Age is JUST a number

I say I'm 27. Seriously.

I say I’m 27. Seriously.

When I was young(er), I used to think that people who were in their 30’s or 40’s were already old.

I grew up in the generation where the young ones realize and acknowledge the authority of elders, may they be parents, aunts or uncles, or parents’ friends.  As a teenager, I was close to my aunts, we tell stories and we laugh a lot, but never did I see them as my equal.  They were always “up there.”  They were older and I gave them all the respect that they deserved.  Though honestly, there were times when I didn’t want to hang out with them because it felt “uncool” hanging out with older people…

I was never really close to my mom when I was growing up because she was more of a figure of authority than anything else.  I followed and obeyed.  I never saw her as a “friend.”  Provider, yes.  Parent, yes.  But, buddy? Chum? Friend?!  As Tyra Banks would have said it, “Hell to the no!”

Besides, the age gap made it difficult for me to see her differently.  My parents — and their siblings — will always be older.  When I was a teenager, I had this thinking that they were already ancient.  Gosh.

I am in my late thirties now.  To be more precise, I am pushing forty.  Just saying that is making my heart palpitate.  In my young self’s eyes, I AM ANCIENT!  Panic time.  Gulp.  I. can’t. breathe. too. well. 

Thinking about it, I don’t feel too different.  I mean, I feel like I’m the same ME that I was as a teenager.  I have the same friends…  I dislike the same people (oh, grow up, girl!)…  I still like the colors pink and purple and all shades of violet…  I still like the same kind of music — or at least, I still DON’T like the heavy metal kind (gives me headaches), while classical music still makes me sleep…  I am still conscious of my weight — like I have been when I was infact 20lbs lighter… I still think my arms and thighs are big…

So, maybe I have matured a bit.  Maybe I look at life differently now, meaning I am not after the drama anymore.  I don’t get stressed easily now… though come to think of it, I was never really the ‘easily-stressed’  type.  I know for a fact that my personal experiences, both good and bad, have shaped me into who I am today… But somehow, for some reason, I still FEEL like I am the same person — same girl– that I was years back.  Twenty or so years back, to be precise.

I don’t really feel old.  Or ancient.  I am in my late thirties, but I feel young. I am the same Me that I have always been.

Now I realize that 30 or 40 is NOT old or ancient.  Gosh, I’m taking back the perception I had of my aunts when I was young.  I am there now… and I wouldn’t want my son or my son’s friends to think that I am not cool because I an older.

Age is JUST a number.  It’s who you are inside that truly matters in the end.

Uhm, can you please remind me of all these before I actually turn forty…  In case, you know, I start panicking and begin having my midlife crisis…  Sigh…

Maybe it’s about time that I accept — and admit– my real age.

***** ***** ******

photo via google images

Mr. Ken Doll

Ken needs a Supergoddess Barbie

Ken needs a Supergoddess Barbie

He was a male model… He did tv commercials, but he mostly did ramp.  He was goodlooking — in a boyish way.  He was tall, he had this really dazzling smile… and a really hot bod.  He was like a Ken doll.

He was a good friend of a boyfriend.  Boyfriend used to do some modelling as well, so naturally he hang out with fellow models.  That was how I met Mr. Ken doll.

When boyfriend left the country, I stayed in touch with some of his friends.   When boyfriend eventually became an ex, Mr. Ken doll expressed interest in dating me… but didn’t really know if it was the right thing to do since I was the girlfriend of a good friend.  It didn’t seem right.  It was like crossing a boundary.

We did go out several times.  We talked a lot.  We laughed.  We flirted.  We watched basketball games together.  We talked about our favorites — his was carrot cake, mine was coffee.  We had a good time.

I liked being seen with him because he was a Ken doll… and I felt like I was Barbie.  I was living very girl’s dream.  I was every girl’s source of envy.

Going out with Ken made me forget about the heartbreak caused by long-distance boyfriend.  I thought being with another goodlooking guy will fill the void left by an ex.  In a way, it did.  It did make me forget… but only for a short while.

Somehow the thrill of being with Ken was fleeting.

