201 Tuesdays with Mellon Collie
Philosophy

201 Tuesdays with Mellon Collie

What happens to us after we die?

Are we going to see the light that leads to paradise? Or, are we going to wake up in a different world and realize that we’re living in a simulated universe?

Teary-eyed and heartbroken, I asked these questions to Mellon Collie at my uncle and aunt’s funeral in July 2021. 

How do I live in the wake of such sadness? Why do we have to suffer in this reality?

Mellon Collie – the mistress of my life in 2021 – stared blankly at me, and made no effort to respond to my barrage of questions. 

And, it wasn’t just the death of a beloved aunt and uncle that caused this emotional breakdown. 

Truthfully, my life in 2021 has been an endless flurry of tragedies, triggered by the pandemic and never-ending lockdowns. 

Every month since January, someone close to me and my family kicks the bucket. It was like Death having a feast, harvesting the souls of the masses. 

In fact, I didn’t want to open Facebook in 2021 because my newsfeed just felt like an obituary page. 

I thought 2021 was the year of change, triumph and redemption. I thought it was the year where my family could recover after a tumultuous stretch. 

I even had a fantastic start in January, and thought that the momentum was finally on my side. 

Then, a tragedy struck that started a chain of unfortunate events in my clan. In the midst of a rainy Tuesday in January, a close uncle, Jupiter, died on the island of Doong in Bantayan, after battling cancer. 

And, just like that, Death began his unstoppable streak. 

Not only was everyone around me dying, but problems were also brewing in my immediate family. 

My mama, whom I consider my second mother, lost her sight, and is getting weaker by the day. Even after a couple of operations, there has been no improvement in her sight. 

My dad also had a health scare in 2021, and was admitted to a hospital in Sibonga for days. 

And, my sister was struggling with her career and studies when Australia closed their borders due to the on-going pandemic. 

On top of it all, my wife and I have been constantly arguing and trading barbs. 

Altruistic, I tried to fix all these problems and put all the burden on my shoulders. 

I had to be a bread-winner and a leader.

And, I failed. 

I’m a mere mortal. 

With flaws. 

Weaknesses. 

And, emotions. 

I wish there’s a handbook on how to survive 2021. I know time travel isn’t possible. But, a part of me wishes a future version would hop on the DeLorean and travel back in time to warn me of all the pain, heartaches and struggles in 2021. 

And, throughout this disastrous year, Mellon Collie was on my side. 

Every day with Mellon Collie is like a gloomy and rainy Tuesday. 

Even when the skies are sunny and crispy blue, it always feels like a gloomy, rainy Tuesday with Mellon Collie. 

Whenever I’m with her,  I pinch myself hoping to wake up from this nightmare and dystopian reality. 

Mellon Collie, and her infinite sadness. 

Eventually, Mellon Collie, or melancholy, became my mistress. 

With her big round eyes, porcelain skin and nonchalant demeanor, Mellon Collie torments and reminds me of the tragedies this year. 

At night, when I’m alone with my thoughts, she visits me and wraps her hands around my head to torture me. 

I read a ton of books, to distract myself and keep Mellon Collie away from me. But, she was as persistent as the mutating Covid-19.

I smiled, laughed and remained optimistic all throughout my days with Mellon Collie. 

I kept reminding myself that rainy Tuesdays don’t last forever.  

I hiked mountains, to find my Zen, and restore balance to my life. Unfortunately, lockdowns were preventing me from conquering more mountains. 

There’s only one thing left to do to escape the clutches of Mellon Collie: become a workaholic. 

The thing is, I don’t drown my sorrows with alcohol. I follow a Straight Edge lifestyle, meaning I‘m committed to abstinence from alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs.  

And, I don’t go on an eating spree just to temporarily escape my melancholy. 

So, I kept grinding and hustling to keep myself occupied. 

For the first time ever, I became a person that I thought I’d never be.  

I worked more than I slept and rested. On average, I only slept for 4 to 5 hours a day. I go to sleep at 2 AM, and wake up at 7 AM to the sounds of my daughter giggling or crying. 

And, on weekends, I worked on my side gigs just to stay away from Mellon Collie and her infinite sadness. 

Every day, then, seemed like Tuesday – a dull and uneventful working day. 

And, to me, Tuesday is the worst day of the week.

Some say it’s Monday or Wednesday, but at least you’re fresh from the weekend on Mondays. And, on Wednesday, you’ll feel rejuvenated by the promise of the weekends. 

But, on Tuesdays, nothing is interesting. All you can do is work your tail off, and hope for the best. Not to mention, it’s the day when the relaxation and pleasant weekend vibes wear off and real life kicks in. 

For a while, being a workaholic did some wonders, but, soon, I experienced a burnout, and I became irritable.

All of a sudden, I noticed that I was consistently having tantrums and out-of-control bursts of anger. 

Chairs were flying, my shirts were ripped and phones soar like birds. 

I saw an unusual side of me. A side that was a complete opposite of my stoic nature. 

I guess Mellon Collie has messed up my mind. 

And, when Mellon Collie paid me a visit, I had suicidal thoughts, for the first time since I was 16.  

I know it may seem impossible, with all the wisdom and philosophies that I’ve shared on my blog. But, I’m human, and in an emotional rollercoaster like I had in 2021, these things are likely to cross my mind. 

I wasn’t seriously considering it. But, I did entertain that idea.

I also thought that my existence in a plague-filled world didn’t mean a lot to people. I’m just a speck of dust in an infinite and ever expanding universe. The world doesn’t need the Bisaya Traveler. 

