I’ve been failing to catch up on Daily Prompts.
I don’t know if it’s the topics… or my laziness… or both.

I’m stuck.
I’m tired.
I’m uninspired.

I’m a roller coaster of emotions lately.
Swinging from one mood to another.

Okay. This is not something new.
I am a roller coaster of emotions ALL THE TIME.
And being away from my family and closest friends is driving my sanity one block away from cuckoo-ville.

Wait a minute.
Shouldn’t I be already used to this? Being alone?
I am. I totally am.

It’s just that there’s so many changes in my life lately that my being alone right now is kinda adding to the “losing it” drama. Or maybe this is just PMS. I don’t know.

ANYWAY…

I’ve also missed last week’s Photo Challenge
I’m just not the type of person that usually takes (or remembers to take) photos in general.
But I promise to make up for that. I just have to remember to take a picture every hour for a day!

Ugh.

I can do this.
I just wish I can turn down the emo a notch.

Stuck

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Escape!

In my time and age, there seems to be only one thing I always (I mean ALWAYS) escape from.
And this is WORK.

Well, not directly.
More of like: the “corporate world” and “IT services”.
The demand of always needing to be able to deliver with speed and quality.
High quality products, speedy delivery… but all with a low-cost.
Now, how the hell do you do that without ending up being like a zombie and feeling like a slave?

Anyway, I am lucky with the company I’m now in because the demand for the three things I mentioned above is still not that highly realized and asked for. The culture and environment are still humane and not that stressful. Just the right kind and amount of stress. Good stress.

Good or bad stress, I have found myself a few escape routes from these harsh realities of globalization and capitalism. Some have no planning needed at all to execute, has immediate effects, but wears off easily. While some require added patience and careful strategies but are instant uppers and have effects of escape that lasts longer.

1. Travel

Yup! Nothing beats literally escaping from the physical place where you feel stressed and worn out. This makes you feel like entering a new kind of reality. Also, getting to experience, eat, see and learn new things from travelling is like a breather for the brain, the eyes, tummies and taste buds. The experience will leave you with days and weeks of something new to talk about and a lifetime of memories to treasure.

2. Theater

Aah, yes. Getting to see theater plays is like a safe haven for me. A new dimension and a new sense of learning. In every show I see (even though some shows I’ve seen many times or already memorized the soundtrack), I get to discover a whole different perspective and awakening. Awakening, not only of the mind, but also of the emotions. Perfect escape from the same-old cycle of emotions that working for a corporation has to offer. Watching theater shows (especially musicals) will leave me smiling, dazed, and on a high for at least a week after seeing it. Though, the thought of getting to see a show already gets me distracted and hyper all the same.

3. Movies and TV shows

Just like theater, movies and TV shows are major forms of escape for me. A movie can leave me all cried up or laughing or whatever. Even seeing trailers of films will make me forget momentarily the pains of getting up to work the next day. TV shows, however, are like different mini realities for me. Especially now, with so many good shows to watch out for… I have become overwhelmed. But grateful all the same for their existence.

An actual (sad?) story of Escape:
I remember this one time when I was still with my previous company, I was so low and worn out that I plunged into a mild depression (I guess it was only mild. haha). I didn’t go to work for a week. I didn’t change my clothes for a week (and yes, didn’t take a bath for a week!). I ate only once a day for seven days. I did not speak to anyone. And all this time, I was in front of the tube and saw all six seasons of Entourage.

4. Blogging, online courses, and reading

Getting to learn new things is one big escape for me. Especially when the subject are totally different from each other. I love getting to learn these things from self-studying, signing up at online courses, reading blogs and books… I even enrolled and got credits for a Master’s degree (Don’t ask! haha). Also, sharing my thoughts, curiosity and realizations from these learnings are equal escapes for me. So blogging, tweeting, and researching more and more are temporary breaks from the twilight zone that is work.

5. MUSIC

There is not an escape more fast and effective for me than listening to music. It has long been proven. One negative vibe or cluttered mind? I pop earphones in both my ears, have the volume on full blast, then fire the beat, worries and stress away!

This post is in response to Daily Prompt: Escape!.

Zoom In for Abstract

They say that “a picture paints a thousand words”. And it’s true.
It is amazing how may theories and conclusions one can come up with just by looking at a picture.

But what if that picture is zoomed in or cropped so that the entire picture is not shown?
Like the photo below, for example.

