July 15, 2006

World Without Cash...again

A month and a half ago I wrote this rant in my other blog:

I received another bill today and I nearly burst into tears...I've never been this cash-strapped since high school!!! Sure, I'm happy and challenged with work and what I'm doing professionally, but it's hit me how much I miss my old paycheck! It may not have been much, but having the security of knowing I get this much every 15th and 30th sure was comforting. Although my earning capacity as a Consultant now is much higher, it is not as stable as when I was earning a teachers salary...

I've never been good at "saving up for a rainy day" and everytime I got my paycheck it seemed to slip away so quickly just by entering Kamiseta or Bayo. Now, even though I know they're on sale at Gateway, I can't go!!! I feel so frustrated, constricted and restricted!!!

Much as this may be so, I stop and think about how lucky I still am, because I can still manage to pay my bills without needing to ask for money or borrow from someone. In many ways, I beleive, that I can indeed still survive in this world without cash. Admittedly, though, I hope it doesn't last too long...I can't wait to afford to splurge on a weekend in Bora or a new outfit in Kamiseta again!!!!

It had admittedly gotten better since then, although not enough to feel unconcerned about the endless barrage of bills and dues. But yesterday, I hit rock-bottom. My trusty old car died after 9 and a half years of faithful service. Albeit it's redeemable, it's not the same. It was so frustrating because it was an extra expense I can't afford. Just when things started looking up, it went back down again. Sometimes I think of just giving it all up and finally conceding to the call of the American dollar. After all, I have a child development background plus an almost-masters degree in psychology. Teachers are in big demand, so I've heard. But for some unexplainable reason, I wanna stay. I just hope I climb out of this rut soon. to continue reading...

May 2, 2006

When single blessedness isn’t so blessed at all

If I had to think of ten reasons why I’m glad I’m unattached, it wouldn’t take very long to complete my list. Scratch that: it would be hard to limit it to ten! In spite of the many, many reasons why being single is a blessed things, sometimes I can’t help but think it’s a curse…alright, alright…I’ll admit it, many times I wish I had a boyfriend. Maybe it’s a bit selfish of me to want to have my cake and eat it to, but I’m just so sick of being the third wheel…the spare tire…the soiled tissue…the one ran to when everything go wrong. While I may never give up my girlfriends or sisters, and as much as I never can hold that fact against them, I wish I didn’t have to bear the brunt of it alone but the fact still remains. It’s a bitter pill to swallow being the bridesmaid again, being alone on a Saturday night, sitting in front of the computer while friends have kids and buy houses, do the groceries, read bedtime stories…much as I try, I still feel that sad sorta longing tugging at my heartstrings. It’s like, having someone to smile for when I get up…the one who would make me laugh for the silliest reason, who’d remember the littlest fact about me and remember my birthday, the first day we met, the first this and that, who’d understand I get upset for the simplest, most trivial details of the day…the one who’d just take me for who I am, no excuses, no apologies, no explanations.

I’ve always been the type of girl to look down on giving up what I want because a man asked me to, especially when it means choosing what he wants me to do rather than what I want to do. Likewise, I always had a thing about friends cancelling on a girl-friend when their boyfriends all of a sudden change plans or something. I used to say I’d never let a guy come between me and my friends. But lo and behold, when push came to shove, when a guy asked me to give up my friends I did…and I liked it. Admittedly, on hindsight I feel bad about it but when it was there, it just seemed right.

So while being single gives me a chance to be independent, and to stand my ground, it also has a lot of consequences attached to it. Why is single blessedness not so blessed after all? Well, simply said it’s lonely. No matter how many friends one has, nor any measure of success makes up for it. While I have no complaints about the many, many blessings I’ve been given in my life, I kinda just wish “single blessedness” changes into “blissful blessedness” (if that makes any sense!!!). Yes, I do enjoy the freedom to do what I want when I want, to go wherever and do whatever, to just pick up and leave at any moment, but deep down inside, I still long to be “stuck” with someone…well, not all the time!!!

