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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Creating New Features Weekly and Monthly

 

Credited to plotwhisperer.com

Credited to plotwhisperer.com

 

After staying up all night and finally getting some sleep this morning, I decided to create weekly and monthly features! I figured I needed a hook to commit myself to continuously produce content – even good content. So after listing down all my possible future blog posts ideas (that was a mouthful), I sorted them out to categories. Turns out, I have more possible content on food and personal posts!

So from now on, weekly features will have:

  • Thursday Secret – this will be about confessions, views on life and you know, the usual “secrets” one always have. 😉
  • Food Fridays – will look exactly like the reviews on the restaurants I have posted before. I’ve been trying out a lot of good places lately and I can’t wait to share it with you weekly!
  • Sunday Summary – will be about my weekly summaries. So to give my posts a longer shelf-life, I’ll blog about my after thoughts on my past entries and give short descriptions about them.
Credited to: sciccarelli.yolasite.com

Credited to: sciccarelli.yolasite.com

On the monthly features section, I wanted to tie myself to a huge responsibility I have been dodging around for years. Truth is, I have a long-term unfinished fiction novel. I’ve been meaning to work on it again, but never had the full commitment of even writing one chapter. So to do myself a favor, I’ll post a chapter here every month. And to further help me, I’m also going to read and review one book each month.

Monthly features will be:

  • Third Tuesday Tales –  The story is about a girl who couldn’t choose between twins that were separated at birth. (cliché, I know. But give it a chance!)
  • Second Saturday Book Reviews – I used to read about 3 books a week, it has now dwindled to one book a month, and even that’s a challenge. But I promise to keep this promise!

I’m also thinking about having a monthly Q&A with my readers and the community I’m hoping to be a part of. But do you think that’s already taking on too much? Or is it too early in the game to have a Q&A?

What are your weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, annual features? 🙂

 

Thanks for reading,

Patricia xo

P.S. Got the idea from The Daily Post 🙂 Love their  Blogging 101: Zero to Hero, will try to make posts based on them soon!

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).

zelas

(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 :*