Grand Plan.

Dearest Reader,

Can I take this moment to metaphorically speak slowly and softly? I have gained something which, in its simplest of forms, could be described as clarity. Let me explain myself.

Over the last few years, having condensed what I feel to be many years of life experiences, I have chosen to be somewhat colder to the world. I decided to play it safe, to play it mundanely just so I could avoid the hurts that accompany life’s eccentricities. And it took its toll on me. Things that could have been colourful I made dull, things that could’ve been exciting I made lacklustre, and things that could’ve been lovely I made spiteful. All of this stuff were a knee-jerk reaction to trying to prevent hurt. But, boy, did it not work. Life’s hurts kept appearing, kept creeping in, and I felt powerless to its power. This was until Sunday.

The months leading up to Sunday was fascinating. I went along on my own merry way, doing the things I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it. I labelled it as a ‘destructive’ pattern, making myself feel like I was in rebellion. I threw myself into the deep end of situations, fully knowing what I was getting myself into, but failing to attain what I had set myself to accomplish. It felt great, because for once in my entire life I felt like I had control over the things I had control over. I was doing things out of my comfort zone, and I was pushing boundaries – mainly out of frustration – and I absolute adored it. But. And here is the big caveat. Though I felt like I was in control and that I was choosing the “rebellion”, God had a grand plan.

And He won.

Oddly enough, now that I look back on my experiences over the last few years I realise one thing: God was grooming me. He took me from my comfort and placed me in the deepest darkest place just so I’d “rebel” and actually man up and go. He took the weakest parts of me and placed them through fire just so He can sharpen me for the future. You may say, but didn’t you already know this? And I would promptly reply, yep, but I didn’t see the entire picture while I was at the moment. All I saw was the pain, the suffering and the grief, and I resented God for it.

But He still loved me.

Coming to Sunday. On Sunday I heard the lead pastor of a church preach about Ecclesiastes – about the vanities of life – and it acted as the glue that bound everything I’ve learned in the last few years. He reminded me that everything in this world – apart from God – is vanities. There is ultimately no meaning to anything in this world as we all share the common end of death. The things that we lost sleep on, the things which pushed us to break, and the things which we loved are all lost in the face of the end. He asked us, how are you spending the limited beats of your heart? And at that moment I answered, not in the same way I had been for the last few years. I now refuse to live a life of monotony and dullness and instead replace it with the colour that God has ultimately created. God has reminded me and solidified in me the truth that life will always be both good and bad, hard and easy and beautiful and ugly, but in all of those moments, He is still the God that runs the universe. Reflecting on my skills now, I am incredibly well off. Through the pain and suffering, God has enabled me to be bold, to be a risk taker and to see the opportunities in life – and take them. He has taught me to appreciate the struggles, to bask in the splendour, and to look forward to seeing life’s unknowns. He has taught me to walk with my head up at all times, as though I am weak in Him I am strong.

-D.V.

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An Intimate, Bittersweet, Goodbye.

Dearest Reader,

On February 6th, 2017, I lost a friend. She had been one of the people who’ve stood by me in tough times and helped me up when I needed it. She’s been one of my closest friends – though we don’t really see each other all that often – and has stolen parts of my heart forever. And now, she’s leaving for Chile – for good.

As I stood there, wrapped in her arms, I couldn’t help but murmur unintelligible words which aimed to vaguely say, “I will miss you a lot”. Tears were collecting in my eyes, and my mind could only focus on this moment. What do I say? What do I do? I did not know. All I did know was this: I did not want her to go. Her friendship meant an incredible amount to me that the thought of saying goodbye to her was ripping me to pieces. Our friendship is quite young, compared to most people, but in the time I have known her this has bloomed into something incredibly beautiful.

I pulled back from her arms, still locked in her embrace, to look at her to take in everything – taking in everything I could possibly take in before I had to say goodbye. Useless. The moment I looked at her, tears were the only thing that greeted me. So I looked away, hoping to savour every second before I walked away to catch my train home.

“I really, really, really, really, really, liked you”, she muttered into my ear.

Disaster. My composure was destroyed. I tried to keep a hold of myself, but nothing but pain and hurt flooded my mind. My glasses fogged up from the tears as if representing the drawing of the curtains at the end of the theatre performance. It was nearly time to leave, to say goodbye. I was not ready. I asked myself whether I had enough energy to contain myself. Short answer: no.

I grabbed my bag and donned my coat. I wiped the tears from my eyes before saying farewell to the other friends that were present. They seemed to be having a good time – great. All I could think about was this moment, and it’s getting more real every second.

Walking away I gazed quickly back, just to catch one last glimpse of her. I’ve said my farewells, and I have wished her well – or tried to, anyways. From that moment, I knew that was it. She was gone. She would leave the next morning to pursue a life in Chile. She and her partner will eventually be together – which I am incredibly excited for – and live a life that is incredibly beautiful and lovely. I will be here, always a friend to her and always ready to give her a great big hug when she returns – or when I visit.

