That moment when you try to show off to your husband a flying kick which you haven’t done in two decades and then you get a side cramp (no, more like a side-back-hip-thigh-tush-rib-armpit-boob cramp) that lasts for eight minutes…
Remember that day I was driving
and showing you around Metro Manila
and because of my incredibly challenged sense of direction we got lost
and I accidentally brought you to a landmark (was it a statue?) three times in a row
because I kept making a wrong turn
and you started to make fun of me
and we both started laughing so hard our sides hurt
then you told me that we should remember that moment
so we can go back to it when we’re sad
because it will cheer us up and make us smile?
I pulled out that happy memory today.
You were right.
Before the famous graffiti of Banksy, there was me.
TRIVIA • I was shy when I was a kid • I would stare blankly but there would always be a Mardi Gras carnival parade going at 120 mph inside my head • I was always willing to please even when it hurts (still sometimes guilty to this day) • I hate putting on sunblock, with a passion • I have a huge problem saying NO, but I’m working on that • I am not afraid of ghosts • I used to get paid big time for blogging (until I got burned out and couldn’t sell my soul out anymore)…
I guess every blog needs a thorough ABOUT ME page so there it is! I couldn’t stop writing once I started it, went overboard and shot out 49! Why not 50 you ask? Well, why not 49? 49 probably wants a list to it’s name too.
So I might need someone to stop by and read it just to put it to good use. Hee!
PS. I would like to know a random fact about you too. Please drop me a comment. I really would like to know.
[Photo Credit: Abby Diaz, thankee!]
Thank you so much to everyone who took time to write me joyful and supportive messages on my Facebook post about making it to “ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL”. Thanks to those who “liked”. I am touched. It baffles me how sometimes a little milestone posted on Facebook can magically appear to be 100 times grander than it probably is, which might be the case here. I have a long way to go. But I am happy (and shall I say stoked!) with the thought that you all most likely “get me”. So much more than the achievement or honor or recognition it brings, it is the opportunity to live my humble dream of communicating important messages through my “heART” that I live for as well as being able to support the causes that resonate with me throughout this journey. That is why I typically and stubbornly don’t make cute and pretty decorative artwork for money or pursue commissioned designs, that is why I suffer, struggle and die a little (truthfully, die a lot) when faced with requests to make art that I can’t personally connect with, no matter how much I am promised to get paid. They are unbearably painful. I digress. My heart still aches, I think it aches even more now realizing that there is so much more to do and so many more obstacles to overcome in order to do all of them. Thank you with all my heart. The love in me recognizes and honors the love in you..
[Somewhat] Related post: CAVE TIME
Revisiting one of my favorite paragraphs in the book Eat, Pray, Love. I can deeply relate.
“What can you believe? The world is unkind and unfair. Speak up against unfairness and in Sicily, at least, you’ll end up as the foundation of an ugly new building. What can you do in such an environment to hold a sense of your individual dignity? Maybe nothing. Maybe nothing except, perhaps, to pride yourself on the fact that you always fillet your fish with perfection, or that you make the lightest ricottta in the whole town?”
Came across this one and I’m now laughing at how loud this voice of truth is. I know some people who are like this! In fact, a bunch crucified me behind my back at one point for a blog post I wrote a while back yet they remained numb and blind to the heartache and heartbreak written all over it (which they caused anyway!). I’m still getting some residual haunting every now and then up to this day but hello, it’s been like five, six years? I have since grown, transcended and moved on. I don’t understand why some just couldn’t. We all need to get busy with loving, growing and focusing on being better people and building better lives instead so we don’t end up being stuck in a rut, rotting, viciously regressing and swimming in all the negative shizzle that we bring upon ourselves and cast upon others…(especially behind their backs). *wink* *wink*
MY CHRISTMAS EVE TRADITION. Bringing out my two favorite things while I’m caught in my favorite window of calm, happy solitude which happens between the holiday rush and the start of all the festivities, merriment and cheer: this crystal glass and my favorite once a year drink for my old soul, Cream Sherry. I usually buy a bottle around my birthday every year. I have yet to meet someone who gets as excited and tickled silly as me at the call of Cream Sherry. A friend once remarked “Are you 80?” I’m an old soul, baby. So here I am again this year, listening to “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” (although quite frankly it’s not THAT cold here in Cali) and I’m filling my heart with joyful memories of warm Christmases of my past and strengthening my faith that with God’s grace there will be even better things for us, our families and the whole world in all the new Christmases to come.
Merry, Merry Christmas, precious family and friends. Keep luv-lovin’ Stay life-livin’ CHEERS!
THANK YOU FOR ALL THE BIRTHDAY WISHES. It’s a special and quiet birthday as I’ve always preferred it to be. Always consciously slowing down on this day to smell the flowers, uhm, er, Christmas tree. Yes! I finally finished decorating our gold, pearl and purple themed tree. I always purposely top all this opulence with a very simple Precious Moments angel topper (whose clothes are patched up and torn). This keeps my heart grounded and committed to the real reasons for the season.
