Getting there

A photo from my friend, Jules, who used to collect Post Secret-s from years back.

 The Alchemist, this photo and Eat, Pray, Love — all in one week.

What that says about me is quite obvious and judging from the money I have left in my pocket (yes, I mean I haven’t got much left), its safe to say that I have been trudging on the road of finding myself. From rewarding myself to great dinner-s out with friends, hoarding accessories, and even to (impulse) buying a 50mm, it seems like there’s no stopping me from suppressing my trodden thoughts.

Although I began in full throttle, I felt like I’ve lost momentum somewhere along in the middle and was vulnerable to stalling, even. As September ended, however, things started looking up and this blog is to remind me that things will definitely be better from here on out.

I see clearer skies ahead and albeit turbulent skies, I have come to a realization that inching my way back to focusing on my goals isn’t such a hard feat anymore. I have my fingers crossed for October: I took a leap of faith.

Let’s see where that’ll take me next.

***

See also: On being an illegitimate daughter of Lucio Tan, an online column I wrote for The GUIDON last September. This opinion piece was the cherry on top of my ongoing journey in self-discovery. It reminded me how passionate I am about writing and gave me my first real taste of the cut-throat world of journalism.

Mythical Five

It’s Day 3 of my first semester and aside from excessively sweating, there are also a couple of things that I’ve been excessively obsessing (not really, but I’m getting there!) about.

  1. Great company – It has been a month after my break-up and with the amount of time I now claimed back for myself, I never realized how much I’ve been missing out on AAAs. Yes, I’m baduy like that–coining my term for hanging out as After Acads Afternoons. Spending time with both my Guidon and ACOMM families (sorry for being overly sentimental, I swear there isn’t any other word to describe who they are to me) have been nothing but the best.
  2. (Pretentious) exercising – Following my rocky afternoon yesterday was a determined Kara to shed off the extra pounds. After 3 rounds around Ateneo that lasted for 1 1/2 hours and 100 crunches to top it off, I think I want to push myself harder to keep up with this routine–doing it daily, and not only when I feel like I’m on the verge of PMS-ing.
  3. Caf Up food stalls – Since I’m not really into the JSEC Stalls this year, save for my best (and biased!) option, Sushi Samurai, I’ve come to appreciate Caf Up even more. I can’t believe we now have California Berry, Mushroom Burger, and 711 ice cream! I’m actually just excited about the ice cream part because I’ll now have an alternative to my favorite avocado dirty ice cream cones from the cafeteria. (For those who prefer to bask in the Caf heat, be sure to try their Roti (?) options and diced hopia. Although sketchy, they taste pretty amazing.)
  4. RecWeek – Kick-starting Beyond Loyola with a great June release and having a more than successful OrSem ACOMM Department Talk, I’m looking forward to getting new recruits, especially from the freshmen. I remember my awkward, akala-ko-Senior-ka-kasi-ang-tangkad-mo self two years ago, and how I’ve played my cards fairly well to get to my happy place now. I just hope the new meat wouldn’t be scared to step out of their comfort zones and try something new. What I like most about my freshman year was I sort of challenged myself despite my illogical insecurities–and that’s what I pray for every freshman to have.
  5. Falling, not failing – Losing my Dean’s List slot to a nominal grade in History, I’m quite determined to climb back up the ladder this year. That, and you know, (hopefully) falling again before I leave my heart in San Francisco.

The GUIDON goes Lacoste, et. al.

Yesterday was a bucketful of happy hormones for myself yet again. I spent the entire afternoon with amazing people and went on a shoot for this academic year’s column profile photos for The GUIDON. We headed off to Camera Cart Studios in Maginhawa and needless to say, it was quite the experience. I tried to take a few (awfully blurry) camera phone photos here and there, but of course nothing can beat the magic of my friend and Photo Editor, Pia Guballa.

Without further ado, here’s my wonderful day in photos!

Continue reading “The GUIDON goes Lacoste, et. al.”

Expectations & 19-eality

“You are hardly ever positive when it comes to your birthdays.”

-April Lamentillo (2011)

I’m turning 19 in 14 hours, writing on a blog that’s been idle for months, hating (well, not really) a friend who’s about to watch the The Script concert next week and dying to let out all the emotions I’ve been through the past semester. There were some days in 2011 that pushed me into quitting, but I’m glad I stuck it out. Cryptic as I may sound like, believe me when I say that it would take me years to write what I really want to say. For now, at least, let me bore you with the ubiquitous Kara-is-talking-to-herself-again kind of thing. Feel free to exit this window because I definitely know I would.

