Brake to Break

I came from one full week of vacation leave from work and it was a good one. Someone even commented at work earlier that I look rested. Partida pa yan, I look like a strawberry 🍓 after my skin tags electrocautery. LOL!

I forgot about this week-long leave if not for our amazing admin who reminded me that there was an approved form signed back in September. Sure, I had errands planned and my dad’s death anniversary fell on the same period, but I even thought of going back to the office for a day or two because “I had no plans”. Well, turns out, “no plan” is a good plan. I had time to simply rest, stare at the ceiling, and think about anything. I didn’t even sleep longer; if anything, I was confident staying up so late, but I guess it’s the overall feeling of not going to your routine when the sun rises that made the difference.

I once opened up to my supervisor about what I feel sometimes, and it didn’t take long for us to reconcile that it’s a classic sign of burnout. In order not to go to that dark place, or have your energies completely sucked out of you, it’s always best to step back and rest. Sure, one week of break with daily errands won’t be enough, but pulling back is a good way to recharge.

I am back to my regular work routine and will be amongst the taong-bahay this month. I think I’m all set. I cannot wait for this year to be over. To me it has been a mash up of worst and best events in my life but I’ll save the histrionics and lengthy introspection for my yearend post.

Go, Grow, Glow

I applied for a higher position at work and I didn’t get it. To say I was more relieved than disappointed won’t be a lie.

The interview was something that felt like a staff meeting. I knew it then that nah, I’m not going to get it. I didn’t prepare for it as I initially intended – the night before was the showing of Justice League, and you know how I hyped myself up for that movie, hehe – but I think I did okay. Not “Hire her!” worthy but I did fine. There was one question where the moment I said my response, I kind of rewired and thought, “Crap, wrong answer.” But I let it slide. What’s done is done.

The timing of the opening was not good for me also. This year I made judgment errors and am still working my way to re-learn and reform, and basically grounding myself again. It’s years of complacency and burnout that merited out of character actions. It was over and done, and I believe things happen for a reason so let us leave it at that.

I was more touched by the reactions of people who thought I was going to get it. I’m sure they were equally happy for the one who did get it — I am, and no offense to other competent colleagues who vied for the position, I believe the management chose the best one among the roster of candidates. Her experience and macro familiarity of the section will help her well. And I also told her that this time, she will have strong people below her who will be allies. That surely counts for something.

The reactions were probably brought by the impression that I was kinda a shoo-in; but see, I wasn’t. More importantly, and this is something people close to me have recognized early on — was it something that I really wanted? Well, the money, sure. That even was my first reason for applying, who are we kidding. Anyway, I feel I don’t have a natural knack for operations – I even said it before:

Operational changes are also in full swing at work and even though I still struggle to get them all in my (literally) big head, it’s exciting to be a part of something like it. Operations management is not my strong suit; I’ve always been the correspondence and social media person, so getting out of this small comfort zone is exhilarating if you’re called in to participate at the right moment.

The night before the interview one of my bestfriends commented that the slightest hint that I was not really into it will definitely show in any form during the interview. So his reminder was, just make sure I really wanted it. I guess I didn’t.

Maybe I thought I can do it because was banking on job familiarity and the people (I’ve said time and again, people pull me through). Then again, if not really equipped, baka doon ako magkalat. That is more embarrassing.

Speaking of people, this only means I will be staying at a place where I believe I really belong anyway. I forgot if I articulated it the same way in the interview, but I always describe our team integration as something that wasn’t easy in the beginning, but it has evolved into something very interesting. Little successes made acceptance faster and now I am seeing the promise and — if I may use the term — awesomeness of what we are doing and will do in the future. It’s still shaky in some areas but overall, really, creating something amazing from scratch — who would not want to be a part of that?

Right now, all is good and peachy. I hope! I am stable enough and I am happy about it. Bloom where you are planted, as the saying goes. Been doing little steps to bloom again.

Lastly, I got this message (after a video call) which was sent during my interview.

