a birthday reflection

Today marks my 27th revolution around the sun.
This marker, while inherently insignificant, is a good reminder to reflect about how the self has fared as a human being.
Here’s a list of the things I’ve learned about life thus far:

Business taught me that there are opportunities everywhere; and spotting those opportunities are easy enough if you want them enough.

Having money taught me the value of financial leverage. How money is not the end, but merely a means.

Failing at work taught me that failing is a necessary pain to understand better; and that the best reaction to failure is in two parts: acceptance, and clear next steps to move forward to do better.

Voraciously reading for leisure taught me how to love learning new ideas and perspectives. And that apparently, this has been my secret weapon in treading life.

Being kind without agenda (pure thoughts, words, and actions) taught me how it is the only principle that is an absolute positive. You can never go wrong with kindness – both to others and to yourself.

Constant reflection and introspection taught me to question why I do what I do, and how I can add real value to the world. It has taught me to not take things as it is, to question, to challenge.

Constant reflection and introspection also taught me that life cannot be predicted, no matter how hard you plan or dream.

Unconditional love for my family taught me how to bite my tongue, how to be patient, how to forgive. That these things that I do to them, they do to me too. And these actions strengthen our love for each other more.

I hope to learn more things in the next revolutions around the sun.
So help me, universe.

Advertisements

How much

How much do i have to pay
for a word, for a poem, for a short story
for your short story in first draft
to hear the sound of your voice
to hear your voice calling my name
What is the price of your kiss
What is the price of happiness
How much is morality really worth
Do the whats weigh more than the whys
Can measurement help rationalize thoughts and actions

puberty at 26

this entry is self indulgent. pardon the excessive egocentricity that will ensue. music:

1

after everything i’ve been through this 2014, health just took its toll now on the 12th month. merry christmas. last weekend i forced my body to do all these things: hang with friends, take a shot on love, write 6 briefs, do yoga, and moonlight. it was too much, i knew something will fold. and my immune system did.

2

i cannot write with beautiful words anymore. the writer self is now just a part of my past, buried with the memories unretrievable. now i write in such a functional, transactional manner. magic has disappeared. (ain’t that statement a bit meta. to disappear is like magic. and magic to disappear is magic about magic!) is this an obituary for the writer self? am i giving up. that is not a question.

3

26 is such a strange state.
i feel so old. so old.
more and more i spend time reminiscing, reading old emails and conversations. i’ve forgotten so much already – that this happened, that i felt that way, etc etc… the exercise is like observing the self from a 3rd person point of view. as if the old self had will, had a mind of its own that you cannot control. mindfuckful.

and this. this must be a relatively new feeling, born in the 21st century. people from the previous generations don’t have the luxury to read through their past conversations. letters would be the analogue version, but chats and emails are more real time thus are able to portray the unfiltered self more. and reading them is like spying on the past self detachedly, from the present.

26 is such a strange state. i’ve never been this obsessed with aging, and i know it will just get worse. i’m not yet liking this business of getting old. i guess i’m not yet that old. so it will get worse,  then hopefully it will get better.

mga salita

kagabi hindi ako makatulog
kaya binasa ko uli ang lahat iyong mga tula
at nagpanggap na ako ang dalaga sa mga sinulat mong taludtod
hanggang sa naghalo ang katha sa tunay
at lalong di napawi ang aking antok

a belated coming of age

The brain has bloomed late, but at least it did.

It reminisces the days when it worked hard without necessarily understanding what it was doing.
When it was content with performing on spec, while unburdened by the ignorance of the big picture.
When doing things was for the self, maybe for the family and friends, but it ended there.
When it learned and memorized. With grit and zest! But never connected how the self can use this knowledge to achieve a bigger goal beyond the self.

The brain has forgotten most things from the past,
Perhaps because it learned them without a purpose in mind.

But now it is blooming.
It is feeling wonderfully enlightened.
When it remembers or understands, it tries not to take things as it is. Now questions are commonplace. It probes how the self can genuinely add value to the work? How can her skills contribute to society?

Thoughts

“Why Nations Fail” by Acemoglu and Robinson sparked my newfound love for history. I’ve learned how much society’s economic and political dynamics were influenced by critical junctures of the past. But reading about history also gave me an impression that the struggle for the past centuries was mostly man vs man.

Fast forward to today. Societies now are more self aware, and are gradually evolving to have a proper check and balance in place to eschew oligarchic control and to encourage innovations. The struggle is slowly shifting out of man vs man.

Over time I’m confident that the world will take care of itself, and the invisible hand will reign… Especially since globalization and technology are inevitable forces. And they make ideas travel faster, thus making people smarter, thus making it hard for the elites to rule and extract from the mass. Also we prioritize “solving” man vs man because it directly affects how we live our lives now.

This is an optimistically bold statement… But my gut tells me to give it a maximum of a century or 2, and global societal peace will happen organically.

However one thing that is not getting better over time organically is climate change. Just because we can’t yet feel the effects now, we ignore. It’s the elephant in the room that can crush us all. But for the few who care, they know how the scale and intensity of its impact will take a toll on how the future generations will live their lives.

The man vs man struggle will gradually improve over time.
But man vs nature, a much much difficult struggle, is already within a stone’s reach. We need to act fast. And act now.
As of now I don’t know yet what to do, how to go about this. The insight just came to me now midway the book. But there are a lot of things to do including researching and immersing myself in the issue.