Other than being lonely, as petty as it is, being single in a world that’s not single kinda stings. Take Sex in the City for example…yes, they still were friends at the end of the day, but when Miranda moved out of the city, Charlotte got married and all, and even Carrie and Samantha’s own more serious relationships, things inevitably changed. Being the one left behind while things have changed for sisters and girlfriends, and loved ones (should I dare say lovers?), is really not my cup of tea. I don’t really think it would be anyone’s but that’s my opinion. Going back to pettiness, if I can have a list of tens about the good things about being single, there’s also a lot of things that suck about it. Many of it may be selfish, some might even find it stupid or what not. But that’s the sad part of it…while it is selfish, I don’t think anyone can really say they don’t want the same things I do.

So what exactly do I want? I don’t really know. That’s the painful truth of it all. I’d be a hypocrite if I’d say I’d give up who I am right now in exchange of a boyfriend. But part of me would still go and change the world as I know it if “he” asked me to.

A little list of why I don’t like being unattached goes this way:
1. Being unattached means being the “table-filler”, the one at the head of the table in a group gimmick, and the one in the backseat…

2. Being unattached means not having someone to call in the middle of the night just to make a silly comment, to whine, to complain, to laugh, to say I love you…

3. Being unattached means birthdays alone, Christmas on your own, no New Year’s Eve kiss…don’t get me started on Valentines…

4. Add to this, being unattached means you can’t blame anyone for not remembering to greet you or make you feel appreciated, or to spoil you for no good reason. You can’t even complain.

5. Similarly, being single means not having someone to selfishly call mine.

6. Without that someone to call my own, it’s watching movies with other girlfriends when their boyfriends are out of town, or having coffee when they have a fight, or shopping because that’s what girlfriends do…then not having someone to rave or rant to at the end of the day.

7. There’s no special look, giggly-giggle, hysterical laughter, that only the two of you share.

8. It’s not having something to look forward to at the end of the day.

9. Without a boyfriend, of course, there’s no more “kilig” moments, sugary sweet (yes, when overheard kinda idiotic but who cares!!!) conversations, hand to hold, arm around the shoulder, someone to lean on (should I continue?!?).

10. Lastly, what I dislike most about being unattached is going to bed at night knowing that without that when I wake up, there’s no one “mine” waiting for me.

Before I started writing this blog entry, my dog’s yaya (hehe…sige na nga, our helper!) was singing the Carpenters’ song “Caught between Goodbye and I Love You”. That’s where I’m at right now. Caught between saying goodbye to the chains of love, and saying I Love You to the one holding it, whoever he may be. And being stuck right in the middle. to continue reading...

March 30, 2006

Walking Down the Aisle...

Yesterday I once again wiled away time even though I knew I had so much to do. As I sat in front of my computer desperately trying to get my thoughts together for some (or should I say "all"...)the work I had to accomplish, I aimlessly surfed through blog after blog and friendster account after friendster dawned on me that so many of my friends have updated their profiles and changed their pictures...while I am happy to see how backgrounds change from the ordinary day to day to beautiful sights of tourist spots they're in, to new mommies and daddies proudly showing off their babies or perhaps, showing off their children's latest accomplishments, and yes, to radiant brides walking down the aisle and kissing their handsome princes, I couldn't help but suddenly feel a sad sort of longing....not longing really for what they have, but longing for that thing that will make my heart sing again. It's not necessarily a new love I am longing for, I think...but for that feeling of giddy anticipation and bright-eyed wonder. I seem to have forgotten that. In my quest to be the best in what I do and to accomplish things I thought I wanted to, I forgot to embrace the present and smile at the new day. In many ways, I started wandering aimlessly around a world I knew nothing of.

In the midst of that lonely moment of longing, I saw a glimmer of a rainbow that hid behind the clouds for such a long time. You see, I hadn't seen that for so long. It dawned on me that all the while it was there but I kept trying too hard and too much for it to be the color I wanted it to be. I kept on criticizing and complaining that it was not the right shade or it wasn't the right shape, without realizing that I was missing out on the beauty it still had.

