Brain Dump

Hello September! Seriously, someone please slow down this thing called time. Tell it not to be in so much hurry. I’m really losing my mind here. It’s my birthday month, I’m officially turning a year older next week and to be honest, I am not so excited about that. Just the thought of my birthday coming up is giving me so much pressure. About life. My life. What have I been doing all this time? Really. Does someone know? Me? I don’t. I’m as clueless as any other person I ask.

What in the world?! Am I really this hopeless? Frustration and disappointment is such a combo I’m living in nowadays. It’s like a perfect pair for ruined confidence. They’re the very things I’m seeing in my mom’s eyes and hearing in my mom’s words. How about that? Guilt trip. If there’s one person I’d like to please, that’ll be my mom. Before I was wishing that she should start to slowly loosen her grip on me with her being the overprotective mom that she is. But now, I notice that she’s already doing just that. She always tells me that she’s hoping and praying that I’d get my lazy butt up and get out of this ‘slump‘ and to actually start to get my life together. I even heard her tell her friends one afternoon that she’s hoping for me to get married. And in my mind I was like, “What the heck is she talking about?” then she continued that it’s a little impossible at the moment since I don’t even date yet. How I wish someone saw the smug on my face when I heard that and even now as I am thinking about it.

Obviously, she had expected so much more from me than being just a couch potato, a slob, a bum whatever you want to call it. The only motivation I have now is her scream of happiness and pride when I passed the nursing licensure exam. She prided herself to her friends the fact that I passed the board exam in one try right after college. She of course then expected that I’d get my first job in the same year after a few months of resting which for her meant that of me getting ready to dive into the so called real world. But the few months turned into six years. Can you believe that? Who wouldn’t be so frustrated and disappointed about that? In that sense, I’m pathetic and I’m greatly ashamed of it. It was never my intention but it happened nonetheless. There’s nothing to say about it but that I highly highly regretted these six years of me being an extra mouth to feed, an extra body that crowd our house and an extra person that my parents have to worry about.

So, do you see now where this humongous pressure I’m feeling right now coming from? I’m getting older. I cannot deny that and all I want really is to finally be able to grow up but of course as life is unfair, realizing it is just one thing, you still have to follow through and actually do it. Why is adulthood so hard and complicated?

When someone says, if they have my diploma, if they have my license, if they have my age, they for sure – this words are always emphasized – have already gone far. You have no idea how many times I have been told that. Sounds so easy, right? But is it really just that easy? Because if it is then maybe I’m stupider that I think I am.

Does maturity really comes with age? In my case, maybe it is because now I am becoming more aware of my decisions and actions but I know I can still be as immature as ever. All I know at this moment is that, I may have lost my timing, my rhythm, my plan and even myself; I still have the ability to get back up again. So, go lang ng go.

Now, enough of this ranting and negativities.

September is supposed to be for good vibes. We should start feeling the tickle of excitement as it slowly builds up to the thrill, fun and enjoyment for the holiday season. I know it is my birthday month even without a calendar when I hear Christmas songs and Jose Mari Chan’s music playing somewhere or everywhere really. I don’t know what to say anymore so I think I have to end this post now. The end.

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The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks – ČuvarAfter reading the last book that I’ve read entitled Second Life by S.J Watson which undeniably gave me an ambiguous thoughts and feelings about it, I realized I was feeling something light to read next. Something that I know will get me in some way. I was scrolling through my ebooks and Nicholas Sparks name was waving at me and I said to myself why not.

The Guardian tells a story about Julie Barenson who was widowed at the young age of twenty-five but her husband left her a letter telling her that he has gotten her a puppy, a great dane that she named Singer, for her to have as a company since she has no family and also a promise that even though he was already gone he would still always be watching over her. Now four years later, the twenty-nine year old Julie started dating as she feels like she’s ready to commit again. But who to choose? Richard Franklin who is a sophisticated engineer who treats her like a queen or Mike Harris who is down to earth and happens to be her husband’s best friend?

————————————- NOTE: MAY CONTAIN SPOILER! —————————————–

For me, the beginning was a little slow but I wasn’t really greatly bothered by that. I liked the fact that the story has a dog involved in it, maybe it’s the dog-lover in me. I absolutely adored Singer, him being a Great Dane and of course his personality. I loved how Julie gradually realized her feelings for Mike. I really loved the fact that Julie and Mike has been friends for years before they even recognized their true feelings for each other. I am such a sucker for that. I really dig that. I found myself smiling and feeling so kilig with their interactions.

