A Message of Thanks!

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Credits to: kateywrites.wordpress.com

2016 has been a weird ride. Every year is different and this one is the “let’s end this fucking year already, dammit!” for some or most of us. I’d be honest, people would think 2016 for me is a good year because of the topnotcher thing but it really isn’t. It is if we divide my 2016 in 3 and get the middle one. The start and the almost end isn’t really pleasant as a weird illness hit me in the last 2 months and I am still recovering from it. It has taken a big lump of my energy and has taken 2 months worth of productivity. But these days, I’m good and well and gradually recovering. I am starting to write again and working on the delayed personal projects. I know I don’t get all the views and traffic in the world for this blog but I am thankful for the handful of people who keep on reading stuff that I write even though they may be just rambles. I am actually considering to delete this site and start anew but I saw the subscription button and saw the 488 wonderful people who get email notifications when I post something new. And despite that, this blog documents my metamorphosis as the teenage caterpillar to an adult butterfly in writing. To those wonderful 488 people and people who keep dropping off this site, thank you very much.

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I want to host a give away for my lovely and supportive readers but I lack some resources as of the moment because I have already planned my expenses to the last cent. Even though I am not being forced to get a job and my family still accepts me as the bum frustrated writer waiting for the next big thing in life that I am, I have creative plans and they require money. Let’s admit it, for anyone life will be better if we have extra money and if it comes easy. And for people who have creative pursuits, crafting would be easier if we have funds for it. That’s the ideal life for any artist or anyone who does art on the sides (like me) but reality is a different story. But putting all my rambles and difficulties aside, I am thankful that I am still alive, breathing, I am with my family and I have you, my wonderful reader. Thank you. Like the past years, I have more than enough to get through another year and I am ready. I hope you are too. And please know you are loved and appreciated and there’s someone rooting and praying for you always and that person is the one who wrote this. Again and again, thank you. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Love,

Me-me/Em-em

Oh Dear, Where am I? What am I doing in my life? [Rambles, Laptop Dilemma and Writing]

It’s been months since I last written an article worthy to be published in Definitely Filipino or even a decent story to be posted on Wattpad. Life has been weird and hard for me these days lately and I’m proud to say I am still alive and kicking. I know, with all the topnotcher booze (ranked 8th in the Psychometrician Board Exam) and NMAT stuff lately drained my time and energy. Not to mention losing someone in the family again. I wanted to hate God of taking people away from me while I am in the middle of something but that just how life works. God will do things in my life as He pleases and no I’m not mad at Him. I know He does things based on a master plan only He can see so I put my 100% trust in Him, knowing that all this shit I am going through will all make sense sometime in the future.

These days, I don’t have responsibilities, no classes to go to, and no deadlines to catch. Basically, I am a bum waiting and preparing for medical school applications (and working on personal projects). Life has been hard since I go from depressive states to okay states while I am not clinically diagnosed, the up and down thrust is a struggle. Sometimes they fuel the cathartic rookie paintings and sometimes I get to sit down and type whatever it is in my head. I just don’t post them since they’re clearly a waste of any of my reader’s time. My hardcore cathartic writings I think are not that pleasant to my reader’s eyes so I prefer them to be just soft copies sitting down on my laptop’s hard drive.

While I am in the “waiting phase”, I want to use this time to write and create things but after months/years of inactivity I still ask myself “What now?”

I know DF is just a click away, so as my Wattpad account, MS Word is so easy to open and I still have good command of words. The problem is I don’t know where to start again. You see, the “ememalberts” persona I had in DF was a pleasant boost for a potential writing career. I knew it. I was once part of the community and I was being read and acknowledged. I know that. I KNOW. It’s just that “ememalberts” seemed like someone I couldn’t recognize anymore. I was sixteen that time, hyped up with all the passion and energy to write. It was me, sixteen years old who was so clueless of life’s shit which pretty explains the boldness and eagerness and the energy that all went to the juvenile writing. ALAS! I got rejected plenty of times, gave my all to a publication that didn’t seem to care, continued writing quality academic stuff for others (without pay), tried to push myself in the Wattpad fame arena (and marvelously failed), and here I am a board topnotcher with a huge ball of self-loathe behind the scene because I just can’t jump back to writing like I used to.

