Personal

Ending the summer

The summer feels like it lasted much longer than two months, and it is officially about to end when, on Monday, I go back to school for my fifth(-ish) year at university. Having shifted to a fine arts major late in my fourth(-ish) year, I’m terribly, nearly depressingly delayed by two extra years, but as I look back on what has transpired over the now ending summer, I think a lot of it has been the good stuff, and I think I’ll be alright.

The past two months, I occupied most of my time with an internship at a small editorial and design company in Ortigas, where a lot of the work I did revolved around corporate business reporting, copy-editing and proofreading, even a bit of speech writing. When the past academic year was coming to a close, I was actively seeking for some sort of office work to get away from, specifically, (1) my writing project on music I desperately needed to break my focus on, and (2) the rather negative energy from a lot of people around me (… is the simplest way to say it “haters”?). I suppose the theme of this summer was detachment, which I’ve strangely needed a lot in my life. As cliché as it is—and it’s come to me over and over in college, and something my parents have always told me—you can only trust so much in life: not people, not ideas, not promises or anything.

It’s funny, actually: today I had lunch with a good friend who I see periodically, and when I told her about how I needed to detach myself from, as it happens, the same group of people, she responded, “Again? You said that to me the last time we saw each other.” It seemed that drama was inherent to some things, we agreed, and it’s never good to invest too much of yourself in something that you don’t stop to see the cold facts. In the whole of its comportment, friends, like trust, are rare. (Side note: lunch today was wonderful; we ate at Breakfast & Pies in the Maginhawa area and apparently caramelized spam can be delicious.)

The 9 to 6 internship helped me in getting away from what I needed to. It locked me into a good routine, and I learned a lot from certain projects especially when I worked closely with the National Book Development Board for a specific event. But I will admit it: office work really isn’t for me—everything about it just becomes so tedious in the end, and for all my productivity or usefulness over the past two months, meaningless productivity will eventually drive me crazy. (Something my friend and I also agreed on: teaching is one job that would rarely, if never, be boring.) Hard work in relation to pay day, however, was kind of amazing; it always felt good every two weeks when salary would come along and you’d know the work you put in, plus your eight or nine hours overtime, paid off. Because of that, the little purchases like new shoes, new books, and a good, hearty dinner made the summer even just a little bit more enjoyable.

I did take a week-long—though it continues to feel much longer than that—vacation in Japan last May, in the endlessly beautiful city of Kyoto and ever bustling Tokyo. But Japan 2014 is an entirely different story; I think it needs its own blog post and more time for me to write about.

It was a long process to the end. As the summer comes to a close, one of the most important things I have been reminded of is some good people are for real. I remember now, that week abroad, as my parents and I were about to board our flight back to Manila from Tokyo Narita Airport, I had found, finally, a small and bright red Daruma doll in one of the airport’s souvenir shops, a popular gift item for tourists and locals alike. Wooden, round, and hollow, the small doll depicts a bearded man whose face is drawn with black ink, but has no eyes. It is a talisman of good luck: you draw one eye as you make a wish, and only draw the other eye when the wish comes true. A symbol of perseverance. One other important reminder: some good things are really happening. Hard work, and the rare event of trust.

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