Wednesday, November 30, 2011

When Do Bloomers Bloom?

Ada: 'When do bloomers bloom?'
Manang Rina: 'Huh? Bloomers are old fashion shorts.'
Ada: 'No, mom! Like the one is Leo the Late Bloomer.'
Me: 'Oh! The book!'

You were asking about bloomers. We were in the car on the way to do the grocery for the week. I'm guessing you read the book before we left for the mall. Or maybe you just remembered it. Am guessing that you really like the book because you were talking about it for a long time. It was nice how we got to have an awesome conversation out of that little story about a late bloomer. It's interesting how you think of things that other humans would just forget about.

Bloomers are some kind of old shorts. No, they aren't a type of flower. It's just a term they use for people who amaze the world with their talents at an early age, at a late age and sometimes never at all. If I remember correctly, Leo the Late Bloomer is about a boy who couldn't do anything right. And then one day, Leo was able to do everything right. He finally bloomed

Ada: 'I am an early bloomer.'
Me: 'How about Tea?'
Ada: 'Almost bloomer.'
Me: 'And Gusto?'
Ada: 'Late bloomer!'

Right now, you think that you are an early bloomer. You think this because you get perfect or almost perfect grades in all your subjects. You think this because you've got a voice that can sustain so many notes. You think this because you talk a mile a minute. Yeah, you sometimes talk in your sleep, too. You think this because you started dancing ballet and because you do well in Kumon. 

But, how do you know if someone has actually bloomed already? Can you say that a person has bloomed because he knows how to write at an early age? Or maybe because he can sing perfectly? I don't think you can tell if a person has bloomed or not until the person has undergone some sort of thing I'd like to call growing-up-pains-and-joys. So are you an early bloomer? I dunno. I think you are constantly blooming.

Ada: 'Is there such a thing as a never bloomer?'
Me: 'Uhm. Yeah. Maybe.'
Ada: 'Like who?'
Me: 'Maybe like the criminals?'

I had this friend. His name was Tonton. He used to live in the States. I think he got into fights and got in conflict with the law. He got sent back here to the Philippines. Tonton had a chance to clean up his act and start over. Instead, he got into drugs, he got into drinking and got into the wrong company. Eventually, he got sent to a mental institute. I think he was fine for a few months so the people let him go. He was free again! He was free again to go back to his drugs. He dd that. One day, he came to the house to ask for help. And I remember him looking so destitute. A few days later, he killed himself.

Maybe I lied a little. Maybe there is no such thing as a never bloomer. Maybe there are just bloomers who bloom for good and bloomers who bloom for bad. I think that my friend Tonton actually bloomed. Yet he bloomed in a way that was not acceptable to society. He bloomed and was good at taking drugs, drinking alcohol, sleeping with girls and stealing. So no, there is no such thing as a never bloomer. Just a person who blooms for the wrong reasons.

Ada: 'I don't want to be a late bloomer!'
Me: 'Why not?'
Ada: ''Cause it'll take too long.'
Me: 'Sometimes being a late bloomer is good.'

It won't kill you to be a late bloomer. Sure, you'll think that you're such a lose and people may tell you that you are one. But sometimes it does the person good. Another we-used-to-be-friends-when-we-were-kids-but-now-it's-just-awkward just bloomed recently.  All his life he failed. He would fail school. He would fail exams. He would fail at relationships. His mom would call my mom and spend hours on the phone crying 'cause she wasn't sure if her son, my we're-kinda-friends, was gonna be able to graduate high school. He got into college and flunked. He got into another college. Changed his course. And now, he's doing great as some kind of musician.

Thing is, what if he bloomed so early that he wouldn't know what to do with his gift? What if he bloomed but he was in the wrong course? What if he bloomed but his parents wouldn't be able to accept him? What if he bloomed but he wasn't ready to deal with his talents? Things happen at the right time, but we think that it's always the wrong time to bloom. Late bloomers aren't late bloomers at all. Early bloomers? No such thing as that. There are only bloomers. We all bloom.

Ada: 'I just don't want to be a late bloomer!'
Me: 'You know what, doesn't matter if you're an early bloomer, an on-time bloomer or a late bloomer.'
Ada: 'It does!'
Me: 'No, as long as you bloom, you'll be fine.'