Add the fact that my baby Apollo (Sony Vaio E-series Laptop) has broken LCD. Apollo’s disability right now is one factor to the rarity of writing despite the plenty free time. The option of buying a new laptop came to my head. I always wanted a MacBook, maybe I can have one right now since I have money. But all people around me told me it’s not worth it. I could buy any Windows model with better specs without spending much. I want to give these people a shrug because I know all that. I know what I am getting to. It’s just that I always wanted one and I think I deserve some treat since I managed to drag my ass up the topnotcher’s list. I commend myself for living and fighting despite life becoming unpleasant by the minute. I am proud that I graduated on time despite having demons haunting me down ever since the year started. I want to be smart about my laptop choices but maybe, having a Macbook wouldn’t be so bad. And I might be greedy but come on, a Macbook might make me feel writer-y again. If between practicality and greed, this time I am leaning to greed and it might be crazy but I am someone who makes unconventional choices which are regretful for others but are good enough for me.

I am not disposing Apollo. Apollo is such a strong baby for keeping up with me throughout college. I want him fixed honestly and I love love him as I love my life. And too much of the writer laptop dilemma. I’ll let you know once Apollo gets fixed.

Aside from the laptop dilemma, I struggle too because people seek my comfort and help when I am down. And others think just because I’m a Psych major, I am not a resident of mental health shit and depression town. It’s difficult because I struggle too with my demons and they get stronger and stronger every day. I just happen to have a strong support system and I have art that helps in coping. Writing, painting, reading, things that don’t have the pressure and cut-throat theme keep me sane that’s why I keep doing them. That’s why you are reading this.

I have plans: unmade websites, articles, stories, novels and novellas, new and big ideas, some I never thought I would consider. They are too many to mention and I can’t even wrap my head around them yet. I feel like a newly opened hotel in peak season, and the ideas are my guests rushing to me like crazy. I am taking my time, trying to quiet my mind from the stress of my two biggest exams this year, silencing my demons in the process and trying to push the inexistent limits of my creative self. But for now, I want to thank you for sticking up with me. For still reading despite me blabbering about my life right now. I still read things curated by artists, listened to them, look at them. I get inspired by them and I really can’t wait to be back in the field. Well, see you around. 😀

May God bless you and have a good day ahead. Thank you reader, from the bottom of my heart/hypothalamus. 😀

M. Alberto

11/7/2016

Even Victors were Once Failures (and There are Reasons, Believe Me

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What people always see in me is an achiever, a consistent honor student and right now, a board topnotcher. It’s always easy to see the outcome and I tell you, I am not all success and happiness. I have my fair share of failure. I would consider the greatest was not entering my dream school.

                The dream school is Ateneo. People really close to me knew this all too well. I have prepared so hard for the exam, imagined myself walking that polished campus, thinking I might be speaking straight English in no time, having the distinct “Atenean accent” pretty soon. I didn’t even give my best on other entrance exams namely UPCAT and USTET. I am that confident and arrogant to enter ADMU. Lo and behold, when the examination results are in, my name was not on the list.

                I cried. Of course. What made it worse is my best friend who urged me to enter the same school passed and our valedictorian even scored a scholarship! People around me had the confidence that I could get in. I had confidence in myself to, but why? I asked Daddy God a lot of time, WHY? I felt I am the most stupid person in the face of Earth. I felt ashamed and humiliated. I remember the weird piercing looks when I walked in school the next day. I never felt bad as that. I spent the rest of my senior year in high school trying to save face for the humiliation I imposed upon myself. To cut the story short, I tried for reconsideration on other big Us but my parents decided not to push it. It took a lot of months before my parents and I agreed on one thing: to have my tertiary education in Tytana formerly Manila Doctors College.

                I heard rumors about the school, some good, more unpleasant since the Tytana name was just newly established. I realized that in my stay, each school has its weaknesses and strengths. It just so happens that some people amplify the negatives. And I’m determined to finish College and chase my dreams whatever people say. I endured four years of being looked down, always hearing “Bakit nandiyan ka LANG?” The “LANG” always rings on my head. To them, I am just a “lang” because I am not in a uni. Funny.

