Anxiety

I wrote this thing last February 6, 2016.

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A lot of things are going inside my head right now.

I’m planning to take a big leap in terms of my organization life. I wasn’t really into joining organizations but then people change. It is a risky move because I have to consider my academics first before anything else.

Speaking of academics, 2nd semester had just started. Two semesters to go and I’m done. Uhmm no. Almost done. I still have graduate studies to pursue. To be honest, I don’t know what to feel for this semester. It’s the start of our thesis and I’m still not done with our thesis proposal.

I would say that we are blessed with good professors. But somehow, we are also cursed. Academic requirements are starting to pile up. I don’t know how I will be able to accomplish them while doing the so called “org duties”. I know for sure that this time, I’ll be having a breakdown.

Aside from these stuff, I still have to deal with my personal issues… issues that are quite normal for me to have at this age.

But of course, I’ll still make people happy as much as I can despite of the anxiety and stress life has been giving me right now.

I may be anxious and stressed but these are signs that I am alive and existing – one of the things I learned in philosophy class.

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One week has passed and it is still the same.

That Thing Which Never Dies

(Hello to those two professors who responded to my random questions in life. Thank you so much.)

One night, I was talking to a friend and all of a sudden, we started talking about love. And so we asked ourselves, which is true, “First love never dies” or “True love never dies”? I then started my inquiry.

According to my mentor and I quote, “True love never fails”. He also said that if you truly love someone, it will stay with you. I would like to think that he believes more in the latter.

I also asked my former professor who was very willing to answer my questions. For him, both are true because they both leave an indelible mark in the life of a person.

Another question popped on my mind: If you were to choose between your first love and true love, who would you choose?

My mentor said that he would choose the person he loves in the here-and-now. Practical answer, indeed.

On the other hand, my former professor answered as if it was a Philosophy class and I quote, “Yung pagdedesisyonan mong mas manatili at paglaanan pa ng mas mataas na pagmamahal… Yung pinakanakita mo ang “kamahalan” kaya pinasya mong mahalin.

What he was trying to say is that it really depends upon the person who will he/she choose. At the end of the day, it will not matter if he/she is your first love or your true love. What matters the most is to whom you found more value, and so you chose to love him/her.

He wrapped up his answer and I quote, “Sa huli, tao ang magpapasya kung sino ang mananatili, hindi ang sikolohiya. Nakokontrol ng psyche (loob) ang buhay natin, pero hindi iyon ganap. May kakayanan ang taong lampasan iyon sa pamamagitan ng pagpili.” I don’t know but his answer was very existential. It’s like our decisions are beyond science and psychology and our decisions will always depend on us.

And before I ended our conversation, I asked: Is there really something unique about “first love” that it seems unforgettable?

His answer: “Oo. Dahil siya ang gumising sa natutulog mong kakayanang magmahal.” Very concise and direct to the point.

What I realized is that LOVE, whatever kind of love it may be, will always stay despite time and changes. So it is not really an issue if it is your first love or your true love, as long as it is love, then it is always there.

But of course, one can only understand the complexities of love if he/she has experienced it himself/herself.

 

Christmas, Change and Complex

Christmas season – that wonderful time of the year that I used to enjoy.

USED TO ENJOY.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas season. It’s that time when I reunite with my family, relatives and loved ones. However, this year, I did not really feel that kind of Christmas spirit I used to feel.

Was it because I am getting old? Maybe.

Change – something that is inevitable.

Since it’s Christmas, we visited our relatives. Just this morning, I was talking to a cousin of mine who is 2 years younger than me. We were talking about how to get eyebrows that are “on fleek”, the right color for fingernails/toenails, and how to make the most out of your teenage years.  Back then, we were just talking of toys, silly things and what not.

Time flies really fast, isn’t it?

Complex – one word to describe life.

Seeing the changes that happened this year, I must say… life is a complex matter. We always look for reasons to be happy about despite the challenges we encounter in life. We find happiness even in the gloomiest state of our lives.

These are my thoughts for today.

Merry Christmas, folks!

 

Rationality and Emotion

Education is something that is very vital for a human being. It will equip him/her with the knowledge he/she needs in order to survive and achieve his/her goals. I remember what was discussed in my Non-Western Literature class; the goal of Confucianism is to establish social order and perfect human conduct through education. True enough, we enroll ourselves in educational institutions to become a nurse, a doctor, a manager or anything we want to be. We educate ourselves to acquire the skills that we need to be the best in whatever field we have chosen. Eventually, we are going to serve the society by sharing our own expertise that would contribute to its betterment.

