Happy Small Things.

Sorry for being such a bitter balogney the past days.
Sorry for not writing soon and for not writing enough.
Life has been busy lately. Work has consumed my entire existence that I feel like a walking paperwork with a big stamp that says “Going to the Shredder ASAP”.
I know thats not right. Thats ugly. But what do you want me to do? Quit my job? Get out of the city and start living my dream of becoming a hermit?
That doesnt sound right, but its enticing. I have to contemplate.

Meanwhile,  let me share you my Happy Small Things. (Forgive me for not thinking of  a “cooler” title. Im not cool. Im awkward. So dont you expect anything cool from me. Plus its easier to remember, its laconic ( BIG WORD!) and it sounded awkward. Yay! Couldnt think of anything better.

These are random small things that I ate, went to, saw, feel, consumed, created, live into, kill, devour, catch, tasted etc.etc.etc.etc. the past week.

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1. Mcdonalds Iced Coffee Vanilla – my comfort drink food. I couldnt possibly get thru my usual 8 hours shift without these lately. Plus, its always being brought to me by my thoughtful boyfriend. So its free. Thats just about perfect.

2. Ironman 3 -Its starting to get ridiculously annoying when people keep raving about the movie but i.dont.care. Tony Stark doesnt care either.

3. Donuts and Pizza – the batch of newly hired analyst that we are handling actually won this out of a “talent competition”from a company event. They are pretty awesome. Pretty awesome in the sense that they actually did an acapella of an old Dona Cruz song. Dona Cruz. And they won,  ladies and gents.

4. Human Nature Natural Shampoo – Lets not talk about my hair because that is a sensitive matter. But I think I might have found the best natural shampoo for less than 200 pesos.

5. Stargirl for Android – everyday, after dealing with alot of “adult, office problems”, I just want to lay down and be dumb. This entertains me in so many ways, its addicting. I just needed to click on posters, shop for cute little dresses and look fabulous without having the need to think. This is me relaaaaaxing.

6. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy – I have this obsession for Asian authors lately. Their lineage is so authentic that it reflects on anything they write. A true masterpiece. Its not gonna be a Booker Prize winner for nothing. And no, its not like 50 shades of Grey, Im sorry.

7. Cute flats made in Laguna Philippines – if theres anything Im passionate about, one is probably my desire to help local businesses. No, I dont have a foundation or a non profit organization. What I have is a heart for people like Lola Maring, who sells this shoes they made on the street. They handmade these shoes and sell it to the street because they cant open a shop of their own. Its 150 pesos each and its cute and comfy. Way way cheaper than your Gucci’s or Nine West. But these help Lola Maring feed her family. Support our own. Make your small ways count.

Well then, that’s my Happy Small Things. I hope I’ll have more to share this week. I encourage you to make a list of your own, and share it to me too. Its about time we try to appreciate the small things. Because sometimes,  its the small things that takes up a big chunk of our hearts.

Happy Monday ★

This picture perfectly sums up my last couple of weeks.

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Black and white. Forgetful. Insipid. Uninteresting,and always looking at tall buildings and busy streets.
I dont know If im just anxious with my new job role or if Im almost completely bored of this urban jungle I bitterly call home.
Maybe Im just anxious. Yeah. Iam.
But nonetheless, I still got a lot to be thankful for. Thankful for tiny speck of colors that went my way.. Small kindness from people that I dont know, sincere compliments, unabashed laughters between friends, a good book, an unfaltering push that says “Go on.”, 5 cute (one is kinda ugly) newborn puppies, the comfort of coming home to a noisy house full of people that I love, and that guy with blue shirt and black sneakers who walks everyday just to bring me coffee during break. These small blessings, no matter how forgetful or ungrateful I become at times, are what deviates me from almost focusing on the black and white zone of my life. My tiny specks of light, my colored dots, my sunbeams.

You drink coffee just because it looks cool? Well let me tell you my story.

I had this weird perspective of equating coffee with intelligence. I know. Its lame. And Im not sure if anyone ever agrees with me. But I find it totally amusing to see someone cradling an unassuming cup on her hand. Who sits quietly right on the small corner of the coffee shop, probably lost between pages of a book or a journal. Who doesnt mind the people nor the selfish noise of the crowd around her. Who, in most cases , has her back facing the world.

But thank you Facebook and Instagram for letting people take pictures of them with Starbucks on their hands and totally destroying my weird philosophies. Gone are the days of admiring people who actually searched for a great coffee. Who truthfully and genuinely find comfort in the aroma of a fresh brew. (This rant made me think of all those pictures of me with Starbucks in hand and brandishing it like a total idiot. I am currently contemplating to take them all down.) Yessir, Im just like everybody else. Which made it even worst. Im not cool, and my intelligence level is directly proportional to my motivation to get out of bed and take a bath in the cold morning. And I FREAKIN take pictures of me with a cup of coffee right at my face. Absolutely ridiculous. Unforgivable. I hate myself now.