As for character development, I may be blinded with all the romance but I thought I didn’t see much of that. The plot and the twists, I didn’t find them shocking or new. In other words, it has been predictable. It was nothing that I haven’t read before but I didn’t mind that as it’s the details in the story that I am always interested about.

One other thing that I loved about this novel was when I discovered that this story was not entirely just romance. The first half yes it was all romance – cheesy and sweet – but the latter half was thriller. Can you believe it? If you have been a long time reader of mine, you know me and my love for thrillers. It was the part that I did not expected. I did not see that coming at all. I really felt like I was in my element while reading that part.

All in all, The Guardian is a fun and entertaining read. I enjoyed my journey reading this. Will I recommend this? Yes, especially if you’re someone who likes romance and thriller and the mixture of it, this may be a treat for you.

Second Life by S.J Watson

aaSecond Life is a psychological thriller written by S.J Watson who is the same writer of the successful novel Before I Go To Sleep which I remember I liked.

The book is about Julia who is living a happy life in London with her husband, Hugh, and a teenage son, Connor, when suddenly her world is shaken up when her sister, Kate, was murdered in Paris. She’s convinced that the police isn’t doing the best they can to catch the culprit, so Julia decides to take matters into her own hands. She finds her sister’s filofax and inside sees something that might be a username and a password for a website that her sister frequented. Aware of the danger, she dives into the world of cybersex, living another life by trying to pretend she’s Kate which to her seems like a good idea in the hope that she may lure her sister’s killer into captive. But soon realizes she’s falling more than what she bargained for.

This is one of those books that you’ll either love or hate. I found the first part really slow moving and repetitive to the point that turning the pages and continue reading has become a real struggle for me. I’m a fan of thriller books because of the suspense, the thrill, the mystery and the feeling of adrenaline pumping through your veins which is undeniably addicting. But I didn’t feel any of that on the first half of this book which was frustrating for me.

I don’t know what’s the aim of the author for the readers to feel about Julia but for me I found her character so hateful. I don’t know if she’s dense or just plainly stupid. Even though she knows what the consequences she may have out of a certain decision but she still do it anyway. She knows that she may put her family’s welfare into danger especially her son’s but she still can’t stop herself from doing it which may have to do in a topic that this book touches on, addiction. It shows how addiction can affect one’s mental state, behavior and decision making skills.

On the second half of the book, the story slowly picked up then the twists and turns struck one after the other. It was the part that has partly satisfied the thriller-enthusiast inside me. The scenes has become gripping and exciting, one of those can’t-put-down-the-book moment until one final bomb thrown and boom! That finally spoiled it for me. The finale left me dumbfounded. I remember being wide eyed with furrowed eyebrows and the words “WHAT?! That’s it? That’s all?” came out of my mouth enough for everyone in my house to hear. It was a huge cliffhanger. I dislike cliffhangers like that because it leaves me unanswered questions. Did she or did she not?

This isn’t the first time that I have read something that has an open-ended finale and I don’t have anything against that as long as it works. It’ll give the readers their own interpretations, their own assumptions and they have to work on their own imaginations as to what might have happened next and that’s a good thing. It’s like the authors leave that part in the minds of the readers. But this time, in this book, I just don’t think it worked on me.

Now that I’m thinking about it, I think it’s not that bad after all actually. Maybe my dissatisfaction at the time of reading rooted from the immense curiosity that I have as to what might happen next, I was so engrossed to know what will Julia do and then I was left hanging.

All in all it’s not too bad of a read, maybe it’s just too slow moving for me, the adrenaline rush, the kind of thrill and suspense that I seek isn’t there. If you don’t mind reading characters like Julia who is not your typical kind of heroine or protagonist then might as well give this a read. I read reviews that some people actually loved this book.

What’s With The Stupidity?

