Posts Tagged With: lessons

What If Your Best Isn’t Good Enough

We all have that feeling of joys and of sorrows. These two are what basically consist our daily lives. It’s either we feel good or we feel bad about certain circumstances that may come our way. Days are hard-earned. Nights are sleepless. We sacrifice such chunks of comfort for the benefit of our larger aspirations.

At the end of every episode, rages another show in a series of memories that are supposed to teach us: Lessons… Lessons which are not similar to those that we learn from school wherein lectures are primarily given before the examination. In real life, we have to take the tests first, then lessons. We may eventually surpass ourselves.

Sentiments are everywhere located in each chapter of our own stories. Whether we like it or not, we are thrown here in this world to feel alive yet it is so paradoxical that there are times when the things which actually give us life are the same ones which nearly push us on the verge of giving up this battle called survival.

Have you experienced that moment when you seem to have done enough yet none of it will suffice the demands of the environment you are in? You try to search for anything to blame yet cannot find it because you think that I got this. You list down all the possible works you can do for hours, for days, for weeks, for months, and even for years to prepare for situations that perhaps bring you that rush of nervousness and excitement; but when time comes, that you almost had it all, the world is as if to slap right to your face the kind of mess that you have been. You will never be ready until you experience the conditions. A wild dimension is about to snatch you from those sweet tales into a tragic story of defeat.

What is wrong: to expect too much from yourself? to wait for something else to happen that is not meant for you? to assume success? Is it then alright to accuse yourself of being too much of a failure? One’s self who is nobody but a shadow. A shadow which is nothing but a mere existence of false hopes. -then you start to question the verity of life. You start to indulge your being into the darkness that leads no path.

 

When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse

– Fix You

 

Feel the wind all around
All the courage to be found
Who knows what’s out there
I know I’ll get there

– Still I Fly

 

If one thing I know, I’ll fall but I’ll grow
I’m walking down this road of mine, this road that I call home

– Am I Wrong

 

Now, here are songs you might like to listen to. Uplift the spirit that deserves no doubt, no insult, and no regret… for yourself is all that you have to stand up again. Yourself is all that you have to confront the challenges and beat them up- they may hurt you, cause you wounds, leave you scars; but they cannot suppress a spirit that stays faithful to its master.

What if your best isn’t good enough? is not a question but a threat to your character. You shall not be deceived by temporary knock down’s because the truth is, you can always get up. You can always fight back. You can always win in your own ways. Just by reaching your best shot, you had already aimed at victory. There’s no such thing as failing because you tried.

It is impossible for us to risk ourselves defending the ones we love, through terrifying attacks of courage and persistence, just for nothing. We are not here just for nothing. We are here to prove the worth we have been holding on for so long. We are here to claim the fact that we will carry on, no matter what.

Your best is more than enough.

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Creeped Out Valentine’s

One of the toughest days I’ve ever had,

So help me God.

Those lines were the only thoughts that I was able to put into concrete terms as posted on my twitter and facebook accounts. Yesterday was full of hassles yet I don’t regret breathing, I don’t forget breathing. I survived anyway and most of all I managed myself. I managed to have my tasks done. I managed to live by the day. I managed to look forward for a rest when the night comes and eventually wake up on a beautiful sunrise. Perhaps it’s just too ideal but I liked it in some way that it could be an aid to keep me going and do better.

So I’m starting to recall what happened on the night of February 13. I was coping up with usual works both in school and in house. Well, I ate lunch and watched Penelope before I went back working. Procrastination is part of the process. I have five classes to deal with the next day, from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM. In that case, I have to (at least) wake up before the clock strikes at 5 in the morning and take my daily dose of cold showers.