One night, I just suddenly realized that Ken and I didn’t have anything in common.  I tried to dig deep to feel something towards him… some love or deep affection… yet I didn’t find any.  There was fondness, yes, but that was just it.  Nothing more.

Perhaps the only connection we truly had was the memory of my ex-boyfriend… his ex-friend.

We parted ways amicably.  No tears, no drama.  I never wondered what “could have been” because I knew Ken and I weren’t meant to be.

What I learned from the whole Ken experience is this:  You really cannot force yourself to love — or even just like, LIKE — someone if your heart isn’t there.  You cannot force yourself to feel a certain way towards someone.  Or even if you do try, in your heart of hearts, you would know that you’re not fooling anybody else but yourself.

Kissing Ken may have been fun, but it didn’t make me his Barbie.  He didn’t turn out to be my Prince Charming, too.  Good thing we were both mature enough not to pretend we were something we weren’t.

Some things are really just not meant to be.

It’s Ken’s birthday today.  And his real name’s Ron.

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photo via google images

 

 

A List of Nevers…

Sticky posts

Never…

allow other people to define who you are.  You are a wonderful creation, full of endless possibilities.  Don’t let others limit you.

let the past rule your present and take over your future.  The past is over and done with.  Learning from it — the good or the bad — makes you a better, stronger person.  But today is a different day. Live it.  Tomorrow holds so much promise. Be expectant.

try it.

underestimate kindness.  A kind and gentle heart affects many.  People remember a kind deed.

think it’s okay cheat when no one’s looking.  Cheating is cheating, whether you have an audience or not.   

forget to say thank you.

wallow in self pity.  You are too good for that.  Be sad a bit, but learn to move on.  Wallowing won’t get you anywhere. 

take your friends for granted.  Life gets so much brighter with good friends around.

be carefree

let go of the child in you. Joyful. Carefree.  Fearless. 

let other people steal your dreams. People will always have a lot to say.  People won’t always believe in you the way you believe in yourself.  When they try to pull you down, keep the faith.  Let their opinions inspire you to do better and give you the added nudge to prove them wrong.  Remember, great success is the best revenge. 

forget how it feels to hold someone’s hand, smile a genuine smile, offer a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear, receive a compliment, give a compliment… and spending some quiet time by yourself just taking in the beauty of everything around you. 

Life is Good

 

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photos via weheartit.com

When the Universe Tells You Something…

For the Drama Queen Me

In my last blog, I was basically ranting about being so busy that I don’t get to write as often as I would want.  I talked about how my family always comes first and how I am ready to give up things I am supposed to do for myself the moment one family member hollers for me. 

I was pretty sad that day.  It was one of those moments when you want to do a lot of things but you know that you won’t be fair to anybody if you choose to do all.   I wanted to write more often.  I wanted to start on my writing project, but I also am in the middle of planning a major baseball event, that my thoughts are pretty much all over the place.  Throw in the day to day activities of the brood… So the other day, it really felt like something’s gotta give.  Basically it felt like that something was me.

Honestly, I feel bad whenever I see my blog hits dwindling.  And for several days leading to my last entry, my hits were somehow stuck at 3 a day — okay, sometimes 2.  Hurray for me.  I really felt quite low.  But then again, I can’t blame my readers… why will they stay (or come back) if I can’t offer anything new, right?  

I was beginning to feel the pressure.  Part of me was saying, I must blog everyday.  I must have more hits.  Another part was saying, Forget the blog. Start your dream project.  And still another part, Forget all those.  You have a baseball tournament to manage!!

which way now?!

Bottomline is, I felt like I had to explain myself.  I had to explain why it’s taking forever for me to start my writing project.  Explain why my blog stats is in its near-death state.   Explain why I’m hovering over my son as he studies for his exams.  I felt like I had to explain every little thing I do, every choice I make.  Though I don’t really know who I am explaining to… I may be explaining to the wind, for that matter… It just felt better afterwards. 

Maybe, just maybe, at the back of my mind I knew that I wouldn’t feel as bad anymore when I see my blog stats.  I was giving myself reasons to NOT feel bad that no one visits my blog (since there’s nothing new to see anyway).  And I was releasing myself from that pressure of having to compose something even when my thoughts are  in shambles (Pretty much like now?!).  I told myself I won’t force myself to blog if I don’t have anything to blog about… and I won’t feel guilty not having blogged.  More so, I won’t get suicidal after seeing my blog stats. 

