Cactus! No, I mean Caucus. But for Now, eyes open!

Sorry for not writing in a lot lately. I had been busy doing nothing. And nothing is impossible, hence, I had been busy doing the impossible! Haha! I know, I can get a lot of sense sometimes. :) but no, I’m kinda was busy or was I just lazy? Either way, I’m back! And I’m here to talk about something I should have a few weeks ago…

A few weeks back, a friend of a friend of mine asked, in out of the blue, because-he-just-wanted-to-know moment (and what I think is an Avon commercial pegged question too): Kriselle, he said, anong pangarap mo [what is your dream]?.

I thought about it but I couldn’t – for the life of me – give a good answer; the one in which he could’ve said Wow. Nice dream. High-five!

My dilemma was (a) I always wanted to look smart when answering a simple question tell me about it, but, (b) should I give him a serious answer or not?; (c) we’re not quite ‘close’ and so I’m not ‘quite’ obliged to give a personal answer, right? And dreams are something of personal value and connection, ain’t it?; (d) a.k.a. the worst part – did I create choices b and c so that I can justify why I can’t answer such a simple question of my own dream? It’s like I’m back in sixth grade when Mrs. Hidalgo is asking her class to make an essay about What do I wanna be when I grow up? and the very exercise would take me five to ten sheets of yellow paper tossed around the trash bin within one hundred thirty seven minutes and twenty-three seconds before the clock strikes twelve.

Actually, the first thing that came to my mind when the question was asked was whatever God wants me to be or wherever God puts me to be. But then I thought, that’s showing my vulnerable side, so, I’m not gonna answer that. And besides, I don’t even know if his question was meant for career moves or love life or family relationships or life itself. What is your dream? is such a broad question with a million and one answer. It’s so general. It’s so… um, milky-way. It can fit a lot of galaxies and it would go on forever.

Until now, when I come to think of it, I still don’t know what my dream is or what my dreams are or do I even understand the word or do I really know my answer? What does dream mean? Is it like a vision? Or more of a purpose? Or if not, would they be able to connect same dots at the end of a pattern? It’s making me dizzy. I’m going crazy. I’m thinking of walking away. But no, I’m not walking away. I’m not leaving it afloat right here, in a limbo, unanswered. Because somewhere at some point along the cobwebs, I’ll have to face it all over again and it can whip my head with a baseball bat and that wouldn’t be fun the second time around. Ergo, I’m sitting down and have a face-to-face heart-to-heart talk with this thing right now.

So, what is my dream?

When I asked the friend of this friend of a friend of mine who asked the dream question: how will one person know his dream or what he wants (because I for one am having a hard time)? Then, he gave me this illustration. Btw, he mastered Communication Research (my College course) that’s why I think he gave me this conceptual-framework-answer.

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Apparently, in this framework you got: what you want, what you are capable of doing (your skills) and what God wants you to do (your purpose). Now these will determine what your dream is or what you’re meant to do.

What I want?
I believe in every stages of your life, there would be times (many times) that you will have a variety of what you want. When I was a kid, my ultimate priority is to finish my studies. Then, I thought, after that I could think of what I want to do. But high school came and then you had to take this nationwide career guide exam to determine what would or could fit your interest or skills. I didn’t follow mine, though. My result was to be in Entrepreneurial course but I chose Mass Communication instead (because my result also showed me high scores on my vocabulary and reading comprehension). And besides, high school was the time when I wanted to be a newscaster when I grow up. I thought it’s quite cool and just smart.

When College came, I never intended to be in a Research course because I wanted to be in Broadcast Communication. I thought, when I get that course then I could really be trained up to be one good reporter. And so, I never got to be in a Broadcast course because the interviewer was enticing me to be in this Research course which was a fresh offering from the university I went in. Imagine, I went all the hours of waiting in the line, refusing to make a shortcut when you apply for this Research course, and with all those hours, you’ll just tell yourself Man, I should’ve grabbed this a little earlier to save me some time! Because after all the waiting, they would still prefer you to be in the Research course. And their basis? Your grades in English, Math and Science when you were in your senior high school. And the one question I asked that made me decide (aside from I don’t have a a lot of cards anymore) was, Is there a chance for me to be a newscaster if I enter this course? The interviewer said yes and told me some other more perks. Then I agreed.