In Tytana, I learned one of the biggest lesson in life: I define what I am. I am the master of my destiny. Being in a College, not in a university taught me that I am not worthless as I perceived myself to be just because I once failed. Being in my college taught me that I can perform well despite not being part of the elite university crowd. And they taught me to always believe in myself and do what I can for the betterment of society. First semester and a lot has changed in me. My arrogance was lost, my self-confidence was boosted. I was with professors who are dedicated, with classmates who are great on their own and I became surrounded with people from different walks of life that taught me so much.  I was part of a warm, loving family inside a campus located few kilometers away from MOA. I just loved it.

                Things got clear to me when second semester came. My relationship with so called best friend got tainted and we had a really big misunderstanding. That’s when I realized why Daddy God didn’t want me in Ateneo. Imagine having the same fight in the same campus, in the same building with the person of that importance? God knew this was going to happen right? Maybe He knew keeping me away from him is the best thing and failing me is the only way? That’s when I started thanking our Father for bringing me to Tytana. Things have drastically changed between us. What happened still takes its toll on me up to now and I know the same for you, buddy. (I’m sorry). But from that day on, I learned how to trust God and His timing no matter how unclear and weird His plans may seem. God and I are closer than ever from that moment on.

                Maybe, you’re in a point in your life where you are questioning everything. WHY? Why did you do this, Dear Lord? Do you really want me to have this humiliation? Do you really want me to be sad? To feel bad? I know my failure may not be similar to what you are feeling right now but point is, you feel bad because you did your best. You feel lost, sad, worthless. Believe me, I was there. Done that. And don’t argue that I don’t fail because you think I am smart. Everybody fails in any way or another. The point here is to calm down, don’t beat yourself up and never ever think you are stupid. There’s a reason for everything that is happening and it might be unclear right now, but trust me THERE REALLY IS. God doesn’t close doors for nothing. Believe me, closed doors are pathways to something bigger and better. Heads up. Chin up. Smile! Continue living and loving life. Don’t worry, success will come maybe not today but someday. This is not the end of the world and I know you are better than that. Smile my dear, good days are sure ahead of you. 😀

M. Alberto

9/7/2016

Inside My Forever Winter (of Writing)

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Photo Credit: patheticwithpotential.wordpress.com

If you are one of my old readers, I bet you will feel a slight change in my writing and updating behavior in my blog and my stories. I stopped. I suddenly stopped. I love writing but now, I don’t think so. Not anymore. Writing used to be the thing that cheers me up every time I’m down. Writing is something I would choose over a lot of things. Writing used to be my first love. Writing was my life.

I find it confusing why I can’t jump right back in unlike other writers. I mean, people associate my name with this! How come, Meme the writer wasn’t the Meme the writer anymore? The last 2 years of my college life has been devastating but filled with old good memories. Third year was my most challenging year and despite all the family difficulties, I was able to graduate with honors. I broke myself down to a guy who is not worth it, I felt like dead on the inside but a robot outside and here I am struggling, going back to the very thing that I used to love. And I finally discovered why.

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Broken Pencil, credits to acrophobicowl.devianart.com
  1. Classical Conditioning

I know you wonder what Pavlov’s concept has to do with me hating writing. I bet people say I am throwing drama all over the place again but this is my story. And I believe that this blog remains a sanctuary for my thoughts.

When my grandma was gravely sick, I come home to a troubled home. You see your grandma on her bed, weak, unable to speak, eat, stand and do the old things she can easily before cancer hit her. Then I sleep in late. Wake up too early, around 2 or 3 AM to catch up with homework and handle editorial work. Either I write or edit articles. Then at school, I am bombarded with the demanding academic load, plus the ever stressful publication duties. I have no place to hide. I have no safe haven. Everywhere is a stressball powerhouse. There were times I wanted to cry and withdraw but I didn’t because I can’t.

Where’s Classical Conditioning here? The point is, I have associated writing with bad bad memories. Writing for me is associated with stress, hurt, pain, misunderstandings, bad people and bad experiences. Writing reminds me of the people who never listened, who misunderstood, who judged, who saw nothing but a terrible girl with a big head. Writing reminded me that I am not enough. That I always do things wrong. That I will never get things right. Writing reminds me that yes, I am not a good person. The thing that I used to love became a reminder of how painful and harsh the world could be. It reminds me how bad I can become. Need I say more?