But let me tell you a story. Before I became this unsentimental coffee drinker, I was the queen of my grandmother’s porch- who will give up everything to hear her stories, while clasping a hot cup of local brew which she made just for me.

I was born and raised in a small town where every house will never be complete without a cracking fire and a pot of coffee in its crown. Batangas is best known for its local brew thats a bit strong for most, but is unmatched for its aroma. I remember waking up every morning, with the smell of everything thats comforting about my childhood – burning twigs, fresh morning breeze, a hint of ripe mangoes, the scent of my pillowcase and that intoxicating smell of coffee grounds, slowly burning and  saturating at my lola’s every persistent stir.

Whenever Im tired, sick, lonely, happy, defeated – she will make me some coffee. Whenever she has stories to tell, me and my cousins will gather around the porch while she happily pour some in our cups. Whenever a tired neighbor or a lost tourist will  seek shelter from the cool shade of our mango tree, she will offer them coffee. I lost count of every celebration, every victory, every mourning, every summer vacation, every school break, every memories of us family that revolves around our infinite coffee times. As we all grew older, those events came few and far in between. There were years that I havent been able to come back home because I have countless school work to finish, or because I was busy building my dreams in this city -away from that small town, away from that porch, away from that comforting scent, away from my grandmother’s old stories.

A couple of years ago, she passed away. I screamed at the heavens for taking her away. The heavens screamed back at me.

Unconciously, I took that piece with me whenever I go. And it was just recently that I realized why Iam sentimental about it. It reminded me of the comfort I had back when the problems of the world couldnt even touch me. Back when my laughter doesnt involved laughing at other people. Back when my grandmother will ask me if Im okey while she push her own cup on the table and invites me to take a sip. Back when a clear, peaceful mind is a gift.

Whenever im sad, broken, trampled down,  doubtful, sick, cold, joyful, I will seek a hot cup of that black coffee. With every smell brings a new light on things, a new understanding. Awakening.

Its now 5AM and I am about to go home from this corporate jungle that I am in. I would love to drop by the nearest coffee shop right across our building. But Im too tired to even bother. However, I will give up everything just to hear my grandmother’s stories again. Ever smiling, right by that porch, with a hot cup of black coffee in her hand.

Single now? I say wait and grab this checklist.

Back when the only consolation I can give to myself is that undying hope of meeting an absolutely awesome man, I wrote this in a piece of tissue paper and said a little prayer. Today, 3 years after, I stumble upon this and let out a sigh of victory. Oh boy was he worth the wait!

“Find a man who kisses you and wrinkle your nose when youre upset, who holds your hand when youre scared of the movies, who brings you flowers and waits for you so he can walk you home, who takes you to meet his parents and brings you along while he eats pizza with his friends.

Find some one who tells you you’re beautiful during bad hair days or even when you’re just wearing rugged sneakers, who kisses you when no one is looking and then kiss you more when there is.  A man who can bring you to drink wine or walk in the rain, a man who holds your hand when he drives or sits patiently beside you on a bus. A man who is willing to look stupid just so he can see a smile on your tired face. Someone who can never live without you but will not let you know. Someone who, in face of deep frustration, will hold himself back and embrace you until his rage disappear. He who will find time to let you know he loves you just the same, beyond your moods, beyond your imperfections, your oily face, beyond any supernatural fluke or any faith you both knew. A man who will not fear any destruction, instead will walk with you in the ruins. Find someone who reminds you of sunrise, the rush of cold water when you dance in the rain, your favorite song, a hot coffee with all its aroma, the scent of musk and lilies and everything that is just right to the senses; who reminds you of your childhood memories, of home.

Someone who is wise enough not to promise you forever, but can look straight into your eyes and tell you he can barely breath when you’re away. If you haven’t find him yet, keep hoping. A man like him will always be worth the wait.”

Saltwater. Now.

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“The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea” – Isak Dinesen.

Believe me, Ive had a good amount of tears (mostly from crying over movies) and sweat ( walking/running under the scorching sun) the past few weeks. But Im still sick from this life of habit and routine. I hate how the “usual stuff” of the past few weeks changed me into this ugly creature in mono. Who sleep, eat, go to work, eat, sleep, and wakes up feelin so mad about waking up. My room is a warzone, I wear the same shirt every Friday, I feel pleasure in eating the same stuff I had yesterday, and I worship my playlist on repeat. Dont tell me I should get a life because Im trying.
Or maybe,  I just need the sea. And I hope we will be together soon. Lest this selfish cruel routine gets in our way.