The Return from the Thesis

It’s been a while since I got the time and motivation to write a blog. I have been keeping myself very busy with my graduate thesis the past days. Each day has been a struggle to do things well and right, as well as deciding between sleep, enjoying summer or staying put and complete that thesis. I completed my thesis alright, but I did not have to lose sleep or had to lock myself up in my room. If I had, I would have finished it a long time ago. Nevertheless, I did it, finished the whole document and awaiting my defense schedule. And as I rack my brains out for an interesting post, I found myself thinking about other “results” I found outside my research. I present them to you as follows:

1. A little bit of motivation each day doesn’t hurt.

Well, I’m sure it increased my blood sugar levels, but just enough to have kept me going through those grueling days. I’m talking about the Starbuck’s Sticky Cinnamon Bun. They’re heaven not just to my eyes but to my whole digestive system. I loved it so much that when I didn’t have the time to go out, I made one at home. It’s not very close to the original but it was still a cinnamon bun.

Baking was a motivation as well. When I got stuck and my brain did not seem to work, I baked my stress away. It was fun! It was also fun when boyfriend and I had an impulsive decision to go to a cold spring 3 hours away from where we live. We got off midway so we could buy the most succulent roast pig (1/2 kilo, that is) or lechon and bring it to the spring. And when they said that it’s a cold spring, it DEFINITELY was COLD. It was like pouring freezer-cold water on my body. But we had a lot of fun! It definitely refreshed my system that a week after, I finished my thesis.

2. Moderation is key

A little bit more of the “motivation” that I mentioned would have prevented me from focusing. If I had indulged more in the Cinnamon Bun, baked everyday and went on a swimming spree the whole time, I would have wallowed in so much guilt that I would not have the energy to practically do anything. It is always tempting to just indulge in the goodness that life has to offer. However, the consequence of looking back at my life and possibly finding that I wasn’t able to live it as much as I could have, is too scary for me. It would not hurt to pamper myself a little bit of course, but the operational phrase here is “a little bit”.

Sugar is needed for our brain to function, but have too much and feelings of fatigue will set in. Having a hobby is great but not prioritizing and giving time to the much needed tasks more is a recipe for an unfulfilled life. The YOLO (You Only Live Once) attitude that young people, like me, have popularized is a good attitude, that is why deciding well, planning and prioritizing are very important because YOLO.

3. Ask help

One of those crucial decisions in life is choosing to ask help at the most appropriate time and from the most appropriate persons. Time and again, not just while completing my thesis, have I faced the task of deciding whether to ask help or not. Personally, I do not find it difficult to ask, but there have been instances when the people I requested for aid saw it as a weakness on my part. It would seem that asking help is a sign that I am not competent enough. Most often, I could not get help because everyone else was too busy thus I needed to work on it on my own.

Independence is a virtue that I learned from Life and this also resulted to pride. So if I am given a tasked I have difficulty doing, the first thing I do is research and learn how to do it on my own. I have experienced being frowned at by people who I would ask help from. Thus, it has been a survival instinct to work on it on my own, no matter what. As I matured, circumstances led me to learn that asking for help is good, when done at the right time and from the right people.

The right time would often be before any damage has been done. For the right people? They just appear.

4. Magic Arms

There will always be people who would magically extend their arms to help you out. Often times these would be from people who are always with you, through thick or thin. For me, one of those is my boyfriend. I could not count in one hand the many times that he exerted much effort for my benefit. For this, I am grateful, truly grateful for him. With the challenges I faced the past days, he never ceased to let me see and feel the support he has for me. It just overwhelms me. Everyday, I am thankful.

In a grander scale, I am thankful to a Higher Being who/that would always conjure up somebody or fill them with goodness. This is because for every tangled string I find myself in, people would come. Every time I capsize, I find myself being pulled by sincere and helpful hands back to continue with my journey. For the previous days, it had been in the form of 2 very strict college professors who I never thought would actually care to give me their contact numbers and help me out in reviewing my paper. They truly are heaven sent.

5. NEVER Give Up. Ever

Lastly, there would be times that things would be impossible to comprehend. It would seem that it would be too hard to go on and that there is no point in what I am doing. For each of these negative thoughts, for every time my body would pull my mind down to surrender, I always have this in mind:

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At a time that the current seems to be knocking you out of your course and you will find it extremely hard to go on, that would be the time that the tide will change in your favor. Rest if you must but Never. Give. Up. Ever

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Tribute to A Stranger

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There are two events in a person’s life that would automatically pull people together — birth and death.

The difference may be that during birth, people chat about what life could be for the infant.

In death, people reminisce the life of the person. Perhaps, it is even in death that one would get to know a person more than when s/he was alive.

This post is for you. The stranger I knew since 10 years ago.

He was our prom king. Daniel Radcliffe would probably even be amused if he got the chance to meet his look-alike. No one seemed to think that he would be the batch’s “first blood” as per DoTA parlance. His death came as a shock. Too young. Gone. Too soon.

I have known him for four years during high school and have continued to see him in the main road near his University. I never really got the chance to really know him. He was one of the cool kids. I, on the other hand, was one of those bullied geeks. I always just remember looking at him from a far, admiring his good looks. Whenever I try to picture the times I have seen him, I only happen to remember his slumped back with his bag. I could also tell you about his smile and how silly he could be together with the other boys in the batch. But then, that’s it. Nothing else. Nada.

It would be apparent by the time you read this paragraph that I have no right at all to even have this post for him. I could not tell you anecdotes of his life and how he lived his barely 26 years on Earth. But I could tell you how his life, and death had an impact on some people I know. And on me.

It was while I was doing groceries that I knew of his death through an acquaintance, It was also during this time that I learned about his love life. Really, it’s amazing how one could get hold of such intimate information from practically a stranger. His girlfriend died in her sleep over a year ago. Some would say that it was cardiac arrest. This week, he was also found lifeless in his sleep. It was an apparent aneurysm. I guess, they are happy together now in the afterlife, if one would believe in such.

The eulogies during his wake were heartwarming, more like a testimony of their love and devotion to each other. What struck me the most was knowing that he continued to sleep in his girlfriend’s room with her ashes beside him after her passing. Heartbreaking actually, that his death somehow gives me comfort knowing that at last, he is now at peace with the love of his life. Death could not take them apart for long.

His death also provided as a mini reunion for our high school batch, ten years after graduating. It is a sad event to be together, but an opportunity nevertheless. For me, his wake allowed me to know him more. But also, it made me realize how aloof I had been, not even reaching out hard enough. Perhaps because of the fear of rejection.

During the wake, I found myself thinking if I had been somebody more than a stranger to him. If he would appreciate my presence in his wake. I guess I would never know. But him being just a stranger to me will not stop me from paying my last respects to his life. In one way or another, he touched my life. Somebody Higher must have decided that this person’s presence in my life would be significant, if not his life, perhaps in his death.

Prayer by Mother Teresa of Calcutta

At this time of my life, I have this to remind myself to be better always

 The version found written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta:

 People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.

 If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.

 If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.

 If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.

 What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.

  If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.

 The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.

 Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

 In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

-this version is credited to Mother Teresa

 

 

credits to http://prayerfoundation.org/mother_teresa_do_it_anyway.htm for the text