There comes a time when you know you've finally had it.

The part where you finally realize, "Hey, I'm good. I've finally figured it out. Well not totally what I want but now I'm on a place where I can see the road ahead."

Last December 31, the eve of New Years (yeah, the day before birthday) I was stricken by one of my most acute cases of tonsillitis, a chronic illness of mine -- but not this bad! I felt so sick, and in pain. I woke up with my left knee slightly dislocated for being in a disfigured sleeping position for so long.

God, man, that was PAINFUL.

There I was, in the condo, ALONE, when the happiest day for the rest of the world, the happiest day of my life (well it IS my birthday) is about to pass by my fingertips. I couldn't go back home to Cavite because I am too zombified to even stand up.

Yeap. No cakes this year. Mom won't be around the hug and kiss me on my birthday. Dad won't be around giving me that assuring nod that he's proud of me. My brother won't be around gazing at me with sibling idolatry (nooo, I don't bask in these okay?). None of my cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, neighbors coming to my home just to greet me happy birthday. I was the most beloved prince of the family. But right now I am in a miserable condition, away from where I should be.

The fireworks outside are already signaling the oncoming event. And even though people were already frolicking and happy outside (and maybe losing a few fingers ... but hey, what's a few fingers for a little revelry?), my head was cracking and I couldn't pull up my SLR camera to take pictures of the fireworks -- even from our balcony.

Many of you would've thought that I'm the most god-awful unlucky human being on earth dontcha? That I should be on my knees cursing the high heavens for not being able to enjoy this most joyful holiday.

But I guess this is where you people are wrong.

We, as humans want a lot of things right? Funny we're born with really nothing at all (okay, maybe with that gross umbilical cord) and walk this world like we want to own everything, anything that a human heart desires -- a house, good friends, a car, Darth Vader's lightsaber, success, even true love.

Yet, for a person like me who had wished for all of that and more, there was one thing that was granted to me instead -- it was peace in my heart. That I don't have to worry about the why's of the world, why I don't have this, why I keep wanting this, why all this is happening, why why why. The prime question scientists ask to the universe yet fail to answer for a person like me. And this feeling of peace was given to me days before the last day of the year.

To those who've known me all my life, I am an extremely complicated person. I don't always say what I mean and mean what I say (that also means that sometimes I do mean what I say, vice versa). Sometimes I treat people like objects or some rat-in-a-maze experiment. I only keep them around me until they have outlived their usefulness. I could be cruel, calculating, and malevolent. One cannot count how many times I want to shoot beggars in the streets and verbally abuse weak minded people. You cannot call me bad -- heck, I was EVIL.

And yet, the human heart is a very strange thing. Because even for all that confession, I am capable of benevolence, generosity, thoughtfulness, and compassion. I wanted to do something for the same beggars I wanted to throw napalms at. I wanted to say sorry to my friends whom I've knowingly neglected through the years. I would give a lot to forward a good cause, and I would give sacrifices to help out a friend, and surrender my soul to a person I love.

Realizing that, one could say, my heart is full of tumult and caprice. Of swirling emotions a mixture of guilt and honor. Like you, I am like every man. And of all things I wished on this earth, I failed to wish the one thing I needed most -- that my heart would know how to be still (okay maybe not corpse still, but you get the idea).

I don't know how I finally got it. It just happened on the eve of New Years.

Oh but what's a post without the topic of love? Ahahaha.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, I am super single. Maybe not for long or maybe forever, who knows. Like I said, that peace in the heart thing is doing me well. Anyway, let me give you little tale.

Once, I believed you need three things to be successful when being with someone. Love, Sex, and Standards. Love is obviously the stuff of the universe, at least for us humans. It maybe synonymous to God, but you get the point. Sex is sex. We're the product of a billion years of sex, so if you don't agree with me then cut off those genitals. Some relationships live off without it, but would you want to miss out on this good thing? Standards is a tricky thing. You don't choose someone just because they're there, but because there is chemistry. You have that someone because in a way, he/she fits you. Maybe that person fits you first time, or it could be you grew into each other. It's the stuff you usually don't compromise or the relationship won't last. Whatever.