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Teehee, ano, labaaan? Okay na muna ‘to! Kebs na kung di umangat, matagal na akong napromote. Ito na lang, hahaha!

Attempt

I have been sitting here with initially an intent to update my CV for a work vacancy, then going from one site to another led to hours of not doing what I was supposed to accomplish. Hahaha, hashtag my life.

The ideas, mundane and otherwise (let us bank on mundane for the most part), are still plentiful in my head. I thought getting a new laptop will make me do it more, but really, there is no price for enthusiasm and drive.

One day. One day.

Loyally Yours

It may sound crazy but I feel I am cheating on someone who does not even like me, who does not even know I have feelings for him (I think), when I entertain another person’s attention. This tendency to narrow my vision limits my options and may shut off better possibilities. Still, I cannot help it.

“The love that lasts is the one that is never returned,” said in one movie. It may be premature to label whatever I feel now as love because this feeling, it has been an ongoing thing and only the person involved changes — and not often, mind you. It spans years. Years of feelings that have been unrequited since, when was the last time I had an official boyfriend — 2004? Yes, that long. And if my math is accurate, there were seven men who were unfortunately subjected to my love (or whatever it was); some were documented here, some happened when I lost the drive to write daily. Poor men.

Anyway, the last unrequited saga ended in June. Being the hopelessly romantic that I am, days later I woke up thinking of someone and seeing him in the office corridor felt like a thousand butterflies woke up and danced in my stomach. Ding-dong, the crazy lady with all her feelings barreling toward a new guy is at it again. I’ve not looked back since.

I long stopped putting meaning and explanations to whatever action (or the lack of it) I receive from any man I fancy at a given moment. Men do not go very deep; I mean in terms of reading their feelings and reactions. As said in another movie, “If a guy treats you like he does not give a shit, he really does not give a shit.” I do not buy that men are shy, prefer it low-key (ergo if you’re loudly announcing it, they won’t like it, pssshhh), or intimidated (oh, this last one is the most bullshit of all, I’m telling you). If they like you, they will go for it. If they don’t, it’s only because they are not interested. Maybe not now, maybe not ever. And that’s what we have to live with. And we have turned down attention and affection from others so it’s somehow an even playing field.

Right now, in between going crazy over Wonder Woman and the Justice League (a woman’s gotta have other diversions!) and adulting, I’m living day by day with the enjoyment of this new subject of affection even if I can barely get a peep out of him. Some days the eye-candy and the presence are enough, some days I crave for longer, more personal conversations which may not come. But lucky him, and whoever the next one if this one passes without any success, because I’m definitely not going to look and consider other men while I’m at it. You can call it loyalty, I call it laziness. Either way, it’s still unrequited. Darn these men.

Still Distracted

I was home earlier than usual and a tiny part of me was hopeful I could finally publish a post or two in my drafts folder. The coherent ones, you know? But after business-related communications (naks, see, my little online bookshop is making traction plus some Cooperative training opportunities), my fingers found themselves typing Netflix.

My watch list has a lot of unfinished episodes because my attention span has always been really short when presented with plenty of options. I finished the 4th episode of Broadchurch though. It’s been on my list for a time and only managed to start it when the Jodie Whitaker news hit. Right now as I type the half of my screen is playing the pilot episode of The 100. Heard a lot of great stuff about it beyond the book. My motivation to finally start? Been seeing The 100 Funko pops! Hahaha!

I need to be in bed in 45 minutes so let’s see what other “crazy” shenanigans I go into. Grabe, this life. Pero happy naman ako. Hahaha! How are you today?

Steady

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It’s been a long time since I felt this kind of steady, this kind of calm. I cannot fully say I’m over whatever demons I got because that’s an entire encyclopedia of conversation to dabble in, so I’m enjoying each day as it comes.