Pamela. I want to take this moment to tell you what I couldn’t that night. I wanted to tell you that as a friend I love you. You are the very few people who deeply understand how my emotions work. We are similar in our personalities, we love people in a similar way, we feel in a similar way, and we emote in a similar way. Thank you for constantly reminding me that the love I have to offer is a unique and beautiful one, and is something that I should cherish. Thank you for loving me for me, and thank you for the many laughs we’ve shared over the years. I will miss you sincerely. I will miss your smile, your personality, your random singing, your incredible humour – I will miss everything. Though this is farewell, it is not forever.

Until we meet again, my dear friend. Until we meet again.

-D.V.

Valentine’s Day.

Dearest Reader,

Chances Are you might’ve noticed the imminent arrival of Valentine’s Day, a day that is supposedly designed purely for love, affection and adoration. To make it very clear, I, for one, am a real advocate for treating each and every day with your significant other as its own little Valentine’s Day. However, because this particular day is just around the corner, I wanted to take this moment to dedicate today as the day to speak about it.

Valentine’s Day is a wondrous occasion. Flowers abound, chocolates are devoured, and invisible love hearts effortlessly float above everyone’s heads. People look deeply into each other’s eyes as if flirting with their souls and fill each other with – what can only be described as – butterflies. It’s a beautiful sight. What is not beautiful, however, is the idea that these gestures can only be made during Valentine’s Day. I’ve seen many men who, unfortunately, prefer to practice this horrible trend by spending this one beautiful day as a sincere lover and the other 364 days as a robotic mess. This goes against everything that I am, and I genuinely hope that those men realise it and sincerely love their significant others daily.

You might ask, “Dewitt, do you have a Valentine?”

My response would be, “Well, let me tell you something.”

Recently, a kind-hearted, musical loving, puzzle hunting, physics loving, wine appreciating, beautifully immaculate, piano playing, romantic lady was introduced to me. She, to my profound surprise, has been remarkable in every way. I have never met, even in the slightest, a person similar to her – and, my golly, do I adore her. She has the complexion of incredible beauty and a brilliant mind which baffles and astounds me. She’s intelligent, humorous, enchanting and light-hearted, able to make any conversation beautiful and warm. I know I haven’t known her for very long, but let me tell you this: Never have I wanted to know a person this much in my life.

I can hear you already asking, “So? Are you going to do something about it?”

And I would say, “Absolutely.”

In probably the most unprecedented way, I want to take this moment to ask a person something – Chances Are she already knows who she is. In my usual nature, I would ask them in person, but the idea of leaving little hints – little emoji kisses – gives me incredible joy. You could say that I am already drawing a chalk picture of a flower on a blackboard hanging on one side of a very thin wall separating two apartments.

Mystery lady, would you please give me the utmost pleasure by being my Valentine?

-D.V.

City of Stars.

Dearest Reader,

A drug. An addiction. That is what “City of Stars”, a beautiful song from La La Land, is to me. It started off as a crush, an infatuation, but slowly – yet surely – it captured the threads of my heart. Every note, every twinkle of the piano, has such a pleasant atmosphere to it that I cannot help but savour every moment of it. It is a song that hits the emotions hard, like an arrow hitting the centre of a giant “X”, and I absolutely adore it.

Today, dear Reader, I want to keep this post short. I want it to be succinct, straight to the point, yet, in its own way, be filled with mystery and curiosity. And I think I can achieve it. How? Continue reading.

Not many, if I may say, will observe how I will achieve shortness and succinctness with mystery and curiosity. Dressed in letters is a string which echoes my fondness for something – like my fondness for “City of Stars”. Rest assured that I’ve hidden it very well, and only the people who are truly curious will understand its meaning.

I do understand that today’s post is cryptic in nature. A multitude of you, my dear readers, will perhaps be dumbfounded by the sense of it. To you, I apologise, but to the others, I applaud you.

Life is a mystery. A puzzle. In it lies secrets which will only be revealed through careful consideration and understanding. I know that some of you are puzzle hunters, and so to you, I say this, “Let us begin.”

-D.V.

A Curious Case of Fondness.

Dearest Reader,

Is fondness a crime? Is it an emotion which can only describe as superficial and has no deep meaningfulness? I ask these questions because what I’ve noticed with typical social interactions is this: people are keen on the fondness but not on the attachment that naturally develops from it. They want the thrill of the chase, the excitement of breathlessness, and the rush of adrenaline, but ultimately – when the time calls for it – they are frightened by the thought of intimacy and deep connection. Is it just me? Or is there truth to this revelation?

In a way, I hope I am profoundly wrong. I wish that this observation is merely skewed from the odd chance that I’ve not had a decent sample size to adequately conclude this fact. But, mainly, the reason why I wish I am profoundly wrong is that of a curious case of fondness with a brown-eyed girl. She excites me, she makes me wonder, and I cannot get enough of her.

