Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Surviving Lonely, Series 3

3 Fs And A W

In our lives there will always be bouts of loneliness, just as there are bursts of happiness. The trick is to be able to move on with the former, and prolong the latter. Let’s just tackle the first one.

One of the worst things you can do is to deny that you’re lonely. Denial causes pimples and other skin breakouts—not pretty. The first thing you need to remember is that feelings are just that, feelings. They come and go. And feelings are meant to be felt. So go ahead, embrace the feeling. The more important decision is, for how long will you wallow in it? That spells the difference between sympathetic and just merely pathetic.

So how do you get over loneliness quickly? Remember the 3Fs and a W.

Family. They are your loved ones by default of Nature. So might as well maximize, right? But this isn’t a case of settling for whoever’s there.

I remember when my grandmother died. She was the last of our grandparents to kick the bucket, so my mom insisted that all of us fly home to Bohol to bury her. We were all there, including my cousins. And when Lola was safely tucked away six feet under, our aunt gave us the keys to her vehicle and said: “Here. Have fun.” We visited Chocolate Hills, drove around the picturesque seaside towns, and took the Loboc River cruise (sans singing waiters). By the end of the trip I had fallen in love with my family. Even now, they remain my first love.

But I know that not everyone has the Brady Bunch for relatives. So what Nature has failed to produce, you can choose.

Friends. Your friends can be your second family. Gather as many friends as you can comfortable have around you. Don’t scoff at the fair-weathered ones; they too have their purpose.

I have my tried-and-tested friends for serious heart-to-heart, soul-searching one-on-ones. And I have my happy friends, those who never fail to cheer me up with simple joys, the shallower the better.

That’s why when someone tells me “Let’s just be friends,” I get a little defensive. Friends are not just friends; they’re a lot more important to me. I choose my friends carefully. I may be friendly to you, but it doesn’t automatically mean we’re friends. With the happy-happy, fun-fun ones I just make sure that we click—chemistry is the main consideration. But it takes a longer time for me to trust someone and allow him or her into my inner self.

Fucking. A fuck a day keeps the hips in shape; of course I’m kidding, a daily regimen is not advisable to most folks over 17 years old. I’m not recommending you sleep around especially if you have a partner, so just stick to, oh, once a week of sticking it in your lovey-doods (the other way around if you’re a bottom, or take turns if you’re both versa). Sex can get old fast, and it’s a sad day when it becomes work. (Unless you’re a sex worker and you earn every fucking time. But not everyone can qualify—much less excel—in that line of work.)

Speaking of work…

Work. Over the years I’ve managed to trim down my loneliness bouts to around 5 minutes. The process get easier if I’m in the office, because there’s just so much work to do. Pathetic is when you let your depression keep you from doing your work. If you use your depression to fuel your work, not only do you convert a negative into a positive, you even managed to make money off of your loneliness! (And don’t believe those who say that money can’t buy you happiness—they just don’t have enough of it. Or they want the things that money can’t buy; get real, dudes.)

Now if you can have a second-degree cousin who works in your family business and is a fubu (fuck-buddy), then you’ll be the happiest person on earth.

No wonder happiness is elusive.

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