Saturday, November 30, 2013

Coloring Pencils

My mom is crying and my sister's upset, but I don't care. I don't friggin care. I just want to get away from the both of them. I don't want to hear their stupid excuses, like SCREW YOU. SCREW BOTH OF YOU FOR NOT HONORING MY PERMISSION. I don't want to talk to either of you until I've calmed down. Stop playing the victim, jeez. I am so done with all of this. Leave me alone. I clearly am not in the mood to make up with either of you.

What was the grave offense they committed? They took one of my precious possessions and used it even after I made it clear to my sister not to touch it. But no, she had to go to my mom and tell her that we did not have any other pencils of that color, and show her my set of color pencils when I wasn't around NEVERMIND THE FACT THAT I JUST TOLD HER NEVER TO USE THEM. And my dear sweet mother who was aware that I didn't like it when people used my things without permission? My dear sweet mother told her to go ahead and use them.

After this discovery, I found out that this wasn't a one time thing. Oh, no. They'd been using my pencils way before my sister even asked me. My sister used my precious coloring pencils on three different occasions. And they didn't even tell me.

SCREW BOTH OF YOU. I'm trying really hard not to swear right now but I AM JUST DONE WITH ALL OF THIS. I AM FURIOUS. I would've ripped and crumpled my sister's artwork and punched her in the face if I didn't control myself. Why didn't I? Aside from it being the wrong thing to do, I'd have ended up looking like the bad guy. My parents would've told me that I was selfish because that's how it always goes. I'M ALWAYS THE VILLAIN. And now, even when I've learned to control myself, somehow I'm still the petty one who can't get over a few coloring pencils. Somehow my mother has to start crying and sobbing in front of me because it hurts her.

Well, I'm not talking to either of you. That set of pencils wasn't just something I bought at the bookstore. It was a token from a cousin of mine last prom. They were given to me because she was symbolically passing over her creativity and ability to draw and that meant a freaking big deal. I loved these pencils, and wanted them to always stay in the condition as on the night i received them.

TOO BAD, BEA. Now, not only have they been used, one of the pencils is missing. And neither of my family members had the decency to apologize.

So, dear sweet mother and sister, SUCK YOUR TEARS BECAUSE I WILL NOT PUT UP WITH ANY OF YOUR EXCUSES ANY LONGER. I'm not asking for much. Just leave me alone until I get over this.

Xoxo
Bea

The Hitch of The Easily Distracted

I was able to catch up with a very close uncle of mine today. We are only twelve years apart, which means that while he is adult enough to get on with the older members of my extended family-slash-clan, he is still pretty young and relatable to me and my siblings.

In my last post, I mentioned that I fell from first honors in our class rankings to second place, and he did not take this lightly. He has always been the person who pushed me the hardest- or, rather, pushed me the most vocally. Being someone who lives far away, I don't think there is any other way to motivate people but to give them pep talks through chat messages and during the rare occasions that you do meet personally. My mother tells me that grades don't matter as much as attitude does, but she also pushes me to be more studious with subtle actions like reminding me to study, or asking me about my homework all the time. My uncle, on the other hand, has to be direct and clear.

Back to the story, he isn't too pleased about my current standing, and he wants me to change a few of my bad habits (and he doesn't like to use the word 'weakness')- namely, being easily distracted. Why does he put so much emphasis into trying to control this? Because being easily distracted means less study hours and more... distraction hours.

This is where the problem comes along. Basically, this weakness of mine is inborn. I'd like to think I don't have ADHD (no matter how many times my mom says that I do and despite not ever having tried to get diagnosed before). Maybe I just have too many strings of thought at once. Whatever the case, it isn't something I can turn off whenever I want to. People notice it, too- during the times I talk to them and my eyes flit away for a quarter of a second, during the times they catch me blanking out and daydreaming. I get bored easily. I am fond of multitasking. I write and draw and play instruments and google bits of information on paradoxes and other things during my free time.

That being said, this horrible trait of mine needs to be changed, or that's what my uncle was getting at, at least. The next big problem I'd have to deal with is my stubbornness. Honestly speaking, a huge part of me doesn't even want this 'weakness' to go away. These side-activities and habits are where I get my creative juices from. Losing this semi-ADHD-ish quality I posses might stop my mind from wandering. If there's anything can be sure of in my sixteen years of existence, it's that I love exploring, imagining, and visiting realms through my mind more than anything.

