Thursday, November 23, 2017

Humans of New York

For the past months, I have been reading a lot about self-improvement and watching a lot of motivational videos. I've been doing this not because I believe that these are the things I need  to really change my life, but also because I want to learn what strong values that people believed in and how it helped them become successful. And yes, of course, I know that I still have a lot to improve myself, so I guess I kind of need these ideas for myself too. Am I getting you confused? No, just irritated! :D

So far my favorite channel in Youtube is TED Talks. There were so many of these videos I have watched, some are boring and some have really inspired me. It's really different when you hear people speak of their personal experience. The sound of their voice, the gestures they make, the expressions of their faces are what makes their ideas resonate to the viewers and make an impact. I think this is better than reading self help books alone. I'm addicted to hear more ideas and hopefully incorporate them in my personal life as well.

Another recent discovery that I got hooked watching is the Facebook page Humans of New York. It was just an Instagram account that I randomly discovered. An artistic photo of a stranger from New York, and a short sort of story about their lives, maybe the major issues they were currently facing written so well that reading them makes it feel like these people are personally talking to me. Then just a couple of months ago, they launched their facebook page and made them into videos. Random people from New York, they are not celebrities or social media superstars, just ordinary people like us in a short video about their personal lives. Some stories are very touching and some are just ordinary "first world" kind of problems but you can feel that it's real. If I were only to chose one page in FB to follow, this is it.

I'm the kind of person who wants to hear stories of people how they overcome difficult situations in their lives. Each of us are facing problems and no one lives a life just exactly the same as the other, so we can learn and be inspired by each others stories. But asking people to share me such thing is not easy. They would think you're nosy, or some nuts if I just go out asking strangers to share me their lives. It's not easy to to do and connections are hard to find. Same with making (and keeping) friends.

And, of course, I love it more when the videos were shot in Central Park. I love Central Park! I wish we have something like that in the Philippines, but I don't think it will happen. Maybe at least not while I'm still alive. 



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Wala.

Them:  "Ilan na anak mo?"
Me:      "Wala"
Them:   "Ay bakit wala?"
Me:      "............."



Sana na natigil na lang dun sa "wala". Ang hirap kasing mag paliwanag dun sa follow up question na "bakit" kasi hindi ko alam kung sigurado ako sa isasagot ko, o kung tama ba yung sasabihin ko na maiintindihan ng kausap  at matanggap nya ang paliwanag ko at matigil na sa topic na yan ang usapan. Nung mga unang taon ng buhay may asawa ko, ang tanong kung may anak na ba ako. Ngayon kung ilan na daw ang anak ko.



Hindi ko na mabilang kung ilang beses akong tinanong kung bakit. Hindi ko na rin maalala kung ano yung mga nasagot ko. Basta natandaan ko lang yung tumahimik lang ako, o ngumiti na lang ako kasi hindi naman na mahalagang i record ko pa sa isip ko yung mga nasabi ko.

Dun sa mga nagtanong sakin kung meron ba akong anak, at sinagot ko ng wala, at hindi na nag tanong ng "bakit" gusto ko silang yakapin. Kesehodang na feel nila ako o hindi sila interesado, sa mga sandaling iyon, napa bulong ako ng maiksing panalangin na sana lahat ng tao tulad nila. Natanggap na lang nila na wala. Wala pa or wala talaga. Hindi na mahalaga sa kanila. Kasi tao din naman ako, babae, at hindi iba sa karamihan.

Ang hirap. Walang salitang kayang makapagpaliwanag ng nararamdaman ko. Hindi rin ito maiintindihan ng karamihan lalo na ng mga babaeng hindi dumaan sa ganito. Lalo na ng mga taong hindi bukas ang isip na hindi lahat ng bagay ay nangyayari lang ng ayon sa gusto nila o yung pangkaraniwang na sa lahat. Hindi ganun eh. Minsan may mga tao na naiiba ang landas na tinatahak. Pinili nila o hindi. Hindi lahat ng buhay ng tao pare pareho. Hindi lahat ng babae pinanganak ng may perpektong matris. At kahit ayaw nilang maniwala hindi lahat ng babae ginustong magluwal ng tao sa mundong ito.

Pero ganun pa man, gusto ko pa ring sagutin yung tanong nila sa paraang tatanggapin nila at maiintindihan. Kaya lang hindi ko alam kung paano. Bago pa kasi ako maka isip ng salita, bago pa ito mabuo sa mga bibig ko, nauuna na makaramdam ng sakit, lungkot, pagluluksa, galit at pagkalito ang buong katawan ko. Lahat yan, sabay sabay na mararamdaman ko habang pina process ng isip ko yung gusto kong ipahiwating sa tanong na ito.

