Stuck in a Box

Art by Robin Cox Walsh

 

For the most years of my life, I have always felt suffocated. I couldn’t breathe. It’s like I keep on drowning repeatedly even though I know how to swim… Or maybe I don’t? I feel choked and I couldn’t ask for help because I couldn’t scream. I am in a constant state of struggle. And what makes it even worse is that I don’t know when this will end, and if it ever will.

I am doing my best to see the bright side, or at least the less of the dark. But the more I try to shed some light, the more I see the shadows that keep on blocking the that little spark. I’ve been trying. I still am. But in every step forward, there are always two steps back. And I’m tired of exerting all my effort to push when everything’s just pulling me, and here obviously progress is not an option.

I thought life is more than walls and edges… But why am I still inside this cube?

I don’t want a new box. I just need this one where I’m stuck to open.

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2019 Randomly Today Vol. 2

Hollah! Today is June’s last working day. It’s been a long week for me, so here I am squeezing in a Randomly Today entry. 🙂

Reading

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling for the second time and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. I’ve also been reading some articles about how to prepare for the Philippine Law School Admission Test (PhiLSAT) and law schools’ entrance exams.

Watching

Lucifer on Netflix. I’m planning to watch the last episode of Season 3 on my way home later to kill traffic time.

Writing

a study plan and schedule as preparation for the PhiLSAT and law aptitude/admission exams (LAE’s).

Thinking

of how am I going home if it rains hard when I log out. Please, no. 😦

Wanting

to comfort my sister and talk to my Mom. My sister has already made up her mind as to where she’s going for college. In fact, she has already enrolled. Mom, on the other hand, is quite disappointed that my sister didn’t choose the school that she’s telling her. But knowing my Mom, she probably wouldn’t listen.

Hoping

for my parents to understand how toxic their method of parenting is. 😦 You see, I came from a typical Asian family where being an achiever is a must and that parents should be followed all the freakin’ time. Point is, I hope they know that they’ve done their job well in guiding and supporting us while we were growing up, and that we could discern what’s best for us now that we’re grown up.

Sorry not sorry, but throwing your frustrations and unrealized dreams to your kids will just turn everything to shit. Let us think. Let us decide. Let us make mistakes. Let us learn. If you won’t let us, we’ll never grow. The real world is harsh, and it’s important that we get a first hand experience of it. I believe that it’s just right for parents to let their children lead their own way for as long as they’re not ruining their lives, like when one is already dealing or using illegal drugs or having irresponsible sex. But for as long as they’re just following their heart and moving with passion towards their dreams, it’s just fair to let them fly, right?

As I see it, my sister has really thought about this before she made up her mind. She passed all the universities she applied for. There must be something about the school she chose. Besides, when it comes to the field she’s planning to get into, that school’s performance is stellar. She’s a scholar after all. I trust her well enough that she’s making the right choice. I hope our parents, especially our Mom, could see it too.

Wanting

a good and long sleep tonight. The weather is just too friendly for that.

Wearing

a white Harry Potter fan shirt! I solemnly swear that I am up to no good!

Needing

to go back to the gym and resume working out! I feel really bloated. I haven’t visited the gym for a month now — talk about wasting a month of membership fee. Next week’s probably good for a come back. But first, I gotta fix my sched.

Feeling

full! Lunch earlier was really heavy, so heavy that I might actually skip dinner and finally get a well-deserved zzzz…

 

That’s all for today’s random life update. Hope everything’s been going well with you! xx

Randomly Today series is inspired by siddarhornton‘s The Sunday Currently.

 

A Lighthouse from Above

Allow me to make this post as tribute to my grandmother who passed away last June 7, Friday.
Lighthouse - Nagudungan Hill
Nagudungan Hill, Calayan Islands, Cagayan | Photo by Claudine Faylogna

Call me lucky. I was able to meet my grandmothers from both sides. I remember my Nang Tura and my Tang Choy, my dad’s parents, visiting our place almost every year when I was still young despite the four to six hours of boat ride and ten to twelve hours of bus run. It was more feasible for them to pay a visit in the Metro than having us leave school and work (for my parents back then) to go to our province in Calayan Islands, Cagayan since boat trip schedule isn’t regular. Trips depend on the wind and waves’ friendliness.

I was supposed to wait for the regular operations of the recently inaugurated airport so I can finally visit my parents’ hometown without any unexpected extension of stay. But I guess Nang Tura couldn’t wait for that anymore.

I was at the office when I read my Mom’s message at our family group chat. We immediately booked a bus ride going to Cagayan to catch the earliest boat trip we could hop into. While on our way, it still didn’t sink in to me yet. I just thought, Nang’s already old, and what happened is actually inevitable for all of us. But as I have seen the shoreline of North’s paradise, things were slowly settling in.