So there it was, I was feeling sad and teary-eyed wishing for things I didn't have without being glad for what it was I had. And so while I offer my congratulations and best wishes to friends and family who are "walking down the aisle" --- be it in marriage, at work or whatever phase they are in in their own journeys, I too take pride in donning my finest and walking down my aisle...wherever that may lead. to continue reading...

March 23, 2006

Leap of Faith

I recently found myself at a crossroad, unsure of what I should do or how I feel or even who I am. All I knew was that I was spinning out of control. For someone like me, that 's very hard to admit. I may not he the type to keep my room or car neat and tidy but when it comes to the way things are in my life, I just need to know that everything is working the way it "ought to be". It doesn't necessarily have to be alright, it just has to be the way it's supposed to be. I guess having things "the way they should be" allows me a sense of security in the otherwise unsafe, unsure world. As such, it provides me a level of comfort that truly makes it easier to deal with things around me. Simply knowing what is expected and what my role in these gives me a sense of assurance, especially since I need to know I'm doing well. So just imagine how hard that was for me to just shut my eyes and just take that leap of faith...and to finally admit that I CAN’T.
There are a few words in the English language that I have trouble saying: first is NO. Second, I need help; last but not the least is I can't. However, the past few weeks was filled with those three phrases. It was driving me up the wall. It had gotten to the point when I didn’t even wanna get up in the morning anymore. All I felt was like a dark cloud was coming over me, taking over everything in sight and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t see the light.
So there I was in the midst of trying to figure out whether or not I should step into the unknown and unsure or to stick with the safe and secure.Then by sheer coincidence, I chanced upon a song by last years’ American Idol, Carrie Underwood. The song was “Jesus Take the Wheel” and though it was the first time I heard it, for some reason it struck a chord in me. It made me realize that the reason why I was struggling was because I kept insisting on doing it “my way”, or the way I thought “it ought to be”. I kept on driving the way I wanted, even if it was across the wrong freeway.
That stubbornness and insistence on keeping things the way they were became like a rock tied to my ankle. As it dragged me deeper and deeper into the ocean I could no longer fight. I always thought of myself as a survivor: a fighter, a swimmer – a strong person. But no matter how strong swimmer I was or how good I fighter I was, I was facing my greatest opponent yet: myself.
Finally my head bobbed above water and I found a buoy I could hang on to. And my gosh, I hung to it as hard as I could. It was Jesus, reminding me that even if I had let go of His hand and insisted on driving myself. And so that’s what I did. I held on tight and gave up control of the wheel and allowed Jesus to just take it from me. When I did, it felt like that I dropped that weight and broke through the surface. With a big gulp of air and the glorious sunshine once more caressing my face, I felt safe. I found peace and for the first time in so long, slept the whole night through.
I gave up my job, not knowing what’s in store. Of course I will admit that in some small way, I have a fall-back what with my undergrad classes and clinical work. But nevertheless, I gave up my main job. The one that really paid the bills and made sure I had what I needed. I guess for so long I’ve slathered on so much icing on my cake, that I don’t even know what my cake really looks like anymore. So slowly I’m taking it off in the hopes that once more, I find the “me” who got lost in oblivion.
I will not deny that I still am afraid, and that doubts slowly creep in, but nevertheless, I know I am in good hands. However, a lot of times it is hard to just believe that things will go well even though in my heart I know it’s true. I guess that’s really what taking the plunge, the leap of faith, is truly all about.
Jesus, Take the Wheel(James/Lindsey/Sampson)
She was drivin' last friday on her way to cincinnati
On a snow white Christmas EveGoin' home to see her Momma and her Daddy
With her baby in a back seat
Fifty miles to go and she was runnin' low
On faith and gasolineIt'd been a long hard year
She had a lot on her mind and she didn't pay attention
She was goin' way too fast
Before she knew it she was spinnin on thin black sheet of glass
She saw both their lives flash before her eyesShe didn't even have time to cry
She was so scared, she threw her hands up in the air
Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands'
Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
Give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel
It was still getting colder when she made it to the shoulder and that car came to a stop
She cried when she saw that baby in the back seat sleepin' like a rock
For the first time in a long time she bowed her head to pray
She said I'm sorry for the wayI've been livin' my lifeI know I've got to change
So from now on tonight
(Repeat chorus) to continue reading...

