Spending your valentines day with the family and good set of friends feels like you’re already having a date of your life.
It was not because I don’t have special someone to be with on this so called “couple’s day”; I prefer to be with my family rather than spend it on a solo backpacking trip. 21 years ago, my mom would always keep on telling me and the rest of the fam, that she met a nice woman, who loves backpacking, travelling and mountain climbing, went to our home and talked a lot of things.
I think I am destined to be a single. These were the words that popped in her head yesterday when we talked. She finds tranquility and peace of mind by herself in her own home right just at the back of my parent’s home.She hosted a nice valentines day gathering at her home, where she also invited some of our neighbors and their children (unfortunately, I am the only single person – aside from the host). They shared stories how life has been, they’re excited to see how generations just come and go ( and I thought, what if, I go old, will I still have the same set of friends like my parents have?)
I just find it fascinating, even if time really passes us by ( and as fast as you can’t get hold of it), there are people who will still be there no matter what.
I envy my parents for having friends whom at their back when their down, or whenever there is something to celebrate. I envy and wished that my set of friends that I have at the moment will be the same as my parents. Even if, we don’t talk that much, even across miles, I wish it is far beyond the spoken words, but of meaning, of feeling.
We may live in different places, with different timezones, with different ways and means to spend our time (here), but what matters most? It is the time we spend with the people we most cherished.
* this may sound mushy, and for the valentines date that I could think of, it is best to celebrate with your family and friends! 🙂
It was an exciting and overwhelming 2 weeks since I started working with my new job. I love how the work is all about – competitiveness. I am not saying that I am competitive, but, it has been one of the things that I really wanted to do just right before my graduation.
Fears here, there and everywhere
While the job gives me the opportunity to go out and explore the archipelago by promoting advocacies and other projects, yet, I am afraid to lose my childish enthusiasm. I am afraid to get to the “adult” stage, of working, of doing things, of working out things.
Can I just be a child for a month?
I could still remember how childish I was during my volunteer placement. I did a lot of things which for others it was a lame and laid back thing, but not for me. Whenever I do something at work (today), I would always think that failure is essential, bloody red comments are pre-requisite, otherwise, you and I will never learn. I did and expecting to commit more mistakes while at work, not to pull out the “trainee/transition” card whenever I did something wrong, but, it is more of giving myself a leeway that things don’t work in the same pace, manner and for everyone-all at the same time.
Behind the corporate aura that most people have, I still think, try to consider, why do we need to conform to the existing norm? Why not make a new norm and work on it rather than break it? If we don’t break it can we make a new norm? (does this make any sense? I dunno).
It is the society that judge me? Or it is me who loves to entertain their comments? Do I need to dump my hiking gear just to conform their standards?
When you are afraid, things are going to get worse if you don’t do something, it can prompt you into action. But it is not good when you are afraid that it keeps you from doing anything.
I am afraid-yes, like a child wandering and afraid of getting lost. But throughout the years of existence, I got lost, I learned my lessons the easy and hard way and there’s nothing wrong with that (unless you are part of the 90% who lives on the standards of the status quo).
There was this nerve-wracking, heart pounding feeling days before I was able to know if I passed or failed in my exam. I have been wondering, and thinking, why I failed? What are the mistakes that I committed during the exam?
Should I give up or should I keep on chasing?
Like a popular song Chasing Pavements by Adele, having the results flashing and dashing on my computer screen made me think if it is a sign to give up my Japanese language studies and shift to French of Spanish instead. I even hit the button from my facebook friend and told her about the result. I want to cry at that moment. So down and thought of grabbing a drink till dawn, yet, I reckon. As my friend told me, move on, move forward, it is just a test of your knowledge; it happened you’re not that prepared when you took the exam. (which was true).
I am really eager to pass this exam, and thought that if I pass the exam this year, I will pursue the higher level of proficiency of Japanese language, if not, I told myself that I will give up on this, there is no point of continuing something that you can not really be good at- even several years has been dedicated into.
I am also aware that the chance of passing the exam is quite low. Right after my application, I wasn’t able to take the proper preparations for this, even memorizing kanji and vocabs made me turn up-side down during the exam.
Mom, I failed.
When I told my mom about the results, she said, it is okay, see the better side of that. You can still take the exam next year (which is true), you can take proper classes for this since your office is just across the school (another reality, yes), so what’s the point of getting down?
After closing the doors that lead you nowhere, throw away the key! Because our tendency is to look back and regret. – Paulo Coelho.
I am closing now the door of regrets, of what if’s, of how I wish I passed this exam. I will now open a new door – door of better opportunities to become a new if not renewed person. It is not constrained on my Japanese Language Proficiency exam results, but I think it is seeing a lot of positivity in life.
In general, I was able to have a nice job 3 days right after my 3 months of volunteer experience. I left the job and found another one waiting for me to start. I have a part time job (with a fellow) and gives me a lot of adventures and loads of travels. There is really no reason to get down, but a sense of move forward, because tomorrow is another day to face.
