The Jerk

He called me "the jerk".

For this conversation, what is the operational definition of "jerk" anyway?

We don't talk often even back in college, even up to now. He was one of the first people I had met via mIRC back in college. What's more funny was we were renting pc units at the same internet cafe right in front of my campus which is next to his house. He had always been online. I always thought that he doesn't sleep.

Since I live in a boardinghouse near my school, there were weekends that I just stay in the city for projects and typing jobs. During those times, he would invite me to come over his house for a drink and "jamming". We both love music--underground and metal for him, acoustic and pop for me. I dropped by a number of times. I didn't stay long because there was a curfew in my boardinghouse. He would jokingly say that I could stay and sleep next to him. I would just always say, "Di man tabi pwede." 

Then college was over and I had decided to work in Manila, a month after graduation. He stayed in school for another year. We would still exchange messages until today. It was never frequent. His name would just pop up either on my phone or on my messenger out of the blue asking how I am and what's going on with my life. And I had never lied to him how I was. Ever. I would always say how I am feeling and tell him what's going on with my life whenever he asks. I had always felt safe talking to him because he seems to be a stranger and a friend at the same time. Somebody who wouldn't judge me for my actions and would always listen. He felt like a safe space until he called me "the jerk" a few hours ago.

He never elaborated. And I am left hanging.

I kept thinking and it never left my head. Maybe being a jerk is an adjective not just for guys. As my bestfriend had said, it's for everybody. It still got me thinking, what made me a jerk then?

Maybe because I tend to give up easily on people.
Maybe because I talk about hopeless romantic stuff yet at the back of my head, I know that it can never happen to me.
Maybe because I judge people right away and it's too late to take it back later on.
Maybe because I tend to assume about circumstances.
Maybe because ..... (please fill in the blank).

I would always question the universe, why am I always being caught in situations that would end up not in my favor, what have I done to deserve such feelings and treatment. I haven't really thought of what kind of jerk I had been to others and to myself among other failed decisions I had made to be caught up in such circumstances.

Deep sigh. I wish we can still talk like we used to before. I think it would take a few more weeks or even months for me to hear anything from him again.

Hopefully by then, I had figured things out and I am better. Can never tell. The only good thing about us, is we will still be good friends no matter what.

Online Dating

Here comes Tinder.

How it generally works

1.         You can log in to Tinder using your Facebook account. I haven’t really checked if there are other options specially for a paid access.
2.         It is a must to post a picture of yourself. Whatever the “best” shot of yourself, from 1 up to mostly 6 photos.
3.         There is a part where you can put a short description of yourself and who you want to meet.
4.         Then you should be connected to internet and give permission for the device to access your GPS location as it will look for matches within a certain range from your current location from 0-125km radius I think for a free access and even for those abroad if you subscribe to the paid one called Tinder Plus.
5.         Once matches are located, you will be randomly shown photos of people matching your set search options: Men Searching Men, Men Searching Women, Women Searching Women within a certain age range that you can also change depending on your preference.
6.         Once a photo is shown, you have three options: Swipe Left, Swipe Up, Swipe Right
a.          Swipe Left means you don’t like the photo shown. (Can’t really say you don’t like the person since you haven’t met them yet, so just the photo)
b.         Swipe Right mean you like the photo of the person that was shown.
c.          Swipe Up means you Superlike the photo of the person that was shown.
7.         If both users like the photos of each other, they will both be notified and that is the only time they can start a conversation. However, if the conversation don’t go well, there is also an option to just Unmatch so that person cannot bother you anymore.
8.         With that, Tinder had done it’s job to find you a match and it’s now up to the two of you to make the best out of it.

Thoughts on Tinder

I am not new to online dating.

I met my first boyfriend-turned-ex-boyfriend via online chat. It was more than a year of connection and various messaging apps before he decided to ask if we can meet in person and then everything is now history.

Everyone is just so hooked online and everything can be found online. Yes, even a date-- either you are looking for someone to start a long term connection or just for the sake of killing time. I have tried several online dating websites, a couple of years ago, I had even met my college fling on one of them where he was active. Exchanged a few messages, but no more flame to rekindle.