Little girl, as long as you bloom, you're gonna be fine. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Of Life and Crap

With just some minor corrections.

One day, I will have the guts to ask my Professor why she gave me a 1.7 (92) on this essay.

Life is uncertain. You get a good grade today. You fail the exam tomorrow. This morning you were able to cross the street without getting run over. Tonight you might get unlucky with a drunk driver. Next week you may be able to pay your debts. Next month you might have to borrow money again. This year you were able to get a promotion in your job. In the coming year you might be laid off. Nothing is sure in this life. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? 

It is a good thing. It is a good thing because knowing that life is uncertain makes a person want to live like today is their last day on earth. With that thought in mind, a student might strive hard to get a good mark on a report she has to do. A mother might forgive her child who has done her wrong. A father might spend some more time with his children. Knowing that life is uncertain motivates people to do their best today for they may never see tomorrow.

On the other hand, it is a bad thing. It is a bad thing because knowing that life is uncertain make a person resigned to the fact that nothing can be done about the situation the person finds himself in. He does not strive hard enough since he thinks that it is not worth it for he will eventually die in the end. A student will not even try to get a good mark on her report for she knows that the professor hates her anyway. A mother might just end up ignoring the child she cannot bring herself to love. A father might choose to spend more time at his work place for his children don't even know him. 

Knowing that life is uncertain should not deter a person from achieving his goals. A person should not allow the uncertainty of life to make him lax in his ability to succeed. He should not let death prevent him from trying his best to live his life to the fullest. One must live as though today were his last day on earth but wake up each day pushing himself further, closer to his end. 
No, I am not complaining about my grade. It's the opposite in fact. I am wondering why she even gave me that 1.7! Let's just say that I honestly think that this essay is crap. I did this in thirty minutes and was rushing to finish it. While I was doing it, I was watching TV, eating my lunch and text messaging my friends. I just wrote down anything that came to my mind. Come on, writing about life is freaking hard! 

Nah, am not showing off my grades to tell the world how awesome I am. I am just so thankful that even a piece of crap can be appreciated by someone. I am thankful that I got a 1.7 on this really lazy essay. I am thankful that even something as lame as this could get me a grade that I don't deserve. I am thankful that I am so favored. 

Thank you!

Thanksgiving 2011

This was supposed to be a Thanksgiving post.

I am thankful for family. This year, the word family became real to me. Before, family was just a word I'd throw around to describe the people I live with. Now, family is much more than that. So what does family mean to me? They are people who give up their comfort just to ensure that you will be comfortable. It is love without limit and without expectation. A place where you can sing at the top of your lungs in an off key voice and they will still listen to you. A home that is the breeding ground for peace, hope, joy and faith.

Aside from moving in with my brother, I've made an effort to get to know my cousins. This year, I've been chatting a lot with Corina. We used to talk about K-Pop a lot. And then somehow we found out that we have a lot in common. We have lost our best friends, we hate statistics and we like hot guys. I was able to visit my other cousin, Megan, when I was in Bacolod. She introduced me to a new series called Castle. Every Sunday, I get to see three more cousins. Although I don't get to talk to all of them, it's fun to see them every week.

I am thankful for faith. After being a Christian, then person-into-witchcraft, then atheist, I thought it was high time to finally make up my mind. Finally decided to be a person who has faith in a Supreme Being. No, I am not a Christian. No, I am not a Catholic. I am a person who believes in God and his word, a person who goes to church and a person who tries to live out her faith. Do not confine me to one religion. 

Maybe moving church has done me some good. I am now able to express my faith freely in any manner I choose. I am finally in an environment where they don't care about what color my hair is, how many piercings I have, what I wear and those annoying external things we should not base salvation on. Having someone to talk to about my faith makes it somehow easier to live it. Knowing that there are people who want me to explore my faith help me get into it.

I am thankful for friends. The other day, I was counting how many friends I have in school. I realized that I have around twenty five to thirty new friends. I also have those random people in class who just choose to talk to me when they feel like it. In church, there are times they'll just come up to me and make small talk. Those people who take time to just smile and ask me how I am are so awesome. They are kinda like angels on earth God sent for a specific reason.