I thought I would be late in my PE classes for the first time because while on my way to school, vehicles were even more jammed. Lucky I was wrong because it’s our professor who came late for the first time. No, it’s not funny. I don’t like to be late either if that happened to me. The class reporters continued their very long discussions that already lasted for two weeks. I knew that we’re having a quiz when they finished. I was not able to prepare for it maybe because the notes as I could see were rigorous texts sticking on thick sheets. Ready or not, quiz started. I just answered the questions with all that I could. After that, I had a brunch in less than ten minutes. A friend chose to stay with me in the caf even if it meant reviewing along the offbeat notes breezing in… oh it’s Valentine’s Day. Some of the people would refer to it as S.A.D. representing Single Awareness Day (Who cares? I’m celebrating it for 17 years, by the way). Next class on Speech Communication coming in. Well, I’m kind of tensed whenever I’m thinking of the idea that I do not have any bloc mate; but since I really like our prof and her teaching styles, I’m kind of enjoying it, too. We had the lectures there and another activities that would keep bothering me as days got to pass by. It’s always like that. Flexibility is a must… versatility at its finest. From time to time, I’d have to update my personal and academic schedule in one.

I headed to JL Bldg. because I needed to have our research paper’s last chapter printed. Overpricing (to what I believe it is… because I used to walk near UC to look for  Piso Print Shops) was expected. Staple wires ran out, never mind. I was touched by a relief that I finished an output of one of the heavy papers we’re asked to write about. Next, I’ve had to stay in the library for an hour to please *note to self that I had to browse my Math lessons for the exam, though I couldn’t feel I’m prioritizing it. What’s the conflict going on between me and CRS during the time of constructing my class schedules? How on earth was I given history and math classes during holy hours? Practically, I couldn’t complain but I should feel grateful instead that I completed my units. I stopped pondering and went to CSS AVR for History class. I guess it’s in a good way that I ignored the urge of going to the comfort room because if not, it could have been too late for me to be informed that the room was moved to a farther building up there. I texted other classmates to tell them. We discussed stuffs and were given a bunch of readings (that’s not new to me anymore though it really costs me all the time). After that was the time to take the exam in Math. ‘Let it be’, I told myself. I found it something that was easy but was hard. Like, what? It’s always the feeling that I thought I knew what I was doing but I could have just been mistaken. Confidence was not always a good thing, you know.

I finished the exam in a few minutes, I think. So I hanged out with friends first. We bought some chocolate flower/ flower chocolate *whatever for ourselves. I felt cold, oh my. Then we went to the mall. When we got inside, we parted ways. Some went to the supermarket and the other went to see her boyfriend. What happened to me? I could finally pee. It’s almost 3 in the afternoon so I had to go back to the campus again. On the hallway, I saw another friend, Tyl complaining that her other friend, Agatha (whom I’ve seen near the gate as I entered) left because of their case study. So we’re currently the buddies. We stayed near CAC AVR wherein below of it is the Dap-ay and the view of the fair (CAC week) could be seen. Minutes passed and prof hadn’t arrived so I decided to put the papers on our green envelope downstairs. A pinch of boredom started to crawl on my nerves probably because of the lack of sleep and of the need for pigging out. Hormones aside, I could sometimes blame my vitamins. We looked among the items that were on sale. Tyl bought two books and when she’s about to put them on her bag, I heard her mention about the readings she just photocopied. She was right when she thought I needed the copies, too. (She had an embarrassing moment I wouldn’t tell.) We went to another building to get the readings I couldn’t describe more than being thick. I fell in line. Stairs seemed to be a long road at that time. After I’ve gotten my copies, we sat on a nearby bench for a while. She had classes to attend at 4:30 so I accompanied her to KA and I eventually went to the mall again.

I was on my way to the book store when I received text messages from Myca telling that she had her classes and those who have free time should already be in Dap-ay for the event preparation. I didn’t immediately respond because I was still wandering despite the fact that the crowd could even give a lot more stress to me. No, I’m not bitter. It’s just that I chose to have a different preference or mode of living on that nothing but an ordinary day. Yes, hearts day is an ordinary day. Although to some people, it’s the moment to show more love to their ‘special someone’. After thirty minutes, I had my phone ready for calls and messages then I went back to the campus. They were already fixing the settings. I put my bag on the chair and tried to help. The Bonfire Poetry Reading started exactly at 6 PM. The place was full of decorations, romantic lighting, grass field, rose petals and flowers, mattress, chairs, equipments, cameras, musical instruments, and ofcourse the bonfire. The event was really inspiring. Rather than feeling the tiredness I am bearing with me, I could feel a soothing essence the whole time… as I sat on the grounds near the bonfire. I could feel the intense performances. I could feel the passion of the performers. I clapped and smiled and laughed and fell in love as I sipped a cup of hot coffee. ‘What a relaxing way to end the day’, I said.