Of course, I couldn't say any of this to him because he just wouldn't get it.And it would look like a feeble excuse from his perspective. He'd rebut it immediately, and I'd have to bite my lip and keep my own counter-arguments at bay, because there would be no way he was going to back down, and we'd probably reach an impasse. Too much energy wasted for nothing.

What I did tell him was that I was built this way, and that school didn't challenge me enough. He rebutted this of course. He said a few things ( like how it will affect me not only now but later in life) but I kept quiet because they didn't bother me that much. College would be a different ballgame- that was for sure. I will definitely step my game up. I am ready for the sleepless nights (ha! As if my nights aren't already sleepless...) and am prepared to dedicate more hours to studying.

These are my plans, and I hope I won't eat my words when the time comes. For now, I'll try to see what I can do for myself, and how to minimize this trait at the very least. I don't want another 'I told you so!' from my uncle.

There is no revelation at the end of this post; no answer to this problem because I simply haven't figured it out yet. Is being easily distracted a disease, and can it be cured? Will I be able to turn it into an advantageous thing? I really hope I would.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Perhaps All You Need Is Confidence

Oh, Bea. What is it? Why do people even think that you're brilliant? I mean, honestly. You're pretty smart... you know that. But aside from the general ability to understand lessons and absorb topics quickly, well, you're not exceptional. You're not superior.

Why do people insist that you're a lazy genius? Why do they think that you don't try hard enough? That you don't work hard? You do. Hell freaking yes you definitely do. Sure, you're prone to distractions and starting late, but you do study. And you study until midnight sometimes. That's dedication... isn't it?

Also, you're definitely not the brightest among your siblings. You might have been the smartest child a year ago or two, but things have changed. You don't feel too bad about it because being second best takes a lot of weight and pressure off your shoulders. Always having to achieve the same things as your older brother, always having to be the brightest star... that was really stressful, wasn't it? Bea, Bea, Bea. Why do they still think you're the smartest? You're not secretly flattered as you are confused and incredulous.

You definitely don't think you're smarter than your older brother or younger sister for that matter. You don't believe you have any cards up your sleeve. No secret abilities... nein! What are these people seeing? You cannot understand what makes you, well... 'exceptional'. You wish you were kidding yourself but you really aren't. You're nothing but someone who happens to be a bit bight and imaginative. You don't really have anything else going for you... no photographic memory... you have pretty bad memory, actually.

These people who've been trying to get you to believe in yourself... they aren't liars. You trust in their opinion... maybe just not on this particular one. Maybe you're like an unreleased album- made to be really flashy and interesting from the outside, but actually lame once you open it.

The honor roll just came out today. You're in Second place. You used to be the First honor, but you aren't devastated by this news. You're okay. You expected worse. At the same time, however, you realize that you need to step up. You need to become the Valedictorian- not for yourself but for your clan (especially for that certain uncle of yours).

You're happy for your friend, though. While the computation for both of your grades are somewhat questionable (and not because you're bitter or anything, but the scores just don't add up right), you know that she definitely deserved getting First place. Besides, she hasn't received this much recognition since Sixth grade. You're happy for her. Legitimately happy.

But here come your parents and family friends, telling you about a certain rule that your school didn't follow. Telling you that you would've been first if you presented the memo to your school and reminded them of that rule. They tell you that it's only right, that you're not only doing this for yourself but also for future academically inclined students who too might be cheated of their grades. With all this being said, you do believe in this cause. You do think it's honorable and would have immediately done what they told you to do if it weren't for your friend. Everyone's been congratulating her, being happy for her, and it feels like too much of a sin to take that away. You don't know what to do. You wouldn't want people to think wrongly of you. You're confused, Bea.

However, with all of these things happening, you remember a certain event that made you really happy today. Your class adviser walked over to you and whispered, "Don't be discouraged." You smiled. You realized that underneath the shadows, a lot of people were rooting for you- your teachers, friends of your parents, etc. You realized that you aren't totally alone in this. You remembered that really intelligent guy in school who predicted that you'd be Vale four years ago (that was during the time he was graduating). You remembered the lot of parents who thought you deserved the position.