And then I've got those really good friends who don't care if I'm like crap. Those people who drop everything when I tell them to go online and chat with me. They stay up late sometimes just to keep me company while I do my papers. That person who constantly bugged me until we became very good friends. That girl who I trust with my life. I cannot imagine my life without those people. 

I am thankful for fun! Life can get so stressful and so boring. I sometimes need fun things to get my life going. Fun things like collecting Starbucks stickers, watching a movie, buying lots of books, going to the park, eating chocolate cake, painting my nails, drinking Coke, making plans and singing made up songs. I made up my mind a few months ago not to take life too seriously. Don't study too much. Get rid of activities that are non-sense. Just focus on the important things. And then add some fun into that. 

Not Anymore

Response to Pliant Like the Bamboo by I.V. Mallari.

Prof: 'There's also another very good essay from last week (November 22, 2011).'
Me: *That isn't me.*
Prof: 'Anna Francheska.'
Me: *Told you.*
Prof: 'Lete?'
Me: 'Here, Miss!'
The Filipino was like a bamboo tree.

He knew that he was not strong enough to fight for himself. The Filipino yielded. He gave in to the culture, to the ideas, to the religion and to almost everything that others had to offer. The Filipino did this in order to survive. He did this to ensure that there would be a future to offer the ones who would come after him. 

Yet the Filipino has had enough. When the country's own president stole the wealth of the Filipino people, they took their complaints to the streets and stood their ground until he left Malacanang Palace. Edsa Two took place. And the voice of the Filipinos were once again heard. Erap pleaded for sympathy and mercy from the masses, yet they imprisoned him. 

The Filipino people thought they were in luck when Gloria Macapagal Arroyo took the place of a thief. Little did they know that she too would steal their wealth, cheat during elections and bring shame to the Filipino people.

Again, the Filipino people united and made their voice heard when they called on the son of Cory Aquino to run for the presidency. When he won, the Filipinos were relieved. The Filipinos knew that President Noynoy Aquino would not let the Philippines be bullied anymore.

China has been threatening the Philippines. They want to gain control of islands that belong to the Filipinos. No, the Filipino is seeing to it that that will never happen. The Filipinos are learning to say no to a nation who were the first to occupy the Philippines. They are learning to assert their rights even if they do not outnumber the Chinese people.

A few days ago, the Filipino people showed that they would not adapt to the lifestyle of corruption. Though ex president Gloria Arroyo says that she needs to seek medical assistance in another country, the Filipinos have banned her from leaving. They have filed charges against her and the people who live and breathe corruption.

The Filipinos have shown the world that they are not giving in. They have done so by winning boxing matches, by producing wonderful singers, by having new writers and even by exporting their produce to other countries. Heck, they might even win their first Oscar this year. The Filipinos have stood their ground by learning how to claim what is theirs, by arresting those who have done the country wrong and by saying no to those who want to brainwash them again. Now, the Filipino will not let themselves be bullied by another country or even by their fellow countrymen.

The Filipino was not strong enough to fight for himself. He was like a bamboo tree. But not anymore.

And this got me a 1.2 (98) in creative writing. Thank God.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pretending To Be A Superhero

Conscience: 'I thought you wanted to do this at the end of each week?'
Me: 'I did.'
Conscience: 'Well?'
Me: 'Is this your blog?'

I really wanted to do this at the end of the week. The thing is, sleeping and shopping are more exciting things to do than sitting down in front of the laptop to do this entry. I've got all the time in the world to actually do this but I'm never in the mood to sit down and type it out. Once I am in front of my laptop, I end up chatting with my friends, going on Twitter, downloading movies and new episodes and taking vain pictures of me and the kids. Well, no. The kids aren't vain. They're just naturally cute.

Conscience: 'And you're cramming again.'
Me: 'When I go to my other home on weekends, all I do is spoil myself.'
Conscience: 'Set aside time.'
Me: 'Easier said than done.'
During the weekend, I did some Christmas shopping. I hate not doing Christmas shopping. To be honest, I look forward to Christmas every year. It's like the highlight of my year. I love buying gifts for people and I love getting things in return. For me, the best thing about shopping for friends is thinking about what they want. The hardest part about giving gifts is not knowing who you won't give gifts to. The mall mom and I went to last Saturday was full of people. Funny thing was that the moms were the ones pushing and shoving their way through the crowds. The dad were so chill. I think they were so bored. And the kids? The kids wanted to buy everything they saw. I wanted to buy everything I saw.