It was really dark when the program ended. I was alone and it’s quite frightening. The night was intimidating. The night reassured me of nothing. I never thought that there would be another tiresome moments. There were a lot of vehicles but none of them was suitable for me to ride on. My feet definitely brought me to a lot of places in Baguio City but I felt like there’s no hope of escaping the situation. I was really tired but I must not entertain this kind of feeling for I should reach home safely. I should be hard enough to contain all the happenings so I could separate myself from harmful elements, in any form. I was convincing myself the whole time that I could endure those hazards all by myself. It’s almost midnight and it’s becoming scarier. I risked to ride on a jeepney than having not to ride on anything at all. Nobody answered my calls. I was trying to forget all the negative possibilities that might occur on that wild night as I was keeping in mind that God is with me no matter what happens. I got out of the jeepney and I had to walk a distance. I was praying while I walked fast. I didn’t care about the curfew anymore. I just wanted to go home so badly. I held my phone. I gripped on my bag so tightly. City lights looked bright yet they were so far. My worries almost faded away but I could see an aggressive dog towards the street I’m heading to. It might chase on me anytime. Nobody would help me if I got bitten. Nobody was there whom I could share my fears with. A taxi came beeping on me (Oh Manong, where have you been?) and I got inside of it. It moved backwards as I pointed to Road 1 Extension. I didn’t care if he would get mad because it’s really for a very short distance. He asked why I was just standing there at the place where he had seen me. I answered him with all the truth that I was afraid of the dog. He was neither sarcastic nor annoyed with what I’ve said. It appeared to be like more of being concerned. Damn, I miss my family. No tears would fall.

The gate was locked. I shook it for chances that it might be opened or they would hear me. Minutes passed that all I could see was an enveloping darkness and I could hear the barking of the dogs. I climbed the very high sharp-edged fences. I might get hurt, I am not sure but that’s the only way I could enter. I threw my phone inside landing on the grasses, then my shoes, then my bag. I stepped on the grills and grabbed the branches of trees. I could be injured anytime or I could be blamed as if acting on a crime. I continued anyway I don’t intend to cause harm to anyone. I jumped. There I went rushing with my phone, shoes, and bag as I knocked to the locked screen door. Ate Shiela came over and opened it for me. She asked me why I came home late and I told her about the school activity. She asked me if I’m alright and I told her not too fine because I’m really tired. I was not able to fix my things anymore or even change my clothes. I was knocked out. I am alive, thanks be to God.

Next morning, I was about to go to the bath room but Ate Shiela came upstairs to ask me if I had seen her mobile phones. I just found out that they were lost since the night of thursday. It was shocking because we’re thinking that it’s impossible that they might be stolen from the ones outside. So the doubts were confined inside our house. I was afraid. Yes, I’m innocent. Yes, I have not done anything that’s wrong. Yes, it’s not my personal problem. But hey, it’s a serious case. Whatever the reason why her phones are lost is a threat to all of us here in this house. It’s either the same thing could happen to us or we could be blamed by the incident or simply because I could really feel that we’re all tensed and confused, especially the sadness that it had been bringing to Ate Shiela.

Valentine’s Day might not be as sweet to me as it did to others, but I was being trained to be more active in participating with what in life are real situations I shall get involved into. I explore a variety of the world’s dimensions and discover more about myself, about other people, and the linkages to our surroundings that form interaction and bind us together as one whole community… as one whole universe. If this is how I can be taught, I accept. I want to learn either the hard way or tactically. I just need my sanity.

Lord, enough for this day. Let us all heal our wounds first before an another bloody battle. Come join us in every struggle that we face, in every problem that we solve, and in every challenge that we continue to fight for.

