The Resurrection

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I am really embarrassed right now, simply by the fact that my last post was around 7 months ago. Has time really flown that quickly over the second half of 2014? I sure as hell don’t know, but it seems like it did.

You know how people do that thing when they write a massive life audit entry on their blog, looking back on the year that passed and say the good stuff and the bad stuff and possibly every little thing in between that made it epic? Yeah, I’m probably not going to do that.

In fact, I don’t know why I’m writing this blog at all. I’m writing for the sake of writing. And maybe that’s a good thing, because all I’ve been trying to do for the past couple of weeks is write something significant — something that could possibly be beyond myself.

But what the hell, I’m probably not going to do that either.

Instead, I’m going to begin with the resurrection. Yes. My blog is going to come back to life, and I’m going to continue writing about stupid and insignificant things but they’re my stupid and insignificant things. And I think, therefore — that makes them not stupid and not insignificant — significant, then.

I love how this stream of consciousness thing is going.

Well, just in case you all were still listening somehow, I’m going to start writing again — about books, about my own writing, about what’s going up in my life (it’s so hard to say what’s going down, it might actually go down) and all that jazz.

Happy New Year, crazies. 🙂

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On passions and career –

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I can’t sleep because I just read an article on Business Insider about career advice that “no one wants to hear.”

Marc Andreessen responds to Jim Carrey’s commencement address about following what you love through a series of several tweets, stating that following your passion is dangerous and destructive career advice. He proves a good point by saying that better career advice would be to “do what contributes,” which is to focus on what benefits most people compared to oneself. If you read the rest of the article, Andreessen gives supporting tweets as to why that would be the better career.

From previous blog posts, I think you all know that I’m a very passionate person. I’ve loved my craft ever since I was old enough to understand it, and despite all my attempts to veer away from it, I keep coming back to the one thing that makes me feel bigger than myself. From my perspective, my art and my passion is a constant form of self-expression and even more importantly, an alternative venue to expose and make aware messages, concepts and mindsets that most of society keep in the dark. My craft encounters the controversial in a very personal and intimate way, often leaving audiences reeling and even more so, thinking.

I’ve also failed at my craft — most people do. I’ve gone weeks, hell — even months living from paycheck to paycheck, often even borrowing money from my parents at the lack of income. I’ve often left rehearsals aggravated and frustrated, knowing that I’m only as good as the performance I’ve presented the day before. I’ve gone through the hardships and toils of being a freelance artist, and I’ve heard it all too many times from my father that what I’m doing isn’t going to make me happy in the long run. And honestly, after experiencing ‘failure’ for a year, I can vouch that living that life is highly difficult and impractical.

What makes me think, though, is this — is the concept of career a black and white area as well? One person tells you to follow your passion, and the other person says otherwise. From the beginning of my life even until now, I find myself questioning why every choice has to be black and white: this or that, up or down, good or bad, right or wrong. Although I concede that some choices do require black-and-white answers, I don’t know if career choice is one of them. I think that the career world is so vast that black and white is even impossible to do; every day, I find new career choices popping up left and right, each getting more and more specific. It’s just like this iPhone app called Pixel People — an application that lets you splice different people with different careers, each career even more particular than the last. The career world is so collaborative that more and more, people find new ways to combine several careers and pioneer a new one that is just, if not more, relevant than before.

Is the world literally divided into people who follow their passions and people who don’t? I don’t think so. The career path I’m choosing is both passion-oriented and contributory, a career choice that lets me learn more and more about my craft and how it can possibly reach out to people as well. I also know of people in my craft who do the same thing, which is why certain crafts aren’t limited to just one occupation.

I was just irked at the fact that Andreessen mentions narcissism for following one’s passion. Although I do not speak for everyone who chooses to follow their passion, I know I do not follow mine purely for myself. Besides, what is life without passion? I think passion is what makes us human, what differentiates going through life and actually living. However, maybe there is a difference between following your passion only for yourself in comparison to following your passion for overall growth and making the world a better place.

