Stolen Moments

Will: I love her. The day Pete brought her home ten years ago I wasn’t even supposed to be there. I was supposed to be on a plane. Sometimes I wonder if I’d just been somewhere else. We denied it for months because that’s what you do. You deny it. You pretend it’s not happening. You pretend it’s all above board and it’s appropriate and the next thing you know you’re having sex in the coat closet at your brother’s engagement dinner. Pete loves her. She’s his wife. And she and I, well, we have what we have. It might not be much but it’s what we have.

Olivia: You have nothing. You have a pile of secrets and lies, and you’re calling it love. And in the meantime you’re letting your whole life pass you by while they raise children and celebrate anniversaries and grow old together. You’re frozen in time. You’re holding your breath. You’re a statue waiting for something that’s never going to happen. Living for stolen moments in hotel hallways and coat closets and you keep telling yourself they all add up to something real because in your mind they have to but they don’t. They won’t. They never will. Because stolen moments aren’t a life. So you have nothing. You have no one. End it now.

Not anymore. Thank you Lord.

Second Class Citizens

For the record, I like my job.

Working in the government has given me some sense of purpose. I may not be part of the workforce interacting with the poor or part of a program delivering services but I am in a position where important matters are talked about and discussed. I am in a position where I learn a lot about how things work, how difficult it is to yield a ship with so many parts and functions, how to overcome these difficulties and how to make sense of it all. My understanding is just a scratch above the surface but I also feel that my roots are starting to grow too.

And I am not a perfect employee. I come in late most of the time and go home later than the normal. There are days I don’t go to work because I don’t feel like it. I don’t meet all of my deadlines. I am not the smartest, quickest or wittiest employee. I may not have the best ideas or the most innovative ones. I may not always be the most critical person around.

But I do know this – I am passionate. I want to make things work. I want other people and organizations to see that we can be efficient. That we actually know what we are doing. I want to deliver what is expected of me and more because that is my job in the whole machinery. I take on painstakingly reading through report after report, thinking, correcting, re-sending, convening meetings, seeking commitments, doing other people’s work, running, beating deadlines, etc etc.

Simply put, I care. I care about what we do because every link in the chain is important. We are a machine working for the poor. And a lot of us care. We care enough to put in the extra hours and weekends without extra pay. We care enough to use our own money for communication and transportation costs.

So why is the title of this post “second class citizens”? Because we are not government employees. We work our asses off but we are not government employees. We are “Memorandum of Agreement” workers. We are required to work 40 hours a week, Mondays to Fridays, but we are not given any government-mandated benefits for employees. Our wages are cut by the minute we are late, but we are not given overtime pay for the hours we exceed in a day. We do not have leave credits. Our years in service are not counted as “years in service”. Even if you stay for five years or more, you’ll still be a second class citizen [unless someone retires, dies or gets promoted].

We can perform and outperform and still worry if our contracts will be renewed by the end of the year. Performance is not awarded by anything. Performance merely gives you another year’s contract. Performance gives you more work. Performance gives your regular office mates their bonuses and honoraria.

It’s not just about the money. It’s about unfair treatment. It’s about security. It’s about worker’s rights.

One day I can get sick. One day I am going to have a family who will depend on me. One day I am going to have to take care of a child, who can also get sick. But you can’t be sick because you have no medical insurance to pay for your medical bills. You can’t be sick because you can’t take a day off else you’ll miss a day’s salary. You can’t take a day off for your family. You can’t even retire because you don’t have social security. It makes you wonder, why even stay?

I like my job.

But I cannot stay in a job that treats me like a second class citizen.

#FAIL

Feeling a bit sad right now because I’m failing miserably in a lot of things.

(1) Haven’t jogged for a loooong time now. Lost the regular routine because of moving to a new place. And maybe I’m just too laaaazzzy. 😔

(2) I keep eating and eating and eating whatever stuff I see. I’m not eating a lot but I used to count calories! What happened to my discipline and will powerrr

(3) I can’t seem to move from two sticks a day to one. I keep on telling myself tomorrow. But then I always give in to the short term satisfaction. It’s a struggle I keep losing everyday.

(4) Missed two Sunday masses already.

(5) I’m supposed to get a facial this week. I live beside a mall. Whyyy can’t I find the time to do thisss.

(6) I should get the car wheels aligned. Since 3 weeks ago. And I still haven’t done it. Argggh

(7) There’s a party today with my HS friends. But I’m lying in my bed not wanting to go because, I don’t know, I don’t feel like drinking. And I’d rather just wake up early tomorrow to avoid the traffic. But earlier this morning, I promised I’d go. Arrrrghhh

(8) I can’t seem to potty train Belly. And I don’t know what to do about it. I have to go to work the whole day. How am I supposed to take care of her pooing and peeing. 😔

There’s only one thing I did right this week. I fixed my room. That’s it.

And I’m not too optimistic about next week because it’s mission week and I think I’ll be mostly crazy stressed from everything.

Oh well. Prayers.

I am not supposed to feel
Anything.
Because when you’re always wrong
You’re never right
Never.
But that’s okay
Because I’d rather not feel for
Anyone.

On Love

Some takeaways on love from Paulo Coelho in his book, Adultery:

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once a month
i feel amiss
there’s something wrong
i cannot place it

one minute i’m cheery
the next I’m sad
are there dementors
behind my back?

every second
i just sigh
there’s too much work
i want to hide

clock ticks six
time to go home
but i don’t want
to be alone

every month
before my visitor comes
this same old feeling
comes to pass.

She learned too late that poets are among the damned, cursed to commiserate over their loss, to reach with outstretched hands – hands that will never know the weight of what they seek.

The voices of the dead poets cried out in alarm and warned her about the greatest heartache of all – how every stroke of pen thereafter would open the same wound over and over again.
-Lang Leav

Just found out how true this is. That every time I reread the poems I wrote I travel back in time to where I was. Like the past becomes the present all over again.

If only I could stop time
I will not keep you forever
I just want to hold you
A little while more.

He was sleeping next to me when I wrote these lines, crying. It was one of the last lasts before he was set to leave.

Exactly how it felt

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-Lang Leav

Glad he came to take back his goodbye.

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