March 1, 2006

It's Complicated

People around me ask, "are you with anyone now?" or "are you in a relationship" and I reply, "It's complicated" can one honestly give away her heart when she has none to give? Perhaps this whole blog is an addendum to a previous post (A Lifetime) but I guess, the best answer I can give right now for that question is just that: ITS's more complicated than I can even understand. All I know is, I once gave my heart away, or so I thought I did, and up to now, it never found its way back to me. to continue reading...

Always Greener

A few days ago, I finally caught one of my best friends online. It has been years since we've really talked and chatting with her kinda brought me back to when things were so much simpler...when all we worried about was passing the geom finals or physics exam (well, at least I worried hehehe, she never had that problem ;-p )...when problems were limited to not having enough allowance for a movie and popcorn...and when everything could be solved by a bag of Taco Bell or Nacho Cheese Doritos and a bottle of Tequila...

It hit me (or if I may say so, us) that life right now has not just gotten more complicated, but it seems that it has lost it's sense of completion. What I mean here is not that life has lost its purpose, but it seems to have lost a tangible goal in sight. A goal that would actually mean a "finish" to something. Unlike when we we're younger, we had a finish line in sight, be it graduation, finishing college, earning a masters degree, getting a job, or marriage. Now, it's like no matter how hard you work and how much money you make, there's no end in sight. Like she asked, then what? Have kids, they get older, move out, then we're back to where we started...asking "now what???".

A conclusion we arrived at is that, no matter how cliche it sounds, the grass is alway greener in the other pasture. It's not that we don't appreciate the grass around us, it just seems that when you look up, something looks better somewhere else. Take for example the two of us. She's in the States making a great future for herself....earning well, settling down with a husband, buying her first home...but she still admits she hasn't found out what it is she really wants. Likewise, here I am making a great future for myself...sure no husband, no great future or new home, but a career I am proud of and dedicated to, but admittedly still searching for that thing to make it all complete.

That night, I had a strange dream. I dreamt I entered a mall and went window shopping. I saw so many things I wanted and sure I purchased a few items but there was still so much I wanted that I didn't have enough for. When closing time came, I got ready to walk to my car. Thing is, I couldn't find my way to the parking lot where my car is. It seemed that every where I looked, there was a better exit to take. One that was the safest, the nearest, etc. But everytime I took that exit, it was wrong. It was like the exit was always across from where I was.

It's been a few days since then and it hasn't really left me. It just hit me that maybe my dream had some connection to our conversation. I think that we, as humans, kinda get sidetracked by so much that seems better up ahead that we don't sit back and enjoy the present. We work so hard to make more money, to be the best, to reach the finish line...then when we get there we realize, now what?

What I learned from this is that yes, the grass may seem always be greener somewhere else. As it should be. If everything was the same, then what purpose would we have in life then? We'd just be living for subsistence, wouldn't we? But this time instead of getting consumed with the question of how to get to the place where the grass is greener, we should think about how we can make our grass greener too. Maybe it never will be as green as other pastures, but then again, maybe that's only from our jaded lenses. to continue reading...

February 27, 2006

A Lifetime

Today I received an email entitled "Advice from Oprah for Girls". As the FLCD Circle's resident Oprah wannabe back in college, I couldn't help but smile as I waited for the page to open. As I read through the list, I must admit a bit of my heartstrings got tugged once more. The email ended with this saying: "They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them and an entire lifetime to forget them." In many ways, it said exactly what I have been thinking.

Earlier this evening I had a conversation with yet another one of my best friends, and she asked me if he was out of the picture. Although I adamantly said he hasn't been in the picture for the longest time, I couldn't help but think (or should I say ask?) myself if indeed it was true. By sheer coincidence (or a twist of fate) the email found its way to my inbox this evening.