What are your thoughts?

Square One

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It’s funny, how getting over a production feels like letting go of a vice.

It literally feels like you’ve gone cold turkey over something that you were attached to for so long. You wake up the next morning, suddenly finding yourself unfamiliar with your routine. You walk around like a ghost, still managing to go on autopilot — eat, teach, work, eat, sleep, eat, eat, eat.

Then, come 4:00, you start to fidget. You know it’s nearing, and your muscles almost wonder why we’re not doing what we’re usually doing. Come on, bitch, get your ass moving! You’re gonna be late — oh.

And really, it’s more than just having something to do during the late afternoons. It’s more than playing a part, learning the songs, practicing the choreography. It’s holding onto something that you invested so much into, only to know that you have to let it go after four months. It’s letting your character seep into you, slip into the nooks and crannies of your life without you knowing it and teach you things about yourself that you had long forgotten or you wished you knew before, back when you were young and naive, or whatever the hell that means. It’s creating moments with people who invested just as much of themselves as you did. It’s losing yourself in this life that you get to live in, even just for a moment, because what’s living, really, if not for the moments that truly make you feel alive?

And knowing that the moment’s over, and it’ll be God-knows-when until you have that moment again, kinda just makes you feel empty. And really, how do you rise up from being empty?

To my dearest Tiffany —

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For those who don’t know, the past four months have been crazy c/o blueREP’s Toilet: the Musical. It’s Day Three since closing night, and I still find myself reeling.

To my dearest Tiffany,

I don’t even know where to begin.

Let me start off by saying that you’re beautiful, in the most fucked up of ways. Not a lot of people see your inner workings, but Abi and I had the pleasure of getting to know you over the past four months. At first, you reminded me of someone I used to know, a caricature of that person whom I had the unfortunate opportunity of being with during some dark, unpleasant times. But as I got to know you, you had some traits of that person that I had forgotten.

It’s a shame that nobody gets to see you past your external frame. Immediately, everyone could possibly judge you for being whiny, self-centered and begging for attention. I don’t disagree — sometimes you were just extremely selfish, but everyone was selfish at that age. You’ve been through some rough times, and you remind me too often of that person I used to know. I resisted getting to know you, concluding you were stupid, shallow and pathetic. Like I said, you were slowly pushing me into a direction I had left a long time ago.

Ejay reminded me that if I constantly saw you that way, that’s what would come out. That wasn’t the story Ejay, Bym or Miyo wanted me to tell. Each character they created — well, we created — had both good and bad sides. I had forgotten that about you. I really can’t thank them enough for letting me get the chance to really know you, despite all my previous judgments of you.

Tiff, thank you for reminding me of the little girl who used to love and dream with all of her. Friends always teased me that I was so big, because only a body like this could house a heart that huge. Thank you for reminding me that I am still capable of loving and dreaming that way, for unabashedly showing someone that I care, despite whatever everyone thinks of me. Thank you for reminding me that maybe, just maybe, if I had the strength to do what you did, I could overcome anything.

Thank you for showing me how to hope despite everything else not going my way. Thank you for reminding me about bleak lights in the darkness, that even the smallest of lights could grow into something bigger, something that could actually save me. Thank you for being an outlet, in the roughest of times. Thank you for showing me the reason why I would always choose the stage, why I would always choose this craft for the rest of my life.

Thank you for bringing me to one of my best friends, and one of my greatest loves.

And now, I cope with the loss of having to let you go.

Goodbye, Tiffany. It’s been swell. I love you.

Questionable

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How do you stay friends with people who don’t bother staying friends with you?

It’s not that you don’t want to be friends. No. That’s probably where all the resentment is coming from, isn’t it? It’s why you dare inquire about your friendship, if it’s worth salvaging. It’s because you still want to be friends, but suddenly the weight of keeping the friendship is all on you. How d’you do that? You used to share that weight together, like two people carrying a huge trunk aboard a ship. And when you’ve reached your destination, you realize that you’re lugging that stupid thing alone, while your partner is busy doing something else — something else without you in it.