That was three days ago. 

And then something happened… again. 

Yesterday was another busy day.  I didn’t get the chance to check my WordPress page the whole day.  Besides, after 5 days of having a mere 3 hits per day, I pretty much knew the trend.  And since I didn’t post a new entry, then all the more I couldn’t expect anything more than 3.

Come night time, just before I went to bed, I opened my WordPress account.  Force of habit.  Some practices are hard to let go of…

Not mine. Though my graph looked somewhat like this.

76. Seventy six. LXXVI.  At ten in the evening, I had 76 hits.  I almost fell off my chair. 

Okay you might be thinking, cheap thrills SGM!   But no, to me that wasn’t cheap.  Not when I was getting used to 3.  76 is a gift!  Though at the back of my mind I was thinking that maybe half of that was from a spam-connected link (sorry, I don’t know the word for it), well I was still happy with the number.  I ended the day with 79.  Of course they had to add 3 more (probably my 3 loyal fans remembered to visit my blog that night).

Whole point of this entry?!  Well, the universe HAS a sense of humor.  Just when you thought you are ready to give up on something, the universe will find a way to make you NOT give it up if you truly are not ready.  Just when you thought you have lost all direction, the universe will show you the way… or will veer you to a direction you can take.

Just when I thought I ran out of topics to write about, well, I had this.  And just when I thought that I didn’t have the time to sit down and write… well, I found the time to sit down and write.  It was just a matter of time management.

When the universe tells you something… maybe you should just listen.

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photos via weheartit.com / WP stats via google images

Mean Girls

girltalk

I had breakfast with one of my mommy friends last week.  We didn’t get to see each other over the holidays, so I decided to visit her one January morning to catch up on things.

We’ve been friends since our children were in Sr. Prep (they are now in Grade 5).  Her child is a girl, while mine is a boy.  The gender was never an issue, though.  They hang out with other boys and girls whose moms are friends of ours, too. We have had a number of Christmas breakfasts with the kids, as well as Halloween parties and lazy summer afternoon get-togethers.

When I apologized for missing the last Christmas breakfast, she had this to say… “You wouldn’t believe it.  The kids DON’T talk to each other anymore!!! The boys were at one corner of the room playing PSP, while the girls were at the other side, talking in hushed voices.  It’s like they don’t know each other!  When I asked them if they wanted to swim, they all gave me this stare like I said something silly, and then all looked away at the same time.” 

“They have changed. All of them.  I wonder if they really ignore each other in school,” she sighed, “I don’t know what happened to those kids!”

I think I know what happened.  They grew up.  They all grew up – right under our noses – and they started choosing their own friends.  They found the friends they want to be with in school.  Unfortunately, mommy’s friends’ children aren’t always the people they prefer hanging out with (or being seen with, at the very worst).

Friendship isn’t something that you can force on someone. 

 ~ * ~

I asked my son if he’s still friends with my friend’s daughter and if they talk to each other in school.  He answered yes to both questions.  Then I told him about the Christmas get-together and how the other kids didn’t mind each other.  He just gave me a knowing smile.

I told He-Man about the incident.  This was his explanation, “They are at that age where they are starting to choose their group of friends… or who they want to be associated with.  You know the groups… athletes, nerds, mean girls, misfits.”  And he continues, “Come on, you should know.  You were a mean girl in high school. Did you talk to the misfits?” 

I was stunned.  He-Man called me a mean girl.  But then again, I couldn’t deny it.  I WAS a mean girl in a high school.  Shamefully so.

~ * ~

now you know why i like pink

 How can a shy girl* end up being a mean girl, you may ask? 

Oh, I was a nice, mean girl.  I wasn’t really nasty.  I never did anything bad to a schoolmate just for the heck of it.  But then back in high school, although I was pretty active and joined clubs and school organizations, I wasn’t really friendly to just anyone.  I used to regard people at arm’s length.  I chose the ones I would talk to.  I wasn’t warm and friendly.