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Can you guess what it is?
Can you still “paint a thousand words”?
Well, maybe one can still come up with theories… but never a conclusion.

This goes the same with life.

Ever heard of the saying “easier said than done”?
Imagine you’re an event of your life as a big picture. And us living it is like a cropped or zoomed version of the big picture. Unlike ourselves, people not directly involved with that event of our lives can see the big picture. Maybe not with the correct conclusions and theories… but they can see it. So advice, opinions and recommendations from these people are easily formulated and given.

But for us not being able to see what they can may have a hard time believing them. For all we see is just the abstraction brought about by the incomplete and pixelized version our limited view has been given.

So, take a step back.
Try to see what others can see — the big picture.
And maybe our abstract life will be a little clearer.

This post is in response to Weekly Writing Challenge: Abstraction.

Erasure

Daily Prompt: Erasure

You have the choice to erase one incident from your past, as though it never happened. What would you erase and why?

Wow. This is a tough one.
I have been thinking about this for a couple of days now.
And I can’t really think of anything from my past that I would want to erase.

I don’t know if it’s because I have grown to live up to my “Forget Regret” mantra or because I have made it a habit to see even the thinnest silver lining or reason as to why everything happened to me.

As for the choices I have made (especially the wrong ones), I may have felt a tiny guilt or regret but in the end, I have learned to live with every single one. And every time I have come to learn or get something out of it.

My emotional outbursts.
My misfortunes.
My bad choices.

Each and every one, I am grateful for.
I’m scared to delete even the most insignificant one, for I fear I may not be who I am and where I am today if it weren’t for it. And I like who and where I am now. Sure, I would like to be better (if not, the best version of my self), but erasing an event in my past is no guarantee I would be. So instead of erasures, I would prefer creations — creating for the future.

Playlist of the Week

It has been quite a week for our family.

Our grandpa-uncle just passed away.
Although he is the brother of my father’s mother, we called him “uncle” all our lives.
We never met my grandmother, but he filled that role to us.

More than that, he was like the godfather of the entire family.
Our very own Don Vito Corleone.

He was many things to each member of the family.
But what I will remember most about him is how he ALWAYS seem to bring the family together.
Even as we said our final goodbyes to him, I realized that he brought the family back together again.

Uncle was a man full of passions.
One of this passion is music. He sure had taste in music.
So this week, not only did the family got together with overflowing prayers and sympathies for him, but also with overflowing musical dedications.

The top 5 songs playing in this week of mourning were:

  • Moon River by Frank Sinatra
  • What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
  • I Just Called to Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder
  • After All by Peter Cetera
  • Bye Bye by Mariah Carey

The first three were some of uncle’s favorites.
After All was sung in the interment.
And Bye Bye was a song performed by my sisters and cousins in dedication to him in one of the nights of prayer for him.

Every thing about this week was a mixture of…
… sadness and gratefulness,
… mourning and rejoicing,
… tears and laughter.

But as with all our family gatherings, it was filled with drama, love and music.

Till we meet again, Lolo Uncle!

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This is in response to Daily Prompt: Playlist of the Week.

VIP

Daily Prompt: VIP

Who’s the most important person in your life — and how would your day-to-day existence be different without them?

I have to admit I have grown to be independent.
So much so that I hate it when I have to depend on someone.
I hate the feeling of being indebted to anyone. Even my own family.

So knowing this, one might think that my day-to-day would not be any different with or without anybody in my life right now. But for me to say that is being super arrogant and dumb.
Because every important person in my life right now I consider important for a reason.

The reason may not be because I need them physically, financially, or anything.
I need them because they’re the ones that keep me sane.
My family. My friends. Even my frenemies.

Every one of the people surrounding me right now makes me feel alive.
They make me feel like there is more to this life than just waking up and eating and sleeping.
They’re the ones who make me feel.

This actually is a very hard question to answer– who’s the most important person in my life?
Because it is not a “person” but they are “people”.
And I cannot imagine losing even one of them.

Back to the Future

Daily Prompt: Back to the Future

A service has been invented through which you can send messages to people in the future. To whom would you send something, and what would you write?

Wow. This is a tough one.

It is always a scary thought for me: to be haunted by the past.
I know how easy it is for us to be reminded of it and and how we really cannot help but be tied up to it– good or bad memories. So to be able to reach out to someone’s future self really would be spooky.

That’s one way of looking at it, though. The other can be a blessing and an advantage.
But just to avoid others being spooked, I would probably just send a message to my future self.

