The One with The 2015 Memory

November  2015.

I decided to quit dentistry and was at lost on what to do with my life. Try being a 22 year old at a cross road. Torn between continuing something even though ubos na ubos ka na pero comfortable ka and starting over again, something with joy pero nakakatakot. Kasi hello, 6 years din yung itatapon ko. Kasi hello, may mga judgemental talaga na mga tao. Kasi hello, ang gastos!!!

November 2017.

I just finished shooting a short film. I just want to give give my 22 year old self an knowing look and a pat in the back. Well, there are still days na gusto ko tumakbo uli sa dentistry just because it’s comfortable. Kasi hello, may moments na ayaw ko pa rin humarap sa mga tao. Kasi hello, may mga judgemental pa rin na mga tao. Pero hello, mas masaya dito. Hello, nakakatakot man magsimula muli pero worth it din ang lumabas sa comfort zone. 

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Ang Culture Shock

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Culture Shock.
People cursing loudly at class,
Joking about suicide,
Laughing and telling someone who’s reporting in front to
“just sit down and finish it already”
Just because he can’t pronounce the words correctly.
Self-gratification.
Lack of submission.
Entitlement issues.

Compassion over complacency, Lord please. Ayaw ko pong  masanay.

Playlist of Memories

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           After a month, she grew to love the sound of silence.

         Well, not the silence itself – but how in silence she can drown out her thoughts and simply be herself. Yes, in silence her demons scream, her worries whisper empty nothings and her fears remind her of her past; but also in silence can she feel the peace and contentment, the stillness of life.

        The sun is up as she boarded the bus, bracing herself for the next four hours of silence. She stuffed herself with food and was settling in her seat when the sunlight hit her face. It was a good day to go home. So she grabbed her earphones, leaned back and played her playlist as the engine started to rumble.

There are places I remember
All my life though some have change.
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remains.1

           As the song continues to play, Y can’t help but travel through time.

         First day of dental school. Y is excited for the days ahead. New school means new friends and a fresh start. It was not easy because this new place is miles and miles away from home.

          Y cringes at the thought of seeing her 16 year old self seemingly sure and fearless of the future. Just like any first year student, she was both anxious and excited about college life.

We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun.
But the hills that we climbed were just seasons out of time.2

        Four years into dental school and just when Y thought everything will be okay, she started to fail. She saw her classmates move on. She saw them happy with what they are doing. She saw them contented and fulfilled.

        Funny thing is that once Y failed one subject and another one she saw teachers and mentors that gave her the look. The “you used to be top of your class now you’re failing” look and she found herself shrugging it off.

          It used to be fun. Learning new things and learning from your mistakes. It used to be exciting and challenging at the same time. But it’s a different story the joy and excitement was replaced by fear of being wrong and the pressure of comparison.

I got money in my pocket. Shoes on my feet.
But I always felt like the one black sheep.3

          “Why can’t I see you doing clinical works downstairs?” asked one of Y’s clinical instructor.

             “Yes doc” was all she uttered.

        Deep down she is not happy about it. She doesn’t know where to start. She doesn’t know if she can still catch up. Fear overcomes her. So she answers affirmatively, more to confirm the truth than to feel guilty about the reprimand. Maybe because it’s a convenient answer and it’s simpler than explaining how she felt trapped, burn out and tired of failing.

Nobody said it was easy,
No one ever said it would be this hard.
Oh take me back to the start.4

         “I felt so left behind. It is as if everyone is moving on and here I am feeling stuck in the same old place”

          “This is not a race, it’s not always about who comes first and who finished last” Y said.

        One o’clock in the morning and Y is wide awake overthinking and reminding herself of the very same words that she used to say to a friend. She needs to hear it for herself and she repeats it again and again until she believes so or until slumber overcomes her.

Don’t stop the madness. Don’t stop the chaos.
Don’t stop the pain surrounding me.
Don’t be afraid Lord to break my heart
Just bring me down to my knees.5

         “Lord, if dentistry is not for me please give me a way out”

       “Lord, If I pass all of my subjects, please give me grace and joy to continue and finish well but Lord, If I fail even one subject then please grant me courage to walk away from dentistry” Y prayed.

        When the grades were released, it was as if a heavy burden was lifted from Y’s shoulder. Three 5.0s in her grade sheets but she never felt so relieved in her life. She walks away.

I’m going home to the place where I belong
Where your love has always been enough for me.6

        Leaving a familiar place was quite hard but there are also days where she longs for home. Home where she away from all these mess she has made in her life. She misses Cebu of course but she missed the people most. She had found friends that turned into families.

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again too few to mention 7

        Six months after coming home. Y still hasn’t decided on what to do with her life. Fickle minded as she is, she is still in a fork road torn between finishing something she started or taking a new career path. After days and nights of wrestling with fears and what ifs, she chose to move on.

Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay.
Oh I believe in yesterday.8

         As the song continues to play, Y can’t help but travel through time.

       First day of art school, Y is so excited for the days ahead. New school means new friends and a fresh start. It was a bit easy because this new place is closer to home.

       Y cringes at the thought of seeing her 23 year old self seemingly sure and fearless of the future. Just like any first year student, she was both anxious and excited about college life. Her second shot at it.

       The sun is about to set as she board the bus, bracing herself for the next one hour of silence. She was hungry as she transferred to another bus. She was settling on her seat when the melancholic golden glow hits her face. It was indeed a good day to come home. So she grabbed her earphones, leaned back and played her playlist as the engine started to rumble.

Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be.
There’s a shadow hanging over me.
Oh yesterday came suddenly

        As the song continues to play, y can’t help but look forward for what the weekend home has in store.

      She closes her eyes and let Paul McCartney lull her to sleep as he continues the song with “Why she had to go, I don’t know, she wouldn’t say.

 








1 The Beatles. “In My Life.” By Lennon, J. McCartney, P. Rubber Soul. Northern Songs Ltd., 1965.
2 Terry Jacks. “Seasons in the Sun.” By Bre, J. Seasons in the Sun. Bell, 1973.
3 Mat Kearney. “One Black Sheep.” By Kearney, M. Johnson, M. Just Kids. Aware/Republic/Inpop, 2015.
4 Coldplay. “The Scientist.” By Berryman, G. Buckland, J. Champion, W. Martin, C. A Rush of Blood to the Head. Parlophone, 2001
5 Tenth Avenue North. “Don’t Stop the Madness” By Donohey, M. Jamison, J. Owen, J. Shirley, R. Juarez, B. The Struggle. Reunion, 2012.
6 Daughtry. “Home” By Daughtry, C. Daughtry. RCA, 2006.
7 Frank Sinatra. “My Way” By Anka, P. My Way. Reprise, 1969.
8 The Beatles. “Yesterday” By Lennon, J. McCartney, P. Help!. Palophone, 1965.

Ang Susi

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Ang susi sa office.

Nagpapaalala ng di mabilang na all nighter at lakas maka akyat bahay, swipe card to open tuwing nakakalimutang hiramin.

Inabot sakin kanina. Isa lang ang pahiwatig, Prayer Breakfast. Multimedia.

Hassle, minsan napipilitan nalang, kulang man sa tulog pero mamimiss ko ‘to eh.

Mamimiss ko ‘to!