One of the lingering questions in my head has always been ‘What have you done this year?’ I hate thinking about the fact that I may have wasted an entire year of growing up not doing the things I needed to, holding back on the goals I should have accomplished at that age. But with humble confidence (if there is such thing), I am certain about my 18th year — finally, I have surpassed my expectations of myself and went a little over above the line to top it all off.

My academics were a constant struggle come my sophomore year’s second semester. There stood my major subjects, Advertising and PR, which took up most of my time but allowed me to explore my abilities and build stronger friendships, SA with Dr. Abad, which changed my life completely, Spanish 1, which gave me a reason to get up every week, and of course, History, which was the death of me and my QPI. Needless to say, I have no idea where I drew my strength from to reach the end of this all. All I know is that the energy that I did manage to muster up was .02 short of securing me a spot on the Dean’s List. Thankfully, though, my org work sufficiently covered up for my lack of academic pride. Although I’d love to go on about the details of my ever-growing love for both The GUIDON and ACOMM, that’s a completely different story to tell.

Overworked as my brain looks like, my heart and body are at a loss, too. A day before my make-or-break final exam for History, my stomach gave up on me and threw a bitch-fit by suddenly being cranky and hyper-acidic. It lasted for more than a week that even after I went to CamSur, it still didn’t treat me very well. As for my heart — well, my heart, let’s say “longs”. There’s an emptiness inside me that leaves me with only the academic load of La Salle to blame and nothing more. I hate what its done to my boyfriend and if I lose him to all the animo, I don’t know what kind of bomb I’d turn into. It frustrates me a lot when I’m forced to use the 4-year-relationship card — because sometimes, the time you used to spend together is not enough to compensate for the lost time you’re supposed to spend now.

It is in this light that I do not look forward to my birthday tomorrow. I knew better when I thought I’d actually want to celebrate my birthday again after last year’s dinner. True enough, I’m back to my sulky self who never really wants fussing about her birthday. I turn a year older, now what? I thought I saw the point of commemorating a year of existence after I got back from the States last year. As usual, I thought wrong. There is no point — and there will never be.

Everyday, as cliche as I am going to sound yet again, must be enough to drive you to celebrate life. Looking back on my 18th year, although I bit off more than I could chew, I still wished that I did more. Maybe this also boils down to my nature of wanting to do so much even if it was beyond my control. Whether it be a good or bad thing, it seems to be making a good impact in my life. I’m just afraid that one day, I might break down into all those little pieces that are so hard to mend.

***

There is one thing I am most thankful for, actually. But I’m not so sure if I’m ready to tell the world about it just yet.

Downright Disappointed

Dear Kara,

What do you want to do with your life?

I know you’ve set some goals for yourself but you haven’t really followed through. When college started, you got yourself accepted into The GUIDON and that was one milestone I will never forget. Come your second year in the Ateneo, you finally landed that coveted spot in the Dean’s List — you made it, and again, I couldn’t have been more proud. You worked your ass off. You slaved reading endless chapters of the more-than-heavy Psychology book you never really got accustomed to carrying around, scheduling interviews, making it to the deadline, shooting for final projects, and basically grabbing so much more than your plate could fill. All these plus ACOMM work on another hand, I give you props for being a semi-super heroine.

But Kara, that full plate you hold in your hands isn’t going to feed you after stepping out of the university’s walls. Compared to the bigger plates out there, yours will seem like a minuscule, irrelevant pixel no one is even going to notice. Has this occurred to you, Kara? Well, I hope it has because a year and a half already passed you by — time won’t wait, and as Armageddon-istic as this may sound, the end (well at least for your time in college) is very much near.

Also, opportunities don't come to you. You look for them, and once found -- you hold on to whatever you can and pray for a great ride.

I know sometimes it scares you to try, but remember how liberating it felt like last July? Remember how the thrill of submitting your résumé gave you shivers down your spine? Why don’t you do something like that once more? Read more books, they will sharpen your writing prowess. Shoot more with Joe, he will show you what it feels like to see the world through his 55mm. Talk, talk, and talk more because there is absolutely no room for a quiet millisecond, even. Make yourself known, show them what you’re made of, and tell hesitance to go to hell.

You need this, Kara. You need to move forward and up the ante. This is your one sem Dean’s List-ing, Features Editor aspiring, job searching, no-meat eating self telling you to stand up and get moving. She is terribly concerned and downright disappointed.

You’ll be 19 in four months and I suggest that when I check up on you then, you’ll have my “to do” list for you scratched out and duly accomplished.

Here with you every step of the way, The ever-so-frustrated Kara

P.S. – Here’s a platter, not a plate. Fill it up — and fill it up real good.