Conscience: 'Have you gotten anything for Ada, Tea and Gusto?'
Me: 'Yeah.'
Conscience: 'You know their birthdays?'
Me: 'Kinda.'

I have these really cute Christmas stockings for them. I'll be hanging them out on December 1. And then I might just fill them up with little goodies they might enjoy. Spoil them a little bit. Give them some candy and chocolates and Crayolas. Tea has been bugging me to give her a birthday gift. I was like, 'Your birthday is still next year!' Still, she went on and on until I promised to write her birthday down on my calendar. And then after bugging me for a birthday gift, she goes, 'But Christmas comes first. So you give me my first gift then.' I can't wait for her to be older when I can take her to the movies or something.

Conscience: So how was your week?
Me: 'Terribly exciting!'
Conscience: 'Anything great happened?'
Me: 'Gusto got his stitches out!'

I am so proud of that kid! I was telling Ada and Tea that when I was a kid, my goal in life was to get stitches and a cast. I thought it was pretty neat to have a few stitches and to break a leg or an arm. Later on, when I got my wisdom teeth out, I realized that stitches weren't such a big thing. They were cool when they were on, but it hurt when they removed it. And so, I am so proud of Gusto! Yeah, he cried when the doctor was taking the stitches out. But he was so chill about it. He had stitches and kept wanting to go to the park. Oh yeah, he got the stitches because he was pretending to be a superhero.

Conscience: 'What else did you do?'
Me: 'Well, I went with the kids to the book fair!'
Conscience: 'That's nice.'
Me: 'I also kinda went to the grade school and high school fair.'

Even though the kids and I go to the same school, college students don't really care about the rest of the school. So when I visited the fair with the kids, they were so happy. Ada showed me around her part of the school. She brought me to her classroom. She dragged me to Tea's classroom. I wished that I was still in pre-school! They have an easy life. Last Friday, we all went to the fair. Even mom. I think mom enjoyed herself. Duh.

Conscience: 'So how come you're cramming all your assignments and projects?'
Me: 'I was busy reading.'
Conscience: 'Tsk tsk tsk.'
Me: 'Whatever.'

Finally got my hands on Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. If you've waited for the series to end since you were like thirteen years old, you're gonna do anything you can to finish reading the last book as soon as possible. Finishing the Inheritance cycle was and will always be more important than some stupid subject that has nothing to do with your course.

Conscience: 'And Percy Jackson?'
Me: 'And Percy Jackson.'
Conscience: 'What got you into that?'
Me: 'Ada.'

Ada told me that she watched the movie. I remembered that I stole a Percy Jackson book before. I'm pretty proud of that! And so when we went to the book fair, Manang Rina told me I could get a book. I got the first book of Percy Jackson. I love it.

Conscience: 'What's up with the Angry Birds?'
Me: 'They're cute!'
Conscience: 'I thought you hated them?'
Me: 'They light up.'

Seriously. Things that light up are so adorable. Don't care if it's Angry Birds. I just find it cool.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dead Leaves, Twigs and Other Things

Ada brought home a dead leaf.

A few days ago, Ada brought home a dead leaf. A few days before that, she brought home a twig. Seems to me that she brings home anything she finds on the road on the way back from school. She likes picking things up and planning what to do with them. She wanted to dry the dead leaves. I told her that I've got a flower and leaf press at my other house. I'd bring it for her next week. Ada smiled and skipped happily away. 

The yayas don't seem to get why Ada loves picking up stuff from the road and bringing them home. For the yayas, a dead leaf or a twig is just kalat. Basura. Another piece of garbage to throw away. But why did Ada bring it home? For Ada, a dead leaf had to be brought home because she wanted to dry it and preserve it. A twig had to be picked up from the road because it looked pretty.

I almost asked Ada, 'Why are you bring those things home?' She has a lot of toys. She has a lot of books. She can watch TV. So why bring home those things that might have germs and are things that no one really wants? And then I remembered that when I was a kid, I brought home crazier things. I would go on walks and bring home baby frogs, rusty Coke cans, dirty slippers and lots of trash.