I think I was more mean to boys than the girls.  There were boys that you wouldn’t catch me talking to.  The boys I went out with basically just came from the two groups of popular boys in our batch.  I don’t remember having a conversation with the lesser mortals. 

Boy was I mean.  And immature.

My best guy friend from before told me that I seemed to have this fortress built around me.  Self-preservation, that’s what I called it.  Or maybe I was really just a self-centered and egotistical person who thought everybody else is beneath her. Perhaps it was my need to prove myself, my worth, that compelled me to act all high and mighty.

Eventually I attributed my haughtiness to my being really shy and insecure.  Unfortunately, nobody bought that reason. I am pretty sure they thought I was just a snob.

Half of the Facebook friends I have right now are people I NEVER talked to when we were young. A quarter of them I didn’t even know existed. Believe me, I chose the people I would converse with in high school. It’s surprising they still wanted to be Facebook friends with me today.

 ~ *~

I have come a long way, really.  From being shy and insecure child to a mean girl to a nice, happy, sociable and smile-a-lot adult.

Perhaps it’s because I have come to realize that one should not judge other people by their mere appearance.  Maybe it’s also because my experiences taught me that it IS much better to be liked than feared.  It feels much better to open up your heart to people than to live inside your fortress all by yourself. 

People do change.  People mature.  People mellow down.  As you age, you get to realize that everything’s not about you.  You get to value people more.  You tend to be less critical, especially since you know that you are not perfect, as well.

But then again, some people DON’T change.  There are mean girls who grow up to be mean adults. Am I glad I am no longer one of them.

At this point I know I cannot choose my child’s friends for him.  He has his own experiences that will dictate that. Yet I know I can always give a gentle reminder… Be nice to a misfit, he might grow up to be someone really important.  Okay, that was a joke.  That was not exactly mature. 

Be nice to everyone just because.  Much better.

 

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*see previous entry “Love Thyself”

photo via weheartit.com

 

Judge and be judged

the imperfect storm

Mom: I am thinking of setting up a business for your brother and you.

Daughter:  What’s that got to do with me?

Mom: Because if you don’t help him out, I will really make you take up law. 

Daughter: (looking totally clueless) Huh?

Mom:  You should be a lawyer.  I want you to be a judge someday.  You will be happy if you are a judge.  You shouldn’t waste your intelligence… 

Daughter:  Who said I’m not happy?!  (Big sigh)

Sounds like a storm is brewing.

~*~

Initially, one would see nothing wrong with the above conversation. 

I suppose it is but normal for parents to tell their children what they want their children to become…  what path they suggest their children to take.  Out of love and concern for our kids, we parents, most often than not try to persuade them to choose a certain direction.  Of course our choices are based on our own personal experiences, as well.  We teach based on what we know.  We try to influence our children based on how we lived life and we think that what made us succeed will do the same for them.  We just want them to be successful and to be happy.

Nothing is wrong with offering suggestions.  Nothing is wrong with telling your child you dream of him or her to be this or that someday…

Not unless you are talking to a 35+ yr old. A mother of an 11yr old, with her own family unit– her own household– and a dog, to boot.    Someone who has been independent and has been taking care of her family, as well as other people’s family, for the past decade. 

You simply cannot tell that person, even if she were your own child, that you know what will make her happy. 

Because you don’t.   

~ * ~ 

I have mentioned several blogs back (see Highlight of My Day) about how I decided to veer away from the corporate life and chose to be a domestic goddess.  I believe I also mentioned that I came from a career-oriented family.  I knew that a lot of people didn’t understand why I made such choice. I knew a lot of them questioned why I chose being a full-time-rah-rah-mom over working for some company that would give me a nice title before my name.   

I didn’t mind, really.  I believed that having a peaceful family life, with a happy, loving — not to mention, very intelligent– child was more than enough to make me feel successful.  I derive my self-fulfillment from having the chance to make memories with my son.  I never really craved for any other title.  It’s not something that I miss having because I am happy where I am.  Like what I always say, to each his own.