The desire to go is still there and I think it’s never gonna go away. Maybe it was sidetracked a bit because of people. My kind of introversion sometimes finds solace from being pulled in by people. And finding someone to potentially victimize, errrr, fall in love with must have contributed. Whatever it is, I’m not daring to poke the fragile balloon. Not when I’m kinda enjoying life again.

No Reading No Care

No Reading No Care.

Except not completely.

It’s a new high for my reading slump this year. The other difference is that I do not feel as bothered by it. I thought developing an affinity for comic books and graphic novels will offset the lack of novels in my reading progress, but turns out 2017 is just not a reading year for me. And it’s okay.

Of course this desire will never ever go away. As in other pursuits, this feeling taught me that it’s okay to go with what I feel like doing and not stick to what I’ve been accustomed to. What it gives is an opportunity for me to miss the activity and something for me to look forward to doing in the future.

But the itch to buy is another matter. These tweets were in the last 48 hours. I have not sold a lot in my online store yet I’ve been getting more than what I have let go. Which is not new to you, if you’ve been following me long enough.

I can channel my overall indifference into plunging into reading but real life hardly agrees. Thus my wish, which I believe have always been mine, since I became an adult:

 

Picasso Once More

My mother requested for a city staycation because we lost our power supply last Thursday night and we were told it won’t be fixed soon. As soon as we left for the hotel, my uncle messaged us that the electricity was restored. Ang galing di ba? This kind of sudden gastusan makes me wanna pull my hair out of my head, but I realized, nanay ko naman ito, that I will also be enjoying it, and hello, I  can shell out more for toys and collectibles (my new crack — but that’s for another entry), so why not just enjoy this stay?

My go-to booking app for hotels has been Agoda since 2015. So far, I got good rates and no hidden charges upon checkout. For this weekend, I chose to stay in Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences. First stayed there in 2011 and went back again late last year. It’s the cheapest option considering the location — smack dab in Salcedo Village, a few steps away from Salcedo Market if you opt to stay on a weekend, and walking distance to great restaurants and convenience stores.

FullSizeRender 2 I also like their gym! It occupies two floors, loft-style. They have the basic gym equipment, almost identical than the ones we have in the office gym. I went twice and I was almost alone both times so it worked well (pa-unsocial kunyari) for me. Iba din pala ang feeling when you have a not-so high view of the Makati BCD landscape. A breather from trees and waves of the Manila Bay breakwater, hehe.

We got the very same room we stayed at last time so it feels familiar. Hehehe. The first two stays I was with R, this time with my mom, and with the comfort this hotel gave me, pwede bang next time, jowa naman? Hahaha!

If I don’t let my kuripot side guilt-trip me over small luxuries like this, I can get used to this. It’s like getting a massage or a good mani-pedi We did not go far but seeing that we’re in something different can do good to the body and soul (whaaaat). I will do this again soon.

Say It

Someone shared this tweet of a fictional character over Twitter. So timely.

No matter how loud, how “confident”, how put-together someone appears to be, you must not forget that asking someone out still requires a certain amount of courage. It’s a form of putting one’s head on the chopping block. Remember Anna Scott’s question to Will Thacker?

The thing with a yes or no question is that it could go either way only. So when you find yourself saying no, sometimes in the form of not saying anything, still be kind. And still be there. Do not go away. You might change your mind. Even if you don’t, when the dust settles (aka when the question/invite/expectation stops), you may even get a laugh out of it. Life’s like that.

If you find yourself receiving yet another no, sometimes in the form of not saying anything, understand and accept, and still be kind. Still be there, but not in an insistent kind of way. Do not go away; there is nothing wrong in asking. You might change your mind and find yourself not wanting to ask anymore. When the dust settles, you may even get a laugh out of it. Life’s like that.

One day, you will muster the courage to ask again and you will get that elusive yes.

