“Everyone loves you and you don’t even know it,” one of my good friends told me the other night.
It was the middle of the week. After a long day of classes continuing into an endless night leading and attending dance workshops for PACN, I found myself in the company of two of my good guy friends at a restaurant at midnight. We aren’t the closest but, there is a familial, brotherly comfort I find in them that doesn’t cross any lines. Unlike a few of my other friendships here, I can say whatever is on my mind without having to worry about saying too much, or saying the wrong thing to them that would make them want something more from me. They have been ones who have seen and known my journey through my various involvements in college.
“I feel like you’ve been having a good year,” he added.
“Why do you say that?” I curiously asked with my hands tucked closely in my front pockets, greased with 3 consecutive hours of dancing.
“You’re so popular! Everyone knew you last year and all of board knew you so all of the underclassmen knew you. And now everyone else knows you now that you’re a PACN-coord.”
I bit my lip.
“You’ve got a lot going on for you.”
I often find that I never really know what is happening in my life because I’m too preoccupied in the things that I do. My mornings are nonexistent as I spend all day in class and all nights on campus going to meetings and awkwardly teaching people cultural dance moves with my co. I find that my work ethic has nearly diminished as I find myself having no time to just sit in my room anymore to take everything in or do a little homework here and there. It’s a change of pace I’ve willingly taken, and it’s something to get comfortable with. I’ve taken this all for the ride, and, don’t get me wrong–I’ve been enjoying it. It’s growth.
Growth. That’s something I hardly ever think about, but realize myself doing as long as I keep on willingly opening myself up to all these opportunities to spend time with people, to effect change, to make someone smile for a moment, and to put myself out there.
It’s weird how comfortable I’ve gotten with the idea of being in front of people. Because, that is also the one thing that perhaps makes me the most anxious.
As I described to my friend of the business being a PACN-board member has been, he asked me, “Well, you’re happy, right?”
I’ve always been the person to never want to do something unless it was something I myself truly believed in, really wanted to do, and enjoyed.
“Yes, I have been,” I replied. I thought to myself for a moment of why everything may not be as “dandy” as it could be. What’s missing?
“Everything’s been great,” I assured. “I love my classes–even if I haven’t been able to stay on top of them all–and I’m actively involved in all these clubs and PACN. The only thing that’s missing is that I never get to play music anymore. I never play music anymore…”
As we compared the differences from 1st- to 2nd-year, we both agreed that these two years are entirely separate and different years. It’s almost crazy to think about, because how different could these two years be? Well, fooled us! A whole damn lot. (At least, without the company of a dorm anymore).
As of late, I’ve been observing my relationships with other people more and, let’s face it–I love people. People, just in their natural ways and how they live their lives, are so beautiful, whether it be in times of happiness or suffering. They are what inspire me, and keeps me going. People breathe, and are, life.
It’s strange to notice how open people have been to approach me nowadays. I guess it’s a part of being a board member, though, it also makes me become more alert of how I present myself, and react, to others. They take the liberty to go up and approach me, and the least I could do is give them my best and fullest attention.
One of my friends teased me the other day, saying, “Gosh Rachel, you’re so popular. It’s those pheromones!”
I shook my head, smirked, and told myself, “Oh, not this again…”
“There’s just something about you that makes people so drawn to you.”
What do I do? Sure, you could blame it on those so-called ‘pheromones’, but, how do I find myself personally acting with other people?
I’m myself, with all my liking to charm people with my dorkiness. I love to laugh. I like to connect with people through my open heart. I like good conversation. I know who I am, and I know what I want (and maybe these days, people look up to those who have a passion and a drive and a belief in something). I was never one to shield anything from anybody, for I’m proud to profess my feelings and loves when I can. It may just be my nature of being a people-pleaser that draws people to me. But, I believe too many people neglect to see the love that’s inside, and capable, of all of us. Even if the world is just gonna go down from now with technology as our death and the people in power continuing to plague our minds with junk and distraction, we must never forget that our lives weren’t meant to give into the system–they were meant to accomplish something greater than the system. It’s something within.
Even if I have grown up most of my life feeling so entirely separate from everyone, that is also the one thing that has kept me most creative and aware of my individuality. Yes, I’m shy. Yes, I can’t public speak to my death. Yes, I belong to the lesser-known yet most populous race of Filipinos. Yes, I cultural dance. I play guitar. I write, even if it be too much. I feel guilty too easily. I link my emotions to almost everything. I know what music I like and don’t like. I’m a sucker for almost any movie. I’m entirely confident and insecure at the same time. And for one who seems to have love and attention and adoration thrown at her every which way, it’d be a miracle to finally admit that I like someone, or begin to grow those foreign feelings for another.
Perhaps what makes me this way is that I am never “settled”, which makes it hard for me to stay put. I float around too easily. I speak with whoever finds a friend in me. But, perhaps I’m always “moving” because, as it has been since my freshman year of high school, I’m aimed towards some greater outcome in the future. I’ve always believed my life can go somewhere greater than this mere existence we all live in, for, if I have such a power to captivate people, I can live my life to serve something deeper–to effect, to influence, or to hold people’s attention, even if just a moment. Why? People should become aware of both the beauty and the ugly in our lives that we tend to blur (when it comes to a simple social habit, a political gesture, or even to the idea of being a Filipino today). All I know is that I’m not entirely where I want to be, but that doesn’t stop me from actively engaging in the life I live in now.
I blame it on the pheromones.