Category Archives: thoughts

6 Months

I just want to stop by and talk about work. I just realized I don’t really talk about my job much because I don’t think it’s…polite? proper? I don’t know, when you’re putting stuff out there in the internet, there are specific things that you avoid talking about. Things that may affect your relationships, your career and even your future. Also, there isn’t really much to talk about because…I don’t talk about the lectures that I listened to when I was still at school. It’s the same like that.

But something really divine happened. Nope, it’s not a promotion or an increase or anything like that. I just finished a 3D-animated video that explains how a certain machine works. I can’t tell you the details involving it but there’s a lot of things I can tell you about how it was like working on it for more than half a year. Yep, it’s one of the longest project I’ve ever had in my career.

At first, I was genuinely excited. I’ve had 3D projects before and they’ve all been fun and fulfilling. So at the beginning of August 2017, I was happily making assets and trying out different lights for the scene. There were revisions regarding the placements and the models but it was okay. It was part of my job. Until halfway through the animation process and the revisions started to go on a different path. It turns out that I failed to really grasp what my client envisioned. The final output was starting to get blurry. And the deadline was getting further and further away from what we had all expected. What everyone had expected of me.

Christmas and New Year came and went, I was still fixing a lot of things. I welcomed 2018 with more frustrations. I wasn’t able to help in other projects because I was stuck with this one. It wasn’t even supposed to be difficult. When you look at it in an animator’s point of view, it’s really just a simple 1-minute clip. The characters were simple stick figures, the cameras were placed in just one angle and the simulations were minimal. It wasn’t supposed to take this long.

That was when I started doubting myself. Maybe I wasn’t really that good. I never dreamed of becoming the best. But I sure as hell never wanted to be the worst. But that’s what it felt like. It felt like I failed my client, my boss and myself. Even if they were nice and patient enough to point out the stuff that needed fixing, there were voices in my head that weighed me down. Why do I keep making mistakes? Why do I miss the important details? Why am I taking so slow? And I started to compare myself to everyone else as they finish one project after another. Sure, it’s really about the quality over quantity but holy shit every output they produce were so good that I cannot even look at my own work anymore. And I started to think about how we all started the same way and how much everyone else has achieved and learned. What did I learn from the past year? And I started to hate myself.

Every revision became an ordeal. Every comment, no matter how nicely delivered, gave reasons for the voices in my head to start whispering awful stuff. Everyday, I carry this weight as heavy as the machines this project was about. I lost the passion for it and the drive to help my client. I was making the revisions with the mindset of wanting to finish it. Not wanting to create a fulfilling output. As much as I hated to admit it, I stopped caring.

And that’s when I started to see a light at end of the tunnel. It was just a tiny speck but I can feel it was out there. You know how when you’ve been on a really long trip on a bus or a car and you suddenly feel that you’re almost at your destination? And there’s this excitement in the air and people start to sit up straight. And they crane their necks and they press their noses on the windows. It was as if the energy came back to the same level it was at the start of the journey.

It was on that penultimate moment that I started to pick myself up and the voices started to fade. The excitement I felt was back as if the whole revisions and frustrations never happened. I got focused on fixing it and I was even making extra effort in making it better. Of course there were still a few mishaps along the way, but it didn’t bother me anymore. because I knew where the project was going.

And I did it.

The moment my boss gave the thumbs-up for the final render, I LITERALLY dropped and rolled on the floor because the euphoric feeling was too much for me to contain. Of course, I didn’t actually do it in front of him, I still had to go back to my seat and stuff.

And that was it. It was a roller-coaster of emotions before I got here. And I am left with nothing but feeling of gratitude for the whole experience. And I’m looking forward to more projects. Even the dreadful emotions that come along with it.

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Love and Movement

Daily Prompt: Courage

February 14 was an important day. Nope, it’s not because it’s Valentines Day (although C and I managed to scrape a few minutes during lunch time. We were both drowned in our own deadlines that day). And it’s not because it’s also Ash Wednesday. I did something and it’s one of the most important thing I’ve ever done in my life.

I spoke about women and human rights and how wrong rape culture is.

There’s this thing in the office that we do twice a week wherein someone from the team gets to pick a topic they’re interested in or passionate about. Then, they would discuss it in front of the whole office. After that, the audience gets to share or ask questions. It’s like a typical show and tell except we don’t get grades from it. Personally, it’s really fun because you can really tell a lot about a person from the topics he/she chooses.

