Quarter life crisis, is that you?

This is how the ecg reading of a normal being looks like

Photo from Shutterstock

But if emotional stability is considered,  I guess the normal state should look like this

A normal person should exhibit emotional stability and consistency.

Between the two figures, I guess my emotional state is best described in the first figure..unstable, chaotic and unpredictable..

Quarter life crisis, is that you?

Advertisements

What I learned from my six graduation experiences

I work in a school. I report to one of the underrated and almost never- known-to-exist offices. After my office work, I handle two to three subjects, either in Economics or Research. This is what makes my life everyday. Computer and paper works during daytime and later dealing with a bunch of serious, naughty, hardworking, and lazy college kids.

In my several years of working, I have witnessed students come and go our small school.  I guess the most anticipated moment in their lives as college students would be their graduation. I was once a college student so I know how it felt. Graduation is like a bitter sweet day. The day signifies surpassing the four years of sleepless sacrifice and hardwork. At the same time, graduation means leaving away the lousy, carefree, daredevil adventurous college days.

Graduation for me should be a blissful, heartwarming and one of those dramatic events. I guess this applies more to the parents, especially those who have to move the heavens and earth to finance their children’s college degree.  However, based from my personal experience, I didn’t view my college  and even my other graduations this way. Perhaps I’m too overwhelmed with the idea of graduation. I was overpowered by the preparations and material things. In effect, I tend to forget the real meaning of graduations.

Allow me to each recall and describe the six, (YES SIX!) graduation rites that came to my life.  These include my kinder, prep, grade six, fourth year, college and MBA graduation.

Kinder – My first ever graduation! I studied in a small pre-school near our place. The rites were held outside our small school. It started late in the afternoon, just in time to subside the scorching heat of the sun. I was wearing a white dress. This was my only graduation where I had tons of pictures because my mother inherited a camera from my rich Auntie. Ironically, despite the excessive printed pre-digital photos, this was the graduation where I had the vaguest memories.

Prep – My parents wanted me to study in this famous all girls school in my hometown.  Unfortunately, I failed the prep admission exam. My parents decided to postpone their dream and enrolled me in another school. I instead went to the “pink school,”  because of the pink uniform I hated. I also have gazillion of pictures compiled in a photo album from my prep graduation. But just the same, I have no vivid account of the event. The best that I can remember is that I graduated with my cousin, who happened to brag an award. She was the smart and lovable daughter. I was the struggling and bashed as the ugly, dark colored skinned kid in the family.   

Grade 6 – After six years, I am able to experience graduation again. This time, I am no longer the obedient kid. As they say, I’ve grown devil horns on my head. My poor academic performance was causing  headaches to my parents.

I was able to move out of the pink school when I reached grade 1. Hence, my grade 6 graduation is like a step closer to my parents dream. My father particularly wanted her only daughter to finish in an elite exclusive all girls school.  At this point, I am all grown up and I was looking forward to my High School life. I survived my difficult Math and Science subjects, without a tutor. I guess I made my parents proud of the little independence I have exhibited.

High School – I can’t exactly find the words that will capture all the emotions during this day.  Graduation that time meant leaving the school that housed me for 10 years.  Leaving the place and people that molded me for 10 years was not easy. I was happy to finish High School but at the same time, I was  sad because I was moving away from home.

Just a little side story of my High School graduation, apart from the separation anxiety, I got pissed off on my graduation day. My mother hired a gay beautician who plastered my face with excessive foundation and make up. He literally played with my face and that agitated me. I cursed the heavy make up to the extent that I throw away all my pictures. After that incident, I never trusted gay beauticians again.

College  – This was supposedly an emotional event for me.  My mother was already contented knowing that I will finally finish school. The finances and worries are finally over.  But I believe I gave her more than what she wished for. I was able to graduate with honors. I was able to give my mother a better seat and  the chance to walk to the stage with me.  The moment was just so priceless.

My only regret is that we don’t have enough pictures to relinquish the moment. The antique analog camera we inherited already gave up. Also during those times, using film powered cameras will give me a huge source of embarassment. Financing my studies was already a burden for my parents. Hence, even owning a decent camera is something my family can’t even afford.

