Dreams under renovation

I had the answers back in kindergarten…but they were neither right nor wrong.

It doesn’t matter where I am: under my blanket, in the shower, aboard the metropolis train, walking to my office, guiltlessly devouring nutella sandwich at our lone table at home, or out somewhere a space only I knew of. My kindergarten teacher’s question would haunt me like a creepy mischievous shadow, “When you grow up, what would you want to be?” And in like a snap, I’d see an imaginary canvass, white and clean. Empty.

I had the answers when I was a kid – a pocketful of confident answers. And I must have told my teacher of them with a wide grin unveiling my carefree broken smile. Now that I’m a grownup, I would usually catch myself in chunks of introspection and retrospection, and how the thoughts weave themselves together often throws me a full-blown smack kicking me out from my own life. Mind-boggling realizations, often irritating, but a fairly good way to kill time.

At this point in my life, where [perhaps] I’m supposed to have already figured what I would want to do for the next half a century, I’m only finding myself stuck with a fair display of options, not with a headstrong decision. Admittedly, I would want to become all of my many options: a fashion designer, a wedding planner, a businesswoman, a novelist, a marketing director, a professor, a performer, an actress (kidding), a photographer, a surfing champ, a painter, a diva, an all-genre dancer, an interior designer, a genius and all other versions I’ve imagined of myself. But fine – there’s no way I can be everybody, that’s absolutely and regretfully understood.

I recall the main point of Dr. Meg Jay’s book, The Defining Decade. It implies that the twentysomething stage is so crucial in the sense that the decisions one makes at this twentysomething period are what would stir up all the succeeding decades of one’s life. It may not apply to everyone but it makes sense, doesn’t it? Reading that book added a lot of pressure to my self-evaluation. In fact, it got pretty scary I wanted to shred the pages to stick-thin strips and burn them all to ashes without a chance for revival. Scary because if my kindergarten teacher would come asking me again, “When you grow up, what would you want to be?”, I would only see myself laying down the cards – my many options for my future (which has now arrived as the present); one card representing each of my dream figure – and I’d stop there. “I don’t know.” Bad news is I’m most likely just a few days away to my future. Maybe even too late to figure my shit out.

Such an anxiety-infected circumstance ain’t new but is rather ironic coming from someone adored for being smart, gifted, multi-talented. That’s the picture (with no intentions to brag, just a little bit) and perhaps the problem of indecision rooted from the burden of having multiple choices. I recall an artist mom mentioned that to me and I also recall agreeing to it right then and there. My family, friends, workmates and my boss recognize my skills and it does flatter me to know so. How could I not feel grand about being praised, sometimes even overly? My heart would swell up, but true as well that the praises would oftentimes make me lose my breath – and palpitate. Maybe it’s just me, but they often come in as overwhelming I could barely handle. Then that would set me off questioning myself again, “So which one do I do best?”…”I don’t know.” But I honestly want to do all. But knowing that I just can’t, there is then the fear of missing out on all the others in favor of one. Or two.

Then there were Aristotle, Benjamin Franklin, Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein, name the all-time geniuses. They were all over the early society, each of them an authority in almost all disciplines, the renowned in every profession. They were everybody that they wanted to be. Nah, never mind, my argument would surely come invalid though. Apparently, I’m no genius, end of story (and that’s f$@#-all-geniuses frustrating!). 😀

Now, after many times of skimming through my brain lobes, nodes and membrane – I actually just mean my thoughts – I realize I have been looking only at my dreams with the challenges prerequisite to them, but not at every possibility that could unfold like a red carpet that would lead me to my glory days. Because honestly, I doubt my own gifts. And I bow down to my fears, which is equally the same as poisoning my enthusiasm for my dreams. Of course I know all that. I apparently, have this mistaken love for my own fears.

Tomorrow I still won’t have it all figured out. But the thing I’m quite sure of is that I don’t need a time machine to go back to kindergarten and collect the answers I once had. No, that little kid didn’t know much, not even enough. Perhaps a few more twists and turns, then I’ll get myself an answer as to who I would want to be for the most part of my life.

It’s a whole new world I’m in now, totally different from my playfully colorful kindergarten. And it looks like I’m going to need a whole new set of answers.

