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Roads To Take

Here’s what’s been happening recently. Well, I am not quite sure how recent these stories are. But here’s the thing, I’m starting to feel okay about not writing as often as I used to. I’m starting to accept the fact that I can’t really do everything and that there is a limit to the list of priorities we have to do in every single day.

First things first. There was a company outing that happened just the weekend before Labor day. It wasn’t as grand as last year, there were no island hops or boat rides or treks or any of that kind. But I had fun, because for one thing, there were more of us compared to last year.

Yeah I forgot to tell you that there are part timers and interns right now so the office is packed than usual. Another thing is that I have been dying to get outside the office this summer and experience the sun (well, we all had too much sun considering we fried ourselves outside till noon). I’m guessing everyone needed a day off as much as I did.

Second, I bought myself a bike. Yeah, I kind of been keeping myself active. I felt like my health has been depleting lately; my hair is falling out, my blood pressure is getting lower than it already is, I get out of breath just by walking up the stairs, my weight is almost below normal and my period is later than scheduled. And these things that’s been happening on my body is seriously scaring the fuck out of me.

So I needed to start with keeping my body as active as I can and decided a bike is exactly what I need. At first, I just really wanted to go explore the town and I sort of wanted a bike that is not as intimidating as a mountain bike. Like a cruiser bike! Which is a chill and a really cute bike. Where you can even put a little basket in front and it’s like you’re this village girl with flowers on your hair and you’re biking around the prairie. That was the plan!

And then this salesguy in the bike shop kept on persisting me to go with the mountain bike because he said it’ll last even the farthest distance. Dude, I have no plans on going the farthest distance, I just wanted to ride around town??? Plus I can’t even ride a mountain bike??? But then he told me to try it.

Okay, in my lifetime, my experience in biking is not really that rich. I was actually forbidden to go biking by my mother because she told me it was not for girls. But there was a bike at the market that is just right for my 10-year old size. It was owned by one of the helpers there. And every afternoon, I would tell my mom I would go to the market to, you know, help my dad with business and stuff. But I didn’t do a single thing there that involved helping, which was okay with my dad, to be honest. Instead, I would hang out with the helpers there as they’d teach me how to ride a bike. Believe me, they’re like the older brothers that I never had. Plus, I was pretty sure my mom knew about this escape and she didn’t say anything.

And that’s it. The 10-year old sized bike was the only experience I ever had with biking. How am I supposed to ride this monster that is larger than I am? But I did. Holy shit, I did. Of course, I was absolutely terrified. The elevation that I felt was very unfamiliar and it was as if the bike was controlling me and not the other way around. Every pedal was a panic despite having zero cars in the area.

I didn’t want it. But at the same time I also knew that I would go nowhere with the comforts of a cruiser bike. I needed to get myself used to the thing that terrifies me. So I picked the mountain bike. See here that I am taking the road not taken.

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The day it was delivered home, I was excited, of course. But there was that terror again despite my dad being behind me the whole time. I kept on forgetting about the breaks and my hands were wobbly. This time, it came from my fear in everything that had to do with roads.

As much as I love roadtrips, I never wanted the responsibility of decision making in that great big open space that we call the road. It’s like a community in there where people communicate with telepathy and hand signals. And yes, the road that I took was not even a highway, but I was really scared. I was starting to feel like I just made a big mistake of purchasing this two-wheel, human powered mode of transportation because I was not quite sure if I wanted to ride it anymore.

Now, if my boyfriend hadn’t given me this set of headlights and this adorable bell to encourage me, it would have been a long time before I try that bike one more time.

Fast forward to now, I’ve been biking around town with my childhood friends on the early mornings that we can. The most memorable thing about that would probably be the time we went back to our elementary school.

It was an early Saturday morning so the place was almost empty. As we walked around the campus, we pointed at particular places and reminisced stories that happened there. And omygod I was so filled with nostalgia I could almost see young versions of ourselves running around in front of the classrooms.

And that’s about it, I guess. In week, we’ll be going on a trip to Calaguas and I am excited. So excited my feet clenches just from the thought of it. I do hope that I will be able to talk about it when I come back.  Anyway, I am now running out of words so I guess I’ll be going now.