Will I still continue my Japanese Language? Yes, I will, I will not get mad on the results, but it should served me as a motivation to move on and make it a serious deal now, or else, I will never get forward with this.
Sometimes, it is good to have an option, but sometimes, it gives you a hard core headache.
I ditched work today, as I went for another job interview. I am at the moment being trained in the corporate world, while, I was hired to be part of the government.
This may sound weird, why would I still find a job if I already got one? Why resign in the middle of training yet take training in different field?
It was a hard core yet no expectations interview. I knew and had the idea that working for the government would entail loads of patience, determination and motivation to finish one task after another. While on the corporate, they give you the liberty to work for them, have their name in your cv and voila! Your cv weighs pretty much heavier than the first time you sent it out to head hunters.
What made me think of shifting gears?
It may sound absurd, but, I thought of setting down in terms of my career. I love traveling, and working with the community, engaging with people, but things doesn’t work the way I thought it would be. It was a tough, exciting, challenging and full of dynamism work that awaits me, not because of the “government work” but because, I see where my parents are coming from. It is practically not about the numbers in the salary that makes you a better individual, and not in the prefixes that you have in your name, but, it is how do people see, appreciate and respect you no matter what. Yes, there are several negative stigmas/branding/tags about working in the government, but instead of moaning why not take the small steps towards the goals that you really want?
Too Chatty or just being Honest?
I love to talk and that is one thing that is unique from me. I can talk anything under the sun for the next 24 hours nonstop(just give me a glass of water 🙂 ). When I had my interview, it seems I’m just having a nice chat over a cup of coffee with a friend in a local coffee shop. I had the guts of saying that I have plans with a fellow of establishing a business which would help the local/s to be competitive if not to be at par with the local market. The current employment/job/career that I have is pretty much related with the upcoming one, and I must admit, it is not my cup of tea, but I’ll try, not because of the “name and credentials”, but because of the experience to cherish.
Anxiety, excitement and mixed emotions caught me right then and there when I met the next batch of volunteers for Cabiao.
I want to tell loads of stories about our experiences, our moans, hardships, down days, the awesome socials we had, our endless exploration of the this small town. But after my endless stories, I stopped and reckon, I should not deprived them of the learning’s that this small town gave me, my counterpart and the rest of the team had.
It was not as easy as one two and three to go back, face the past, and moved on. But what I’ve got from this weekend getaway? It was the realization of the ff:
- There will be strange feelings that will just pop out of the box- there was this feeling of deja vu, from the matching up to traveling from Phil rice to Cabiao. I still remembered how anxious and nervous I was when the counterparts was revealed.
- Things will never be the same again.- this is true, when I went back to my host home, I felt as if I am a guest in their house. Yet, when I talked to my host ‘brother’ not ‘father’, he told me that I am still welcome in the house.
- It is overwhelming to see the new batch of volunteers who will continue what we have established. Some as I had an opportunity to talk with and shared some stories has feelings of anxiousness and if not worry about the standard we established. Well to be honest as well, I told them to just be ‘yourself’; at the end of the day, expectations just come and go, but who will enjoy this journey? Is for them or for you to cherish?
- Cabiao has been my second home- I never felt that kind of feeling of being secured even if I am not in my own “home”. Perhaps, this small town gave me the sense of belongingness of being a “tourist” yet being a local at the same time.
- I had a great volunteer experience with great supervisors- I never thought that my “out of the box” attitude that I had would be made possible because I have a supervisor who is not selfish to tame if not put me in a box of doctrines. He even encouraged me and my counterpart to do things that we want to do, but of course within the limits of being “responsible for your own actions”. I could not think of a single word to describe my supervisor who kept on telling me to learn via experience, since “you know the rules, you can now modify it”.
- Half-hearted- I don’t know if I really wanted to pursue MBA or MCD, which way it would be, I’m not yet ( I think) ready to pursue any masteral degree for this year, but definitely I will take one.
- Security over happiness and vice versa- when I was in the small town of Cabiao, it gave me the sense of being secured and happy both at the same time. So why is it, I am living near the metro where the life line of the businesses sets in and go would made me feel inferior?
There are loads of questions and uncertain answers, with uneasy feeling of how will I bang it on. But here I am typing in this keyboard over the papers and numbers of the work for tomorrow. All I will think of is how Cabiao made me a better person.
It was week 10, and nearly down to week 11 when I got this opportunity to have a nice chat with a volunteer placement staff.
Well, out of the blue, while siting in our veranda waiting for my free data to logged-in, kuya Tom had this nice question for me. ‘what will you do after the program?’, what do you get from being a volunteer?
I replied in enthusiastic way and kicked it off! Well, basically, I want to search for myself in this program which I assure myself that I was able to do so. Also, I want to have that ‘kind’ of experience that I want before I enter another field (e.g. Corporate v. Development world?). If I fail to find a nice job, I’m opt to take my board exam which would entail a year and hopefully to pass it before I reached the maximum age for the position.