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V. Moreno’s Order for Masks

Hi everyone, I would just like to share to you what I’ve written for this day. It was about a poetry interpretation and a bit of reflecting on how I can apply the lessons in my life. I hope that you can relate with  what I’ve done perhaps I’m not sure if you find my writing style relish-able. However, I believe that the poem I’m going to discuss is universal; and as time passes by, I am also looking forward into becoming a better writer who knows how to express herself clearly and not just to impress anybody. Have a great day!

ORDER FOR MASKS

Virginia Moreno

 Image

Photo © Copyright 2010 Boo La La Costumes

            Philippine poetry’s high priestess, Virginia Moreno, is a versatile personality in the industry of arts. She is a well-known poet who has published books locally and internationally, containing her literary works. She deserves a great recognition for her noble masterpieces. She has this style in writing that absolutely accentuates her advocacies as a feminist. Also, her active involvement in resolving social, political and cultural issues give rise to more passionate and ingenious attacks. Her readers would be kept stunned by her creations at first glance yet they would have found a way to relate contextual imageries in order to understand the messages behind each line that is presented to strike or even influence them.

Order for Masks is a sophisticated poem indulged with a variety of peculiarities and symbolisms. It is written in free verse which has made it a bit laid-back physically, but is supplemented with overflowing ideas once it is understood fully.

To this harlequinade, I wear black tight and fool’s cap. Harlequinade is a part of a theatrical show wherein there is a portion when the comical harlequin and the clown perform pantomime or buffoonery to entertain the viewers. A harlequin’s character wears mask and is always mute. In the poem, the speaker associates herself being in this type of disposition. Instead of wearing a tight that is colorful or designed with diamonds, she described her suit as black in color. She wears a cap that is for the fool. It seems like she does not feel very happy to be this kind of character because she puts up indicators that are cheerless. She only lives to bring solace to other people but can’t do it for her own good. Billiken*, make me three bright masks, For the three tasks in my life. A billiken is a doll or a mascot that looks like an elephant. To some countries, it is believed that this ‘billiken’ brings luck to people by putting one’s worries away. It is being looked at as a charming mystique and it might be the reason why the speaker asks three bright masks from Billiken. Three faces to wear, One after the other, For the three men in my life. The speaker points out her need for masks. She has to wear each mask whenever she reaches out each of the three different persons in her life. So, the first stanza of the poem is intended to disclose the purpose of why the speaker has to ask for masks. It is not totally detailed perhaps it gives a hint of the situations that may follow.

When my Brother comes, make me one opposite, If he is a devil, a saint, With a staff to his fork, And for his horns, a crown. In the second stanza, it is being construed that the speaker has a brother and she is a sister. There is a growing comparison between these two people. It is the intention of the speaker to actually be the contrary of what her brother used to be. She has to be diverged from his personality. I hope for my contrast, To make nil, Our old resemblance to each other, and my twin will walk me out. Here goes the ratification of gender roles in the society. Being a sister means that she has to be different from him in order for her brother to feel masculine. By doing so, she makes nil. It means zero or does not exist. Just like the usual times of playing this kind of character, she will be left by her brother as she fulfilled her role. Without a frown, Pretending I am another. Still, the speaker stays to be as approving as she can be. Her identity is concealed but she doesn’t allow herself to be sad about it. She wears mask to hide what’s inside anyway.

When my Father comes, Make me one so like, His child once eating his white bread in trance, Philomela* before she was raped. I hope by likeness, To make him believe this is the same kind. By the third stanza the speaker portrays another persona. This time, there is a presence of a father and she is the daughter. There is an illustration of a young innocent girl who is sweet and obedient. Trance has something to do within controlling one’s consciousness that a person won’t be completely sensible. It is a state of mind wherein a technique is used to get enthralled by illusions. She relates herself with Philomela the Princess of Athens, who according to Greek mythology is a character who has been raped by the husband of her sister. After the incident, the oppression hasn’t stopped yet. The speaker then is trying to describe that kind of person she wants to show to her father- Philomela before the abuse which portrays a character that is pure, upright, graceful, and well-mannered. She is trying to be impressive by being the daughter she thinks her father would like to have. The chaste face he made, And my blind Lear* will walk me out, Without a word, Fearing to peer behind. Chaste means virginity. She needs to confirm that things stay the same back when she is still young and her father will adore her. The speaker denotes the blindness of her father because it seems to her that he does not appreciate anything that she does for him. Lear is the name of a king from William Shakespeare’s tragedy where the tone of its play is miserable and dark. King Lear as a father is a descendant of foolishness whose actions have brought consequences to his subordinate just by granting things that is in favor of his daughters- she’s trying to convince herself that she has this kind of father whose bias is her. Next is when it’s time that such scene with her father is done. Although the situation isn’t easy for her, she does not complain. She doesn’t want to lose his father. She does not want to let things happen when her father just treats him equally like any other person who does not exert as much effort to get noticed by him.