I have this order coming on: Standard first, Love second, and well Sex last. The reason is, Standards will help me throughout my life. I won't last well with idiots that's for sure. After I could establish that a person befits me and me, her, then I go to the second part: I let myself fall for her. And I usually fall hard. When things go well for the first two, then it's shagging time! Don't mistake me, I've always believed it's best done with wedding rings on. Also, I've always believed it is the reward of Love. I'm an idealist am I not? (I still sorta envy those nigga rappers and their hordes of bootylicious chics tho -- keeding)

Now, a decade ago, I knew NOTHING. So those three things are juggling in my head.

You see, I was the naive type. I believed in love alone. I mean 90% of songs in the radio are filled with this shit man. And they will teach me all I needed to know. I believed that someday, I'll have the woman of my dreams smiling at me and make me the happiest man on earth. My STANDARD of a woman is smart, pretty, well-educated, and someone I could proudly show my parents. Yes, I'm old-fashioned and a pansy. So there I was, in the dating pool, dated a few women here and there.

Then I met a succubus one day while I was out buying milk and all idealism and conservatism fell overboard. Here was a woman who met only one of my standards (smart). What was that talk about Love, Sex and Standards? Well it so happened that it changed a priority order so it became Sex coming first (get it? coming ahaha). I dunno how it all happened. Was it love disguised as lust? Or was it pheromones? For a time I've been trying to rationalize it all and fit her in to my life. For a time I was trying to tell myself if I love this woman.

But I couldn't. My head would go "Stop it, stop it, stop it, you don't want this!"

In the end, we ended up hurting each other real bad. It was a separation that ripped the veins in my heart. Maybe I did love her. I just wasn't brave enough then. I was afraid what people would think of me. I was afraid what sort of future we'll have. That was it all was -- fear.

So I said to myself, next time I'll have someone that I will show no fear of. It did happen shortly after. I met seraphim.

Now this woman was strong-willed (politically correct term for beatch me thinks) and knows what she wants. Her love was strong and fiery. While I was just beginning to open up and give her what I have little by little, she was going ahead full steam.

Then one day she's complaining to me that I am being unfair. That I'm not living up to her demands. To her it means I didn't love her enough. I read in one of Basky's entries something like, "In true love, there is no such thing as one loving the other more". I felt ... I dunno what I felt. Is there something I should be feeling? This went on for a time and then it hit me. Can I live like this with someone for the rest of my life? I am in no habit of changing a person. And back then there are still things I don't know how to do well, like talking things out. Plus the fact that my tolerance was wearing thin.

Yet it happened. I told her it's over -- right in front of the Manila Cathedral (it's right across the place where she was assigned hence the place). I tried to reform a friendship instead after months have passed. But as all things, there are some stuff that can't be.

Funny how I got the order right this time, and things can still mess up. My Standards arranged, reordered, and rearranged again and again. My heart is still capable of Love even if it's full of stitches. As for the libidinous needs, I need more detergents! Kidding. Anyway, after that, I came across several more women, including cherubim and kittengirl (oh now that's a kinky code name, okay I only made it up). Last year I intended follow one of the women I pursued. Again life is teaching me something, so she ended up as a friend who lets me borrow her credit cards (a good friend indeed, nyahaha).

Again, some people might think I'm an asswipe of a loser. I would calmly go, "I don't mind dude. You can call me gay for all I care."

You see ladies and gentlemen. I've finally learned how to separate my sense of self-worth from the way people perceive me as. I know it sounds trite, and that it sounds straight out of an idiot handbook, and that I'm pretty sure some emo-teen out there figured that out way before I did, but see ... it gave me peace.

I may not have the world as my oyster. My best-laid plans will not always act out like I want it to be. But I learned how to be still, and that no matter how much I scream at the universe, the universe won't scream back. Every moment spent being unhappy is wasted time folks.

So on that day, December 31, I am in the dark corner of my room -- still placidly happy despite my head feeling it's being run over by a freight train. Oh yeah, a kind roommate invited me for a nice pasta dinner and I at least had use for my cellphone credits that night ;} So I wasn't really alone.