Labor with Love

Daily Prompt: Work? Optional!

I don’t have a proper work yet because I’m still a student. And as a student, I think the idea of work should be thought through because if I ever get mistaken on what I think is the reason of why I get up everyday in the morning, then I think I’m gonna have a problem. I’d like to think of work as more than a survival from the watchful eyes of the society or from the harsh environment of taxes and prices. And even though I still can’t imagine myself as a person with an actual job who can actually feed myself, I’d like to think that however I work must be a fun thing for me. 

Here’s the thing, If I ever get to work on something that I love and that I don’t get money from it, I’d say, Why the hell should I stop? This is real happiness we’re talking about! It may sound cheesy but no matter how practical you think, you just can’t compare the satisfaction you achieve from your love of doing that service to those bits of paper you exchange with people. And everything is a lot simpler when money is not involved. 

And If I hate the job and money was out of question then I’m done. I am definitely getting out of there. Simple as that. And with my free time, I would do lots of art and do lots of entries in my blog and have marathons of series that I want and at the same time look for work that I would actually be happy with. And I know that looking for a job is not as easy as I say it but that’s my plan..for now.

But things get complicated when the situation changes. What if I hate the job and get money from it? I know it’s getting off topic but I can’t help but think about it. What would I do?

I think that’s the time when I don’t do anything about it until conscience hits me on the head despite of what I said two paragraphs ago. Yes, I am a hypocrite and I know it and I’m so sorry. But given the situation of how the world is right now, I think it’s really hard to do good.

You know those people doing awful things for good reasons? WelI, I see those kinds of people everyday. And I can’t blame them. I actually feel sorry for them. Imagine that situation where your moral senses get to be tested just to feed the people you love. 

Oh, how the world sucks. 

The Travelling Man Will Save The Day

Daily Prompt : Uncanny Laughter

I remember the time when I was 12 and we were watching the seniors crushing the freshmen in the girls’ basketball team by 32 points. The game was so devastating to watch. The scrawny 12 year-olds versus the meaty 16 year-olds. And just like that, I ran to the bench and asked the coach if I could join.

I have no idea what I was doing. The only thing on my mind that time was that I had to do something for our team. I didn’t even realize until later that one person can’t just run into the court and ask if she could join the official team as if joining a backyard basketball game. Without any try-outs. Without any practice. Without any knowledge about basketball. But I guess it was desperate times so the coach actually said yes to my permission.

And the next thing I knew, I was in the court, running back and forth, not taking my eyes off the ball. And I wasn’t even wearing the proper uniform! I was wearing jeans! Yes. How badass (and embarrassing after realizing it years later) this kid must be.

And you wanna know what’s even cooler? Well, I ACTUALLY SHOT THE BALL. Well, we lost but it was 32-2. And that 2 points was on me. I was a hero in front of my friends! 

And I was officially part of the team.

But I know, deep down, it was just a lucky shot. Because the next day, things started to turn around and there was this particular moment when I was dribbling the ball and trying to prevent the opponent from getting it and some guys who were my classmates were saying “JUST GRAB THE BALL AND RUN!!!”

And I did.

And I heard a whistle.

Fucking obvious travelling. It would be okay if I was double dribbling. But I literally did what the guys told me and grabbed the ball and ran half court. There came a roaring laughter from the crowd. I laugh along but some days later I was burying my head in the pillows everytime I would remember that moment. 

You see, unintentional funny stories are usually embarrassing ones. 

Shoes And Changes

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“So what is one thing that you thought you would never change about yourself and you did?” or (if you can’t thing of anything) “What is one thing you know you’ll never change about yourself and then put it on a safe place look it in 10 years time and find out how wrong you were”

So this guy gave some thoughts about shoes and change and at the end of the video, he asked a question that struck me. To answer that, I guess I had to look back to the person I was, preferably to the antisocial kid before I went to college.

Back then, I thought I would forever lock myself from the world of spending time talking to people who are different from me. I  thought I hated the idea of getting involved with people who did not have the same interests as mine and that to define myself, I should stick to my group of friends and not try to be friends with others at all. But then, college came and I separated from my friends so I did not have any choice but to talk to people and hang out with them.

That’s when I realize it wasn’t a bad thing. I realized then that I didn’t have to go and find a group with the same interests as mine just to make myself belong. For me, the idea of belonging is not about how similar you are but how people makes you feel welcome and part of something despite of your differences. I guess you just have to find the right people who are willing to do that and the influence you can give them and vice versa can give the similarities you look for. 

I’m not saying that I turned out to be this outgoing/care-free person who literally says hi to anyone she meets. But I did met a lot of people and I learned a lot from them and I think I’ll keep that attitude in the best I can. 