Same Page

I no longer like the guy I pined for in the last two-and-a-half years. I checked and waited if it will change for about a week when I first felt the “meh.” Now it’s not just confirmed. It’s confeeeeeermed. And it’s a wonderful thing. My prayers were answered. I can say that our feelings for each other are now mutual. We are now on the same page. 😂

Two-Prong

Some say in order to know someone’s or something’s real worth you have to detach yourself from it. Whether by choice or you were made to, doesn’t matter, so long as you take that certain amount of time away from what you’re used to.

After the break, you will realize how burnt out you were. That purging something out of your system was an awesome idea. From there you can start fresh. See familiar things in a clearer, more rejuvenated lens. You will also find yourself thinking, “Oh my, I missed this.”

Or…you will feel how much you’ve wanted to be out of it all along. That the break you took was the catalyst, your push, that without it you’d probably still be there until you — unconsciously — continue to self-sabotage by doing things out of character (does not make it neither negligible nor justified) because maybe, deep down you really just want to be out of there. That your occasional social media statuses of discontent for years were signs that if culled can provide a clearer picture than an actual long-ass declaration.

Perhaps you’ve just reached the threshold. There’s nothing wrong with it. Other people felt it way earlier. As an adult though, there are considerations and concessions. And this is where common sense and passion must gel extremely well before taking any crucial step.

At this juncture, it is more agonizing because you already have figured out what you do not want, and there’s no way to deny it, you can only delay what you want to do about it. As compared to when you haven’t really mulled it over, you can simply chuck it to needing a break or forgetting it exists when little changes come or a reward is reaped. Now it’s no longer an elephant in the room. It’s an actual looming feeling day after day. Fear of the economic unknown creeps in, too, just to spice it up. 
What a stressful but very interesting time to be in.

More Books, More Fun – The Online Store!

After years of planning it in my head, I woke up one morning with a desire to find some of my books a new home. I thought of it as early as when I discovered I bought duplicate titles not on purpose, and when I visited storage boxes and having had no memory at all of buying some books (the dreaded “Meron na pala ako nito???” bookhoarder lapse.)

Thus the birth of More Books, More Fun. I am used to managing Facebook pages but it turns out handling a virtual shop isn’t all I easily thought it would be. I’m having fun though, don’t get me wrong!

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My small bookshop in the vast Facebook sphere.

I uploaded close to 300 books and truth be told, they didn’t make a noticeable dent. In time. After almost three weeks, sales are picking up, and by the end of June I may just donate the ones left unsold. The reason for this is, no matter how insignificant the space they made in our tiny home, there’s no returning to shelves or boxes anymore. There’s a plan to do another do-over of the books that didn’t make the “ibebenta na ba kita?” cut, and a tiny part of me is excited.

Parting is so bittersweet, you know? This may seem so dramatic, and I know it is. For one, a friend who can only shake her head with my hoarding once told me good thing I don’t move every two to three years. It’s gonna be hard to hoard with that kind of lifestyle. While it was fun, when the reality of urban living hits you hard, you really have to.

So if you are into welcoming second hand books for reasonable prices, please visit the page and drop a comment or two!

Maybe Next Time, Marathon.

In a few hours the class of 2017 of The Bull Runner University will officially run their first (or second) marathon and a small part of me (yes, there is a small part of me) is sad that I won’t be a part of it.

I signed up for the TBR Dream Marathon back in August. The motivation was laughable and shallow, although I don’t include it in my reasons why I’m not joining the event. I was wait-listed and then got in in a space of two days, paid the fee the next day, and the week after that, I started going to the office gym. It was a very good start.

The next weeks saw me in my regular running routine. Pikit-mata, I invested in a Garmin and in more decent workout clothes — before that, my “workout” clothes were the free singlets from the races I joined in years ago. I read on techniques and training schedules. Like many first-timers, I worked on my stability and endurance and planned on my speed next. I did not get to the focusing on my speed this time! part because, well, my routine started crumbling down.

Before it did, I managed to run one 16km and one 22km. Slow but nonetheless successful. My biggest achievement there was not feeling overly exhausted — hey, I was sllooooowww) and was able to go to work the next day as if nothing happened.