On the other hand, Taoism was also discussed which states that education dehumanizes us. Education somehow drifts us away from our natural state. Information enters into our own entirety, and it may affect our thoughts and beliefs.

Throughout the recently concluded semester, it came into my mind that a lot of things have changed over time. As expected, I learned a lot from the courses where I was enrolled in. I gained new experiences which taught me life lessons. I must say, I became more rational than before and it turned out that I have forgotten to consider what my heart says.

I stopped doing favors for people even if I have to get out of my way. I realized that there will always be people who would abuse me.

I stopped crying whenever I feel that there is too much stress. I realized that it will only be a waste of time. I still have a lot of things to do.

I became selfish. I realized that I need to take care of myself first before anyone else.

I lost the “humanness” in me for quite some time.

I am glad that I have survived such kind of a struggle. Taoism clearly has a point. Too much rationality can destroy a person. However, if it is always emotion over rationality, then you will always be the one to give and to sacrifice. You might end up being hurt.

Therefore, there should be a balance between the two. If there is only one element that will prevail, you will end up hurting either the people around you or yourself.

Sophomore No More

They always say, “Time flies really fast”. Who would have thought that in two years’ time, we will all graduate (hopefully) and conquer the world. Two years ago, we were just a bunch of freshies from all walks of life. And now, we’re on our third year as Behavioral Science majors, striving to surpass another academic year.

There have been a lot of changes, from the building where we hold our classes up to the nature of our reading assignments. For two years, St. Raymund’s building has become our home. Just a few steps away and you’ll reach Dapitan Street where a lot of food stalls and stores offering photocopying and printing services can be found. But this year, we are now holding our classes at the BGPOP building. It’s a big adjustment for me to be in school at least 30 minutes before my class so that I won’t be late, knowing that our classrooms are located at the 10th floor of that building. Yes, we do have an elevator but it moves really, really slow, not to mention the number of AB students who use that elevator. I also have to bear 3-hour classes. I mean, it’s okay but I was used to having 1-hour classes. I know I’ll get used to it soon.

Since AB is known as the faculty with lots of readings, I got overwhelmed with the reading assignments given on the first week of classes. We’ve been given reading assignments ever since but this is different. Then, I just realized that college life is getting more serious.  And by the way, half of my load for this semester are major subjects so I really need to work harder this time.

But of all these changes, the real challenge for me is to be able to balance academics and extra-curricular activities. I am now working for Behavioral Science Society as an Executive Assistant to the Public Relations Officer. I was also appointed as Co-chairperson for Research and Publication Committee of JPMAP. I decided to be active this year because I only have two years left as a college student and I need to make the most out of it.

Right before this academic year had started, I knew in myself that this is not going to be easy. As a matter of fact, I am anticipating breakdown moments. This is why I am really praying for wisdom, strength and motivation in order to survive and fulfill my goals for this year. As of now, I am still adjusting. But again, time runs fast and we will all be surprised that we have already surpassed our junior year and is about to welcome our graduating year.

Thoughts on Love and Forever

The hit teleserye Forevermore with lead stars Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil has just ended (Told you, there is no such thing as forever. Lol, kidding). So, I thought of writing this article.

You meet a guy or a girl, be it in a public place like mall or coffee shop, or even through social media. You find that person physically attractive, and he/she finds you attractive as well. Then, you officially become a couple – that is love as viewed by most people, especially the generation of today. Love has always been linked to other concepts such as romance, sweetness and even sex. People nowadays have become so drawn to the concept of love that they have failed to understand what love is in a deeper sense.

In one of my Philosophy classes, the concept of love was discussed through Manuel Dy’s work entitled “A Phenomenology of Love”. Here, love was explained in its deeper context. According to him, love is not just some sort of physical collision such as when you bump with someone. When you are with someone physically, that does not necessarily mean that love exists there. Love is when your inner selves collide. There is still love even when the both of you are worlds apart. Therefore, long-distance relationship can actually work.

Another thing that I learned from Dy’s work is that love is truly unconditional. You will love a person for whoever he/she is and you will not try to change him/her. It is your love alone that can make him/her change for the better, so that he/she will be worthy of the love you are giving to him/her. When you love someone, it will not matter to you at all if your love is reciprocated or not. You will still love that person even if he/she belongs to someone else. You will be contented just by loving that person from afar.

In his work, the question on the existence of forever was answered. According to him, there is forever because love does not end on our deathbeds. Love will still exist even if we die. Dy ended his work by saying that love should not just be a topic to be talked and discussed about. Love should be experienced for us to understand its essence.

