Men Without Women

Translated from Japanese by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goosen

Part of my 2018 resolutions and goals is to back to reading, especially the ones that have been stuck in my shelves for quite a long time now. I don’t spend much my money buying clothes, shoes, makeup, and the like; instead, like a real adult, I spend it paying grad school tuition fees (huhuhu hahaha), insurance, business supplies, raw materials, and BOOKS.

The first book I’ve read this 2018 was Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan which I still have to share with you here. But, to be honest, it is already August (September) and it is just a few days ago that I’ve finished reading another, Men Without Women by my favorite author, Haruki Murakami.

The book is also a shadow of what we all have felt inside of us, maybe once or twice. Gaining new stories, having a partner, losing one, getting our hearts broken, and moving on from there. We all have been there. Like the usual Murakami creation, it is full of many realizations and quotes that we have said to ourselves or to another person once or twice in our lives.

Some of the lines I can relate with are:

In every situation, knowledge is better than ignorance. However agonizing, it was necessary to confront the facts. Only through knowing could a person become strong.

We may have been in denial on what we feel or what was truly in front of us because we don’t want to admit to ourselves that we have failed on the aspect of our life. Yet, it is always better to know the truth no matter how devastating. In that way, we can learn lessons and become the better versions of ourselves.

Can any of us ever perfectly understand another person? However much we love them?

Sometimes, even if we love a person so much, there are aspects about them that we can’t still understand. I think we must all be aware that we are all different and there are still secrets we can keep to ourselves even in a perfectly open-minded relationship.

I don’t think we can ever understand all that a woman is thinking… no matter who that woman may be.

Every woman is complicated and has her own unique quirks and that’s what makes them really special.

So in the end maybe that’s the challenge: to look inside your heart as perceptively and seriously as you can, and to make peace with what you can find there. If we hope to truly see another person, we have to start within ourselves.

Sometimes, the enemy that we have and the truth that we are seeking is just within ourselves; we just have to look within us and re-connect with it.

“Why did you break it off so suddenly?”
“Because there was no need to keep acting.”

 “It might be better to our separate ways for a while, and if we find out that we really can’t get along without each other then we get back together.”

If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it’s not easy to look for it.

Before you seek anything in life, know first what you are seeking and why you seek for it. There are finite ways you can be in trouble if you don’t decide on what you want in this life.

It’s your life. You should do what you want and forget about what other people think.

One of the greatest mistakes we make in life is caring too much about what other people think of us. It limits us from going after what we want and knowing our full potential. We always seek for validation and approval and in return, people mess up with us even after all the sacrifices we made.

As time passes, memory, inevitably, reconstitute itself.

There are certain joy and sorrow when we reminisce about the past.

Music has that power to revive memories, sometimes so intensely that they hurt.

Have you ever tried to have a song for a person and everytime you hear that song, it pains you because it reminds him/her of you?

No one knows what kind of dreams tomorrow will bring.

We are not sure about tomorrows, we only have today.
Three pieces of advice:
1. Take your time and don’t force things
2. Don’t fall into predictable patterns
3. When do you have time to live, make sure to keep it simple

As long  as it all makes sense, no matter how deep you fall, you should be able to pull yourself together again.

There is still hope and this life has a lot to offer, no matter how heartbreaking things are at times.

Writing things down is an effective method of not forgetting.

This is why I write.

Life is strange, isn’t? You can totally entranced by the glow of something one minute, be willing to sacrifice everything to make it yours, but then a little time passes, or your perspective changes a bit, and all of a sudden you’re shocked at how faded it appears.

Because everything in life is temporary, even what we feel right now.

Memories can be helpful.

They are not the things that don’t change over time and we can always go back to them, but not live in them.

It’s strange, isn’t? Everything is blowing up around us, but there are still those who care about a broken lock, and others who are dutiful enough to try to fix it… But maybe that’s the way it should be. Maybe working on the little things as dutifully and honestly as we can is how we stay sane when the world is falling apart.

If you think someone enough, you’re sure to meet them again.

Author: shainnehostalero

Shainne Hostalero, MDC is a social entrepreneur (owner and founder of Happy Shift PH), a communication scholar, and a writer.

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