All it takes is that ‘bang it on’ attitude and out-of-the-box!
Basically, he kept on saying that job hunting in the country (and even my host dad agreed on me about it) is as tough as going to gladiator war 🙂 . Who would have thought that after you’ve finished you’re degree say IR, you’ll gonna get your dream job.
If you really want something, be assertive that you can have it, rather than staring at it from afar.
There is this nice opp which is up for grab, either I’ll take it or leave it, it is entirely up to me.
The same thing goes when HHC keeps on telling me instead of staring why not face it? If you fail, at least you’ve tried. You will never now that you can do it unless you try.
Perhaps, until now, I’m still struggling to face my fears. Yes, it is really a roller coaster ride feeling once you face your fears, or face the world of I wish I did this and that when I had the chance to do so.
I’m not really good at selling something, not even selling myself for a promising job.
HHC and I had this plan of selling shirts in front of the Municipal Hall where the people just come and go.
Turned down, not now
I really find it hard to approach someone to buy something that you’re selling.
I’m supposed to give up, not in the upbeat of doing out of the box, all I want to do is go home, hit my pillow and have a good day sleep. It was just right in time that a teacher from one of the barangays in Cabiao approached us and bought a shirt and ask her colleagues if they fancy buying a shirt.
Why I find hard to sell one?
I don’t know, perhaps, I’m really not into ‘marketing’ and selling, but I also should take into consideration that Cabiao is at par different from the vibrant Makati City’s Business District. It is far from having the diverse culture and what else? Nationality? What we’ve got were very dynamic and genuine individuals who were willing to take charge..
All soul’s day and all saints’ day are approaching very fast as fast as time goes by before we say goodbye.
Why do Filipinos Celebrate Holloween/all saints’ day/all souls’ day?
To make this explanation short, we (Filipinos) try to reminisce our departed love ones. In my fam, we always cook something for our departed love ones. We even share it to them, go to the cemetery and spend couple of hours or the day with them (as if they gonna talk and ask how are you sofie? 😀 ).
Out-of-the- box #……
Well, basically, our host home is very family oriented individuals, they have this ‘mini-reunion’ thing during family events like: a. Halloween b. christmas and c. new year. Here’s the catch! They prepared a lot of foods for the fam. (since they consider us as part of the fam, we are entitled to eat as much as we want to), we prepared pancit as well to share. Cooking seafood pancit was one of a kind experience for me. Cooking my fav dish made me proud (I also aknowlegde my HHC) and another step-up of the ‘adult’ ladder, like, hey mom/ hey dad! I know how to cook porridge and pancit! And soup! (aside from making Japanese Maki).^_^
We’ve got massive loads of banters, sodas (I had 4 bottles, and 3 for HHC), and meeting the expectation stuff along the way.
I am not sure if I’ve been too offensive/rude with the fam, with my HHC (Katie) whenever I try to think and decide for myself. Am I being selfish? Being rude to the fam or my HHC? There were times that I can bear the thought of explaining to the public that I am not here (in Cabiao) to be a translator/interpreter of my British counterpart. I am here as volunteer as well. The only advantage I have is the local language- no more no less. When it was revealed to the fam that we are about to leave the community in 4 weeks, they kept on asking me if I’ll go to London as well and even work there. I kept on insisting that I’ll stay here (in Phil.) see my fam, find job or another volunteer progam, but not go to London, via my host home counterpart. Yes, we practically established the fact that our relationship is far beyond the surface of being ‘ host home counterparts’, it is pretty similar to a best of friend or an elder/younger sibling, settling in the other side of the globe. Definitely I’ll go to London, and might meet her, but not now. She can also go to my home (my parents to exact), in the future and not in a snap. It is as if, I am a gold digger/social climber waiting for someone to bail me out.
Down day on Saturdays
I may find myself rude to my counterpart if I gonna tell that I am not pissed off whenever someone would ask me questions which I already answered before. Is it about cultures? Or about our personal differences? I don’t know, perhaps, it is just about seeing things in different perspective/s, no more no less.
Sometimes, the more you care for the individual the more it stresses you out.
I think it was a remarking failure for me to express how much I care for an individual. Yeah, sounds creepy and awkward to say this, but I think, it consumes me now more than ever.
Since I just had a nice ample amount of phone credits, I tried to ask my HHC if she had already had her lunch, and I think this sounds awkward when I tried to care to someone, yet, used to be the one who’s being taking cared of.
I’m not saying that HHC is a snob, she’s not. I think she’s not used to see me or even know me well (), and how do I care for a person. For quite sometimes, I used to send the same messages to the members of fam, and I think, they’re getting used to the same routines that I have-send some message/s or even giving them a ring or two.
I find it weird because, as much as possible I want to tell or even express how much do I care for an individual yet, there is something that pulling me back. I am not treating someone like a child, because it makes the learning experience toooo tedious and unchallenging. I am not sure if it is because I’m getting used to be an independent woman who can stand up with tides? Or just sensitive to be up for beat?