Cutting Down

I deactivated my Twitter and Instagram accounts a few days ago. And the liberating feeling after doing it tempted me to even delete my Facebook account had it not been for the necessity of connections. Although I did unfollow a lot of accounts that did not have any significant importance to me.

I realized that 70% of my life is circled on social media. And knowing my general relationship with social media, it is truly a waste of time. Of course, there have been a few beautiful moments where it has helped me reach out to friends. I have had a few meaningful conversations with important people through the use of these platforms but for sure, I am going to have to find some other ways to reach them.

I decided I needed to focus more on productivity. I want to try out other things that does not require sitting in front of a screen for a long period of time. Or if it did require sitting in front of a screen, I would want it to be fulfilling.

Social media gives you insecurities that you didn’t know you have. A few weeks back, I was looking at photos of friends who were having the time of their lives somewhere in a far off mountainside where the view was absolutely breathtaking. Every month they’d post a picture of what awesome place they’ve been to and every month I’d get that sinking feeling of how I still haven’t gone traveling because that was supposed to be the dream back when I was in college. And I couldn’t feel that I was living the life that I yearned for because I am stuck in the same four corners of the office, doing the same thing every single day. I mean I love the job and my relationship with the people there is more than I can ask but there are other things that you get to long for when you see things in the internet.

It is so easy to say that for an individual to have a fulfilling life, he or she should go traveling. But as I grow older, I realized that traveling is a privilege. It is not something one can achieve right away just because he or she has thought of it. Sometimes, to people who are showered with responsibilities, they would push traveling further down in the list priorities. And that’s okay. If they’re patient enough, there will come a time when the responsibilities are finally crossed out and they’d get to have the time of their life that they’ve always yearned for. I think.

Going back to the talk of social media, I now have a few accounts left. Of course there’s Facebook because it is an easy form of contact to many friends and family members. Plus it gives you a direct update of what is actually happening in the lives of people you know. And Youtube for videos. And also this WordPress account. Just because.

There’s also Tumblr because, well…it is the best source of daily memes. And it has been with me for almost 6 years now. I have experienced, along with the people I follow, a lot of personal growth in this site. This is where my belief in equality and positivity has been forged together with my respect to every living thing. Also the sarcasm and gender fluidity. In this site, you do not get to care about the number of followers you have. You do not get to have that divine status when you acquire a certain number of followers. At least, that’s how it goes in my blog. I mean, Tumblr is a vast and deep website. Sometimes it not just memes, sometimes it’s flower crowns and bohemian outfit and Polaroids. Depends on what your dash looks like.

Anyway, that’s how my life has been going lately.

Late HS Awkwardness

Valentine’s day was a bit awkward. I don’t mean that in an awful way, it’s just that I feel like I’m that high school teenage girl experiencing a lot of things for the first time in her life. You know when she has heard a million stories about these things and she thinks she’s ready for them but deep down she hasn’t got the slightest clue on how these things work out. There’s a lot to take in and I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.

My friends told me that I should open myself up more and just let myself show that I am delighted. Which I do! I mean, in a way that I am comfortable of. Okay so whenever I receive something maybe like a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates, the first thought that comes to my mind is that these easily consumed items don’t really have any significant use. But understanding the message that is universally acknowledged about the custom of presenting these things make me feel grateful. Even if my appreciation is shown from the series of awkward mumbles as I subconsciously avoid the other person’s eyes. And yes, I feel really guilty for that.

I told my mom about it. She chuckled and told me that I am just so much like my father. He’s the type to say thank you in silence but the moment you stop doing things that he’s “thankful” for, he gets really grumpy.

It’s not that I don’t like it. It’s just that I don’t know what to do with it when I receive it. I guess, with the months that has passed, I am still not used to it. I mean, if my 10 year old self could see me, she’d literally laugh her ass off. Whatever is happening right now could be like the greatest plot twist for everyone from my childhood who thought that I would grow up a lesbian.