My block in College was, and still is, a bright bunch. They are! I couldn’t think of anyone who is less than that. I am telling you. Anyways, in College, I learned a lot of things. But I can’t say that I am one little expert on Research even if that’s my course because I am not. But I got to do more of what I want when I’m in College than that when I’m in high school. College was a comfort zone. It’s fun. It was from this point when I got to be influenced on a lot of things. And this was also the point when I got to love the radio. Yes, I loved the radio so much that I wanted to be a disc-jock after or while I’m still in College.

Radio hit me hard in the core. I felt that DJ-ing is what I’m born to do or what I would love to do. And I mean it with all my heart and I think it was so. But I know that DJ-ing could only be a part-time job (and I would love to do it even for free) and so I got to think of other ways I could survive life after College. I thought that I got or should practice my course when I’m in the real world already because I sincerely know that that would make me happy. I wanted to be in a corporate world, be in marketing or advertising or media, as long as there is research involve (though am not quite good at it) is a good deal for me.

Soon after College ended, real world welcomes you with not much of a grace as you should expect it to be. And sometimes, what you wanted and had planned on doing won’t push through. That doesn’t mean though that you won’t like what will be offered to you. And now, after all these, what I really want now is to do my job, stretch my hands to people and be an agent of change and help in transforming the nation. I know I won’t be here, in my recent field, for long. I still dream to practice my course or to be in the corporate field. I still want that. But sometimes I don’t really know what I want anymore.

What are my skills?
Well, I know basic research. I got to experience doing Content Analysis for a thesis project and Audience Research for an internship requirement. I know how to use the computer – MS applications, Internet and all. Because I know how to blog, I can or I think I’m capable of managing websites. I know how to write – formal and informal. I am a good transcriptionist (this one I love doing, it’s very easy). And because of the work I’m in, I know how to organize and coordinate events, to facilitate, to do modules (Vella or Dialogue Education style), to manage a Facebook page (haha! Easy for any youth. But I’m having a hard time to have a mass reach of thousands and thousands.), to network, etcetera.

I think I am a creative writer, because some of my DGroup friends (who btw encourage me a lot on writing because of this blog: thank you so much to all of you!!! You’re making my heart happy when you read what I got to say on the world where we are all running a race. I love you all!) called me such. I do poems; though most of them are love poems. I got a good manner of speaking, I mean, I think I really have a potential to be a DJ! Haha! Maisingit lang. So please, radio stations, I know I failed in auditioning but you can train me and give me a try. I can accommodate for free! HAHA. Desperate? I am an eager learner and when I focus real hard, I can achieve what I wanted or more of what is expected of me.

So yeah, that’s about it. Or I could discover something more in the long run. And oh, I can ogre burp if that’s one good qualification. HAHA!

What’s my purpose?
Apart from Christ I am nothing. My ultimate purpose in life is to bring glory to His name. Now, I don’t know yet what, where and how He wanted to use me (because I’m not asking yet). All I know is that I needed to be faithful where I am now because I could use this on the time He appointed me to.

I know I should consult with Him about these things more often because I’m totally at lost when I don’t do (which probably the main reason why I don’t have any idea what I suppose to do yet since I am not talking with Him about these things). Sometimes, I’m afraid to know the answer. You know how sometimes your plans and His plans are different? And faith, faith is just about so important. We need to trust Him. I need to trust Him. And I feel that He wants me where I am now (even I don’t like it here sometimes) so I’m gonna stick with it. I got over an ounce of courage and a seed of faith and for now, that would be enough. I would let it grow, I would fill it up so that I could be strong as a bamboo when the winds starts blowing in.

Now, what is my dream?
I still don’t have an answer. I don’t have specific things to do yet. All I know is, wherever I am, I need to be present here. And although sometimes I am relaxed and at peace or sometimes I’m in paranoia and worry because I don’t know the answer to many of my questions, things will going to be fine.

Sometimes we wrestle with the answers to much that we consequently forget that it’s not about the answers. Not entirely. It’s about becoming and growing. It’s about courage, a search entering the unknown and embracing the wilderness. Most of all: it’s absolutely okay to be lost. We just have to trust that we will find our way. In time.