It was a friday afternoon. I woke up very late, around 2 pm. I have even set an alarm for that. Funny, I know. It was a friday. The day that a person called my mom planned that we should go to an event, it was actually more of a seminar or an orientation sort of thing. She hoped that it could be the vessel for a dream of mine – hers too – to come true. But just like the stubborn kid that I am, I did not want to go because first, it was too far. Second, I was apprehensive and scared. Of what? Maybe of the uncertainty, maybe I just didn’t have the strength to have made a false hope then be disappointed greatly. Nope. That was why I made an alibi that I have to go somewhere and that was why I was forced – more like I had no other choice – to go out.

So, it was a friday afternoon. I woke up at 2pm. I stood up, made my bed. Made my way to the bathroom, splashed some cold water in my face and attended to my bladder’s need of satisfaction. I went straight to the fridge, gulped down some cold water, brought out a plate and put on some food.  That’s how robotic I felt that day. I ate. I cleaned up. I showered. I put on some jeans and shirt. I slapped on a little bit of make up in a hopeless attempt to make my disgusting face somewhat presentable.

It was a friday afternoon. It was very gloomy and it was raining. The weather reflects how I feel inside. Grey. Hollow. Melancholic. Cold. Confused – the rain didn’t know if it wanted to drizzle or to pour.  I felt exactly the same. Put on my red Pro-keds sneakers, collected my coin purse, cellphone and a handky and put them all in my backpack. I snuck in a glance in the mirror and decided to put my hair in a half-up half-down do. I wore my pearl earrings and my favorite wrist watch which was gifted to me by my parents for my 18th birthday. I was all ready.

I told my mom I was leaving. I let myself out through the door and was greeted with a pouring rain with a cold breeze lashed out my face. I waited in the corner of our street. There were a lot jeepneys passed by but I couldn’t go as it was raining hard and I had no umbrella. Ten minutes passed. Fifteen. Then suddenly the rain started to ebbed down to a little more than just a drizzle. I braved the rain, hailed a jeep and rode to oblivion. Not really but it felt that way.

It was a cold and dreary friday afternoon. I arrived at the mall. I was aware of my mane that has gone wild and very frizzy. I couldn’t care less so I went inside. As soon as I stepped inside I was embraced by chilling, bone-cold air of the air conditioner. I shivered. Now, what am I going to do in here?, I said to myself.

So, I wandered.

For at least an hour. Not feeling anything but the constant shiver I did because of the cold temperature. My mind was busy, that I could tell. But with what? What was it thinking? Was I really thinking? Maybe the very mundane things. “Oh, that’s cute.” “That surely will look good on my brother.” “Mommy will definitely like that.” “I’d love me to have some of that too.” “I hope I can something like that to daddy.” “Oh that smells good. What is that?” I contemplated of going to my favorite bookstores but nope I didn’t. Not in the mood. I just did not have any energy and or any reasons to do it so I went to the food court and there I watched as I killed time.

All I saw were long lines for slushie, for takoyaki, for lemonade, for coffee, for Jollibee etcetera. What did I expect? It was a food court. It was loud in there. There was music. There was the sound of utensils clinking to the plates. There were voices of people talking to each other. There were sounds coming from games they were playing on the mobile phones. There was the mystical sound of the carousel from somewhere.

Two hours passed. I said I can go home. My mom wouldn’t suspect me. She didn’t know of course, that I just went to the mall instead of attending that freakin’ orientation or seminar or whatever you want to call it. I made my way out of the mall and to my great dismay, it was still pouring.

It was a dark, dingy, chilly and raining very hard kind of friday night. I let out a sigh and without thinking, I conquered the rain as if it wasn’t raining at all. I didn’t care if people were looking at me, pitied me, or whatever, I just walked. Climbed the too many steps of the foot bridge, crossed it and made my way down.

I was soaked.

I rounded this smaller mall to go to terminal of jeepneys that could take me closer to home but to my another dismay, it has long long long line. It looked like as if it was a gigantic snake, it curved many times. For a minute there, I didn’t know what to do. I certainly did not want to go back to the mall where I’ve been bypassed the way to the terminal of Fx which I was pretty sure would have a very long line too. Then it hit me, it was a Friday and it was the rush hour. Oh blimey!