Which goes to the fact I still get weirdly embarrassed being seen by other people who I’ve known over the years. I would duck under the table or turn the opposite way, afraid of being taunted that I am now dating and is now an actual girl–which I already am from the moment of my birth I don’t even know why I feel this way?  Can’t I have a quiet and peaceful and intimate relationship with another male human being without anyone buzzing around? Why can’t these people let me be?

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The Iconic Vase of Valentine’s 2017

But hey, most of the time the”buzzing around” is mostly just inside my head but we’ll have to wait and see. Although, there is something about that awkward Valentine’s day that I failed to realize. And it wasn’t until a few days later that I  thought about it.

Sometimes, the best thing we can do is to let the other person do all the trouble for you. The best thing to do is to let them stay up all night just to write letters for you. Let them spend money to buy chocolates and flowers for you. Let them do wild gestures of endearment that could either cause public disturbance or eternal embarrassment. I have been saying that these things are not important and that it’s okay not to receive anything but really, it’s not about me at all.

There is that feeling of delight when you do something for the person you love. And you don’t even realize the inconvenience of it. And so we just have to let them.

Child Story

When I was about four or six–somewhere in that age, I was wandering around the marketplace, hanging around the stalls when I was approached by this woman who sells slippers in her own stall. She asked me about my personal life. She wasn’t a stranger at all. Nobody was, because every store owner knew each other there.

Now, this lady, she was so interested about my life and she was asking a lot of question about my family. Eventually, she started to annoy me as our supposed conversation, like any other conversation between an adult and a child, became an interview. And then I wondered how far our little chat could go if I twist my stories into ridiculous lies.

For a start, I lied about how mom wasn’t really my mom. And that she really my aunt and that my real mom died when I was very young. That’s when the lady’s eyes widened as she straightened her back and craned her neck towards me. That’s also when I felt how good it was when someone is suddenly becomes curious about something you know (even if it was a lie). I felt important. I felt mysterious. I felt powerful over someone begging for information. But before I went on expanding my soap opera life story, my mom came to take me home. And well. The lady asked, as carefully and politely as she could, about all the outrageous stories that I told her. My mom, after giving her a look of confusion and shock, denied them all.

I never knew how my mom explained to her the real story. I doubt the lady ever believed my mom’s version. People tend focus on the intriguing stories and they sort of put aside what is real. Also, I think she was the type to believe in the phrase “Kids don’t lie.”

Now, you may think that I was this psychopath kid who would grow up to be an evil human being about to take over the planet. But I just want to tell you that I felt guilty after that. And I felt guilty all the way home. And I still felt guilty when my mom scolded me and gave a long lecture about honesty. Although, at this very moment I look at it as a funny story, it was very curious how wild I would go to make myself feel high and mighty.

Birthday Blog

I celebrated my 21st birthday last week. My parents surprised me with a brand new monitor that I have been telling myself to buy for almost a year. I guess they were tired of hearing me say “I’d buy that if I had the money,” everytime I realize how shitty my last monitor was. My job decided to surprise me with loads of revisions that I had to work overtime but I didn’t really mind because well, I was expecting this revision since the beginning of the year. I also got the same gift as last year (which was a book) from my boyfriend although last year he gave it to me as a friend. And thinking about that at this very moment is just wild.

Okay let me just insert a few train of thoughts about giving books as gifts before I move on to where I am going here. I love recieving books as gifts to whatever occasion there is. And I’m not just saying that because it’s from somebody special to me but I just fucking love it.

I love the simplicity of a book wrapped as a gift. You already know that it’s a book and yet, there is excitement there of not knowing what’s it about. I love the precision and accuracy required to find a good book for a person. I love how you think about the person more than the quality of that book. I love how you do not need to examine a book between its covers. There are no batteries, no conflicting wires, no complex mechanisms and no expiration dates. Just a whole new world at the reach of your fingertips.

Anyway, Holy shit I’m 21. I am now at the age past my favorite female protagonists. I am older than Nancy Drew (18), Rose Tyler (19), Elizabeth Bennett (20), Esther Greenwood (19) and I am the same age as Lily Evans when she died.