It would include a list of all the things that made me happy, so far.
All the little accomplishments.
All the things that I never thought I could do but have.
All the fears I have learned to face and survive.

All to remind my future self that whatever troubles I may be facing that time, I can and will get through them. And that my future self, when sad, may also be reminded of all the happiness I see even in little and insignificant things.

Lastly, I would include all people and experiences I am so much grateful for.
So that whatever happens in the future, I will be reminded of how these people and events have helped me to become a better version of myself. And so that whatever state or level of relationship our future selves have with each other, I may learn to protect, mend, and strengthen them always.

Happily Ever After

“And they lived happily ever after.”

Excuse the cynicism, but I don’t believe in happily-ever-after’s.

This is with the premise that ever-after’s are the same as forevers.
(Pardon the plurality of the words. I know they’re so wrong on so many levels.)
Since being happy is an emotion for people who are actually alive, this means that the ever-after or forever in this context is just the life span of a person. But the probability to live happily until death without experiencing the opposite of being happy (at least once) is somewhat impossible because we are just humans and are vessels of many different emotions.

Anyway!

Pushing aside my stubbornness, “happily ever after” can also just mean you’re happy in general or most of the time. So I will continue with this assumption, for with this, I think it may be plausible.

Still…

Honestly, I don’t know if I’m already living my happily-ever-after.
I hope not. Not yet, anyway.

To live happily ever after is like saying the story of my life has already ended.
And I don’t want it to. Not just yet.
I still want to experience all the highs and lows of life, and all other emotions that comes with it.
The feeling of being alive.

So, to hell with happily ever after!
As long as you’re happy right now.

This post is in response to Daily Prompt: Happily Ever After.

Buffalo Nickel: 2004

Daily Prompt: Buffalo Nickel

Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

2004.

I spent my first Holy Week away from home.
I spent my 18th birthday alone, falling in line to enlist for classes.
I ended my freshman year and started sophomore year in college.
I moved from a co-ed dormitory to an all girl’s one.
I started to love Calculus, Physics, Chemistry and Engineering Science.
I was active in Friendster and I just joined Multiply.

All in all, I was an Engineering undergrad who was miles away from home, starting to love the degree she’s chosen to pursue, grateful for having the most understanding and fun dorm mates, and was living the dream geek life.

Mentor Me

Daily Prompt: Mentor Me

Have you ever had a mentor? What was the greatest lesson you learned from him or her?

In my twenty-six years of existence, I cannot think of one person that struck to be a mentor to me. Well, not one that I can say that directly and officially guided me.
This may be because I’m stubborn.
I hate being told what to do and what to think or what to believe in.
I tend to question everything and over think things.
So no one would also probably own up to being my mentor.

I do, however, have some people in mind that had taught me lessons and left impressions that have helped me in the path of life.

One person is my mom.
When I was in college, I got to be independent.
I was already living alone at the other side of the country.
During this time, I had been in situations where I had to make decisions and choices that greatly affected my life and future. And every time I would ask my mom for her guidance.
And every time she would give an opinion but at the end close it with:
“You know what’s best for you.”

At first I hated these seven words.
I wanted to scream and say:
“That’s just it! I don’t know what’s best for me!”

Being independent is exhausting.
And knowing you get to live with the consequences and possible regret is nerve-racking.
Sometimes I wished that somebody would just make the decisions for me.
So I have someone to blame if things don’t turn out the way I planned.

Years later, I realized how lucky I was for having such a mother.
I finally saw and understood how these words affected me and helped me to grow.
It made me know how to think and decide for myself, have the guts to follow through every choice and live with little or no regret at all.

My mom was right.
Whatever other people may say the right path or good choice one should take, at the end of the day, we will be the ones to get to live with those decisions. So we should be the one to know what things we could live with or without.

Now, unconsciously, I find myself using these exact words when people ask me for advice.
And come to think of it, maybe this is one of the reasons why I don’t think I have (or need) a mentor. Because my mother have taught me to guide my self.

Makes sense? I don’t know.

Childhood Revisited

Daily Prompt: Childhood Revisited

Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood? If you have kids, is there anything you wish were different for them?

I have no major complaints about my childhood.
I had the most amazing childhood memories of fun and inventive summers, coolest friends, and best parents ever.

Every time I go home for a vacation (however brief), my childhood friends and I make it a point to see each other. And every time, we reminisce all the fun, stupid, and weird things we did as children.