The sad part of graduating with honors without camera and pictures to upload became one source of my regrets and frustrations. My parents were still recovering from expenses and the best thing that they can give me was a new dress. My auntie, who owns a shoe manufacturing business, sponsored my shoes that almost ruined my supposedly my once in a lifetime graduation walk. The shoes gave me a hell of blisters. But for the sake of savoring my award, I pretended everything was fine.

MBA – This was my last and I guess most cherished graduation. When I was still in college, I promised myself that I will pursue my masteral studies. When I started working, that was my first goal. I saved up and sacrifice part of my hard earned salary to finance my graduate studies. I learned the value of money the hardest way during those times. I was only starting to earn and I was obliged to support my family. With God’s help, I was able to finish my graduate studies.

The best part of my last graduation is realizing that I was responsible for everything. I worked hard for my achievement. I almost qualified for honors and to be honest, I was already proud and happy that I will graduate. Receiving honors will make me happier but I never really wished for it. It’s just that days before my graduation, some envious mammals and supposedly trusted friends made bad side stories. That incident still haunts me but here’s what I have learned and held on, honors and awards are just pieces of material achievements. More than a piece of medal, I value more the priceless respect, honesty and integrity that I have earned in my years of existence.

After relating the six graduations that came in my life, here are some learnings and realizations I’d like to share

1. Graduation is the end goal of  the years of sleepless sacrifice and hard work. Make the day special by recalling all your efforts to reach this date. You will enjoy more your graduation walk if you have this moment of recall. In case you felt so emotional, save those tears after the ceremonies 🙂

2. Graduation is the day your parents have been waiting for. Graduation is not just about you. It’s about your parents who deserve all the recognition after exhausting all means to finance your years of studies.

3. Don’t forget to take a few good pictures. Let me emphasize the few yet quality pictures. Pictures were invented to capture the priceless and once in a lifetime moment. Graduation and not the tons of picture to be uploaded in your Facebook account is the priceless source of memories. Moments are captured in pictures. Pictures are not the moments to be captured.

4. Counting on my personal experience, I’m particularly addressing this  to all the female graduates. If you can do your own hair and make up, then do it! Don’t risk your look to some gay beauticians that will cost you a lot, only to ruin your day.  

5. Purchase the best comfortable shoes!  Graduation entails a lot of standing and walking. More than getting the most stylish pair, be sure they are very comfortable to last you standing and walking. Don’t invest much on your wardrobe especially if you will be wearing an academic gown (toga).

6. Thank your teachers, whether you hate or love them. Some of my teachers congratulated me after the graduation. I now realized that I failed to thank any of my mentors. Now that I am an educator, I realized how good it felt whenever a student leaves me with true and sincere words of appreication.

When I discovered the happiness in Online Shopping

I never bought the idea of online shopping…..before! Since I worked hard for every cent in my wallet, I want my purchases to be nothing but the best and perfect fit . I was never settled with the idea of buying a piece of clothing without ever fitting it. I was also convinced that sometimes, clothes look beautifully deceiving to the teeny weenie built of the models.

I think this conviction will soon vanish when I discovered some happiness and fulfillment in the fast process of online shopping yesterday.

I live in a country where online shopping is only starting to proliferate. Most people I know also don’t like the idea of buying something they only see from their computer’s monitor. Safe and secured online shops also rarely exist in the Philippines. The most that we have here are Multiply and Sulit, where money back guarantee and customer support are not available. They are like sites where you can shop at your own risk.

I’ve been following a few fashion bloggers and I recently encountered the online shop called Zalora. I was simply interested so I hopped to their site. And what happened next? I was brought to a heaven of shoes, clothes and bags.

I was overwhelmed but at that point, I’m still convinced that no purchase will ever be made. I’m firm with the idea that I’m just window shopping and I prefer to make purchases in the actual site of the store.  This remained true not until I found one of my trusted shoe brands.

I learned that local brand, Anthology is selling in Zalora. I browsed and I found one of the shoes in my wish list. Boom! Though I already know my size in Anthology, my heart remained still. However, I was struck with their discounted offer. New shoppers are automatically given a Php 250 gift voucher. Wow! If I will wait for a mall wide sale, the maximum discount I could ever receive was perhaps a 10% off from the original price. The Php 250 giveaway went music to my heart and soul. So off the shopaholic hormones were released and I made the purchase. Just when I promised myself that I will never again use my credit card, look what I am doing now. Someone has to slap me for real now.