I know it’s not that old but you know when you already have this understanding that you are not a kid anymore and you are now, legally speaking, an actual adult? I have a job. I pay bills and taxes. And even if I still live with my parents, I have enough freedom to go where I needed to be. Also, I can get married without parental consent, have a driver’s license, adopt a child and gamble. But I don’t have plan on doing all that…yet. I don’t have a plan at all except save money for the future. So that’s that.

Yo There 2017

Another year has turned. Anyone can agree that 2016 was not that pretty. I would.

Terrible things happened–Iconic people that changed lives of millions has passed on. A qualified woman has lost to a piece of corn in running a country. Hatred to anyone for their gender and their way of life. My own country, is run by a misogynist and murderous and apathetic government obsessed with scandals and is blindly worshiped by millions. And buzzing behind its ears is a spoiled family of pigs with their noses held high as they force their way to literally changing history and throwing away what my fellow countrymen has died fighting for. And so we won’t ever forget and we won’t ever let the fire die out and we will pass on the truth to our children and their children and their grandchildren’s children. And on and on it shall be engraved in the minds of every Filipino. We will never forget.

That’s only a few of the horrid things this year has brought to us but I am not sharp enough to remember and I am not brave enough to relive them all today.

But as someone from the internet says it, this is not just one new year. This is 7 billion new years to 7 billion people in the planet. And even if all 7 billion people agree that this year was terrible, those terrible things do not really wash away the good and beautiful and make them unimportant. Today we can still remember and celebrate the good. As I would in the next paragraph.

This year I get to graduate which is a great achievement not only for me but also for my parents who crawled their way to support me. And I am on my way to building my dreams for them.

I get to find a job that is closer to home without difficulty. And that job gets to be great and close to what I aspire to be. I get to be surrounded by co-workers who are inspiring not only for their crafts but also for their stories. I get to have a boss who cares for his employees. I still get to keep old friends inside the office to reminisce with me the good old college days whenever I long for it.

And well, this year, I get to have someone who cares about what I want and waits for me whenever I decide what I want and spends meals with me and — a waiter. I’m probably talking about a waiter but I’m telling you he is more than that.

He genuinely cares about people and the environment and he understands how appreciation works and he is not afraid to feel. And well, I am looking forward to seeing him more this year.

Okay, maybe in my mind, I see him running off to the sunset with me and we would live in a cottage far away by the ocean with a dog and a pig and he would impregnate me with beautiful children. And we would live merrily singing songs about love and nature and feasting over hearty meals that I would miraculously learn to cook. But hey, it’s much too early for that. So I’d probably stick to just being overwhelmingly grateful for his existence.

I’ve got a lot to look forward this year. I have plans laid out that I am praying I will get to fulfill before the year ends. This year does not have to be a prosperous one. I think, from the events that we experienced, just a peaceful new year would be enough.

Hungover Gratitude

It was a chilly morning inside the office. Tiredness evident among us as we slept soundly, our breaths stinking with brandy from the after party (which I guess, really is the best part in every event) the night before. My head spins in every toss and turn inside that sleeping bag that I got for Christmas from my boss. I couldn’t think at that moment because I can never function when it came to headaches. So at this very moment, looking back at that scene, thoughts came pouring in about the place that I’ve been working on for the past few months along with the gratitude that I am feeling this holiday season.

I am incredibly lucky to be part of an amazing team in a career that is related to what I wanted and what I graduated for. As a kid who just got kicked out into the real world after graduation, I didn’t know what to do and where to go. I didn’t know where I would work and I was pressured in so many levels because I wanted to take a break but at the same time I wanted to do the responsibility of helping my family.  I was filled with anxiety and doubt and weary. I was just plain lost.

And fast forward to the morning after the office Christmas party, where I was wrapped inside the comforts of the sleeping bag (and the arms of this loser beside me), I never thought an office could be this fun where you’re surrounded with inspiring and hilarious and hardworking people.

I am building grand dreams not only for me but also for the people that I love. I know that I have a long way to go but I can do it, with a little push from the right people, I know that I am going there.

And I am excited for this coming year.