Lambanog-Induced Writing

It's been almost two months since I've started studying for the bar. Not gonna lie, I have been pretty chill for fear of draining myself to the point of lack of interest by November. I indulged myself with dinners and nights out after review classes with friends I barely saw when I was in law school, and those that I haven't even seen since I decided to pursue the legal profession.

It's been really fun catching up, regardless of my insecurities about how I look now. But I've realized that I've become so disconnected with life outside law school. While my friends talk about new trends, benefits at work, investments and stuff, all I can contribute is the occasional curious question, a few nods, and when the opportunity presents itself, a legal advice. I realized that I have dedicated the past 5 years to this dream. When I'm around people who do not share the same bad recitation days and disinterest in the school system, I become a turtle out of its shell.

I've also become so good at choosing people to keep in my life. This isn't just a law school thing; it's a quarter life thing, I suppose. I do make an effort to see people, but only those who would do the same for me. I am now better at refusing to travel so far to the point of inconveniencing myself, to see people who won't even take a train to come visit me. I only keep a few valuable friends, and I guess that's okay.

I also have my dorm life to thank for making it so easy for me to go from having a car and having home-cooked food to look forward to, to independent life living. While my roommate and friends struggle with homesickness, I am actually happy and excited to go to Taft to start our weekend review classes. It's sort of my break from being at home all the time, studying my ass off. I guess to some extent, I also have my introverted self to thank for making it so easy for me to do things without having to call a bunch of people. While my friends need to call each other up so they won't have to eat out alone, I actually love exploring things on my own pace and time.

I guess that's it. I'm kinda losing my train of thought what with this pure lambanog concoction I'm drinking. Sundays are my Fridays now, in case you're wondering. We also had a specific instruction from our bar lecturer today not to study when we get home. So that's what I'm doing.

Oh and one more thing, I really applaud, love, and appreciate my family for supporting me in this dream. I truly wouldn't be so sane right now if it wasn't for their support. They're my equilibrium.

Letter to 1 week later Courtney

Hey there. 

How was one week of freedom? Or should I say one week of agony, waiting for deliberations to finish? We’re here now, and one week ago Courtney would like to remind you of the past five years you spent studying. 

Yes, there were bumps. A lot of them. You went to law school without any idea what you want to do with your life, other than you want to be an Ambassador, or a foreign service officer. You took entrance exams thinking you got that in the bag, but you didn’t. There were loads of things that law school made you realize, one of it being your lack of intelligence. All your life you banked on your hard work and determination.

So these past five years you’ve learned to let go of your body image. Yeah, there were instances when you’d try to be as sexy as you were as a cheerdancer, but it would all go to waste once sleepless nights, anxiety, and a shit ton of readings would welcome you back to law school. You’ve learned to deflate comments about how fat you’ve become, because you slowly realized that while there are others who flourished in graduate school, you simply aren’t one of them. So you let go and prioritized. 

You also learned how to stay away from friends who never seemed to understand how one day in law school means a day or more of reading to you. It was heartbreaking to always be MIA in almost all events because, aside from readings, you had your body image to consider. You just can’t bear hearing more of those, “bakit tumaba ka?” Comments because, you wouldn’t have traveled and sacrificed precious reading time just to hear that. You wanted to unwind, but there are some friends who didn’t understand that. You learned to keep those who were otherwise. 

You’ve also had your fair share of heartbreaks and love. Some taught you valuable lessons about self-worth, some how to love unconditionally and accept your significant other, while some were just downright bullshit. And because of that, again, you learned how to prioritize. Back to your books, to the solitary and extremely challenging life of law school. 

You learned that law school, or graduate school, for that matter, wasn’t a walk in the park. As your professor said, if you survived and did extremely well in college by doing homework, it wasn’t going to be the case in law school. You realized not only that it was just not going to be a walk in the park, but it was going to be days and days of sacrifice. And being the hard working student that you were in college, you had to put ten times the effort–and for you that meant reading, writing notes, index cards, recording yourself reading or memorizing the codal in the bathroom, and reading again. And again. You slowly but surely realized that while other people absorbed the intricacies of remedial law in record time, you had to read it over and over again because, well, that’s how you’ll get closer to graduation. 