I guess, yes, he is out of the picture. But I know in my heart that no matter what, snapshots of memories never really get "out of the picture". Maybe they fade off in the background or perhaps become overshadowed by new memories, but in the deep recesses of the heart, mind and soul, it still exists. I don't even think a lifetime is enough to forget them...

But isn't that what it's all about? That one moment that changes you...that makes you see the brilliance of color and appreciate the radiance of life in all hues and shades. And though there may be a cloud of gray, or even worse, the darkness of dispair, in the end, it still changes you. No matter what, in the end, it changes you for the better.

So does take a minute to find someone who turns your world upside down, and hour to appreciate the roller coaster ride, a day to love it, and a lifetime to get over it --- a lifetime because the journey that comes after it becomes part of one's metamorphosis into a better, more beautiful, stonger self. And in the end, I don't think I really wanna get "over it", at least from the way we know getting over it means. I know I have gotten over the resentment, bitterness and pain, but I'll never get over the moment that someone made me find a side of me that I never appreciated (or acknowledged for that matter). Because of that moment, I learned to love --- not just another, but to love myself. That will stay with me for more than a lifetime. to continue reading...

January 29, 2006


When Bubba first came into our home, I said there was no way I was gonna like him. After all, I hate dogs. I hate the fact that they’re so dirty and smelly, I hate the way they’re all slobbery and messy, I hate how they ruin everything around…I could go on forever. But as the days progressed, the little creature slowly worked his way into my heart. Much as I didn’t wanna admit it, it made me smile when he’d come running to the gate when I’d come home from a long day’s work. Whenever he’d do a trick I’d teach him, it made me feel a bit glad. Still, even with those minor concessions, I still wasn’t ready to admit I was smitten.

Then one night while we were taking a walk, I realized it was not really “Bubba” that I said I wouldn’t like. In many ways, I chose not to allow him into my heart because by doing so, I would set myself up for another goodbye somewhere down the road. I’ve had to say goodbye too many times in my life already, and I didn’t need another one. Why set myself up for the pain and sadness that ultimately comes in the end? It has always been difficult for me to form attachments to people, especially those I wasn’t sure would stick around to begin with. It’s no surprise I was a champion for the Single Since Birth Club for the longest time. Furthermore, I've been disappointed by people too many times already. Why add another one to my list?

It's not like I'm a loner or anything like that, but I never really allow anyone to come too close unless I was sure they were for keeps. In fact, till this day, it is a struggle for me to open my arms and embrace new people and opportunities that come my way. Surprising isn’t it? After all, I myself would admit I don’t look like I’d be the shy type. I guess it’s like the way I try not to show how I really feel. Unless you know the real “me”, you’d never know how much I’ve been through because you might not see past the mask of confident kakikayan and the assuming aura of “the cono rich kid” that I’m so often mistaken for! Furthermore, often times, people don’t get to see beyond the persona of the intelligent achiever, the roles I play and the “titles” I wear. It seems that my accomplishments speak too loudly for themselves that others don’t see beyond them. However, when one sees beyond the façade, they see that I’m just a simple girl who just wants the simplest thing many people take for granted.

I never realized though that because I kept on putting up a wall to shield myself from potential losses, I shut myself out from potential gains as well. Maybe risks aren’t that bad…after all, I so often take risks professionally why not personally as well? And though none of these offer any guarantees, the possible payoff might be worth the risk.

Also, much like the stinking, slobbering dog I swore to hate, loving and living isn't always gonna be neat and perfect. Along the way, I realize there will be a lot of stinky messed up moments that may be disgusting, diappointing or frustrating. But what good will a perfect life be if it were all alone?

Okay, okay, I begrudgingly admit it...I have fallen again. This time, I'm not afraid of making the mistake and of the hurt that may come along with it. Who knows, maybe this time, it wouldn't end that way. And maybe, just maybe, I won't be alone anymore. No matter what happens though, even if I ended up with a goodbye down the road, I wouldn't be completely alone because of what I have gained along the way. to continue reading...

