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AnnaBee’s post reminded me of why I chose to be in law school. While reading her entry, I couldn’t help but see myself through her words, as if staring at a mirror. Some of my friends didn’t want me to pursue law school because they felt that I wouldn’t fit–that it would tear my personality down. My mom once told me that she thought I was only going to law school because I felt as if I couldn’t do anything else.

Maybe she was partly right, but my main reason still is for the discipline I feel it would drill into me. I felt that if I were to go straight from college to the work force, I’d be a wandering soul, not really knowing where to go and only going through the motions because they’re set fixedly. I’d be like a kid on a sugar high plowing through a candy store. And when I’ve eaten all the candy and the adrenaline rush wears off, I’d be miserable and sick.

Try as I might, I just couldn’t muster the courage to care. It was as if I went through college because it was expected. Everybody goes through college. But I went through it in order to graduate, and not really to effect a change in my life. I lost the drive midway through and never quite got back on track. I was living inside a very fragile, idealistic bubble and I couldn’t break through.

Law school changed that. Here, I feel as if there are unavoidable consequences to my every action. I don’t study to graduate; I study to become a lawyer. I’m not saying that journalism isn’t an important and fulfilling career path; what I’m saying is that I didn’t feel the pull for myself–that thing which would elevate it from a career path to a life commitment. Now, I do.

Plus, the discipline? It’s getting to me. Last week, I read in advance for ObliCon. I bet my college friends would turn their heads at the thought of my studying in advance for a class. I never studied before, let alone read in advance for a class. I was always the crammer. And reading always pulled through in the end for me. That’s not a boast, it’s a matter of fact. Now, I have to concede that cramming really will not work in law school. I have my abysmal midterm grades to back that up.

I posted on Facebook a status message that read, “I will study today”, and you would’ve thought that small pox broke out again. Countless people replied, “Why???” and “WTF?!”. A blockmate even messaged a friend to ask if I was really studying on sembreak. I had to tell people that 1) I was only reading whatever was at hand, 2) while waiting for my downloads to finish, 3) so I wouldn’t sleep, 4) and therefore fix my body clock.

That’s one-half of the truth. The other half is I studied because I don’t want to fail. And you know what, I shouldn’t be embarrassed that I’m doing what I can in order not to get kicked out of law school now that I finally realized I want to stay.

boknay.blogspot.com

Today, I decided to delete my two old blogs. One has been with me since high school, and the other since sophomore year in college. The former holds about a hundred posts while the latter barely reached 10. I’ve ignored them for a while now, but I finally decided to delete them once and for all. I admit, one of my main reasons is privacy. I can’t just have thoughts of my immature, impetuous high school self floating around the internet. I did download a back-up file though, so that one day, when I have nothing else to do and whimsically decide to read what and how I wrote when I was 14 years old, I can dig them up and cringe at myself.

I started blogging in high school. Together with a bunch of friends, my 15-year-old self started learning html codes, div tables, hexadecimal color charts, and web effects way before our teacher attempted to teach us during computer class. I say “attempted” because I feel that she ultimately failed–the website she created to show us an example of a “good” one had a neon green background with a guitar rolling across the screen. That quarter, my seatmate (who also happened to be one of the best blog designers I knew) and I never listened and just did our own thing. Half of the class wasn’t listening because half of the class already knew whatever she was trying to teach–we blogged.

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Day 3 – Your Parents

 

Dear Ma and Daddy,

What can I say? I think all the thank you’s in the world is not enough for everything you have done for me. I know how underappreciated you two are, and I can only wish that you two know how much we three love you. It took me a long time to write this letter because I was stuck on what I was going to write. I was afraid that it wouldn’t be enough to encompass the love and gratitude I feel. I know that I’m not the most showy or talkative person (that role falls to Iching), and I just want to say thanks that you’ve never held these against me.

My siblings and I are never short of our needs, and sometimes, I feel like we get too much of our wants from you. I know and have seen how you two have worked very hard in order to put us through good schools. Sometimes, I feel guilty going to the pricier law school because I know that it would have been an added and could-have-been-avoided burden.

But you’ve never stopped me from shaping my life the way I see it. When we were filling out college application forms, I was ready for World War III–you defending medicine, pharmacy, or some other science-based course, and me standing my ground on journalism. Instead, you let me pick the courses I wanted for every school. And after four years, when I decided that a career in journalism wasn’t for me, you never looked at me with disappointment and said, “I told you so”.

During my last semester of college, I was not myself. I skipped classes, totally didn’t study, and would pass mediocre work. I figured, it was my last semester, I should enjoy myself–the important thing was to graduate. My grades slipped far below what I normally managed, and it was okay for me. The laude didn’t mean anything to me at that time. But then, I realized how sorely disappointed you would be, not because it would reflect on you but because you knew that I was capable of doing it and I didn’t. I got that cum laude not for me, but for you–because I knew that my triumph would make you happy.