So, dear Bea, please be the Valedictorian. Do it for the people who believe in you. You now have them to fight for.

Written: 11/29/13. I'd forgotten to publish it.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Worst Day Ever

I am just so done with this friggin school. I want to leave. I love my classmates, but eh, everything sucks. There is no order, no homey feeling... it's just a place with annoying people and a screwed up educational system.
Take me away. Take me home, because this is not it.

#badday
XOXO
Bea

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What Would Beabot Say?

What would I say? (what-would-i-say.com) is a site/app that is trending on Facebook as of the moment. I've seen a bunch of my friends use it, and honestly, most of the generated statuses were hilarious and spot-on. I decided to try it out, and it was... pretty weird but fun.

Something I noticed, however, was how freakishly close the words and phrases were to how I used to chat with people on Facebook. I felt the pressing sense of recognition enough times to realize that, yes, this app doesn't only collect data from your statuses and about page, it somehow gains access to your chat messages too. And yes, this app is a photocopying machine that reproduces your phrases down to the punctuation.

I admit, I've posted more than 20, 000 tweets on Twitter. That being said, privacy is still something I'm very particular and concerned with. I wouldn't ever allow social networking sites to determine my exact location much less post it anywhere. I am still an extremely paranoid person.

And, well, from that realization, my thoughts escalated quickly.

I know you've probably heard this before, but I realize how much advanced technology and a widespread communication system like ours is like a double-edged sword. We spend over an hour on the internet everyday broadcasting our thoughts, uploading our personal pictures and information; basically making ourselves more accessible to the world. Everyone is so public, in fact, that even people from far-off places can be reached. The sad part about this? We spend too much time trying to connect with people who are far away but those physically close to us are forgotten. And you can tell that the world is getting really pathetic when most face-to-face conversations are more awkward than those held online.

We are starting to rely too heavily on social networking sites and technology in general. A post on Facebook that doesn't generate any likes is worthless. People are starting to post everything online- and, yes, being able to document your thoughts/life events and share them with friends is what social networking is all about, but there is a limit. The way I see it, people have gotten so engrossed with making their lives seem interesting and fun that they've forgotten what real fun is.

This goes for me, too, because I am certainly guilty of doing these things all the time. And... here's the deal: while I want my generation to stop its addiction to the internet, I'm pretty sure the world is heading towards that direction. I'm pretty sure we're all too late to stop any of these trends. We aren't too far off from ending up like those fat earthlings in WALL-E.

In conclusion, while I believe that there is no hope for mankind to ever go back to the old ways, I do believe that there is hope for me as an individual. I believe that I can make my life more than just a series of images you can scroll past on Facebook or 20 thousand something pointless tweets.

I can't change the world, but coming to this realization and changing my habits is enough for me.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Post- Catching Fire Thoughts

THE ODDS ARE NEVER IN OUR FAVOR.

I just got home from watching Catching Fire, and wow... everyone really outdid themselves this time. How do I even begin to explain this? The movie was perfect, A++, would watch again, wouldn't change a thing. Fans will definitely not be disappointed. This movie got everything right. It was so good that it gave me the urge to reread the entire series, and I'm not the only one who's planning to.

All key events were present. The movie stayed very, very true to the book right up to the dialogue. I have to say, I wasn't very excited to watch it. The first movie was alright, but it wasn't spectacular. This one was at a whole new level. What I loved the most was the how much attention they paid to including little things from the book- tiny details that were hard to translate from text to action. An example of this would be when Peeta hits the force field and almost dies. Katniss panics. Then, we get a subtle close-up of Finnick as he watches her, and only those who've read the books will understand what he's thinking of at that moment. Another one is Prim. She seems more mature somehow... definitely less fragile. We realize that she isn't the little kid we saw in the first movie anymore.

The actors were superb. The scenery and sets were magnificent. The costumes were beautiful. The story and dialogue flowed smoothly. All of these little bits fell into place and made for a compelling movie.

Now, maybe it's because I used to be emotionally invested in the book series, but I almost cried over some of the more dramatic scenes. There were times I had to look away from the screen because they were too overwhelming and I was in danger of bursting into tears (*cough* Rue *cough*). My friends cried a lot of times. This movie just gave me so many feels.