In The Absence of Electrical Power

1. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

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Collection of adorable stories set in an Indian atmosphere. Its a good read for anyone who wants to go outside of their comfort zone and experience a whole new environment and people. I actually mistaken this for The Emperor of All Maladies (whose author was also an Indian-American) that was recommended by John Green. But I did not have any regrets in buying it because I really enjoyed it.

2. November 22, 1963 by Adam Braver

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An informative, really amazing book mixed with both historical and fictional events with the points-of-view of the people involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.

3. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

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I’ve read this more than once but this is the first time that I’ve actually cried to it. I don’t know if it’s the atmosphere of silence that has brought me to tears,or that I have nothing else to do because of the blackout but I was really so moved by the crushing dialogues and ugh. Now, I don’t care how mainstream it is anymore, John Green has always been this awesome writer (and vlogger) that I will forever be grateful to for the things that I learned from him.

4. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

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Funny and relatable to anyone who’s ever experienced working for someone with their irrevocable demands. Although, I’m not saying it’s always been as horrible as what Nan experienced but I just find it funny how true some of her remarks are. There is a movie adaptation of this starring Scarlett Johansson and it’s just as fun.

5. Looking for Alaska by John Green

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Well, the John Green fever is not yet over after the whole “Okay?Okay.” heart-crushing story. I decided to reread my favorite John Green book Looking for Alaska and it’s still giving me a lump on my throat after re-living Alaska Young’s curves and breath smelling of cigarettes and her all-over hotness. She’s the hottest fictional character I admire.

6. Nagueños by Carlos Ojeda Aureous

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I couldn’t find a book cover of this edition so I took it via webcam. Anyway, this is given to me by a really cool friend who does really rad artworks . The book is interesting because it’s a collection of stories set in Naga City — the city where most of my high school and college life took place. I may not actually live in the city but it has a place in my heart and reading this book really makes me feel close to it. It made my imagination more vivid since it’s an actual place that I consider my second home.

Now You Interpret This Malady

I just came home from a dinner celebration with a family friend and I just find it amusing how much I’ve known them for more than a decade. From the moment I came over, I never had the slightest feeling of being out of place despite the fact that most of the people my friend had invited was from her school. And their house, despite the fact that they’ve just moved in a year ago, had never felt more comfortable than any other houses I’ve been.

It makes me feel happy of how much everything still feels the same despite everyone growing older. 

And that’s how I wanted things to be for the years to come to everyone who had ever been important in my life. I don’t want them to end up being someone I don’t know anymore. I don’t want them to forget. It’s sad seeing the same people yet having to speak to them as if you’ve only met them at that very moment. 

I know I sound like a hypocrite since I don’t usually keep in touch that much but I’m a human being too and I still feel sentimental values over things. I know that this whole thing is getting a little bit melodramatic but I am just upset over something that has happened or not happened hours before that dinner celebration with that family friend. 

I wouldn’t go into full details because it’s awkward to talk about it but here’s the thing I want to say that I haven’t got the chance to say because of shit happening around lately. I don’t even know if it’s you or how our fate is fucked that we can’t even be allowed to see each other to talk things out. Also, this is just me saying so don’t go off thinking we’re teaming up against you and that I represent everyone. No, nobody is involved in me writing this all down. Hell, I don’t even think they know that I wrote this down. I think it’s time to not sugarcoat anything so as not to play safe in saying the things that has been in my mind for a very long time. So it may not sound pretty. And I’m saying sorry in advance.

I just want to say what an ass you are for not facing the consequences of fucking things up by deliberately not showing up yesterday. I am so disappointed in you because you are actually a really mean person who thinks he can just say whatever he wants to say when things don’t please him and now you just run off and say bullshit excuses which makes me hate you even more. And you know how much I looked forward to that day when we finally talk things through? Well, judging from the length and content of this entry, I hope you do. I hate the fact that you are only planning to say sorry to a few particular people when in fact everyone deserves an apology. And if you are planning to reason out that you have done nothing wrong to anyone else, then I want you find some time to think about it because it’s a really dick move if you don’t. I hope you stop making fun of people by insulting them in the harshest, possible way. I hope you stop with the vulgar jokes because it’s already offending some people and I hope you stop saying awful things about people behind their back. 

I know some people who’s got a million of things to say to you about how horrible and untrusted you are and just don’t talk about it. And I can’t talk about that myself either.  Well, given all the time you have spent away from us, I hope you’ve figured that out yourself by now. And I hope you get the courage of facing them. I feel sorry for you whenever you try so hard to get attention when obviously everyone is ignoring you. You may deny all these things, but if you keep on reasoning out with opposite to what you’re actually doing, you may end up fucking things up again. 