There are a lot of apps and website to choose from. From free to paid access.

One has to choose a picture of oneself that he/she thinks would make a good impression. One must choose the best photo- flawless and cool because you will be judged initially and solely by the looks. As aligned with Leo Buscaglia’s words from his book Living, Loving and Learning, that everything starts with physical attraction. Since you will be judged by the looks, you will start judging others by the looks as well. As the third law of motion suggests, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Being judged or judging, I really don’t know which comes first. Everything starts with the looks. How you look. How impressive your profile is and then once the conversation starts, next will be the unveiling of intentions.

Once you get a match and there would be a lot, conversations would start. It’s tiring to keep on introducing oneself. That’s what I felt. I felt tired and monotonous. I honestly sometimes just keep on swiping right. There was even a time that I got a warning saying that I ran out of likes and the next time I can swipe right again will be after 12 hours. As the lady in the match, I am not obliged to start a conversation. I would usually reply to those who would send me a message but most of the time, I just forget to do so.

I am tired of dating, in general. I had outgrown the fun of swiping right or left, meeting strangers and having meaningless conversations. I am simply tired. Maybe I was too hopeful with everything and it was the failed expectations that brought me this feeling.

Acquaintance. Dating. Courtship. Getting Steady. Engagement. Marriage. Family.

That was how I see how it should grow. But I seem to have been stuck at Acquaintance for reasons I really can’t pinpoint aside from my being stubborn. I am not even sure if I really know the mechanics of dating at all.

Until Then.

I can’t wait for that morning that I will wake up and it’s not you that I am longing for. That day, I will be ready to write about you.
I decided not to write about you until the day this thing is over.  As I take this risk, I carry with me the mix emotions of love, excitement and fear that one day all of these will come to end. After all, forever doesn’t exist. This will be over even before it even started. 
I live by the days you are with me and will learn to get by the days that you will be gone. Then, one day, I will start writing about you.
Funny, that I think of you leaving when having you with me is my reason for breathing and smiling every day.
It will be a beautiful story. Because you are something beautiful that happened.
Passing yet beautiful. A proof of my living mantra, that this too, shall pass.
*******Archive Notes:  November 15, 2015******** 

I See The Light (Cover)

It's Saturday and they are happy riding a jetski somewhere in Batangas, while I am left at home with a clogged nose. 

And so I sing. 

I have been playing this over and over again but I can't seem to play it perfectly. But who cares! It's a song for my restless soul. 

Second Week Complete.

I’m on my second week in my new job.

These are few of the things I have noticed….

1.         Every corner is a showcase of art and masterpieces. Everything is art-based. Every kid is an artist. 
2.         The kids don’t have to bring their notebooks nor books. They just have to bring their bento, towel and toothbrush.
3.         The teachers can freely print their materials. They can ask the supply officer for things they need in the classroom provided that every thing is accounted for and used economically and for its purpose.
4.         The routine! From the time they enter the classroom, they change to their indoor shoes, put their bags in the box with their name on it. They also have this routine of washing their hands, using the toilet before and after snacks and lunch. Then a nap time.
5.         The kids are rowdy but they rarely fight each other. There is a corner in the classroom for toys! There is playtime inside the classroom.

So far, so good. There are just moments that it feels awkward to ask for something to do as there are already 3 adults inside the classroom—1 main teacher and 2 teacher assistants.

As an ESL Instructor, I am tasked to evaluate kids on their level as ESL learners and speakers. I am expected to suggest reinforcements, activities and other learning ideas suited for their needs individually. In the afternoons, I would also conduct either one-on-one or group English classes both for adults and young learners.

My real struggle is with the language. As I am a new one in this foreign environment with a totally different cultural background and practices, I have to be aware and conscious of everything. I keep track of new words I learn. I sit down with kids during their reading circle time and ask them to read me a Nihonggo book. There would also be moments I would ask them what’s a certain thing or way of something in Japanese. Hehe. They would sometimes pick on me! Poor me. LOL.

