TINY STORY NO.5: TAKING THE LEAP

in my life, tiny stories
Spoiler alert: If you’re planning on watching Into the Spider-Verse movie, just skip this blog entry for now.

Miles: You gotta go home man.

Peter: How do I know I’m not gonna mess it up again?

Miles: You won’t.

Peter: Right. It’s a leap of faith.

After watching the movie, this scene struck me the most. I can’t help but ask myself: what if the world I’m living in is the alternate universe that got messed up? Not really the most faithful thought but I’m banking on raw feelings as I write these thoughts. When Peter was willing to sacrifice his own life just because it seems that the universe he’s in is too messed up already, I felt that. Lately, it keeps on replaying in my head.

It’s probably because I’m starting to become active in some areas of my life again. Areas where I’ve already encountered failure before. The scars run deep than I expected. Slight changes in the weight I take in my hands tend to tip the anxiety scale and make me think, what if I mess up again? I ask the same question that Peter asks, How do I know I’m not gonna mess it up again?

Yet the answer remains the same, there’s no way to know but to do it. I won’t tell you that I suddenly gained courage overnight; I am still scared. But I’m leaping in faith anyway.

TINY STORY NO.4: CLOSING THE CHAPTER

film diaries, tiny stories

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Buildings just became buildings; some people will remain as close friends and not just mere colleagues, and everything else I have laid to rest. It’s funny how four years of life can go by just like that. I’m taking with me the happy moments and great learnings (that came out both from good and bad experiences), but aside from that there would be no further attachments. I told myself that this is a place where people come and go. I talked to a friend who has also just resigned from her work as well, who stayed for the same length of time as I did, and we came up with the conclusion that we did what we can, we gave our best, but this is it.

It was once a blessing. It wasn’t out of whim that I submitted my letter. There are paths that took a different turn, the walls started to seem like they’re caving down on me. That was the signal for me that it’s time to go. I appreciate the people who made it seem like I am celebrating another round of my birthday before I left. My last week was full of gifts and heartwarming support from the people I’ve grown close with.

I thought that there would be a lot of words left to say. It has been a habit of mine to write about things or events as they come to an end, as if each letter I pen down is the last act of closing doors, or ending chapters in my life. But surprisingly, this is all I have. Goodbye. I’ll see you around.

TINY STORY NO. 3: AGAIN, WHY?

artsy fartsy, tiny stories

The second prompt for Summer of Sketching arrives on my mailbox, which brings with it an all too familiar question that we have asked ourselves, probably a thousand times already: Why? 

I have learned to love this one word question even before I answered it. My default response has arrived years ago, but it is good to be reminded every now and then. Humans as we are, we easily forget. As Eric said in his e-mail: it’s easy to get caught up with WHAT you’re doing or HOW you’re doing it. We lose sight of the most important part: WHY are you doing it in the first place?

Last Saturday, I attended an art appreciation talk for free (thankful as always for the Brew Your Best Year community for providing these opportunities). I love going to these kinds of events since they make me experience being in an art class – in flesh and blood. And since it was co-organized by The Coffee Bean, it also came with coffee (not gonna deny that I sometimes live for events with free coffee, I mean come on, they make events a hundred percent better. Coffee lovers would easily understand this).

But enough about the coffee, the event was centered on the works of Pablo Picasso and understanding Cubism. I concluded on that day that abstracted cubism paintings won’t be on my favorite list; Mr. Pita told us that they are characterized by not having any space left on the canvas. Every detail is connected into a one whole picture. The main feature of these paintings is something that my eyes doesn’t favor. They make me dizzy – distracted somehow.

Another interesting fact that I found out that day is that Picasso was a copier of works. It may not be an exact copy, sometimes a reversed image or a different pose but you can find the similarity if you look closer. I find it funny that one of the most famous painters started just like us, with no sense of originality or style.  We make a big fuss out of being original at times, that’s why I have always loved that Palahniuk quote: Everything is so far away, a copy of a copy of a copy. The character was talking about his insomnia episodes, but maybe we can say the same to art as well. Even the people we called masters are no exception.

The organizers were rounding up questions and one participant asked, “What was Picasso’s motive in creating these artworks? What legacy did he want to leave behind?” I was half listening, busy stirring my coffee, so these words are just a rephrased answer from Mr. Pita “His greatest motive was just to express himself, it was his outlet from the anxiety or depressive things happening in his life. He wasn’t actually aiming into what legacy he was leaving behind.”