It feels weird writing about a person. I feel like I am invading a space which I am not in the position to invade. But what I see and what I feel has to be penned. I have to articulate this person’s immaculacy: her personality, her appearance, her movements and her charm. It is intoxicating. I adore it.

Intrigued to go on a quick tangent, I have realised that whenever I pen something down, I tell the story in a very extravagant way. I articulate my thoughts incredibly vividly and opt to be grandeur. This is primarily due to my systemic blessing/curse of being a romantic. I thrive in the adoration, the splendour, and the romantics. Being able to look deeply into a person’s eyes just to tell them how incredibly beautiful they are fills me with incredible joy.

Back to the main point.

Sitting here in a cafe at my local mall, thinking about this brown-eyed girl makes me reflect on why I am here. Why have I sat in this place for nearly an hour and a half writing about her? I think it’s partly infatuation and partly foolishness. I’ve sat here because I do like her and am keen on penning my thoughts about her, but I ultimately don’t know if she thinks about me.

I feel like, with the right person, this quality of hope and admiration will allow us to both flourish. We’d always look for each other and always desire to get to know one another. I personally think that this quality is a beautiful one, if only for the right person. As of right now, however, I am yet to figure this one out.

And it’s slightly painful.

-D.V.

Dewitt Valentino.

Dearest Reader,

For the final chapter of this series – Dewitt’s Exposition – I would like to delve deep and discuss something that is core. I am a man of constant, though fearless of change, which ultimately means that I thrive in certainty. But, here is the crux, because I thrive in certainty, uncertain situations causes me incredible struggle and pain. It doesn’t so much affect the ordinaries, such as university or jobs, but it does take its toll on one particular thing: relationships. More specifically the preface of dating.

In my age, the whole concept of dating is to figure out who is best suited for you – your personality, your beliefs, and your nuances. You look, you search, and you identify the intrinsic values of each person you meet and determine their suitability. Will they naturally blend with you or will you have to put extra effort in understanding how they interact? Will they strive for the same basic objectives in life? Will they love you unconditionally? All of these questions, and more, run through your mind as if nudging you closer to your conclusion. And it is all well and good – all is fair – until you realise this one very crucial thing: it’s a two player game. You could well come across a person who you think is perfect yet in their eyes, you’re merely average. Your heart goes out to them, hoping to see a return in the image of their own heart, and yet you end up broken. This is the uncertainty that I fear, and yet my stubbornness to find my partner continually pushes me to search despite the risks.

You might ask me why. Why must I search? It is because I have to. I feel like it’s a quality in me that is fundamental, and does not even quantify as a want. In my entire life, I have always performed better in every aspect of life when I know that my significant other was with me – or to be secure in knowing they’re mine. I had felt this twice in my lifetime, though, unfortunately, both of those times I was tricked into thinking that I was secure when ultimately they were purely using me as a stepping stone. It was incredibly painful, but it also made me that much stronger.

With the prospects of life in 2017, I know it is inevitable that I will find another opportunity to hurt. I will see the good in a person and be drawn to wanting to get to know them and invest in who they are. I will inevitably choose to love them unconditionally and share with them every little bit of who I am – because that’s just me. Perhaps the only problem is this: how far does one go? How broken is too broken? And is there a means to an end for my approach to dating? I’m yet to find out.

In the end, this is what I know. Though the hurt is there; though the struggle is real; and though my heart bleeds every single time something worthwhile doesn’t come to fruition, in the end – oh, that faithful end – all of those struggles, all of the pain and all of the disappointments, I know I will happily live through them all again just to be in that same place where I get to meet her.

I sincerely do hope you’ve gotten a glimpse of who I am – Dewitt Valentino. It has been a pleasure to have created a small series dedicated to an exposition to my personality and my heart. This last post was a long one, and rightly so, but I felt like it was worth every second.

-D.V.

Stubborn.

Dearest Reader,

Stubbornness. What does that mean to you? To most, it is the inability to give in or to change one’s mind about something. Well, I, Dewitt Valentino, am stubborn, but not in the way that you think. I am stubborn in that I refuse to stop learning and improving. I choose to choose, and if it is a mistake then I learn from it – and I think this is a brilliant kind of stubbornness.

To elaborate, each and every year I intrinsically look into my personality. I identify what has been of benefit, what has been of detriment and what needs improving. Based on this, I – sometimes – completely re-refine my personality. I break down what has caused me pain and transmogrify it into something that I believe will be more efficient and effective. People often tell me this way of change is an example of being driven. Well, yes, it is, but then again I am driven to improving my personality.

2017 is another year where I create another version of myself for the better. 2016 was… alright, but it can definitely be improved. What does your 2017 version of you look like? At the end of the day, it’s your choice to climb up in life or down.

-D.V.