It felt like I had no choice, I walked on a little ahead of the road under the pouring rain, was hoping that maybe I could catch a random jeepney which can still fit one passenger.  But the few meters became longer and longer. I remember I kept on saying to myself, a little more, a little more. The distance added up. I have been walking for minutes now and all the jeepneys that passed by were full. I kept on walking. I skipped. I leaped. I jumped. Like a little kid playing in the rain but really it was me avoiding the puddles.

I kept on walking. I felt like a zombie. My mind said to stop and wait for a jeep but it seemed like my feet has grown a mind of its and kept on walking. I was seeing a stop light straight ahead but I was worried I may not stop at all as it felt like I have no authority or no control of my own feet. As I was approaching I just wished that it’d turn red I got there and to my subtle surprised it did. I crossed and I almost tripped for I had stepped on a little that threw my balance. I now noticed who seemed like a Korean guy in a hooded jacket and black backpack on my right and another man on my left. I remember I tried matching their steps so I felt I was as fast as them.

We were making our way to another stop light but I saw the two guys have already made a distance between us. I saw the Korean guy jumped over something, probably a rock and made a right. The other man just kept walking ahead, my way too. As I was crossing, I looked at my right but I couldn’t see the Korean guy anymore. I just found it a little weird that he wasn’t on sight anymore, I saw no house there, it was just a long lonely little road. I remember saying to myself, how fast of a walker he was that he already made it to the end causing him not to be seen anymore in such a very short time. As I was engrossed with the thought, I tripped again but acted natural and gained balance as soon as it happened.

I now saw that the other man has put on a lot of distance between us. He was wearing a khaki pants, red shirt and was holding a plastic bag in one hand and an umbrella in the other. I looked ahead of him and saw a gas station, “What? Here already?” I muttered to myself. That would only mean that I have made three quarters of the way to home. I kept on walking.

This time I almost slipped in front of a coffee shop because of the very slippery tiles they have. Again, I couldn’t care less and just kept on walking. I noticed I started panting, and I know was already soaked but I felt my body was hot and if I remember correctly I thought I was really sweating despite of the rain.

I just kept on walking and I believe by this time, my mind has gone empty. The only functioning part of my body was my feet and my eyes. I was gradually becoming aware of a need to chugged water. I was thirsty but I have no water. In a distance I could make out the fast food restaurant marking that I was halfway my journey to home. I thought I could stop there and catch a jeep because I knew for sure that more often than not the jeeps that pass there are lightly loaded with passengers.

When I got there, I could see two jeepneys on halt on the side of the road either letting on or letting out a passenger but I did not stop and climbed up. I remember walking wide-eyed, “What? What was that about?”  STUPID. I told myself. Empty jeepneys and the ones with a few passengers just passed me by.  I let them just passed me by. “What is going on here?” My mind said. I don’t know. The only answer I can give to myself then there was the sudden feeling of something like a pinch in my chest, then my eyes felt burning.

It was a dark pouring Friday night; I then knew I was crying. I was crying … but no one knew. No one noticed. The rain was a perfect camouflage. The side of the road that I was walking on was dark, seemed like I was making my way to an abandoned city. I felt another sting but this time on the back of my feet. Blisters. I must have been walking for too long for me to have a blister. STUPID. I didn’t what what hurts more, the pinch in my chest or the sting at the back of the feet.

I few more steps, I was confronted by this building which was still under construction and right beneath the name of the building, was the name of the company that resonated to me with the details I couldn’t elaborate more. STUPID. Another bout of tears came pouring of my eyes. I noticed I have slowed down. May it be because of the blisters? Or something else?

The sting of my blisters was becoming more noticeable. Still I kept walking. The right foot was more painful than the left. I had started to limp a little. I could also feel some pain at the back of knees. By the time I got to my alma matter, I was no longer crying. I felt numb. My mind was blank. Empty. I waited in the stop light to cross the street. I thought stopping and resting would help alleviate at least a little the exhaustion of my legs, knees and the sting of my blisters but those 22 seconds of rest just made it all worse.

I was walking slowly, not because I intended to but it was more like, that was all my body can afford to exert. I was limping more as my blisters increasing its size and severity but I forced myself for it not to be too obvious. I turned left, meaning I was just more or less ten minutes away from home. Suddenly the thought of coming home and laying in bed gave a little comfort to my hollowed-out self. I kept on walking. At the back of my mind I heard, “What are you doing to yourself? What are you doing with your life? Just what the heck are you doing?” My ego I guess.

