If ever you’re on SLEX and you find yourself suddenly craving for good hearty bulalo, head for Calamba exit and just right off the main highway is Aviles Restaurant. For six hundred pesos, you can feed 4-5 hungry souls with a massive chunk of fork tender meat, and unlimited soup. The soup is savory — none of those flavoring hacks — like the meat was boiled in it with hours of gingerly love.
I feel as I grow older and ehem, wiser, it’s becoming easier for me to let go. I am coming to my own, embracing what I truly like and not what society or social media thinks I should like. Along with it, the things I’ve consumed before that in reality doesn’t bring me joy, I can now easily determine. In everything, I have a “true love” rule. I will only purchase it or I will only bring it home if I feel it’s true love. If I try on a shirt, and it’s almost perfect except for that one thing — that the sleeves don’t fall at the right length, or the collar doesn’t look flattering — it’s not true love. If it has even one flaw that I have to convince myself to overlook, it’s not true love. I know true love if I see one. Or better yet, if I feel it. I know what I want, and what I want is true love, in all aspects.
I’ve let go of a lot of stuff recently, all of them go to my sisters and my mother and my nieces. I’ve replaced some with new buys, and learned to love what I have kept behind. There will be a point in time in the future where I have a house where it’s just filled with “true love”. Not yet there, but it’s an exciting work in progress.
It had been my habit that every time I get a good chunk of free time on my hands, I’d whip my house back to shape. It’s a practice that I’ve picked up since childhood. Right before the turn of the new year, or during the last week of summer or during Holy Week, my mother would make us help her out sorting thru the house. My mother can be a hoarder and thrice a year, she would purge what she willfully can, and make us join in on the action. I am not so much of a pack rat, and there are less of my stuff to sort. I am definitely married to one though, and sometimes, I cannot believe how much stuff you can amass in a small space in a span of time.
So every now and then, I purge. I edit. I throw away what I deem is just clutter. My house is by no measure clean and tidy all the time, but I make sure it’s filled with things that we need and less of what we can live without.
I feel like at this point, Netflix knows me better than my closest friends, well, at least when it comes to what I like to watch. So when it recommended that I watch 13 Reasons Why because given our intimate history, that I *might* like it, resisting is futile. When it dropped the entire season, I and my addictive tendencies inevitable binged. I must watch it.
The first few episodes was a rough start for me, like a bitter pill that’s trying so hard to go down q very dry throat. I wanted to like it so much because netflix told me I was going to like it. A lot of people like it, so why am I not getting into this? There a dead girl in the beginning of the story. I’m into dead girls’ stories. A few more episodes in and at this point, I felt like trudging on, dragging my feet just because I’ve already invested about 5 hours of my life. I was done with half the season when I realize: I hate this. I hate every character. I hate all of them.
I hated Hannah Baker. I find her annoying and self-centered and vicious. Also, one of my hated traits when it comes to people is when they come off as a victim, or in more proper colloquial terms, pabiktima. Like everything is happening to them and there’s nothing they can do about it so they’ll just sulk and be vindictive, play the victim card and blame it on everybody but themselves. I hate that. I hate that with a passion.
I hate all her friends. Everybody is so petty. I did not like even one character in that series.
Except Kate Walsh. I love Kate Walsh. She will forever be Dr. Addison Montgomery Shepard. She will forever be from the land of Passive Aggressiva and she will always be my queen.
I hate Clay Jensen too. I feel like he likes to play the victim card too. And I don’t like how inefficient he is. Like if I were him, I’d skip to my tape, like it’ll all be done on the first episode.
‘Eh de potah, wala naman pala akong ginawa sayo, bat ako nasali dito?!?’ That is how it should’ve gone down.
And then I realized that maybe, I am just not its target market. It’s based on a young adult novel, and I am by no means a young adult. You know you’re a grown ass woman when teen angsty shows make you cringe.
But I am no quitter. I’m here 6 episodes in. I can finish this in half a day, then I can forget that the whole thing ever happened it.
I guess I finally got into it by episode 9, when we finally got I felt like I hit the meat of the story, and then at the episode when I finally understood where Hannah is coming from. I felt like I can finally forgive them all for wasting my time. I can actually forgive myself for yet again, finding a way to waste my precious time.
For a whole month, I was trying to figure our how and when to put in the time to sit down and write or edit videos. I was thinking I can do it after work. I’m at home by 6 pm and I should be able to just type for two hours like it’s no big deal. And then I get home, and all I want to do is go to the shower and take the day — all the smoke and grime and pent up summer heat — literally off me, and climb to bed by 8 pm. And then I’d bargain. I can write at 2 am. When I was in college, I would wake up at 2 am to study. Every person has that golden hour where your brain just absorbs everything and mine was at around 3-4 am. That should still work for me, right? And then my body refuses to wake up until 6 am. Yes, for about a month since starting full time work again, I hibernate for 10 hours.
And then on weekends, I take a good 2 hour midday nap.
Long gone are the days when I would sleep at 2 am and wake up at 6 am without a problem. These days, if I sleep at 10 pm — a couple of hours after my bedtime — it would take me a week to recover the rest I lost for 2 mere hours. I am old. And I am not fighting it.
Whereas before when I would stress over the fact that I should be more productive of my time, that maybe I should sleep less during the weekdays, fight the tiredness at night and just go at it and power through the pain, nowadays I just embrace it. If I’m tired, I am tired. If my body wants to sleep at 8 pm, I will sleep at 8 pm. If my body tells me I’ll have a better day if I wake up at 6 am, then by god, I will rise from bed no earlier than 6 am.
There are things you start to let go. When you have little time to spare, you begin to realize what’s really important in your life worth sparing time on. I still go home to a clean house because the little time I have between 6 am to 8:30 am, minus breakfast and shower time goes to fixing my little home. There is nothing like going home tired from work to your clean happy place. At the end of a tiring work day, I come home and drop everything on the floor and rush to the shower. And then, when I’m fresh and clean, I’d tune out to my afternoon teleseryes on iwantv.
You know what’s first to go? Instagram. And then, the blog. And then, youtube. I think I only have time for twitter. I can only take social media now at 140 characters at a time. No lengthy post. No stressful comments section. I have no time to spare for unnecessary stress.
As much as you need your downtime once in a while, you also need quick bursts of time when you’re suddenly swamped. Downtime teaches you to relax. When I quit work, I taught myself to be less anxious and to embrace my free time. I have lived out enough chapters in my life to know that the luxury of doing nothing won’t last long and I should just enjoy it and not worry about “the next thing”, because inevitably, it will come. “Full plate” time teaches you where your priorities lie. I am learning the value of hard manual work, and like I’ve always thought, that I actually enjoy it more than an office job. I learned that archiving my life is important to me, and that I do it for very personal reasons. Sharing it for the world to drop by and peek in is secondary, putting it up on social media is a hobby, something I do because hey, it’s free. But while posting on facebook or instagram or the blog or youtube appears to not be not that immediate for me, I still journal, and that is what’s important. I live my life and then I take time to write about it. Even if it’s just for me.
Eventually, I will fall again into a routine. But I guess to theme is to embrace it. Embrace the tiredness, the confusion, the constant adjusting. These are exciting times.