So I was assigned to discuss that day. Well at first, I was having second thoughts because I was clouded with doubt. What if people wouldn’t get me? What if they judge me for being too angry about stuff? What if they accuse me of hating men too much? What if they shake their heads in disagreement? What if someone from the crowd asks a question and I wouldn’t know the answer to? But the need of speaking about it was stronger than these doubts so on Sunday night (I was due to report on Wednesday), I was doing research and making notes. There was no turning back.

When I spoke in that room, I was so determined of making people understand what women go through everyday. I even shared my own experiences as a woman in the society and how I was treated because of it. I also made sure that my discussion won’t be female-centered because I wanted to invite the male population. I was careful with my words and avoided saying things that might offend them (and men get offended by everything). Which means not pointing out the things that they are but the things they are “programmed” to be–so as to not sound as if I was blaming them.

Okay since the world is full of political arguments these days, here’s a quick tip on how to let yourself be heard by someone from the opposing side–forget the facts and empathize. Sure, facts are facts but are they willing to acknowledge them? No. So, there’s really no use of listing down all the things they are wrong about. They won’t listen. People will believe what they want to believe. Here’s what you should do–you talk in their language and speak about the stuff that they understand. Reach out and listen. Yes actually LISTEN to them no matter how bullshit their facts are. Because only then, you get to understand why they think that way. You listen to the things they care about and that’s when you explain how their beliefs will endanger these things. Don’t mock them or be mad at them. These things will only make things worse. And even if, in the end they don’t listen, give them time and retain that respect.. Remember, before all these you yourself were also ignorant of these views and you were also as apathetic as they are. So be patient and empathize.

Now back to where I was, even though my audience was small (not more than 25 people), the whole thing was an accomplishment. I was so happy that people were asking questions and making arguments. Some women from the crowd were even sharing their own stories! They were all talking about it and that was enough for me.

Ever since I’ve been awoken about how wrong women are treated in the society (despite people saying both genders are now equal because women are allowed to vote blargh), I cannot help but be vocal about it. I cannot help but insert it on conversations among friends. And just seeing how my friends are influenced by these beliefs was already fulfilling for me.

But having to spread the awareness to my colleagues? That was beyond everything that I’ve been doing for the past years. I wasn’t just inserting points to them in a conversation. I wasn’t just making sarcasm about how women are treated. I wasn’t just rolling my eyes and expressing disagreement on how the world works. I was actually conducting a proper discussion about the whole thing–with prepared PowerPoint slides and notes and sample videos to back up my statements!

I would never know if that tiny thing I did was enough to sink into the minds of everyone in that room. But I was lucky enough to get my voice out there.

Relating to Morning Habits

About four years ago, I talked about how I love waking up early in the morning. Over the years, I just downgraded into this tired, old, unhealthy woman. And I’m only 22. So, how did that happen?

There’s this video online, it’s called “How to wake up early 2018: 7 morning habits to help you be a morning person” .

It was by this guy named Matthew who, when you see him, looked like he actually woke up in the best morning ever. Like what the fuck I’d give everything for that hair and skin. Anyway, watching that video about his lifestyle, I realized the things that may have been the reason why I’m always either late or unenergetic.

First of all, he mentioned something about listening to music in the morning. Now, I gotta put a big fat check on that because I do that all the time. Except, sometimes it drifts into songs that don’t really encourage me to move in a faster pace. And instead of skipping them, I’d get carried away and I’d sing long while getting dressed in the slowest possible way.

Second, there was that thing about reading. Reading will always have a special place in my heart. Actually, I use to read in the mornings with my coffee while waiting for my turn to the bathroom. But as years passed, my reading habits became less and less. There are good days though, you know when I read one chapter and I couldn’t put the book down (looking at you, Mr. Neil Gaiman and your Stardust). Dammit, I used to be so into reading that I can quickly immerse myself the moment I pick up a book.

Then, there was that cellphone thing he told to get rid off. You know, back then when I used to be a morning person, I had a phone–I guess you can call it…vintage. It was a Nokia 101 that I had to reboot every once in a while because it freezes. Sure it was shitty but I was never distracted by it because there was no WiFi feature. Then, when I graduated, I bought myself a phone. It wasn’t a fancy one but it was enough to be a reason why I have an awful morning habit of scrolling through social media while the clock is ticking.

So yeah, that’s how I got here. I’d leave the rest of these habits for you to reflect on. And maybe we can…make a conversation about it? Yey!

Transitions

Daily Prompt : Horizon

Dammit I forgot to take a picture! Right so the sun finally came up yesterday. It has been pouring for the past few weeks. It was not really easy for everyone since the weather caused terrible flooding in the city (I missed one work day because of that!).