My relationship with online shopping is growing stronger when I learned that Zalora can deliver my orders within 3 hours. Wow! Unfortunately, Zalora wasn’t able to beat their 3 hour delivery guarantee. I received my pair after 4 hours, which I could forgive at this point. I believe some shops can ship after a day to weeks. Receiving my purchase in the same day I ordered it is more than enough happiness.

The happiness from online shopping

will soon starve and make me the next Rebecca Bloomwood.

Push me back

I have this unusual habit of suddenly cleaning and organizing my things whenever something is not going right in my life. If I feel sad and frustrated, this is one of my peculiar coping mechanisms. I don’t know but I believe that tidying up things in my life is my first step to recovery. If I am able to set things in order, I can better understand my situation.  I can easily identify the ways on how to escape from my own misfortune and sadness. Despite the line up of works to be completed this day, I found myself cleaning my own workstation. My trash bin is almost erupting with the papers and all the unnecessary things I have collected.

Before we lost Anna, I admit that I already have some issues with my work and career. I thought that one great blessing and opportunity in Taiwan will bring a new spark in my career. When I was transferred to another office, I thought things will be better. I just hope my boss will not be able to read this. In case he encounters this, I want to say that fake, cliche and irritating movie line “Sir, it’s not you. This is about me.”  I just feel that I am a huge crap now. My Boss is the most patient and understanding of all. I just feel frustrated that I cannot compensate his hardwork and all the great treatment he has been giving me.

When I was still taking my Masteral studies, one of my professors shared an odd practice which I never believed to persist.  He told us that he only stays in a certain company for a maximum of 3 to 5 years. He believes that a person is only as good and motivated to his work in such span of time. An employee who works for a company for a very long time will eventually lose his interest to work. He will later be eaten by the negative system that he has been used to from the company. Am I beginning to experience this? If I will diagnose myself, this is the nearest disease that I feel is plaguing me.

One of my greatest fears in life is to become an employee who lives for payday. Oh Dear God, please don’t make it happen. I feel that I can still achieve and accomplish a lot for myself and the company. It’s just that at this point, I can’t find the lever to push me back to my old energetic and happy self.

Anna

I never had plenty of friends. Dear God knows that very much.I was never everyone’s apple of the eye. I was never Miss Congeniality and I prefer things to remain that way. I am contented and thankful with the few real friends God has given me.

Anna was one of my few real friends. I met her back in grade four, when we were around 10 years old. We were classmates, seatmates and friends. Though I know, I wasn’t that good to her, she remained a loyal and trusted friend. We parted ways years later. We were able to renew our friendship in our senior year in High School. She was one of those counted persons who would recognize my hardships and capabilities. The words of appreciation, trust and admiration I never experienced from my family and own group of friends, Anna provides.

We went to different universities during our college years. Surprisingly, the distance and the rare moments we were together strengthened our friendship. Before, I was never interested to basketball and the few handsome players. 🙂 She influenced me to watch PBA and that’s when I learned and discovered the feel of having inspirations… I mean crushes. 🙂 We saved up money to watch a live ball game. I even sacrificed one of my Sundays, which I usually devote for family and studies, to accommodate our dream of securing the autographs of our crushes. Though we have exams the next day, I never cared. I was happy with our mini escapade.

When we started working, I lost some friends from the past. It was only Anna and Anne who never left me. We would go malling once a month and pigged out with the best dishes in town. You were my only friend who would dare to splurge with food.

When Anna joined the growing call center industry, our meetings became less often. She was often tired and sleepy during the day because of her graveyard schedule. I distanced myself because I don’t want her to feel that I am becoming a demanding burden than a friend. I shared less of myself and I waited for her to reach out to me.

When you resigned from your job, I knew you weren’t happy. You have lots of fears and apprehensions. With Anne’s help, we were all together again. Our dream of having a sleep over in your house finally came true. Little did I know, those were the last hours that we will all be together.

You have bravely won your battle Anna. You have touched so many lives in your 28 years of existence and I believe only a few people can do that. God loves you much that He chose not to let you suffer more. He perhaps felt that you have rendered enough to prove yourself.

You have formed a part of me. And I know that part of myself will never be complete again. A lifetime will never be enough to rebuild that lost part of myself.

Rest in peace my friend.