The silly fights.
The play houses, restaurants, schools, and games we imagined and built together.
The hatred for when school starts.

However, when school began, I started to not hate it all that much because I realized that I will get to have new school things, meet my friends at school, and join school activities we’ve been waiting for the year before.

Looking back, I really missed being a kid, which is weird.
Because when I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up and finish school and have a job.
Now that I’ve done all that, I wish to be that kid again minus the dreaming of growing up.
I still feel like a kid, though. But it’s hard to keep those feelings of youth when you have to face grown up issues and problems.

*Sigh*
Kids don’t know how lucky they are to have just kid problems.
Life was so much easier.

(Well, minus the kids that have to work in a very early age or with similar problems. I think that is so unfair. Kids should experience to be carefree even just for a while, until they get to face the real world.)

Anyway, I’m digressing from the topic.

My childhood was pretty amazing but it wasn’t perfect.
If had to change some things, these will probably the following:

1. I wished we were picked up earlier after school.

These were really one of the worst memories I had as a child. I remember, my sister and I were always the last ones at the school waiting for our father. There was a time in first grade (my sister was in kindergarten) when I was so mad and convinced that he forgot about us that I dragged my sister out of the campus to walk home. Halfway, we were picked up by my classmate and her family and they brought us home. Of course, my parents were furious when we arrived. I took a major scolding that night.

I never really got to ask my father why he was never on time because this changed when we got older, which was already useless because we could actually go home alone by that time.

2. I wished we had the resources to take up after-school or extra-curricular lessons.

Some kids don’t realize how lucky they are that their parents sign them up for piano lessons or dance classes. When I was young, I envied my friends and cousins who got these opportunities but just wasted them. They were always complaining that instead of playing outside, they have to go get their lessons. If only we had the money, I would gladly take their place every time.

What my sisters and I did is that we studied on our own. We learned the things we wanted to do but never really proficient.

3. I wished I drank milk more!

One thing you should know about me is that I’m super skinny.
I am so skinny that people think I am sick or have an eating disorder or something.
I wish I had though, so that I can finally give them an explanation and I would know what to do to get myself fatter.
And what I hate the most is that people really don’t give a second thought at saying you look like an anorexic but it would be already be offensive to call someone chubby, let alone, fat! You’ve got to realize, people, that it hurts the ego and confidence just the same.

So anyway, I just wished I drank milk when my parents say to drink it. Maybe it would have made a difference (not that I think it would).

Anyway, what’s done is done.
Forget regret. And I did.
What we have is now.
I’m super thankful for the wonderful memories from my childhood.
It really did make me turn out okay.

Wedding Reception

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I took this photo at a friend’s wedding reception.
Lately, it seems like most of the people I know are getting married.
“Better them than me.”, says the confirmed bachelor, este, old spinster in the making.

In Comes Company

It’s beginning. So this is how it feels like.
My night just felt like a scene from the musical, Company, where I am Robert aka Bobby.

It started with an invitation from couple friends to go out to dinner with them.

Bobby, come on over for dinner!
We’ll be so glad to see you!
Bobby, come on over for dinner!
Just be the three of us,
Only the three of us–
We looooooooooooooooove you!

So I go:

Phone rings, Door chimes, In comes Company!
No strings, Good times, Room hums, Company!
Late nights, Quick bites, Party games,
Deep talks, Long walks, Telephone calls.

Thoughts shared, Souls bared, Private names,
All those Photos Up on the walls–“With love.”
“With love” filling the days, “With love” seventy ways,
“To Bobby with love”

From all those good and crazy people, my friends!
Those good and crazy people, my married friends!
And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Well, okay. The couple that asked me out were not yet married, but they may be someday. Like my other couple friends that have.

This just got me thinking, my life will soon start to look like a Bridget Jones’ Diary movie if I finally reached the end scene of the musical.

ROBERT: Stop!…What do you get?
Someone to hold you too close,
Someone to hurt you too deep,
Someone to sit in your chair,
To ruin your sleep.

PAUL: That’s true, but there’s more to it than that.
SARAH: Is that all you think there is to it?
HARRY: You’ve got so many reasons for not being with someone, but
Robert, you haven’t got one good reason for being alone.
LARRY: Come on, you’re on to something, Bobby. You’re on to something.

ROBERT:
Someone to need you too much,
Someone to know you too well,
Someone to pull you up short
And put you through hell.