The blisters on my feet were becoming annoying. I wished to be teleported to my room so I could dive under the blanket and sleep and forget everything that had happened today. I passed by the wet market. A little more. Just a little more and you’re home. I couldn’t hide the limping anymore, the blisters hurts so much it was unbearable. I’d like to stop walking but I could already see the corner to our home. Just a little more. The pinch on my chest came back. WHAT?

I made it to the corner, I turned right and there it was just a few steps away, HOME.
After an hour and a half of walking under the pouring rain in a Friday night, I made it home.

Until now, I still cannot fathom what happened to me that day. What has gotten over me? What have I gotten out it? Oh body pain, blisters and a crap load of confusion.

July Books Round-Up

My relationship with reading has been on and off since the latter half of last year and I can come up of a thousand reasons/excuses as to why, so I wouldn’t even dare and waste time for that. But July has been different, maybe that was because I was just bored to death or I was just drowning in an ocean of stress – both, actually – that I had seek refuge and escape thru the world of reading and as usual it didn’t fail to provide me those. I have contemplated of sharing my thoughts about the books just like I always did but I wasn’t really feeling it at the time, so I didn’t stress about it and just kept on reading.

So here are the books I’ve read for the month of July:

The Enchantress by Michael Scott
– This has been a long time coming. This is the last book in the author’s series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. I love this series so much, it made me a fan of reading. Yep. That happened. If you like adventure, fantasy, magic and mythology with a lot of disgusting and creepy looking creatures – at least, in my imagination- and if you don’t mind reading a six book series, read this.

Find Her by Lisa Gardner
– I was definitely on my element when I read this. Mystery, thriller, suspense … screams me. My favorite genre. I remember this has toyed with my mind. If you’re like me, who just loves thriller, give this a try.

Undercover by Danielle Steel
– I absolutely enjoyed this book. The first part may have been a little slow for me but it definitely made up on the latter half. If you know me, you’ll know romance and action is a pretty famous combo for me.

A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks
– Honestly, I have a torn heart for this. I don’t love it but I don’t hate it either. It has a little bit of romance and a little bit of mystery but the climax I think is what killed it for me. The twist in the end, I found it a bit lacking. I think it’s still a decent and entertaining read.

After You by Jojo Moyes
– I have to say that I was a little hesitant to read this after the heart-wrenching, soul-breaking mess I had experienced when I read Me Before You. I even hadn’t watch the movie yet, I guess I just don’t want to go through it again. But of course with so much curiosity eating me up, I gave in and I didn’t regret. I don’t want to spoil anything if you hadn’t read it. Just read it.

Zero Excuses: Hot to live a Beautiful Life and be Cool as F*ck by Gabriel Machuret
– This has been the greatest book I’ve read so far this year. One of the books that I’d very much want to have the physical copy  of. It’s a light read, it’s practical, it’s funny, it’s true. This book made me feel so guilty about a lot of things. From start to finish, if not all then a big chunk of it strongly resonated to me. So relatable.

Six books for a month is already plenty right? But I thought I have read more than that. I hope I can read more this coming month.

Late Night Thoughts

Hey you. How have you all been doing? It has been a while, isn’t it? Me? I’m doing okay even though my mind is all over the place at the moment. Life is giving me another round of whip in the butt. Where have I been these past few months you may ask?

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I did this. This really happened.

I took a certification course that I have been wanting for years. This is my way of trying to revamp my dying – non-existent – career. If you have been following me for a while, you may know that I am a registered nurse by profession but unfortunately I haven’t been able to practice it. At first I thought it was just because I’m scared. I’m scared to make mistakes. Nurses doesn’t handle papers that when you make mistake you can just scratch it off or crumple the paper then throw it in a trash bin. As a nurse, we handle people’s lives. Just one wrong move, may it be little or not, it can jeopardize a person’s life. This fear has stuck on me since I was still in college. Now that I’ve had years to reflect about it, I’ve come to a realization that I just don’t have the talent of being a nurse.

Yes, you can learn the theories, acquire the skills but in my case, I lack the instincts. The knowledge and skills that I have gained during college, they all went flying out of the window the day after I took the nursing licensure exam. It just vanished. Not long after the exam, my brother got sick and I was so ashamed at the time because I couldn’t even remember the normal range of temperature. And that ought to be the simplest thing in the medical world that I should know even in sleep. See? There’s a difference in knowing it just because you have to than really knowing it by heart.