-Isabel Garcia

Maybe I’m lost and I don’t know what or where should my roads and cards go (yet). But being lost has its own beauty of being found. Even being in a maze makes it hard for you to go by, the maze will let you find an answer in the end. Continue to believe that everything will be worthwhile just as long as you keep on being faithful. Someone somewhere will catch you and will cause good things to chase after you. Trust. Listen. Hope. Learn to obey.

I think, I could get what I wanted to do when I find the joy of exploring and hanging on the things the Big Guy wants me to have and learn. I know I am being prepared. And I hope and pray that I would have all the more time to discuss these matters to Him as it is of importance to me. I hope He could use me and I’m gonna be a cheerful-wholehearted-child while at it.

As for now, there’s so much to learn and to try and to not succeed and to fail and to experience. There’ll be tough times of unanswered thoughts but I know the Big Guy will grant me / will grant you an eyes open to all the wonderful things He has in store for you, your family, your community, your place and your mission field.

At the most, we need to be present. :) eyes open and present. :)

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower [this is not the book]

I warned you, this is really not about the book written by Steven Chbosky which became a movie where Emma Watson starred in. I haven’t read the book (nor watched the movie) yet and if ever I got to read or watch it in the future and post my review for it in this blog, I would entitle it: The Perks of Being a Wallflower [the real deal]. Ha! In that way, we won’t be confused. :P

What am I saying?

Twenty years of being a wallflower.

That’s what I’m saying.

Earlier this week, my cousin and I had a quick chat about whatever else that’s going on in our lives. She told me that she already have this new gadget. And I thought, wow nice. And then she said that it was [the gadget] given by a suitor of hers. She continued on saying that a guy who she met when their school had an out of the country affair is coming to the Philippines. And I asked her if that’s a suitor also, obviously, I won’t have no for an answer. See, my cousin, she’s beautiful and very well shaped and knows how to groom herself. No wonder she got suitors. There’s really nothing wrong with it except that it stressed the life out of me. Ugh! I hate it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m totally good with the cousin having suitors, new gadgets and all. It’s just that, days like these when everyone else got their fair share of admirers makes me feel not pretty, not wanted, not seen, not interesting, not noticeable. Days like these makes me feel like a big-fat-Wallflower.

I was never really the crush ng bayan (read: apple of the eye) when growing up. I never had a puppy love. I never had a childhood sweetheart. I never had a someone in high school who told me that he wanted the twelve year old me to be his girlfriend. I never been asked on a date. I never been on a date. I never been given flowers and chocolates with a special dedication on Valentine’s Day. I never experienced someone sing something for me that reminds him of me everyday. I never, like, existed in the eyes of the guys as “prospect”. Never. I never got suitors.

It’s acceptable for a single girl to be single as long as she’s got suitors. That makes her single by choice, which is, let’s face it, a lot less sad. But because she’s single because no one really wants to be with her? Single by default? Well then, that’s just depressing.

-Isabel Garcia, The Last Single Lady

Depressing. It is. It’s like you don’t fit in to any options on the check box. And that, you’re just chosen because sometimes, people ran out of choices. You’re the last resort. But while there’s a whole lot of line to choose from, you won’t get noticed. It’s like, you’ll always end up questioning yourself in the mirror and telling the girl in the reflection, what is wrong?

Like lightning hit the sycamore tree, it dawned on me that nothing’s really ever wrong. With me. Well, aside from the fact that I eat in embarrassing amounts whenever I’m hungry and I burp like an ogre sometimes. Nothing’s really wrong with me except my mindset. I always forget what I said in the number seven of this list: I am not to compare myself to this world. I’m created in the image of the Almighty – fearfully and wonderfully. I got to believe this the best that I can coz this isn’t a lie. This is true. I am beautiful and so are you. Even in doubt, even you get goosebumps saying it to yourself in front of the mirror, even you think you’re a big joke, you [I] got to understand, you are [I am] beautiful. Don’t let Mr. I-am-telling-you-base-on-this-world’s-standards-you-are-NOT-beautiful win. He’s lying! He’s a LIAR. Go on, believe in yourself. Go on, believe in the small voice of encouragement within you. Go on, believe your Father. Believe the truth.