But then hearing my mom telling me a few days ago that being a lawyer or a judge would make me “happy” really almost made me blow my top.  At that moment, the only thing I could think of was how little she thought of me… and how little she knew of me

It was pretty sad, really.  Sad not because what she said made me feel small about myself, but more because I don’t think she truly understands the happiness I get out of being a mother.  Obviously, she gets her sense of happiness elsewhere… while I derive joy from being with the people I love, doing things with and for them, sharing moments with them.

~ * ~

My mom has always been career-oriented. We never faulted her for that.  My siblings and I grew up under the care of a nanny who stayed with us until she was 85.  When our nanny passed away last year, my sister and I (being the two older ones) really felt like we lost a big part of us, as well.    My mom never understood why we cried so much.

Now in her 60’s, my mom is still happily working… proud to keep her title of being an attorney, and every other title possible, depending on her position.  Because of her present position, she got assigned in a faraway place, gets to come home only once or twice a month.  She is still happy, though.  She has reached the pinnacle of her career… 

Our weekends are spent with lunches, dinners or coffee dates with my dad, my sister and her family and my brother.  Without our mom, though, because she’s somewhere else.  We share moments here as a family, while she’s out there somewhere, socializing with the lawyers and judges like herself.  And oh yeah, she’s working, too.

She doesn’t realize that while she’s out there happily being a Somebody, I am back here taking care of her household.   I run their errands, manage their househelp, do their groceries.  My sister and I take turns staying with or inviting our dad over when he needs company.  When my brother went through some rough spot, I was there to give him whatever guidance or support he needed. 

So, maybe I don’t have a title other than “mom.”  I don’t introduce myself as Atty. So and so or Dr. Something something.  Not even Supermodel Someone.  I also see no reason to introduce myself as Writer Me when I meet with my son’s teachers or my other co-parents.  I simply see no point nor reason to.  But being ‘untitled’ doesn’t mean I am less busy, nor does it make my life less significant.

Maybe she is happy being what and where she is.  But that doesn’t mean that I am NOT happy being who or what I am.

~ * ~

What really brings you joy? Think about it.

SGM : We all have different sources of happiness.  I am happy with my family.  I am happy that I get to write.  I am happy with my life… Besides, i don’t want to be a judge. To me, it’s just a title.  

And that was how the storm ended. 

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photos via google images 

 

Not exactly skeletons in my closet

no skeletons here, just clothes. lots and lots of clothes!

When we had our house built last year, one of the things that I implored my architect was that they give us enough closet space, specially in the bedroom.  I wanted to have space for my clothes and shoes… and bags.   My wish was granted.  The cabinets in my bedroom run from end to end (tastefully done, of course). 

Before moving, I sorted my clothes.  Basically it went like this:

1. Clothes I wear all the time —  These are the shirts, jeans, blouses, even  sleep wear that I normally use.  Some old, some new… these are the comfortable ones.  

2. Clothes for special occasions or for time of vanity –  These are for those celebrations that I get invited to — baptisms, graduation, recognition day and other milestone moments.  These are also the blouses I wear when I just want to feel prettier or I need to brighten up my mood. 

i believe in charity

3.  Clothes still wearable but I am willing to part with –   These are the ones that are either not in style anymore or I hardly wear but I know will make someone else happy, so I am willing to give to charity or to pass on to someone else.

4.  Clothes I never wore –  I can’t believe I have a lot of these.  Mostly gifts from someone (mom, aunt, other relatives, He-Man).  Some are really nice but are just not my style.  I keep them because I don’t want to hurt the feelings of  the giver, but I just can’t find the nerve to wear said clothes. 

A little side note on this… I try to appreciate everything given to me.  Even clothes… specially clothes.  However, there are people who give you something they like, rather than what you like.

Scene 1   

  • Mom:  This will look good on you (holding a brownish pair of culottes)
  • SGM:  Nah, I don’t think so.  I don’t like the color. (thought balloon: Oh gosh, what color is that??!)
  • Mom to saleslady:  Okay we’ll take it. It looks good on her. (Saleslady happily walks to the cash register with the cash. Kerchink!)
  • SGM: Uhm, can’t we have it in black, instead???!
Scene 2

great when you have slender arms
  • He-Man :  How come you don’t wear sleeveless shirts?
  • SGM : I told you, I’ve always been self-conscious about my arms.  I think they’re big. 
  • He-Man : I bought you a really nice Chinese blouse
  • SGM : It’s sleeveless…
  • He-Man : It’s silk!

