May, the climax where spring sings its highest note, is not my favorite time of the year. I have only hung-up opinions about it, even though it’s the perfect season for summer outings and Santacruzan and local barrio fiestas. The days are longer, the sun is at its peek, and I have decidedly to keep my arms akimbo the whole time for I have not dipped my feet into a pool, or a beach. Not even once, recently. This may be bitterness, but I’m not good with salt or chlorine water. Most especially, with an 11 am weather at 6 am in the morning.

But May is not all that. Sure, I already have bad feelings about it, thanks to 3 previous years of it serving only unfortunate events on the table. But fine. Give it room. Give it time. Let it be.

And so, I let it. It wasn’t that bad.

You’re in for a long ride, I tell you. Jump off when you can.

First of all, I finished my driving school this month. That’s it. In my last two days, I actually used 3rd and 4th gear, and had myself hung on the bridge WHICH happened so fast I wasn’t able to collect my wits and be afraid of it. It was fun. I get to drive near my home and go through a street crowded with so many tricycles. My instructor, who look like he was pained in the job because he’s been working from morning till late in the night, teaching obstinate drivers how to hold the wheel properly, was a kind and jolly person. On my first session with him, some realities cut deep, like I can’t drive properly yet. On the last session, I realized I won’t be an expert in 8 classes. I need to take time to fully get driving into my system.

That box ticked, let’s move on to another.

One of my problems this month was work-related. Bad things happen to everyone, and there will be days when you feel “out of it.” It’s okay. That reason is valid. But you know, when people are waiting for you, trusting you to come for them and you don’t, that’s when things crumble. I did, but in spite of the no-news, I held on to kindness. To being there. Thankfully, everything is resolved now. I still don’t know what happened there, but that doesn’t matter. I’ll just be there, present and whole.

That’s my promise to my clients: you have me 100%, or 0. No half-heartedness.

And now, the heavy things

A new month meant new queries, and I’ve sent a lot of emails to prospective clients. Then it hit me. Revision. ANOTHER ROUND OF IT. Yes, I’m that fool who realizes important changes later on. Frankly, it flipped everything around. Finding that perfect first line took me days. You’ll read it and tell yourself. it’s so basic. Heck, my head hurt tossing around words to start this story!

Chapter 1 had a big overhaul and I chopped off the unnecessary emo parts. Thank God for Hana Nochi Hare which keep my sanity. My writer-spirit has numbed; I lost all my feelings for El and Lucy and Fifth. Add to that, I was lost.

Speaking of my literary ventures, I received about three rejections this month. One of them is for a full.

I expected that. If I compare the present revision to my old work, the latter would look gray and soggy and doesn’t make any sense. The new one is sort of shiny, fast-paced, and probably more fun to read. This meant crossing off some of my favorite agents from the list. But what could I do? I don’t learn from waiting. I learn from experimenting. I learn from using my fears to trigger changes and improve my craft.

While I try to wade in this pitch-black void, I am grateful that there are a whole bunch of other names I can send this thing to. I hope to fall in love with it again.

Lessons I learned this month:

  • Learn to be disrupted. Finally. That magical nudge after living inside my safe-zone for years actually happened, and it came in the gentlest, kindest way possible. I did have a wrecking anxiety earlier this month which caused me download Pacifica, a meditation app, but all I needed was a day, and I recovered, and I got out. Also: meditation helps.
  • What cuts you heals you. Not to be morbid or a masochist, but people with anxiety always shy away from things that will amp their emotions for fear of breaking down. That’s it. We fear fear even before it gets to us. And this month, I realized that I need to befriend the knife in order for me to hold its handle properly. I mean, not literally. But you get what I mean.
  • Wash your robe. As I writer, I will confess that I have gone through days wearing the same clothes (well, except the undies) over and over again. I think it’s the caveman-writer’s-ethos. Biblically speaking, there is also some truth: we are so used to our own dirt, we never changed clothes. And God wants us to be clean; that’s why He saved us. And so, whether it’s a five-day-old shirt or a deep-seated sin, I tell you, wash your robe. Clean is nice.
This May, I have learned to wrap a bundle of feats and close it. I acknowledge that benevolence is from God, and that we are fortunate to be used to give, because we first received. I started making Spotify playlists and make room for vegetables in my diet. I quit eating rice and bread for a while. I voted. I cried watching Cars 3 and I learned that kindness and honesty is the best weapon for any soft human. I paid what needs to be paid and aim to have stronger conviction than choice. I have lived through my fears and I will use all the shakiness I have inside to move forward and change for the better.

May, you have been great, even though you weren’t too good.