Ma, when I was young, I remember long nights spent studying. You guided me through every subject and didn’t stop until I understood everything. This stopped in fourth grade, when you allowed me to study by myself, and with it came the end of my study habits. I often look back at those days with a bit of resentment: while all my other friends were out playing, I had to study. However, I realized that this taught me one important lesson: never give up with the things I couldn’t understand, because I will always get the answers if I keep on trying.

Daddy, as a child, I was very scared of you. I always saw you as the cold disciplinarian, partly because you always were the one to spank me. It was much later when I realized that you were actually the more soft-hearted one. One night, I was pretending to be asleep in my room when you came in, sat beside me on my bed for a long while, and pushed the hair off my face. I couldn’t see your face then, but to this day, I have not forgotten that sensation.

To both of you, I rarely say this–and I don’t think I’ve ever really said it out loud before–I love you. I really do. And I realize that I should be saying this to you guys in real life instead of through this letter, but let me do this for you here, where I can express myself best.

 

Love,

Boknay

Day 2 – Your Crush

 

Dear You,

If anyone asks (and I don’t think anyone will), I will deny to death that I have a crush on you. You know, I can’t understand why I like you. Upon closer look, you’re not as good looking as I would have thought. We don’t really talk, and I don’t think we’ll ever be friends. And people I know don’t like you.

But you make me giddy every time I see you. I get extra happy with the thought that I’ll see you. And my eyes automatically spot you in a crowd. How about that. Never thought I’d be like that with a crush (this has never happened before, even when I was still a freshman in college, hung up on Chris Tiu). So thanks, my happy crush 🙂

 

<3,

Mina

Disclaimer: This will be the first of 30 posts under the 30-Day Letter Challenge. I don’t promise to post everyday or to post only about it, but I guess it is a good way to keep this blog alive.

Day 1 – To your Best Friend

Dear Mavic,

I think that when the powers-that-be paired people up to be best friends, they took one good look at me and decided that I would be the luckiest person in the world.

You’re my alter ego because you are a perfect complement to me. You’re graceful whereas I’m not, calm when I’m hotheaded, quiet when I’m boisterous, patient when I’m not. You do know that my parents love you? Until before we graduated, they still update me about you and when they see you in school. They’d push me to go out and see you, then berate me if I didn’t. They see, treat and love you as another daughter, and that would never change.

We’ve spent four years apart, through college and ups and downs, first drinks and last hurrahs. Geographically speaking, we’re closer now, but we still see each other rarely and talk less often than I would like. A major part of it, I know, is my fault. It’s hard for me to keep ties, harder still to email and text and call. You know I can’t really stand that.

That’s why I want to thank you. Because you have been the most patient, loving, understanding best friend I could ever have. I am ashamed of the numerous times I have let you down and I’m sorry for all those times. I don’t want you to think that I treasure you any less, because out of all the people in the world, you know how much I care about you.

Let’s be honest: we have a lot of catching up to do. We’ve learned to live four years apart from each other. Essentially, we went through college and led totally different lives. Sometimes, I grin at the irony. You entered journalism hesitantly and ended up embracing it whole. I went with only one goal to pursue and ended up getting lost on the way and taking up a different path. A little confession: you know, more than once, I’ve been jealous of you and how you’ve accomplished everything I set out to accomplish–and then I realize, I’m more proud of you because you’re my best friend. Sometimes, I feel that it’s my fault that we’ve grown so much apart (and this really pains me), because I left and I didn’t really look back.

I’m really sorry. That’s all I can say. Sorry because I’ve taken you for granted. Sorry because I’ve been a very disappointing best friend. Sorry because it doesn’t look as if I care. And I just hope that you hang in there a little bit more, and still be my best friend. Because out of all the people I consider friends (and I have met some great people), you are the one I trust the most.

You have never judged me and turned your back on me, even if I have given you reason to do so. Remember the last two years and how I forgot to greet you on your birthday? That makes me one of the worst best friends in the world. I would have expected you to get mad and stop treating me as one. But you didn’t. And that makes you a better person than I could ever hope to become. And it makes me proud that I have you as a best friend.

When I was working on my internship, I was telling my co-workers about you and one of them said that this friendship is a sham–nobody can stay best friends if they’re apart and only talking through text or online. I disagreed with him then. I still do. I believe our friendship has weathered a lot of storms, geographical miles, and changing times. I believe it will withstand a lot more, a whole lot more. When I’m old and seventy, I still want you to be my best friend.

I owe you a lot. I have a lot of stories to share, pains and joys to tell. You know I don’t like to talk about myself. I prefer to listen to others’ stories, partly because I can’t open myself up to people–even some of my closest friends now. But I want to tell you everything, because I feel most comfortable with you, even after four years apart. More than stories, I owe you more. I owe it to you to be a better best friend, and this letter is not enough to make up for all the things I’ve failed to do for you.

Let this be start.

 

With all the love I can give,

Mina