On the first week of December, I got acute gastroenteritis (that SM Aura restaurant and their lousy handling of greens was my culprit, haha) and was unable to train for a week. After that, the holiday season was in full swing and it was also a busier time at work, so I didn’t go back to training. In hindsight, they were all excuses. Then January came. I could have gone full blast in training to make up for it, hey I even found a shortened training calendar leading up to February 19, but the momentum came crashing down. It was disheartening but it was a battle I was sure I already lost.

I paid for runs to cover long distance training for January and February, but had to sell them. Good thing I was able to! Sayang din yun pera, ha.

Then just when I thought I was just extremely undertrained, and perhaps, I can still go and run on marathon day (the cutoff was 9 hours after all!), I was faced with a more serious medical emergency that totally put my marathon plans off the table. I was even scheduled sana to join a mountain hike so as not to feel bad for missing the marathon but even that was prohibited. My take is I am really not meant to do any physical activities during this period.

Anyway, I know it’s not going to be the only opportunity to run 42km. If the chance presents itself, I know I’m not going to be a total noob anymore. I did not regret the time and money I spent in the past months, even with a whisper in some hidden space in my heart that I won’t be able to do it anyway. In fact, one of  the things I miss is the great feeling after working out. I thought that sluggishness was endemic in my system but apparently it’s not! Hahaha! If only for that as a basic motivation, it might be great to poke the territory again.

For now I can only wish that all the marathon dreamers finish strong and safe. I was witness to the amount of hardwork and dedication they had. The friendship they formed is also something to be proud of. Perhaps someday, I’ll meet them, and it would be nice if it’s at a marathon route. Let’s see!

Where I Ate: Bacolod’s RIBSHACK and LORD BYRON’S

I recently went to Bacolod and one of the highlights of my trip was indulging in the back ribs craze of the city. I love meat and a big bonus in Bacolod is that their food there is relatively cheaper. And it’s not as if they scrimp on size and taste because oh boy, they don’t.

I scoured food blogs about Bacolod and back ribs were popular posts. I tried two of the more popular ones and was so impressed.

First, Ribshack. I read it’s originally from Cebu and opened its first branch in the city in SM Bacolod. The one I tried is in the 2nd floor Food Court of 888 Chinatown Mall which is very near the inn I stayed at. Ribshack also offers other grilled foods like chicken and fish, but ribs are, of course, their specialty. My Instagram post said it all.

The next day I specifically hunted Lord Byron’s newest branch nearer the city proper. Lord Byron’s original and bigger one is in Homesite which is a place I haven’t gone to, but a jeepney destination anyway (which is one of the best things in Bacolod, imho, mobility-wise — almost all places can be reached via jeepney!).

I went to pray at the Redemptorist Church and walked a few minutes and found its location in San Agustin Street (basically an extension of the street opposite Colegio San Agustin – so if you see the school, turn right and you’re near the restaurant). A bigger landmark — Riverside Hospital. The restaurant is beside other dessert places which are also very popular in the city.

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Another shot of my Lord Byron’s plate. Partnered it with cold Pepsi Max for good measure. This ribs meal plate is 159 pesos only.   

More than sumptuous chicken dishes, Bacolod is also strong in the backribs restaurant game. 🙂

 

 

 

Lunch Joke

I hardly regret the amount I spend on food and books. My taste in food is also very easy to please unless onions are involved. However there are days that will get you. See, I paid 100 pesos for this plate of food. You can tell how the serving is as I put a bill beside it. Hindi talaga makatarungan minsan. And it’s not as if it’s melt in your mouth liempo. 

Some say when I complain about how much something costs it just means I am not its target market. I agree with that but this joke of a lunch is to me a clear exception. 😂

Tolerance is not Indifference

I would like to think I am tolerant but not indifferent.

These are two different traits which are prone to be muddled when you are perceived to not care about, well, many things. I do care, it’s just that it’s a personal preference to let people live their own lives. When you apply it to family and close friends, it can very well be misconstrued as indifference. Deadma. Kebs. Walang pakialam, walang puso, to an extent, walang utang na loob. Hurtful, in a way.

