Tag Archives: essay

Self-Analysis

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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.

Left Unwritten

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I had dinner with my high school friends today. And while it was fun reminiscing about the good ‘ol days, it was refreshing to hear stories about their work, rather than stories about school, exams and deadlines. While I was laughing on the outside, my mind was already stricken with fear- fear of what the future holds for me.

Evie works as a writer for two websites. She writes five for one website and three for the other, and she finishes all of these in just three hours. She begins writing at 5:30 am and finishes by 8:30 am. Did I mention she works at home? But that is not the best part, she earns approximately 430 USD. She doesn’t even write articles, she simply paraphrases them.

Lya shared her work life as well. She works at a company from 10 am to 6 pm. She addresses the problems of different customers, writes emails, and answers phone calls. She calls it customer support, while I call it a call center agent. I don’t mean to belittle the job of call center agents, but I never saw her working there, especially a university graduate (from a premier university, nonetheless) who graduated with Latin honors. But then who cares when she gets to bring home approximately 650 USD a month.

Ren, the animator in the group, currently interns in a local animation studio. She doesn’t get paid as much, but her work is soon going to appear in movie screens across the country.

Lastly, Jen works an 8-hour desk job in a travelling agency. When asked how she is, she only says one word: stressed. Most of the time, she has overtime work. She also trains new staff members. She does all these and more for 340 USD a month. She earned more from the tips she got while working in a restaurant,  than what she earns in a day now. But, by then end of this year, she’ll be resigning and applying for a position in an airline company. This is just her stepping stone. At least, she knows where she’s headed.

I, on the other hand, will be working 9 hours a day, five days a week, not to mention the lesson preparations and checking of papers at home. How much do I get? 390 USD a month. Over-worked and underpaid. Don’t get me wrong. That was my dream. Ever since I was young I have always wanted to be a teacher. I just didn’t think it would actually happen, and that it would come so soon.

Before, I couldn’t care less about how many zeroes my paycheck has. I could only care about the passion and the learning, but I only realize now, that passion won’t feed me and my family. It won’t provide a roof over our heads. So, what nowt? Will I be stuck in that job? I seriously need to find a better dream to aim for, and let this be my stepping stone alone. Then, I can just go back to my first love, when I’m all rich.

Break Down

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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.

Fueling the Passion

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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.