10 October 2010
I love today's date! October 10, 2010. 10-10-10! It's like a perfect score or something! Hehe:) I've always been one to believe in signs, omens and symbolism. And, I am perfectly convinced that this date is a very good omen. So, I have also decided to write My Secret 10.10.10 Resolutions list, which, as the name suggests, is something very personal and secret that I cannot and I am not willing to divulge to any other person. Suffice it to say, this is a list of 10 Rules that I would like to live by from now on.
Now, because this is such a special date, I just cannot let it pass without writing a new entry. I thought of writing something special for this blog entry. I couldn't decide on what to write since there are about a million thoughts swarming in the ocean that is my brain. Ironically, the more ideas I have, the more difficult it is for me to choose. I guess it's like being in a restaurant where there is a huge open buffet table full of all kinds of food that you like and you want to try everything, but you just don't know where to start. Hehe:)
I don't know, starting has always been, for me, the most difficult part in the writing process. I am one of those who, more or less, know where they're going with their pieces and who, more often than not, have a clear idea about what message they'd like to impart. But, I have always had a hard time deciding how to start. I usually end up writing the concluding remark or the closing sentence before anything else. I don't know if many people do that. But, I do know that J.K. Rowling, when she wrote the Harry Potter series, actually wrote the last part of the last book in the series so that she'd know where she was going. And, well, in my case, it's not like I plan it or anything. It's just easier for me to imagine the ending than the beginning.
What about you? How do you go about writing your pieces? :)
Just because I'm in love with Number 10 at least today, I'd like to share 10 Random Things That I Love or Things I Cannot Live Without.
1) Reading. People who know me long enough would know that reading is my most favorite thing to do. It's something I consider foremost in my life. Sometimes, I'd go as far as say, I live to read. I eat, drink and breathe books. Fiction, non-fiction, or whatever kind of reading material, I can get lost in and emerge from, often in a trance. Novels, though, are my favorite of all. I am absolutely convinced that the greatest gift that my parents have given me is the love for reading! It was they who got me started. It was they who instilled in me the pleasure and the power of reading.
2) Cats. I cannot remember a time in my life when I (we) didn't have a cat for a pet. Cats maybe difficult to deal with sometimes, still they are my favorite animals. I remember when I was a kid, it was one of my wild dreams to have a huge tiger to take care of. I imagined how nice it would be to lie down or play with my pet tiger. I imagined that its coat of fur would be so soft to the touch that when I'd lie down with it, it'd feel like lying on the clouds which I took, of course, as cottony soft.
3) Football or Soccer. The world's most beautiful game. I just love how the game is played, how disciplined the players are and how graceful they are as they kick the ball around. I love to watch and play this game. My love affair with the game started back in my pre-teen years. My brother, a football player, would practice and play with us, his younger siblings, sometimes or make us watch him play. At first, it was difficult for me to understand the rules of the game. But, once I understood the game, I just couldn't stop watching. And, of course, the cute players are the icing on the already very yummy cake! Hehe:)
4) Poetry. There aren't many people who appreciate poetry. I have always loved poetry, even the ones that I don't exactly understand. I came to love poetry because of my father who was a poet. I just love how, in this literary genre, the elements of meaning, sound and rhythm work together perfectly to achieve a meaning and evoke such strong emotional response in the reader. Sometimes, I'd read or listen to poems being read and I'd be transported to another place or time or dimension. Sometimes, I don't understand a poem but I'd feel the very sound of the lines tug at my heart or lift my spirit up in a way no other thing could. I cry, I laugh, I smile, I grieve all because of poetic lines; I experience love through poetry. Poetry, indeed, is a great gift to both reader and writer.
5) Pink. If there is one thing that will always remind everyone of me, it's the color pink! Maybe when I was born, my mother bought so many pink things that when I finally saw the world, it was so pink that I couldn't help but love it! That's the only explanation I could think of about my love for the color. I have loved it since I was a toddler, so they say. When I was little, I remember that almost everything I owned was pink. And, until now, more than 50% of everything I own is pink. Go figure! Hehe:)
6) Japan. I didn't grow up loving Japan. In fact, when I was younger, just like any other ordinary Filipino child, I didn't care much about Japan and her people. In fact, I imagined the Japanese to be very scary people. I mean, after everything that happened during World War II, it's difficult not to have a very strong negative feeling towards the country and her people. I got to know and familiarize myself with the country, the culture and her people when I joined the Japanese government-sponsored Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program. It was only through that beautiful and life-changing experience that I got to understand and appreciate Japan and everything Japanese. Having found Japanese friends also brought me closer to their culture as I became closer to my Japanese friends. I just really find the country and everything about it so interesting and fascinating. The more I studied the country and the culture, the more interesting they became for me. I just couldn't get enough. And, until this very moment, my love for Japan has not waned but has continued to grow everyday.
