Picture this: a thin, brown-skinned girl, not exactly kayumangging kaligatan but darker and taller than most of the fairer mestiza kids in an exclusive all-girls school, with thick white-framed eyeglasses, black hair pulled into a neat ponytail pinned with a big blue or black silk ribbon on top.
This waif of a girl would also speak so softly almost like a hush that her teachers often coaxed her to raise her voice a decibel higher.
She didn’t wear boy shoes as most of the girls did, and which she too wanted, but always wore her black ‘Mary Janes’ to go with her bobby socks trimmed with lace.
In other words, she was the 1960s’ version of a school nerd — the odd girl out, so she thought.
Now don’t get me wrong – but my being conscious of my brown complexion was only when I did not know any better; my mother would often tell me my complexion was something to be proud of. As I grew up, I disliked using whitening lotions and the like.
And that was what made me so terribly shy in grade school. Dared I not join a group during breaks unless one classmate would call me in or was with me. And in the class, I’d often wait for the teacher to call on me to recite even though I knew the answers well.
Yet, in a strange way – my shyness would also lead me, at times, to venture out with courage to play all by myself in the school playground, or enjoy fun rides with schoolmates from other sections during our school fairs. Or to sign up for a drum and bugle class, a singing group, and a painting class in high school.
You see, I could never carry a tune ’til now, and I could only splash a mixture of colors on my drawing pad – my idea of being a future Picasso or Monet. But I still surged ahead with doing all these. Just because.
I remember the look of stunned disbelief of one particular talented young boy upon seeing me on our first day in the painting class, like he saw his dog or cat taking up the brush. I sensed a note of contempt as he asked me why? He seemed to think based on his self-righteous standard, I wasn’t meant to be there. SO… what?
The spirit of that young girl from way back still lives in me — as I pursue my passions with a mix of confidence, audacity and spunk. And that is what I love most about myself – because it’s what makes me unique, what gives me the courage to learn new things, cultivate new interests like blogging…a late bloomer in the field of writing.
That lakas ng apog was sparked by my Mom’s own passion for living, for she indeed was a woman oozing with confidence and grit, inspiring in me and my siblings to achieve our goals, test new waters and scale the heights.
And that is what I love most about her, my dearest Mom, even if she’s no longer with us. To her I will forever be grateful for this, and whatever I achieve, to God be the Glory!
People who know me well, like my close friends, often brand me as funny, crazy, and even wacky at times. Many of my students likewise have remarked they like it when I make them laugh.
Perhaps there is that touch of hilarity in me, albeit in my deadpan way, that elicits uncanned laughter.
But what constitute my ticklish moments for others are those times I’d rather bury my face in the sand. My closest friends tell me that if my life were a collection, it would be a collection of bloopers.
Bloopers indeed — embarrassing, hilarious or clumsy…
Like that day in college when I was only a shy sixteener in my 1st year in the university. You know how it is when you are trying to muster enough grace to walk in your 3-inches heels and white uniform that rose 2 inches from your knee, and hoping your crush would be around. That feeling of balancing your steps while trying to look cool, casual.
But I didn’t expect this. I stepped daintily towards the university’s main building, took another step, and felt my right foot … on the ground! My shoe somewhere behind me.
With all those students swirling around me, I felt like dressed chicken being roasted on an open fire…
How about you — have ever experienced anything like this?
There’s a superstitious belief that when you break a mirror, bad luck is sure to follow, and it’s 7 years at that. And often, a cracked mirror is disposed of quickly.
Now, if indeed I were to wake up one day to find the mirror crack’d, I’d see a much better world. Not perfect, not even close to it.
Yet, around me, beauty would shine more strikingly than ever just like in an eclipse —
the moon’s mystifying form, sans its own light, renders her more beautiful than the blinding light of the sun…
My mirror crack’d, thus I could see myself more clearly, through my neighbors’ eyes and mine;
Perhaps in a world without mirrors, people would be more humble, quiet, content…
We’d become more in touch with ourselves less the self-consciousness that would otherwise distract us from our real purpose in life — and that can allow you and I to journey on with humility, simplicity, sincerity…
Truly, when our mirror of self-vanity cracks open, it reveals the real gem beneath our facade, our mask…
Each of us becomes a beautiful broken piece from that shattered glass of superficiality and pride.
Oh I’ve been dreaming about this for so long, but if only I could have a Robot, so I could have a pair of Bionic Eyes that can scan my mind, as I write.
You see, now that I’m earning a living out of creating content for websites – I realize that writing cannot all be fun, especially when running out of time, and there are still loads of articles to read and curate.
And so, if ever I could, I’d command You, Robot, my dear BionicEyes, to do just this one Big task:
Capture, collect and gather all the thoughts that have been running here and there in my mind, and flash them onto my screen, so that all I have to do is just to re-arrange them as neatly, logical as I want them to be…
Not wanting to use my keyboard any longer as I curate an article, when my wrists are tired – my dear Robot – Be my Eyes and set all the ideas right before me – on the screen – Now.
This is not to say I do not enjoy what I’m doing. On the contrary, it delights me immensely so.
Yet, times when I do want everything automated, except thinking itself…so please, my Bionic Eyes, come to my rescue!
The Name’s The Thing, yes. It feels good naming some things. Just like My Writer Pad, one among several physical journals I keep. And my Writer Pad’s name is — Sean George. How it came to be, I will tell you.
Sean stands for the name of my long-time Hollywood crush — the ever so debonair Sean Connery. I’ve liked him more since watching him in “Finding Forrester” and in “First Knight.” The way he carries himself like true blue royalty can still make me swoon for the moon, letting my imagination go wild with his hypnotic gaze and deep strong voice. Sigh….
Then, George comes from the name of one of the main characters in a short love story my Korean student, a nun, and I read, discussed in class. At the end of several weeks of digesting the story, my student said she hoped I’d find my own George. Well, here he is, together with Sean.
With that name, it’s easy for me to be lured to come to Sean George, my Writer Pad, bare my soul, with my words streaming down on its pages.
Et tu, Brute? — this oft-quoted famous line from William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Ceasar which most of us studied in English literature speaks of deception, the ultimate betrayal of one’s closest friend. Can you imagine the shock, the bleeding pain and disgust Ceasar could have felt at seeing his most trusted friend Brutus among his assassins?