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Showing posts from January, 2018

Purposeful whimsy

Whenever I try to picture the kind of life I want to create this year, I always end up thinking of teacups, delicate ones made of porcelain or bone china, with pretty flowers and edges gilded with gold.

I see myself drinking tea or coffee in them, gracefully holding the saucer, even. There are no sandwiches, scones or cake in the picture, because while I do drink tea and coffee, I am not really one who actually does tea, you know?

There's a word I discovered when I was working in media many years ago: aspirational. I still can't use it with a straight face, but maybe this dainty teacup I keep envisioning is exactly that, aspirational for me.

What words do I associate with this teacup? Elegance and design. Beauty. And also purposeful whimsy.

I'm also reminded of criticism--the kind you want when you want to improve as a writer--I received at a class writing workshop many years ago: Your words are beautiful, but they say nothing at all.

A teacup is beautiful and elegant in its service.

***

Yesterday, while organizing our bathroom shelf, I realized I don't like decorative soap. I mean soap that is molded in shapes like seashells, animals or, worse, flowers.

Their design defeats their purpose.

They look sad within a couple of uses and they're uncomfortable to scrub your hands with. As d├ęcor, they gather dust. As fragrance, most of them quickly lose scent.

What is the use of it, really.

***

I have three miniature teacups, all gifts or souvenirs. Today, I planted sansevieria in the remaining two.

We are off to a slow start, 2018

Last night, I dreamt that I was in the United States with some people, including a boy I liked years ago, someone I was interested in again. We were all staying in a relative's house; the family was out of the country and had invited us to use their home.

All of us were friendly, but we weren't exactly traveling together. I had my own plans, including reunions with other friends I didn't share with them. However, as people who find themselves together tend to do, everyone started planning as a group: tours, night outs, shows. I hesitated; I always start out wanting to do my own thing, not following anyone else's agenda.

But when they invited me to a barbecue night in the backyard, I looked at the boy I liked shyly and thought: This is a good way to get to know him better. I imagined the two of us chatting on the porch, laughing over drinks and maybe liking each other a little bit more.

I ran off to my room and took a shower. Before dressing, I decided to lie down in bed for a few minutes. It was morning when I woke up, still with bathrobe on and a towel wrapped around my hair. Barbecue night was over; I had lost my chance.

That was the end of the dream.

I woke up a little upset at myself. Later, when I shared this dream with friends, I wondered: Do I feel bad because I am so slow at everything?

Years ago, I tried to make a vision board, but I couldn't fill it up. Someone I went to grad school with scoffed at it and said, "Dagdagan mo naman ang mga pangarap mo." Add to your dreams; have more ambition; be more; do more.

Lately, I've been rethinking this idea of "more."

One of the articles I read last year that left an impression asked this question: What if All I Want is a Mediocre Life? Of course, the writer doesn't really want a mediocre life. She wants a small, slow, simple one and she defines it for herself and declares it enough.

That's something that I am committed to this year, but it's also something I'm slow at defining. But I'm getting there. I'm getting there.