Thursday Confessions: What it feels like to have a Surreal Achievement

Imagine yourself at your high school graduation. Are you the valedictorian or the salutatorian, making the big speech in front? Or are you the student council president, standing beside the president of your school, giving out the diplomas? Because I wasn’t anyone of them. All I did was sit there, listen to the speakers and pace a 3 minute walk on stage to receive my diploma. Listening to all these achievers, I thought to myself, “Why am I not one of them?” Why didn’t I do as well as them? And then the crashing re-evaluation of my life started. What had I ever achieved? What had I ever learned? Nothing. Nothing to be proud of. I was just one of the many average, good for “something” (I don’t know what) girl. While about a quarter of my graduating batch-mates are having medal upon medal placed on the neck, the only thing I got was a loyalty award. Meaning, “Hey, I started and finished high school here. Woohoo.”

From that moment on, I vowed to myself the next time I stand on a commencement stage and receive a diploma, I will have a medal I could be proud of. College would lead me to that point. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. Habits die hard and I started college with nothing like a bang. I just went with it. Did what I’m told. Kept a low profile. I tried to get myself out of the ditch once and work hard, but I just can’t muster up an achievement that I can really say I’m proud of. I’m in the field of psychology, and I love psychology. It should be just a matter of hard work, time and most especially, luck. Boy, do I need lady luck on my side.

In one of my new classes today, we introduced ourselves and stated a key achievement received since starting college. Guess what, I couldn’t think of any! What kind of pathetic loser am I? I asked myself. 4th year in college and still no key achievements? I didn’t want to say something like, “passing my subjects, or getting into a university.” It’s not the prestigious achievement I vowed to myself all those years ago. I want something I worked hard for, really gave my all with no questions asked.

Then I remembered the email I received last week. Does that count as an achievement? I don’t feel like it does. Does it?  Even after all my stance on achieving something significant, I didn’t realize that this was definitely one of it. 

PAP!!!

Flying to CDO in August to present our paper to the convention 🙂

It had felt surreal. My mind still won’t accept it. I still feel like I’m dreaming it. One moment, my thesis mates and I were arduously writing our thesis day in and day out. Then the next, we were hand chosen by the chairperson of the Department of Psychology. We were to submit our paper to the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) for a review. 2 months later, I received this email.

For the first time in my life, a true achievement. For something heavily invested with late nights, sweat, and tears. Finally, things turned out for the better. I have achieved one for the books. 🙂

I know this wasn’t what I promised to myself. This paper was a collaborative work. But each and every one of us gave it our all. That’s why I’m so proud of this. We put our minds and hearts into this and our work was recognized.

I just want to let myself recognize this too. I want to believe in myself that I am capable. If there is hard work and luck involved, then endless possibilities can be achieved.

Thanks for reading!

Patricia xo

P.S. Changed “Thursday Secrets to Thursday Confessions.” It just felt more right 🙂

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Art and Science

artscienceI’ve always thought of myself as someone who was an art person. I’ve always considered myself an artistic person since I love creative writing. I would always make the choice of effortlessly typing my thoughts rather than memorizing a thousand Embryology terms for my free time. If I was to compare the two, I would always choose art. I’d say science is too hard, even if I’m a science student. Even if I dream of becoming a doctor someday, I’d still choose art any time of the day.

Well, that was before. Today is different. I’m taking this humanities art class at the University and my professor just asked me to describe what is art to me. My mind drew a complete blank. I discovered I knew nothing about art. I can’t draw, paint or design anything to save my life. I knew it was about expressing your thoughts and feelings and….is that it? Art is foreign to me. It’s like a language I knew about but never learned to understand.

So I regressed back to my science roots. This is my zone. I knew all about the different aspects of science, especially psychology and biology. I could explain the mechanism of the basic human functions in a heartbeat. I could tell you in a minute why that thing you’re about to eat is definitely good or not good for you. I could say why you’re feeling that way about a certain somehow and how it could have come from your mind and is now somatically affecting your physiological being. I learned how science has smeared itself on me.  I realized science was my foothold. It is hard. But it is something evident and I can understand.

Maybe, I could still combine art and science. I mean, the only thing that’s keeping me from going crazy from all the scientific terms I have to study is that I could still write my thoughts down on the back of my notebook. The only thing that helps me plan and think is my paper and pen. But don’t get me wrong. That’s the only artistic bone I have in me. I can’t draw ever since I was 5. My drawing/painting skills have stopped improving ever since kindergarten. If my professor asks us to draw something and finds a 5-year-old drawing in there, that’s probably mine.

Thanks for reading!

Patricia :*

See if your Dreams… are now a part of your Reality.

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It’s so easy to dream because the hard part always comes after – how to make that dream come true. It’s exhausting when you try and you work to give it your all, but life just persists on smacking you back down. There will come a time when you forget what your goal is and you just concentrate on the painstaking journey you have to make. Life complicates itself, piles up on you more and without meaning to do it, you forget your dream. You solve other obstacles, you fight everyday for your existence and you aim for new dreams daily.

