening my horizons and my way of thinking.  I have been fortunate enough to have been entrusted with their confidence — something that I know they didn’t need to do but which they did freely.

I don’t have the energy to write more about the emotional component of work — the fatigue will take me over.  I’ve been exploring Etsy and looking at new ideas and getting ready to focus again on populating the store.  That ought to help preoccupy me and help me focus my efforts elsewhere.  I got an invitation to join another craft fair but I think next weekend is a tad bit too soon.  Perhaps sometime in July.

I have more cards to write and am actually thinking of creating cards over the weekend.  And there is my long overdue post in my Art Journal Every Day project. =(  My watercolor pencils go with me everywhere I go so I just might make an effort to sketch something today.  Need to think happy thoughts. =)

Waiting for the snow to start falling…

It’s 10pm and I just finished washing the dishes, cleaning up in the kitchen, plus I even managed to wash one of my self-knitted scarves and Angelo’s beanie.  I have been using a silken ladder yarn scarf but I now realize I need more protection from the elements when the temperatures take a dive.  I have not bought scarves for the winter for a couple of years now because I have taken to knitting my own.  I’m no expert knitter so I tend to experiment with sizing (oversized stitches given a yarn thickness) and then I add trim.  For some of the scarves, the embellishment or “arte” lies in the kind of yarn I actually use.

But paper is what has kept me preoccupied of late.  I opened another store on Etsy dealing primarily with paper — recycling paper in particular and creating gift tags and gift cards, and eventually — hopefully other paper products.  I am researching making hand-made recycled paper and just today, came across a tutorial on making paper beads.  (Talk about combining two of my current passions!)  I even have the paper cut today which caused me to wash with one hand in a latex glove.  (One reason I don’t throw away those disposable gloves that come with your shampoo-in hair dye.)  That’s nothing compared to the multiple cuts my hands suffered from some 14 months ago when I experimented with resin domino pendants.  Hmmmm.. the pendants are still in the experimental stage so no, they haven’t exactly been something lucrative.  At least I have the many lessons I learned in the process.

Snow.. I know I ought to take comfort in the words of my favorite weatherman that it won’t be as bad and as much as the blizzard. Uhm, just 3-5 inches (!) of snow.. I wish I had the same optimism.  Anything beyond a light dusting is cause for frustration.  Then again I must remind myself I live in a part of the world where cold winters like this one are the norm.  (Lightbulb in my head… reminder to self: note to Donna.)

I braved the cold today to walk to Rockefeller Center to take pictures of the Christmas tree.  It was lovely but very cold.  Am I surprised that I seem to have caught a bug?  Nope.  I came all wrapped and snuggly but it looks like it wasn’t warm enough.  (Nothing my throat spray and lozenges cannot handle..)  Christmas in New York is not quite like the all around Christmas spread in Manila, but it has its own charm.

It brings me back to Manila where we all spent Christmas last year, and where Angelo and I had our first New Year’s Eve, me after 9 years of having spent that night in New York.  It was also our first spent apart as Alan had left earlier for home.  I opted to stay behind because Dad was sick.  I extended once and was ready to extend another time, but the flights were full.  I had work and Angelo had school.  So on the 7th, we bid our goodbyes and that was that.

So back to the snow.. =)  At least it’s a Friday, and hopefully, I’ll get to go home early enough.  Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…