Tuesday, September 27, 2011

journal, sketchbook, etc.

Course, I had failed to fulfill my promise to put into account the ~interesting~ things that will unfold in my life this 2011, I am so sorry, mi dear journal for neglecting you these past months. I had just been so very busy and engrossed with a lot of school stuff that I wasn't able to pause for a while and savor each moment and later on jot it down on you. But hey, it's not too late yet! We can still do some catching up, yes? ;) Besides, the awesome year that is 2011 is not yet over! :D

You see, you're back on my bed again! This time, no more promises, but I guess, I should just have to exert some effort like Carlo does on his ~artworks~ Lels. Lately, Carl has been doing a lot of sketching and coloring --the reason why our bed sheet is full of oil pastel stains, ah, but it's all good. :) He's also been vocal that he wants to be an ~artist~ when he grows up, hihi. Whatever you want, son! I got yer back! 

Carlo said, "One day, I will draw you, mommy!" and I was like, all smiles when I heard of it. Let's see. Let's wait for that one day he's saying. I love you always and forever, Carlo! :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dear Class of Whatevz,

As you begin your college experience, I thought I’d leave you with the things that, in retrospect, I think are important as you navigate the next four years. I hope that some of them are helpful.

Here goes…
  1. Your friends will change a lot over the next four years. Let them.
  2. Call someone you love back home a few times a week, even if just for a few minutes.
  3. In college more than ever before, songs will attach themselves to memories. Every month or two, make a mix cd, mp3 folder, whatever - just make sure you keep copies of these songs. Ten years out, they’ll be as effective as a journal in taking you back to your favorite moments.
  4. Take naps in the middle of the afternoon with reckless abandon.
  5. Adjust your schedule around when you are most productive and creative. If you’re nocturnal and do your best work late at night, embrace that. It may be the only time in your life when you can.
  6. If you write your best papers the night before they are due, don’t let people tell you that you “should be more organized” or that you “should plan better.” Different things work for different people. Personally, I worked best under pressure - so I always procrastinated… and always kicked ass (which annoyed my friends to no end). ;-) Use the freedom that comes with not having grades first semester to experiment and see what works best for you.
  7. At least a few times in your college career, do something fun and irresponsible when you should be studying. The night before my freshman year psych final, my roommate somehow scored front row seats to the Indigo Girls at a venue 2 hours away. I didn’t do so well on the final, but I haven’t thought about psych since 1993. I’ve thought about the experience of going to that show (with the guy who is now my son’s godfather) at least once a month ever since.
  8. Become friends with your favorite professors. Recognize that they can learn from you too - in fact, that’s part of the reason they chose to be professors.
  9. Carve out an hour every single day to be alone. (Sleeping doesn’t count.)
  10. Go on dates. Don’t feel like every date has to turn into a relationship.
  11. Don’t date someone your roommate has been in a relationship with.
  12. When your friends’ parents visit, include them. You’ll get free food, etc., and you’ll help them to feel like they’re cool, hangin’ with the hip college kids.
  13. In the first month of college, send a hand-written letter to someone who made college possible for you and describe your adventures thus far. It will mean a lot to him/her now, and it will mean a lot to you in ten years when he/she shows it to you.
  14. Embrace the differences between you and your classmates. Always be asking yourself, “what can I learn from this person?” More of your education will come from this than from any classroom.
  15. All-nighters are entirely overrated.
  16. For those of you who have come to college in a long-distance relationship with someone from high school: despite what many will tell you, it can work. The key is to not let your relationship interfere with your college experience. If you don’t want to date anyone else, that’s totally fine! What’s not fine, however, is missing out on a lot of defining experiences because you’re on the phone with your boyfriend/girlfriend for three hours every day.
  17. Working things out between friends is best done in person, not over email. (IM does not count as “in person.”) Often someone’s facial expressions will tell you more than his/her words.
  18. Take risks.
  19. Don’t be afraid of (or excited by) the co-ed bathrooms. The thrill is over in about 2 seconds.
  20. Wednesday is the middle of the week; therefore on Wednesday night the week is more than half over. You should celebrate accordingly. (It makes thursday and friday a lot more fun.)
  21. Welcome failure into your lives. It’s how we grow. What matters is not that you failed, but that you recovered.
  22. Take some classes that have nothing to do with your major(s), purely for the fun of it.
  23. It’s important to think about the future, but it’s more important to be present in the now. You won’t get the most out of college if you think of it as a stepping stone.
  24. When you’re living on a college campus with 400 things going on every second of every day, watching TV is pretty much a waste of your time and a waste of your parents’ money. If you’re going to watch, watch with friends so at least you can call it a “valuable social experience.”
  25. Don’t be afraid to fall in love. When it happens, don’t take it for granted. Celebrate it, but don’t let it define your college experience.
  26. Much of the time you once had for pleasure reading is going to disappear. Keep a list of the books you would have read had you had the time, so that you can start reading them when you graduate.
  27. Things that seem like the end of the world really do become funny with a little time and distance. Knowing this, forget the embarrassment and skip to the good part.
  28. Every once in awhile, there will come an especially powerful moment when you can actually feel that an experience has changed who you are. Embrace these, even if they are painful.
  29. No matter what your political or religious beliefs, be open-minded. You’re going to be challenged over the next four years in ways you can’t imagine, across all fronts. You can’t learn if you’re closed off.
  30. If you need to get a job, find something that you actually enjoy. Just because it’s work doesn’t mean it has to suck.
  31. Don’t always lead. It’s good to follow sometimes.
  32. Take a lot of pictures. One of my major regrets in life is that I didn’t take more pictures in college. My excuse was the cost of film and processing. Digital cameras are cheap and you have plenty of hard drive space, so you have no excuse.
  33. Your health and safety are more important than anything.
  34. Ask for help. Often.
  35. Half of you will be in the bottom half of your class at any given moment. Way more than half of you will be in the bottom half of your class at some point in the next four years. Get used to it.
  36. In ten years very few of you will look as good as you do right now, so secretly revel in how hot you are before it’s too late.
  37. In the long run, where you go to college doesn’t matter as much as what you do with the opportunities you’re given there. The MIT name on your resume won’t mean much if that’s the only thing on your resume. As a student here, you will have access to a variety of unique opportunities that no one else will ever have - don’t waste them.
  38. On the flip side, don’t try to do everything. Balance = well-being.
  39. Make perspective a priority. If you’re too close to something to have good perspective, rely on your friends to help you.
  40. Eat badly sometimes. It’s the last time in your life when you can do this without feeling guilty about it.
  41. Make a complete ass of yourself at least once, preferably more. It builds character.
  42. Wash your sheets more than once a year. Trust me on this one.
  43. If you are in a relationship and none of your friends want to hang out with you and your significant other, pay attention. They usually know better than you do.
  44. Don’t be afraid of the weird pizza topping combinations that your new friend from across the country loves. Some of the truly awful ones actually taste pretty good. Expand your horizons.
  45. Explore the campus thoroughly. Don’t get caught.
  46. Life is too short to stick with a course of study that you’re no longer excited about. Switch, even if it complicates things.
  47. Tattoos are permanent. Be very certain.
  48. Don’t make fun of prefrosh. That was you like 2 hours ago.
  49. Enjoy every second of the next four years. It is impossible to describe how quickly they pass.
This is the only time in your lives when your only real responsibility is to learn. Try to remember how lucky you are every day.

