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Fearless Personal

Head First, Fearless Days 5-6: Stop Making Plans, Start Making Sense

Can you have your cake and eat it too?

Even if I still love that song, turns out that you and me—not-so forever young.  As the ins and outs of life progress and I carry myself through work day after work day, I find myself looking back at everything that I’ve done since 2010 and I feel like my main “edge” back then was that I was still a student but I was doing these other things even if really, the fact that I was still a student was kind of sad. It’s funny how life works: if you pair almost any extracurricular thang with at studyante pa siya, it begins to look impressive.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about this whole MoarBooks thing.

Maybe it was a brave thing to set out and do (given my previous experiences with “putting it out there”, this was really an exercise in overcoming trauma) but since then, part of me has become kind of afraid to make plans or to “look ahead” because a lot of the time it can take the piss out of everything and also because you end up disappointed a lot. I’m not good with disappointment: I can handle anger, sadness, stress, anxiety, whatever but disappointment just makes me want to stab someone repeatedly.

Anyway, this fear of disappointment both in myself and in others is what I feel has been holding me back with regard to MoarBooks. I think I went into this whole thing being in denial that I would have to do most of the doing. This is ridiculous because it seems like the kind of thing you should realize as you’re lugging five bags of inflated pillows down Ayala Avenue on a hot, hot summer afternoon in 2012 but hey, if we weren’t kind of naïve at some point, we would never do anything.

While I had previously asked some friends to help me out and they did (do, still) in their own ways (thank you guys!), I think that I had failed to see the limitations that my friends had already let me know they had (however subtly) from the beginning—sometimes with regard to capacity, other times with regard to willingness. Lately I realized that if I want this to work, I have to sort out a way to get it done on my own. I have only recently realized that while my friends are investors, talent, consignees, supporters, fellow-sellers, fellow aspiring writers and artists, ultimately this endeavor is mine. The reluctance to bear that responsibility is also the reason why it is difficult for me to appreciate the good things about it or to properly recognize what it needs to become. I never got what people meant by “own it”—well, I do now.

In the past few days I have begun making plans for my little tsanak business (baby daw eh). I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ve laid down a couple of goals for myself and for MoarBooks to accomplish by the end of June and these were the most difficult bricks to lay out because they include all of the things that I’m terrible with—including having to be stricter with people I like and (even more so) with myself. It’s all still driving me insane.

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Fearless Personal

Head First, Fearless Day 4: Lotsa Birds, One Stone

Oh my f-ing gulay. I did so many things today. I don’t even know where to start!!! I did so many things my brain is having trouble processing this. Error, error. Almost everything I did today terrified me. If it is possible to spend a whole day scared, this was the day!

I completely take back what I said yesterday about me being a sissy.

Let’s start at the very beginning, the very best place to start (at least according to Fraulein Maria):

1. I said Hi to someone I don’t see often.

This might be usual for most people–not for me! Today, this guy that I know from college was on the shuttle with me on the way to Makati and because I’m usually afraid of a) awkwardness and b) rejection, a lot of the time I don’t say hi. Sometimes it’s also just because I’m blind. But today I said hi! And made small talk, too. 😀 Yay!

2. I crossed the street and ate out for lunch!

My street-crossing skills have dulled considerably since leaving Taft. Also, Taft is so congested that most of the cars there don’t go very fast. Either that or they’re buses and you see them coming from a mile away. In Makati, these assholes in Hondas are just all over the place, waiting to ram you down.

My friend, Rain took me out to Yamazaki, this authentic Japanese place for lunch today. SO GOOOOOD. FOOOOOOD! ❤ And also, it wasn’t that expensive for a whole ensemble of food, only P 218! Gyoza, Chahan, unlimited Iced Tea and vegetables. Heller. What. Also me and Rain were able to girlie talk–hihihihi! On the way back, I crossed all the streets by myself, made it back to the office with 10 minutes to spare and almost didn’t even mind the intense, intense heat.

3. I did something platonic but affectionate for a friend.

Before I get into this, let me say that I am very weird when it comes to friendship and affection because on one hand, I’m very affectionate but on the other hand I’m also very guarded when it comes to how I show my affections as a friend. I don’t mean this to be gloat-y or anything but I just noticed or had experiences in the past where friends have misunderstood or misinterpreted my tendencies to go the extra mile and do special or nice things for people I care about. And in those situations, other people have ended up getting hurt or friendships were broken apart and I hate it when that happens. :< This is why I usually just chicken out of situations like this or I analyze the shit out of the situation or text until there is virtually nothing left. However, I find that if you spend enough time with someone, you’ll be able to judge whether you can trust them to know what you mean and to not take what you say the wrong way.

Recently, my seatmate and friend at work has been having thoughts about a certain thing which he may or may not pursue in the near future (bear with me as this is not my info to share). He asked me about why I kept saying he shouldn’t pursue the said thing. I’m not good at explaining things like that verbally because I need time to think things through (I’m always better on paper) and also because if I get riled up about something, I might end up talking too loud or crying (uhh, yeah–not a pretty picture). So I made a list instead and sent it through e-mail! 🙂 I hope that the list was both humorous (I tried, hehe) and helpful–another qualm I have about writing things which aim to explain what I mean is that I feel like they’re biased. Either way, just having sent it was an ordeal for me. So BAM, in your face, fear of being misunderstood!

4. I didn’t go straight home.

I get really anal about a lot of things: what time I get to the shuttle, whether I’m able to beat rush hour, what time I get home, whether or not I’m able to exercise. But today I put that aside and went out with my best friends. We had pizza and dessert (ice cream for them, pretzels and coffee for me). It’s really something else being around people who are dear to you and who’ve been with you growing up. 😀 We hung out until about 9:30 PM, I got home at around 10:20. Not going to exercise. Nope. Sugar belly timez, yo.

