Home is everywhere. Part II

Day 28: Do you feel at home in your home? Is home a place for you? A book? A thing? A person? What would you want your home to be?

Home is everywhere, where your heart is and has been. Home can be a place, a thing, or a person. What makes something, someplace, or someone home is love, comfort, and connection.

For a place, I believe that everywhere I’ve been to that I loved and treasured, particularly Olongapo City, Manila, New York, Berlin, London, and DC, have a portion of my heart allotted only for them and that’s what make those places home. For a thing, like a book or a journal that will always have me in a moment of happiness, loneliness, pain or struggle, they are home for I am forever connected to them through a memories and a string of emotions. And for a person, home is someone who sees me in my true colors and across layers and chooses to love me nevertheless.

Home is really where the heart is. And when your heart lies in many different places in the world, disguised in different things, found in different people, then home is everywhere.

(From the Amateur Philosopher’s 42-Day Challenge)

The Unappreciated Things List

I came up with a list of things that I love that I want other people to love too…

  1. a person: Angela Merkel

I don’t know why a lot of people aren’t as amazed as I am when it comes to her passion to save the EU. All Europeans/non-Europeans do is criticize her for her management skills. I just think that people don’t give her much credit. Imagine the stress and pressure that comes with trying to save a bloc of 28 powerful countries and their good relationship with the rest of the 170+ nations. I wonder if she still sleeps at night.

I just hope she gets a wonderful retirement. Right now, it will make me happy if I get a chance to see her in person. I’d give her a really big hug and call her Mutti!!!

2. a face: Jimmy Theodoropoulus

Guess who’s in my wallpaper??? Yep! This fine young Greek specimen. I want to thank my friend, Matt, for sharing to me strangeforeignbeauty.com.

3. A song: Gypsy by Lady GaGa

This is my favorite track in her Artpop album. A special tug at my heartstrings.

4. An artist: LIGHTS (especially in her Siberia acoustic album)

LOOK STRAIGHT INTO MY EYES AND TELL ME YOU DIDN’T FEEL ANYTHING. That voice was sent from the heavens.

5. A movie: People Like Us

Starring Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks. I really thought it would be cheesy or too undramatic for a drama, but it wasn’t and it delivered. I really liked it.

6. A TV series: Shameless (US)

Yes, it must be the most raw and immoral thing I’ve seen on TV but it’s hard not to empathize and love the shit that goes on in the characters’ lives. It’s so smart and shamelessly funny and I love that I am always surprised on what is going to happen next. The stars are so realistic in their portrayal, especially the Gallagher kids! Kudos to William H. Macy for being an effective worst dad in the world. He is so hate-able in the show that I want to watch more because I want to hate him more.

7. A book: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

I can’t even begin how witty and intelligent the characters of this book are. When I was reading it, I can’t help but feel “Why haven’t I thought about this? This is funny! Why can’t I be you, Rainbow Rowell???” You really have to read it to know.

The Road Less Traveled

“The only real security in life lies in relishing life’s insecurity.”

This is from the book The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. This copy that I have was one lent to me by my neighbor, Sultanah. I was over at her house one day helping her organize the stuff she’ll donate to the senior center and stuff she’ll have at her garage sale when I saw the book sitting pretty at one of the dusty shelves. It caught my attention, especially the title and author.

The Road Less Traveled seemed to be the road I was in, so it was relevant. M. Scott Peck wasn’t a stranger to me because we read him in my Theology of Marriage, Family Life, and Human Sexuality class back in college. The book presented itself for a reread.

I started reading and I was amazed at how every chapter had a sentence that was quotable. Even if it was published in 1979, Peck’s approach to discussing the “new” psychology of love, traditional values, and spiritual growth was timeless and seemed relevant whatever age you are when you read it.

This particular quote on page 136 hit home especially because my biggest struggle in 2013 was trying to achieve security. I remember religiously praying for three things and these three always: that I get 1) good health, 2) a sense of direction, and 3) life security. I don’t know what exactly I wanted to happen praying for life security, but I think it was about not getting so anxious about the future and the great caves of the unknown. It is true that the only moment we’ll feel secure is when we get comfortable in the insecurity of it all.

Right now, I am more at peace with the insecurity of life. It takes hard work to accept change and uncertainty and I mean having to grapple with it everyday. I didn’t know that exhaustion can be a good thing, especially when it’s from worrying about life, because it wasn’t until I got exhausted that I started letting go of my anxiety with life’s insecurities. So, my life advice is to worry, get exhausted, then let go. Be comfortable in the insecurity of it all.

Perfection

According to Aristotle, to achieve the state of perfection one must: 1) be complete, 2) be so good that nothing of the kind could be better, and 3) have attained its purpose. If I use Aristotle’s meaning of perfection, then I would say that I will never know if perfection exists. I think nobody knows if it exists, but one can always believe.

How are we sure that something is complete? Can we really be sure? How do we know if there is something or nothing that tastes better than the apple we ate today? But does the perfection of an apple relies solely on its taste? How about its color, its shape, and crispness of its skin? We can never really know what perfection looks like based on Aristotle’s definition. So in that case, perfection may or may not exist.

It is easier to say that perfection is an idea. Is it achievable? Yes, because I personally think that perfection, like happiness, is subjective to people’s experiences. This day can be someone’s perfect day because it achieved its purpose, or it was complete, or the person has felt so fulfilled that he feels not a day will come that could be better. Therefore, it all comes down to experience.

If the word perfection does not exist, I think the word ideal can replace it. Actually, I think it’s a word better than perfect. The word perfect sounds like certainty and closure, thus it becomes boring and lifeless, compared to ideal, which to me sounds like contentment but that which is hopeful and leaves room for change and something better, thus full of life.

