Category Archives: reflection

Life Cycle

Standard

My last post was about my last semester of course work in College. A semester of doing practicum had passed, and the most awaited graduation day arrived. 

A momentous day remembering the 5 years of my daily college routine. Finally graduating from 18 years of compulsary education. Celebrating 21 years of living and dreaming.

Amidst the joy and pride, life goes on. It didn’t stop after I marched up the stage to receive a college diploma. I thought it did. Instead, another chapter forced its way into my life, whether I was ready or not.

I began working right after graduation. Everyday, I learn new things about my work and myself. I wake up before the sun even shows himself, and go home when he has set. Everyday. But, I’m happy with this new yet familiar cycle.

Well, I think I’m happy.

There are days when I would wonder if there would be an end to this cycle- to wake up with nothing to think about. I would either be rich or dead for that to happen, and the latter seams more probable with my choice in profession.

This cycle needs to end, and I hope I would be able to experience such peace and comfort in this lifetime, even for just a short while. As life goes on, so must a new cycle begin. 

This time, I would be the one to dictate when the new cycle begins. 

Advertisements

Self-Analysis

Standard

Apart from teaching and cooking, I find psychology rather fascinating as well. I like finding the reasons for why people act the way they do, and every time I feel sad or depressed, I can’t help but analyze myself. It is exciting to know more about why I act this way, but at the same time, it is quite heartbreaking knowing that no one will benefit from my study–even myself. So, for today’s post, I will try to consolidate my 20-year old case study, so that you, my dear readers, will better understand me, and maybe even understand yourselves.

Lack of Self-esteem

This stems from the fact that I have two younger brothers who are constantly doing better than me. Every time I try out a new activity, they follow and do so much better. I do not get praises from my own attempts, rather people praise them all the time. Of course, my self-esteem, rather what is left of it, is also deeply rooted with what my parents told me when I was young until now. “You are so fat!” “You are so ugly!” “You are useless!” Thus, these words are what fills my mind and soul.

Whenever I say these words, my friends would always say that I’m not fat. I simply say “Thank you”, but do not take their words to heart.

Need for positive appraisal

Luckily, I found what I am good at, and none of my brothers can do it better than me. But then, what is the use of being good at something, when the people who I seek appraisal from don’t even look my way? When I tell my parents stories of school and the good things happening to me, they simply shrug it off, and talk about business, and how useless I am.

Solution? Stop trying to impress them! I try to impress my classmates and friends instead. I always do my best in my extra-curricular activities, always trying to please them because they are very honest. They give credit where credit is due.

Just last week, I was so happy that my professor praised my essay. I was the only one who got a perfect score compared to the other creative writing majors. In my Japanese class, I beat my classmate in a race to translate the statement. It was my first time getting the correct answer ever. All my classmates clapped their hands. Did I share it with my parents? Of course not, because when I got home, all they told me was how useless I was.

Demand for Equality

Lastly, I demand to always treat people fairly in school, especially when enforcing rules in our organiztaion. Simply because my parents value my younger brothers so much more due to the fact that they are boys. I am growing up in a society where everyone, despite gender or sex, needs to learn how to cook, sew or even just bring the dishes to the sink. But apparently, the place I go home to every night, is still unaware of such changes.

I have gotten so used to it that I simply didn’t care anymore. But then, the school also shaped me to act this way. Every year, I saw the injustices happening because of biased teachers, which is why I aim to fight against it by becoming a fair and just teacher.

What now?

Even though I have analyzed myself so much, and found the root of the way I think, I don’t do anything about it. Thus, the reason I said I don’t benefit from such analysis. I still desperately try to please my parents, even if I know nothing will come out of it. I push myself to climb different social ladders, run for student council, become the president of this and that, for what? For them to tell me to stop and focus on more important things (even though they tell me to “put myself out there”). I push myself to excel in my academics hoping to bring them that medal. But I know, it doesn’t matter because after a couple of years I’m sure my brothers will be bring home something much bigger.