Sa mga pagkakataong sumasagot ako ng "wala po eh" sa mga tanong na "bakit", alam ba nilang mas masakit yung mga unsolicited na payo at mga side comments:

"Hindi buo ang pamilya pag walang anak"
"Bilis bilisan nyo, napag iiwanan na kayo!"
"Try nyo yung ganitong position!"
" Sumayaw kayo sa Obando!"
"Uminom kayo ng ganito, at kumain ng ganito, 3x a day!"
"Pahilot ka kay Mang Kepweng, magaling yan!"
"Mag ampon kaya kayo!"

At isang libong version ng ganito: "Ah dadating din yan, si kapatid ng hipag ng kapitbahay ng pinsan ng empleyado ng barangay, after 14 years nag ka anak din, kaya wag ka mawawalan ng pag asa!"

At kasabay ng mga sandaling ito,sa isang sulok ng puso ko, hinihiling ko na lang na kainin ako ng lupa, o kaya biglang lumindol para makaligtas sa napa ka uncomfortable na sitwasyon na ito.

Bakit ba ganun? Kahit ano, wag lang wala.

Dahil akala nila wala akong problema? Maraming pera, walang stress at puro sarili lang ang iniisip. Dahil gusto nila maranasan ko din yung mga hirap nila kaya ayaw nilang magtapos na lang sa wala? Mahirap din yung wala. Yung tuwing magbubukas ka ng Facebook makikita mo yung pangarap mo napakadaling nangyayari sa lahat, tapos ikaw parang pinagdadamutan ng tadhana. Yung sa lahat ng okasyon sa bawat buwan ng taon, ipapaalala sayo na may kulang sa buhay mo, hindi ka kumpleto, walang kang ambag sa lipunang ito hanggang hindi ka nagsisilang ng buhay sa mundo. Hindi man nila sinasabi pero iyon ang mensahe. Kaya ba ayaw nila sa sagot na "wala"?

Wala naman na akong magagawa. Sa ganang akin, alam kong hindi ganun. Ayokong maniwala na ang buhay ng isang babae ay bibigyang kahulugan ng reproductive organs nya, o ng desisyon nya sa buhay na magka anak.  At sa mga taong tanggap ako sa kabila ng aking kawalan, mahal pa rin nila ko, salamat sa inyo. Mahal ko rin kayo ng dalawa at kalahating beses. Salamat sa malawak ninyong pang unawa at mabuti ninyong puso.

Sa ngayon, pagpasensyahan nyo na lang kung hindi ko sinasagot ang tanong nyong bakit. Bahala na kayong magbigay ng dahilan at hanggang maari sa sarili nyo na lang. Sa akin, hindi na man na iyon mahalaga...




The Trappings of Christmas

Because it's November, the season of me worrying about gift giving on Christmas day has just began. I admit, I worry more than allow myself to enjoy the festivities. Do I love Christmas? I used to. When I was a kid. But don't all children do?


Don't get me wrong, I still love Christmas. But being the adult who is expected more to give than to receive on this season, I get really stressed. Don't get me wrong again, it's not that I don't want to give. It's just sometimes, we are expected to give more than what we have, or we can afford. I do believe that it is always better to give than to receive. Giving makes me happy, and seeing these people who was happy with what I gave them makes me even happier. Those smiles on their faces are priceless.


I'm happy when I receive gifts myself, especially from people I least expect to receive gifts from. It does not matter if it's a soup bowl or toilet cleaning brush, it's the thought that counts. 

It's the middle of November already, and I have not started buying gifts yet. I wish I have a bonus, apart from my 13th month pay, which is I set aside for our house construction. I wish my company would earn three times its income for the past years in the next years, so the blessings would be shared to ALL employees ;p Hahaha! Enough of dreaming.

Anyway, highway, whoever happens to stumble upon this blog, who know me in real life, leave a comment or let me know. I might include you in my Christmas list! :)

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Ending October This Way

This month I had the worst of fever and flu combination so far. It started with a runny nose the night of 15th. The following day I started feeling feverish but still managed to go to work. I still manage to go to work despite having fever and colds, with the help of medicines, I’ve been okay. I was not feeling okay, but I always believed I was fine. For many years that was how I’ve been doing. That day I could not count how many rolls of toilet paper I used to blow my nose but on the third day, Wednesday, I could no longer force my body off my bed. I decided to text my boss I could not go to work. Three bioflus, one whole day of lying in bed, off to work the following day. I thought I was fine still taking bioflu for the next two days. Filled the trash bin under my desk with more rolls of toilet paper, and on Friday night the fever has finally taken its toll on me.  I was awaken by the heat of my own body at three in the morning of that Saturday, in which that day I planned to work overtime for some extra work I had left that week. But it turned out to be another day of lying in bed feeling miserable, vulnerable, weak and lonely- physically, emotionally, literally, and figuratively.

