Daydreams

When I took my second course in college, which is Education, one of our subjects in school was Child and Adolescent Development. One time, we were discussing about early childhood (about 2 to 6 years old) and late childhood (about 6 to 12 years old).  I found out from that particular lesson that one of the favorite amusements of those in the late childhood stage is daydreaming.

When I was at this age, I remember that I was daydreaming a lot.  Actually, mine went even past late childhood stage — until my sophomore year in high school, I think.

Daydreaming for me was a hobby then.  At night, to lull myself to sleep, I daydreamed (or night dreamed??!) instead of counting sheep. I daydreamed of things that I didn’t have and would want to have.

I daydreamed about me being so wealthy that I have so many luxury cars and a very big house with a very wide and spacious garden. In my daydreams, I was so wealthy that I could buy EVERYTHING I wish to have and visit ALL the places I want to go to.

I daydreamed about being so famous and popular that ALL the people I know will know me too.

I daydreamed about me being perfect.

All these years, I almost forgot about these daydreams until a couple of nights ago when I couldn’t sleep and I suddenly found myself contemplating on them. I suddenly thought about how stupid and shallow they were. But hey…I was young back then! At that time, I didn’t have any idea of the realities of life.

A little more contemplation from that sleepless night and I came up with the following realizations, after having lived the life I have now:

Realization No.1: Being super wealthy is not so impressive at all

I used to work in a bank and I have seen how problematic rich people are.  Wealth and riches are things that I can’t bring with me when I die.  So these are really very temporary and very complicated at the same time.  Money is so hard to gain (or earn) yet so easy to spend.

I realized that in real life, what matters most is that I have a place to live in, I have a stable source of income to provide for my family’s needs, I have some savings for rest and recreation, I  have enough for emergencies, and most importantly, I have good health. Yup, I don’t really need to become super wealthy or super rich to have all these. I just have to embrace the simplicity of life.

Realization No.2: Being famous and popular is not really a good thing

Why? I have just three words: LOSS OF PRIVACY. If I were super duper famous, people would be looking for skeletons in my closet.  They would be digging for secrets and information about myself for their own personal gain. I would be pressured in doing what the public wants or expects me to do. In other words, the public owns me! Wow, that’s not a very good thought. If it were to happen, I would most likely be banging my head on the wall while telling myself over and over again about what a chaotic world I have put myself into.

Realization No.3: It is perfectly all right if I am not perfect

Nobody is! Perfection is shallow and boring. Well actually, it is unreal.  What really matters is that which is inside the heart.

So, did I stop daydreaming?  As a matter of fact, I didn’t.  But now, my daydreams are the reflections of my hopes and dreams for a better future.  They are somehow attainable, especially if they are what God plans for me.  Some of these are:

I daydream about my children being all grown up and so successful in life.

I daydream about old age without regrets.  This means that whenever I look back, I will be thinking that all has been well and that I don’t regret any single day of my life.

I daydream about me— old but happy and contented.  I will be sitting by the beach, watching the sunrise from the horizon, and thanking God for another beautiful day.

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Oops…this isn’t the old me yet. But I will be doing more of this as I grow old. I love nature. I love sights like this because it calms me…it calms my restless soul.

It is Wrong…

wrong

photo source: ClipartXtras

…to put all your knowledge on something;
you’ll end up being brain-drained

…to expect too much from anything;
you’ll end up disappointed.

…to rely too much on anybody;
you’ll end up frustrated.

…to put all your effort in a relationship;
you’ll end up exhausted.

…to put too much passion on things that matter most to you;
you’ll end up being taken advantage of.

…to put all that you have —body and soul included—on a love;
you’ll end up feeling that you will never be enough.

..to give all the love that you have to anyone;
you’ll end up getting hurt.

…to think that love is all that matters;
you’ll end up wondering, “Where the hell is love when I need it??”

But…is life not worth all these risks and pains?

Determination

It was in 1999 when I first came to Japan. My reaction: I was totally astounded by how clean and beautiful Japan is. (Well, until now, I feel the same way and I still think that I am lucky for the chance to live here.)

I was excited and happy the first couple of weeks.  But as the following weeks went by, culture shock, homesickness and the language problem had set in. I couldn’t read and speak any Japanese at that time so it was always a frustration to go out of the apartment to do anything.

It was the time when computers were not popular and the internet was nonexistent. My mobile phone was a small rectangular device that can only do two things: to call and to receive calls. Touch screen phones were still a thing of the imagination. So, in short, I had no way of translating anything instantly. My only help then came from a pocket-sized Japanese-English dictionary that was with me all the time. The people I knew were so busy to help me out that most of the time, I was left to do things by myself.

In spite of the frustration, I forced myself to be useful and to learn the basic. And as expected, experience (mostly embarrassing) was my best teacher. Like that one time when I didn’t know that I took the express train instead of the local one or that one fateful day when I went to the wrong train platform at the Shibuya Station. Of course, in both instances, I didn’t reach my destinations so I had to go back to the station where I came from and board the correct train.

When I did my grocery shopping, there was a time when I was supposed to buy salt but got the sugar instead. So just imagine how sweet my chicken adobo had become. Yes, I know what you are thinking…I made the mistake of not tasting it before I put it in the pot.

So to avoid these blunders…one day, I decided to stay inside the supermarket for as long as I needed just so I will remember which one is which. And when I was done memorizing the grocery products at the Tokyu Store, I felt this deep sense of fulfillment! Yay!

So many times, I had thought about going back home out of frustration. But I didn’t. I was able to surpass all the obstacles through determination.

If it hadn’t been for my determination to make a life in Tokyo, I wouldn’t have been here with a job which I realized just a few years back was the job that I really wanted: teaching kids.

So how did I end up being a teacher? That’s another story.

 

And My Journey with You Begins…

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

I have always wanted to write in my own blog…

Several years ago, when I was still an undergrad student in a university, writing was my passion. I was writing down everything I thought. I was jotting down everything I felt. But then, when I entered the complicated life of adulthood, this passion gradually disappeared until I no longer had the urge to write.

“What the hell happened along the way?”, I have always thought.  At the same time, I also noticed myself gradually changing into someone I barely know.

“What the hell happened along the way?”, I often wondered. For way too long, I felt I was in another person’s body, not knowing who I really was.

When reality hit me hard in the face, it made me realize so many things, some of which are:

  • That I shouldn’t change “me” to please other people. The more I pleased people, the more I would have to conform to their unending whims.
  • That when I started pleasing people, it had become unappreciated and without end. Worst, it came to a point when I tried to please them for as much as they wanted already just to blend in and just to belong, but still, it was never enough.

And so…when the day came that all the realizations came pouring in, I decided to go back to how I was from the very start…and it was for the better. I embraced the new “me”— tough, outspoken, if-you-don’t-like-me-the-more-i don’t-like-you-100-times-as-much “me”. Although I admit, I still have somewhere in myself a tinge of the old, pleasant, likeable “me”.

I have always wanted to write in my own blog…

Now I have one. I hope that this will be the start of my second life as a writer.

And I invite you to be with me in this journey.