29 September 2010


This is the first night all month I can rest easy, without having to worry about work tomorrow, but I feel I hardly deserve it. September, work-wise, was a bust; I couldn't seem to focus properly, articles were late, time was wasted, and that depressed me--which made it even harder to focus properly.

I recall feeling exactly the same when I first started at BW last year. In fact, I've felt the same at roughly the same time each year since my sophomore year in college. Maybe it's some kind of seasonal affective disorder, I don't know. I hope not.

Earlier this year, I told myself that I would take inventory of my life come September. That my birthday and my first anniversary at this job were within days of each other gave me pretty good reason, and now that the month is ending, I think I'll tell you what I've decided.

I knew before September came that I would keep my job (if it would keep me, haha). My boss is pretty fair. I like the work 70% of the time, and my friends at the office can often make the remaining 30% worthwhile. If something interesting opens up somewhere else, I'll give it a shot, but I'm fine where I am now.

I've been feeling pressure from people around me and from myself to seriously consider a master's degree, and the arguments are starting to make sense, so I will look into some UP Open University offerings next year.

I still want to move out of Cubao, but I've decided to wait a bit. Martin knows someone who will move out of a great apartment early next year; it's a good-sized place in a quieter neighborhood, so I'd like to get in line to be the replacement tenant. Fingers crossed.

At a particularly low point this month, I called home even though I knew that my mom would suggest a solution to my problems that stopped working for me years ago. We ended up arguing about it and I ended up crying, and there was one of those long pauses, after which I sighed and said, "It's complicated, Mom." She said we would talk about it when I came home. I think we're finally going to have the conversation that I've been wanting and also dreading for two years now.

Martin is still the reason I wake up in the morning and slog through 30% days, because when the day is over, the week is that much closer to over, and when the week is over, I get to be with him.

Life could be worse.

21 September 2010

This is just how I feel.

is just how I feel.
This is just
how I feel.
This is just how
I feel.
This is just how I

is just how I fell.
This is just
how I fell.
This is just how
I fell.
This is just how I

I don't really know what that is; it came out of a sentence I wrote in my diary today--and the second verse (?) came out of a typo. The more I look at it, the more I'm certain that this isn't the first time somebody's done that, and I wouldn't be surprised if they used the exact words. (Please don't sue me. Rent and bills are bad enough.)

The last time I tried poetry--if you  would call it that; I wouldn't--the editor of the publication I sent it to told me, gently, "You can still write prose." But I felt like putting this up, just to let you all know I'm alive.

09 September 2010

"Keep your head and drop the gun."

I wasn't going to let the week of my birthday pass without updating, but three full work days after the fact seems to have dissipated the high a bit. No worries; it'll probably return later, when I meet Martin, my mom, my brother Mikko, and his girlfriend Camille for dinner.

To use a cliche, I feel I'm at the eye of a storm. So many things around me have been thrown out of whack--relatives on rough seas, friends with sick siblings, country investigating two bloody incidents at once--and yet somehow, I feel that this has been the best birthday I've had in years.

The only explanation I can offer is that about three days prior, I had lost all sight of the meaning of my life. It's not very hard to do that, living mostly alone in a city like this; wondering what makes you any different from the million other people who take the same jeep, train, or bus every day; knowing that no one will remember your work three days from now; and feeling dehumanized by the almighty quest to kiss Slatekin* ass.

Why do I bother? Why am I even here? That kind of thing.

And then, I don't know. I don't know what happened, what switch got flipped, but the next day, all I could think about was how happy I'd be, spending most of the weekend with Martin. And though the weekend wasn't much different from how we usually spend them--parked in front of a computer game, catching up on work, watching cooking shows, going to a movie, eating an expensive meal--I was just indescribably happy that he was the person I was with.

Sunday night, I got some sad (but, to be honest, unsurprising) news about a relative. I can't say much about it except I couldn't stop thinking about how much damage the fallout would inflict on the people around, and I couldn't stop thinking about the people to whom the damage would be most acute. Mostly, I wanted to shield them if and when the bomb dropped, but I wasn't sure if it was my place.

All I've wanted in the past year or so was some semblance of stability for myself (the shallow part of me thinks that this hole can be filled with real estate). That night, however, all I wanted for my birthday was the best for other people, particularly Martin and my family.

"Please, God, do what's best for ______." I learned that prayer from Madeleine L'Engle, who didn't write just fantasy stories but also some really good books about life, faith, and writing. It's the prayer I use when I want something so terribly for someone but have neither the power nor the right to bring about.

My own birthday was a pretty ordinary day. I saw Martin in the morning, brought my co-workers pizza for lunch, and reunited with my mom and brother at night for a quiet dinner in Megamall. But I went to bed feeling hugely grateful.

I want to live. I want to be with Martin, be good at my work, make my little projects, go all domestic, and be happy while I'm at it. I still don't know what for except maybe for life's own sake, and I'm excited by the prospect. Suddenly, I'm terribly afraid that something bad will happen to me before I get the chance. How I got here from last week's "I feel meaningless," especially considering that I haven't actually hit upon a precise meaning, is a complete mystery. But I won't ask questions.

*Word has been changed to protect myself. But I will say they are the only thing about this job that make me want to pull a Steven Slater.

I take comfort in the fact that our company founder once told a Slatekin to go to hell. But he's dead, and times are hard.