Wish me well, folks! 🙂
Love, Ayna

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Dreams under renovation

My Birthday Wishlist

Yo ho, it’s time for another wishlist! I got here a few stuff, which I’d love to name, in hopes that at least two of my friends, and I mean my brother and my sister, would see this list…and you know what should happen next. 😀

1. A quality set of colored pencils. I miss killing time with some hobbies, honestly.

2. A thick sketch pad. No more pages to draw on. Pity.

3. Lots of white and silver paint. I believe that every now and then I will find something good to paint white or silver. Can be a broken toy, an old ladle or something.

4. Half-dozen pairs of pants. Other than the two most probable reasons why I don’t have a lot of pants (a. I didn’t have time to shop when I had the money / b. I didn’t have money when I had time to shop), I’m not sure, too, why I don’t have at least enough pants.

Or yeah, maybe because I’ve cut most of them more than halfway through the length. I have a good number of shorts. 😀

5. A lovely scarf. Always a gift I wish for!

6. Time. *Now wishing for the impossible.* Someone please buy me at least half a year more because I’m so damn not ready for thiiiiiiiisss, hohoho!

But then, it’s TICK-TOCK TICK-TOCK. In 18 minutes, it’s gonna be my <insert figure here>th Birthdaaaayyyy! Waaaaaaaahhh…

To God, my God, please bless this day.

Inshallah.

My Birthday Wishlist

Monday Migraine Sent Me Home

This is by far the most unproductive Monday I’ve had since I started working, and I blame that terrible migraine, which I could feel blaming me back now, endlessly.

People call it the Monday Blues – that bad and restless mood you get out of having to drag yourself back to work after being a couch potato for an entire weekend. I never hated Mondays for the “drag” though. I hate Mondays for the almost impossible traffic they cause at the very start of the week. This traffic I’m talking about includes the infuriating overloading of all city buses. I swear, it sucks.

But my migraine started even before the Monday traffic. It started just when I woke up and rose from bed and felt dizzy while rummaging for an outfit, while taking a long bath, while doing everything needed to be done before leaving for work. And “everything” there included how many times of going around, up and down the house – that I couldn’t keep track of.

In the bus, I became a sandwich filling or a raisin in a bread, stuck and squeezed and immobile because I was stuck and squeezed. But I was grateful to notice I could still breathe even if I had to hold it for a couple of times. Sure I felt sweat on my nose there.

In the morning, at work, I had to stop every ten minutes and close my eyes, look away from the monitor, and just let them rest. The migraine was already knocking on my skull. Then, I had to eat lunch earlier because I couldn’t stand my hunger, I knew hyperacidity was already on its way and I couldn’t stand that, not while at work. I was getting dizzy in the first place.

In the afternoon, I had to stop and rest like every five minutes, and bury my head in my red pillow. I just had to. My eyes were freakin’ tired and my brain wasn’t working, I thought my brain cells escaped my head. And there was this pinching sensation on the back part of my head. It was excruciating, I wouldn’t last over five minutes working on emails.

‘Til I decided I should go, after considering the advice from my office-mates that I better take a rest at home. I did. Because the migraine was getting too bad, I knew I couldn’t manage an overtime for today, not even just until 06:00 – my timeout.

So I went home, rode a bus where I was fighting the pain by trying to nap. I’ve been longing for my bed the whole day! When I got in the house, I hurried upstairs to my bed and… “ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz…”

“ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………………………..” *snoring*

Monday Migraine Sent Me Home

Things I Worry About At Twenty-Something

Never would’ve realized these things if I, for once or twice, did not get irritated with myself asking these questions over and over again. 🙂

1. What to wear tomorrow? When I get home from work, I don’t usually spend a while longer in my office clothes slash outfit of the day. Of course, they’re already dirty with soot and sweat. So by the time I change for bed clothes, that’s also the minute I start figuring out what to wear the next day. Slacks? Skirt? Dress? What colors am I going for? Heels? Flats? How about the hair-do? And all that outfit shits. It’s both exciting and frustrating; frustrating when I’ve already gone drowsy and I still haven’t figured it out. Then in the morning, I wake up to panic for not having decided what to wear. So I rush to my outrageous heap of clothes, rummage for a good matching outfit, and that takes me…well…a good deal of time, which in such case is bad. And if I spend a little more time rummaging, I’d arrive in the office at 9:02. Two minutes late! Phew. (Thought: Blame the traffic, not me. HAHAHA!)