It’s so easy to just say that you’re detached, you know? That you don’t care. Your friend can do whatever the hell he or she wants; it doesn’t really matter to you. “Friends come and go,” you say, trying to ignore the bitter taste in your mouth left by the slightly hurt tone in your voice. Your point isn’t that friends come and go. Your point is that you thought your friend would have stayed. And you’re just left with that realization that reality isn’t your expectations, and you just shouldn’t have expected in the first place.

Are friends supposed to be seasonal, like strawberries, the weather and theatre productions? Is it only supposed to be reduced to “that time of the month” or even “that time of year”? Are friends supposed to just keep you around when they’re feeling lonely or desolate — or what the hell, totally insecure about themselves — and they use you to build them up to where they feel they should be? What are friends for, anyway?

You ask yourself all these questions, and you forget that sometimes, there are just no answers.

Instead, you find yourself relishing the fact that despite your theory about these “friends” — well, you’ve got other friends that prove you wrong. And your answer to the first question, at the end of the day, is that you don’t.

When Thought-Vomit Weaves Into A Stream of Consciousness

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Everyone just has one of those nights, right?

On a physical note, I think I’m starting to develop a sore throat. I dunno if it’s an allergic reaction to something, ’cause today I was sneezing like anything on the way to visit my mom in the hospital. I’ve gotten something like this before, and it sucks ’cause my nose is runny and my throat is sore and I’m up at 2:49 AM writing a blog that will probably make no sense because at the moment I make no sense.

Second note — I realize that I haven’t written on my blog in a while. I was about to check the last time I wrote, but then I got lazy so I decided to just jump into it and write anyway. I promised myself that I’d try to keep this going, but sometimes I find myself staring at a screen with the title erased five times over and the straight line where text is supposed to be blinking steadily back at me. Then WB (Writer’s Block, as everyone knows him) simply smirks at me from a dark corner in my head and just lures me back into his arms. He is cold, hard and empty. What makes tonight different? I got drunk on thoughts and I decided to puke all over him. He’s currently glaring at me in disgust, but I’m too inebriated by my thoughts and feelings to care otherwise.

Third note — I hate feeling trapped. I hate the feeling that I’m trying desperately to break free from whatever is chaining me down, but I can’t. Sometimes I don’t even recognize what’s trapping me. Are they chains? Is it a cage? Am I just trapped in a room and someone locked me in? Or am I in a huge-ass labyrinth with hardly any sense of a way out? Regardless of any of these circumstances though, I am still trapped. And I hate that feeling more than my sore throat at the moment, and that’s probably saying something.

Fourth note — Watch Genesis. It’s a blueREPERTORY play that I musically directed. At one point I seriously thought that I wouldn’t invite anybody, but at this point, I suppose it doesn’t hurt. I heard they had a really good show today — probably because I didn’t watch, haha — so I think it’s something that y’all should catch if you’re within the Metro Manila area. The material is excellent, albeit damn difficult, so I think you guys would be interested in it either way.

Fifth note — I was watching Before Sunset until my sore throat pissed me off and I couldn’t enjoy it anymore. I love Before Sunrise and Before Sunset mainly because of its dialogue. I mean, of course the whole story revolves around their dialogue and how everything just magically weaves together in an intricate web of gorgeous European-romantic-feels-movie goodness, and I dunno, I just really appreciate that. Lately it’s just been so hard to find good conversation. Why is it so difficult to sit down over a cup of coffee or a cold beer and just talk about ideas and abstract concepts, things beyond people and the daily grind? Is it because we’re too tired to think? I don’t know. I don’t really have the answers to anything at the moment.

Sixth note — Despite how tired I am, I don’t understand why I’m not sleepy right now.