When I was young, I used to believe that love is just a matter of coincidence. You coincidentally meet that person that is why you ended up marrying him/her. I asked myself once, if my mom did not meet my dad, will I exist in this world? But then, I encountered people and became exposed to the idea of destiny, that there is someone out there who is really meant for us. And so, I gave up the idea of love being a matter of coincidence.

I used to have a criteria for my “ideal guy”. I wanted to marry someone who is physically pleasing, smart, and industrious and someone I can consider a family man. And of course, he should be older than me but not too old. Perhaps, a 5-year age gap would be the maximum. “Ideal guy”, isn’t it? But then if you fall for someone, you do not mind his/her flaws because you will love him/her no matter what. So, I scratched the idea of an “ideal guy”. But, I cannot really deny the fact that I have a thing for smart guys. At least, I am sure that I will never get bored because we can basically talk about everything under the sun. I guess, being smart is a characteristic that I will always look for in a guy.

If I am going to be asked if forever does exist, well definitely yes. Forever exists. Forever is usually tantamount to infinity. But, I think the idea of forever cannot be caged in one definition. Forever can be in a matter of decades, years, months, weeks, days, hours or even seconds. What is important is that at the end of the day, you experienced how to love and how to be loved.

Second Semester 2014-2015: A Roller Coaster Ride

Finally, the semester has ended. I would describe this semester as something that is tiring yet fulfilling. Of course, the 3-7 Mon-Sat schedule was a torture. Moreover, the requirements were damn hard. There were tons of papers and presentations which drained my energy and creative juices. But, I am just really grateful that we survived the semester (Yay!).

I met a lot of new professors this semester. Some of them were great, while one of my professors was really… ugh I do not know how I am going to describe that person. And of course, I still had some of my professors last semester and it was great thing spending a whole academic year with them.

A lot of things happened this semester, not just to me but with the whole block. First was the success of my block mates in their respective fields. Most of them won in the recently held elections (local student council and local societies). Others won in pageants, debates and other similar competitions. And lastly, most of our society’s (BESSOC) representative for a dance competition were from our block. Yes, I am very proud of my block #COMPETITIVE.

But of course, there were times when the whole block was really upset. This was because of the requirements, and the pressure of passing our subjects. It was in this semester that I saw my whole block having a breakdown. The people who used to be “planners” (read: people who do their requirements ahead of time) had no choice but to cram some of the requirements. You see, that is how demanding our semester was.

This semester, there were a lot of changes as to how I see life. I learned the art of cramming my requirements, as well as cutting classes (I’m sorry). I know, these things should be avoided, but it will not hurt if I try doing them at least once. And of course, timing is important. I know when to cram my papers and when to cut classes. Well, truth be told but it was in this semester that I had some sort of sexuality crisis. I never thought that it would happen to me, but people say that it is a natural tendency. But, the most important thing is that I became more open to a lot of possibilities, which is a pretty good thing because I do not want to box everything. It is okay to explore and be spontaneous.

Now that this semester has ended, I learned a lot of things. First, I was able to discover that I can actually do more than what I know I can do. I stepped out of my comfort zone, and I know I have a long way to go. I was able to expand my threshold (as what my professor would say) that would prepare me in the coming years. Second, I realized that professors will either love or hate our block. I do not know why, but I think after all, we cannot please everyone. And last, people come and go. Very cliché, right? But, it was only now that I felt the impact of that statement. I guess, there are times in our lives that we need to let go of some things.

My third year in college is on its way, and I am excited to see more possibilities.

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

Have you heard of the quote, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?” Well, actually it is also a famous song by Kelly Clarkson. The message of that song is that whatever suffering we are experiencing right now, as long as we chose to face it, it will make us a better and stronger person in the long run.

Suffering – it is anything that we experience that challenges us. It is something that brings discomfort to us. We all have our own sufferings. Some suffer because of personal things like being rejected by their crush, or not being able to buy a concert ticket. Others suffer because of poverty, injustice, or chaos.

There is this philosopher named Axel Honneth. He believes that suffering is something that should be taken positively so that we will have that “struggle for recognition”. He then categorized the “struggles for recognition” of man into three. First is the struggle of recognition from physical pain. Physical pain can be characterized by physical abuse, or even rape. Physical pain does not only harm a person on a physical aspect, but it also affects his emotional well-being because no one would not allow other people to control his/her body. If that happens, then a person loses his self-trust, as well as his trust to other people.