You can’t expect everything to go back to normal even after you’ve said and done what is supposed to be said and done. To be honest, I don’t expect us to be friends again like before. Because things have changed you know. And I’m really sorry. Not only to that fact but also to ignoring you and being so mad at you and talking awful things about you. Yes, you’ve done something wrong but I know that my behavior has also been unacceptable. And so I’m sorry for that. I can see you can be the funniest and the most creative person I know, but well… shit happens. 

I may be wrong for everything I just said or for posting this entry in the first place or that this process is immature but I just don’t want to do nothing about all this. I don’t even know if you’ll even be reading this. But I would really want a reasonable explanation and one hell of a closure. 

Surviving the Blackout

And so the black out went on for several days. Almost for a week, i think. That included the internet connection (which only came back just yesterday if it wasn’t for my mother who went to complain) And in those moments of candle-lit dinner tables and the unavoidable heat at night, I pondered about how slow time gets without the distraction of the television, the internet and all the other technologies found in our homes.

In the spirit of honesty, it does feel soulless and idle without them. And I’m not proud of that statement since I know for a fact that there is so much to do outside the four corners of our screens yet I still felt that way. I can’t believe how much impact these sheets of metal has done to us. 

In anyways, I still managed to find ways to avoid the last option I have after dinner time — which is going to bed.  And can I just tell you how early that is because we usually eat dinner at like, 7:30 in the evening. 

Option #1 Sing Along to The Family Songs

I’m lucky to belong to a family whose got the best tastes in music. In those dark nights, we found light through my father’s strums and the Beatles’ songs. In some nights, it would be John Denver’s, other nights, some random artist. But most of the time, it would be the Fab Four. 

It’s like having a campfire song only that we sung around a lit candle instead of an actual campfire. I have never felt more proud with my family knowing that we are cool enough to have something to do and enjoy together.

Option #2 Listen to Your Mom’s Legendary Pranks When She Was Your Age…and other stories

My mother loves to tell stories especially during blackouts. I think she understands that we have no other choice but to listen to her. And she would usually tell stories about her life before marriage and to be honest, they’re all still very amusing despite having heard them millions of times before.

My favorite is when she played a joke on my uncle (her brother) who caught some fish and when he left my mom PEED on them. Yes, peed on them. That’s the most hardcore and satanic prank story I’ve ever heard from someone I knew personally. And that’s is from my own mother. Who taught me about manners and grace and respect. Well that story taught me about real woman power. You go, mom.

Option #3 Read More

I have not actually read everything that’s on my shelf. Some of them remained a display up to this day. The blackout has given me the opportunity to explore them (and some of the books lent to me by my friend). And I have decided to put it on a separate entry because I wanted to talk about it more. 

Option #4 Put that Commonplace Notebook to Use and Write Things to It

Since the availability of the internet have yet to come back, the only way I can remember the things I want to put on my entries is to write it down. And edit it later. And post it tonight.

Option #5 Lie Down and Have An Existential Crisis

It’s basically the last option where the decoy option would be sleeping and yet I can’t because my body clock does not conform with the time and so I’m left with all these numerous thoughts of doubt and confusion and internal struggles I did not realize I had. It drove me crazy and the only thing I can do is…well…sleep. 

That’s about it. I guess the blackout had not been that bad after all. It gave me a chance to live before I get stuck with the computer again.

Internet’s Back So I’ll Start Posting Things Again. Yey

The wind was sweeping almost everything on its path. The heavy raindrops went along with it and I can feel them prickling my elbow as they pass through the tiny spaces on the ledges of our window. I watched as our neighbor, Japan (now don’t start asking me how he got it because I haven’t got the slightest clue either) clutch his orange raincoat as he succeded in fastening Manay Salome’s sari-sari store. Another neighbor, a boy named NG (en-gee) passed by Japan carrying a ladder he borrowed from Cha Melba. His mom, Ate Nilan must have sent him and was probably fastening things on their own home.

I was supposed to go to a friend’s birthday party at her house but I guess, like school, it was also suspended. The power’s out and won’t be around for days. For now, we are preoccupied by the action the storm was showing us. It’s funny how natural calamities, expecially storms keep us fixated as it shows off its despicable drama.

And it went on until night time. It kept having catharsis every other 5 minutes. I can tell despite of everyone being in bed as early as 8, nobody was asleep. It was just so fucking scary that I can’t help but think of the worst. Like being a casualty of another storm surge that comes in our country every year. My body being buried alive in a pile of mud, water and debris or being found rotting under the sun or being found bloated and unrecognizable or being hanged upside down on trees. Or maybe I didn’t die but has witnessed how I lost everything. I couldn’t bear to think that. I’d rather choose to die.

At times like these, those moments when you feel like it’s your time, I pray not for salvation but for reconciliation and grace. Like I’m preparing myself and that I’m ready. And its terrifying to think about it because it makes me think of myself as a pessimistic.

Yet, I still live.