Yesterday, I having a discussion with C whether or not he’d take me home. I didn’t have a problem with someone taking me home. I was thinking about the mode of transport we’ll be using–which was his motorcycle. Sure it’s fun on a summer day but trust me, it’s not really convenient on a wet, slippery pavement with the cold, strong wind rushing past you.

But we ended up using it. Halfway home, which was 4 miles from the city, you get to pass this highway in the middle of the rice fields. And the moment we got there, the dark clouds disappeared, finally revealing the afternoon sun. The sky went from gray to a light sky blue in just a matter of seconds. The sunlight trickled through the leaves of the trees and spread through the fields.

The colors of the horizon complemented so well you’d think you’re in a finale of a film. And you can almost hear this song at a distance.

What a perfect day for a motorcycle ride.

 

Quick Thanks!

I was about to say that I am thankful of the same things I was thankful of last year–family, friends and loved ones. Although I am still thankful of these same things I was thankful of last year, I realized I am also thankful of the gigantic lessons I’ve learned about life. This year has really opened my heart and mind to a lot of thoughts that I wasn’t paying attention to for the past several years. Things like, kindness to other people and being spiritually fulfilled. I have witnessed all that from the events that happened this year.

I’m thankful for that time I got to hang out with people from the Missionaries of the Poor. I’m thankful for that life changing company retreat. I’m thankful for the inspiring conversations with my boss. I’m thankful for the road trips with my friends. Heck, I’m even thankful for the awful fights with my mom and those bad days with C. Because moments like these can really give you a good shake.

I guess that’s about it. Right now, I only have a few words. I sort of don’t want to give details on my plans this year. I’m afraid of jinxing it. But I do have a lot of hope this coming year.

Cheers!

Be at Peace, Be at Peace Evermore

Whatever things I said in all those reflection papers involving spiritual programs (Recollection, retreats and outreach activities) back in college, they were all lies. In those moments where I should be a person for others,  there was never that feeling of fulfillment. I never felt a deeper relationship with God or emotional cleansing or simply just inner peace. In fact, I never felt anything important. I’m sorry, I’ve always thought of myself as a writer of truth but yeah, I wrote my way out of those requirements. I’m not proud.

But things have changed and I am now over the obsessions of passing grades. We were privileged enough to experience a company retreat and an outreach program and they all just happened within the span of a month. So I want to tell you about these recent experiences with these spiritual programs and how my feelings toward them drastically changed.

We held our company retreat at some organic farm sprawled at the foot of a mountain that is a few minutes away from the heart of the city. To be honest, I wasn’t that excited. Aside from my past experiences with retreats, the word “organic farm” didn’t really sound appealing to me and I imagined that it was just a plot of land in the middle of nowhere. But as it turns out, the place was actually really nice. It looked more than a vacation home rather than an organic farm and I almost expected a pool.

Now, it would be a bore to narrate every activity we had so lets jump to the part where I reflect on a lot of things. The whole event has actually brought me ease and I was able to let go of this one big burden that I probably have been carrying in my heart for many months now. I may never even pinpoint what sort of burden it was but there was definitely something there that has been affecting my productivity. Whatever it was, it has made me feel indifferent to the people relying on my skills.

There is this story I heard in a podcast and it’s about this doctor who had that same feelings about her job. No, she wasn’t bored of being a doctor. She didn’t hate her job. She still does her work perfectly well except her heart wasn’t in it. Her work had became such a routine that she didn’t have to think about it while doing it. And the scary part was when it came to the point when she told her patient he can go even though he wasn’t ready. A few hours later, the patient died because his body couldn’t take it and it’s all because she didn’t check on him.

Now, I don’t think a client would actually die if I didn’t put my heart on my job. But I will. Eventually. Not in a physical sense, but in a way where I’d just turn into this mindless, unemotional, pair of hands that work so she could finish her job in exchange for this bits of paper we call money. And shit,  I’ve always told myself I will never be like this but here we are.

I want to care. I want to see things in these people’s eyes. I want to understand what they want, what they believe in and what they hope for. I want to be by their side until the project is done. I want them to rely on me. I want to perfect my craft while I put my heart into it. And I get that I haven’t been that kind of person lately. But I’m starting to pick myself up and I’m trying really hard not miss out even the tiniest details of my work. It may be tiresome but the little things are important. And if get to hang myself around in those tiny details, I may do it within a limited amount time.

It has also cleared up my vision when it comes to decision making. There was a point actually where I want to quit everything. That time when I was in my grandma’s, I almost did not want to go back to the city. It was the only place that I get to clear my mind. But I realized, you didn’t have to go somewhere far off just to figure stuff out. The event really opened my eyes and it was as if the engines inside my head started running again.