Second is the struggle for recognition from maltreatment. As we all know, injustice is existent in the society. The poor are being maltreated and disrespected. Their rights are not recognized. So, this makes them think that their opinions are not worth-listening to. In the end, they will not cooperate anymore in the society they belong to.

Last is the struggle for recognition from stereotypes. Stereotypes are very common. The Blacks are stereotyped as the inferior race. The poor are regarded as illiterate and worthless by some. And with those, a person is not given the opportunity to prove himself/herself, that he/she is more than labels and stereotypes.

Now, Albert Camus, another philosopher, gives us three options on how to face these sufferings. First is the physical suicide. Of course, if you are a coward, then you might choose this option. But let me remind you that ending one’s life is the most terrible thing one could do. Second is the philosophical suicide. For Camus, it is also similar to physical suicide, it is just that you are just trying to change the world you live in. This can be done by sticking to some sort of magic or a Supreme Being. Camus is an atheist that is why he thinks that way. But for me, philosophical suicide happens when you stick solely to a Supreme Being, without actually doing anything in order to survive. Last is just embracing and accepting these sufferings. For Camus, this is the best option because this is where you prove to the world how strong you are as a person.

But at the end of the day, people have different perspectives in life. Some are optimists. These are the kind of people who would be able to live meaningfully despite of sufferings. It is because they look at the brighter side of everything. Others are pessimists. These are the people who might be on the verge of killing themselves, or who have killed themselves at this very moment. This is because they see suffering as something that is more powerful than them.

They say that life is not a bed of roses, which is quite true because suffering is part of life. Suffering is part of the world we live in We must remember that we are rational beings and we have the capacity to decide for our own. Whatever option we choose, we must be aware of the consequences of our choices. We can surpass all sufferings, including death, only if we choose to surpass them. In that case, suffering can lead to success because we chose to overcome such, and those sufferings will mold us into a better version of ourselves. But, if we let those sufferings defeat us, then we will end up in our deathbeds, without even proving to the world how we are as a person. Or I should say, the mere fact that you chose to end your life, is already a way of proving how fragile you are. I impose a challenge to all of you. How are you going to deal with your sufferings? You may choose the hard way by accepting those sufferings and doing something about them. Or, you can choose the easy way out by going on a suicide. But again, as what Kelly Clarkson would sing, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.

Balance

The prelims has already ended (though I still have one prelim exam to ace on the 21st!). For the first time, I had my very first weekend without actually doing any academic-related stuff (read: papers). The truth is I have a lot of requirements to do; laboratory report, research paper, scrapbook, as well as Human Resource Planning (HRP) for a major subject. But this weekend, I have decided to not do anything about them. I guess, I deserve this weekend because of the prelim week that stressed me out.

As far as this semester is concerned, the level of my motivation has been like a roller coaster ride. I would be motivated for this day, then I would feel the other way around the next day. The results of my quizzes are good, but not as high as what I would usually get last semester. To be honest, I get demotivated whenever I fail to reach my goal. I think this semester is trying to test my resilience.

But on the brighter side, I have learned to balance work and rest. I should not be too “workaholic” as my health may be compromised. My dad once told me that all of my efforts will only be put to waste if I will die young anyway. Once in a while, try to relax and forget all your worries. So yeah, rest is very important and enjoy life!

New Year, New Semester

It is 2015! Aside from facing a new year, I am also facing a new semester for this academic year. I am just really thankful that I was able to achieve my goal for the previous semester. I actually exceeded my expectations.

The 2nd semester has already started. I honestly do not know what to feel. I am having mixed emotions. Oh well, the excitement is there, as well as the anxiety. Why? It is because of my Statistics class. I actually hate numbers so I am really praying that I can survive my Stat class the way I survived my College Algebra class a year ago.

I have met some of my professors and based on how they presented themselves during the first day, I could say that they are good. A professor has already shared his words of wisdom to the class. According to him, “Never ever listen to your fears”. Upon hearing that from him, I reflected on myself (as what I always do). Why should I be afraid of this semester? Of my Statistics class? On a greater scale, why should I be afraid of life? To tell you the truth, I am afraid of this life, of this world. People’s expectations are haunting me and I hate that. I know failure is normal, but I guess, in this world where we live in, failure is something that you will be ashamed of. People will judge you once you fail, and that will create a burden that you will carry for a long time. But of course, the fear of failure will give you nothing. You will never know your capabilities and the possibilities if you will not give it a try.

I am looking forward to meet my other professors and hear their words of wisdom. I want this semester to be as inspiring as the previous semester.