Somehow, though, I found a silver lining in the most unlikely place – a wedding ceremony. 

On the 123rd Independence Day in the Philippines, I attended a wedding at AO Farm

The thing is, I hate weddings. I’m an introvert, and vibrant social gatherings like weddings tend to overwhelm me. Still, there was no way I was missing a special event that I helped orchestrate. 

Don’t get wrong. I’m neither a wedding coordinator nor a modern-day version of Cupid. But, through my blog and hikes for a cause, I, in some way, have created an opportunity for these two souls to meet. 

Honestly, I’m not sure if this couple would have crossed paths if I didn’t start blogging in 2016. Perhaps, my blog is an instrument for people to find their right path. 

And, it did give me a little hope. Maybe, I wasn’t the piece of trash I thought I was. Maybe, I still have a lot to contribute in a world depleted with hope.  

The world absolutely needs my love and kindness. 

My family does, and my friends do need them. 

The cashier at the grocery store, the anonymous followers of my blog, the old lady I met at the market – they will need a dose of my kindness. 

My voice. 

My stoic ideas.

My written words. 

It’s water to a world thirsty for kindness and love. 

As I was watching the intimate and lovely festivities, a light went on in my head. 

What if I blog more often? Who knows? It might be the answer to my encounters with Mellon Collie. 

A few weeks later, I resumed blogging. 

I even stopped working for a while, just to blog and share my thoughts to the world. I know money is important, but mental health is more crucial. 

As always, I let it all out, and allowed my thoughts to flow freely. And, it was therapeutic, and it felt like a breezy and easy-going Sunday. 

I always consider my blog as art. Like art therapies, I blog to process my feelings, increase self-esteem, and reduce anxiety and stress. Blogging helps me recognize and acknowledge feelings that have been lurking in my subconscious. 

And, when I’m being creative, my moods are uplifted, and negative feelings like Mellon Collie, turn into something more positive. 

Somewhere in July, Mellon Collie paid me a visit again. Just when my days were getting sunnier, another tragedy hit mi familia when my beautiful aunt passed away while sleeping. 

For days, Mellon Collie was in my head, trying to torment me. And, on the day of the aunt and uncle’s funeral, she stood beside me, speechless and still. 

But, unlike before, I’m not suppressing Mellon Collie and the other tough emotions. 

After recalibrating my thoughts through blogging and hiking, I’ve learned to mindfully embrace Mellon Collie. 

I’m no longer burying Mellon Collie for temporary comfort. 

If I ignore Mellon Collie, I’m just setting myself up for an explosion in the future. 

Mellon Collie taps into my empathetic core and gives me a needed release. And, she can help me see a situation with emotional clarity. 

Furthermore, my Tuesdays with Mellon Collie have made me more appreciative of the sunnier and brighter days. 

And now, I have a new mantra on dealing with adversities in the covid-19 era: “you can’t appreciate Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays without going through Tuesdays”. 

And, in some ways, my Tuesdays with Mellon Collie reminded me that all tough situations are temporary. 

The Mellon Collie effect 

I always say to my readers that everything happens for a reason. 

Nothing in this world happens by chance. 

All those Tuesdays with Mellon Collie were probably part of a bigger picture. And, on the 1st day of October, I received some positive news. 

For the 2nd year in a row, my blog was nominated as a finalist for the Best Cebu Blogs Award under the Best Cebu Photo Blog Category. 

I’m, for the most part, not quite fond of awards and personal accolades. But, after all the trials and tribulations that I’ve been through this year, this nomination feels so utterly satisfying. 

About the the BCBA

The BCBA (Best Cebu Blogs Awards) is the most prestigious awarding body for blos in Cebu. Now in its 14th year, this annual awarding event aims to give recognition to the bloggers, Tiktok talents and vloggers who have a positive impact in Cebu. 

This year, Mark Monta, the founder of Best Cebu Blogs Awards, has assembled a stellar cast of judges for this event.

And, to be nominated for an award from this committee is an honor. 

By the way, if you love the my blogs, you can vote for me at this link.

Like the previous editions, this event is backed up by several notable sponsors, including: 

Gold sponsors

PLDT HOME
Bank of the Philippine Islands
XiaoMi Philippines

Silver Sponsor

AIA Philippines

Blogging Partners

Prime Blogging Organization in Cebu
Cebu Fashion Bloggers
Cebu Content Creators
Memoriter Writing Services

Official photographer

Alvin Asayas Photography

Partners

Cebu Fitness Blog
FaceCebu.Net

Geemiz: Accounting Blog

Maybe, those Tuesdays were all part of the grand plan. I don’t think I would blog this year at all if it wasn’t for Mellon Collie. And, there’s no way The BCBA would nominate if all my posts were outdated. 

Even if I don’t bag any award this year, I already feel like a million-dollar man. At least, I’ve found a silver lining, and a little nice treat in a year with non-stop adversities.

I guess the wise men and philosophers were spot on when they said that the Universe works in mysterious ways. 

So, my friends, embrace all the misfortunes in your life, as it’s part of a grander plan. Furthermore, keep in mind that a dose of awful gives more meaning to your life. 

I know a lot of people hate Tuesdays because they are dull, boring and often unproductive. Heck, some wish for a world without Tuesdays. But, trust me, you can’t appreciate Sundays without going through Tuesdays. 

Aldrich Infantado is a travel junkie and a writing aficionado who loves to share amazing travel tips to his fellow travelers.

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