I'm 30 years old

{A day before of my 30th birthday}

For my teenage sisters.

Here, on my third decade, I pour my heart out, to give you an advice. I am aware that you don't know about the existence of this blog, or that you should know, but no matter, it is what it is, and it is what it should be.

My advice is neither grand as to end poverty, nor so vast as to include my whole life. I'm here to speak of just one, and nothing else. I am here, to speak, of love.

To really love is to be ready for pain. I felt pain and caused pain, by and by, all throughout - pain caused by some women, some try-outs, few auditions, and various job applications. Just the thought of those memories sends painful shivers down my spine. Salesmen eat rejects for breakfast, lunch, and dinner - a cold shoulder for them is like water to a fish. But not I, especially when I was younger.

The awkward adolescent me of approaching a woman: What a beautiful girl - I'll approach her - but what if she rejects me? - I'll wait some more - now is my chance - I'll go now - oh, she's not interested? - is there something wrong with me? - I'll go to a corner - no, I'll go to that bed and curl like a fetus - I'll hide on this blanket - no I'm not hungry - don't disturb me.

One of the most painful emotions known to man is the sense of loss. Of death, of break-ups, and of rejections. There are shades of pain of course - with death the most painful, followed by break-ups, with rejection the least painful. Slow death and slow breakup, like terminal illness spread throughout the year is less painful than abrupt death and sudden divide. Rejections of lesser kind, like a dismissal from a lover with low appeal, is less excruciating than someone whom you are head over heels in-love with.

But no matter how you prepare for it, nothing can cushion your fall, when rejections and breakups leave a mark on your behind. The hues and tones of demise may be diverse but the risks dwells on the same spot:

You will get a yes sometimes, because you are tall, rich and handsome. OR You will get rejected sometimes, because you are too tall, too rich or too handsome.

You will get to kiss, cuddle, and have sex sometimes, because you are calm and confident. OR You won't get to kiss, cuddle, and have sex sometimes, because you are calm and confident.

Your lover may treat you well, in accordance to the stated values. OR Your lover may treat you badly, in total contradiction to the stated values.

The affair may go on forever, and you may have that person for life. OR Your affair may be smooth sailing, but all of sudden your lover ditch the affair and toss you out on to the cold sea.

You are accepted because you are stable. OR You are rejected because your stability is boring.

If you break up, your ex may do everything in the world to help you get up on your feet again. OR After the breakup you will feel as though you had been, without a ritual, deposited on a garbage truck.

Love shakes your core. The yes should keep coming. The YES should stay - of family, of country - but sooner or later, the NO will come. How well the things of past you will soon tell yourself - yet change is the only constant.

You might want me to retract, or else give you a guarantee, but I can't give you one. Love isn't point A to point Z. For unlike the arts, sometimes, there is no beginning, middle, climax and THE END. Sometimes love doesn't even begin, or it ends before it starts. Sometimes, you don't get married and live happily ever after - you just live or maybe not.

Security in love is a myth. Prisons and courts are built because murder is regular. Soldiers are trained because there will always be bullies. We want a higher ground - because we know that we make mistakes. We crave logic - because we cry, laugh, and get angry. And we might as well accept it - humans will do the most illogical, crazy things, at the most importunate time, because well - we're human after all.

During my teenage years, I wanted absolute love, the security of sure girlfriend who won't leave me. Looking back, I now see how young and naïve I am. Over the years, I've learned to let go of the drama of being rejected, move on, jump into the mouth of love, swim in its belly, and come out more … oh, well, you got me. Of course - being almost but not quite still hurts - don't let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise. But I wouldn't want it any other way - those who want too much neatness is doomed, because too much order is the denial of love. Those who think of not risking anything are not free. I dread living in the most secure place on earth - the maximum security prison - breathing, yet dead really.

Love if you must - build away- rest assure there will always be pundit waiting to nitpick and steal at the bud of your design. If you must show us that you are human capable of laughing, crying, moaning - laugh, cry, moan - rest assure there will always be critics who would twist what you said, throw it back at your face as being sappy and corny. For to truly love is to be vulnerable.

