I almost died two weeks ago. I had an accident and it fractured three ribs and a scapula. It hurt A LOT. It was so painful that I’d rather have my heart broken than go through that kind of agony again. Crippled for almost two weeks now, I spent a lot of time in bed thinking about what could’ve happened if the accident got far worse. What if I injured my spine instead of my ribs and scapula? What if it touched some nerves making me incapable of walking? What if it paralyzed my whole body? What if I died?
Thinking about how easily it happened at the most unexpected place and unexpected time still gives me the creeps. Life is indeed short. We never get to decide when and how we must go. One second you’re smiling and gasping in amazement, next second you’re down on the ground. It’s that easy.
I used to get kilig feels whenever I see couples post on Facebook on their anniversaries saying, “I’ll get to tell you everything that I want to say for the rest of my life, so I’ll keep this short. I love you.”
Short, sweet and committed, right? I wish I can be as subtle as that. But after the accident, my perspective about this made a 360 degree turn. What if the rest of your life is 30 minutes after that sweet post and you never get to say everything that you wanted to say to your loved ones? Is “I love you” enough?
I’ve always been expressive. I grew up writing letters to my parents, my yaya and my playmates on their birthdays. I’d fold a bond paper into a card like size, write what I want to tell them and put on colors or dried flowers to add love. It was in 1994 when I first heard the word “corny”. A classmate who was a close friend was celebrating her birthday. I made her a letter as a gift in a scented stationary paper. She said “Cornyyyy” when I gave her the letter. Her siblings who were in the car with her laughed and started screaming “corny” too.
Though I didn’t know what the word meant yet, I figured it was a mockery. I was confused and embarrassed. Since that day, I stopped giving people letters for a while.
I had my first boyfriend when I was 15. We both didn’t have cell phones yet. It was either landline phone calls or letters. And God, how I filled him with letters! I was a high school student and he was in college. We rarely see each other. My puberty hormones were overflowing that everything that I felt back then was too much for me to handle; I had to put it somewhere! That was when I started writing again. I wrote in my diary every day and I wrote letters to him. I would write him a letter whenever I miss him, I would write whenever I am lonely, I would write whenever I was angry with him.
I’d give the letters whenever we have the chance to see each other. Watching him read everything and seeing his reactions were a pure joy back then that I was inspired to never stop writing about what I feel. I even composed songs in the years that we were together. It didn’t work for us obviously but it’s one of the things that I’d never regret. Being in that relationship taught me to express. That it shouldn’t be an embarrassment to write so passionately about everything and anything that I feel.
The word “cheesy” is such an eye rolling vocabulary for me. On why people had to put so much negativity into something sincere is beyond me. Sincerity shouldn’t be something that we should be afraid of doing. Social media has put so much taboo about couples that post too much love stuff. Articles being written about couples that don’t post about their whatevers are likely to last forever and couples who do will not.
It always breaks my heart whenever I see someone on Facebook having the need to apologize for writing a sincere “cheezy” status for a loved one. Why? How did humans manage to shy away from sincerity?
If being vocal about what you feel is something that you couldn’t do, then don’t. But if you are only afraid of doing it for fear of rejection from the society then please don’t, honey. Never sacrifice your zen for approval.
The accident taught me that life is short. We can literally leave this world anytime, anywhere under whatever circumstances. So spill the unsaid, hug your family even if they find it “corny” or “cheezy”. Tell your children that you love them every day, or better yet, every chance that you can get. Give that friend the promised visit, no excuses. Thank your house help/secretary/assistant for her/his hard work. Give your parents a call. Tell everything whatever you want to say today to your boyfriend/partner/husband.
Do it NOW, you’ll never know.