  1. Maybe, I am a multipotentialite.

This term introduced by Emilie Wapnick on her TED Talk changed my life. I have weird not related to my degree creative pursuits. I do a lot of things out of love. It just so happened that writing, I thought writing was one of the things I will do for the rest of my life.

The idea of quitting in a multipotentialite is normal. Once you got what you went for in a field, it’s alright. But I don’t think I am done with writing. I don’t want to quit it. I don’t want to leave it. It’s just that I don’t feel it anymore. And once I force myself continuing old projects, I am drowning on bad memories and I start hating myself (as if there’s not enough self loathe). This is terrible. It’s a struggle, a fight I continue to suffer silently.

I have writing projects on my plate. Writing projects I tried to avoid years ago. New writing projects for friends and family and I don’t know how to explain them that this is my situation. The classical conditioning explanation and all might make sense to a fellow Psych major, but most of the time, to the most important people it doesn’t. So it makes the situation hard all together. I always felt alone but able but now, I feel terribly alone, stuck and unable.

It feels like my writing is on its forever winter. I don’t know what should I do to be back on my spring.

Two Things (I’m now a degree holder!)

Note: Before graduating, we were asked to provide a write up regarding our journey in College. Even though there seems like an eternal winter in my writing, I liked my output so I thought of posting it here. 😀 


 

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I guess my life in Tytana revolved with two things just like best lessons I learned.

I am a writer and I was not a born leader. Some twist of faith happened when I got the Editor-in-Chief position in the school publication. I love writing and all but this leadership thing is so new to me. As an inexperienced leader, I could say it is difficult to handle people because you are facing different personalities with varying degrees of talent. You need to adjust. You need to compromise. You need to communicate. You need to be mad at times. You need to be hard when needed. You need to know that you cannot please everybody. It was like a roller coaster ride but I was able to do it. I never knew I could do it. Being inexperienced chains us to the notion that leaders are born and not made. Let me tell you another two things: 1) that is not the truth and 2) leadership can be learned. It is a painful long process but I made it. If I can do it, I bet you the inexperienced leader, can do it too.

My other two things are emotional instability and anxiety. I am an emotionally weak person. I guess in the sea of bright young lads I’m the luckiest because I have everything I need right in front of me. What I always lacked was grit and belief in myself. I am the kind of person who always needs someone who will push me hard so that I can do great things. I am the most ironic Psych major because I’m emotionally weak, not to mention anxiety eats me up like a monster. All of us have demons inside our head. Unluckily, mine were the noisiest and the scariest. You guessed right – I am a highly depressive person but look! I am graduating with Academic Distinction. How did I manage you ask?

Two things again: the simplest tactic of “staying in the game” and “having faith in yourself” worked for me. I told myself that I will stay on the game no matter what happens. I will stay on the game despite getting my heart broken a lot of times. I will stay on the game despite the fact that I may not win. I will still stay on the game despite my weakness and brokenness. Look where this attitude has brought me. I was the anxious emotionally weak girl now emerging as a graduate with honors. Can you believe that? If I was able to do it, then I know people who are emotionally weak and anxious like me can be winners as well. The internal battles never go away, but staying in the game taught me that I can be strong and I can win them every day. Tytana’s curriculum for Psychology is challenging. To be able to last for four years is achievement in itself. When things became really difficult, I really thought of quitting and giving up. Quitting is always the easiest option but no, I refuse that option. Staying in the game means to keep yourself together when you’re facing problems with your family, subordinates, academics and facing the everlasting internal battles within yourself. Despite the difficulty of handling many things at the same time, I held on to another two things: 1) others (composed of my family, friends, mentors) and 2) God.  I am not the strongest, but choosing to hold on is one of the best decisions I made. If I did not hold on, maybe I am not joining batch 2016 as a graduate but here I am. I made it and I know you can do it too.

So what are my best lessons from Tytana? They are:

  1. Leadership can be learned
  2. You can rise above emotional instability and anxiety.

And before I end this, let me tell you another two things:

  1. Stay on the game.
  2. You can do it. You really can. 😀