Years ago, it was a sensitive topic with Renz when it comes to his driving skills. He badly wanted to drive ever since he got his license. He knew how but he wasn’t given the permission. With that, it became a delicate topic to talk about. Whenever I ask about it he gets mad, as if he knows it’s a failure on his part. We rarely talked about it and avoided the subject at all cost. We forgot about it. We lived our lives without even mentioning it. One day, he called me. He said he was gonna pick me up and accompany me home from school. I didn’t believe it. I knew he was making slow progress with finally getting permission but I didn’t expect him to be driving around on his own anytime soon. I have never seen him on the wheel and I told him I don’t believe he was even capable of driving a car.

“To see is to believe,” I told him. “Stop making promises about bringing a car when you know it’s quite impossible.” (We talked about the chances of him ever getting the opportunity to drive around on his own, and knew it was close to nil).

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(Not taken the same day)

But it happened. Renz showed up with a car. Alone. He was really driving it. On paper, this might look like a dream come true. But in real life, I just nodded and said, “Wow you’re really doing it.” Its not like this was the ultimate dream we both had at that time. We were preoccupied with a lot of different individual aspects of our lives that this was just a small win on his and my part. We just smiled and talked about how he finally did it and concentrated on the road.

We forgot about all those times, when we would have given anything just to have a car because it was raining and we have to look for other ways to get home. We have to take all kinds of commute when we go on dates. We forgot how hard it was to be with crowded people and line up in the longest lines.

We just went with the flow. We accepted that this is happening right now and failed to remember that dream. The strongest desires of that moment. We didn’t realize it at that time, but we were living in one of our dreams. I felt like we didn’t give the importance of the moment a chance.

You realize you’re in some place you didn’t plan to be in, you wonder about how you got there, but it all ends well. After all, you still have your basic needs; you are still blessed in some areas. You forgot about what you dreamt at that time, what was significant at that time. You simply let it flew away.

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Nonetheless, sometimes you have to check the little things. Sometimes, you have to look at the big picture to see the small details. Because suddenly, without realizing it, you might just be there.

3 years ago, I made a contract agreement with myself. I listed down five things I should accomplish within a year and gave myself a very strict deadline. I wrote to my poor, insecure self about all the things I thought would help me at that time.

See that? I was practically shouting that I can hear myself from 3 years ago.

See that? I was practically enunciating every letter that I can hear myself from years ago.

Of course, #1 was shedding my overweight (bounding on obese) self. #2 was about being smart and studying well. #3 was trying to write well and actually publish something worthy of value. #4 was getting rid of my stupid distractions. #5 was focusing on internal locus, like controlling my happiness, instead of external locus (letting other things control my emotions and perceptions).

I intentionally wrote harsh words to push myself to tackle these goals. I really wanted EVERYTHING on that list. It’s like I was telling myself to grow up for the first time. And I knew those five things would help me become the ultimate version of myself. I was sad, alone and really stuck in a bad part of my life. Freshman year in college was beating the hell out of me. I needed to pull myself out of that hell hole. For about a week, I kept rereading them. After a month, I placed it in my wallet, hoping to remind me all the time. After another month, it was gone from memory. The sad thing was, I was so overwhelmed with everything that was happening, no piece of paper could have saved me from where life was bringing me. I had a new dream everyday, and everyday I would forget the old ones.

Fast forward to now, I was cleaning my room and saw an old purse filled with old memorandums. I opened this old crunch-up paper and was taken by surprised. 3 of the things in that list have now been fulfilled. I don’t remember when, I don’t even remember why because I have forgotten about those dreams. I remember the journey towards the things I have accomplished but I never realized they were my exact dreams 3 years ago. I did not pine for them everyday and told myself I would stick to that list. So imagine my amazement when I checked off 3 wishes in that list. I realized I am living in my past self’s dream.

The goal took a backseat, the main thing became – how to conquer this next set of obstacles. Then at some point, between all the clashing dreams and the never-ending problems, it just happened. Look around. Some of your long time dreams and old wishes might have come true. Some of them are now a part of your reality. Did you wish you had a puppy when you were little? Didn’t you wanted that medal hanging on your wall 3 years ago? So appreciate them. Immerse yourself in them. Imagine yourself years ago when you were just dreaming of this moment. You’re actually living the dream. Well, that particular dream. When they say, “Appreciate the little things,” they also meant, ‘Don’t forget the little and the old dreams and try to live a bit more in the present.’

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Thanks for reading!

Patricia :*

Renz’s Birth-Date

I chose the title ‘Birthdate,’ because it was a date meant for his birthday last Sept. 2. But this date was rescheduled so many times, I didn’t think it would finally pull through. The thing is, I didn’t even expect to wake up early. It was a rainy sunday morning and all I could think of is how I could get away with more sleep. To my surprise, Renz called. He’s already on the way to fetch me. Fudge. I’m running late.

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This is me debuting my new hair color – which I hate. >:) I’m totally going to change it next week. (excuse the face, had to do make up in the car! lol)

I quickly jumped out of bed, took a shower and got dressed. 20 mins later, he’s on my doorstep. We had to hurry out because we had to be at the place for lunch at 11am.