But today I am fine. And to end another month feeling okay is better. Ten months down for 2017 and now is not a good time to look back at the past ten months. This year is not one of the best years of my life but has the most things I have learned. I have survived the first semester of my MBA, which is probably the only good thing I will remember for this year and I hope that the next semester is better for me. I wanted to learn how to be an extrovert, but there is no such course so I took up MBA instead. Who knows? It’s probably time to awaken that sleeping leader in me.

But I am always full of hopes. I am praying to never lose hope in anything and everything that happens in my life. And I’m learning to be grateful. I am grateful.


Thank you to my husband who’s been taking care of me. Always.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Blog Of 200 Crappy Words

Because I feel the need to write something before the day ends. My weekend, as usual, was not as productive as I wanted it to be and a few hours from now the weekend is over. I must write something.

This week I discovered Mark Manson, the author of a book – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck (excuse my word). I was just randomly browsing the net and this came, and the last thing I knew, I was reading his blog. I loved it. I think I love the man. No, I love the man. Not in a romantic kind of way, silly! I mean I love his writings. And it’s from his blog I got the idea of writing anything with two hundred words.

It suggested to write two hundred crappy words everyday, to get better in writing. I don’t think I can do that, but I will try, okay?! I have always dreamed of writing for a living, and I know I still have the chance to do that if I really devote some serious time doing it, but the problem is I have been procrastinating.

So here I am, writing something I’m sure will bore anyone who happens to reach this paragraph. I know you are bored already. I’m bored already. I can’t sleep yet because I don’t feel sleepy yet. And I don’t want to sleep just yet because I don’t want the weekend to end just yet.


There you go. This is more than two hundred words already. I’m giving myself a chocolate candy for the effort.  

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Reflections: Tell People How You Feel About Them While They're Still Alive

I just greeted an old friend in Facebook a happy birthday. As I browsed the birthdays celebrants' page of this billion dollar app in my phone, I saw another old friend celebrated her birthday a day before. Except she was not celebrating because she's dead.

She was my first best friend in high school. Her name is Ria. It was way back in 1993, my first day in high school was one of the most uncomfortable moments of my life. New faces, new school. I was nervous and anxious, extremely shy and totally awkward. Yet this petite girl with a friendly smile spoke to me and asked for my name. She was my first friend in high school.

She was bubbly and happy. Although she was not quite like one of the typical girls I had made friends with, we were more of the opposite personalities, but we became friends in an instant. She was easy to get along with. She was the friendliest girl I had ever met.

Like I said, she was my opposite of personality. She was extroverted, so she made a lot of friends easily. She lost her mother at a young age, and have two younger siblings. The first time I cut classes in high school, we went to her house and played some board game and did some other things girls our age do when together in a house when the parents were not around. I can still remember her happy face that time.

A couple of months later then, she spent little times with me. She had made friends with the other girls in class, the more "outgoing and loud" kind of girls. One time, it was during our school's foundation day, she called me out along the corridor and greeted me with a loud "Hi Claire!" beaming with a big smile in that sweaty pinkish face. She was drunk. She admitted that she and her friends had a few shot in someone's place. Another time, in our PE activity where we had to present a dance presentation, the class was divided into several groups. My group presented a folk dance. Ria's group presented a debutante's kind of dance where they rented a formal gown. After their presentation, she told us that all of them girls agreed not to wear a bra in those gowns. She really seemed to enjoy all those crazy things she'd been doing. But then, she was a kind girl.

I never saw her again in our second year in high school. I didn't know what happened to her. But I missed her. She was adventurous yet kind, bold but caring. 

In 2011, I got a message from her in Facebook. She asked if we could meet together with my other two best friends in high school. But it never happened. Until one day I heard she died. I'll never see her again, and there's no way I can tell her that she was one of the most amazing people I have ever met. I never got the chance to thank her for the happy high school experiences we have shared.

To Ria Lou, wherever you are, I never got the chance to tell you this, but you are an amazing person. Thank you for becoming a part of my life. Thank you...

xoxo,
Claire


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