August… This month always comes with a lot of thoughts and looking back. Typically it’s the “quiet” month after the half-year mark and right before the holiday season, which in turn has traditionally been crazy, work and traffic-wise. Can’t say I’m looking forward to it honestly.
This year though August is a month of shifts. Like, big shifts. Huge. Talking about career-defining shifts, life-defining shifts, body-defining shifts. I’m writing this now before I change my mind. It’s always proven valuable, for me, to be recording this somehow. I used to do it all for myself, and maybe a few friends. I’ve been returning to paper for two years now, though honestly it’s a lot of garbage and anxiety-reduction exercises. These days I do not know what I do it for anymore. But one thing sticks: my future self always thanks my past self for trying to aid my ever-paltry memory. Even if it is a known fact that all memory fails.
(My narrative has been one of marveling at “shifts” since last year… maybe that’s age, plain and simple? Maybe it’s time to come to terms w/ the fact that adulthood will be a series of never-ending shifts, that things will always be in flux, and try as I might, I cannot control half of where I’ll end up anymore? Hmmmmmm).
But I digress. Where was I again? I wanted to write quickly about updates re: my life. OK here goes.
My career. Arguably, the most important thing in my life right now (because it pays the bills, because it defines who I am, because togetherness with Ranie is who I’ve been since I was 19. This “career” or what I make it out to be requires so much more attention and effort now, whereas love is familiar, and cyclical, and uncomplicated and I need it to be that right now). So. I am in a place I hardly expected myself to be in. I am just learning to be finally proud of how hard I work, to own up to how deep my ambitions are, to be honest about how much I want to be where I am going right now. I loathe making it obvious that I am trying hard, simply because I am so paranoid about failing. But in spite of my pretend indifference, I guess I do want certain things so bad. It’s ironic, because my main motivator has really been to be less. I wanted time for myself, I wanted time to think. And that, somehow, afforded me a strategy and some key opportunities. I am thankful that some of that effort is paying off. But I am getting ahead of myself here. I do not want to celebrate something that isn’t even exactly here yet. But I like that I am moving, I like that there is a plan, I like that there is a future. I am thankful. And yeah, damn excited. But at the same time, I think a lot of my circumstances have a lot to do with just being in the right place and at the right time. If I’ll be asked, later on, what one must do, perhaps I just have a couple of things to impart: never compromise your output. Surround yourself with people you believe in, and work with them, not for them. God this makes me sound like a poser. But anyway, future self, stay tuned, this is the turning point and I am somehow meta-aware of it. Ahhhhhhh —-
All the time I spend at home and by myself has somehow given birth to a micro-obsession with my face, I am now doing all sorts of routines to protect it and of course, spending serious amounts on product. At 30 I can finally say that I have a regimen; it’s still very much of the drugstore variety but I am most proud of finally putting on serious SPF regularly. At least that will hopefully keep wrinkles at bay. However I have serious discoloration — age spots, dark patches, broken capillaries. It’s much harder not to care these days, what with front cameras and Instagram and Youtube. I think some of the concern ebbs from a deflection from my body, because hell yeah that is changing too. My weight was never my problem till I hit my late 20s. Now I can’t ignore it. I wish I were more prepared for all of these. I wish I psyched myself up to put in effort, or at least be more accepting. But somehow I find it easier to just moan and complain. Why do women love doing this to themselves?
Speaking of obsessions I’ve been on a romcom streak, no thanks to Netflix’s algorithm, and not having a social life, and finally having nice Internet at home. Watching 90s and Mid-200s flicks in succession has created this nagging feeling at the bottom of my gut that I, somehow, missed out on something. All the falling in love, getting heartbroken, and kilig feels. How come I never went through a lot of that? Would I have been a better person if I’d dated more people? Would my writing have been more poignant and nuanced? I like our story and I wouldn’t have stayed with Ranie if I never felt certain, but still, what if right? I mean we choose love. What if I had chosen otherwise? Where would I have ended up? Although I don’t think I will be able to find anyone as capable and steady of handling my neuroses the way Ranie does. I might have been colorful on paper but much less happy in my heart. Why am I even thinking about this. I hope he’s not thinking of these same thoughts!
Also, this whole Ranie in Serbia thing has given me a new, wistful sense of appreciation for my life as a single woman, when I owned my time, space and money. Why was I in such a rush to get married anyway LOL. And yet it is so much more fun to think of the future with someone and to go to bed with a warm body. A non-negotiable in our life henceforth: me time and me space. I will make sure to fight for it. Somehow. (I’ll need to cut off this train of thought here, because it is hurtling at full speed into motherhood territory and I am not prepared to say my thoughts about that aloud yet).
Finances — still in a pretty tight situation, but hopefully, all the hustling I’m doing for Q4 will help ease some of the tension up. Yet I still can’t stop shopping! Things I don’t need but purchased anyway this month include lipsticks (plural), outfits, too much eating out. Earrings. And the aforementioned skincare stuff. Granted, thrift. But the lipsticks — these would be hard to explain. But they happened anyway, because I had moments of weaknesses. I needed a win. I needed to know for myself. I needed a fulfilled challenge. Things I say to myself. I am so disappointed in myself in this area. Previously I’ve written out paragraphs like this but refrained from publishing them. I think I need to be publicly accountable (at least to my own eyes and to whoever still stumbles here). ‘Nyway, my selfies have been bomb. God, I need new highs.
I have increasingly horrible PMS symptoms: headaches, irritability, abdomen pain, tearfulness, and a tendency to blame Ranie for everything. I just want to record this here. Getting old, so far, has some serious downers despite all its perks. How did the others do it so gracefully? And why am I so convinced that I am getting old, when 30 is hardly old in today’s context and I am still living under my parents’ roof?
Things that make me genuinely happy: taking care of myself, my nephew, music, getting to do what I love, finally being married, cheese, wine.
Things that make me angry: How Duterte and his whole machinery is blatantly fucking is over and still we aren’t doing something about it (getting angry online is exhausting. But we still can’t make a dent. It is so frustrating). Inflation and the lower value of our money. I still blame this directly on our poor leadership. I wish we chose better. I wish we had better options as well. Traffic and expensive Grab Rides.
Things I need to work on: being more organized, reducing my debt, controlling my crippling anxiety (coming to terms with it? are we all really that much more prone???) and how it hurts people I love.
This has been messier than I thought. But damn if that didn’t feel good.
I saw two rainbows this month. Maybe I’ll hold on to that as the good sign, yeah?