Space.

Since I started paying for a future micro-apartment (that’s what I’m calling it now – I might change it again later), I’ve doubled down on watching home renovation videos. I’m particularly obsessed with these videos by ‘Never Too Small’ which features tiny living spaces that are maximised for use.

I think most of them are almost too good to be true. Okay, they’re REAL. But I bet in practical usage they don’t look as pretty as shown. And they have to be very expensive. Small spaces require customisation. I love that idea for my future micro-apartment but… yeah, I’d need to save.

I love watching these videos. They are therapeutic. Like I don’t have to feel so sorry for myself that out of 15 years in the professional workplace setting and I’m settling for a 25 sqm studio. That’s tiny. The language I use when I try to prop myself up? “My first apartment” — first, of… well… many (I dream).

***

The past year has been a wrestling match between optimism and pessimism. I don’t feel productive. But objectively, this is THE MOST PRODUCTIVE YEAR and I’m not being sarcastic. It really has been THE MOST PRODUCTIVE YEAR. Studying a new language, starting payments for a micro-apartment, registering to vote in the Philippine elections, doing my best naman at work (I’ve had so met many journalists so far)… PJ and I are pretty steady. He still treats me like he just met me three weeks ago.

Sobrang internal na lang yung struggle. I can’t pinpoint it to imposter syndrome. I can be better off with more $$$$ but I’m able to live comfortably naman right now. My family is doing fine as far as what’s being shared with me. What’s the cause for my dip lately? I’m beginning to think it’s hormones or the stress of getting older (hello, 37, in a few months). I’m trying naman every day and I give myself credit for that. I also choose to live. That’s a consistent decision naman coming from those darkest days of December 2017. Four years na rin has passed. That’s the amount of time most people need to complete a bachelor’s degree. What degree did I get? Survival.

A conversation came up recently with someone. It felt like she held a mirror up to my face and showed me a pretty image of myself that was based on peoples’ impressions of me from back then. Give or take, she probably knows only 2% of me since that was our first conversation. But that was her impression of me which was also based on this image I’ve projected back then. That I’m some ‘accomplisher’.

What I was seeing in my reflection are the memories, thoughts, struggles, traumas, times I cried into my pillow or shark stuffed toy, secrets, anxieties, and so on… mostly hidden from view. And lately I like to keep quiet because I don’t want to stir things up, create drama, or post something that can be taken out of context. There’s also a pandemic running for almost two years… and I don’t want to dampen someone else’s day. Looking into this mirror, I feel like a clown.

What I can say is that the conversation was fun, anyway. She is a bubbly person and maybe that’s what I miss. Conversations with real people. Not through Zoom or FaceTime. Not in tiny screens. But conversations with real, actual people. Maybe I’m so full of myself since I’m working from home, eating every meal at home, getting my entertainment while home, playing games at home, exercising at home… everything from home. I miss conversations with people… hearing their stories instead of drowning in my own.

BTW I’ve also taken steps to stop consuming alcohol. I’m committing to it.

Dami ko sinabi today. But there you have it. Letting it out.

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