I’m not saying that I have the talent and/or the instincts of being an Echo Tech/Cardiac Sonographer. Even though I’m a certified one, I’m still not confident in doing it. I took the course because I remember one lecture during college, when one of our professors explained in a simple way what 2D Echo is and what it does. I remember falling head over heels with the images I saw and the sounds I heard. Since then, I told myself that I’m going to do it in the future.

Now, one month after completing the course, I’m back to being a slob. I thought once I finished the course, my life would be smooth sailing – find a job and be able to do the things that I planned to do and nada, nada, nada – obviously, that wasn’t what happened. After the course, I felt like the universe was conspiring against me, making advancing into my life difficult again.

My life at the moment is too far from the life that I have imagined before I took the course. This reminded me of a line from a movie, “Just because you want it, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get it.” When things didn’t go as planned, I suddenly felt unmotivated. It feels like I fell in a hole and something in it pulled me down even deeper and now I just can’t find my way back out.

I am not in a good state of mind right now. I’m very much aware of that. But since last week, though I feel so unmotivated, I still somehow managed to send out resumes. So for now, I’m praying and keeping my fingers crossed that I’d get lucky to land a job.

What is life without being tripped and scathed? Thinking Face Emoji 🤔That’ll be totally boring and pointless. Am I right or am I losing my mind?

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What Have I Been Up To?

Seriously, I should be asking that same question to myself too. I can’t believe we’re nearing at the end of March already, where has the time gone? This past two weeks, I often find myself reflecting about my life; the decisions I made, the regrets, the opportunities that I’ve let slipped out of my hand and the whole shenanigans. I also have been thinking about my future too more often and the things that I can do to rectify the bad choices that I made before while also trying to learn from it. I hope to figure out and extract the lessons from them and leave the rest behind in the past. I know that the past is not a good place to hang out especially if it makes you feel like crap when you realized it was you who put yourself in those situations and that there was no one to blame but you. The regrets and frustrations are hitting me hard but I am totally aware that there’s nothing I can do about it to change it yet there’s a whole lot of things that I can do to make the now and tomorrow better.

After the New Year, I’ve had a lot of plans and goals that I have set out for myself. I even written the post Things I’ll Strive For in 2017 to make it as my guide when things slips out of my mind again because that’s something that is expected to happen. So lately, my mind often wanders in there and reminds me that I am totally slacking off again which isn’t great in every way. I realized that I wasn’t doing anything or exerting efforts at all to make those items in that post to happen. Then, I imagined in my head that I was whipping myself for not living up to the word that I put in there, strive. Not making it in one go doesn’t necessarily mean you failed, it’s about making great efforts, really fighting to get that thing that you want to obtain. So here I am, ready to do just that. Again.

Friday of last week, I was finally able to enroll in the certification course that I’ve been wanting. I was supposed to enroll on February but I didn’t make it as there was no available slot anymore, that’s why now I made sure that I enroll early even though the training isn’t starting until the third week of April. When I received the confirmation that I was officially enrolled, I felt ecstatic. I felt like I have made something big for my life, if you know what I mean. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m feeling anxious with all the worries in my head yet really excited. I am so looking forward for it to start already.

Also, I got back into reading again. I  probably have read four or five books this past two weeks which is really cool. Reading have again provided me with escape from all this overwhelming stuff in my already confused mind. Whenever I feel like my brain is having too much, I’ll just whip out my iPad and I will be pulled into a whole new world.

Another news that I want to share is that my family have adapted a new kitten. My brother brought him home last week. Meet Mogwai. Isn’t he cute?

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Our three dogs weren’t thrilled the first time my brother brought Mogwai home. They were always barking at him whenever they see him but they’re all good now. They love playing with him. Our poodle, jLo, acts as his babysitter. Our chowskie mix, Ginger, acts as his playmate. They play and bully each other all the time. Our japanese spitz, Francine, acts as the random stranger, random playmate and a random nemesis.

That’s all for now folks. Just really wanted to dump all these into writing because it helps a lot for me in managing my sanity.