Finnick came as the best surprise to me. I was kind of disappointed the first time I saw a promotional picture of him. The actor just didn't look the part, and I admit, he didn't look hot enough. But like most actors, I warmed up to him and while I'm not completely sold yet, I'm excited to see Finnick's sensitive and darker side in Mockingjay.

Overall, the movie was awesome. Like, mindbogglingly I-want-to-watch-it-again-as-soon-as-possible-y so. I won't be talking about anything but Catching Fire for the rest of the week and- who knows- the month. I'll be rereading the books as soon as I can too, and buy myself a Mockingjay pin while I'm at it.

Kudos to everyone who helped make this story come to life. They deserve all the awards.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Flightless Bird


This song has been stuck in my head all week. Something about it screams simplicity and romance, even though I don't understand the lyrics too well. It's a beautiful minimalist piece, and I don't know how to describe the mood it exudes-- perhaps desperation and remorse, but also wistfulness and longing.

When I listen to it, a particular image flows into my mind- an adolescent boy and girl slow-dancing as though they are the only ones in the room. Young love at its finest. At which point does the platonic love between these two individuals evolve into romance? At which point does the nature of their friendship shift? The only thing we can be sure of is that when they look into each other's eyes, when they talk about pointless things and laugh, they have never experienced anything this way before. No sight has ever been so beautiful. No joke has ever been so hilarious. The thoughts and emotions triggered by the little smiles and touches are novel, pure, and sublime.

Edit: I just saw the Twilight scene... oh gosh. This was totally not supposed to sound like a Twilight post or anything... I haven't even watched the movies. But that last paragraph.. I swear the context is different. I didn't know Twilight had a slow-dancing scene while the song played. I was thinking of something else. Sigh...
xoxo
Bea

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thoughts on Angels

Romans 8:17"

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."


I go to a Christian youth gathering every Saturday. This week, while I was listening to the speaker deliver his message and talk about the verse above, something occurred to me. We, as the children of God, are entitled to wonderful things when we go to heaven. The human being is definitely the Lord's favorite creation. We are his heirs. Earth was created to be ruled by us. Those of us who make it to heaven will be treated like royalty, where anything and everything needed will be provided without a second's delay.

But what about angels? What were they ever going to be but servants? Did they have their own wishes and dreams? Was there anything more to their existence?


I realized that even in Heaven, where everything is supposed to be perfectly fair and equal, there is a need for lesser beings to exist. We, the humans, will be happy and fulfilled, but angels will act as our servants. Are they satisfied with their purpose in life? I don't know. One thing I do know, however, is that the 'selfish' angels who revolted against God were punished severely and sent to Hell. Is obedience and goodness something that is programmed in all of them? Probably not. 


The thing is, you can't have good without the bad, success without failure. You can't be rich if nobody is poor. You cannot understand what light is if you haven't experienced darkness.


Perhaps this is the way the universe works. Perhaps not even Heaven can change this truth. Of course, these are the musings of a sixteen-year-old girl. Perhaps someday, I will discover another truth and figure this all out.


Choices

I am standing behind a black gate- slightly taller than I am- as I wait for my ride to pick me up. The gate is shaped like a thin wall with a few metal bars on top, and since there are no holes except for the ones between the metal bars, I have to stand on my toes to get a good view of the outside. I am annoyed because I have been waiting for a good ten minutes for my car to arrive and when it comes to things like this, I am not a very patient person.

It is five in the afternoon, and from behind the gate I am able to observe several things at once. I see a group of boys laughing nonchalantly and talking in their native dialect. I see a mother and her children going home. I see a woman in her twenties walking briskly towards the end of the street. I see a bunch of vehicles- motorcycles, cars, jeepneys- moving at different speeds and directions. It occurs to me that all of these people are going about their usual order of things, unaware of my attentive eyes.

I stand there, watching the neighborhood come alive for few more minutes until I notice the greyish-blue hue of the sky. It had been a clear, bright orange just a few moments before. The sun is not completely gone; there is still a bit of brightness left, but I notice that the shadows have gotten longer, and it would not be long before it is evening.

