06 August 2010

What I've Learned 003: Normal Is Not Normal.

Continuing an ongoing series of creative writing exercises inspired by Esquire's "What I've Learned" articles. For this entry, I've taken my cues from Emmylou Harris' interview; the first few words of each paragraph of the feature (in italics below) serve as prompts for my own answers.

ready for my, uh, close-up
  • As soon as you start worrying about wrinkles, it's already too late. Just go with it.

  • God is the giant question mark in the sky. Yes, I believe in Him, but I've only begun to really grasp His true nature for myself. Although I self-identify as Catholic, I find myself straying from the dogmas of any one religion. This outward trend feels right, somehow. Billions of non-Christians can't be "wrong." But then again, I don't think anyone is really "right."

  • Patriotism can be infuriating. Especially when it's directed at fellow countrymen who did nothing other than vote for the other guy.

  • The thing about working with more than one mentor is that I have to re-"learn" to do the same thing over and over. In a way this is a great thing 'cause I'm using various methods to achieve similar results, but they probably look at me like "Is this dude ever gonna do it right?" hahah.

  • The South is somewhere I really have no desire to visit again. No offense, but the humidity alone scares me.

  • You have to learn that maybe, maybe, the person who just cut you off in traffic really does have somewhere important to go. I'm not prone to road rage, but there have been times when I've just wanted to react violently to some idiot on the highway. Turning up the music usually calms me down.

  • Normal is not normal.

  • When I was sixteen, I didn't belong to any particular clique in high school. Not that I was a loner, but I kinda flew under the radar. As a result, I didn't really feel the need to go to the reunion. I only have a handful of friends from that time in my life, but they're extremely good ones. I'm okay with that.

  • You have to lay yourself on the couch for at least five minutes before you commit to buying it. Napping on it for a short period of time is highly recommended as well.

  • We have a saying in the Philippines that goes "Papunta ka pa lang, pabalik na ako." A literal translation is "While you're only just going, I'm already on my way back." My mother gently said this to me during a conversation a few years ago, when she was giving me advice. I was going through a rather dark time in my life, and she told me she could relate. I've never forgotten it; it's a powerful reminder to respect your elders, and to remember to tap their stores of wisdom.

  • Any time you think no one saw you pick that wedgie out of your ass, you're wrong.

  • I'm the poster child for having more music in my laptop than I could possibly ever listen to. I need to play some serious catch-up. A complete iPod reload is imminent!

  • It's pretty dangerous right now to not have your own opinion on what's going on around you, whether locally or globally. Actually, it was dangerous back then, too. Be informed, even with points from opposing sides. Yes, I know it's hard. Do it anyway.

  • During those long summer afternoons when you'd rather stay inside instead of sticking to your car seat, I find that a faux mimosa consisting of equal parts sparkling water and orange juice does the trick nicely. That, and some roots reggae bouncing out of your speakers.

  • Let's just say I'm still trying to be a better person than I was yesterday. Results may vary depending on microwave strength and cooking time.

  • I like the fact that the worlds of fashion, music, art and style have become so much more fragmented (and therefore vastly more accessible) over the past decade. I believe this allows anyone to pick what they want from so many different sensibilities and aesthetics, and make them into their own personal thing. This eclecticism wasn't nearly as accepted in the 90s. It's fucking beautiful.

  • Everybody walking around on this planet has the capacity to feel the same emotions. Nearly everybody walking around on this planet forgets this. I need to be more empathetic 'cause not being so isn't doing anybody any good.

  • I didn't start taking my diet seriously until just a few months ago. But I feel better than I ever have in my life. My only regret is that I didn't do this sooner.

  • I was six the day we moved from the Philippines to the Midwest. I wonder how my life would've turned out had it happened later. One thing's for sure: I'd definitely know how to speak better Tagalog. Not that I'm terrible at it, but I still stumble on verb tenses from time to time. Speaking fluently requires a nimble tongue. And get your minds outta the gutter.

  • The only thing I know about running is that I'm a crappy distance runner. But hey I'm getting a lot better! Running my own 5K four times a week day probably doesn't hurt. I do need new shoes, though.

  • There I was. I'm happy to say that I'm far enough along now to be able to look back with clear eyes, and acknowledge the progress I've made. Here's to more of that.

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