Seventh note — I’d normally just talk to someone, but said someone is asleep. Funny how in some situations, the tables have turned.

Aside

Consumed

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When I discovered the world of drama, I didn’t think I was passionate about it then.

I was a twelve-year-old shy girl in the middle of a Trumpets Playshop class. I had no idea what I was doing. A friend of mine had decided to drag me along for the summer (and eventually this friend of mine dragged me everywhere, although I don’t think drag is an appropriate word if I were willing), and I admit that I was terrified. It wasn’t a spectacular summer — we had done a Broadway flop anyway, and I wasn’t too fond of our teacher yelling at us half the time — but I somehow knew I’d be back. Maybe it was because of my friends, but I never thought it would be because of theatre. 

Three workshops, four years with the Philippines’ premier musical theatre college organization and a professional production later, I find myself with a fire that’s all-too-overwhelming. Had I known that my summer workshop class would take me here, I would’ve joined it a whole lot earlier. There is something about the stage, the lights, the music, the material, everything and anything in between the wings to the orchestra pit that lure me to the theater. There’s just something about being someone else, sharing their story, stepping into their shoes and living their lives that makes you feel like you’re a part of something bigger. There’s just something about telling a story, sharing a message, bringing something out of the darkness into the light that I can’t not do for the rest of my life.

A serendipitous moment at my high school alma mater led me to my current job, which is to be a drama teacher. God really must have blessed me with something else that day, because my boss (whom I think is really my mentor, and I love her to bits and pieces) is someone whom I see a lot of myself in. She also opened tons of doors for me in terms of career paths, and now I find myself more than passionate about teaching drama, not just performing it myself. The advocacy of the institution I represent is not only to teach the basics of drama, but also to uplift our students in terms of self-esteem, confidence and teamwork. It’s not only developing their drama skills, but also developing their psyche. Knowing that I’m part of something like that is so overwhelming. I’ve haven’t been this excited and grateful for something like this since the moment I entered blueREP!

I’m just overflowing with love for what I do and what I care about; I can’t even end this properly. Here’s to making a difference through what we love to do! 🙂

Transition

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Hey, blog.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Ever since Sa Wakas, I feel like I’ve been in limbo. Constant thoughts of, “What happens now?” echo in my head, and despite the fact that I had things lined up for me, they didn’t go as planned. And now the echoes get louder and the questions pile up on me, and I’m in the middle of an absolute crossroad with no map, no compass and no sense of direction.

And an extreme case of writer’s block.

Sa Wakas

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Funny how that phrase can mean so many things.

Sa Wakas, meaning “the end.” In the past month or so that I’ve been offline (in terms of blogging), I could say that a lot of things have ended. I wish I could say that some other things have ended, but I am not so lucky. However, I am happy to say that I have learned so much in the past month, I don’t even know where to begin talking about it.

After getting a job, I quit after two months. A huge chunk of the reason was because I needed to help my mom manage her businesses, and I really believe it to be the reason because I really would have stayed a bit longer to see what I could squeeze out of the experience. But quitting my job also meant another thing — I’m done with jumping into things without really thinking about them. I admit that I had gotten my job because I needed the extra money, which shouldn’t be the sole reason as to why one gets a job anyway. Knowing that my next job (whichever that may be) would be one that I really hope to enjoy and learn from is very exciting. I’m glad that my impulsiveness regarding careers is (hopefully) over.

Well, very literally, Sa Wakas is over. I don’t know if I ever mentioned it in this blog, but I was part of a production called Sa Wakas, which was a work in progress musical featuring the songs of Sugarfree. It’s been a crazy four months having to deal with intensive rehearsals, balancing my two jobs and flak from my parents regarding my life choices, but I have to say that every bit of it was worth it. I feel like I’ve grown so much as a performer in the past four months, and I am even gladder to say that I have gained a new family and new insights about myself and what I choose to do with my life.