What a refreshing sight to see someone attempt to love, fall short several times, yet from time to time succeed. There are lovers whose every stab, almost always sink. But look closer - they seldom attempt, and so they soon found out to be not loving at all, an illusory attempt to love but is not really. Yet a true lover's spirit will linger long after the body is no longer with us. Love's endearing ability to try even in the face of overwhelming odds and the ability to bounce from a setback etched it deep in the psyche of lovers and non-lovers alike.

Lest you think the years had made me bleak, cynical and weary, let me get this Zen like message across - great love is rare and insecure yet full of fleeting moments of joy. Fleeting, yes - it rears its head so fast, I sometimes miss it by blinking - yet it floats, oh, so beautiful. The spur of the moment I-Love-Yous said in the most sincere way by a woman I fancy, still send shocks on my spinal chord. The innocent chuckle of months old baby still elicits an instant smile. The lukewarm breeze during a sunset on a cool-looking scenario of the afternoon besides a serene beach, still exhilarates, still quench my insatiable thirst for the ever so elusive love.

When you do find true an instant connection with someone, I beseech you to hold on to it like a precious stone, as earth-shattering great love for another person is hard to find. When I was younger, I imagined great love to be common, but now, I know better. "There are so many fish in the ocean," maybe true for me a decade ago, but now, it is just one lump in my buckle of banal platitudes and cliché of a belt. Regret is a painful emotion, because second chances are uncommon. When you reach my age, I don't want you to have regrets when it comes to love. God damn it, treasure it, when you do find it, because you won't find another one like it again.

Most people my age and older, will tell you that as you grow older, you won't feel as intense as when you are younger, this is true except when it's not, like in true great love. Great love fuses inside a person's soul, and it won't let go, even after your last breath evanescence.

You'll ponder that when your 30th birthday do arrive, that you've by that time outgrown what a true intense connection feels like. Yet, even after all those years of dusting it's magic off, of wriggling away from it's grasps, you still can't shake it's whirling around like the unseen wind. For there is no getting away from the past.


Kuya Michael


  1. Anonymous (30 December, 2005 21:48)

    great advices :smile:

    happy birthday. and happy new year too!

    Anonymous (30 December, 2005 22:36)

    Happy Birthday to you! :birthday:

    Anonymous (01 January, 2006 09:13)

    Belated happy birthday and happy new year to you and yours. :smile:

    Anonymous (01 January, 2006 15:42)

    to all,

    thank you for the greetings, and may you all have a wonderful wonderful time in the months to come.

    Anonymous (01 January, 2006 18:48)

    :birthday: happy birthday! clapping

    Anonymous (05 January, 2006 03:03)

    Nice words of wisdom!

    Anonymous (16 January, 2006 16:04)

    he he he im older. happy b day.

    Anonymous (17 January, 2006 03:18)

    belated happy bday, michael! alangya, na-late ako sa pagbati ah, syet! bisi-bisihan kase ako lately, hay!

    Anonymous (25 February, 2006 07:50)

    hi! great blog you have here.

    i love this post. it hits too close to home. but then again maybe i'm just pms-sing. :smile:

    Anonymous (17 May, 2006 17:05)

    a theory: men's age are directly proportional to skill in bed. meaning, older men are better; until they reach a certain age that the problem reverses and they can't get it up anymore. simply put: older = more experience = more pleasure.

    Anonymous (21 June, 2006 10:31)

    I read the whole dam thing. Depressing as hell.

    {illyria} (06 January, 2007 11:36)

    in theory, we've nowhere else to go but up. :)

    a late greeting for your birthday, and for the new year, too.

    ~the girl FKA transience

    Tina Khoe (18 May, 2007 00:18)

    That was an extremely good article. Keep it up!

    Anonymous (08 April, 2008 16:20)

    amf kuya. ngayon ko ko lang nabasa!! o nabasa ko na dati tapos nakalimutan ko? hmmm

    ermitanyo (29 September, 2008 00:23)

    "... or you get rejected because you're too tall, too rich or too handsome"

    ha ha ha. we laugh at it now, but the truth is that at that age, it was indeed a living disaster.

    Anonymous (10 December, 2008 22:33)

    kuya! please tell me you're gonna spend your 33rd with us? or at least christmas. miss you so much!! miss your updates on interesting youtube videos, editing your blogposts and eating isaw at the market with you. magreply ka naman sa email ko!! :p

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