And then I recalled something Roald Dahl said. I can't find the exact quote. But it was something like, 'To understand kids, you got to spend a week on your knees and see things from their point of view.' I remember thinking when I was eight years old  that it was such a silly quote. I think that I kinda understand the quote now.

Ada is much shorter than me since she's only six years old. She's able to see things on the road better than a teenager like me. She still thinks that cars and trucks are scary. Of course, she's so small. I'm sure that the cars and trucks look so huge to her. She's nearer the ground. That must be why she finds dead leaves and twigs more interesting than a pretty gate or a fancy car that I try to show her.

If the ground was life and the things on it were events that should not be ignored, I sure have missed out on a lot of things. Instead of looking down to see the details, I've been looking up to see the bigger picture. Everyone tells you to look at life from a different perspective; from the bigger picture. That's the most common perspective. The bigger picture. Garbage.

Maybe you gotta look at life's details to better appreciate the bigger picture. You gotta stop to pick up dead leaves and twigs along the way to remind you to check out the details sometimes. Sometimes we get so caught up with the final product we forget about the process to get there. We get so caught up with life that we forget to live it. We tend to just keep walking on and on. We just want to get to the end. 

Now, I look at the ground when I walk.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Just Saying

Conscience: 'How have you been?'
Me: 'Fine.'
Conscience: 'How's school?'
Me: 'Fine.'
Conscience: 'Really.'
Me: ' Really.'

This is my third week in school.  Doesn't take up much of my time. In fact, I feel like I'm not studying at all. High school was even more stressful than this. I have time to visit the park, read really thick books, run around in the malls, watch Modern Family, eat ice cream and blow plastic balloons. I get to sleep for about six to eight hours every night. Sometimes though I wake up with a headache. Am not used to getting too much sleep. But I'm loving it!

Conscience: 'Again. How's school?'
Me: 'I'm loving it!'
Conscience: 'I thought you hate school?'
Me: 'I hate exams, quizzes, homework, projects, people, professors and stuff like that.'

School is lovely. And yes, most of the professors are okay. I only dislike one professor. My schedule isn't that bad either. Mondays and Fridays are my full days when I have about four classes. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I only have one class. And on Wednesdays I've got two classes. Saturday class? Nope. I don't have that. I go home for lunch every day 'cause I feel like it. I can't take the smell of the canteen!

Conscience: 'I thought you didn't like that school?'
Me: 'I take that back.'
Conscience: 'You love it now?'
Me: 'I never said that.'
I didn't like the school before 'cause I thought that the people would be snobs. Actually, they're very nice and simple people. I guess that others think that the people in my school are snobs because they speak English, they are proud of their school, they like looking fashionable and they excel. But are they snobs? No. If they know that you're new, they actually go out of their way to show you to your classes, to tour you around the area, to make small talk with you and to make sure that you're doing okay.
Conscience: 'So you live where?'
Me: 'I live with my brother and my sister in law. And Ada, Tea, and Gusto.'
Conscience: 'What a way to answer a question!'
Me: 'At least you got an answer!'
Yes, I kinda like have two homes now. During the week, I stay with my brother and his family. When the weekend comes, I go home to my mom. The only thing I hate about living in two houses is the fact that I have to pack my bags every Sunday and unpack them every Friday. Also, when I'm home with mom, I have to make a list of everything I think I'll need when I'm at my brother's house. Sucks. But I manage.

Conscience: 'You love the kids.'
Me: 'I adore them.'
Conscience: 'They don't drive you insane?'
Me: 'Not really.'

Getting used to having three kids around wasn't that hard.  I'm an only kid (with two ancient brothers). At home with mom, I'm used to having my own room, not caring about others, leaving my things everywhere and just not having others around. Let's just say that I'm used to thinking about myself only. But when you've got one kid tickling you, another telling you a story and one who just wants to hug you, you can't just ignore them. You've got to somehow be interested in their lives. You're forced to care for them. It's not that hard. It's easy to love the kids because they love me too.

Conscience: 'I heard you quit Kumon.'
Me: 'Well, I already am a Kumon complete in maths and reading.'
Conscience: 'So...'
Me: 'I was taking Level X.'

