Counting Beans

Ahoy. In about 24 hours I’ll be turning 26. So with optimistic anticipation and without any particular order, I came up with a few things I am glad I did, went through, had, and met thus far.

1. Beasts. Believe you me I would love to enumerate each and every one of them by name in this list as these crazy, fluffy things have given me nothing less than love, kindness, patience, and joy. I begin and end each day with the company of animals, and such a daily ritual always sets the day (and me) right.

2. A mere two years ago I began paying for my own space. It was premature and practically a financial nosebleed, but it taught me a great deal about the value of just way too many things. From money and calculated decisions to time management, quality of company and friends, giving your word and your name, to brooms and pan de sal, that brief stint of full-time independent living was a lifetime experiential investment.

3. The house is but a chore. When I was a kid I dreaded summers nearly as much as the dentist because it meant vacation for household help and my turn to work. My mom is known for her expertise in the kitchen and housekeeping, and thus many young girls have been sent forth under her tutelage. Today, though I still flinch and fumble to my mom’s nagging, I cannot imagine a day let alone my future life without seeing the bed is made, the rice is hot, the floors shine, the table is set, and the plants are pleased.

4. Colleagues. I’ve always abhorred the office, but not the officemates. I have never actually worked in a regular corporate office and I am fortunate to have encountered various clever and endearing characters along the way, most of whom have fed me hefty servings of humble pie and mouthfuls of laughter.

5. That extra mile. I know it is another pun, but going out of your way does go a long way. I’ve encountered a few persons that demonstrate this with ease, and have thus taught me how amazing the 2-way rewarding feeling can be.

6. Ate, Kuya, Manong, Manang. If I was born on the other side of the world in another society, would I even understand the concept of help for the household? Godknows if I’d have an au pair, major domo, housekeeper, maid, servant, or be one myself. It is reality that mainstream Filipinos in Metro Manila depend the daily maintenance of their homes on other people. Recently we chose to live without them and while it has nearly caused my mom to go bald, I find myself greeting and thanking Mang Ed, Manang Celia, Ate Weng, and Bel whenever I encounter these pleasant hardworking people in my own home, others’ or the office.

7.  The first time I got lost in an unfamiliar city was probably one of the most nerve-racking experiences I ever had — and also one of the most addicting. I had gone down from a plane and a boat and could only navigate myself by foot or by jeepneys labeled with unknown routes but I can barely describe a more scintillating, hair-raising, heart-pounding, breathtaking feeling. It is sheer bliss standing in the mouth of the unknown, of endless possibilities.

8.  My entire life I was mortified of fireworks and mine was the only one among several blocks of Chinese households to be dark and quiet at 12-midnight every New Year. So it was only ironic I found myself working for the country’s pioneer in pyro show productions and meeting some of the world’s best pyrotechnicians. And if I should ever be so cheesy just because I think I can, this is also how and where I met my most favourite person on earth.

9. Dumbschmuckery — is how I’d best describe my earlier twenties. Almost deliberately with a self-signed license, I devoted those few years to making fun of myself, screwing up and laughing off the mess, laughing while cleaning up, and just letting go when the going got tough. Because laughter really is the best medicine.

10. I don’t know if I could ever pick up a magazine and think of it as, well, just a magazine. I was around eleven when I decided to cut up a bunch of pictures and words and assemble all these bits and pieces into 20 pages I called my own publication. I was fortunate enough to have worked for one and, while I let that one go, it only reminded me of my smarter pubescent self and the things I really love to do. 

11. What happens when Pandora’s box has been opened? Anything, everything, and nothing. It’s all up to you, baby, and the last seven years have proven me just that. While the universe may seem to crumble when The Great Unknown is thus revealed, fucknows how much lucky stars you still got left and more you may have left out in the counting — endless.

           

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I could’ve pushed this further to 25 for cheese’s sake but all this Merlot has made me quite fuzzy.
It was fun going retrospective, but I’m more than excited to make a few leaps and hurdles.


I shalt leap and shout, dance a jig, and just maybe burst out in song — because we all feel more alive when we thank the universe for all these years of existence, and more so when the folks are around to be merry with. Cheerios!

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