Time Machine 101

I am a fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Tom Hansen of 500 Days of Summer.

I honestly believe he is one of the most underrated actors out there. But aside from the usual performing arts he does, he directs HitRECord, an international collaboration platform. If you follow him on Twitter or Facebook, you would see how smart he is.

This morning, his question was about going back in time. I found myself reading the comments and based on what I have seen, it all boils down to two things: places and moments.

1. Place they want to go back to

I would want to include time in this category as some one-liner answers go something like New York, 1950.  No explanations, just that.

Judging by the commenters’ photos, they are possibly born years after that period.

This told me that, maybe, looking at the world before thru photos make us think of how simple life was then. No technology just pure interpersonal communication. The fashion was different, too. Gender roles could have probabaly been stiffer, but it tells me that people would always long for the things they would never know or are never meant to find out.

I realized that exercises like this reveal our innate gesture of clinging to the past. A past we were never part of, but a product of. It tells me that our generation and future ones would always look for ways to bring back what their precedents would leave behind. Could this only mean that as we progress, we wish to somehow keep all we have had and never make them extinct? That, probably, if we had the physical things all througout the ages, we would always feel complete?

2. Moments they wish they knew were the last

These answers were followed by regrets for after that moment, their lives were changed forever. Morever, all of them wish that they had known so that they could have spent longer hours with it.

Reading was painful. Everybody wanted to change one decision so their lives now might be better. We always have that thought but really, if we would go back in time and tweak it, would our lives really be different?

Nurturing these thoughts not only destroy our potential to be happy and to be responsible for all our decisions, but it also gives us the belief that the life that follows a fateful choice is a broken one. Which isn’t.

There are moments we would want to last because they are happy memories, but then we need to always move forward. Regardless of the emotion involved in a moment, it is always meant to be lived once.

So, this evening, I realized that in order for me to appreciate life a bit more, I need to fuse the past and the present: put technology into a low and focus on the experience as it happens. If I were at the beach, I would take one photo then spend three hours in actual swimming. If I were with a person I love, I would take a photo, then fix my eyes on that person for the rest of the day.

Instagramming can wait. That moment would end.

In this life, we need to make a decision and that is to choose between these: to build a lasting relationship with a mobile device, or to spend real time with real life.

 

Be real.

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What I learned When I let the Love of my Life Go

I had been stubborn. I kept holding on to the thing I knew I already lost years back. But I thought that it would be better to have it in anyway, in any form, rather than to lose it at all. I said that people who said ex lovers can never be friends were wrong. But they were right.

Staying with him after the break up was the worst I did to myself. I spent years crying until I fall asleep for the self doubt I was fed with, his lies I chose to ignore, the worries regarding whereabouts, his indifference, and ultimately, the love unreturned.

But what was strange was I kept sticking to the torture even when I despised it. I kept going back and being dependent to what would bleed me dry. 

I thought it was love. And I did fall. Too hard. I had a strong love, the kind that chose to see only the good things. I thought it was happiness. That he was my contentment with misery. Yes, he would give me joy and then desolation afterwards. I accepted it as normal.

But I realized that when he decided to go, he chose to forget. And when he said he wanted to still be with me without our label, he actually meant being together only when it was convenient. Of course, I did not want to see that. I denied that and convinced myself he was still in love but unready.

I couldn’t admit that I lost his love a long time before and that it was only pride that kept me with him. I did not want to endure that it was I  that was dumped, unchosen, and forgotten. So, I held things together.

My mistake was I did not love myself good enough that when he started to purposefully hurt me, I embraced it for years and mistook it for confusion he would outgrow or that it was me who was misunderstanding.

And then one day, I couldn’t tolerate him anymore. So, I just stopped being there for him. I stopped communicating with him.

I waited three days for him to miss me, but he never came back.  That moment, I validated my belief that I never mattered. Or no longer did. And on the fourth day, I melted my heart out. I would still get moments of sadness out of it but letting him go was the best thing I did for myself. 

It devastated me to know that the person who loved me so no longer sees me as important, but what was good is that I started healing and redirecting my affection for him to myself.

I was distressed, but now, I could start being the old me again: no more waiting by my phone, singing-in-the-morning or in the shower, reading again, talking to my best boy pals I chose to ignore on his command, no more being careful with what I wear or say, no more being afraid of losing him because he was no longer mine to begin with.

I held on to him and to the heartache because I believed he was my delight. But if he really were, there wouldn’t have been nights when he would make me desperate for his voice.

How I wish I had been strong enough to have cut ties with him, on that Wednesday evening when I was so much younger than today, when he dumped me over SMS.

Practicality or Passion?

Practicality or passion? This is the most disturbing question any graduating millenial tries to answer.
Ideally, you finish school and earn money but we get tormented between choosing a job that pays the bills and pursuing a job we like so that we never have to work a day in our life.