Speaking of graduation, by now you may be anxiously waiting for the list of graduating students or you might already now. Whatever the result is, just remember that you didn’t go through that much only to give up. You may need to isolate yourself even more for bar review, or you may have to endure another year in law school. It doesn’t really matter, because through everything you’ve gone through, the most important lesson you’ve learned is that your family loves you. They understand every bit of bitch fit on mornings when you barely had any sleep. They understand your obsession with school supplies because without it, you’re lost. They truly love and accept you even though your performance is not perfect. They support you through this journey. You’ve seen that for the past year. And, most importantly, you realized the real reason why you want to be a lawyer: to make your hard working parents proud, to hand them that diploma and to give them the pleasure of saying, “oo, yung bunso namin, abogado na”

Never give up, one week later Courtney. It’s your journey. Give yourself some credit. God will provide. 

Spaghetti with meatballs

Mmm. Sounds yummy, right?

This isn’t about that wonderful Italian classic, though. This is about my relationship with the boyfriend material. The one who got away, bf-material-wise. 

I just finished watching episode 9 of 13 Reasons Why. If you’re reading this, and you’ve already watched it, then we’re already on the same page. I had one key takeaway from that episode: Justin Foley, in all his cleft chin, perfect smile, lovey-dovey but still a grade A asshole glory, does not have balls. And how many of us millenial titas can really say that we never had a relationship with a Justin? You know, the type who meets all your physical standards, the one who’s so accomplished, in a high school non-adult kind of way, but can never truly stand up for you? All talk, no action. Yeah he can threaten Clay all he wants, but come on, the dude lets his girlfriend drive him around, clings on to his jock posse for power and influence, but really, on his own, he’s just some pretty boy who can only as much as hurt a fly that lands on your lap. He’s fun, can drink, but will run off to hide the moment some bigger dude challenges him. Yeah, I think you know the type. And I guess we’ve all been there, some more than once. 

My Spaghetti with Meatballs was different. He could be annoying, what with all his trash talk and stuff. But the guy stood up for me. He “flew” to paranaque where some thugs broke into my car to steal my bag, in the middle of a radio show, because he wanted to make sure I drove home safe and sound. He could own up to his mistakes, apologized when he hurt me, and was man enough to change whatever issue I had with him. He faced problems head on–refused to talk through texts when he knew my problems were serious. He took care of me when I got so fucked up during one beach trip–hell I puked all over him and couldn’t remember half of what inception-related shit I said–but I sobered up and realized that I was changed, I wasn’t abused (not like Jessica), and we were on our way back home to my parents. He could be a trash-talking basketball fanatic, but he sure could back it up with actions. 

So yeah, I’m happy to realize that once in my life, I dated my spaghetti with meatballs. I’m glad that after all the Justin’s that keep coming my way, I had spaghetti with meatballs. And I let him get away, for reasons only I and SWM know. 

So I guess thank you, SWM, from the bottom of my heart, for perpetually raising the standards. 

Funny

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Funny how you see another person’s true personality when it’s most needed. Funny how convenient that slip up came. Funny how he tried to defend himself and blame it on my paranoia. Funny how I pulled all stops to cater to him. Funny how I made myself believe in what I wanted to believe. Funny how I still tried to see the good in him, and that slip up came in at the right time. Funny how he tried to act the victim, and couldn’t see up to the very end the point of assurance. Funny how my dad, just after the first date, told me he wasn’t good for me; but I didn’t listen. Funny how every time my messages would be left unread and I’d see him post a ton, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I waited. I understood. Funny how I poured out my feelings, and all he could spew out were incoherent, irritated words. Funny how I thought he was the one all along and that we just couldn’t find the right timing. Funny how I got kilig with his posts on social media, when I mostly felt empty talking to him. Funny how this time, it was all the same. Funny how selfish people can be; how their ego and machismo can get in the way. Funny how he found it funny to send a screenshot of our conversation to his friend, only to realize that he sent it to me by mistake. I almost caved in. I almost believed he was sincere. Funny it all backfired.