Still, I do it. All to hear the words “we’re so proud of you”, which I won’t believe because of you.

P.S. This song really sums up the emotions I have been feeling the past couple of weeks until now.
Paralyzed by Against the Current
P.P.S. I will be writing a part two to this, I’m just not yet sure on how to attack the topic.

Break Down

Standard

After more than 10 years, our car showed the signs that it had reach its limit. The air conditioned was not working right. There was a strange humming sound from the back. There were times when it just stopped all together. Do we notice these signs of a break down? Of course. Do we still use it? Of course! After all, we haven’t rendered it useless yet.

If only humans can easily show the signs of a breakdown…

Good thing most people can. Whenever I see someone gloomy, I can easily tell something is wrong. I simply ask, “Are you ok?”, and they will share their life’s sorrows with me. After hearing almost all of the stories, I realize that my friends’ problems are so much more childish than mine. Oh how I wish that their problems are mine. Even so, I listen to them. I may not sympathize with them, but I listen, and that is enough for them.

But, here lies the irony of the situation. I help people with their problems. I can’t sleep at night trying to think of ways to resolve conflicts. I constantly rehearse every word in my head trying to think of the perfect thing to say. I desperately try to please everyone, so that, even in my world, everyone could be happy. I try to make them happy, and for a few moments, I see that they truly are, and I am too.

But, they do not see. Behind the smiling face, listening ears, and caring hugs, is the real me. They do not see, or rather they do not wish to see. Here I am, with a giant neon sign with the word help,  and no one even notices. All, I want is someone to listen, but all I have is me, so I just cry myself to sleep to ease the pain.

Notice the signs. Fix the damages, while it can still be repaired.

The only thing I can hope for is that they won’t render me useless and drive me straight to the dump.

Emotions

Standard

So today marks the first official day as the president of our organization. I don’t really know how to convey my emotions, without me ending up rambling on and on about things you don’t really care. Instead, I wrote these very short poems (they take the form of Haiku, but Haiku are much more complicated than this) to convey my emotions.

1. In one minute

Touched and thankful

Anxiousness consumes

Hope arrives

2. Pressure

Rice is in the pot

Pop! The button goes.

Do we have rice tonight?

3.  Time

Dawn again

Life ensues

Seize the day

4. Answer

Why look for a reason?

When the reason is right here.

The reason is you.

5. Life

Hello,

It’s nice to meet you.

Goodbye.

Mirror

Standard

Sometimes you wonder whether what you do is enough, and that is normal. But when you begin to doubt every single thing you do, then something must be wrong. You’ve accomplished a lot in your life. You’ve excelled far more than others, yet why do you sell yourself short? Whatever made you think that way?

Do you think I was born with this ideology? I was programmed to be like this for 20 years. I don’t just know it, I live it. I wish to blame you– the people who always put me down, who always does better in everything do, who see no good in any attempt I try to pursue. You! Who always compares me with the rest of the world. Will I ever stop blaming you- you who’s standing right in front of the mirror?

You can change. If you want to, you can.

Don’t you think I want to? And, don’t use the line “If there is a will, there is a way” on me. I have the will, and I will make the way. I have already proven that. But if others don’t help me make the way, I’ll be spending my whole life building that road to the end without ever reaching it.

Then stop looking in front of the mirror blaming yourself, and start looking elsewhere!

And get slapped in the face?! I am built to bite my tongue.

Be careful. You might bite your tongue off, and bleed to death.

I’ve proven that theory to be false. I’m still here aren’t I?

Are you?

*silence*

Fueling the Passion

Standard

Below is an essay I wrote for a competition. When I wrote the answer, I had the question on my mind. After reading my answer, I realized that I wasn’t able to answer the question. I ended up making a different essay. I didn’t want it to go to waste, so here it is:

Ever since I could remember, I have always wanted to become a teacher. Not a lot of people were happy about my choice. Even my own parents looked down upon that day I submitted my college application forms. Until today, that shadow of disappointment continues to haunt me.

