Showing posts from July, 2007

"Am I on the right path?"

How often have I been sidetracked--or completely sideswiped--by this question? I am, by nature, a worrier. Worse, a guilty worrier. I think it's my Catholic upbringing that brought in the guilt.

But I don't worry about small things.

I worry that I am not as good a person as I should be. I worry that I am not contributing real value into my life. I worry I cannot ever contribute enough in the world. You know, things like that.

Usually, I base most of my life decisions on an imagined end--me on my deathbed, surrounded by people who love me and whom I love. Do they love me? Have I loved them enough? The ideal end is that we're all laughing--celebrating my life well-lived--and crying--mourning a light that will soon be gone.

My question is: Is the path I am on leading me there?

I read a nice post on Paulo Coelho's blog this week. And I quote:
The warrior has already heard comments of the type: “How am I to know if this is the right path?” He has seen many people give up the Quest because they did not know how to answer that question.
The warrior, however, has no doubts; he follows an infallible formula. “By its fruits you shall know the tree,” said Jesus.
He follows this rule, and it never fails. I'm looking at my life right now, and, again, really, I have everything I want. What I think I lack, are just the bonuses.

I think I'm doing a good job. :)

In Italy we eat ...

Yesterday, an Italian student was telling me about donkey stew. He asked me if I'd eaten donkey meat before, and I said I hadn't, but that in the Philippines we eat goat meat, and I'd tried that once.

He asked me what a goat was, and I said, "It's the animal that goes (and I make the goat sound)." He said, "Oh, I know!" And he started describing lamb.

I had to correct him, and I explained that the goat has a little tail and short hair, is sometimes black or brown, and has a tiny horn. He finally got it. "We eat goat products," he said, "like cheese and milk, but in Italy, we prefer to eat shit."

"You eat what?" I said. We're supposed to ask learners to repeat themselves in a more polite manner, but I just couldn't help myself.

"Sheep, I mean." He said, a little frazzled. "Sheep!"

I think we ended up laughing for five minutes.

"I know Italians can be strange," he said afterwards, "but we're not that strange!"


Something's up. Or, some issue or another is waking up inside me, and is demanding its due process of being settled. I'd been sick recently, first with colds and later, cough. And when I was finally better by Friday, I started getting these dreams about people from my past.

The first two were about Juan. In both, we communicated and both dreams ended with conversations on already pointless things still unsettled. My third dream was about an older guy I used to like when I was 16. He's married now (saw him with his wife December last year). In that dream, we were talking and flirting in a playful manner. I was teasing him about his wife, and he was joking about it being a pity we hadn't ended up together.

After all those dreams, I surprisingly woke up pained that the dreams had to end. For some reason, I actually spent the entire weekend on the-first-half-of-Sonnet-29 mode. Drama, drama.

Now, I'm a little annoyed at myself for wasting so much time feeling for a past I can't erase nor change--a past that, in fact, I am still grateful for. And I'm even more annoyed at myself because I already know how to handle this; I just let myself wallow.

And it didn't help that I caught Kailangan Kita on Cinema One last night. Just what I needed--a melodramatic Filipino film! With Dante Rivero on it! As a blind old man estranged from his son! Who is famous in their Bicol province for his laing! Which, he says, is only good because he thinks of how much he loves his estranged son when he squeezes out the coconut cream!

Okay, I'm laughing now. Off to work.

I'm a bad journal-keeper

A couple of days ago, I took out the journal I bought as 2007 rolled in. It was dusty. The last gratitude journal entry there was written in April. So much for keeping tabs about things I am grateful for. :P

Seriously speaking, though, I've been trying to live in the now. It's not always easy--but it has gotten easier ever since LEAP. And it's not like I've forgotten to be thankful for all the blessings that have been coming my way. As a matter of fact, I'm always in a space of gratitude. Hell, I skip home from work at 2 a.m., happy for another long, but wonderful day at work teaching English to ten or so Europeans!

But living in the now has made the past a little bit, well, more past. As a result, my journal-keeping (and, to a great extent, blogging) has suffered. I often feel it's pointless to write in my offline journal about my life, when my life is no longer in the past, nor in the future.

It shouldn't be the case with blogging, which I do because it's a way to keep the people who make up my small world updated, among other things. But once again, I'm feeling the urge to delete every word I've ever written, as if it will erase whatever's happened in my life. But I won't. Precisely because the past isn't my life. :)

In any case, the best remedy to this is always to stop thinking about blogging and just freaking do it.

(It's still a struggle not to be too cerebral.)

Working girl

I have been working as an distance learning English trainer for over a month now. I must have had more than 150 classes already, most of them with French professionals. July and August are lean seasons (most of the learners, as we call the students, go on vacation during these months), but it can get quite hectic, especially if you're a little bit obsessive-compulsive, like I am. All in all, though, I'm loving my new job. It provides me with enough challenges to keep me interested and I'm learning new teaching skills. Plus, I also get to speak with interesting people from a different continent.

I may be speaking to soon, but I think I've found the perfect job for me at the moment. It's structured enough for me to not lose my wits (I've realized that I'm not one for a free-wheeling work place, no matter how deliciously fun working for Google looks like), but it's never routine because anything can happen. I'm still having fun, and I guess it's because I'm still learning something new everyday.

One other thing I like about my job is its location: Northgate Cyberzone in Alabang, which is a mere 30 minutes away from my house (less if I have my own car, which I don't!). It's not just the proximity that I love, though. It's the actual place itself. Northgate Cyberzone is home to a lot of call centers, but, like the rest of the South, it's a little laid-back 24/7. I've seen night shift people in Makati and Ortigas, and they don't look as relaxed as the Alabang people do.

I wonder if it has a lot to do with the fact that there's only a handful of accessible nightspots in the South?

One more thing I love about Northgate Cyberzone--and my part of Manila, for that matter--is that we don't have that many tall buildings here. I know this is going to change sooner than I would have liked, but for now, I like rushing out for a quick purchase at the 7'11 and seeing a full view of the moon.

I think I'm staying here for a while.