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)

Monday, November 28, 2011

No More Drama

I used to be a drama queen.

When I was younger I didn’t have that many friends. And I couldn’t tell my parents or my siblings my problems because I feared they’d think me strange. So I just soaked and wallowed in all that drama. I perfected my personal pity party playing in my head. All the songs on the radio were perfect for my situation, and I’d listen to several songs again and again because every word, every lyrics slashed deeper and deeper into my heart. “All By Myself.” “You’re In My Heart, You’re In My Soul.” “What Kind Of Fool.” “Alone Again, Naturally.” “On My Own.” The whole soundtrack of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom Of The Opera. Notice a pattern? They’re all about love.

Yes, love was the one thing that I majored in drama. Family problems? Not much. Friends misunderstanding? I was too polite and courteous. But I was the poster boy for unrequited love. I was attracted to other guys, but at the back of my mind an alarm repeatedly whispered, “Beware!” And so I kept quiet, kept them all inside. But all the while I wanted the boys to reciprocate what I felt; worse, I fell for straight guys. This went on for years, even after I graduated from college.

When I was about to hit 30, I stayed out all night every Friday and Saturday. I forgot what my bedroom looked like during weekend nights as I looked for love in all the right—and wrong—places.

Then one day, it just hit me. Life is about choices. And happiness is a choice.

I don’t remember now how I ditched the drama. All I can remember—or maybe all I chose to remember—is vowing to stop feeling sorry for myself.

And whereas before I used comedy as both a crutch and a coping mechanism, I now fully embraced it. Life is random; life is absurd. And I choose to laugh in the face of all that. Life is already hard as it is, why make things harder? Shrug your shoulders, throw your head back and smile. After all, laughter is a far more enjoyable act than crying, and certainly far less embarrassing. Smiling uses fewer muscles so it’s much less tiring than frowning.

At first I stopped being romantic. But my mistake was to swing the opposite direction and appropriated a cynical stance. Eventually it became clear to me that cynicism has its limits; worse, cynicism is unsustainable. So instead I became a realist. And that was when I started to grow up.

I used to be a drama queen, but not anymore.


rudeboy said...

I don't think I was ever a drama queen, but I find that I'm still an angry, angry, angry man.

I wish there were an app for that.

charles. said...

Unrequited love. Hmm, the only thing I've cried over when I was in high school.
My difference, though, is that even before 18, I already realized the best thing to do. :)

MkSurf8 said...

ay ako galit sa mga drama queens at cynics. i'm such a hater. hahaha

Mac Callister said...

ako ata till now drama queen pa din!wahaha! sana dumating na din ako puntong di ko na iisipin na malaking kakulangan ang lovelife sa buhay ko :-0

Anonymous said...

being a realist, that's being open to what is, accepting to what is.

good for you, mcvie.