Whenever I meet new people, they would ask where I studied. Upon hearing that I entered into this prestigious university, they would be surprised, excited, and eager to learn more.  But when they find out my degree program, everyone can see the drastic shift in their emotions. Some of them would even joke that I had to start saving up right now for my future.

One might think that these criticisms would lead me to stop everything and study a different field. Instead, these events in my life actually motivate me to pursue the profession and make the most out of my chosen field. In doing so, everyone would be able to see how much anyone can achieve when there is passion.

I never thought of my classes, my responsibilities, my roles as a burden, and this is greatly manifested in how I worked and its output. Being able to accomplish so much is because I love what I do. The recognition that came with it was completely unexpected. It was only when I began listing these down that I realized that I have done so much, even though it never felt like that at all.

As I practice my vocation, my life serves as an inspiration to others– to pursue with passion. It is that passion that would wake them up every morning, forgetting the physical limitations of one’s body. It is that passion that would lead them to be recognized by others even if no one ever believed them.

Life in Death

Standard

Today, an acquaintance of mine passed away. I would emphasize acquaintance because we were never really friends. She was someone I met a few times in a year in church. Now, the question whether we could have been friends would be unanswered.

I was never a regular attendee in church, but whenever I did go, she was there to greet me. She would accompany me and make me feel welcome. She was so active in social media websites, which is why the news really came as a shock to me.

Her death was really unexpected. She was around 22-24 years old. She was raped and killed in her own house at night. Somehow the perpetrators got in her house.

Her death makes me reflect about the world and how truly unsafe it has become. I have always found safety in the home, but because of that incident, are we ever truly safe?

But more importantly, her short life makes me reflect on what is truly important in life. It is easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life, but once in a while, we need to stop. We need to talk to people, ask them if they are ok. We need to share our emotions to ease the pain and burden.

Finally, it is sad to see that it is only through death that people come to realize this. Her death reminded me of Jesus’ own death- of how unjust it was. But it is Jesus’ death that we are all able to gain a new life. I know that those who have met her would be able to grow closer to God because of how she lived her life- I know I have.

May you rest in peace for you are with Him. Justice will come in time.

11:57pm

Standard

11:57 pm
At 11:57 pm, 20 years ago, I was born.
At 11: 57 pm, today, I died, well almost.
At 11:57 pm, 20 years ago, I was crying.
At 11:57 pm, today, I cried.

It does sound dramatic, doesn’t it? Well, I am indeed still alive, but I don’t know if I would be if I wasn’t able to send that VERY IMPORTANT email before midnight. I felt like Cinderella rushing to get home before the clock struck twelve. To think, she was one of my favorite Disney princesses.

Side note: I hope my prince charming would come after the marathon I just ran. 

I didn’t expect my birthday to end the way it did. Frankly, this was one of the most forgettable birthdays I will ever have. I was rather lonely today. A lot of people were nowhere to be found since they were all too busy with their final requirements. Those who I expected to remember my birthday didn’t even greet me. Those I barely even know, stopped to say hi.

When I got tired of waiting for people, I left. Then, a lot of people to look for me. Too bad I just left.

To make matters worse, I made an “acquaintance-going-to-friend” mad at me.

I got home, and my parents bought me chocolate cupcakes. They weren’t my favorite, but I guess that would have to do. I thought my day was going to end well, when I get the email of… I don’t know what email it was, but it made me edit a 15-page paper in less than an hour.

12:26 am
I just received the email regarding my submission. My heart is pounding faster than ever.

If this is what I would face in my 20th year, I’m not looking forward to it at all.

Disappointments and Self-loathing

Standard

Today was the graduation ceremony of our College. As the appointed head of the ushering committee, I had to make it right. After all, it was the last words the previous head told me. I had prepared for this day for more than two weeks. Sadly, all the preparation can only do so much.

