Archive | March, 2013

what ifs, maybes, and could’ve beens

28 Mar

the past weekend saw my version of spring cleaning. ignoring the fact that we only have two seasons here in my city (and that it’s actually summer season now), i nevertheless fulfilled the cleaning part anyway. i was rummaging through my desk and getting rid of the unnecessary sheets of paper that the pack rat in me has stacked and shoved in when i chanced upon my admission papers and test results to law school.

i stopped everything i was doing and just sat down. because in that moment, i was suddenly taken back to many, many years ago.

almost 7 years to this day, i walked up to the stage in my college campus and received my diploma for my degree in political science. not to toot my own horn, but i was a diligent and studious student. that day saw me graduate with magna cum laude honors. what a proud day it was for me. i had the rest of my life planned out: enroll in law school after summer, work my butt off for another 4 years, take the bar, and work my way up to working for the foreign affairs office and eventually get to my dream job of working for the UN.

but life, as we have all seen and experienced, more often than not has different plans for us.

life has certainly taken me down a very, very different road. not that i don’t love or appreciate what i do and where i am right now. not that i am not grateful and thankful to the Lord every day for a job that provides me with my needs when so many other people don’t have that luxury. but there are times when out of the blue, something reminds you of the other path you could’ve taken and you feel this painful pang of regret of what else you could’ve been—i know a lot of you know what i mean.

life took at u-turn for me that summer after graduation. i had gotten into the two law schools that i had applied for, and i was ready to take on the next challenge that would take me closer to my dream. but my mom’s cancer came back. and when it did, it came back with a vengeance. terminal was her diagnosis. we lost her only 8 months after. when we found out, i decided then and there to put my plans for law school on hold. i wanted to take care of my mother and spend more time with her. mom, the ever-supportive and selfless parent that she was, told me not to give up on my dream and to go on with enrolling in law school . . . this is one of the hardest and most difficult things for me to talk about. so many painful memories are tied to that summer and the months that followed.

in any case, i had made up my mind and chose to work instead to help out with the bills that were piling up. a political science graduate, i had very few options. the quickest way for me to get a job was to work in a call center. and though it was a bitter pill to swallow, i knew i had no choice. we needed the money. so for the next 8 months i toiled at a job i didn’t want or enjoy, but the money helped. and that kept me going. for a lack of anything else to do, i kept at that job a few more months after mom passed away. then my body gave up and succumbed to a burnout. i resigned and thought about my options. for some reason, i had lost my zeal to pursue a law degree, and even if i had wanted to, money was tight, and it just wasn’t a financially feasible option for me anymore. so off i went looking for a new job. as luck would have it, a college friend invited me to apply for a post in the operations department at the company he  was working in. the industry was publishing, and i have always loved to read. so i thought, why not give it a try? long story short, here we are 6 years later, and i’m still at the same company, albeit in the marketing department 🙂

many people still come up to me and ask me if i ever plan to pursue a law degree, especially that now i can afford to. there are times that i really feel tempted to, more so when i see my college classmates who are now practicing lawyers and when i think about how interesting that life could be and that i could’ve been good at it. but then the urge goes away. it was a dream i had a long time ago.  a dream that i shared with my mom. now that she’s no longer here to egg me on, that dream has slowly faded away to obscurity.

and so that moment—those few minutes i sat down to ponder the path i have been lead to—quickly dissipates and vanishes. and all that uncertainty, the wishful thinking, the if-i-could-turn-back-time emotions are gone, just like that. but they’ll be back, i know. when i least expect it.

then came the next thought to pop into my head. “where will i find room for all of my clothes?” oh well, back to spring summer cleaning.

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fitness • madness

28 Mar

fitness_madness

i don’t consider myself a health buff. or a sports buff. but you’d think i was when you read the list of all sorts of activities that i’ve taken an interest in and spent a considerable amount of time learning: swimming, tennis, aikido, capoeira, (and now, yoga and zumba). the funny thing is, keeping myself in shape, so to speak, was never my motivation or reason for learning these disciplines . . . i just thought they were fun and interesting to try out and grew to really enjoy and love them.

i first got into swimming because it was part of my elementary school’s sports curriculum. even as a kid, i had always loved the water, so any excuse to jump into a pool, and i was happy. the sheer amount of time i spent in the pool was probably what gave my teacher the idea to train me for the swim team, which i was a part of for the next year or so. in my second year in high school, we were given two choices for physical ed: fencing or aikido. the latter called out to me, and for the next three years, i worked toward getting my yellow and green belt (or was it the other way around?)

then came capoeira. aahh, capoeira. everything else is a far second to it. nothing else can compare. the beat, the music, the dance, the songs, the acrobatics,the movement—simply beautiful. the combination of martial arts, dance, and music was enough to keep me gaga over capoeira in college. in fact, weekends saw me spending almost 5 hours each day in training! sadly, after graduation, work took up most of my time, and gradually, i found myself having less and less time for it.

fast forward 5 years (yes, for 5 years, I was close to sedentary. oh, how i regret those years!). yoga fever suddenly hit cebu, and everyone and their aunt was trying it out. truth be told, i was initially a yoga hater. i mean, coming from a capoeira background that was so lively and active, i was so suspicious and hesitant about doing yoga. i thought to myself, “an hour of just sitting down, quietly at that, and just . . .  breathing and what-not? how is that fun? sorry, not for me.” eventually though, too many friends invited me to join, and i finally succumbed to their prodding. and you know what? i DON’T regret it. (come to think of it, i have syl and meg to thank for it.) yoga is not at all what i expected it to be. it’s . . .  different, very different from everything that i’ve done in the past. at first, my reasons for joining yoga was mainly for my health. i was overweight, and it just got to the point where i just wasn’t happy with what i was doing to my body. in any case, i had heard that yoga was a great way to slowly get back into an active lifestyle because you worked at a pace you’re comfortable in. it became a way for me to reintroduce my body to stretching and exercising and for my muscles to get used to the idea of being worked out, haha. soon, however, it also was a de-stresser for me. no matter what’s on my plate for the week, i always find the time for yoga, most especially on those days when the burden of the world seems to rest on my shoulders. those days, i NEED my yoga. and if you’re someone who likes to push and challenge yourself, yoga is great for you too. there are too many reasons why yoga has become a part of my daily grind and not enough space for me to expound on it [note to self: could be another blog post]

finally, let’s segue to zumba. yoga and zumba. two totally different worlds, but i have to say, they both work for me. i tried out zumba coz one of the gyms close to my office decided to offer classes, and the schedule didn’t conflict with our yoga sessions, so me and my friends wanted to try it out. suffice to say, it’s something we’ve come to love as well. the high energy and the very danceable songs (i love me my samba and hiphop) is a perfect combination. a much, much better, updated, and more fun version of the 80’s-style workout. 🙂

it’s been almost a year since i first sat on my mat and greeted our yoga teacher with a “namaste” and danced at my first zumba class. i hope my interest in both doesn’t wane anytime soon. i hope to be doing this for a long, long time.

next stop? poi dancing. hmmm…