Welcome to Ask Poppy! I’m Poppy, your go-to girl for all of life’s woes. And when I say ALL, I MEAN IT. I’m not an expert on anything except maybe for being me, which makes me totally qualified to do this.
I’m kind of addicted to the Ask Poppy section on Preen so I decided to write about a secret I’ve been keeping for years now. I want your advice, or rather, help with this.
Here’s the thing, I’m a girl (not bi nor a lesbian, or I just don’t want to put labels) who fell in love with a… girl. We’ve been friends for five years now and actually, we are best friends. I had no idea that it would turn out like this.
In the first year of our friendship, we just casually talked about silly things, nothing serious, and pure “kalokohan” because she’s the type of person that does not talk about serious matters unless you’re friends with her for 100 years. In short, she’s not an open book. But as time went by, she became an easy person to know.
Suddenly, we were talking about serious matters, we used to talk every single day until midnight. We were like lovers who wait for each other to fall asleep, who call and text every day. I didn’t realize that I was falling for her until the second year of our friendship.
I suddenly felt something unusual. It’s like, I want to talk to her every day; I want to hear her voice; I want to be with her. I get jealous whenever she’s with someone. She had a boyfriend before but that was a long time ago. She’s the only thing that can make me genuinely happy. I brushed off the feeling, thinking that I’m probably feeling this way because the last relationship I had with a guy was six years ago and I thought I only needed attention because she was giving me that. But then, it’s been three years and I still feel the same. Honestly, I’ve assumed that she had felt the same way, too. But she’s changed and I’m not sure why.
We don’t talk everyday like we used to and it really makes me sad. I miss her everyday. My friend told me to tell her everything because she might have felt the same way, too. What if it’s negative? Because if she really did like me, then she should’ve not changed, right? I can’t risk our friendship. I decided not to tell her, Poppy. I’d rather be friend-zoned than lose her forever. Do you think I did the right thing, Poppy? HELP!
I would say that you’ve made the right choice approaching me with such a deep secret, sis. Right now, I would say that you’re confused, but since we’re not operating on labels here―you can go call yourself whatever the hell you want, honey. Essentially, we’re dealing with two main L-words here.
In Abdellatif Kechiche’s sprawling let’s-not-put-a-label-on-it drama Blue is the Warmest Colour, Emma (Lea Seydoux) admits that she was once big on Sartre during her early days. The film won a bunch of awards worldwide and has the distinction of being straight-to-Criterion status. Which would explain why it took so long to leak.
Anyway, if you haven’t seen the film, then that’s okay. Nobody watches three-hour movies these days. But in essence, the film chronicles an unlikely love story between Emma and Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos). The two girls cross paths at a pedestrian lane, Emma’s bright blue hair sticking out among the crowd. Adèle, just like you, Skylar, feels something different.
The problem with your situation is that you’re both unsure whether you guys are really up for it, which is why it has been a five-year guessing game of are we in lesbians or are we not? You really can’t be sure unless you give yourself off completely, diving off into the depths of the great unknown. That’s when you will truly know.
This is also why she’s off gallivanting with her current beau. Puro ka kasi kalokohan, naunahan ka tuloy, beh. (You’re all into fun and games, that’s why someone else got ahead) JUST KIDDING. This isn’t quite how things turned out in Kechiche’s film. Emma and Adèle we’re both totally into it. They knew what they were both getting into and they made a conscious decision to fall for each other; to completely give in.
Here’s where the Sartre bit comes in. You might be thinking, “Holy shit, Poppy, that’s deep.” Well, I like it deep. Deep and meaningful is where I’m getting at. At one point in the film, Emma deliver’s Sartre’s main creedo: “Existence precedes essence.”
Hold up, let’s back up and dissect it a little bit, yo. “Essence” means that things are slapped with distinct characteristics, making them what they are. A book’s essence is that it delivers information, it ships off your imagination to far-flung places, and it has a story tucked inside the pages. Skylar, but not all books are like that.
Jonathan Safran Foer released Tree of Codes, a book he made by cutting out letters, words, and phrases from Bruno Schulz’s The Street of Crocodile. What you get is not quite a book, but a form of art that’s in the form of a book. Right now, it exists in a stack of unread books on my floor. I couldn’t figure out how to read it, so it’s just there. This is what Sartre meant with “Existence.”
When you say “Existence precedes essence,” you’re basically allowing yourself to define who you want to be. It’s when you learn to understand yourself and accept that you’re who you are. In short: Freedom, baby.
You’ve said it yourself, you don’t subscribe to labels. That’s a good way to start because love and growing up makes things a whole lot more complicated. It’s when you take a risk that you can truly understand what your heart (and your vagina) wants.
I personally tend to learn from mistakes. I have been in a long-term relationship for quite some time now (Wala nang atrasan ‘to) and I’ve gotten a whole lot better because the one I love is actively reminding me when something is wrong or right.
Skylar, if you truly love her and you think you two share the same sentiments, then why the hell not? You’re the one calling the shots here, so if you feel that you’re down for the big reveal, I’d say take the plunge. Tread carefully because you’re pretty much risking it all.
I don’t think I can tell you whether keeping your feelings a secret was the right thing. I know this pains you, but it is of your own making. What I do want to say is this: be bold and bolder. Society keeps on shoving it down your throat that this is how you should be. Regurgitate it and shove it back down society’s throat.
What are you waiting for, Skylar?
Got a question for Poppy? From love and relationships to weird questions you dare not ask even your psychologist, Poppy is ready to answer them all. Send in your questions to [email protected] or post your question over Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #AskPoppy, and you just might get the answer you are looking for.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.
Art by Dorothy Guya