Stuck in reverse

Sometimes it's just really hard to follow your own advice.

Half a year ago, in between packing, planning, and kissing my cousins goodbye, I devoted my down time scouring the Internet for writing- or publishing-related job openings that I slightly lost track of my remaining days in the US. I traded playtime with browsing Jobstreet and company websites, when I should have prioritized my limited moments with relatives. Eventually my worry for my future turned out to be uncalled for, as I right away snagged a position that suited me.

Fast forward to today, I keep going back to the past year though I pledged to stick with the present. 2013 started out grand but the glory days immediately crippled—I got no choice other than to cling on to what's familiar. It's easier to navigate through memories than to venture into the Great Unknown. It's nothing to be proud of, being scared of trying due to the high risk of failing. However, I'm on that road to recovery; I'm working my way through it. Slow and steady, I'll get to where I'm supposed to be. My heart is filled with so much anticipation despite my guarding every part of it.

I'm once again set to try what's left of my luck in a couple of days. In the meantime, here are the remaining California photos that have been sitting inside my folders, untouched, for too long now. Going through them made me miss my relatives and my American adventure even more. Praying for a repeat!

The Murray home is a haven of lovely antiques and all things vintage. The landscape paintings were my favorite but the dial telephone was definitely a close second. As we waited for my cousin Melissa to get back from school, we took turns in watching over Baby Shiloh and getting our quick shuteyes. Later, we had dinner at a sports bar in Cerritos, where our eating and conversations were distracted by giant television screens playing different sports games all at the same time. A few days later, on my last night in San Jose, Tita Lalee and Tito Thanh took me out to Santana Row. We had all sorts of pasta for dinner, strolled down the strip and checked out shops, and ordered some chocolate treats for dessert before heading back to their apartment.

As briefly mentioned, most of my days in Southern California was spent babysitting Shiloh. One time, when Tito Ted needed to prepare for his marathon, we drove down to Huntington Beach and stayed there the entire morning. While Tito was jogging and running about, Shiloh and I made our way from the sands to the pier. As I pushed her stroller and stopped to rest on every bench in sight, strangers wasted no time in remarking how cute and adorable Shiloh is. I miss that little angel!

There's always a reason to get together! On my last Saturday, we celebrated Melissa's 15th birthday and altogether witnessed Pacquaio's recent loss at "the headquarters (Tito Ted, Tita Eh, and Shy's home)." Although the results of the boxing match was devastating, we were still in high spirits. I'm more than happy to be with my aunts, uncles, and cousins for one last time before heading back to the Philippines. The parents played countless rounds of mahjong and the rest of us gathered in the music room for an endless jamming session that lasted until the wee hours of the morning. I will never forget these happy times!

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