I am not telling this to make myself feel good. I am telling this to myself because I forgot how God made me as His creation – all He made is good. It is good. It is good. I am good. (see Genesis 1)

I am single, not by default. I am single because I know my worth. I can choose to go flirt with every guy in this world to have a boyfriend if I wanted to; but, no one wins in that. That’s just a whole lot of chaotic heartbreak. Besides I made a commitment, and some would say that I’m a cosmic idealist single lady alive, but it’s in my heart to pursue the best and never settle. I am bound to love myself first and to know my me more. I am bound to know the One who made me me. I am bound to know the One who gave me the greatest love I ever had and will ever had – the greatest love that would satisfy the depths of my soul and the never ending beat of my heart: my inner being.

And it’s not that I don’t want a relationship, it’s just that I refuse to beg for something that should be freely and willingly given and I refuse to settle anything less than something real. Something with chemistry and compatibility and attraction and yes, actual committed love.

-Isabel Garcia, The Last Single Lady

I know Love. I knew Love. I experienced Love. Although not the romantic type, but, you know, it’s just everywhere. From the time you held the little hands of a newborn child; the time you shared your favorite oatmeal cookie to a less fortunate; the time you forgive someone who wronged you and eventually forget what they had done wrong; the time you teach a new friend how to swim; the time you rendered patience, as if you had long threads of it, in teaching a new employee the how-to’s of a job; the time you smiled to a stranger which made him feel that he’s welcomed; the time when a Friend laid down his life for you; the time you accepted yourself for all of who you are and who you’re not.

Maybe love lives inside of us. Maybe love is meant for us to give to someone else. Maybe love will find its way to us when we’re out in the porch, watching the sunset and singing with all our hearts in a song by our favorite boyband of the 90s. Maybe Love is just around the corner and will hit us fast with smack in the face when we believe it.

As for now, living life with no strings attached to anybody, is fun. I should enjoy it while I’m still here. I got to do what I wanna do. I got to go where I wanna go. I got to be to people who I wanted to be with. I got to enjoy myself and understand myself. I got to depend on the True Dependable. I got to take hold of the world in my hands and I got to tell it that I don’t deserve to be treated less than my worth. I know that I’ll conquer all the fears and doubts and lies that it throws in front of my face because my faith is so much bigger than my biceps and my hope is higher than my 5 feet 4 inches height.

Being single never meant you’re ugly and no one wants to be with you. Take hold of your ideals of waiting for the perfect best man God designed for you to be with – although it’s hard and sometimes you would be seen by others as crazy – take hold of it like a precious gem stone, very fragile and can break easy. Never settle. Even if they said happy endings only happens in fairytales and movies and that being in love and to believe in love will bring you heartbreak and you won’t be ready, believe in Love anyways.

The perks of being a wallflower? Although my confidence can be measured in teaspoons when thinking if there’s someone who would really wanted to share a relationship journey with me in the future, I would still believe it with every cup I fill my teaspoons with.

In the meantime, I’ll explore and gaze upon the beauty and tragedy of everyday living. I’ll participate in the wonders of every season of this funny place called life. I’ll discover who I am, even I’ll fall, I’ll stand up again. I’ll trust Who made me who I am, the One who held my hand whenever I fell and pushed me to get back on my feet to stand up again. I’ll grieve when I need to. I’ll jump for joy when my heart tells me to. I’ll try to present myself well (even it means using creams and lotions for my skin or using baby colognes or wearing dresses and be quite feminine) every once in a while. Although I’ll still have days complaining about messy hairdos, unplucked eyebrows and yes, zero suitors, I’ll be brave while waiting. I’ll be ecstatic and giddy and arms wide open when waiting is finally done. I’ll watch the stars and wonder if Mr. Someday My Prince Will Come is watching the same stars as I am. I’ll never settle. I’ll just keep on believing. :)

The Day I Met Sarah Kay and Why the Scarecrow Got Invited to TED

During latter years in College, the love for words and poetry grown in me quite dramatically. It was, in my graduating year, that I’ve ventured on writing poems, particularly about admiration, fascination, hurt, pain, but above all, love. I never ever thought that I could possibly render a part of me – my heart, and then, my soul – on to writing. I never expected myself to find joy in that. Although I only have poems that you can count by your fingertips and you could notice how shallow, how girly and dreamy they are, I’ll still continue to write them if I need to until I can find another shades of greens or maroons or yellows and teals that could add another abstract of colors in my life.

