Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017

Sure, 2017 wasn't a good year for politics. And, by necessary extension, my Facebook feed. I can't say that I liked seeing comments from people supporting this admin's dick moves. But I decided at some point to just zone out. I hate to say it, but we had it coming. We got the government most of us (probably) deserved.

All that aside, 2017 was, admittedly, a good year for me:

  1. I started teaching in another university, where (some) students seem genuinely interested in learning. Plus I teach weekdays, so that means...
  2. I have my Saturdays back. I can't believe I used to take my Saturdays for granted! I used to work 9-6 on Saturdays, teaching the entire day. I'd go home exhausted and unable to do anything else for the entire day. Consuming my entire Saturdays and getting them back made me realize the value of my weekends, and what I spend my free time on.
  3. I regained my 20-20 vision. I'd been thinking about getting LASIK for a while now. I didn't realize that I would make that huge decision one random morning in the office, and then get carted to the operating room a few days after. The procedure itself was quick, it was the aftershock for a day or two that rendered me immobile. Would I do it all over again? Totally.
  4. I got into mindfulness meditation. There is a lot of hype around the concept, and how it's a millennial gimmick. But the long and short of it is that (I think) it works. I am a relatively more
    patient and reflective person because of it.
  5. I bought myself a Nintendo Switch! I used to play video games like crazy. I don't know when I will find the time to do this with my crazy schedule, but it's a welcome respite.
  6. I travelled a few places here and there. They're mostly local, but I've done things I didn't think I would be able to do. Be on top of a hundred-meter cliff? Check. Ride a 'monster jeep' to see the most amazing body of water? Check.

     I swear, this is a hundred feet above ground level! 

    1. And I did the above with the most amazing guy. I know I told myself to date less in 2017. And I did. Little did I know that my resolve would lead me to someone who has been right there all along. My ex, seven or so years ago, who also happens to be a casual hangout buddy when I'd go out to party, ended up being my boyfriend more than six months ago. I never saw myself getting back with an ex, and I guess I just ate my words. It just...clicks. And I know because I've been through the entire online dating thing, drifting past one date to another, and nothing really worked out for me. Turns out, I only had to look back, to see what lies ahead. 
    2017, great as it is, feels like a pass-through to something. I don't know what the destination is just yet, but I'm keenly optimistic. Phew. Optimism. That's one word I didn't think I'd use to describe me. 

    Sunday, November 19, 2017

    Call Me By Your Name

    I am not going to lie: going into the film, I had pretty high expectations. The buzz for the film has been crazy, and that is what ultimately made me decide to pick up the book and try to understand what the frenzy is all about. Also, I love gay romance in movies and literature, so I made sure to find the time to read this.

    And Call Me By Your Name (the book) did live up to the hype. It was, for me, well-written, nuanced, and characteristic of the flood of emotions and confusion encountered by young guys trying to reconcile their gender preferences. I should know, I went through that phase--and the book captured the emotions just so well. I am a sucker for good endings, and I'd like to believe the ambiguous ending in the book meant that Oliver and Elio somehow found their happy ending. Okay, I suppose this is not that much of a spoiler. I struggle to think of at least three gay movies/stories that had a "happy" ending.

    As I mentioned, I was looking forward to watching the film, considering all the hype. It had all but two screenings here in the Philippines, as far as I know, and I managed to reserve two tickets for me and my boyfriend in the far mall of the north, Trinoma.

    Photo taken from https://www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/

    Before anything else, I have to say: the crowd was crazy! Haha. If I didn't know any better, I'd think the crowd (who lined up for the film, stretching out for meters on end).  There were familiar faces in the crowd, mostly gay guys I'd seen partying in either O Bar and Unit 27.

    Okay. At this point I'm exhausted to even write about the film. But just to lay out the points there:

    • I think the film did a disservice to the book by not including what for me is a major plot point.
    •  Timothée Chalamet did justice to the role of Elio. Armie Hammer, who played Oliver, was missing something... Which is a shame 'cos I found Oliver attractive in the book.
    • Overall, a good film. Although I'll be one of those pricks who think the book is much better than movie.

    Friday, November 17, 2017

    On Neutralizing Negative Self-Task

    Sometimes I get swarmed by so many negative thoughts. I blame the weight of my ambition for discontentment. I see, on social media, so many of my batch mates who did not do as well as I arguably did (lol) getting into good graduate schools, like Harvard Law School or Columbia Law School for masters of law. And I admit: whenever I read something about it from them, I feel a bit of a pinch.

    And it's the unhealthiest pastime, I know. Because there will always be someone better. I know it. Someone who's smarter, someone who's paid better, someone who seems like he's gotten life figured out. At 27, I guess I am still not that good at learning how to fight my own battles. I have so many aspirations, but I should not begrudge anyone who look like they've reached theirs. That is not my business.

    Also, at the same time, I feel like I am not prepared just yet. I am not as well read as I think I should be. My analytical skills are not sophisticated enough. I am just not that good. But I know, I will never be really ready ready. And what I really have to do is to just go for it, and soak in all the knowledge I can while I am not there yet. I know that it's in the everyday that I get to prepare.

    I read somewhere that one of the signs of a high EQ is the ability to stop negative self-talk in its tracks.

    Well, that's definitely one area of self-improvement I have to work on.

    --

    I mean, when I really think about it, I am in a better position than I thought I would be. I have an above-average paying job. I am able to impart knowledge to my students. Regardless of my relatively murky past, and my frequent inattention to detail, I am doing relatively well. I should be grateful. And I am. Being grateful is one way of being happy, I also heard. I guess that's how I've tried to offset my negativity: reminding myself that there is so much to be happy and grateful for.