Okay na sana…

…sabi niya, he left his heart at China. Tapos turbo speed social media posting again. Aaaand, to add to that, ayan, dance-ables nanaman sila ni ate girl. 

Pake ko if she’s maitim and not your type? That’s not the message you’re sending me. He did apologize, but only for not talking more often. Not that he hurt my feelings. If you’re pursuing someone, you should be more careful what you portray, right? Or am I just being the overly sensitive and jealous person here again? Don’t I deserve someone who’s willing to refuse playful pictures with other girls, no matter how harmless it is, because my feelings are more important? Yes, I do. I don’t deserve to be with someone who shuts me off the moment he’s with other people.

Okay na sana, magrereply na sana ako, kaso ayan nanaman. There are just more signs to leave than to stay. 

There is always something that you can do. 

Don’t expect someone to trust if there’s no communication. You leave someone to imply the worst when there’s no communication. 

I tried to see past your tendency to get stuck in the past, but now I see clearly that you’re still stuck with ideals and refuse to work for this thing. You’re infatuated by the idea of having me. But you refuse to do the work that a relationship needs.

There’s always something you can do to make things work. But I can’t always be the one waiting for a reply and trying to reach out to you. You could have done something, but you didn’t.

On accepting another person in your life

I’m not expecting you to be perfect. I know I can be crazy jealous. I just need you to accept that and communicate, instead of treating every jealous fit as a mistake on my part. I need to see your willingness to change; to accept me in your life. There’s a learning curve here for both of us, but I don’t see you learning. It’s okay that you’re far away from me, I get that. We’re both busy improving our careers. What I’m expecting on your part is assurance that you’re not being passive with girls who flirt with you. That half-hugging picture, posing with another girl as if you were a couple, was definitely not how assurance as far as having a thing with someone goes. 

I’m tired of rationalizing every bit of your actions. I’m tired of letting it pass, thinking that you just weren’t aware that you’re already hurting me. The fact that you did not defend yourself or try to contact me when I commented on that girl’s post says a lot about how invaluable you think I am. Trust me when I say I’ve looked at it in every possible angle. I even saw that you got gym passes together. She deleted it. You don’t follow her on instagram. But her posts tell me that she likes you. And you didn’t do anything to assure me that you’re defending yourself from her. I can’t keep rationalizing when there is absolutely no decent communication between us. 

This is me getting tired of waiting for you to accept that we both need to learn. I get it, you’re not the type of guy who messages a special someone everyday. All I’m asking is assurance that even when I’m not there, I am still special. Your silence speaks otherwise. I want you to learn and I know that you’re nothing sort of perfect, but I have enough self-worth to know when to walk away. I know that I’m not contented with Facebook comment conversations. That won’t pass as decent communication for me. I also need to be understood. And I’m tired of doing just that. 

Want.

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I just really want flowers.

Lately, I’ve been stuck with men who think bouquets are a capitalistic way of expressing love. It’s too expensive. We can’t eat it. He’d rather spend the money on date food. I get it, but there’s something about receiving a bouquet of grandiose flowers that makes me think that I’m special.

And I’m not talking about your typical Island Rose bouquet, pre-arranged and all. I’m talking about a bouquet with meaning. I’m looking for someone who will spend time looking for tulips, lilies, carnations, and stargazers–and put them together just for me.

It’s expensive and wilts after a week, tops. Admittedly, it really is a waste of money. But isn’t that one of the many facts of love? You know it’s irrational and impractical, but you do it anyway. Because you want your significant other to feel loved; you think¬†she’s worth spending a lot for something so useless, if only to see her eyes light up.

And I’ve yet to find someone who will think of me that way.