We were very much undermanned, and other tasks kept on coming all over me. Guests were complaining. My team arrived late, or just stood there and lacked the initiative to actually work. I am extremely disappointed at them, but as their head, I am most disappointed at myself. I want to handle everything on my own, but I know for a fact that I can’t. And that hurts.

Also, my mother announced that my cousin received a scholarship to study in Japan for one week (which is one of my dreams), but last week I announced that our group thesis was selected to be presented in the Hawaii International Conference on Education. Of course, I was so happy and excited. My mom just said, “What’s that?” My mom just does not see the value in what I have achieve, even though I explained it to her. Since, I have no chance on actually presenting our paper due to monetary reasons, my mom thinks that is worthless, which equates ME to being worthless.

See where I get that perfectionist attitude and need for social recognition?

Well, I took this personality test today, I cam into terms with some of the information it presented. I find most of the interpretations quite accurate. My main motivations contradict with what my mother wants me to strive for. Frankly, I could care less about the pay. I do volunteer work all the time, and she just isn’t satisfied the way I am.
Image  Image

Behind One Vote

Standard

I can’t believe it has been four moths since I was at that all important cross-road of my life. I spent the entire holidays thinking whether to run as our organization’s president or as a member of the student council. I chose the latter.

Taking part in the campaign, despite my earlier perceptions, was no easy task. It was definitely a whole new playing field, with its own set of rules. Good thing, the people I campaigned with were so open-minded and caring. I kept having problems and conflicts with other responsibilities, but they always comforted, welcomed and accommodated me. I couldn’t have asked for better slatemates, rather friends.

I don’t think I could have survived one whole month of stress and sleepless nights without them. A month before the actual campaign period, we started preparing. We had to read up on national and university- wide issues. We crammed so much information- which I don’t think we were able to use all of them. But learning all those, made me become a more socially aware student and member of society.

We tried to do things on our own. We created everything from scratch, being a newly established independent party. But, a few days before the actually start of the campaign, nerves got to us.

Because of that, we got help from more “credible” people. Instead of training among ourselves, one of the members invited guests to speak to us about the elections and how we should package ourselves. Having those talks served as a wake-up call. We needed to learn so much more.

I honestly thought of campaigning just like a normal person, wearing my shorts and my shirt. I learned, that it could work both ways. Voters may deem me as too lax verging on disrespectful, or they could see me as someone closer to the ordinary joe. I didn’t want to take that risk, as my slatemates. So we chose to get matching outfits. XD

Finally, those sleepless nights were put into action. The campaign period was both exciting and tiring. We had to be in school by 7 am in our best smiles. In between our classes, we walked around shaking hands with people we have never even met. We left the school at 8 pm, only to go to a place to learn more and cram even more information to our already tired minds. Despite all of that, we had to smile. Even if we wanted to cry, we had to smile.

During those two weeks, I learned something so much more important. I got to see who my true friends are. I saw the people who were willing to support me in my endeavor. My high school friends, who didn’t really go to the same University as me, helped me campaign!My college friends couldn’t even support me wholeheartedly. Those I didn’t consider friends helped me so much more. I really needed them. I could’t care less about the vote (though that was really important), but what mattered more to me was their emotional support. I really learned to be strong because during this time, true colors will shine.

We all went through so much pain just to get one vote. One vote defines win or lose. (Well, in our official results, two votes defined one candidate’s loss). Nonetheless, I thought of the whole process as a test, and winning the elections simply meant you pass. Beyond that test, however, is a much more challenging responsibility. If we didn’t survive those tough and stressful days, then it is more likely we would be able to survive the what lies beyond the great wall.

 

P.S. What actually transpired was so much more than what I have written. I believe I have learnt so much more about myself and about life in general though this experience. Sadly, I do not think I can narrate each one without going into the specifics, and that would just be too dragging. Though if you are interested in reading more about the elections and what I have experienced, do leave a comment, so that I could share more 🙂