HAILEYSTONES| I’m still fifteen, and other lies I keep telling myself

BEING an adult often entails waiting in lines longer than the Nile River in itself, and no one is safe. You can tell that I’m somewhere in the office when, amidst the crowd of people waiting for their names to be called, I am the one bent over in my seat, balancing a random notebook on my knees while trying to write in full sentences. I did this when I was in line to get my police clearance and almost missed my queue. Some things don’t change, I guess.

Peoples’ reactions to this are funny; some are interested, some find it weird. I have been keeping a diary since I was eleven years old, but most of you know that already. Some of them have been lost because my grandmother had a habit of throwing most of my old notebooks away, but the ones I do have now take pride of place among many other prized possessions, like my UP sablay and the shell of my first laptop, Norman. Mind you, I don’t even think I’m very good at it, but I still do it anyway. Which is why, when other people find this passion of mine to be petty, I get a little upset.

The same day I went to get my police clearance, I went to a friend’s birthday. I was talking to someone there and mentioned offhand that I was a writer. I wasn’t expecting a reaction at all, but this one person rolled their eyes at me and then asked me if I “earned” from it.

“Well, not really,” I reasoned. “But I like doing it anyway.”

“So why do it?” they replied.

Oh, wow. I didn’t know what to react, at first. I already felt bad that I couldn’t find time to write as much as I used to. Working and trying to keep a household together is still a balance that I have yet to strike, but if anything, it only makes me want to write more. I wanted to be able to talk about how angry I was about this sixteen year old classmate of my boyfriend’s, who thinks that the horrors of Martial Law are an “opinion” and not fact. When I saw Heneral Luna in theaters on its first day, I was struck dumb at how amazing the film was that it took me several minutes to leave the theater.

Having horrible social anxiety for as long as I can remember, the only thing that has ever been able to calm me down without having to run to my Mom or my boyfriend or Naynay to do so has been to translate my feelings on paper. Whenever I feel stupid or stressed or panicky, I just grab my journal and go. When I’m in sticky situations, writing through it has been the only comfort. I have seen so many people around me lose themselves to things that they could have prevented. Writing makes me take control of myself, and the only time where I can fully tell myself the truth.

My experiences may not be unique, but they are mine, and I will be damned if I can’t write about it. People can judge all they want, but I will continue writing in my diary until I have stubs for hands, and then I’m going to learn to write with my mouth. It’s not that anyone should care what someone does to pass the time, but it made me stop and think about it. I earn so much more than money when I can do what I love. It’s almost instinct, and if there’s any solace to be found in that, then I’m sticking with it.

Posted in Opinion