- As a kid, I was a chipper li’l bugger. Adults loved me because I was bright, and I had such confidence that I believed I could be anything I wanted to. I was beautiful, smart, and charming.Unfortunately, I didn’t carry that self-esteem to my adulthood. Sometimes, I catch myself thinking how awful I am: a fat, ugly, mean-spirited, and boring person who is useless at everything. It’s gotten better over time, but loving myself is still a daily battle, one that I lose more often than I want to admit.Advertisements
- The moment you got home to your apartment, you curled up on the floor. Fully dressed, you lay there prone for what felt like hours. You wanted to wipe off your make-up, to get undressed, to take a shower, but everything felt like it took too much strength. You didn’t even make it to your bed. You watched the afternoon light fade, and when it got dark, you finally worked up the energy to flip the light switch.Advertisements
- Today I attended my first job fair as a company representative. We went to a university in Las Piñas, where the grounds were filled with chattering students, all happy and carefree. My coworker and I set up a booth where we could receive resumes from hopeful, soon-to-be graduates. We sat, and ate junk food, there for the better part of the day.All the while, a strange feeling was taking over my heart.Advertisements
- Confession: I was awkward from elementary to high school.
Oh, Haru. You capture the feeling well.
- We’ve all been there: at the end of the day, you’re bone-tired and you just want to rest your weary head. That’s not easy to do when there’s literally no vacant bus/jeep/FX, or when the trains are so packed, you just want to jump on the tracks. You also have to choose between the lesser of two evils: get stuck in traffic or get stuck waiting at the train station? There is a third option: stay at home instead of going to work or school, but I don’t think that’s what you’re looking for here.
[photo source]Anyway, in all my years of commuting, I’ve learned a few tricks that have helped me:Advertisements
- When I was in college, I didn’t exactly primp. I put on very sheer foundation, a lipstick, and powder, and I was out the door. The whole thing took 5 minutes, tops. I hardly touched-up my powder and lipstick, and so I was usually running around Manila with a shiny face and chapped lips.Believe it or not, I actually had reasons behind that:
- Why bother putting on a full face of make-up when the Manila heat and humidity would just melt it all off in two minutes?
- Make-up is expensive. My student allowance was strictly budgeted for transportation, food, beer, and the occasional book. I did not see the sense in buying a 500-peso lipstick when I could have used that money for a Chuck Palahniuk novel.
- Applying make-up takes time. Back then, I was always running late, so painting my face was the last thing on my mind if I wanted to avoid an FA (Failure due to Absences) on my transcript.
- Listening to Tennis reminds me of you.At first, I couldn’t figure out why; I just knew that when I hear the strains of My Better Self, I wish I was having a cold beer with you. After approximately 182 listens to Tennis, I’ve figured out why they remind me of you.When I started listening to them, I never thought, “This will be a band I’ll love.” It was a casual decision based on downloading random music from the Internet. A few weeks later, I realized I hadn’t gone a day without listening to them.Advertisements
- I’ve always dreamed of graduating from college. There seemed to be nothing better than finally getting school over with and start earning my own money. School seemed to be a chore, with an endless line of professors telling me what not to do, what to do, and when and how to do it.Now that I’m finally getting my diploma, though, I’m surprised by the realization that despite my countless gripes as a college student, I’m scared of leaving.Advertisements
A few weeks ago, our class went on a school retreat to Caleruega, Batangas. It was a welcome break from all the stress we’ve been experiencing, what with the mountain of schoolwork we’re expected to accomplish (*ehemthesisehem*).The retreat compound was nice enough. I loved how the grounds were lush green with plants, so different from the drab gray of Manila. The air was fresh and crisp. And damn, it was cold. It was the coldest I’ve ever felt in my entire life. At night, I couldn’t sleep or even move, I was shivering so badly. I eventually developed a fever on the last day of our stay there. Perhaps I just have a low tolerance for cold temperatures, because everyone else seemed to enjoy the cool breeze.
Caleruega, I found out, was a popular venue for weddings. The chapel wasn’t big, but it was beautiful, perfect for just a small wedding.
Reaching the peak of the grounds was a short hike of around ten to fifteen minutes. Along the way, you would see koi fish in ponds, lots of trees, and a wooden hanging bridge. None of which I took a photo of because I was enjoying myself too much to worry about documenting everything. Although I did take a picture of this chapel (?) at the peak:
The view from the top wasn’t much, really, but walking in that cold morning air did wonders for my spirit.
I couldn’t decide whether I found the compound more beautiful in the morning or in the evening, when all the lights come on and the place is illuminated by lights hanging on trees.
And what retreat would be complete without touchy-feely crap? We played a game where we had to say something nice about each other, and a lot of us ended up crying. Oddly, I cried hardest when it was my turn to say something nice about someone else.
It wasn’t a perfect getaway: the food could have been way better, I fell ill on the last day of the trip, and I abhorred the early morning cold showers in the dorm bathroom. Still, I appreciated one of the last chances to spend time with the people I’ve been with for four years.Advertisements
In the past month, three people have asked me how I feel now that I’m turning twenny this month.
The first time I fully realized it was on a jeepney, of all places. My brain went wonky on me and started freaking out: “I’m going to die without doing anything significant, I’m going to die without leaving a trace or a legacy of some sort, I’m going to die alone—” That looped through my head like a relentless, evil mantra all day long.Advertisements