Now I know what it feels like to be goddamn Pete Wentz

Gray by Pete Wentz

I have been reading Pete Wentz‘s recently released book, Gray. I pre-ordered it off Kindle and I have always been so excited about it ever since I found out that Pete was writing a book. It was what I had been waiting from him ever since Rainy Day Kids was reported to be being written by Pete and then vocalist of The Academy Is…, William Beckett. I would later find out that Gray was the official outcome of what used to be called Rainy Day Kids but that’s beside the point.

Ever since Fall Out Boy’s hiatus and Pete’s stint as one of the guys who put together Black Cards, I have always missed his writing. I especially missed lurking on his “secret” journals, always hitting refresh, hoping for an update. I was hungry for his words but I guess the word “hungry” is an understatement. I was starving for his words. But what should I expect from a (then) married man and a happy father to such a cute little baby that was Bronx? He had a new life—one that shouldn’t include Her: the girl behind the words behind the music, his best kept secret, his “truefuckinglove” in his blogs, or at least what I believed she must have been.

I was magnetized by their tragedy that I used to write words such as, “I love you like Pete loved Jeanae.”

Despite all the angst in the music, I knew that all of it was coming from his deep rooted affection or love for Her and how he was conflicted by fame and his desire for a normal life.

Sometimes I wondered if he ever stumbled upon any of my old blogs or blog entries pertaining to him, the boys, or even them. Sometimes I wondered what he might have felt over the fact that I was on the borderline of patronizing his and Jeanae’s tragic love story; how he must have felt like having thousands or even millions of fans dissect every line or word in all the songs he ever wrote; how he must have felt pressured to keep writing about Her because that’s what gets some of the fans going.

But now I know. At least, now I can sympathize. Now I know what it feels like to be goddamn Pete Wentz.

Last Wednesday night I wrote a fictional narrative—it had been a scene in my head that I had wanted to write. I have prematurely shared it with one of my friends at work, Marse, and she had agreed I should put it on paper but that in itself wasn’t enough to drive me to write it down. Maybe it was my self-deprecating nature or perhaps my recent lack of passion that prevented me from writing.

Last Wednesday, I had to stay up until two in the morning the following day in case the project I was supporting for go live at work encounters an issue. I was already feeling sleepy by ten in the evening. I chatted with Vienna to keep myself awake. Somewhere in between, Vienna shared a narrative she wrote in Filipino for one of her classes in college. After reading it, I told her about the story I had told Marse a few days before. Vienna urged me to write as well and somehow the narrative she shared was the push I needed to sit up straight and actually start writing.

It wasn’t that hard at all because I knew what I wanted to write. I knew where I wanted to get to. I was surprised when I finished it. I couldn’t believe I actually finished writing something and all in one sitting!

I shared it the following day to anyone who would take the time to read. But the thing about publishing it for everyone to see is that it will open doors for everyone to dissect every word. Everyone wll try to make sense of things just as I and many other Fall Out Boy fans had whenever a new song came out. My story became vulnerable to interpretations.

To be honest, it somehow irked me at first at how most assumed that what I wrote was true. The word fiction was there for a reason. The author’s note was there for a reason. It was a figment of my imagination, kathang isip lamang.

But then again, what could I have done? Like I said, publishing something makes it open to all sorts of interpretations so I just let it all go just as I had let go of all the inhibitions that have been keeping me from writing for months and years. What I did was me taking one foot out that door and stepping out into a new world. What I did was a, “Fuck it, I can actually finish writing something.” What I did was putting up two swear fingers to that negative voice inside my head that keeps telling me I can’t because goddamnit I can and I have. What I did was defy that gravity that kept me down for years because he made me fearful of all the wrong interpretations and criticims.

And for anyone who wants to ask if what I wrote was intentional. No, it wasn’t. Was it deliberate? No, it wasn’t. Simply put, I only wrote the scene that kept playing in my head. I only wrote what seemed like a moment of clarity. Everything that happened to me in real life before and after I wrote that narrative are simply coincidental and if you think otherwise, go and ask Fate because I wouldn’t know what or how to answer either.

My life used to be an open book through my blogs, vignettes, and poetry. I guess the main reason why I had always been so scared to finish all the stories I ever started was because I was afraid I couldn’t do it the right way. I was afraid of what other people might think, how they’d (dis)regard all the sweat and blood I had poured into my own writing. And it didn’t help that I had been in a relationship where I had to think twice about what I put out there for the fear of getting misinterpreted. I was made to hide in a shell, basking in all the glory of fear. But now I beckon fear and come to it face to face. I won’t be afraid to write anymore because encouraging fear only depletes every chance and opportunity to gain experience in this craft. How dare I call myself a writer if I’m afraid to write anything.

So to those who read and encourage me to write more, thank you. I’ll continue writing despite all the conflicts I face within myself.

I’m a phoenix, remember? I always rise above the ashes. 😉

Trisha Sales

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