7) Musicals and Stage Plays (Theater). Whether I am one of the performers or a member of the audience or one of the crew members or the behind-the-scenes people, I enjoy plays and musicals more than any other performing arts. As a performer, I get a different kind of high due to the challenge of not having any room to make mistakes as there are no second takes. As a member of the audience, I usually am in complete awe of the performers as they tackle their role impeccably as if they had no other life outside of their characters. As a crew member or a behind-the-scenes person, the pressure of being responsible for the stage and how the performers will look like is like a drug that keeps me going and going and going like the Energizer bunny! Hehe:) I just love the costumes, the actions, the stage, the songs, the dances, the words, everything in the works!
8) Travel. I love people and culture. I love languages. I love exploring new places. I love learning about traditions and practices. I love history. I love different kinds of food. I love museums and parks. I love experiencing things that I don't normally experience where I'm from. I love to learn about stuff that will make me understand the world and be at peace with everyone and everything around me. All these things, I can get by traveling to different places. So, what's not to love about traveling, right? One of my greatest, greatest dreams is to be able to visit every country in the world. But, first, I'd like to explore the Philippines, of course, and visit every single province and city/municipality/town.
9) Teaching. From the time I learned how to answer the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?", until I was in my second year in college, I never thought I'd ever want to be a teacher. I thought I didn't have the patience for it. But, when I experienced teaching for the first time, I knew at that moment, that teaching is really my calling. I have been teaching for 10 years now and I'm proud to say that I have not felt bored with teaching. I thought that teaching would be the most boring job, what with the monotony and routine of every semester, every year. Now, I know that, in teaching, every day is a new day. Like I always say, every class is unique and different from every other class. I will not deny the fact that I, too, feel exhausted and tired at times like any other person. Sometimes, I even think of other possible jobs I could get into and earn more. But, what I love most about teaching and what keeps me here is seeing my students' faces. The nods of understanding, the smiles of comprehension, eyes bright with eagerness and excitement, the youth. These are but few of the things that we, teachers, face every single day. So, no matter how tired or abused I may feel at times, the moment I get inside the classroom, the reason why I wanted and decided to teach comes back to me so strongly that all the negative feelings I have about teaching is drowned by the voices and smiles of students. Sometimes I stray, sometimes I forget why I'm here, but once inside my classroom, I find myself and I know exactly who I am and who I want to be.
10) Arundhati Roy. My all-time most favorite writer in the whole world! Ah, the first time I got hold of her book, The God of Small Things, and got to read it, I couldn't breathe, literally and figuratively. She arrested me with her use of words and technique and enveloped me in the twists of her story. I was rendered completely powerless. Try hard as I did, I just couldn't get away. She had me totally under her spell. Her use of metaphor and personification and other such figures of speech was just wonderful and remarkable. Her story, so painfully depressing you could feel it almost alive gnawing at your whole being, was also poignantly beautiful so much that you would want to relish it like your favorite food. The characters are unforgettable, the incidents, masterfully knit together, are disturbingly sad and sadly disturbing. The book is so depressing that it breaks your heart to pieces. It makes you realize at what length the human being would go because of his nature to be cruel and selfish. You somehow feel scared because of this. And, yet, you love the story for its promise among other things. It tells you love has no rules nor limits nor reason. Love is for anyone and everyone. One thing I would always remember is that right after I finished reading the novel, I was crying both because of what happened in the story and because of how beautiful it was, and, furthermore, I clearly remember having these exact thoughts: "Oh, Arundhati Roy, I hate you! I hate you for living my dream! I hate you for writing my story!" No, no, I do not claim the ownership of the idea or the story or anything like that, but the whole time I was reading the novel, I was really thinking to myself: "My God, this is exactly how I imagined myself to be writing if and when I become a professional writer. This is how I would've wanted to write!"
Why, that was fun! Really fun. Maybe I ought to do this more often. Hehe:)