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Before reading: It seems a disclaimer would be very appropriate for this post. This is a recycled one btw from my friendster account, way back June 2007. For the most part, I do appreciate my high school alma mater. But there will of course be the little things that will set the good things back right?  :)

"How do you let go of something that shaped you to be who you are? Is it a decision of ingratitude, clearly showing how all of us are just pestered individuals who want it our way?"

In the fifh grade I had my first ever diary. I was so enlivened by the thought of finally writing what I want, having a relative amount of waited freedom. Bit by bit, I knew it was my first step.  So my first diary was like, a doodle of love quotes, little poems, four to five stanzas each, and scribbles of my initials written beside my crush’s last name.
By the end of the year, the diaries of the students who have warnings and violations were collected. I was a good student, mine was spared. After some hours, we were told that lyrics, poems, quotes and the likes are not allowed to be written on the diaries. Hmm… I knew mine was so guilty for that. Striving to appear the nice student, I asked a classmate for a correction fluid, to wipe out all the principal didn’t want to see. Doing, what was left was nothing to be read, I had to rewrite most of the entries again.

Before our teacher arrived, I was more than ready to show her my lyrics-poem-and-quote-free, last-minute diary. I was waiting for her to take our diaries, and show my nice, 30-minute journal, but she dismissed us, saying her bye-byes because it was the last day of the year.

I have to apologize to my classmate who owned the fluid paper, and promise her that I’ll buy her a new one. Next year, I said, hoping in mind that by next year she will not remember.

My diary was left to be a clutter of papers so white and powdery, the words crowding on little white humps. It was not advisable to write while blowing the paper fluid to dry... My first diary was a total mess.

And because of the idea that my classmate still holds the paper-fluid incident in mind, I was so careful to write only the lessons, reports from school, and events in my sixth-grade diary. I wanted to write the songs and the poems, but I don’t want my classmate to nag me about it. And not even my persistence can persuade my mom to buy me my most wanted correction fluid. It costs 30 pesos by that time, huwag na lang daw.

I’ve learned not to feel excited about diaries anymore. I also learned how precious 30 pesos is.

But when you get to high school, all bad thoughts from elementary just shoved themselves off voluntarily. It gives you a great deal of promises: of being an independent, profound, essential adolescent, and of meeting your new best friends, new crushes, prospects, and nice people. It visions your dreams and hopes, of actually becoming somebody. 

I was an idealistic girl, I was never discouraged.

So at first year high, I wrote my true feelings in the diary the school gave us, thinking in those times how I would leaf through the pages after many, many years and bring back all the wonderful details of a thirteen year old. It didn’t take long to be noticed, I was called by my teacher at her desk one day.

One june day, I wrote there that I was so mad about a new transferee guy when I try to participate in their joke, and he was pretending that I wasn’t there. I wrote there that I resolved to dislike him always until he says sorry so. It was the reason my teacher called for me and she was asking if I already am in good terms with this transferee boy. I told her that I already am, and that instance was so long ago that I never mind it anymore. She seemed pleased with herself. I am not.

As a first year student, I gave my first lie.

There are many things I’ve learned in high school: algebra, noli me tangere, stenography, the 8 parts of speech. And striving to be the honor student, I also learned a lot they didn’t print in books. I’ve known this before the teachers have even opened their mouths. It’s like a secret telepathy we shared.

I’ve learned that to write a good essay, you just have to praise the school, the teachers and say that what they’re doing is truly very inspiring and that you also want to build a school one day, patterned to theirs. For that, I never made good essays. 

I’ve learned that in a quiz, the first basic rule is ‘no erasures’, not ‘no cheating’. But you can use a paper fluid if you have one. I never did, so I always had a pencil at hand. 

I’ve learned that to be the Mr. or Ms. (and put your school’s name here), you don’t have to be handsome or pretty, witty or even cunning. You just have to have parents who earn more money than the principals do, and voila, they all scamper before you to give you your trophy. I never even concede to the thought.

I’ve learned that a diary is not a personal record of your life’s events where you can put your feelings and thoughts, the chronicles and events of your life. It is a record of the lessons you learned in school where you should write faithfully everyday, because if not that would give you a minor violation.

That a good diary is not in paragraph form, but a list of all the subjects you had that year, flushed to the left. And beside them is the activity you did for the subject. You can’t miss a single subject, and you can’t write ‘we did nothing’. So when your parents take a look at it, in an instant, they would see how very well the school’s educating their kids, and they would remember to note in their busy minds the extra amount they’ll prepare for the school’s next solicitation letter.

By second year high school, I began writing on my own journal. I grew tired of having to keep all the wonderful events of the days behind the events we did in high school. So I decided to keep mine. And I wrote. 

I wrote many things: I wrote of how the days went, I wrote how I got angry of my best friend and how we never reconciled. I wrote of the field trip and how my crush treated me to a drink, of the prom night. I wrote how I strive to keep my grades high, how I reviewed for the upcat. I wrote of secrets, goals, desires, yearnings and dreams. I wrote until the end of the day, and the day after. I wrote until I cried, I slept, until my eyes dried and my hands callused. I wrote of everything, until I became nothing of a mystery to the small notebook I kept. And I knew that if anyone will be ever able to read it, I’m just doomed.

And then I realized two things: First, I realized myself, what I wanted, although I still am not quite sure. I realized I’m akin to writing, mostly about myself, ‘cause that’s what I write in the journal. And knew that I owed to it, me having a clear picture of myself, which is so hard to do. Especially in a world where people expect you to blend with them – wear their colors, see the world in their eyes, and do just what they are doing. When they expect you to become like robots, and keep your life as theirs. It’s not like they will let you live your life the way they have wanted to live theirs. They didn’t get it, in no way they’d let you so.

The second thing I realized was even though I should be thankful of what my writing did to me, as a result, no one knew my entirety. At first, I thought it beautiful, being mysterious and evasive. But things change, and a notebook that knows you wholly is different from a person who does. I only get what I give back. So I, being the owner and the owned, being the narrator and the story, grew tired.

“It seems we need someone to know us as we are – with all we have done – and forgive us, we need to be whole in someone’s sight.” - Sue Miller
Maybe I've lost my point with this long post, all I wanted was to express how I feel of my decision: ending the writing. Sometimes I feel like going to the notebooks again and scribble all the things that I feel. But it doesn’t do me any good anymore. I’ve known all the things about myself that it can possibly offer me, and now I just want to tell myself to others. That kind. 

I guess there’s no turning back. Touch move.