JULY 24, 2004 (SATURDAY)
Disclaimer: Sentimental Post Coming Up
I'll be at your side
There's no need to worry
Together we'll survive
Through the haste and hurry
I'll be at your side
When you feel like you're alone
And there's nowhere to turn
I'll be at your side.
- "At Your Side," The Corrs
Tonight, I am reminded why I do what I do. Why I put all of my effort into helping my friends and to create opportunities for them in order to present their talent to the world. Why I didn't quit GRAIL when I had the chance. Why I am still friends with the people I am still friends with. Why things aren't as bad as they're supposed to be. Why I feel like I'm starting to feel the urge to start living again.
It's so hard to articulate this feeling inside of me. If there has to be a name for it, it's probably contentment. I have never been so contented my entire life that this moment right here, sitting down in front of the computer and writing down the fact that I love the people in GRAIL, that I love my friends here ohsoverymuch and that I am so happy that we didn't fall apart when the shit hit the ceiling fan. All these challenges - personal and professional - made us stronger. And I have never been prouder of my friends than tonight. They are the reason why I have so much faith in the universe - because I have angels here on earth who will arrive an hour late, with kick-ass boots, and we will dance around the basement of the CAL building with the guitars and the drums and the violin and we will sing and cavort in the rain even without umbrellas. Because we will tell stories over french fries at one in the morning, and when bad things happen, your friends will catch you when you fall.
I loved watching them after the performance tonight, singing and dancing and prancing (yes, Ruzela was prancing) and just merging into this group where all the pieces fit together to form a picture that was neither perfect nor glossy, but still somehow complete. So this is what they say about college being the best time of your life. And I wanted to cry when Meia hugged me earlier because she knew how much everything meant to me - even though they just sang four songs at the event, and Maia forgot the lyrics to "At Seventeen" and the sound system was so bad, and Tim didn't even have a microphone while he was playing rhythm, and how Aivan was relegated to the percussions at the back - because for once, we were an org, and we could show it to the world. I could finally show the world how amazing and beautiful and talented my friends are, and that we have our moments of grace.
I can't properly describe the scene earlier. I suppose this is what mothers feel like when they see their children grow up to be better people than their parents. And I am so happy that they were happy, and that this was a definite ego boost in our direction - just when we needed it after a year-long slump - and perhaps this was why I was so quiet after the performance and the subsequent dinner/drinking at Greenhouse (just off Kalayaan Avenue). I wanted to absorb this feeling, bask in its light, remember that for one shining moment, everything in our world was perfect and amazing and there's nothing quite like college friends to remind you just how much you've grown over the past few years and that you know - whether you're really clairvoyant or not - that you will keep these people in your life because there will always be a kinship to them that transcends mere labels.
I am just so proud of GRAIL. And I am so proud of my friends. And I am honored to be by their side at this time in our lives.