If my lover comes, Yes, when Seducer comes, Make for me the face, That will in color race, The carnival stars, And change in shape, Under his grasping hands. Make it bloody, When he needs it white, Make it wicked in the dark, Let him find no old mark, Make it stone to his suave touch. On the last stanza, the speaker is a woman who is in a relationship. Once she got into this type of situation, she gets herself committed in it. She asks for a mask that will satisfy his partner so they will have a warm relationship and truly love one another. She has to fill the gaps of his needs and wants to maintain harmony. She has to prove that she is the woman that her lover will surely love her to be. She has to prove that nobody else can make him happy as much as she can to his partner. This magician will walk me out, Newly loved. Not knowing why my tantalizing face, Is strangely like the mangled parts of a face, He once wiped out. Then the scenario of the speaker and her lover ends. She calls her a magician because she sees amusement with the kind of love that she has for her partner. This type of relationship comes as magic which makes her allured and fascinated. For her, it feels like a renewal of the love they had. She is willing to forgive her partner even if he had sinned. Most of the time, he can always find his way back to her due to an unconditional love that this woman can offer. She can endure whatever pain it is that caused her, for the sake of commitment with her family.

Make me three masks. In this poem, the speaker has performed three roles being a sister, a daughter, and a wife. It is evidently written by a feminist whose purpose is to rouse the cognizance about women. It raises both the negative and positive contextualization that is being implied to the female population of our society.

Looking at the negative connotation that is demonstrated about the woman speaking in the poem, humiliation among women is probably one of the messages that the poem aims to send to its readers. The woman always has to adapt to what each condition requires. She has to extensively fulfill the different roles that are expected from her, by the male population. She serves as an object to please the men and grant them their necessities and desires. She is sometimes an epitome of sacrifice so that sustainability between both genders is acquired. On a different perspective, there is a light that gives positivity to what the poem entails. Women have boundless skills to make themselves in service not just of men but by the entire population. They are able to gain the admiration, especially of the men in their lives, because of their flexibility and ambidexterity. They are absolutely intense when it comes to caring, supporting, and loving.

Moreno’s poetry applies to real life situations of not just the female or the male, but the lives of all people. It offers a wide array of exploration through different points of view and opens new doors for equality and unity.

The message of the poem approaches me in a realistic manner. It is true that women might be regarded as instruments back from the ancient times until this day; but it can never remain as it is. Modernism mixes through the air that the present generation inhales and it is no doubt that as our way of living accelerates, our way of thinking progresses. Nowadays, it is not just the male groups who can lead political institutions. It’s not just the male groups who can drive buses, work in construction sites, share ideas about religious views, prepare strategically on operations, and a lot more jobs and treatments that women can also do. The power lies equally in our hands. We just have to discover the fields we belong to.

As for a student like me, I truly value education relative to this issue. I believe that education is a stepping stone to advance the level of understanding among people that can lead to the attainment of global peace. Every day, students are not just taught with academics but are trained with moral ground. We meet different faces that we have to deal with, in different places and different times. We have to adapt to the environment in order to survive. We have to be open-minded in case of unfamiliarity. We have to be tough and maintain what they call ‘grace under pressure’ perhaps hypocrisy is not an option. Through these, we are honed to be better versions of ourselves starting today. Embrace sudden changes in a good way.

We live in a world where flexibility is inevitable that it’s soon enough to consider that ordering for masks has been developed as a natural process for us.

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