Is this good enough for 4 days? Please say yes!

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Fearless Personal Uncategorized

Head First, Fearless Day 3: Top of Your List

I feel like the things I’ve addressed through these entries so far are “baby fears”—tiny things. And reading my friend’s entries for this is extremely daunting. I feel like I haven’t taken this exercise in fearlessness seriously enough—or not concretely enough. She resigned from her job, I wore a black tank top to work. Nowhere near the same thing but you know, whatevs—I swear I am going to do better.

Let me assure you, this isn’t for a lack of things that I am afraid of: it’s just that mostly the things I fear are out of my control. I am afraid of people dying, of people leaving, of being embarrassed, of dying in a plane crash, of being murdered. I don’t have a lot of fears that have to do with things I can do something about.

Furthermore, I guess one thing that I didn’t factor into this entire challenge was the fact that I think there are definitely certain fears that are in place for a reason. There are some fears that hold you back and there are others which protect you or keep you from doing dumb things. I suppose I needed to make that distinction.

I was initially going to write about being tattooed and why wearing a tank top or any kind of sleeveless anything is always an ordeal for me but instead of doing that, I decided to instead share the list of things to do that I’m afraid of.

This is not for 97 days and I am going to be adding to this list as I go along—I’ll make a separate page for it, eventually and put it up on the sidebar for easy access. Also, these will be done in no set order because I’m not that much of a control freak. I figured sharing this on here would be the scariest thing to do because that would create even more pressure on me to complete this challenge and it would invite opinions or suggestions from the people who read this—not that I’m averse to that (I’m not!).

Ze list:

  1. Be completely honest about something without explaining that I am resisting the urge to cut corners because of a blog challenge.
  2. Talk to someone I haven’t talked to in years.
  3. Have a burning ceremony for those letters.
  4. Do something thoughtful for someone in a platonic way without explaining my fear of being misunderstood and all those other stupid anxieties. (In a nutshell: trust someone not to misunderstand me, I guess.)
  5. Go swimming by myself and make a day of it, too.
  6. Say sorry to someone with whom I would like to make amends.
  7. Finally get my “graduation tattoo”
  8. Break from my usual routine
  9. Cross the street between Adelentado and Makati Cinema Square
  10. Be vulnerable
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Fearless Personal

Head First, Fearless Day 2: Sharing

This is odd, especially given the fact that I’m addicted to social media—I’m a share-r in that respect but hardly in all others. I find that sharing opens you up to all kinds of possibilities for misunderstandings, especially when it’s not through paper (and even then, actually). I feel like you could mean one thing but inevitably sharing becomes a kind of photocopy of what you want to say: the outline remains but the details are blurred and so the picture painted a couple of “shares” later is something completely different than what you meant.

Today I was actually able to put in my two cents about a lot of things, even if it scared me—and even if there is always a reason to fear that the things we say or do will be misconstrued, I figured: is the possibility of being shamed or embarrassed so terrible as to not speak up?

Sometimes, but not in this case.

In a funny and spontaneous parking lot conversation with my friend Rain I was able to talk about perfume, boys and how everything is fair in love and war (charot). This conversation took place while Rain smoked and I drank my daily cup of coffee. Her day had just ended, mine had barely begun. Now I understand what my friend Nico used to tell me about enjoying watching people smoke even if you yourself don’t smoke—there is a kind of comfort that comes with seeing people exhale: a vicarious calmness.

This is especially weird for me because I used to be the chain-smoking, always-reaching-for-it person. It used to be the oddest thing for me to imagine—getting satisfaction from not smoking. It’s still odd to me that I don’t smoke anymore but I know it’s for the best. It’s one of those things that you would do all your life if your body would let you. Looking back at my adolescent life I feel like for a good chunk of it, I really expected to grow old a fabulous chain smoker (much like Ms. Dinsmoor in Cuaron’s 1998 rendition of Great Expectations).

Anyway, I digress. It’s really nice talking to my friend Rain. You know how sometimes you just get along with someone even if you’ve only just met them? It’s rare and when it happens, you grab it by the seaweed-colored-hair (hehe). Arthur C. Clarke said that friendships begin when you’re able to trade vulnerabilities and I suppose sometimes that means going the extra mile to participate, even if it’s scary and you run the risk of being wrong.  Today I felt like Amy March, giggling with all the seriousness in the world.

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Fearless Head First Personal

Head First, Fearless Day 1: Vulnerability & An Introduction

Last night, my friend Raine messaged me asking for a favor—she said that she was going to embark on a quest to get out of her comfort zone: that is, for a hundred days she was going to do at least one thing a day that frightened her in an attempt to grow as a person. She asked if I would be there to remind her to do these things, once a day—and I said yes, of course. I also said yes to joining her on this quest to be fearless. Just because I love the T. Swift song, I am going to name this Head First, Fearless to go with the whole shiz-named-after-songs-thang e.g. Coffee & Flowers.

While I can’t and shan’t speak for Raine, who is an infinitely more private person than myself, I suppose I can tell you what she told me that made me agree to this whole lotta cray in the first place. She said that there was that whole 100 Happy Days thing floating around but that the problem with that is happiness is so fleeting—we shouldn’t base our growth around happiness. We should base it around fear—and conquering it because that way, we get stronger and really, truly progress as human beings (whatever that means). And I agree. So, as I vowed not to keep a journal this year in an attempt to avoid my tendency to live wayyy out of the moment, I will instead post it up here so that a) people who are maybe a lot like me and scared of everything can find some semblance of good juju here and b) I am able to process my thoughts and introspect without completely cutting myself off from the rest of the world.

So, onto today’s entry: vulnerability.