Last Christmas, she was with us, singing. Last New Year’s eve, she was with us, dancing. I just never thought that last Christmas and New year’s eve would actually be her last.

Upon reaching my Auntie’s house (which is just within my Dad’s family’s compound) where my Nang lies for her wake, I felt all the regrets a granddaughter could feel. I wish I had spent more time with her. I wish I had told her more stories. I wish I had made plans earlier to visit her in the province from time to time. But none of these wishes matter now, because they will now remain to be just wishes. Regrets, rather.

On another note, I am thankful that we got to spend her last Christmas and New Year’s eve together. I am glad that she was still able to meet Errol. I am happy that she was able to see us, her granddaughters, grow. I am just grateful that she was able to live a good and content life, and see how wonderful the world is for 76 years.

It’s been three weeks. And I swear that reality came into a hard hit when they opened her case during the final blessing, because I know that’s the last time that I’m ever gonna see her. But as I type this, I hear her laugh, and I imagine her smile. And although I’m never gonna hear that sound ever again, I suppose she’s doing well from the lighthouse, probably enjoying a cone of ice cream or a glass of iced tea — her favorites, looking over us as we wait to see her on the other side when the time comes.

We will miss you, Nang Tura. May you rest in the peace that you have always deserved.

A Year from the Possible “Impossible Dream”

This afternoon, my boyfriend and I were talking about this part-time job I’m interested in taking. I see it as an opportunity for growth, considering that I am planning a career that deals with facing a lot of people. I said that if I engage in this part-time job now, I would have a readily available fallback in case it would already be necessary for me to drop my full time job for law school, let’s say, when I’m already preparing for the bar exam.

Everything was so easy to say but then it suddenly hit me when he asked, “Kaya mo ba pagsabayin yan lahat? Work, school, part-time?” (Can you handle everything simultaneously?)

I remembered my Mom juggling full time work as a high school teacher, part-time college professor in two universities, and studying her masters degree full time while still being a mom and a wife. So I said, if she can, then I can, too.

It brought me to googling articles and forums that talked about law school and working full time, eventually leading me to this blog post: A Full-Time Working, Full-Load Law Student.

Now I say that I am finally ready to face everything. I am now ready to sacrifice time and money for this lifelong dream. If others can, why can’t I?

This probably means less travels, compromise in relationships and social life, ultimate maximization of resources and exceptional time management and prioritization skills. Imagining the demands of full and part time work plus how law school can be such a jealous paramour, it would probably cost me a lot. But like it’s been said many times, in the end, it will all be worth it.

I will probably let go of promotions that may come along the way, because higher post means more responsibilities, and I can’t afford that while studying for my Juris Doctor degree. But for the sake of the A-T-T-Y before my name after a few years of risk and sacrifice, I will take the courage of saying “No.”

Next year, hopefully, I’m already getting myself ready for this chapter – a whole new challenge to overcome. For now, I think I should probably take all the sleeps that I can get and load all the Netflix shows that I can binge watch. It won’t be too long until I become a zombie.

When things just don’t fall into place

I was about to write a Randomly Today post when I came across this October 2017 draft. I believe I was in one of my lowest points during this moment, about two years ago. It says:

Right now, I should be working on my powerpoint presentation for the workshop that I’ll be facilitating tomorrow about presentation skills. I’m not really sure if I’m the right person to discuss this over business unit finance heads and staff, but I’d like to believe that I had been given this task because I can do it. As much as I’d like to focus in doing what I am supposed to do, I just can’t put my mind on it.
For months, I’ve been juggling my day job, some freelance projects in Upwork, postgrad studies, and youth leader duties for our church community. It hasn’t been easy, but despite my battle with the state of my mental health, I was, and still am, able to pull through with it.
Truth to be told, however, things don’t always go the way you want them to. I’m not sure if this is quarter life crisis, but I actually feel like it is.

 

As you can see, the 24-year-old me was in her confused state. I also remember that this was the time when I decided that it’s time to quit my job and seek growth and peace in a new place.

Looking back, being in this crisis really tested my patience, control, understanding, and everything physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Was I able to conquer it? I think I did. Right now, even though I’m still visited by random thoughts of sadness and confusion, I am happy to say that I am already well and sound to handle them. Maybe I already got through that phase, or maybe I have already learned the art of dealing with this phase. Either way, the 26-year-old me has learned to find joy in the simplest things and to appreciate my own clock.

Maybe two years ago, I was insecure and pitied myself that my contemporaries have already reached significant milestones in their careers or have gone to places while I still didn’t have the chance to. But they are right. We don’t have to compare. Little by little, I have embraced my situation, and things gradually fell into place. I smile as I re-read the title of this post which was written on that one sad day of October 2017.

When things just don’t fall into place, just let them. Let life get messy. Let your world collide. Allow yourself to experience confusion and pain and sadnessLet yourself find you. Don’t rush. Enjoy the journey. 🙂