December 20, 2010

Taking Responsibility

Raymond's house

Since we were the first to arrive, we decided to run around and take pictures.. just like the old times.

pereng sterbecks embrelluh lol


garden and big mango tree

Still very young:)

I didn't know Margie took this shot

beautiful cousins and their kids. They look young but they're actually in their 30s. Believe it or not :)

I wasn't looking. Oh well.

Me and my sister

the Uy uncles

I miss my Uy cousins, from left-right, Margie (my sister) Oliver in blue, Juls in white, Alfred at the back, Jinno in gray , me and my twin cousin Kristine who recently came back from Norway :)

For almost 8 years, I haven't created a single piece of artwork. I haven't drawn for a long time because I felt so overwhelmed by all the amazing works of art I saw on the internet. was really a downer for me. The sight of thousands of talented artists around the world disheartened me. It made me insecure about my capabilities. This negative reaction fueled my decision not to pursue Fine Arts at UP Diliman. I was supposed to transfer to Fine Arts at Diliman after a year in UPLB as a Communication Arts student, but the thought of leaving my boyfriend back then jarred me. I know, right. My parents’ low whispers and subtle suggestions that I could not make a living as an artist confirmed my stay in Los Banos. So with my parents' blessing, I stayed in LB and graduated as a Writing Major. To be honest, I have yet to use my writing skills as a source of income. Does that line drip of regret to you? Maybe and maybe not. What I do regret is not being able to control and take responsibility for my actions. Until now, I blame my parents' misconceptions about fine arts and for my inability to apply as a graphic artist in an ad agency.

But is it really their fault? Whenever I make an important decision, I always consult my mother. I see her as a very strong independent woman who has always guided me, but she's not perfect. I am now in my 20s. There are no excuses anymore. Surely I could make most decisions on my own.  So, that's what I did. Instead of working at a desk from 9-5 or whatever shift a company offered, I decided to resign and finally do what I wanted as an artist and earn from it. The decision did not sit well with my parents at first; especially with my grandmother. (This is very Filipino of me having to consider what my family thinks). It was a grueling process but I’ve reached a point where I am aggressive and insensitive enough to not mind what they say. And so I got a pad or a condo-tel to be exact, in Makati to get away or I would not get anywhere if I lived back at home to please them. I had to take charge of my life. 
After a year of bliss and independence, it was December again. I went back home for the holidays and recently attended a family reunion. The annual ‘big one’ with our 1st-3rd cousins, uncles, aunts from Philippines to Europe. Most of the members, particularly the women, are strong and successful providers. I was one of the young ones and it was inevitable that they ask me "where" I was working. I could not answer of course because "my work" or "what I do" is so dynamic and the only office I could say is my organizer.

Tita: So Millie, where are you working now?
Millie: I'm still a make-up artist, a teacher and a..
Tita: Ah so, the same pa rin.

AWKWARD SILENCE. Imagine, in that round table, my dad, grandmother, cousins and my sister were there and no one said a thing to defend me. It annoyed me that the reaction elicited from the topic of my job can only be rivaled by a news of getting impregnated by an old married man, or being gay. I looked at my grandmother who always had something to criticize what I was doing and to my surprise, even she, kept her mouth shut as if trying to spare me more embarrassment. I looked down on my plate and felt a nudge beside me. It was my sister.

Margie: Natatawa ako sa kanila. (I find them funny.)
Millie: Baket? (Why?)
Margie: Kasi ang definition nila ng success ay 'pag meron kang trabaho. (Because they think that the definition of success is having a job)

Margie: Sabi kasi ni Sir Aman, ang definition ng success ay ginagawa mo yung gusto mo, masaya ka at kumikita ka ng malaki. May stable job ka nga eh kung hindi ka naman masaya, wala rin. Malaki nga kinikita mo pero lagi ka namang malungkot. Wala rin.  ( According to Sir Aman, the definition of success is doing happily what you love and earning a lot from it. You may have a stable job but if you're unhappy, it's useless. You may earn a lot but if you're still sad, it's pointless. )

At that moment, I thought I was going to cry or hug her but instead I stood up and got my sister buko pandan which she did not eat.  I will never regret the time I tore the Psychology Course Application Form when my parents pressured her to take Psych. I fought for her when she wanted to take Fine Arts. I'm glad I did. After that, I really didn't care much. I told my mother what happened and she told me that they wouldn't understand me because they're from another generation, one fresh from WWII. She also told me that yes, it is important to let the young ones pursue whatever they want. I was so happy that we finally understood each other. I felt relieved. I embraced her and ran to my cousins to catch up with them.

We should never stop believing in ourselves. If we did, who would believe in us then? We are responsible for every decision we make and if it was to our detriment, then we must welcome it. A mistake will remain a mistake unless we learn from it. We should not be afraid to do what we’ve always wanted; we should be responsible for our own happiness.  

Listening to : Fences, Paramore
            <3 : Margie, my baby sister and my family
          T__T: ignorance

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