I was taking an extra level to prove to the world how smart I actually am. Seriously.  I stopped because I am tired of math. And also because I hate homework.

Conscience: 'You didn't do your homework for tomorrow.'
Me: 'So?'
Conscience: 'Just saying.'
Me: 'Okay.'

Steve Jobs didn't finish college.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Young Adult

Ada: 'How old are you?'
Me: 'Nineteen.'
Ada: 'How come you have nail polish?'
Me: 'Because...'
Ada: 'Because you're a young adult?'

I stared at you for a long time.

Erik Erikson stated that a young adult is a person who is between the age of twenty to forty. An adolescent person however, is between the age of thirteen and nineteen. Google says that opinions and definitions of the term young adult may vary. Based on the definition of Erik Erikson, I am not a young adult yet. I still have ten months to go before I can actually say that I am a young adult. Sorry about that. Assuming that I am a young adult by your standards, I'll just go on and tell you what being a young adult may mean. 

It means going to college. College is like why-on-earth-am-I-here-can't-I-just-skip-to-the-part-where-I-graduate-and-make-the-most-out-of-life?! Half of college is spent wondering why you need those general subjects that you've been having since the day your parents enrolled you in preschool. Most of the time adults will tell you that you need those general subjects because blah blah blah. I mute them when they come up with reasons. The other half of college is spent being stressed out with those requirements that just have to be done.

It means learning to cram. You'll find that it's so much better to sleep when you have a report to do. You might find a boring show so interesting when you have to review for that history exam. You'll find ways to waste your time on purpose just because you don't want to do a certain requirement for a class. Because of that, you'll end up doing a ten page paper in an hour and praying to God that your professor finds it in his heart to pass you in his subject. You need to know how to cram 'cause it'll teach you not to do it again you might just be doing it for many more years.

It means not fixing your room. Unless you're a person who cannot stand mess. You'll find an excuse to leave everything around and not in their proper place. You'll leave your books on the floor, clothes on the bed, papers flying around and you just might find a way to sneak food in without anyone knowing. You might make up excuses like, 'Mom, I get asthma when I clean my room.' Or maybe you might tell the maid, 'I can't clean my room 'cause I'm too tired and my head hurts.' You know, fix your room. You just might find something you need. Or might end up playing some music and dancing and singing all over the place.

It means telling your friends that you're fat and that you're going on a diet. You'll be on that diet of yours for a few days and then you'll give up. Lemme tell you though that you aren't fat. You don't need to go on diets. You don't need to look like a Barbie doll. Heck, no one should look like a Barbie doll! When you start thinking that you're fat, just remember that food is yummy and you will not be able to survive without your favorite food that apparently contains so many calories. 

It means doing something stupid. For me this meant getting five piercings. It also meant dying my hair and getting addicted to hair color. For others, it means getting that I-thought-it-looked-cool-when-I-was-young tattoo. Trust me. Everyone does something so stupid when they're a young adult. Some drink too much and miss exams. Others talk back at teachers and fail a subject or two. Don't be sad if you've done something stupid. You can't undo the past. All you can do is move on and try your best to make do with the present.

It means not taking your family for granted. Sure, you might get into bad fights with your parents or with your siblings, but you'll learn to love them no matter what. You'll need to make time for them even if you've got four papers due on Monday, but just have to go to a family reunion the day before. You'll realize that they're always going to be there for you when you feel like your world is coming to an end. When you feel like crap, they'll cheer you up. Of course, it is their responsibility to say, 'I told you so!' They're the only ones who will love you without expecting anything in return.

It means believing your faith. You'll hear a load of crap about the faith you believe in. People will try to get you out of it. Others may help you grow in it. Just remember that you have to decide for yourself what to believe and what not to believe. Listen to the opinion of other people, but don't let their opinion cause you not to believe in anything.

It means being yourself. A lot of times, young adults let others dictate how they should behave, dress, talk, etc. Some get lured into the wrong group of friends who talk them into being someone they're not. Please don't let anyone tell you who to be and who not to be. Sometimes being yourself means getting into trouble. Sometimes it means standing up for what you believe in. Sometimes it means taking the side of the person who was right all along. Sometimes it means losing a friend. It means not being scared to be you.