Adoration

There is this guy I have a crush on for almost five years.

He knows my huge crush on him because I was brave enough to tell him that last year, but I don’t think he knows it’s been going on for quite a long time. I had been vague about it and I was quite the cryptic when I let him in on my secret, so I don’t know what he thought about what I did. He said the gesture was sweet, but he must think I’m a creep. I would think I’m a creep.

If alcohol were to be on my side and I was given a moment to get to know a stranger even for one hazy night, I would want it to be him. I am totally attracted to him. I can’t explain it but I have always thought that there’s a magnet between us which explains why he’s always in my life radius. He just pops out here and there in my life. There have just been one too many coincidences that happened between us that I am sure any girl who were to be in my position would think that the universe is definitely sending a message. Can I just kiss him so I can put an end to my delirium once and for all? Maybe a kiss would wake me up from this hangover?

I really hope he never comes across this in the future.

I was wunderbar.

One of my proud moments that was truly memorable to me was buying a ticket auf Deutsch while I was in Berlin. I never really believed in my skill to communicate in German. I thought I was better than average with my two-year learning of the language, but I don’t talk that much in our class because I’m usually scared of being misunderstood. I get anxious just thinking about failing to think of a proper response in German and end up making myself look like an idiot. I know  making a mistake is a part of learning and being good at a foreign language, but I’m just terrified that once I try to say something I’ll just prove how not good I am.

That day I went to Berlin Hauptbanhof to buy my train ticket to Amsterdam, my German teacher came with me with an expectation that I will do it in complete Deutsch. I had no choice because the person behind the counter knows no English. What are the chances in Germany, right?? So there I was sweating a little and trying to remain calm. I thought, if I’d screw it up at least I’d look cool and collected doing it. After a few Ja! and Bitte? here and there, I can’t believe I really did it. I got the best deal, a window seat, and a trip that’s perfect to my schedule. I gave myself a hug that day. hihi Ich bin wünderbar!

I feel sexy…

1. When I make my friends laugh. Making other people happy makes me feel like I have achieved something really important in this world and that to me is sexy.

2. When I dance with pure and wild abandon! I feel sexy when I can dance like nobody’s watching. Feeling free and as if no one, not even the world, can go against me is a moment of sexiness.

3. When I beat a personal best. For instance, I used to run and be really competitive with myself, aiming to always run faster or run longer the next time. So in times that I run twice the distance in a lesser time, I feel infinitely sexy and so amazing.

Dear Lola

Dear grandmother dearest, my lola,

Thank you for being my second mom. You took care of me the whole time I was separated from my mom, dad, and brothers. You were the one who proxied for my parents and helped me organize my 18th birthday, which was a big deal. You stepped up and proxied for my parents in my college graduation and it is you that I shared my happy tears with on that special day of achievement. For nineteen years, you have been a constant person in my life and I don’t think I have thanked you enough. I don’t think I have expressed my much gratitude for always supporting me and being concerned of my well-being.

Lola, I love you. Always, you tell me that you are getting really old and weak. That’s why you are marrying me off because you want a grandchild from me. I’m sorry if I can’t give you that soon. Please ask for anything but that. I’m always anxious whenever you tell me that you will die soon. No, I am not prepared. I am not prepared because I still want to spend many Christmases and New Years with you. And I want you to be there when I already have my own family.

I’m really grateful to have a lola like you. Our family has been through a lot. You, mom, and dad got into a lot of fights over the years, but whatever happened you were always the grandma who cooks the best spaghetti to us, your grandkids.

Please keep yourself healthy and strong, so that when the time comes that I have given birth to a kid, he/she can meet an amazing great-grandlola in you.

I love you always,

Charmaine

Little bucket dreams

#bucketlist

1. Spend a summer in Florence to learn to speak Italian, eat Italian, cathedrals and museums Italian, cobblestone roads and Vespas Italian, sunflower fields and vineyards Italian, boys Italian, and submerge myself in Italian culture. (Note: This entitles me to a Schengen visa which means I get to travel to other places in Europe which means GOING BACK TO BERLIN AND PARTYING MY ASS OFF.)

2. Gather my college friends (Block G1) and go together on a 12-day Mediterranean Greek Isles cruise. Barcelona, Mykonos, Cannes, Turkey, Naples! The bonding time on the ship and possibly meeting new friends stoke me.

3. Spend a holiday with my family (plus my favorite aunt and cousin, Tita Tess and Erika) in Tokyo, Japan. My brothers have always wanted to go there, my mom loves the scenery, and I’m just excited to eat all the Japanese food that I can. Hello, unli gyoza, sushi, ramen, and matcha ice cream!

Those are some of my biggest dreams in life and I get so tingly inside just thinking about making all of them happen.

Eyebrows speak louder than words.

I want to begin by saying how much I love eyebrows and appreciate its existence. It’s sometimes the first thing that catches my attention when I see someone for the first time.

The eyebrows enhance a person’s face. More than the differences in people’s nose shape, eye color, or fullness of lips, the differences in the shape and arch of eyebrows tell a rather completely different story. Eyebrows make looking at the face more exciting. Take note that the movement of the eyebrows are crucial to a person’s facial expressions, which can suggest various emotions and feelings.

I’ll let you in on what I think about people judging by their eyebrows. The following, which may or may not be true, are based solely on observation and pure assumption.

1. People with thin and high-arched brows are very meticulous. They are the type who knows what they want from a person or an experience. They are high maintenance and are very demanding.

2. People with thick and full brows are mysterious. They are also sincere and down-to-earth people. They may seem cruel at first, but really they are kids-at-heart.

3. People with unruly brows are smart but lazy. Men with messy brows, on the other hand, are just damn sexy.