Little Miss Mundane (Or Not)

It’s a beautiful Tuesday morning and instead of waking up to greet the bright sunshine peeking through my bedroom window, I jump out of bed, run straight to my bathroom, and cough out my insides like there’s no tomorrow. Behold the sickly giant that is me, applaud the unwillingness of my body to react to the medications I’ve taken.  I swear if only I had my way around here, I’d be off to my first 2011 run to finally lose this weight I’ve been lugging around since college started. But then again, when did my ‘active’ lifestyle schemes really push through?

So my morning began with me having to heat up half of the salmon burger I failed to finish at yesterday’s dinner, a tall glass of cold Milo, popping another Bioflu pill, and 20 minutes of Harry Potter 6 in HBO. Somewhere along the lines of those minutes that passed me, it came to me that I’m living a pretty average life. It’s not that I don’t think I’m exciting enough, it’s just that I feel like I could do so much but haven’t really gotten my ass up to doing it.

Like say, work for example, or an exotic vacation in the African safari. Or maybe something as simple as an anecdote that begins with “Remember that crazy night in Sophomore year?” Nope, I haven’t gotten any of that in my list.

So there goes my heavy, 5’7″ self switching the television off and heading to her room to begin this entry out of a ‘bugso ng damdamin’ (There’s no other way to phrase it, believe me – I’ve tried). And, with my laptop’s speed as fast as the oldest Galápagos turtle, I quickly snapped away a photo of the earrings Mom got me last night.

I especially love the dove-shaped pair!

So where was I? Oh, right. Harry Potter.

Sitting in front of the boob-tube led me to daydreaming about what my life could have become if I was a little more reckless — you know, the typical roller coaster kids my age ought to be doing. Parties, alcohol, and going home at 2am just like how the movies portray my generation to be (and just like how my generation actually is) may have tinted my existence a few hues darker, but it never really painted a single stroke.

I am not a party-alcohol-2am virgin, but neither have I been a party-alcohol-2am regular. It’s always just me and a little past midnight, being the I’ll-head-out-early-goody-two-miss-no-alcohol shoes I expect myself to be and the daughter my parents have raised me to become for the past 18 years. Sometimes I imagine myself stepping out of my comfort zone and taking a bite of the carefree life. I want to, even just for a night, be able to stereotypically live out a random photo on the internet that carries some splash of ill-edited typography that reads “We are young, wild, and free.”

All these for the sole reason of wanting to be in that state of exhilaration, all these because I’d be a hypocrite if I told you I did not want sample of my supposed glory days. Although I dream of this one day of complete liberation, I also am well aware that trapped in this body is a woman who’s grown a little too fast — too fast to have ever experienced sneaking out, or something more interesting than last year’s ‘my-heart-is-so-broken’ night.

Sometimes I wish the typical teenager would involve a prototype similar to mine, with article deadlines and QPIs that fuel her adrenaline, company from family, friends or the boyfriend that keeps her sane, and occasional night-outs to make her feel uninhibited. But I guess it all boils down to the fact that this isn’t what a typical teenager is.

And perhaps, I should be glad because although I think I live a mundane teenage existence, maybe its enough consolation that I’m part of the ‘un-typical’ few.


Maybe I’ll grow up someday, maybe I won’t. But to the Kara who might read this a couple of weeks, months, or even years later — remember that you once were in this stage of not knowing where you stand. It is okay to feel awkward about most things in life. Relax, take a deep breath, and you’ll find your place in life soon enough.

Opening Pandora’s Box

by Kara Santiago
(c) Kara Santiago 2009

An old YM conversation printed out on 8 long sheets of recycled bond paper, a worn out greeting card, a few photographs, and a recent journal I forgot I even had — welcome to my unexpected afternoon of nostalgic sorts.

For the few things that belonged to my past, they came to me as no surprise. There was the usual horrid look on my face while I was reading my typing ‘style’ back in 2006 and of course, expressions of disgust with how I dressed as an awkwardly tall 12-year-old. (Note: A yellow baseball cap, a brown short-sleeved tee, and flared jeans. Disgusting.) The transcript wannabe, however, contained a conversation with my best friend I wish I never had. Reading it sent me laughing my ass off because of how immature I saw relationships back then. Who knew I’d gauge love with such a clueless point of view?

Putting my pre-teen self aside, I came across a journal entry I wrote exactly 6 months ago. The words read like chicken scratch, the emotions stared at me point-blank. It left me wandering off to a time I wish I never went through.

I won’t go into so much detail explaining the latter because really, it is quite irrelevant at the moment. But then again, I may be shying away from the fact of facing the stretch of rekindling the vivid episodes I dare not touch. I am a professed coward when put into battle against myself — I tend to hide under my little black hole. That 20-minute bracket definitely felt like a thousand stabs and a million gunshots.

It was right there and then that I began to give my definition to the power of words, and actually attest to it. ‘You can feel emotions at any given period,’ I said to myself, ‘but you can never bring the same intensity back unless you’ve laid it down on paper.’

I would be a hypocrite if I told you I feel delighted I’ve kept that memory and gave it some posterity. Because, quite frankly, I regret using my journal as an outlet for my repressed emotions. But going back to that solitary Sunday night, I probably would’ve done the same thing. I’d still cry my heart out, pour it into paper, and then write about it today…

…because pain, not absence, makes the heart grow fonder.

“Sharing My Life”

Five minutes prior to writing this, I had a conversation with Lexie about our feelings on ‘sharing my life’ over the internet. She’s starting her own blog for requirement’s sake and the topic just seemed to be an appropriate jump off point to my entry today. But before I go on talking about me, myself, and my awful day, I’ll probably say yes to that question — although I can be quite selective just as I am going to be now.

As much as I would want to put in here every single detail of my bad afternoon, I won’t. And just as much as my emotions are dying to escape from myself, I won’t let them out. Outspoken as I may seem like, when conflicts are too heavy, I tend to shut up. I disappear from fear of not being able to stop myself once I get to proving my point and defending my beliefs.

If this was me talking two years ago, you’d hear me go on and on about my thoughts on the matter. But this is me now. The Kara typing in front of her laptop screen chooses to be silent, chooses not to create any trouble — she chooses the road often traveled — she chooses to brave life’s unfair whiplash without taking action whatsoever.

To be completely honest, this has bothered me for the past four hours already. I’ve had voices inside my head telling me to speak up but to no avail. I said to myself, no no no, and I’m planning to stand by my decision. I don’t know what it is inside me but it confuses me so much that I want to hop on to the next portal straight back to the South. I need comfort and a familiar place. And yes, I mean my home.

This then brings me to one of the questions I’ve asked myself over and over again, “Kara, kung kelan ka naging 18, dun ka natutong makisama even if it means sacrificing yourself.”

Cutting the looooong narrative of ramblings short, I just feel bad. I’m not even furious nor angry. Its really just me feeling really bad, really, really, bad. Period.

Yes, the entry has been showered with ‘just-s’ and ‘really-s’ but trust me, there’s no other way to say what I feel. This space on the web restricts me too much — I restrict me too much.

In other news, Lexie just showed me a photo on Tumblr. This makes me happy because its the top I wore today. God loves me so much He just had to send me happy pills over the internet!

The girl's skinnier than me though! (Well, duh)