But yeah, it finally smells like Christmas in our little castle! I’m thankful for new ornaments too: a vintage ball which I picked up for 50 cents at a thrift store (it makes me wonder what kind of Christmases it has witnessed in the past and I am drawn to add to its abundant well of memories), an exquisite Lennox Claddagh ornament from my sweet aunt Jeannie (to celebrate my Irish roots!) and I’m still waiting to receive the new ornament that my bestie gives me yearly (she already sent me a photo of it). Every piece added to our tree each year is completely random and unplanned but always wondrously fitting in, very meaningful, special and treasured just like all the moments of love, joy and peace I’ve been blessed with throughout the year including the new milestones I never ever imagined I could reach.
I really can’t ask for anything more. Well, good health for my parents (yes, please!) and for all my loved ones and me, abundance and prosperity that will enable me to help many and so much more opportunities in the coming years to keep on growing, learning new things, using God’s gifts and living this awesome gift of life to the fullest no matter what obstacles get in the way.
And oh yes, I’m wishing everyone this amazing symphony of inner peace, strength and quiet contentment I’ve found especially for those who haven’t found it!
Life is great. God is the greatest.
1. My trip to the Philippines in January this year to visit my parents, family and friends and to revisit memories, live like a local for a couple of weeks because it really feels that way everytime…y’know, like I really never left, only with more appreciation of what I left behind.
2. Keeping up with the healthy lifestyle which I started in 2013…clean eating…Paleo…cultivating mind strength, most of all.
3. Trip to NYC and PA: Being able to visit and celebrate with family (cousins galore!) and friends…wedding, sightseeing, reunions, art museums and being able to take Aj with us.
4. Aj’s beautiful experience and safe mission project in Thailand. My heart beamed with pride.
5. Learning how to run and experiencing my first 5K ever
6. Achieving my dream of doing fundraising 5Ks for my causes: Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer research, in honor of my superheroes: Mommy and Daddy. Thanks to all those who donated to the causes.
7. The Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture (FPAC) held in Los Angeles which I was blessed to be part of
8. A truly random and unexpected opportunity to hang my paintings at a pop up gallery: Clubhouse Cocktail Lounge in Alameda and another one (fingers crossed) hopefully coming up soon: Studio 23!
9. Being interviewed by TAYO Literary magazine for their online blog. It felt so surreal since mine is coming after many art-schooled and extremely talented people
10. TAYO magazine for always believing in my work. Publication coming soon: January 2015
11. The unexpected, the unplanned, the one I said NO to, the one I wasn’t ready for, but the one who surprised me with so much gentleness, loyalty and unconditional love…my current source of peace, the one who quiets my hyperactive and chaotic mind, my bonus: OUR DOG TANK. He wasn’t supposed to be ours, but I’m glad he is ours now. I won’t have it any other way. Yeah, even if I love to be alone and he doesn’t leave me alone…
12. Finally getting a bigger car hahaha. Something I can call “truck” even if it’s just an SUV (yeah hey!), not my dream BMW X3 (yet) because we figured if we were going to buy a spare car we might as well “buy” extra seating. So seven people, yeah, bring it on! #Montero
13. My two besties who are my sounding boards-slash-launching pads…the two people who keep me from chewing my nails and cuticles and eating all my fingers raw: Florence and Ali. Ali for the 26 years of strong friendship that never changed, a huge irrreplaceable puzzle piece. Flo…for always relighting the flame in my heart (and butt!) so I can keep pushing and chasing after my dreams and for always reminding me that the only thing between me and my dreams is the DOING. There is nothing else I want to be but to be to you like how you are to me…
14. My full-time job and also my side business and my studio hours
15. Mommy and Daddy’s continuous survival, healing and bouncing back despite the health issues. Thank you, God, please keep answering our prayers. Day to day, we will fight!
16. My sisters: Lisse for always remembering to call me and check on me and update me (because I’m not the calling type, really) and Trina, for everything that you do…you are the greatest sHero of them all.
17. Aj graduating with a Nursing degree next month. Woohoo!!!
18. Aldred, for always being so supportive, for tolerating my weirdness and creative chaotic mind, for his patience with my ADD and for putting up with all the healthy food I put on the dinner table. Most of all, for all the unconditional love and for believing in me even if sometimes it’s way too much, like I’m really superwoman and/or wonderwoman who can fly or walk on water…(but maybe that’s why most of the time I feel that I am and that I truly can)…
What are you thankful for?
I posted this a few hours ago but didn’t have time to make my point. What I wanted to ask was, do you also hide inside your shoes? Because I do. Inside all my nice and pretty shoes is a pair of feet that walks around carrying this huge and heavy worry for some very important loved ones…their current health status and impending health crisis, some life changing decisions and adjustments that need to be made. And then this huge need for myself to be strong and hold it together for everyone. It is maddening. Most of the time, you’ll see me walking tall and strutting about in fab shoes but today I will be brave and tell you my secret: I hide inside lovely shoes. Today for instance, walking on these Steve Maddens is someone crying for help. Please pray WITH me as I pray for my loved ones.
And tell me everything’s going to be alright.