October 29th, 2011

When I was 15, I thought I’d be married by 27.

I didn’t know what I wanted to be, but I assumed I’d be stable, married (or at least engaged), with a fulfilling job I could do for the rest of my life. No kids yet, because the thought of having a child scares me and I can’t imagine taking care of my own at this age. (Even at 15, I knew I didn’t want to have them at 27).

Reality: At 27, I’m a grad student, living in a shared apartment with three people I met on Craigslist, and spending Saturday night at the J-School because it’s too snowy to head back home. But somehow things feel right, and I’m in the right place at the right time. I’m glad that I didn’t get to choose the direction of my life as a teen, because I’d have missed out on a lot of heartbreaking, but necessary, experiences.

Sometimes I wonder about the choices I made; should I have stayed in a particular relationship? Should I have gone to grad school in Europe? Should I have just stayed home, stuck it out, and gotten promoted to a higher position? I don’t know, but I no longer spend angsty hours stressing about the direction of my life because I know that somehow, I’ll be fine (at least I hope I will).

I’m not giving up this blog anytime soon, but I feel that I’m nearing the end of my quarter-life crisis, and “twenteensomething” no longer seems to fit the bill entirely. Even the design isn’t me anymore (except as a broke grad student, I’m not shelling out for a web designer, and I don’t have the necessary CSS skills to overhaul it just yet). Nonetheless, I feel drawn to blogging again, primarily because I’ve been going through so many things here in New York, and I want to record and share them somehow. So the blog will live until next year at least, but probably not for much longer.

And I’m glad I’m not yet married.

The Bar

March 17th, 2011

In what feels like another lifetime ago, a friend (but we’re not particularly close now) and her boyfriend both graduated from college. They were together months after they first set foot in university; they lasted until a couple of years after heading out to face the real world. They were a sweet pair, those two. They went to every party together. They owned a joint social networking site. They lived five minutes away from each other, so they were constantly joined at the hip. People believed that it was only a matter of time before they got married.

In one of those obligatory grad dinner photo albums—the joint site probably no longer exists, so I can’t be sure what the exact words were—the guy said, probably joking at that time, “Will you still wait for me until after law school?” It was a joke, because everyone knew that of course she would wait, and they would live happily ever after.

Well, the bar exam results were released today. People have been sending their congratulations on his Facebook wall. Four years of law school plus more months of studying and nail-biting anticipation of the bar exam results is no joke. But the difference is that unlike other girlfriends who have been proudly barking out the results all evening, her Facebook wall is devoid of any mention of him. On the contrary, the latest post is a lovingly drawn sketch of her current beau, who is as different from her college love as black is from white: the lawyer vs. the artist. But superficial differences aside, they’re clearly in love, and it oozes out of their every pore. Of course, that’s just an outsider’s point of view, because like I said earlier, we’re not close anymore.

It’s been five years since that graduation. She’s been through a lot: worked in a bank, resigned and put up her own business, lost a loved one to cancer. Him, I’m not quite sure—apart from the fact that he just passed the bar exam. Somewhere along the way, we fell out of touch and settled into our own lives without feeling the need to see and confide in each other. But I still remember the times that not a week would go by before we cooked up some crazy escapade, and I suppose that’s what I should choose to remember—not the constantly rescheduled lunches that never push through, or the text messages that never merit replies.

Until now, I’m not quite sure what happened to the two of them. Chalk it up to the fact that people change, and that relationships usually deteriorate by slowly crumbling to the ground—not with quick, sharp blows that everyone can see and hear. The funny thing about making romantic sentiments public is that long after you’ve dusted yourself off upon ending a relationship, people will remember what was said and done between the two of you. Like those post-graduation snapshots, and a naïve but brave statement about waiting for a happily-ever-after when law school ends. After all, at 21 years old, what did any of us know?

Forever.. 25?

August 12th, 2010

While everyone’s been running of to Forever21 for their fill of clothes and accessories, I’ve managed to stay away for three reasons:

1. When Forever21 opened, I had just gotten back from Hong Kong. Hong Kong has two H&M outlets. H&M > Forever21. Also, lack of money > shopping.

2. Forever21 is in Megamall. One of my least favorite malls since my viewing of “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros” was ruined by some teenage morons yakking on the cellphone repeatedly (and with the usherette not doing anything).

3. I don’t wear a lot of accessories. Don’t get me wrong, I love them, but always manage to forget to put on a little frosting before I step out the door. Forever21 accessories look great on a lot of people I know; they always seem to pop up in our shoots in Metro nowadays. One time, Grace and Tricia turned up at a shoot with the exact same necklace, an ebony crucifix hanging from a string of beads. It looked great on them, but on me, the look was different: I looked like a runaway nun from a convent.

Other than that, I do like Forever21′s basic shirts and some of their dresses, but I generally feel I’m too old for some of their edgier accessories, like rhinestone rings that look like brass knuckles.

That, or I never was really into hardware in the first place (I prefer cloth-based accessories such as scarves and soft belts, plus some hair items).

So much for being forever 21! It used to be my favorite brand when I was a teen, after a cousin introduced it to me in the U.S. But earlier this year, I found myself looking at the super-short, ultra frilly dresses and finally saying “no.”

What I still like: the color. What I'd think twice about wearing: the shiny cloth and the giant bow (in front)

All those jewel colors are now replaced by neutral and nude hues.

I really don’t know. I’d still shop at Forever21, but it no longer makes my heart beat faster (nowadays, foie gras does that). When I hit 25, I started wearing toned-down, neutral stuff that could be mixed and matched. On one hand, it’s more practical. On the other hand, I don’t want to give up all my frou-frou clothes. So somewhere along the way, I started making compromises.

I have this skirt in 3 different colors: black, cream, and blush pink.

I guess it works out that way!

(Day 1, entry 2 of the 30-Day Blog Challenge)

Old friends, bookends

May 2nd, 2010

I have a photograph / Preserve your memories / They’re all that’s left you

“Old Friends/Bookends,” Simon & Garfunkel

After adding a couple of co-workers, I noted that I had 1,833 friends on Facebook. Some of them are close friends, others are old classmates, and most are acquaintances from the industry I work in. A few others are relatives whom I don’t know but have the same last name as I do. Recently, I read a Tweet from my brother, who was cleaning out his Facebook list. 250 friends deleted, he typed. I thought it was a great idea, but a lot easier to do when you’re a student. In the industry I work in, where so much depends on egos, the simple act of unfriending someone can spell social disaster. Read More…