The effects of the outreach program isn’t any different. In celebration of our boss’ birthday, he decided to spend time with the people from the Missionaries of the Poor. It’s sort of a home for those who are either orphaned or left abandoned by their families. We had this huge party where we danced the whole afternoon. It’s probably the wildest yet the most fulfilling party ever. Well, probably the only party I’ve ever been to this year.

I have now come to believe that these programs or anything that involves reflection and spiritual guidance is a necessity to everyone especially in the age of adulthood. I guess at this age, we now often forget stuff. Sometimes, we believe that one thing is urgent because it’s on deadline and we completely forget about other stuff like dinners (which when you think about it also has limits in time. I mean, you can’t expect scheduling dinners whenever you want, can you?). Well, we don’t actually forget but we just put priorities in a weird order.

The Life and Lies of Max Mayfield

Now Let’s Talk About Max.

First off, I liked how the show talked about Max’s isolation as being the new kid in school. Because let me tell you, I’ve been in that kind of situation. I’ve experienced going to a new school, without a friend and without the courage of actually making one. Although, Max may probably be not as shy as I was back then, there is importance in creating relationships outside the household especially if the household is not a happy one.

But when the boys finally opened their little group to her (You know, that Halloween scene where she just literally jumped out of nowhere and poof she’s suddenly part of the team),  I felt sad for her because she didn’t really go further to becoming actual friends with them. They were just fascinated by her and nothing more. And with that, she even became more isolated being a member of this group and witnessing how a shared past is still affecting everyone but her. And the lack of information and experience about that past didn’t really help at all.

Now, the combination of Max’s look, personality and the intriguing relationship with her brother really did make an entrance. But there is also a problem with her and that problem can also be seen in a number of good films whenever a new female character is introduced. It’s the I”m-not-like-most-girls character.

Honestly, all throughout the history of storytelling there’s this one girl who is the opposite of the stereotypical girls you see in class. Which elevates her status from everyone who are girls. And I hate it. So much. You know why? Because growing up, I pushed myself to be that kind of girl.

If I can give you an outline of the character choices that I made when I was thirteen, I specifically avoided the path that lead to hair, make-up, fashion and boys. I closed the opportunities of creating friendships with other girls who are not like me because I thought of them as lame and shallow. I isolated myself from them because I thought I was an interesting and special individual which made me think I was better than them. Because that is what I came up with from reading and watching and listening to the stories about girls.

Looking back I wished I hadn’t been that stuck up. Like holy shit if I had been friends with girls who are experts on hair, I would have grown up knowing how to take care of it. I would have looked flawless in every place I went to.  If I had been friends with girls who are experts on make-up, I wouldn’t have paid 500 – 1000 pesos for fixing my face in a one time event. I would have done it myself. If I had been friends with girls who are experts in fashion, I wouldn’t have been that embarrassed showing my high school photos. I would have looked divine in every photo that I had. If I had been friends with girls who are experts on boys, who knows, maybe they’ve already figured out how boys actually are and we all would have warned each other about abusive and toxic relationships?

Now I am not saying that the things that I grown to love is invalid. That what I am now is a facade. I just wish that I hadn’t limited myself from exploring stuff that can actually be useful in the future. I wish I didn’t have to separate myself from other girls so I can feel good about my identity.

I hated how she was also involved in love triangles when she only wanted to have friends. It sucks because now everyone is so mean to her and she didn’t even do anything. Honestly, I hate to be an old lady here but aren’t they a little bit too young to have these serious encounters with love? I mean, having love interests are cute but wouldn’t it be cuter if they don’t dwell on it too much?

Since the show has this theme on friendship, I kinda wished that everyone is actually friends with each other. And that boys and girls can be friends and can hang out without this dumbass idea that at some point they are bound to fall in love with each other. Because it creates this giant wall between boys and girls especially at that age. I do wish that shows stop doing that.

Max’s “redeeming moment” was also unsatisfying. It doesn’t prove any significance on her character. It didn’t put weight on defeating the major villain of the show. It’s just another addition to her “cool” personality. I do not also believe that Billy would eventually stop tormenting Max after being sedated by her. Judging from his character I think he’d bully her even more. I just wish the siblings had that moment of understanding of how similar they are with each other and how much they share a common enemy (may it be a Demagorgon or their abusive father).

I love Max. I really do. I just think that the show didn’t love her the same way I did. Looking forward to Season 3 for justice.