HBD, Maye!

June 18, 2012

Wanted to post some update of sorts, or some insightful entry about turning 21, but I haven’t read a word of my 1/3 of an inch thick reading for Consti at 8am tomorrow, so. Just got home from another dinner with the SK, my treat for my birthday.

Posting to commemorate that for the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, I met my birthday the other night STUDYING. Oh Law school.

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(Law) Freshman Jitters

April 6, 2012

Eto na talaga. Na-download ko na yung curriculum ng UP Law. Binabrowse ko na ang website nila. Mamaya maglalog-in na ko sa peyups.com at makikisali sa usapan ng mga law students at incoming freshmen. Eto na talaga, excited na ako.

Pero kaakibat ng saya ay takot. What if hindi pala ako magaling? What if bumagsak ako sa exams? What if hindi ko kayanin yung pressure? What if in the middle of it all, I found out I’m not lawyer-material, that I can’t make it? What if I want to stop?

It was so funny how I learned I passed. I was clueless. I wasn’t expecting the results to be out until a week after. So when a friend posted congratulations on my wall on Facebook that fateful night, I was like, “huh?” And then she gave me the link and I saw and I was jumping all over CMC, my student council civil image be damned.

I got in. I’m going to be a lawyer. I’m going to stay in the Philippines for another four years to study. My future has direction again, at least in the next four years.

I messaged my Dad on chat, all caps no less, and linked him the page. I’ve never seen him so happy. I’ve never been that happy. I was like a Yes Man, agreeing to whatever my friends asked—like free sundaes or free movie.

I didn’t expect to get it. I wasn’t able to prepare for it. I was too busy with thesis, org activities, elections and stuff to enroll in review classes, so I decided to just get sample exams. And then I got sick on the week of the exams, so I wasn’t able to use the samples. I woke up late on the morning of the exams, I used a number 2 Mongol pencil instead of the required number 1, didn’t have breakfast so I just survived on the two bars of snickers I had fortunately bought before running to Econ Audi. In the middle of it all, I was dizzy maybe because of hunger, the fever, or the exam.

After LAE, I saw friends from UP Manila and we ranted about it. Then Giro got out of his exam room and, while walking toward me, traced his fingers from the corners of his eyes and down his cheek, mock-signifying crying. I mimicked him and then I actually stupidly cried. I sobbed. I thought it was so damn hard and that I’ll never get in.

For weeks after that I pushed the thought of it in my mind. It was only after elections that I was able to think about it. Even then, I refused to look up anything about UP Law, didn’t prepare for getting in in any way, so that I won’t be disappointed when I fail. I chatted with my Dad and asked him what he thought. Ever dependable, he told me to do whatever I want. He even lectured me that he wanted me to take Engineering, but I took Journ, so panindigan mo yan! Pinapanindigan ko naman eh. T_T

Of course, this conversation became moot when I passed. For weeks after that, I was in a happy haze. The thought of passing LAE stopped me from doing drastic things during the dark days of our thesis. And as my friends said whenever I rant, “Ok lang yan, nakapasa ka namang LAE eh.” I roll my eyes but I admit it’s like a very strong patronus, shielding me from any form the boggart takes.

And then one afternoon while we were talking about what grad gifts we’ll as our parents, Giro told me I’d need the book stand for when I’m studying in Law.

Wait. Study? Eff.

I don’t study anymore. Four years in Journ stamped the need for memorization or actual studying out of me. So that’s when the pessimism started, coupled with the fear of not living up to the expectations—of other people’s and mine.

Yes, it’s too early to know. Just cold feet, I guess. Not enough to make me want to turn back. I think this is the fear of making a mess out of something I want so badly. If in Journ I can think that it’s okay if I didn’t get high grades for news articles because I won’t be a reporter anyway, in Law school I don’t have that kind of excuse anymore. If I screw this up, then I’m screwing my career, the career I’ve dreamed about since high school but was too scared to admit. I’m such a coward that I’m scared of admitting that I want anything until I’m sure of getting it.*

First world problems, yeah. But still. Anyway, it’s not like I’m going to forget the more important things. I just need to put this down on paper. For in writing is how I make sense of everything.

 

*Parang love lang. :))

TKD, the morning after

November 20, 2011

You know all those action books and movies where the character wakes up in a hospital aching all over? Where they couldn’t move because moving any part of their body causes shots of pain? I thought that was exaggerated and that it will never happen to me since I’m not an action star and I don’t engage in brawls.

