Age Matters: What I Learned Growing Up

Remember being 6 and wishing life would hurry up? How about being in fourth grade and admiring all cool high school kids? Or better yet, do you remember being in high school, crying on your sorry ass and mumbling “someday, someday I’ll have my revenge?”

I sometimes wonder what made me think that becoming an office monkey in my twenties would be better than being a snotty kid in gradeschool or a high school pariah.

Being a kid affords us one great thing: it is a time to hope for great things. The word disillusionment was something we didn’t know at that time…I don’t think we could have spelled it either.

Am not so much disillusioned as disappointed in myself. Though I have done particularly well, I’m not sure my six year old (or even 16 year old) self would approve of my current 23 self. (Or, my sixteen year old self might be surprised to hear that the world did not end on that fateful night in 2002 when I thought it would.)

Here are five glaring differences between my young self and my present self:

1. I used to equate hanging around the family house with free food, fun and laughter.

Today, however I equate hanging round my family for too long to having a stress-induced hemmorage. Growing up and deviating from your family’s religious and political beliefs can be difficult. Moreso, if those particular beliefs clash.

2. As a kid, I believed I could become a rocket scientist.

Then I went to a crummy science high school that shattered all my faith in the Philippine education systems’ capacity to breed great minds (or retain great teachers, for that matter).

3. At 16 years old; I used to have my own brand of fiery optimism. I’d never let anyone get in my way even if I was insecure with 120 pound, four foot nine self.

30 less pounds later and no inches added; I still am optimistic. But if anything, I think I’ve become more confident, feistier and a bit more caustic. I’ve become more rigid, believing that things “should just be so or not at all”. I think that my twenties brought out my hidden type A personality.

4. At 18 years old, I had no aspirations. I had no life plans.

Today, I have detailed schedules and a manageable life plan. It always surprises me when I realize how “on track” my life is.

5. When I was younger, I had faith in people. I believed that the government was good and that public service was a priority for politicians.

Today, I pay my taxes and grumble. If anything, I’ve gone from hopeful to critical to cynical in one decade. And while I’d still like to believe that there is hope for this country; Filipino politics is simply a hopeless cause nowadays.

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Side note: I discovered the “Let’s be logical here”, breathe in, breathe out and steady your nerves combo when I began working for corporations. Today, rather than blow my top publicly and be done with it; I nurse my seething hatred till I finally find a loophole to get back at whoever pissed me off/ On that note; I’m not as forgiving as I was ten years ago.

 

Love Advice from the Bitch of Hades

Save some face, you know you’ve only got one
Change your ways while you’re young
Boy, one day you’ll be a man
Oh girl, he’ll help you understand
Smile like you mean it
Smile like you mean it

-The Killers

Having a seemingly stellar love life (that is I have had my heart broken x many times and survived) can lead to complications. One such complication is when not-so fortunate friends ask for advice. Over the years, I’ve developed a complex system (with diagrams!) to help my friends. Today, I’ll be sharing the love.  🙂

When it comes to matters of the heart, I have four type of friends.

Specimen A is co-dependent. He or she has an unhealthy need to be needed by alcoholics, narcissistic bastards, shopaholics, druggies, jerk offs and other sorry asses. They hide under the veil of “doing this person good”, scared to admit that they too are addicted to being depended on. As such, they frequently suffer heart and bank breaks. They are targets for the pautang and palibre boys and girls who cannot live a life without mooching off other people.

What I usually say to specimen A-type friends: It will be fine, as long as you know that you loved unconditionally. Help them see that what they’re doing is unhealthy for both of you, help them find a way to stand on their two feet. You shouldn’t be blamed for every wrong turn your relationship takes. Love him/her but please, for the love of God…love yourself as well.

What I usually really want to say: Don’t be so prissy. You dug your grave, go lie in it. Your (in)significant other does not deserve you and I don’t deserve to hear this sodden story, please pass the beer.

Another type of friend is someone who is constantly swinging from one denial to the next. He or she either denies there’s something going on (as in “Me and her? Dating? Wouldn’t happen in this lifetime.”) or that they are adrift (as in “No, we’re fine…really. We couldn’t be happier!” ) or completely delusional (as in “He loves me, I just know he does! He’ll realize this when he sees his wife in a bikini!”). Specimen B is what I fondly call “The Say Whut?”.

What I usually say to Specimen B-type Friends: Nothing. Why fix something that needs to be broken? I simply nod my head and smoke a fag while I listen to them drone.

What I usually want to say: LOL.

One of the hardest to handle are the sensitive martyr types. Specimen C  “Why Lord, Why Me?” is hard to give advice to, tell the blunt truth to or even laugh at. This is simply because you’ll never know which way they’ll go.

Not to be confused with Specimen B’s whose sense of reality is somewhat flawed, Specimen C-types tend to take reality all too seriously. They feel like they constantly have to inform us of the big picture (as in “I think that even if he almost shot me that night, it was all for the better. I realized that..”) or insist upon the gravity of significant other’s actions ala cinema critic (as in… “I knew it. When he held my hand like that under the tinkling lights of Greenbelt 5 that our lives would be intertwined forever).

It’s hard to laugh at what they say or put in a sarcastic remark to (somehow) lighten the mood simply because they might end up suicidal, running round in the middle of EDSA if don’t keep your tap shut. Conversely, it’s equally hard to empathize with them because then you yourself might end up suicidal running round in the middle of EDSA.

What I usually say to Specimen C-type friends: *Nervous laugh* It may be too early to really grasp the significance but am guessing you’re more emotionally attuned to (insert object of desire, derision here) than I am. I mean, I can’t give you objective advice about this. But from what I’m hearing, I think you’re in love (or a candidate for a nervous breakdown).

What I usually want to say to Specimen C-type friends: Let’s be logical here. What he/she did could mean something or could mean zilch. What if instead of sitting on our asses and analyzing what happen you get up and ASK him/her what exactly they meant. The big picture: not everyone has the time or the patience to analyze every hand-holding moment their friends have.

Lastly, there are those who feel so deprived of love, they turn into bitter fools. Specimen D is what we call “Am All Out of Love”. For these people, nothing in the world is as tragic as their love-lorn selves. They are also the same people invoke the “Nobody’s perfect. I want perfection, therefore I have no significant other” excuse. In reality, these people either have no balls or think too highly of themselves.

What I usually tell Specimen D-type friends: How can you fall in love when you’re way to careful of whom you love? You think the “nobody’s perfect” still works when you’re over 20? Think again. Even the imperfect, fugly people you point out are taken! Time to cruise down relationship street now.

What I usually want to tell Specimen D-type friends: Shut it.Look around, there are heavier things to problematize. Not the world population’s fault that you have the “perfect” person in mind (someone with anime looks and wit and humor and is rich but is also compassionate AND will give you the time of day).

In the final analysis, I think love is pretty simple. Either you do it or you don’t. Remember only two things really kill love: indecision and delusion.

Happy lovin’ girls and boys. ♥