Saturday, May 06, 2006

A Tribute to my First Bright Purple Spot

Glenn, I owe you this much (and more). Happy birthday, Stripe!

Just like The Yellow Paperclip with Bright Purple Spots, this story links many different people, places, ideas and experiences. Flashback to 1997 when the idea for this story started with Glenn David, a friend from the Ateneo de Manila University: he and I would often see paperclips around campus - on the benches, in between pebbles in the Quad, on the library steps, along the sidewalk or in other strange places. We often wondered how they got there and where in the world they had been.

That's how I started the A Letter from the Author page at the end of my book. But there are so many more stories within and between this one. I thought I'd write some stories on the occasion of Glenn's birthday as we celebrate 1) his 27th year, 2) his newfound happiness and 3) our renewed friendship.

Without Glenn, there would be no story. It's as simple as that. It was Glenn who noticed the lost paperclips first, who wondered where they had been, and who felt sorry for them because they weren't living out their purpose of "clipping" onto something. He insisted that we save these lost paperclips so that they could live happy purposeful paperclip lives. It's this childlike and daggy (read: kenkoy or dorky) quality about Glenn that makes him so lovable. Could it have been his passion for paperclips that made me fall in love with him?

Glenn and I were inseparable for the next five years - my four years in Ateneo plus one more. It was five amazing years of daggy (but 100% real) love and shared passions (paperclips, children's books, musicals, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, video nights, iced coffee, kite flying and nonstop conversation). Together, we skipped, egg-rolled and made silly faces at each other. We had our share of rollercoaster emotions, both good and bad. We grew up together in these five years and knew each other so well. But growing up has its consequences. While we grew so much as individuals and in our relationship... we also unfortunately grew our separate ways, and ultimately, grew apart.

Glenn and I decided to break up in 2002. I needed time and space alone, and I thought it best that we spend as little time together as possible. So we stopped seeing each other (except for those once-a-year Christmas reunions of Ateneo friends) and hardly talked. I shut him out from my life, and concentrated on work and reconnecting with old friends. He focused on work and got involved in a new relationship. 2002 is significant because it's also the year I said I wanted to have my own book - one of the Top Three Things I Want to Do Before I Die.

Glenn and I reconnected in 2005, again a significant year. He went through a painful end to his new relationship, while I had won the PBBY-Salanga Prize. He was one of the first people I shared the happy news with. He was there at the National Children's Book Day celebration in CCP in July 2005 and from there, I slowly worked towards saying sorry, melting my stony heart, and finally making peace with him. We met up occasionally for dinner and coffee, chatted on YM, and slowly caught up with each others' lives.

Glenn and I, together with his old college friends, had dinner and coffee yesterday, on the eve of his 27th birthday. Soon after the clock struck midnight, I had the honor of meeting Claudine, Glenn's girlfriend, after he had just recounted to me their kenkoy-but-kilig stories, from their first date to his current state of bliss. Within a few minutes of meeting her and seeing how truly in love they are, I saw how good they are for each other. He has started skipping, praying and writing children's stories again... so she is definitely good for him! I'm so truly happy for both of them... so happy that it hurts (in a good way).

Glenn and I have come full circle, with the help of our Yellow Paperclip. I can't help but feel that this is all part of Life's Conspiracy - yet again. Without Glenn, I would never have seen paperclips in this special way. Without his childlike wonder and our shared passion for writing, I probably would not have taken the interest in children's literature seriously. Without the break-up, I would not have had the time, energy or the new connections (eg. Yelle, Gang, Mig) to write my story. Without the PBBY-Salanga Prize, we would not have had an excuse to meet up again and get reconnected. I believe everything in life happens for a reason and during the worst times, I'd often ask why (in the bigger scheme of things) things had to happen as they did and what his role was/is in my life. Now I know: Glenn made my big dream come true.

This behind-the-scenes story of The Yellow Paperclip with Bright Purple Spots is one of the biggest adventures and purple spots of my life. I am amazed and overwhelmed at how things happened and worked out. I have absolutely no regrets. After almost four years, I am finally free of my emotional baggage (whew...) and can sincerely be happy and at peace with Glenn. I look forward to more happy stories from him and Claudine, just as I look forward to the time when I can share my own kenkoy-and-kilig stories of my own with them - with or without paperclips... but hopefully stories about a man who loves me and sees me as a bright purple spot in his life.

Glenn, thank you for saving paperclips for us, for loving me like you did, for letting me fly away, and for not giving up on our friendship. You are the Stripe to my Yellow, and together or apart, we can grow wings and be hopeful and happy. You are, and will always be, one of my life's biggest and brightest purple spots.

6 comments:

space cadet said...

*hugs* :-) tita nikki, you and glenn, together and apart are a couple of the brightest purple spots i've got.

zenmasta said...

i know your soul mate is out there just figuring out how to get to you, Ki. Sooner or later, he will find you. This blog is too sweet, I had to feature it on my site. www.zenmasta.com

frazzlequeen said...

'Ki, I'm so proud of you finally letting that particular balloon go!!! Af as for your future goober mate... he's still out there, and when he finally finds you, you'll add another great big purple spot to your paper clip. I love you man!!

CloudWoman said...

Thanks, Yelley, Ade and Trix! Incidentally, you three are all purple spots too! Woohoo!

bobby said...

Whew, so I guess no more chocolates for me? =)

CloudWoman said...

Hahaha! It's okay, Bub, you can have all the chocolates you want!