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I thought long and hard about signing up for this 10 – day silent retreat out of the city but unfortunately, just when I decided to send the application, I was alerted that my September schedule was pretty much booked…for a nationwide caravan. I suppose I can’t complain, my wish being just the generic spending a while outside of Manila and forgetting all about its demands and longings even for a bit else I could go insane any day now. Backpacking around the country for an entire month for grassroots work fulfills that desire pretty well, and I dare say the silence I’ve been needing shall come along somewhere down the road. Because really, come on, it doesn’t get any better than that. All the mountains to hike, all the beaches to laze around for hours in, all the new people to meet!

Also, I sent my first fellowship application already and I’ve my fingers crossed, but if the Universe decides it’s gonna keep sending me to places way before I declare myself ready, since that seems to be the recurring theme for the second half of 2015 anyway, I’m going to find myself in a new continent in two months’ time. How is that for moving forward.

Not a sprint but a marathon

Earlier this week, someone I was sort of seeing reminded me of one very, very important thing: to be good to myself. Big talk I know for someone whom I’ve let disturb equilibrium the past three weeks since the day we met, but I knew without a doubt that he was right, philosophy units put to good use. Such goodness he says should be exercised at once and often, the most basic way by at least making it a point to get some decent sleep every night, else I’ll find myself burned out and disenchanted with people and life in general at the tender age of twenty – one. For the very first time in my life, I listened. Which is not to say, of course, that I’ve found some glorious spell to help my thoughts slow down — what’s different now I suppose is that I can now catch myself thinking too hard and too much and implement regular, sharp, intakes of breath.

Due to some issues at the Philippine office, work has been pretty crazy lately, and I have fallen into the habit of coming home at midnight and collapsing into my bed by 12:05 sharp the last three days. Not that I’m complaining. Now more than ever I am assured that this is where I want to be, and being provided so many opportunities to sustain my staying in this field doesn’t hurt either. Since the reshuffling issues were resolved a few days ago, we have redefined the local campaign’s goals and partnered with an organization aiming to marry human rights and climate justice — pretty much my personal stake at this all this time anyway — as opposed to just serving up interesting ways to communicate the science. I couldn’t be happier to be given the liberty to take charge of something that could possibly, even in some small way, make a difference in people’s lives. Since we aim both to influence policy and we have plans to do grassroots work meaning I get to get out of Manila for a month to travel the entire country, it is all I could ever want in a job. Frankly, I have no memory of working this hard for something.

But like I said, things are complicated, and not at all the enveloping glow of hard work for me. I still have yet to graduate college, mainly because I’ve evaded going to school to even file a leave of absence and have yet to revise my thesis which is due in 10 days. Again, no complaints there — I’ve managed to find a way to dive into literary and cultural studies by tackling poetics and form and the most basic of my urges, mere interest, is working its magic and making me power through. The episodes of blinding sadness — now mostly just drawn – out moments of utter disbelief that I’ve deviated so far from the life I had been planning six months ago with someone else — still come, but they are not as confounding as before. I am still confused as ever with how things are going to go now in that department, but like I’ve said, I’m learning to take slow, deep breaths. I’m not going to waste sleep being confused by things that should be as obvious as day anyway.

I just have to find more ways to observe the being good to yourself thing. I have always been identified as intense and have fallen into the lifetime habit of throwing myself at things (people, haha) and then subsequently losing interest. Pacing is an idea so foreign that its introduction to my life as a way of dealing with things now just seems ridiculous, but otherwise couldn’t have been more perfectly timed.