“Para kang papel na nililipad ng hangin. Hindi mo mapigilan, masyadong malakas, wala kang kakayahang labanan ang ihip nito; kaya nagpapadala ka na lang sa kung saan ka dadalhin, sa kanan, sa kaliwa, tataas, tapos bababa ulit, iikot, babalik sasimula. Kung saan ito hihinto, hindi mo alam.” – excerpt from my 2018 journal no one will ever get to read
Never-ending quarter life crisis
I’ve always thought I will have a better life than the one I’m having right now. I’ll be smarter, richer, prettier, better. Instead, I feel like I need another four years’ worth of education, I’m poorer, I have a big ass pimple on my left cheek and few pimple marks on the right because of stress and hormones, and I have actually felt better before compared to now. If I’m an article, I’m the first draft that needs a thousand more rewrites and proofreads before you can actually hit publish and feel proud of your work.
In fact, the first month of the year had me questioning my abilities, my skills, and my very existence. “What should I do with my life?” “Lord, give me a sign. Something. Anything.” “Walang nangyayari.” are some of the things I’ve written one too many times on my new journal. What a way to start the year.
Social media detox, going back to journal writing
I open my Facebook and see my newsfeed full of people having an exciting life, whether or not they really are having a grand time or making people think they are having one, I don’t care anymore. Basta for me, their lives look a lot cooler, more colorful, and a lot less crappy than the one I’m living. With this, I almost stopped scrolling upon photos and videos of travels, humble brags, baby photos, and pet deaths. I feel awful.
I think this is also the reason why you are not seeing me there as often as you used to before. Some friends actually called me out on it, di na raw ako maramdaman sa social media. I said it’s because of my new home’s shitty internet connection in this part of the world that wouldn’t even let me post a selfie with a totally unrelated or papansin caption, let alone hit an angry reaction to another Mocha Uson brouhaha that has plagued the nation. But the truth is, I just don’t want to feed the green-eyed monster anymore.
Or maybe it’s also because I’ve started writing on a journal again that I don’t feel the need to share every single thought that crossed my mind that day. The whole journal thing wasn’t part of the big New Year’s Resolution plan or whatever. I don’t think I ever wrote one since my English teachers have stopped asking for us to write formal essays about resolutions – save for “saying ‘YES’ to myself” more, learn how to put on eye shadow, and try to do something new every month.
But since I got one in one of the many Christmas parties I attended last year and I don’t know anyone who I can re-gift it too, lol, sue me, I re-gift presents that I feel like I won’t use, I decided to try writing again my thoughts the old school way. You know, back when we’re too personal about our thoughts and we’d fight anyone who will secretly read them (I’d fight with anyone who would read this current journal without my permission) and we’re not fishing for likes for our thoughts that are not even worth a dime. Sometimes I ask myself, what have we become as humans?
So anyway, I started writing on a journal where I try to chronicle the day’s events or thoughts and I am proud to tell you that I am able to write on it for 31 days. Woohoo.
After successfully writing on this journal for a month, I figured I will try to write at least one entry on this blog again, preferably every end of the month to look back on the month that was – overshare some of my experiences, my thoughts, the mundane shit that happened and reflect. I might even sing “who is that girl I see, staring straight back at me” in the process. Hehe.#lastmonayanCarmina
Lost traditions and the search for something I don’t know what
I started January with something I never expect would happen: celebrate New Year’s Eve without my family. Don’t get me wrong, I was with my mother’s side of the family, but this was the first time I never really welcomed the New Year with my parents and my siblings. New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve is a big deal to our family. Our usual banquet composed of caldereta, kare-kare, spaghetti, cake, morcon, ham and hot chocolate where nowhere in sight. Instead, I was treated to a feast of bulalo, laing, spaghetti, shanghai, and lechon prepared by my lola. There was no “paagaw” of coins to my nieces and nephew, only the sound of the neighbor’s karaoke blaring out “Dahil sa ‘yoako’y matapang, para sa ‘yo ako’y lalaban” on loop. And there was definitely none of my siblings’ usual chatter, save for my niece Potpot’s laughter. But maybe, that’s just how it goes, people move to other places, traditions fade with time, and eventually, everybody just grows up, move on and start their own traditions. Sigh. I need my cup of hot cocoa.
The start of the year also had me on a never-ending search for a new job. A few days ago, I was supervising the editing of an episode I produced and I just felt so fucking tired of it all. I started asking myself if I still want to do this, if I am still seeing myself doing this for the next five years or so. Maybe I was just tired, sleep-deprived and in dire need of a bath, but at that moment, I honestly wouldn’t want to do it anymore, like I have lost all interest in doing it, and that I’m just doing it because it’s going to pay for this month’s bills.
