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Music from the misery |

Young Star

Music from the misery

ADVICE FOR THE YOUNG AT HEART - Armi Millare - The Philippine Star

One night, at Route 196 for a gig, I felt like asking the audience about the time they first fell in love and how old they were.

I was a little alarmed to find out one of them was so sure she fell in love at 14, but who am I to question that? I know some 30-year-olds who seem to never get it right (like myself). And in a way, it is safe to say nobody really ever gets it right all the time.

It is always like the first time. Each time. My first infatuation happened rather late in life. It was even more intense: I wanted to purchase tickets and chase down a man to tell him my feelings and fly out right after. We were both lucky I couldn’t figure my life out or it would’ve been truly tragic for the both of us. Now, I question myself for having even felt that way. After that point in time, I made sure never to get infatuated again. It can be helped.


I wasn’t that young when I fell in love for the first time. And I fell hard. I didn’t know what the precursor to that was, as I never saw it coming. I thought I had fallen in love at 21, but I was wrong. I was 25, and for the first time, I had been told that it was over and there was no chance in hell we were going to get back together. That was when I knew I loved him — when he stopped loving me. Consequently, I saw a doctor a week after that last phone conversation because it pulverized my spirits and I just desperately needed to be told off by someone I absolutely didn’t know. Perhaps my friends were just too nice.

There was this brand of pain that felt like a mash-up of anguish and grief and it stretched on for years, leaving myself embarrassed and feeling rather muddy down to the toes. Regret was on my mind’s playlist and it was beginning to confuse me what love was supposed to be about. Good thing I had songwriting to help me through it all, for every single nuance of pain and confusion could be written down and could be sung.

Writing songs for me became my way of washing myself of the painful episodes but at the same time, to make something out of an experience that is deserving of a polar opposite. After all these years, I was never able to write about that man who broke my heart at 25, but it taught me so much there was no need to. It taught me something no songwriting session ever did, and it taught me that the next time I get lucky in love, I better make sure to make it right. And maybe write about it.

When I say lucky, it is because you do make your own luck. The science of luck in terms of love, requires a lot of empathy, respect, honesty and a whole lot of patience, and that takes years to develop. It is a skill the same ways as training yourself to be happy is. One day you will earn them all back if death doesn’t beat you to it.

Unlike other feelings that could only mimic true love, all these first loves — they were all intense. Especially the fights — they were epic — but never use these intensities to gauge how much you truly love someone or vice versa. That’s basically a sort of chemical reaction between two that does not devaluate or quantify anything. It is a clash of two egos and nothing more. Of course I didn’t know this early enough. I was young and foolish, and had myself to learn from.

But first things first: never hurry. It is the author of all gargantuan mistakes. Although most of them become novel-worthy, it is up to you to decide whether you want to “write” for the rest of your life or read a book for fun on a cold morning.

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Pining? Heartbroken? In need of a beer? Tweet the author @armimillare for comments, clarifications, and damn good advice.

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