But this morning when I woke up, I did what any injured character in movies or books do when they wake up the morning after: moan. As in UGHHHHHHHHHH…

To summarize, here’s my latest stat on FB: Eto na, buong katawan ko na ang sumasakit. Lahat ng joints. Bawat galaw. Sabi ni Sahbumnim, kung may masakit, pwedeng lagyan ng ice. Paano kung buong katawan yung masakit? Lulubog na lang ba ako sa yelo? Simpleng pag-iba lang ng posisyon sa pagkakahiga sa kama, kailangan dahan-dahan at pagkatagal-tagal para hindi gaanong masakit. Ngayon lang nangyari sa akin ‘to. Next week kaya, ganito ulit?

I woke up at around 6:30am and the first thing I felt was pain. I couldn’t move. I’m used to waking up at odd hours and shifting positions, but this time I couldn’t shift position because it was too painful to even turn on my side. But I was feeling stiff from lying on my back all night, so I gritted my teeth and slowly… oh-so-slowly turned on my side. When I finally reached the desired position, i pulled my blanket up to my chin and shivered myself to sleep. It wasn’t particularly cold, but I shivered.

I woke up again around 8am and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I lay on my bed trying to move. Isn’t that so lame? A friend was teasing me yesterday about being an old lady and having rheumatism. I scoffed at the thought; an old lady won’t be able to survive what I went through yesterday. But this morning when I woke up, I thought, gahd, is this how old people feel? Stiff and aching all over? I don’t want to be old, so I suppose this is okay, at least I’ve experienced what they feel.

Which brought about this epiphany: Whenever I experience something bad, I kind of chalk it up to experience. Like, okay lang, at least naexperience ko. So this pain is not okay because it’s painful, but at the same time I welcome the experience. I don’t want to feel this way again but it’s okay to feel it at least once.

I might have to experience this for a few more times before my body can get used to this, though. But next week, I’ll be ready with Alaxan! I’ve never tried taking that, because my pain threshold is pretty high, but I suppose this situation calls for it. I’d take it now if only I can go downstairs and buy the meds, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to go up the stairs again. It’s painful to go upstairs since last night, so I figured it’d be more painful today.

When we were in high school, one of the first things we do every year was to have the physical fitness test where we were supposed to do sit-ups. The next day, my classmates and I would be shushing ourselves when we laugh because of the pain it causes in our ribs. I’m not laughing, but I’m coughing, and pretty hard, too. So add that occasional but extreme pain to my various body pains and you get a very miserable Maye. Sigh.

So I’ll stay in bed and rest all day. As if I can do anything else. No regrets, thou. I’m still looking forward to next Saturday.

Taekwondo, I’m back

November 19, 2011

Excuse the corny title; I’m just so exhilarated and overwhelmed that I’m finally finally! doing Taekwondo again after 9 effin’ years. I took TKD classes with my cousin for a few months when I was in 6th grade but I had to give it up to make way for mock review classes for the Pisay entrance exam in December 2002. I didn’t get in (but I did get in Munsci). I just wasn’t able to go back to TKD again after that. :(

I’ve been trying to enlist TKD all of my college life, but never got it. First sem, first year I wanted to take TKD but my friends took Aikido, so I went with the flow. We had fun rolling all over the floor but it just wasn’t the same. And now, on my last sem, having the graduating priority status in CRS, I GOT IT.

It’s just PE, so I thought it won’t be so hard. I figured I’m going to relearn the basic forms and kicks, burn a few calories by stretching and exercising, and generally enjoy the experience. I couldn’t be more wrong.

There were warning signs. On the first meeting, the instructor asked if there were colored belts in the class. I sheepishly raised my hand and so did a few others. I didn’t think it was a big deal, since I was only a yellow belter. And then he asked what our colors were. Turns out I was sitting beside a black belter. WEOW.

Today, on the second meeting–first actual meeting, actually–the instructor asked the colored belts to come forward and form a line in front of the class. Uh-oh. Then we did the stretching, with us, the colored, leading the counting. He called us his “apprentices.” At this time I was pretty apprehensive.

