On being perennially lost and found

It’s already been a month since the march and goodbyes, and yet here I am still having a hard time letting go.

As much as I trust the power of time and fate to work all its magic, I am also a believer of moments, of people, and of how a single opportunity, when used well, can make the big difference. Sadly, I have missed my chances. My glory days were long over. And as I’ve made a long list of my achievements, it’s disheartening that they can still be outweighed by my failures and almost-successes. I refuse to accept it.

High school and college seemed to have been the center of my life all this time that I barely understood the world around me. In spite of the fair amount of time I give for other matters, my academics and school activities turned me into the rigid, grade-conscious freak I have always hated, one that values the result more than that process. My professors, classmates, and future bosses may admire me for it but I don’t. I found myself in a constant battle with it, as I have learned that not everything can be marked with As and Fs.

What’s scary was as soon as I flew back home the day after graduation I found myself forgetting everything in an instant. As much as I wanted to, as hard as I tried, I can’t recall a thing or two I have learned over the years. I lost the lessons, the memories, and eventually, myself. I lost my way, with no compass within an arm’s reach. But this isn’t the first time I’ve gone “missing,” I think I have been physically, mentally, and spiritually (etc!) absent in the majority of my lifetime that it did not come to me as a surprise.

Looking back, perhaps even my choice of university was a product of my indecisive and “going with the flow” personality then. My family and I were easily swayed by the high stakes at hand, that we jumped at the opportunity without thinking about it thoroughly. In fact, my major was chosen through a reckless eeny-meeny-miny-mo.

Luckily though, I have learned to love every single bit of the experience. Coming to Ateneo turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to my life, a gift I’ve been wanting for so long. I may be behind my classmates in terms of certainty—they seem to be sure with what they want for themselves in the future—but I don’t see that as any disadvantage. To each is own. What I lack in skill, experience, and confidence, I make up with passion, determination, and commitment.

While my friends are now busy entering med/law schools, attending review classes for board exams, and showing up at the office on their first day of work, I’m stuck at home, figuring out what I want to do with my life. And I’m okay with that, really. No rush. Although I am scared of what the future may bring, I am extremely happy on where I am now. Along the way I have made bad choices but those wrong turns helped me become. Honestly, I have never been so contented.

I’m still young. I’m in my season to make mistakes and get my hands dirty. So far: I have improved my reading habit and yet still not ready to open the pages of those “big, serious, great books.” I have started on a no-rice diet and yet refused to pair it with daily exercise. I have shown interest in reuniting with my love for drawing, producing my own short film, making another song cover (with the piano/guitar and everything!), taking more and better photographs, and among others. On top of all of that, I made a promise to myself to keep on writing. However, I still tend to shy away from showing these off because I doubt and worry that I’m any good at them.

Also, in the month that has passed I have: 1) thought of pursuing further studies abroad, spending at least an hour a day scouring the Internet for a good master’s degree and competent university, 2) considered continuing my journalism career, a path I have been treading since grade school, and 3) contemplated on serving the Philippine government in the agencies of or related to Tourism or Foreign Affairs, or in the US Embassy in the Philippines. The possibilities are endless!

The gift of hindsight and the hope for a better tomorrow has enabled, motivated, and pushed me to dream bigger dreams. As I look back on the past, I am glad it has brought me here... To this indefinite summer when I rediscover myself! This time, I’m making the big difference, starting with my little choices. Although my following moves are crucial, I am excited to make them and looking forward to what awaits me.

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Whatever Will Be by Lee Anna Culp

Last month I heard this song on Star World's Glee Season 3 promo and it was love at first hear! I searched for it right away and it has been on repeat ever since. I must say it best describes what I've been feeling lately.


The games that play us

I dub today my (first, and hopefully not last) Instagram Day! And you should know, I enjoyed every single bit of it—from my Bacolod day trip in which my sister and I accompanied our cousin Melissa for an appointment, to the treats we drowned ourselves with after said appointment, and down to the last button I clicked on Lissie's iPod Touch to edit a photo.

My only regret was that no matter how hard I try, the camera still fails to capture the wholeness of a scene, my very vision of it. It seems that there's always something lacking, I can't pinpoint it exactly. And that gets me so frustrated. However, as the popular saying goes, practice makes perfect. It can only get better from here.

Seriously can't wait to have my own dSLR already! But for that to happen, I need to receive my paycheck first. And yet, that would only entail that I should soon look for a job that would be able to sustain the lifestyle I envision myself to have. Unfortunately, that might take a while. You know how I go when big terms like The Future or The Real World creep into a conversation: I change the topic or worse, throw a fit like a first-grader. Even the thought of it scares me terribly!

So until then, I'll keep documenting my life with either a borrowed gadget or my "newly-acquired" digital camera (thanks to my dear friend and former roommate Lisa). That, while taking my baby steps into this new environment I call Reality. Wish me luck, I surely need it.

Take your sweet time

Tuesday we made the most of the remaining time Prilla was with us before she leaves for her one-year stint in AIESEC France. For her Iloilo stopover, we had lunch at Dulgies, got a full-body massage, hung out and had dinner at home, and then drove her off to the airport. We grabbed some Starbucks before heading back home and called it a night.

Oh this girl has never failed to make me proud. Aside from being my "loving Mommy" and graduating cum laude, she is living up to her Little Miss International title, making a mark in one continent after another. She is going places and I am so excited for what the future holds for her. Au revoir, Maman! Je t'aime!


Don't you forget about us

College wouldn't have been bearable and memorable without these ladies. I am beyond lucky to have met them and call them my fellow unicorns! While some of them were still swamped from the week-long Ateneo de Boracay festivities, last Sunday we took the last ferry trip to Bacolod and spent the night there. Since then we went on a sort of "Amazing Race: Food Version" (Gomez, 2012). Basically, we just ate to our hearts content, dropped by one tourist spot to another, and basked in the everlasting friendship we are most certain we will cherish forever. I surely will miss these bunch of crazies! Love them always!