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So for our first agenda, Renz’s favorite BUFFET place: Vikings Buffet Restaurant. This is the second time we’ve been to Vikings and at both times, it was Renz who insisted. At first, I really didn’t want to because it’s really costly to eat here during the weekends compared to its weekday prices plus, I’m sure I won’t be able to eat as much as I want because of my recent diet. But when it comes to food, with Renz, it’s always the best. Afterwards, I knew our money was well spent. In fact, I’m going to write a review about it so I won’t have to post here all our food pictures.

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Salmon and tuna sashimi, sushi variety and some baked cheesy oyster. YUM! :p

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Candid photo of Renz pouring some miso soup. 🙂

More about Vikings luxurious and extravagant choices of food here.

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The mandatory couple’s picture for our date. ❤

Two and half hours later, we were so full it was hard to stand up without getting dizzy. With these kinds of buffet, you had to at least try a morsel of everything before you leave. We left SM and went to Trinoma. We walked around so we can help our stomachs digest our lunch. So we went shopping, I bought some makeup brushes while Renz led me to his favorite shoe stores again. The boy has a penchant for shoes and is always trying to look for great ones to add to his collection. While shopping, we ran into some of his relatives. I met his uncle and some cousins from his mom’s side. We said ‘hi’ and they joked about how I seemed to look like a different girl from whom they have seen before (lol different hair color). I love this part because I seem to be having a surge of ‘meeting his relatives’ this month. All of a sudden, I am meeting them all one by one. I guess this is lucky for me. I would know some people when Renz brings me to this major family event next month.

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We’re a couple, these are the inescapable things we do. Sue us. 🙂

After a while, we still had hours to kill before our movie starts. We went grocery shopping and bought nothing. HAHA. I almost bought a pint of Arce Dairy Green Tea ice cream but thought of it otherwise. I just had this craving for something green tea flavored so we went up to our favorite yogurt place, Red Mango.

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The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

We chose to watch The Mortal Instruments because I have read the book before. I knew it was an exciting read at first, but then it got boring further down the road. I don’t remember why, but it was the reason I didn’t buy the next books in the series. After watching the movie, I remembered. I don’t want to cause major spoilers, so don’t read the next line! – it’s because the leads are actually brother-sister! Ok, it’s not yet confirmed by the end of the movie, but that totally led me NOT to buy the next books. In other non-content related news, the movie was great. The effects were nice and the story was not boring at all. But there is no denying you have to read the books sometime to get the total gist of everything that’s happening in it. The movie ran for more than two hours, by the way. I loved Lily Collins’ hair though! Red is totally in this year.

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Grandparent’s Day free photo booth pictures!

Lastly before we left, we passed by an event hosted by Trinoma for Grandparent’s Day. They have this big free movie screening and free medical check ups and free food (I didn’t ask) available for the elderly and the senior citizens. What do you know, they also have free photo booth sessions open for the public! When we asked, there wasn’t a line at all and only the personnel were taking advantage of the free shots. I dragged Renz into it (he’s always reluctant for these things) and we got one souvenir. Yay!

I wrote a blog post about this day because I want this to be glued in my memory as long as possible. This is one of those dates that are really memorable to me. We haven’t had a real date for the longest time and I’m glad we finally had one today. We talked a lot about meaningful things and got into a lot of first. Like for one, when we were already in the car and was driving out of the mall, we saw the long lines of people waiting for cabs and looking for other ways to commute home. That used to be us. Oh how I wished for this day to finally come, and when it did, I’m glad we appreciated the little things. It was a perfect date. Nothing went wrong and we were both beaming by the end of it. As of this post, I’m still happy about it and so is Renz. In the end, I regretted nothing about the day and it could not have gone more amazingly.

Hoping for more times like these,

Patricia :*

P.S. Last picture for this post! I collect receipts for future and memory purposes. Some people collect stamps, I collect receipts. Weird right? lol 😀

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Valet, Vikings, Laundry Receipts

Valet parking because we were running late, Vikings receipt, and the laundry receipt when we dropped Momo, the huge stuffed toy, he gave me to the dry cleaners before he drove me home. 🙂

When Virtue Becomes Vice

When virtue becomes vice.  – A must read.

Excerpt:

The nature of a virtue is that a vice is almost always hidden inside.

In the newest view of personality, our traits are no longer seen as binary—you are either conscientious or you’re not—but as dimensional, existing on a continuum. Not only does each characteristic fall on a spectrum, each holds the grain of its own destruction: Organized becomes obsessive. Daring escalates to risky. Modest slips to insecure. Confident turns to arrogant, cautious to anxious, persuasive to domineering, friendly to ingratiating.

The seven deadly sins might very well have started out as ambition, relaxation, awareness of one’s good work, righteous anger, a healthy sexuality, and enjoying a good meal. It’s all a matter of degree.

 

Can’t defeat the curiosity of the psychologist in me 🙂