14 July 2013

that which cuts across

Meeting new people and reconnecting with old contacts sometimes help me put some things into proper perspectives. Or better perspectives, I should say.

A good discussion about projects here and there, making things happen in a way that we could and should, still trying to do good things in spite of tons of challenges, exchanging stories and comparing notes on life after the official stuff, just chillaxing with like-minded individuals. That basically sums up my weekend so far. And my week as well.

moments over margaritas 
[2013 at Dencio's Capitol Greenstreet]

I was with an old co-worker and two guests from Australia these past couple of days to talk about some projects and stuff. But after that, we go out for dinner and a few drinks. And sometimes, I appreciate the after-work vibe more in these situations. I always love exchanging stories with new people. It's a hoot if they've got tons of funnies to share. But it's also very calming to learn that they also have some insights that you could relate to, despite the differences in age, in culture, and in status.

When we were doing our initial round of introductions, I told them that I just ended an 8-year teaching stint at a uni. And they were curious about it, so I shared that story's gist with them. And to hear comments like "Oh, those academic politics also happen in Australia, a lot!" or "That happened to me, too!" is somewhat sad in the beginning, but also a bit reassuring in a way. You know, reassuring, because sometimes you see these strong women who've already been around the world for advocacy work, businesses and such, they come off as strong-willed, determined and very smart, too, and to learn that they, too, were once victimized by unjust systems and oppressive insecure people, that's a bit reassuring for me. 

Yes, it sounds a bit warped, but perhaps what I'm saying is that in general, bad things really do happen to good people, people like us, people who just want to do some good for other people and be of some good use to the planet, you know. People who just want to make a system work, and be a part of it. But sometimes, the universe has this way of telling you that hey, you're needed elsewhere, so scram the hell outta there and go to where you're needed -- even if sometimes, you don't know where that "where" is, or even when, let alone how. But the important thing is, you know why. And that's a good enough reason to start on new journeys.

Or get a map and know where to turn. In theory and in practice. 
[2013 on the way to BGC]

Bad experiences and lessons from them, yeah, that really cuts across many things. Last night, I felt relieved to learn that somehow, I shouldn't feel so bad about some major things that have been happening to me. Because hey, if people could pull out of it, I could, too. And yes, yes, I already know these things anyway, sure, been there done that, whatever. Processed, processed, processed, done! But you know, sometimes, it's just nice to get reminded of it. It's nice to compare notes with great people, to learn what they've learned during moments that weren't so great for them, to listen to them share their own conquests of fears and insecurities, to listen to lessons learned from loss and being glad of gains, precious. Absolutely precious. Similarities are uncanny, extremes are incomparable, given, sure. But the lessons, ah the lessons and the way we receive them, those are just great to learn. Insightful.

It's funny how we all get a mixture of everything in our own little bags. Like life's dealer shuffled the cards in a not so happy way and you're stuck with it for some time. I guess the challenge there is age-old, I suppose: what do you do with the hand you were dealt with. And that's where your character gets formed, and how. Sometimes, you deal with it directly, immediately, spur of the moment, knee-jerk reactions, in an instant, snap of a finger. But sometimes, you know that what's best for the moment might be to just turn around, walk away, and breathe. Some may call it quitting, but only the strong know that it's really about moving on. So you take a step. And another. And another. And before you know it, you're at the doorstep of something new, a structure that could offer promising things. Behind that door, there might be people willing to try out better things with you. And that's why goodbyes aren't such a bad thing -- because there's a lot more hellos to replace those goodbyes. And talking with these new people, their stories are a testament that there are indeed more hellos than goodbyes on this earth -- and we should just be more aware of them, that's all. Mindfulness matters, indeed.

No, the sun's not leaving you. It's just taking a break for tonight 
so tomorrow, it could shine even brighter for you. 
Let it be. You'll see. [2013 Marikina]
So I'm glad that for a moment, I decided to be aware of some hellos. Business-wise, this current hello is a good thing for me. Throws off a couple of dream plans in the works but hey, maybe it's also a preparation for those dream plans to happen even better, but just later on. So wanderlust takes a back seat for now as I commit to new work stuff that makes me stay put where I currently am. No problem. As long as it's promising, I'll commit to it. 

Of course it's another thing if it's not promising, or not anymore. And that's another story of goodbye I've been dealing with lately. I just found out that sometimes, it's not worth it to be with people who do not know how to value you. Even more painful if you learn that they've been "valuing" you in a different light, or seeing you in a way that you never thought they would. Like they have this other image of you they created, with whatever material, you have no clue. Like you're not exactly asking for many things, but just some simple things, and even those don't get delivered. Like you choose someone and decide to devote your time, energy and resources to invest in a dream for a future, only to discover later on that you're actually "investing" in a stupid mo-fo of a ponzi scheme or some sort of budol-budol gang thing out there. Like you just want something simple, maybe a share of some kind of pie that she bakes, just a thin slice, or even just to be entertained by the thought that she also thought of you while baking that pie for her loved ones, because you also think you're regarded as a loved one. And to be handed out crumbs, that's not such a hoot. After you've done nothing but provide the ingredients, bought the oven, hell even bought the darn mo-fo farm where they plant the wheat to be harvested to become flour to turn into ingredients etc etc etc so she could bake some cake or pie, she gives you crumbs. And she knows I'm hungry, but she gives me crumbs. Yey. Yeah, I decided to do a goodbye from that culinary crumminess. 

Because I'm not a maybe. [2013 Kamuning]

A friend reminded me of a quote I love from a book, which needs to be tattooed on my mind from time to time: we get the love we think we deserve. I've also written about that stuff before, somewhere else, for other people. And lately, I also need that reminder for myself. Glad to discover early on that indeed, I know what I deserve, and I've decided that I don't deserve crumbs. Not anymore. Not now, and not ever.

Because I have this image of me.
 That's what I see, and that's what they see. 
 If there's something else you see, 
then it's probably not me.
 [2013 at BGC]
Hm all these culinary metaphor's making me hungry. Darnit. LOL. Well, I'm just glad I've still got some of my humor on, as a good friend also said. If I'm cracking witty jokes, then that means I'm still okay. Yes, my friend, I am, don't worry. And thank you. Yes, to a handful of people who have been trying to dissect this latest process for me, thanks for showing me what I've been overlooking, for the sake of preserving. Yeah, no more preservatives. Going organic from now on! Yeah, still can't stop the culinary metaphor LOL. I guess the universe is telling me to stop for now, and nourish myself anew. In more ways than one.

As always, thanks you guys, thanks universe, and yes, I'm listening. Full on.

Life's too short. Eat, and partake.

And don't stop discovering new fare, from time to time. 
[2013 at Pipino]


  1. you deserve far from crumbs-- good to hear you are surrounded by, and speaking with, loved ones who can be there for you... you deserve nothing but the best- wishing you well on these new chapters.

  2. no one deserves crumbs indeed. thanks for your words of support.