I do not want to be here at night, I think, as I watch more people pass by the street. Even small towns and ordinary neighborhoods become obscure and dangerous after dusk. Still, there is no sight of the shiny red car that is my only way home, and so I stand behind the gate, on my toes, waiting for it to arrive. 

I am reminded of something I'd seen months ago, a place that also had black walls and held the sort of people who were so absorbed in own thoughts that they didn't realize when someone was watching them. Of course, the place I am talking about was much much bigger and had a lot of buildings, but the gate will serve as an adequate metaphor for what I am trying to describe.

As I watch from behind the black gate, and my eyes get used to the darkened surroundings- the shadowy areas and unexplored parts- I come to a realization. What am I doing here, exactly? Why am I not outside, pursuing an adventure of my own, and what do I expect to gain from watching strangers pass by? In that moment, I begin to see the neighborhood for what it really is, or what it can be. Suddenly, the little building at the end of the street doesn't seem so dangerous anymore.

What is this all about, exactly? What does it matter if I am behind the gate or outside? Of course, deep inside, I already know. More than anything, this is about my future, a path I am going to take. More importantly, a choice I was making, or one that I am about to make in a few months.

Here's the thing: In four months or less, I am going to be leaving my home to go to college in another city. Which university will I be attending, exactly, is something I haven't decided on yet, even though I've spent countless hours thinking about it. In sixteen weeks or so, I will be saying goodbye to my family, school, and basically everything I've grown accustomed to in my life- the lovely smell of the trees in my backyard, delicious home-cooked meals served to us three times a day, being able to sleep soundly at night. All of these things will be swamped by the fast-paced draw of city life.

On the other hand, it is an adventure- something I've been looking for all my life. A choice between hiding behind the gate to get a glimpse of others, or embracing the dangers and stepping outside, even if that meant a lot things would definitely change.

I smile, seeing a particularly shiny red car come to a stop at the street. I swing the black gate open and step outside. It is not the car that makes me happy. I smile because I come to a realization. It didn't matter whether the car had arrived or not. In that moment, I would have opened the gate and gone out either way.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Survivor

I am sad
devastated
worried
afraid
restless
and above all
guilty
because I am okay
and my friends might be
sad
devastated
afraid
restless
and above all

dead.

A Day Before The Storm

Today, I went biking. My legs are cold from the biting wind and the droplets of rain that it brought along, but I felt wonderful. I haven’t gone biking in a long time, partly because the only bike I am tall enough to ride belongs to my brother, and partly because I don’t have the time for it. So today, when I rode my bike and pedaled across the neighborhood, it felt like the first time in years.

It was thrilling. I don’t know what it is about the wind blowing past your face, causing your jacket and hair to fly, or being able to control how fast you go through the pedal and breaks. I don’t know what it is about those things that make me feel like I’m a heroine from a western movie or novel.

Anyway, as I ride on my bike and take in my surroundings, I am overcome with a pressing premonition of danger. The sky is covered with clouds, and the atmosphere is chilly. The trees sway with the wind in an almost hypnotic fashion, as though they possess some kind of wooden magic. Everything moves slowly, and the clouds that hang above us are thick and grey.

When I reach the front of my neighborhood—the part where you can see the main road opposite it, I am slightly surprised to be met with silence. The road is empty, and it is the first time I've seen it this way. No cars whooshing past, no jeepneys stopping at the corner of the road, and no people walking by. Nothing.

The entire world seems quiet today. The dogs I usually fear have stopped barking and are hidden, and everyone is at their homes. The wind is rustling ever-so-carefully, and apart from me and my bicycle, the world is still.

It is this subtle atmosphere that makes most people feel panicked. It is like the way the sea pulls back before releasing a gigantic wave. It is the calm before the storm. In this case, the storm of the year.

When I return to my house, I am aware that Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda will hit my place in a few hours. I am aware that after one day, the world won’t quite be the same, and some of my things will have been broken. I am aware that my backyard and everything past the gate of my house will have been flooded. Above all, I know that there is nothing I can do.


I am aware of all these things, and so, like mother nature, I brace myself and wait for it to arrive.

Written yesterday: Nov. 7, 2013.
xoxo
Bea