I figured there are a lot of things I could do, I could write, I’m a little rusty, but I believe I’m still good at it. Right? I just need an inspiration, or honestly, a deadline. Hehe. So I started applying for jobs that I feel would best fit the skills and the learnings I’ve had over the years of working like a pathetic slave and for what? A few travels, some shoes and clothes, movie tickets, yummy dinners, and a few pampering here and there? Sometimes I feel like it’s not at all worth it. I mean, eight years of working, shouldn’t I be great by now? A lot of my friends are getting married, having kids, reaching the ladder of success, posting checks worth hundreds of thousands of pesos to lure downlines, and here I am, whining about what the fuck have I done with my life?
So I applied for jobs, after jobs, and jobs. Maybe to ten or fifteen jobs, but I’m still not getting a single interview since I started applying a few days back. This has never happened to me before. I had been told I have a stellar resume. So I started asking, what the fuck is going on? I might start re-drafting my resume, find out if there’s something wrong with it, improve it, maybe even invent stuff I can do that I can’t? Charot NO NO yan. You guys, my self-esteem had never been this small it feels like it’s been crumpled, thrown to the bin, and is now serving its purpose as fertilizer to a basil pot growing in an organic farm somewhere up north. If you’d tell me I’m a good writer or employee or whatever, I’d probably scoff and look at you like, you mean five years ago, right? When life was a bliss, and I was living the dream. But today, I’m not.
Okay, I’m just ranting. This wasn’t my idea when I decided to write again after a very long time.
The obligatory I’ve got to try something new and other hits
Some firsts I did this year: kicked it off with free diving and sugaring. Not really big things per se, if you’d look at it. But to be able to conquer one of my greatest fears – swimming in the vast ocean with the possibility of getting stung by jellyfish, drowning, cramping (which actually happened), breaking my eardrum from the pressure, and just getting lost in the current, I mean just dying, is a big deal for me. I learned the basics with my sister and friends and I really want to learn more and finally learn to duck dive, so when I finally go back to the sea, I would be able to swim under the sea! Yeah!
As for sugaring for the first time, it’s like bikini waxing, but using organic materials. I had mine done at Barenaked over at Glorietta 5. It was okay, the pain is similar to waxing, but they said it’s relatively less painful, which I’m unsure of, since I have a really high threshold for pain. The iffy thing for me then was spreading eagle my vajayjay to a girl I’ve met for the first time hahaha. I’ve been doing it before, but I’ve known Jackie for a long time, so I’m comfortable to her about it. Anyway, procedure-wise, they said that the difference is that the hair growth is going to be finer, but the hair’s grown back and it kinda looks the same. But the thing is it didn’t itch the way it usually does when I’ve done it with waxing. I need to do it a few sessions more to see an actual difference though. But first, a real job that pays the bill, and pays the wants (skincare, travel, expensive food, and overpriced frappe from time to time).
Living alone and conquering my Everest
Since I felt extremely unproductive, I’ve decided to topple down my Everest: my laundry from November 2017 and beyond that is so fucking high, I ended up having back ache and possibly callouses on my hands when I was finally done hehehe. My next “mountain of clothes” to conquer would be the stuff I need to get rid of: take photo of and sell for more moolah. Huhu. Heavens, please give me the energy to finally do it.
To be honest, I’ve only ever finished doing my laundry because I have lesser freelance gig these days compared to last year and I have more time for myself. Maybe that’s the reason why I contemplate and wallow a lot about the train wreck that is my life. Because I have the time. Do you know how hard it is to be an over thinker and an over analyzer? I overthink and overanalyze the littlest things; I look for signs or the absence of it, even the amount of time my crush replies to my chats. How pathetic is that? But that’s for another story, y’all. Or maybe it’ll stay in le journal.
Or is it because I am finally, living alone? And do you know how living alone makes you realize how silence can be really loud? It can be deafening. And it gets harder and harder to shut things out. You know that episode when Joey lived alone for a while and says he thought he has a lot of thoughts but apparently he didn’t have that many? Well fuck me. I’ve got a shit ton of those. It sucks to be an over thinker and an over analyzer. But thank God for Netflix.
My January had been all about me overthinking, overanalyzing with a pinch of obligatory new year first time pizzaz, a tablespoon of kilig from the happy crushes, 2 tablespoon of actual work, a teaspoon of job hunting, half cup of low self-esteem, and a big ass slice of feeling unproductive, stagnant, and the constant pressure to do better and the fear of the future. Stir. Preheat oven in 375F. Cook for 30 minutes. Serve scalding hot.
So yeah, fuck me. Let me finish this entry with a quote from “The End of the Fxxking World,”
Frodo: I don’t like my life.
Alyssa: So, do something.
(Frodo throws away cancer keychains and flips the middle finger to his boss)