And then they feel bad that I never wore the culottes nor the blouse.  AND I never heard the end of it.  He-Man says it would be much better if I give it away than keep it in my closet without any intention of ever wearing it. To which I replied: But it’s silk!!!

The thing is, if you really want to make someone happy, do you choose to give that person something that he or she likes or something that YOU like?  Who are you pleasing, anyway?

5.  Clothes I will wear when the right time comesIF the right time will ever come.  I am so guilty of this.  I buy clothes that hardly fit and keep them because I believe I will lose weight — or inches — eventually.  Yeah, like in three years.  I have pants that  are practically growing cobwebs in my cabinet, waiting for me to lose those inches… 

6.  Clothes that nobody should be caught dead wearing People retire. Even clothes should.  Perhaps these are the most loved clothes — some about a decade old, some even older than my son… But they are the softest! And yeah, they are tattered, too.  Some are really hard to let go of  or I keep for the lamest reasons. (But I wore that dress to so and so’s wedding!!  Yeah, 10 years and 10 pounds ago.)

And so I decided to get rid of the ones I had to get rid of… yet ended up with still a closet full of clothes.

color coordinated, even

Now, ten months later, I am looking at my cabinet and it seems like the rod is about to fall anytime.  I have about 7 pairs of pants from the “someday I will get to wear them” group that are still hanging.  There are blouses that I keep for sentimental reasons.  There are dresses that come with a prayer — that I will lose 5 or 10 pounds soon.

Yet everyday I complain that I don’t have anything to wear.  Is it just me or do women really have these issues? 

… and I haven’t talked about the shoes yet!

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photo credits: via google images

The Reluctant Blogger

Several entries ago, I wrote about feeling bad about not having (yet) a good number of daily followers for my blog site.  I aired out my frustration, and on hindsight, I think I was being too self-absorbed (like, the world’s not going to end if no one gets to read my blogs, right?!).

And so I began to question my reasons for blogging.  I asked myself if my intention is really for people to read my work, learn from me, or if I just blog because I want to blog.  But as my best friend/person pointed out, what good is a written work if there’s no one to read it?

Best friend /person gave some really good suggestions.  She’s right.  If I want people to get to read my blogs, I should promote it. I’m the best person to market my blogs — meaning, I can’t hide inside a shell and wait for some random reader to see (and like) what I wrote, and pray that random reader thinks of including my site in his or her blogroll.   That’s just not the way it works. 

The thing is I love to write, but most often than not, I am embarrassed to share my work.  It’s quite difficult for me just say, “Hey, I wrote something. Read it!!”  Even more difficult if I’m “selling” my work to people I know.  Somehow, I care too much about what they will think of my writing — that I’d rather not know.  Sometimes, it IS easier to accept the reactions — or criticisms — from strangers.  And yes, there are things — thoughts and issues — that I write about that I don’t really want to advertise to my family and friends (like, when I vent about the people I dislike… or I talk about the guys I think are hot… you get my drift!).  Somehow there are things that you just don’t want to explain anymore — and that’s what families and friends do best, question your issues.

And so, this reluctant blogger created another blog site with the intention of making that one public (meaning, that one I WILL advertise to friends and relatives).  Maybe even shamelessly advertise. There I will write the formal stuff.  I will be in my professional writer mode (or at least, try…). 

This one is for my stranger-friends (an oxymoron)… the ones who don’t personally know me, yet who I get to share what’s in my head with.  No strings attached.  I get to write AND not get interrogated. Totally win-win situation.

How I will be able to sustain having two blog sites… well, there lies the challenge.  Considering I run out of issues when I still had just one… now it’s double the writing work…

faith, trust _ pixie dust.

I need my Muse... wait, I am my Muse!

And as my close friend pointed out, now I will end up monitoring blog stats of two sites.  I think what he said was, “Two blogs to obsess about.”

He knows me too well.

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photo via weheartit.com