January 25, 2006

If you only knew...

If you only knew what lies behind this painted mask, you would understand. You'd understand that there's so much left unseen.
If you only knew what hides behind the shadows of my smile, you would see it isn't there. You'd see the tears left uncried.
If you only knew that behind the shield of this warrior lays a scared little girl who's too afraid to admit she can't....
she can't let go...
she can't be brave...
she can't keep on pretending...
but till then, inside she shall remain,
hidden from the truth.
Hiding from reality.
Struggling to break free. to continue reading...

January 12, 2006

Stuck in A Rut

It's the new year and yet I feel like I got left behind in 2005. I don't know what it is, or why it is so but for some inexplicable reason, I can’t shake it off. It’s not that I’m feeling sorry for myself or am falling into another round of self-pity, but it just feels like I can’t find pleasure in anything I am doing now, well, save for the new class I’m handling. What I’m getting at is that it feels like I’m falling back into old patterns, going through the motions again and living life in a cycle that never seems to end. Well, as much as I know life is a cycle that keeps on going, I just kinda feel like I’m stuck in this rut, not moving forward, not going anywhere, but hopelessly, helplessly stuck. I can’t even get motivated enough to get back to work, or to uphold the standards I usually set for myself. Everything I’ve been doing in the past few weeks have been mediocre and half-hearted. Purpose seems to have lost meaning right now.The last time I felt like this I ended up in the hospital and losing eighty pounds. The weight loss may have been worth the while, but nonetheless, I hate this feeling.

I was just telling Kai the other day that sometimes, friendster doesn’t really help with this feeling. Especially now that my friends are all getting married (yes, Mons, I’ll get a nice dress!!!), Kai just bought her own home, Iris had another baby, Che and Angie are almost done with med school…haaayyy…and I feel like I’m still in the same place they left me. It’s like, what have I done or what have I got to show for myself. Worse still, who do I have to show this to. In a small way, yeah, I guess it’s feeling sorry for myself.
It’s not that I think I haven’t done anything worthwhile, but moments like this make me question my decisions in life --- personally, professionally, emotionally. Have I really made the right ones? Or am I just sticking to the decisions I’ve made because I don’t wanna admit I made a mistake? Take for example how I’ve always said I don’t mind being single because it gives me the freedom to do things I want to do, when I want to do it, etcetera etcetera. I kinda wonder sometimes how much I really mean that and how much I use it to cover up for feeling bad for myself for not having someone to share my life with. Similarly, although I love my job and enjoy being a teacher, sometimes I ask if I keep teaching really because I love it or because I love the comfort of knowing I am good at what I do. Don’t get me started on the financial part of it too!!! Even though I know I can never buy fulfillment, I still have to ask myself if I am fulfilled even without the financial comfort I know I can have it I left the country or did something else. I guess that’s why I keep holding on to people, places and things I know I should let go of. And probably why I still haven’t gotten my heart back --- not just to love others but to love myself again.
What I hate most about this feeling is that not only does it make me question myself, it makes me doubt my entire psyche. Not only that, it makes me feel like I’m so alone. I went out with my best friends last night and even that wasn’t enough to pull me out of this rut I’m in. I know it’s not them, but I just couldn’t find something to be happy about. I was glad to have the change to be with them again but the feeling of insecurity kept creeping in.
It’s like an endless cycle, the discussion I’m having in my head. The whole I know “everything happens for a reason” and the “all these makes me a better person” yadiyadiya…
I’m starting to think in rhetorics and philosophizing sure as hell doesn’t do much. I just know that despite these depressive, downed feelings, I know everything I’ve done or been through are important facets of who I am now. Doesn’t make it any simpler to accept or what, but nevertheless, it’s what keeps me afloat.
I feel like a used up computer with a virus right now and the only solution I can think of is hitting reboot or getting reformatted. But how can I reformat just the bad part and not lose the important stuff? to continue reading...

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