Be yourself. Create. Inspire, and be inspired. Grow. Laugh. Learn. Love.
Welcome to some of the best years of your lives.

Friday, September 09, 2011

because a daughter will never ever forget

Two years ago, someone so dear to me died of cardiopulmonary arrest after undergoing a major operation in relation to his colorectal cancer. I remember receiving that very phone call from my mom at around 3:30 in the morning, my heart jumped and in that moment, I knew, I knew that he’s about to leave us already. We rushed to the hospital to see him, he was in the I.C.U. and I was just staring at him and all these cords and apparatuses connected on his body and yes, it took a while for things to sink in to me. Someone told me that the very last sense to go is hearing, I talked to him and I knew he was listening to me, like he always did when I feel down. I saw tears from the sides of his eyes and it truly broke me into pieces. For the last time, I kissed him goodbye.

To the man who had taught me about sentence construction, to the man who always bought me coloring books and crayons, to the man who introduced The Beatles, Cat Stevens, John Denver, Stevie Wonder, Queen and Ray Charles to me, to the man who played the guitar and sung me songs of life and love, to the man who brings me to school and carries my bag even if I was in high school already, to the man who knows I love books over clothes, to the man who had stood by me in all my choices –good or bad, to the man who was so cool and would hang-out with my friends over beer and talks and laughter in between, to the man who accepted me, without hesitation when he found out I got pregnant at 19, to the man who always gave me my cravings during the 1st trimester of my pregnancy, to the man who sat down with me and held my hands when I was nursing my broken heart, to the man who always told me that everything will be just fine,  to the man who let my son experience what a father should be like, to the man who braved the storms with me, to the man who stayed so strong for us despite the battle he has to go through, to the man who fought for his life until the very end,  I love you so much, daddy! You’re mem’ries will always be with me and I will be forever thankful for those wonderful 26 years I got to share with you! 

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