Expectedly, we need to choose a job that can pay our bills. I am not saying that we are just born to pay this and that but in reality, even the most luxurious life you can think of involves the exchange of money for goods. 
Should you wish to travel, you pay the plane ticket, you buy your food, you pay hotels and all. Should you opt to buy a car, you purchase using money. Though the concept of “bills” means relatively to some, I have thought that maybe we can make our own bill classification into a positive bill and a negative bill.

Do not be confused. This idea stemmed from my personal experience and cannot be found in books. But really, when a bill is something mandatory, like electricity bills, we find it an obligation—now that is the negative bill. However, if the bill is something we chose to have, like that trip to Venice, we tag it as living the life we want—that’s the positive bill right there.

Do you see how our life is formed by our mindset? 

People tell you, you need to have a job at once but if you think you are not ready, then don’t apply yet. Go enjoy the summer!

If people tell you that you need to be more practical and choose the higher paying job over the job that you like, well… choose the job you want because eventually, you get performance bonus and the salary that you deserve.

You see, if you love what you do, you excel in it. Nonetheless, if the opportunity for your passiion is not there yet, then here is a win-win choice you could try for yourself: so, the answer to the question is this: look for a day job that can pay all the bills and put saving in your bank account but still find time doing things you want.

As a young professional back in 2011, I was lucky enough to have landed a first job that pays well. I was paid per hour and I only work for 4 days a week, 3-6 hours a day. But the thing is, I earn twice as much as my counterparts. Lucky enough, yes. Nevertheless, I realized that it is not really the job I wanted. Though I was able to help other people and I enjoyed my collegues’company, I couldn’t find a sense of fulfilment.
So, what did I do? I left and became almost unemployed for two years. I practiced freelance writing. Though I was earning a relatively small amount, I felt happy whenever I get to publish pieces. But here’s the rub: my freelance job almost couldn’t pay the bills.

So, when I got back to my senses,  I went back to the industry and got lucky enough to land a day job. Yes, this job is something I leave at the office and gives me my weekends and evenings off. But since I was able to establish a writing gig for myself, I opted to continue doing it.

I did not want to stop my passion (which is writing) so I struggled to land writing gigs again. And right now, whenever I have time, I do SEO and I contribute to an online news site.

Am I happy? Definitely better than in 2013 when I thought I was not achieving anything. Right now, I feel fulfilled that I get to do what I want (writing) while being able to do what I should (pay the bills).

“Choose a job you want and you will never have to work a day in your life”

I suggest not to take this literally. It will stress you out. Whether or not you pick what you love or you choose to do what you can, you’ll work either way. The difference would be the amount of satisfaction you give yourself.

You may actually opt to make your passion your job but if it earns too little, do not worry. Do not rush. It will get bigger soon. Just do not give up. Most importantly, do not listen to people who give deadlines to your success.

It is yours. Own it!


We get to go where we are supposed to at our own pace, remember that.
It took me 6 years after graduating college before I got my dream job. 

Well, my dream job is actually my “sideline job” but that does not matter. I learned that the thing I was stressing about three years ago is meaningless today.

If I had known I would become an official writer, I wouldn’t have had sulked in one corner of my house thinking I was putting my talent to waste.

Passion or practicality? Both.

Fast success or slow success? That is up to you. Fast. Slow. Does not matter. If you could go fast, do it. If you are scared, at least take little steps. Taking one step is still better than not moving at all.

Ultimately, fulfill your role but still pay yourself when you have time. If the job steals your personal space, leave.

There are tons of job posts out there. Find your fit. Sometimes, it will take a few days, a week, months or a couple of years. That’s OK. Look for what you want and all the waiting will be worth it.

A spinster’s letter for an expected child

Dear my supposed baby,

It’s your supposed mom. Hello. I write in loathe that probably I will never get to meet you and officially be a mother.

Not that you are a miscarriage or anything, but because at this point, I feel strongly that I would probably never fall in love so much again. So much that I would consider resurrecting my belief in real marriage, nor would I ever meet a man that could be your supposed dad.

No, supposed mommy does not sleep around. It’s not what she does, supposed sweetheart. She would like to marry for love and not for convenience. For it, I am sorry, supposed baby, that you would probably never exist.

I would love to be a mother, too. Feel the nausea of morning sickness, the frustration of food cravings in the wee hours of the night, the stress of not wanting to smell nor to see people just because I don’t want to, and squirm in pain of contraction. Add to that, that I want to feel the immense torture of labor. However, my supposed child, supposed mommy got her heart broken a million times that she does not want you to be broken, too.

But if ever you would come, and I still so hope you would, even with slightest twist in my diminishing faith, I would be ecstatic and I would name you the name I had thought of years ago.

But supposed baby, I would want a family for you. The usual mom plus dad equals baby equation and if circumstances turn out otherwise, know supposed mommy fell hard in love with your supposed daddy but he chose to flee from the man he ought to have become.

For now, supposed little one, just hang in there. If we never get to meet, please don’t take it against me. For if I would raise you, I would want you to love and not just to please yourself.

But if in all oddities you do have a power or a say to this, please, please, find your way into my tummy.

Love,

Your supposed mom