Sa Wakas dealt with the transition of young hopeful youths to more realistic twenty-somethings. If there was anything I appreciated the most of the storyline is really the way the writers (shoutout to Andrei and Ina here!) mapped the decisions of the main character and how each of those decisions affected the way his life turned out to be. It was amazing how the storytelling showed how one decision affected another throughout the story, and it really hit me that each of the choices I make now will have an impact, however small, on what happens to me later on. I always knew this at the back of my mind, but it never really seemed to slap me in the face until now. I really thank the production for that.

But more importantly, I love how the phrase sa wakas could mean “at last.” I guess for the past few months, I have been feeling so trapped in all aspects of my life. I felt like all the odds in the world were against me, and I honestly had no idea what to do about it. But getting the chance to really sit down, think and reflect on my choices and what my next move will be is such a blessing. At last, I can finally feel my lungs breathe. At last, I can finally pause for a moment and really contemplate on what I choose to do with my life. At last, I can finally appreciate all the bumps in the road that led me to the crossroads that I am in now. At last, I can finally say that I am ready to start making decisions on my own.

The past month has offered me so many opportunities to grow. I’m glad I’m growing. I’m glad that this hazy, blurry part of my life is starting to end. And the best things about endings is that they offer new beginnings. Here’s to seizing the new beginnings that I’m sure are coming my way. 🙂

Insecure –

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Repost from my old blog

– is when you’re uncertain, or doubtful.

– is when you’re inadequately guarded or protected, unsafe.

– is when you’re unsteady.

– is when you’re lacking stability.

– is when you’re lacking self-confidence, plagued by anxiety.

I don’t know if people know this, but I am insecure. I am probably one of the most insecure people I know. Sometimes, I wonder why – I try to list a couple of good qualities, to prove to myself that I’m okay, I’m not that bad. And then some things around me happen, and I’m back to square one.

I’m back to square one in the sense that I feel like I’m the piece of irritating, annoying, sticky gum on someone’s shoe. I cling to people; I need to have them reassure me that I’m not as bad as I think I am, that I’m not as horrible, awful or annoying as I used to be. I need to know that the person I was in the past, I am not anymore. I’m not this naive, overly-enthusiastic, borderline pathetic girl who just wanted to feel loved, or liked  – maybe even just accepted. I don’t like thinking that someone and I are not okay, that someone is uneasy with me, that someone doesn’t like who I am. Because I don’t want to think that I did something wrong, that I failed at doing something right again.

I’m back to square one in the sense that the past floods me and drowns me in memories and scars that never seemed to fade away. I think something’s okay when it isn’t, when in fact, things are not okay. I think again of things that possibly made people hate me, or made people not want to be with me. I think of things, actions, words, anything – anything to make me realize or understand what the hell is wrong with me, so I can change and things will be okay again. I wanted to change myself into what you wanted me to be, because then you’ll love me, and then I will be okay.

But then, when I get back to square one, I get thinking. I wonder why it matters so much, to have these people like me and accept me and just take me for what I am. I wonder why I’m dying to understand things that I probably never will understand. I wonder why I want to change, but why I’m not changing for myself instead of changing for other people. I think of a time in my life when I actually just let myself be who I am, who I am really and why people just can’t like me for that. I don’t know why I have this urge to be who everyone wants me to be, even if it means doing something I don’t believe in or just doing something to make people laugh or agree with me. Why do I want people to fit me in, when I feel like I can’t even fit in my own skin?

Why can’t I just be myself, and find people who will love me for that, instead of loving a mask of me? A shell of me?

I’m tired of keeping people close, when all they do is move away after a while. And they push me back to square one, and I find myself thinking. And I’m… I’m really tired of thinking.

The funny thing is… Seeing this and reading this, I find myself in another situation. That because I’m too scared that I’ll get hurt, I end up pushing others away. I think that maybe it’s better this way – that they wouldn’t fight for me anyway. I guess I’m still as insecure – just colder.