The daily commute is something I am learning to embrace. The morning walk from the mall to my place of work is a good way to exercise as well. The long line and waiting time for a jeepney at the terminal is also something I had gotten used to. I take it as a time to memorize and practice writing Hiragana and Katakana. 

Day job. Oh day job. I am so blessed to have this job.

Little steps to a certain goal. I know I am still far from it but I do look forward to getting there. I am writing this here so I can look back and see how far I have gone and so that I can remember the people, moments, struggles and realizations that will take there or somewhere better.

It's Nice To Be Back

Who would have thought that I would take learning a new language this seriously? Not until one day, I woke up realizing that I want to be somewhere else and that somewhere else is Japan. I had submitted my JLPT Application today with the test scheduled to be on July 3, 2016 Sunday at De La Salle University in Taft, Manila.

Funny because I had this fear that I might lose my previous learnings if I concentrate on learning a new language. I forgot that an average person uses only around 10 percent of brain function and that learning anything new doesn't simply overwrite the previous ones but spreads on the other portion of the brain since there is still that 90% untapped part. It was said that Einstein only had 20% of his brain capacity in action, with that part of the brain concentrating on numeracy and Math functions swelling--a size twice of that a normal brain. (How is this related to what I am going through right now? I have no idea. I just remembered.)

As of today, almost two weeks since I started learning Nihonggo, I had just memorized the Hiragana, half of the heart of the Japanese language. I still have to memorize Katakana. Together with adding at least 10 new words every day to my Nihonggo vocabulary, with Suwatte (Sit Down), Hai Douzo (Yes), Iie Dame Desu (No, you can't) and Tatte (Stand up) as my frequently used vocabulary every day. Then, there's still this 103 first Kanji symbols I have to know too!

In a way, I am one of those kids struggling to learn a new language. Only that, for them it's English, for me, it's Nihonggo.

 Just like them, I hate handwriting, but I have to write coz, one way for me to remember better is to write the letters and the words. Just like them, my tongue gets twisted if I can't properly say the word and I also get frustrated if I can't get it write after a few repetitions. I also get easily distracted if other learners from another table have something interesting to say  or do that is not related to what I should learn.

Overall, it's a great second day experience. It's nice to be back in an environment surrounded by innocence. It's nice to be back to a place where I am learning and where every day I get to discover something new.

Truly there are things that money can buy. Nonetheless, there are these ones that can only be gained by experience and immersion.

I could make a list of all the negative side of current situation I had put myself into but that can never equate to the happiness I have every time I am surrounded with kids. I am learning with them every day.

It's nice to be back.

New Day Every Day

Tomorrow is Tuesday, 8th of March. Mama's birthday. In the past few years, we used to celebrate it on a weekend getaway, however, this year, it will be a bit thriftier but still with a bowl of pancit and a chocolate cake. She is turning 59 years old.

Tomorrow is Tuesday, 8th of March. My first day as ESL Instructor. After 3 years, I can officially use the TESOL Certificate I had acquired while working nightshifts. It was an investment that's worth all the Monday mornings spent in a local coffee shop for six months together with the two years spent in a public school and seven years in the BPO sector.

Today is Monday. "Today is Monday. Monday, Monday what a painful day," said my dysmenorrhea.

Last Sunday had been tiring and fulfilling. Well-spent should I say. I long for those kind of days. I woke up early, packed my stuff, spent 6 hours in the classroom meeting new friends and struggling to learn a new language. The highlight of my day was my first male seatmate who said that he didn't know what animes were and that Naruto was a Japanese creation. I really had to ask if he was joking or if that was a serious statement. Then I had to ask again.

Then I had to hurry up for church for the afternoon service. I was just on time. But I looked so haggard and tired and I felt sweaty. But still, I am happy that I was able to spent my Sunday in church with my family.

I remember telling my sisters that my class will be Sundays since that was the remaining slot at that time. Bebs sent me this verse:

Matthew 6:33King James Version (KJV)
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

My life is never perfect but I always make it a point to look into something I am grateful for-- Having a wonderful mother, a new job, a chance to learn, a church and a God, and loving siblings, and a lot more on the list. 

Apart from my dysmenorrhea, I look forward to an exciting new day in my new school. 
Hello again kids!