IN MY OWN WORDS

blogging, in my life

Words.

I can’t pinpoint when I started to become drawn to them, but I know that these things we call nouns, verbs, adjectives and more — I’ve truly learn to love them. Maybe it’s because of my exposure to poems, or reading posts from newly discovered bloggers, or the simple act of practicing the old art of calligraphy and lettering has made them more special.

I’ve been on a reading spree lately; from blogs, newspapers, magazine, and books. I must say that if we are what we eat, we also become what we read. So I devoured each page, as if eating every word can make me good in letting the ink rush through paper. I can’t help but admire people whose words seamlessly form into something wonderful. The gift of expressing myself through the written language can be quite evasive.

I stalled writing this entry because facing the blank page has become a bit more difficult for me. I am overcome with this thinking that everything will come sounding like a news report or a research paper. But I still want to improve. To break free from my mold. Not out of insecurity, but out of the desire to write something worth reading. And with that thought sprout another desire — to find my own voice. To not be a mere echo of someone else. To have my own words instead of borrowed ones.

It might seem like a blabber for now, but I am hoping that in time these words of mine will solidify itself on these blank pages.

STORIES, FOR THE TIME BEING

blogging, in my life

I finally got around the task of cleaning my first Tumblr blog and was successfully able to move in another address. It was an exhausting thing to do, even if there were only 500+ posts, hiding them one by one took its toll in my eyes. I was thisclose to deleting them all just so I can make the process quicker, but of course some of them are precious memories of my college life that I can’t bear to part with. Blame it on my sentimentality, but I just had to keep them even if they are now for my eyes only.

Looking back, I realized how much I struggled back then. It was only a personal blog filled with day to day events of a normal college girl, but at the back of my mind I wanted so much more. Most of the people I followed were cool “It” girls (if you’ve been in Tumblr for so long you know what I mean, and you know who they are), and some dashing dudes who seem to have it all; Name it: followers, sponsors, free passes to events, and free travel! Wow, who wouldn’t want that? Because I must admit that I really did.  So I tried to achieve this same kind of status that they have and made sure that every post is well thought-of, a quote that every one can relate to, artistically curated photoset, and everything else in between. I wanted traffic, I wanted followers, I wanted to be recognized for whatever I put out there.

Only now did I realize that I wanted my blog to click so much, for that little space in the world wide web to matter, without knowing that I wasn’t creating the sound that I want, but I have become a mere noise. Seriously, I didn’t know that I was so frustrated for that kind of blogging career. It was like that moment when Ariel exchanged her voice for a pair of feet. Apologies for going on sappy Disney mode here, but there’s no denying that I wanted to be a part of that “cool” blogging world. But three paragraphs after, and more than four years of staying in Tumblr that didn’t happen.

So what’s the point? Haha! I guess being inactive from that platform for almost a year did me good. I was truly reminded this time of why I started to blog, why I want to put my thoughts out there, why I want to post pictures or create typography, why I want to improve my writing skills — and that is to share stories. To not desire too much superficial things but to actually connect with people, to read their blogs, to find a common ground, and eventually make one less stranger out of them. For years I’ve been trying so hard without knowing that the only thing I need is to share my story, to go down deeper in my heart and have the guts to actually put it out for other people to see.

After testing the waters for so long, this is the first time that I’ve felt excited that I have little space for my thoughts once again. I finally understood what take it slowly and be yourself truly means. I don’t know how long I will continue blogging or how long I can keep this active; new questions will present itself as the days progress, but for now all we have are stories for the time being.

LEARNING NEVER STOPS

blogging, in my life

It has been more than a year since I graduated from college and transitioned into the “real” world. At first it was quite overwhelming. After years of being a student, I was faced with a different kind of freedom. There were no course outlines, no subject syllabuses, no class schedules, and no extra hours of homework (do I hear a yay? hahaha). I was faced with a blank sheet and it was up to me to create my own path. This time, it was not just about a college diploma but the whole course of my life.  While some of my batch mates entered the academe again to earn their master’s degree, I jumped into the bandwagon of the corporate world. As I write this, I am currently an employee in my “dream company”, which took two months of applications and interviews ‘til I finally landed the spot.

As I continue on this journey of mine, I have discovered that learning doesn’t stop in the four walls of the classroom. I may not be enrolled in a class but I became I student of life. The world is now my new platform. The lessons have become more practical for daily life as well. Nowadays, it is about computing my budget, learning how to make ends meet, savings and investments, balancing time between family and friends. Whenever time permits, I take part in extra-curricular activities such as Calligraphy and other art related activities. I admit I may have neglected cultivating my passions when I was too focused on finishing my studies.

In every aspect of my life, I have come to see that learning never stops. Each season of our lives brings us different things to learn; it is up to us how we master each. Learning is not confined in a course syllabus or a class schedule. It goes beyond the university. In fact, it is endless as long as we are alive because these lessons are the ones that allow us to grow as persons. As the famous quote goes: Once you stop learning, you stop growing.

The essay above was submitted as an entry for the Feature Writing 101 workshop contest of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf along with Writer’s Block Philippines.

NO MORE SUGARCOATING

blogging, in my life

There are moments in my life that makes blogging superficial. Parents fighting, family conflict, failures, and my never-ending-shortcomings. In my previous “home” in the world wide web, I often wonder if I’m being real. I often find myself thinking if I’m being true enough to the words that I write. I know that I can’t divulge every little detail of my life in this small space, but still I want to be authentic. There’s a desire within me to write more honestly than before.

It was one of the reasons why I stopped blogging for a while. I felt like I was posting stuff just for the sake of posting. I didn’t care about the content anymore, as long as it looks alive and active. There were bandwagons of entries that looked appealing to a lot of people of which I joined; Who wouldn’t love the likes, reblogs, and followers that one can gain? Even if I hate to say this, but for a while I was blinded by the promise of being famous and recognized by the online community. As what I have said countless times before, maybe it’s because of my desperation to become a writer that I need a few nods to prove that I can be one. So, I took blogging seriously but forgot the essence of it along the way.

It took a lot of thinking if I should start another blog, or even transfer to another blogging site. I was attached to my Tumblr because I met some bloggers there who eventually became my friends. It was also a record of my college life. But it was a necessary move on my part, because this would push me to express my thoughts seamlessly. To create something original and what truly interests me. To forgo the norm and tell stories, no matter if they came out of pain or happiness.

I don’t want to add more “noise” in the online world. I want this blog to be an avenue to share my story to people, even if my life is far from perfect. Hopefully, I’ll meet like-minded people as I present the pieces of my life, and maybe meet persons who are going through the same season as me. It’s time to go beyond the surface.