I can give my thoughts on issues and situations but I deliberately make it a point to leave the last decision or conclusion to whoever I am talking to. How to move on from a breakup? Here are my thoughts based on what I know about your situation BUT up to you. Do you think I can do this? I think I do, BUT ikaw, you decide if you really want to. I read a blood relation on a warpath in social media — I ask if he/she is okay and perhaps may wanna tone it down BUT then again, bahala ka kung anong gusto mong gawin.

I may be crazy chatty and noisy and jokingly condescending but my closest friends know it’s all for fun. I personally do not feel comfortable having a say on someone’s life other than my own. At the end of the day, buhay mo yan. That’s just my reason for my being perceived as walang pakialam when the jokes are over. Maybe sometimes I overdo it that they think I just choose to forget. Well, minsan (lol), but I notice things, I hear laments, I read about situations — so my conscious and subconscious do know, I just choose not to react. The bahala ka sa buhay mo in a good way, you know what I mean? Of course, it’s common sense that when danger or a threat is looming, that becomes a different story.

More importantly, and this is where it becomes “complicated” allegedly, I simply do not want the same done to me. Tricky, as many will say (had said!) akala mo kung sino na ako na hindi na pwedeng sabihan. THAT’S NOT IT. Iba ‘yon. You have the freedom to speak to me, but to take them in, ako na ‘yon.

Life isn’t supposed to be a quid pro quo stance all the time. But I don’t opine on your life so I respectfully request you not give unsolicited advice and pass them off as what’s best for me.

I have a very limited number of people whom I allowed to have a clout in my life. My mother tops this list. Even then, it’s not completely true — because I only ultimately decide what I want, when I want to do it, and why. It’s really very simple. Harmlessly simple.

The Plague of the Vague

img_33761One good thing with our social media accounts is how we can post something, anything, that can be for someone without actually naming that someone. We are all treated to this everyday, and let’s admit it, there are times when the angry ones are the juicier ones, the more that catches our attention. On the other end, when you post something non-warfreakish with a person in mind, we carefully craft it albeit vaguely, but it reeks of ‘This is for you, hope you get it” undertones. If the person is dense or uninterested, your message will just be liked by equally clueless friends (because that’s what they’re there for, minsan kahit hindi nabasa, like lang agad — nasa friendship code ba yan?!), and will be drowned by more pressing posts. In short, mapapanis. :-p Lucky for you if the intended recipient read it yet didn’t do anything. Luckier if the intended read it, got it, and sprang into action. Ang haba ng buhok mo, girl. Ang pogi mo, boy.

On the other hand,  your “vaguely crafted” message will also be read by people other than the intended recipient, unless you restrict it to just the two of you (which will beg the question, hello, how psycho can you get?!). If it is a declaration of feelings, a pronouncement of whatever bubbling up inside, a subtle invite – lahat yan will be open to interpretation, and you have to be prepared for these, erm, possibilities. Particularly with regard to invites, we can be so engrossed hitting our target, tapos iba ang tinamaan. A different one took you up on it. That will be so awkward to decline. Sige nga, ngayon ka magmaganda.

This blog post is a big obvious example of such vagueness. (Sana nga na-gets mo.)

This is exactly what I thought as one of the downsides of being vague. There, the very lazy word sana.

Life is too short and the cyberspace is so vast to not be specific. The vagueness protects us from putting down all our cards on the table, it allows us to guard our heart, but at what cost?

 

Just Write Just Right

This begins a series of short posts that may or may not be for long. There is still the disconnect. I have said this over and over again.

Anyway, there is still comfort – not guilt – in running close to 7 kilometers, then going home and having panaderia-bought Spanish bread and Finetti (aka upper middle class Nutella) for dinner. And a glass of cold cranberry juice. Whatever makes you happy, you eat it.