That afternoon was quite comforting, knowing that art can still for art’s sake. There are times when our whys are geared into creating an impact for the world or the community. But there are times when your why is about letting yourself breath through colors, shapes, or figures. To simply create, without too much expectations attached to it.

Tiny Stories is inspired by the book curated by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (bearing the same title) that says: The universe is not made of atoms; it’s made of tiny stories. This is my attempt to compile mine, something to push me to write even if there’s not a lot of words for me to grasp.

TINY STORY NO. 2: A GIFT WITHIN GIFTS

in my life, tiny stories

We both laughed when I read the statement on the paper bag:

Please enjoy this extraordinary act of generosity.

In our circle of friends, I am not bragging when I say that I am the giver among us all. When February rolled in, they have begun asking me questions like

“What gift do you want?”, “Are you sure you don’t want anything specific?”, “This is your last chance, what book do you want to receive?”

I can’t suppress my laughter when a friend told me how they talked about what to get me, or how to make up for what I did for their birthdays. Years ago, maybe I would have asked them to spoil me with material things, but maybe it comes with growing up that we learn to value more of the people around us rather than the gifts they give. But I do appreciate the efforts they went through to reciprocate what I’ve done for their birthdays (a letter with sincere words is more than enough for me).

Gift giving is something that comes easy to me. Maybe it’s something that I inherited from my mother. Or a trait that I can no longer shake off. I tried not do it once or twice, but I soon realized that giving gifts is one of my strongest love language. Although once, a scary thought dangled within me.

What if I no longer have to offer? What if companionship and time is all I can offer, would that be enough?

This year, I found out that the answer to that is yes. We’re growing up, and sometimes being together is enough. Spending time with each other amidst life busyness is enough. Time itself is a gift. Being there for each other is a gesture that says: thank you. I’d like to keep you. I’m here to stay.

Dear February, I hate to say goodbye too soon. We are always three days short. There were still days when I feel listless or without the desire to get up from bed (ummm…just like today). But thank you for letting me bank a lot of good days. I hate to turn the calendar over but we must keep moving.

Three days short but He has given me more than I expect – or ask for. The gift of friends, their efforts to give back, two places that I can call home, a safe place in the form of the truest of true friends, more appreciation for art, the chance to be vulnerable and accepted at the same time.

February, you’re a gift within gifts.

Tiny Stories is inspired by the book curated by Joseph Gordon-Levitt(bearing the same title) that says: The universe is not made of atoms; it’s made of tiny stories. This is my attempt to compile mine, something to push me to write even if there’s not a lot of words for me to grasp.

TINY STORY NO. 1: STRANGER THAN FICTION

chapters and pages, in my life, tiny stories

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“You should stop reading fiction books and start reading these titles.” Mother said as she pointed to the stack of books in her workstation, bearing titles like Talent Is Not Enough, The Path to Wealth, and more business like words that doesn’t fascinate me enough to pay 10 seconds of attention.

“It’s different for everybody. My inspiration isn’t rooted in those kind of genres.” I quipped. Cutting the conversation short, just in case it would just turn into another argument or debate that I might be forced to engaged in.

I tend to put my thoughts in a back burner until I’m sure that they’re good enough to be served. The rest of the words here might be what I hold back during that day.

The truth is, I can’t imagine a world – or a life – without fiction books. How can I? When at a young age I was able to visit Wonderland and Oz? I fell down the rabbit hole and followed the yellow brick road that led me to the joys of reading. After meeting the characters from these worlds, it has been a never ending journey through different stories.  Nothing melt my heart more when I landed on the Sahara desert and met the Little Prince, up to this day I am one of the people who believes that he would return (or maybe he’s laughing with us through the stars). I can go on and on, but I just refuse to deprive myself of the escape that Narnia, Middle-earth, and London Below can provide. Don’t deny that you’re still waiting for your acceptance letter at Hogwarts.

It’s not just about the worlds, it’s also more of the comfort of words. The unexplainable experience of being soaked of endless feelings, of not wanting a story to end, of crying because you’re favorite character has died, of holding them close to your heart just like how you would a family or a friend. Sometimes they even help makes sense of this life we’re living in. There’s so much that these pages can contain.

So if my mother, would come around and ask me to give it up once again. My answer would always be a resounding no. Fiction is forever.

Tiny Stories is inspired by the book curated by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (bearing the same title) that says: The universe is not made of atoms; it’s made of tiny stories. This is my attempt to compile mine, something to push me to write even if there’s not a lot of words for me to grasp.