Back when I was doing TKD, the first thing we did was to run laps around the gym. Then we stretched. This time we stretched first, so then we ran. And Sahbumnim put a twist to it. We were divided into three lines. We’re supposed to run as fast as we can to the end of the mat, touch down and shout, and then ran pedaling backwards back to the starting point. Pretty easy enough, I thought. Then several people fell on their faces and butts. On the first try I did okay. On the 2nd try, I fell on my face, and going backwards, I fell on my butt. Most embarrassing experience. After that Sahbumnim raised the challenge: the first line who finishes first gets a free cut. I won my round and didn’t fall and our group won. Yey, free cut!

After that, the colored belts were asked to stay on the floor and the rest of the class on the platform. We were then asked to do kicks, bullet kicks (we call ’em 45), 10 per side and take turns holding the kicking shield and absorbing the impacts of the kicks of the other colored belts.

Okay, let me tell you about the other colored belts. We are six in that class: there are two white belters (I think they’ve been doing TKD for a while; they just didn’t undergo the promotion process), two yellow belters (one high and the other [me] low), a blue belt and a black belt. I am the only girl and the smallest in terms of height and width… and in weight, too. Actually, the black belt is probably a bit thinner than I am, but he’s taller and did I mention he’s a black belter?!

So. Yeah. They kick hard. -.-

The 2nd guy who held the kicking shield timed out after the right round because he was dizzy. UH-OH. So when it came to my turn, having seen and heard the power of their kicks, I was feeling pretty weak. I did tell them to have a little mercy. I was thrown back a step on the first kick I received, kick shield notwithstanding. So I thought, Fcuk this, and I steeled myself. A couple of them did (the blackbelt and another guy) hold back a little and I appreciated that a lot, but by the end of my turn, my arms were sore. At the end of the bullet kicks, my right foot was feeling sore, too.

Before we finished bullet kicks, the rest of the class took a break, so they stood there watching us. Sahbumnim said, “Shout! Ang di sumigaw, supot.” So this smart-ass no-belt classmate of mine said, “Sir, paano yung babae? Di ba uncircumcised ang babae?” I kicked the shield pretty hard and glared at him. Humanda ka sa sparring.

After the bullet kicks, we did the roundhouse kicks on kick pads. 5 each side. I did okay on my first try. On my second try, I kicked pretty hard and was even pleased about the sound of my kick that second but on the next second, I was on the floor. I lost my balance. A couple of them tried to help me up but I brushed them off and stood and jumped, assessing the damage. No damage save for a scraped elbow. Whew. 3rd rule: bawal mamatay.

When it was my turn to hold the damn kick pad, their kicks are so strong my arm actually flew back.

The third kick we did was the turning side kick, 5 per side. I hate this kick. I hate turning my back on the target or opponent. My foot just couldn’t land on the target. Well, I landed a few, but most of my kicks missed the kick shield. UGH. GAH. I was such a loser. So I volunteered to hold the shield next. Might as well get that over. This time they didn’t hold back. Well, one of them did, I think. And this kick is actually more powerful than the 45. Yung 45, sipa, ito, tadyak. So, yeah, I was repeatedly thrown back and the kick shield offered no shield, really. It was actually hazardous: the black belt’s kicks caused the shield to hit me on my chin and mouth and, voila, bleeding lip. Good thing it was the inside part, since it’d be embarrassing if any of them saw the blood. That was the last drill, thank goodness.

So. Let’s assess. My arms are sore with a big bruise forming on my right arm. My feet are sore from all that kicking, my right foot especially. I have a bleeding lip. I have a scraped left elbow. My joints are aching from all the stretching. My whole body is tired and aching. And the pain will probably worsen when I wake up tomorrow.

Did I mention that this is my fifth PE, and so I basically don’t need it?

BUT I’M EXHILARATED.

When I got home, the first thing I did (apart from logging on to facebook) was to google taekwondo and youtube the kicks. Then I practiced the turning side kick for a bit. I just love doing this.

On my way home, I was thinking if I regret telling Sahbumnim that I’m a yellow belt. My life would have been easier if I stayed with the rest of the class. But then it won’t be challenging. I’m pushing myself to the limits, I’m raising my pain threshold and I am enjoying myself despite the pain. Maybe I have masochistic tendencies? Another tension of opposites, then: I am afraid of pain and torture, but I’m okay with this kind of pain.

It’s going to be hard, but I sure as hell am going to enjoy this. I’m excited for the next meeting!