Over the past few years, I have learned that writing is an art of the emotion. And it’s different too, with each and everyone of us – because of what we’ve gone through and what we’ve haven’t gone through. When I go about blogs after blogs after blogs, books after books after books, person after person after person and study how they are able to come up with a certain article, I always discover that each of them got different styles and that although they’re in the same topic, they would still all fall in the Distinct-From-Each-Other Department.

Writing is also similar to a kaleidoscope that transforms the many shapes and colors and sizes of where we fit in on what we call, life, into something more beautiful and entertaining and captivating. That although we think a candy wrapper or afternoon coffee or stuttering in front of someone altogether is not worthy of a poem, a short story or an essay, we’ll know that we’ve got it all wrong. Because in writing, life can’t be boring. You can always make sense of life when you actually got to write it. You figure out things, like, what does a candy wrapper really means when a candy was given by someone you deeply admire who bumped on you when you’re about to take your afternoon coffee in the pantry of the 39th floor of your office who, when you talk to, you all the more can’t help but stutter in every word you’re about to say.

And yes, writing is never meant for every audience in cyber space. I mean, some people dig what you say and some don’t mind at all. Don’t lose heart, though, because even when you think no one wanted to read you, there’ll be someone who always wanted to. When you didn’t write what you’re suppose to, you’ll lose these people who also hangs on strings of hope when you just keep doing what you do when you write. It’s like representing them – tapping them at the back when tides didn’t go the way it should; kissing their tears from their eyes after a broken heart; giving the biggest bear hug and telling them “It’s gonna be okay. You’re gonna be fine.” when they most specially need to. You cannot be there in person because maybe they’re from another part of the world but because of what you have written, they’ll know that they’re not alone. That Life is the same for everybody: unfair. It is, as much as it also bears the name Wonderful and Lovely.

And so, what is the connection of all that I’ve said to meeting Sarah Kay? I don’t know. Haha! I’m still trying to figure that out and let’s all see when I come to the end of my thoughts.

As I said, I read blogs – from friends to total strangers. Reading them became one of my mentors in how I attack or play with something I want to write. Isabel Garcia is one of those writer-blogger who I follow and I made sure that I’ve read her new posts everyday (also re-tracking what she had written all the way from when she was just starting). She is one talented writer. She is very open with all her cracks, broken pieces and all. She is open and when you do write, I think you have to be like that. Plus, one thing I like about her is I can quote her. For all the love I have for quoting people. :) She has these vast statements where you can go right ahead and quote it because you grasped it and felt it and connected with it. She’s ohhh-some like that.

One day when I was browsing her new post Love Will Be, I was drawn to the video she posted about this girl (Sarah Kay) and a boy (Phil Kaye) who are performing something-I-can’t-explain entitled When Love Arrives. They were good at it (read: SUPER good). I was tracing back where I have read the name of the girl at the video. I remember reading it somewhere Isabel’s blog, but anyway, I googled her and found some interesting things about her.

Sarah Kay is a spoken word poet where she performs poems that she had written to entertain, educate or simply inspire (I wonder if I can do that to my poems too). Phil Kaye is someone who she encountered in College and who is sharing the same art of spoken word poetry as hers. As I’m doing my research on her, I found out that she also had an opportunity to showcase her two cents worth on TED Talks.

After watching this, I was determined on searching for her other performances of spoken word poetry! And I did. I watched a lot more of her performances and there were a few I kept on my iPod (Worst Poetry, An Origin Story, Jellyfish, Toothbrush to a Bicycle Tire – and yes – When Love Arrives and her TED Talks talk).

She’s writing poems and performing them in a way where she can be the best when she’s the one doing it. It’s about her pursuance of what she loves and is passionate about. It’s about going to life open-handed even when everything around you just blows out of proportions. Sarah Kay is so inspiring in so many ways I don’t even know where to begin praising. And it’s true what she said about the scarecrow being invited to TED, because she’s out-standing in her field. (read: Sarah Kay’s mastery of spoken word poetry)

There will be times that you got to follow your dreams even if the current takes you to the opposite side of the sea. It might be scary and you might think that you can’t do it, like Sarah. But she took her first step, she said I can. And you know, we can too. And yes, I say I can to writing because I realized this has been my dream – to shed bliss and inspiration to people through art form. And I think spoken word poetry would be another dream to chase like a kite running free in a windy day of May. I wonder if I could, like the way I did in writing, find it within myself and do it. :)