2. Have I got enough coins for my bus fare? I should know better now how precious it is to be able to find a seat in the bus on your way to work. Otherwise, you have the right to remain standing all throughout the ride rich in “inertia moments” – those sudden brakes that pull you to that stranger in front and bang your head against his bag; and then push you to another stranger behind and you have to say, “Sorry”. Awful.

For that, I make sure I got my both hands to pin me in place the whole time. So before I leave home, I also make sure I have enough coins to pay my exact fare. Not bills because I don’t have an extra hand to take my change and toss it in my coin purse and dunk it into my bag.

3. What to eat for lunch? What time can I eat lunch? I always wonder what time exactly I can eat my lunch. It’s irritatingly amazing how blood red flags and deadlines can keep you pinned down in your station. Bad thing is that the canteen is way down the ground floor. Then you get to look at the bottom-right corner of your monitor, it’s already 3:00 PM; worse, 4:00 PM. Happy lunch, yeeeaah! 🙂

4. I’m not gonna be late for work, am I? Well, I worry about this everyday, starting when I’m halfway through the travel, or oftentimes when I’m just about to grab my bag and go. As calculated, I have to leave home at 7:45 to 7:50 AM. But because of #1 (What to wear) and this unnecessarily long time in the bath, I often take off at 8:00 to 8:10. It’s not like I’ve wasted thirty minutes but when you know traffic is readily waiting to welcome your day, five minutes is just so damn precious!

5. Where to find a pretty dead twig for my soda bottle vase? An unnecessary worry, fine. But because everytime I open the cupboard I see my empty Sola bottle stripped off of its label, I then start to mentally tour around the neighborhood and scout for a pretty dead twig that looks rustic enough to match our apartment’s intended interior. When I go out to buy food, groceries, whatsoever, I look around for this pretty dead twig but so far always unfortunate.

6. MY LAUNDRYYYY!!! When will I ever run out of dirty clothes??? I don’t need to explain this, right? I don’t usually put off doing my laundry but it’s just awfully unbeatable! Good Lord.

Now, if I think of it, at twenty-something, I still think nonsense…a lot. 🙂

Things I Worry About At Twenty-Something

My Goddamn Job Is A Damn Good Gift from God

Of 24 hours, how much do you spend thinking, worrying, daydreaming, and ranting over your unrelentingly stressful job? Your office period is a given, minus the 30 minutes you spend on YouTube, some two to three hours stalking and chatting on Facebook and Twitter, and like an hour or two “google-ing” for the latest cool gadget by Apple and Samsung or for the difference between cold perm and digital perm, yada-ya-DUH. And of course, minus the time you’re DEEPLY (yes, I have to say that) sleeping.

It must be that life-sucker kind of job that most of us are unwillingly trying to get through with day by day…or night by night. Really, how long does it take you to pull your butt off your messy-but-irresistibly-caring bed; and to the shower? As for me, at least these days, one hour! LOL. Like today, I would’ve missed the entire morning and wasted it to tardiness had my brother not bothered waking me up.

You open your eyes. Work. You get up. Work. Oh, and before that, perhaps you were dreaming of your To-Dos. Take a shower. To-Dos. Pick your outfit. To-Dos. Eat breakfast. To-Dos. Dab some lip tint. To-Dos. Wait for a bus. To-Dos. Then you mentally talk yourself through the traffic about your To-Dooosss. Priority 1. Priority 2, 3…….*toooooot*…….4, 5. You take the elevator. Deadlines. You open the door to your office. Deadlines. Boot up your computer. Deadlines. And then you open your email inbox……..(Brain NOT Responding).

At the end of the day, you log off three hours past your regular timeout. So you take the elevator down with puffy eyebags. To-Dos. You wait for the bus. Pending items. You ride the bus. Hate mails from your boss. You take the shower. Crappy outputs.

AGbyVSThen you pray. I do! 🙂 And in my prayers, I always thank God for entrusting the job to me. It’s hard, so damn hard, that goes without saying. But then again, I am learning a lot and that alone is one huge scoop of some perks. I thank God for making me get through the love-hate affair of every day, and through an inbox that I would’ve wished to empty right at first sight. And for everything else because I believe that each and every day always has some goodness and some sane humanity in it.

