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  • jhoannaloualbano

On People (and Experiencing Them Best)

Updated: Mar 6, 2023



When I'm good, I find people to be absolutely fascinating. How they react, the way they tell their stories, what makes them laugh, what makes them tick.


There's this mind game I like to play: Figuring out the best way to experience people. I mean, there are people best experienced as a friend, as a super close friend to attend parties with, or those super awesome to get on a trip with. There are those best experienced in bursts, or from a distance (haha), or through their work.


There are people so good to get to know by being in the same team (yung mga cooperative haha), solving a problem (yung mga smart), running a show (yung mga bibo), or just to be together (yung mga masaya kasama). As a stranger (yung interesting at hindi clingy). Masarap kakwentuhan (yung marami nang karanasahan), on a date (yung hot, ha ha).


(Sometimes, thinking of people as a time of day/day of the week helps me understand them. Like, Aileen is a Thursday evening. I think I'm a Sunday morning.)


I used to run a tumblr about interesting people I meet on the road, while traveling. They have been among the best gifts I've received in my tumultuous 30s, maybe in ever. Like a blessing of good luck. I sort of miss it.


(I just peeked through it and haha I think my most favorite continues to be that troubadour at the arlanda airport, who made a comment about the book I was reading, Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, and didn't shut up until our flights were called four hours later. We were too eager to leave stockholm hence we were both too early at the airport. We must've seemed so comfortable with each other because the airport staff thought we were traveling together. (-: Just now, I can feel my body remembering our hug before separating to head to our gates.)


I am thankful to have a number of those experiences. Also, to have this slice of silence that allows such memories to float up to surface.



TBH: In my other moods, I don't necessarily like people. I keep away, especially when I'm writing, or resting, when working out, or when I'm still waking up in the morning, or just not in a good mood. When I'm not yet fit for human consumption, as I like to say.


 


I don't know why I'm telling you all this. Maybe because I came from our high school homecoming kickoff party last night, and while yes it was so nice to see everyone and it was so, so fun, if I could be honest, it was also a bit weird.


Much like attending 98's homecoming, it felt like I was encountering them for the very first time. Yes, it could've been the pandemic but also really, it's life. We're no longer high school students scheming our way to Galleria on a Friday afternoon. Life has happened and it's changed us and it was interesting to see and meet the persons we have become.


But also, if I'm being honest, I don't know if I'd ever meet them in my life if it weren't for Poveda (with maybe the exception of Chrissy because we met outside of and before Poveda). In the life I've built for myself, in the choices I've made — choosing communication as my major, pursuing magazine work, turning a corner to follow media into digital, finding myself still in journalism or even just choosing where and how I travel — I don't think I have met any of my Poveda batchmates in any of those options.


Suppose they're like gifts from the school. I am really so lucky.


 

Lately, I have been feeling just a teeny bit lonely. I didn't realize change, even just a bit, could be so alienating. This morning, I promised myself to sit with it, with the fear, the awkwardness, the alienation because surely, 'the right ones will come along,' right?


Having the absolute fun last night with people I might as well have met right there and then, reminded me that they really do. The right ones always show up.


And that I am and have always been surrounded by the best.


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