Deal Breakers and Fame Whores

Okay so listen up, I know I haven’t posted in a long time. I’ve kept my thoughts confined in my notes app…or sometimes I let it slide off my mind because I have been dedicating my brain to the pursuit of a legal career. 

So anyway, I am a self proclaimed tita. And I’m proud of it. Since my last few posts, I have been through a lot of relationships. I have been with the ultimate boyfriend material who treated me like a princess; I’ve been ghosted by countless tinder dudes; been through awkward one night stands, you name it. I am at this point in my life where a good night’s sleep, pajamas, and the comfort of my own bed are far more precious than another drunk night at the bar. Been there, done that–for lack of a better, more profound way of putting it. 

I dedicated the last year of my life to learning about  myself. I went on a few date nights by myself and got comfortable with my own company. Then again I am an introvert. But since I left the partying scene, I have appreciated that side of me more.

This is where I get to my point. I am done dealing with boys in grown men’s clothing. Of boys who compartmentalize adulting to success in career, or to being an amazing boyfriend. I am now, and am proud to say it, looking for a man who not only is successful with his career, but can treat a woman right. Let’s just say that with the cocktail of men that I’ve encountered in the past year, I still remain hopeful that there is at least one man who has a little bit of every good thing a woman can hope for. I guess part of the reason I’m writing this now is because I’ve found that this guy who’s courting me does not have the EQ of a gentleman. 

I can’t show him the other side of a woman. That which feels, that which hurts. He’s successful, all well and good, but he does not seem to understand that it’s not always rainbows and butterflies in this world of serious relationships. All this time I thought that when you’re in the courting stage, you put your best foot forward. You try to impress. Until impressing becomes second nature, that ou let go of your bachelor world to slowly transition into this other side where a man shows that there is only one woman he has eyes on. I guess not.

It’s alright to post pictures of people you meet at work, but it’s an entirely different story to post pictures of bikini-clad women and models to get likes…to get the approval of your followers. It takes a man to be sensitive enough about the woman whose heart he’s trying to win over again. But no matter how much I rationalize his actions, I just can’t seem to shake off the insecurity that seems to have reared its ugly head in the wake of all those insensitive posts. When you’re a man who’s trying to win a girl over, you give up that side of you that wants to be in the company of other, more physically attractive women. You make one woman, just one, feel like you only have eyes for her. And ladies, if a guy makes you feel unimportant and insecure in any way, it’s time to run as fast as you can out of that picture. 

So okay, what if it’s unavoidable? If it’s part of work? All well and good. Part of a day’s hustle. But when you become so self-absorbed with likes and keeping your followers updated with who you’re with and what you’re up to, that’s not work anymore. You’ve come down to your private life. And in that blurred line between promoting your professional life and keeping your private life, well, private, the one you want to develop, you hurt someone. Again. I’m not asking a man to devote 24/7 of his life to pleasing me and making me feel better. I’m not looking for a man who becomes so self-absorbed with social media fame so much that setting aside a loved one just so his followers are updated with all the fun, bachelor-y things he’s currently doing becomes second nature. 

I am looking for a man whose actions scream out his sincerity. Character is not a “no issue.” If a woman tells you what she doesn’t like about you, or that you’ve made her feel insecure and insignificant, you listen. Any gentleman would come assuring her with more than just a “sorry na” to let her know that she’s loved. That her feelings mean more than public image. And he will definitely not shake her episode off as just another “kaartehan”. If it gets tiring, then so can rationalizing a boy’s actions. So can waiting for a reply when you’re worried. So can stretching out a thinning patience.

I am not asking for a man whose life revolves around me. On the contrary, I find it repulsive. I want to be half of a power couple. Like I said, being through so many relationships and being ghosted so often has put things in perspective. I’m busy with my own growth and goals too. But I know, I just know, that love and career can coexist. One that can go for hours, days, or even weeks without seeing each other because there’s so much room for self-improvement. But hell, if you have time to post what you’re up to on social media, you definitely have time to say hello. Show that at the end of the day, it’s not social media you’re dying to update–but the person who matters to you the most.