DAVID: You see what you look for, you know.
JOANNE: You’re not a kid anymore, Robby. I don’t think you’ll ever
be a kid again, kiddo.
PETER: Hey, buddy, don’t be afraid it won’t be perfect. The only thing
to be afraid of really is that it won’t be.
JENNY: Don’t stop now. Keep going.

ROBERT:
Someone you have to let in,
Someone whose feelings you spare,
Someone who, like it or not,
Will want you to share
A little, a lot.

SUSAN: And what does all that mean?
LARRY: Robert, how do you know so much about it when you’ve never
been there?
HARRY: It’s much better living it than looking at it, Robert.
PETER: Add ’em up, Bobby. Add ’em up.

ROBERT:
Someone to crowd you with love,
Someone to force you to care,
Someone to make you come through,
Who’ll always be there,
As frightened as you
Of being alive, Being alive,
Being alive, Being alive.

AMY: Blow out the candles, Robert, and make a wish. Want something!
Want something!

ROBERT:
Somebody, hold me too close,
Somebody, hurt me too deep,
Somebody, sit in my chair
And ruin my sleep
And make me aware
Of being alive,
Being alive.

Somebody, need me too much,
Somebody, know me too well,
Somebody, pull me up short
And put me through hell
And give me support
For being alive,
Make me alive.

Make me confused,
Mock me with praise,
Let me be used,
Vary my days.
But alone is alone, not alive.

Somebody, crowd me with love,
Somebody, force me to care,
Somebody, make me come through,
I’ll always be there,
As frightened as you,
To help us survive
Being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive!

Now, this would be a good thing since there will be a chance that a Mark Darcy will be waiting for me saying that he likes me just as I am (*kilig* sorry! Can’t help it! Colin Firth just popped up on my head! Haha). But what if, unlike Bobby, I won’t ever get to want what he realizes he wants? Scary. Even scarier, that I believe I’ve already accepted that it’s really not what I want. So what do I really want?

Anyway, for those who don’t know the musical, here are some videos from the 2011 Company (lots of familiar and unexpected faces. Find Mad Men’s Red! :P)


Sometimes I just don’t get it. Life.
Why do some of us have to work so hard
for the things we believe and others don’t?
Why do some of us care so much?
Why are some of us selfish by nature
and some of us are selfish to survive?

– Struck By Lightning, 2012

This is so spot on.

This applies not only for high school life (as where the movie was set) but to life in its entirety.

I would go on every day with these questions. And every day I would always be in a dilemma. Should I care too much when I see others don’t? It makes everything so frustrating. I mean, why do others just live their day to day just to get by when life is so full of possibilities and chances to make every day and every thing they do they’re best?

I don’t mean that everyone should be hard on themselves to succeed or whatever. At least fight for what they believe in with the passion it requires and not just take in or give in to whatever’s handed out to them. But it is hard to do this when others will make you feel that you’re too obsessive, far-reaching and weird. Yes, weird. Weird for caring so much. Wanting so bad to make things right and better.

Shouldn’t we be doing our best and living to the fullest? For this, I admire the people that when they we choose to do something, they do it good and give it they’re all. I hope we can all be like this and I wish others will have the same level of appreciation to give us the space and respect to do it.

Here’s to a better world! Cheers!

Side Note: Chris Colfer star and wrote Struck By Lightning. I am in awe. He is one amazing person. I’m now a huge fan.

Struck

Life of Mine

If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover. 

Wow. This daily prompt is just timely. I have just finished reading the book, Life of Pi (and actually just came home from watching the movie). Now, why do I say that it’s timely? It made me easily imagine what it would be like to have one’s life written and documented. I know that  this book that supposedly contains all that’s happened and will ever happen in my life will not be as interesting and as adventurous but I guess I would like it to be written as sensibly and as dramatic.

To answer the question: Yes, I choose to read it. My life and experiences may not be as interesting or as colorful as Pi’s. In fact, it may be just the same as anyone else’s where there may be chapters that I don’t want to revisit. However, I know that there are more chapters where I will be reminded of wonderful moments, exceptional friendships and hard-hitting lessons and realizations. I am grateful for everything that’s happened in my life. No regrets.

And as for the future, I know that it’s not going to be a smooth ride but I am ready and giddy with excitement for what it brings! Every day is like a page on a book ready to be written. And I choose to fill it up with more good memories, new knowledge, and drama (of course. :P)!  Bring it on, life! To the future and beyond!:)