I thank God. I thank God again and again. I thank God. I thank…work. I thank…To-Dos. I thank…priorities 1, 2, 3. I thank pending items, deadlines, crap…….WHAAAATTT??? Okay, I have to sleep, my brain cells are friggin’ groggy. Goodnight God, my resting brain shall drift away………..WITH TO-DOS BLEEDING IN THAT JOYFUL COLOR CALLED “RED”.

LOL, What did Captain Barbossa (Pirates of the Caribbean) say? “Sleep when you die.” So, sail on, folks! 🙂

My Goddamn Job Is A Damn Good Gift from God

Love is strange. The man I was happiest with was…”stranger”.

Now all I can do is smile in disbelief; a smirk onto a feeling I’ve got to figure what exactly.

Good Lord, how on earth can love be so nonsense? And in that sense, it’s just got interesting.

Need no beer, need no smoke, it’s all clear; I got myself into loving a stranger for a damn good year. “Somebody that I used to know” – a song whose singer I can’t recall and I’d rather type what I’m saying now than “google” it – is in my playlist. People, I feel for these lines:

“But you didn’t have to cut me off

Make it like it never happened, and that we were nothing…

Now you’re just somebody that I used to know.”

And only to realize and ask, “Was he really somebody that I used to know?” It’s striking, annoying, maddening, frustrating, and pretty interesting.

An exaggerated comparison but please let me, for the sake of honesty and liberty. One year felt like a one-night stand with a stranger. It was there, it was good, and then it’s gone, so what now?

Nothing, just nothing. After all, the end simply justified the mean. We started as strangers at a table with cups of coffee and tea. Love isn’t so strange then. Now, we’re back to being strangers, like we’ve always been.

Love is strange. The man I was happiest with was…”stranger”.

Written For Nothing

My dearest,

I woke up from a dream that I wouldn’t want to end; to thoughts of you just so wonderful, to a story hand-written by God. This must be a lovely day – one to celebrate in the name of this love we discovered a year ago.

The situation wasn’t easy, but the decision was; and in fact, I never had to make it. I only needed to say it so you’d know. It came as a surprise for you because you never thought that one hellish busy day could end up with the green light switching on to begin all that’s simply beautiful. I chose 8 simply for what the world has always known: 8 being the symbol of infinity or forever. And then it happened to be the number between my favorite 7, and yours, 9. Right, laugh now!

Forever. The word alone, what sense could it make? It’s the broken promise, the sweetest lie, and the fairy tale no one should believe in. But on that night, I believed in forever like I’ve always believed in every “happily ever after”, because on that night, forever, in your voice, sounded like every true story told, every love story to unfold.

I thank God for entrusting us this love, from which we learn to understand things beyond our own understanding. I’m more than happy to go through all this with you, because quite honestly, there’s no place like in your arms; that I wouldn’t have to worry about the danger because I’m safest there. Laugh and I’ll kill you!

You told me you couldn’t promise forever. Who knows what could happen next, right? I felt sad at that, but then again, I believed in forever…more than ever…when you promised to do your best to make this last forever. That was daring, touching, not a fairy tale at all. I felt my blood at that, and somehow the fear of a challenge proposed by no young love. But right that moment as well, I thanked the universe for the conspiracy it had planned for all that to happen in a time and place so serene.

Love, it’s been an amazing year, what more could I ask for? There is, indeed. May God hear me now that I pray for one more year for us, two, three, four, forever. Would that be too much, my Lord? Well, I hope not, because if God would let me choose one story to keep, I’d choose this, and I’m choosing this now, lifting it up to Him, so He could write on about us, about a fairy tale blessed to come true.

I’ve got so much more to tell, but I’m gonna have to start prepping up for a dinner date. So stamp  this now with a kiss, take a shower, blah blah blah and then put on your favorite shoes, because we’re gonna have a good walk on this damn good night. Don’t forget the keys, and catch you in a few for some cheers to our first.

All my love, M

A letter, which could’ve been written in messy handwriting, on paper pasted at the back of a painted canvass; one you could’ve been holding right now had there been something to celebrate today and until now.

Written For Nothing