When i was a kid. It seems like an honor, a privilege, who doesn’t like being on top? So I fought with my sister to win the space on top when our parents first bought a double deck in elementary (We have a younger brother but he always gets the solo, coz he’s a guy and all).
Eventually, I learned that being on top is such a hassle. It’s so tiring to climb down every morning when you wake up. It’s so annoying when you forgot something when you’re already down and the thing you forgot is way across the far edge of the upper bunk (although it drives your creativity when you’re lazy, haha).
I stayed on top until our parents, my mother specifically, decided to pull another of her “new-year-new-arrangement” motto which is like her subtle version of “room-is-dirty-we-need-to clean-up. But I have never silently thanked her that time because now the double-deck was sawed into two single beds so nobody will be on top, nobody is considered the bottom.
Fast forward, college time, starting 2nd yr specifically, I’ve once again found myself spending three years of college life as the upper bunk kid, and it seems not enough. Even right now when I am already working, as I write the origin of why I titled my page “The Upper Bunk Kid,” I’m stomach-faced, legs dangling, sprawled at my current upper bunk.
It may not be a big deal but realizing this inspired me to start this blog.
And just to let it have a deeper meaning (chos!), maybe I’ve always spend my time on top, and by on top, it does not necessarily mean that I am good at everything, coz i’m so far from that. On top, in this context, is having the “illusion” that everybody’s focus is me, where my every move, every decision I make will be judged and compared to others. I perfectly have it in my head that it’s no use comparing my Chapter 1 to other’s Chapter 20, but I still couldn’t help it. Although, I am trying hard to do so.
So yeah, this is me, the upper bunk kid and here is where I’ll share my story.
It’s been a while since I have posted something. It’s been a crazy five months going on six this year. After I started my web development bootcamp, it seems i’m unable to do pretty much anything else aside from going to class, work, and sleep. haha.
The schedule is quite tight and my body is struggling but I am surviving.
Every end has a new beginning.
Finally, after much thinking and contemplating, I finally decided to pass my resignation next week. I don’t have much savings which is one of the major reasons why I’ve been so push and pull with this. But enough worries. I’ll worry about tomorrow when it comes. Right now, my decision is clear and unchanging. I will no longer be a slave and will no longer work just to pay the bills. I will take the risk, take the chance, and try to change something.
I don’t have solid plans after resigning. Main goal is to try to get a job abroad or to gain a remote job. I want to be the boss of my own time and do everything at my own pace. Corporate job is not really not for me, I guess. I’m gonna start looking for jobs this weekend and hopefully gain employment by end of the month. I’m putting my faith in Christ.
I will soon start a new chapter in my life towards the goals that I have set this year. To be honest, my goals are really general, which most do not recommend. For me, though, my goals are just guiding steps. It’s really the journey that counts. My final destination? I still don’t know but I’m trying to change bit by bit each day for the better.
Every end has a new beginning and I am just starting.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted something. I said in my resolutions that i’ll try to write more blog posts this years but it seems I’m doing the exact opposite.
Last January 29, I started my 6-month web development course. I thought I’ll be able to handle doing blogs every weekend then but it’s either I was too tired (since I’m also doing Muay Thai every saturday) or too lazy to do anything other than sleep. But starting today I’ll try to post more. Most will be just about random things that happened during my day. Others just musings. But once in a while, I hope to post more in-depth items. I have read a couple of books too but I haven’t gotten the time to post my reviews. Hopefully soon though. Soon.
Anyways, i’ll stop here. In the mean time, if you want to know what I did for my first project in the course is, you can check blessie07.github.io/NihonggoBasics. It’s just an amateur website, not even complete. But hey, I started from scratch. hehe.
For the last two years after i passed the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) N5, i kept trying to pass JLPT N3 thinking that if I passed N5 with studying Japanese for just barely 3 months, maybe I can pass N3 as long as I study hard everyday. I THOUGHT WRONG.
The first time I took JLPT N3 was in July 2016. I know I barely studied then but you know fool as I am, I still hope to pass even without much effort. I actually did not read the whole grammar/reading section. Well, I did try but I was not able to comprehend so I just shaded a random number all through out that section. When I got my results then, I don’t know if I should be happy, sad, or surprised. I got 94/180. The passing is 95. I though then, maybe if i studied a bit more, I will now be able to pass it.
So I decided to take JLPT N3 again December of 2016. My studying a bit more is really just that. I studied just a bit more (which means barely still) for the December 2016. I hoped I pass but still I did not. My score went down to 78/180 even.
Come July 2017, I decided to take another shot. This time I prepared more. I reviewed more this time. I reviewed the vocabs, the grammar, I tried to practice reading a bit but I was still having a hard time trying to comprehend paragraphs. Still, I am hoping that this time was it. But no, it was still not it.
After I failed the first try, my friend actually suggested to lower down the level to N4 but I keep on saying no. That maybe if I do this, or do that, I will be able to make it. After three failed attempts though, I finally decided to take N4 instead of N3 last December 2017.
Since JLPT N4 was lower level than N3, and covers lesser Kanji and grammar, I just reviewed part of what I reviewed for N3. I did not review hardcore but I made sure to at least be refreshed with the cover topics that might appear. On the day of the test, I am surprised. It was my first being able to understand (or at least I think so) 95% of the reading material. Haha. I was so happy. Vocab section has always been my strongest suit in my opinion. The listening part thought, I was kinda hesitating if i did well or not. I think I understood but then I’m not sure. Results came end of January 2018. AND I PASSED! I actually don’t know what I’ll do if I didn’t. I only know I’ll feel super incompetent.
I am trying to get to pass JLPT for possible work opportunities in Japan. Hopefully, this year will be the year for it. I will once again take N3 but I’ll take it December 2018 since I really don’t have much time til July because of the coding bootcamp that I’ve decided to participate in for 6 months.
The road won’t be easy I know and I need to incorporate Japanese in my everyday conversations and communications. Hopefully, by God’s grace, I’ll be able to do so.
It took me some time to finish the book and by some time I mean around two weeks. Not because the book is not good, it’s actually the opposite, but because I have other things to attend to.
Falling into Place is a really good book. Somehow it really pulled me in. I find my heart aching for Liz Emerson. There’s this rawness and pureness that I felt which I couldn’t really explain. I’m not fond of stories told in a 3rd person point of view but the way the novel was told; it seems that the 3rd person fit it well.
The story’s about the struggles in life of Liz Emerson, a popular and bitchy student of Meridian High. Well, maybe not really bitchy bitchy. She’s just apathetic and indifferent that she’s being a bitch even if she doesn’t intend to. It’s the story of how she struggles to find meaning in her life and a reason to go on. It’s a story of how she lost hope in anything and everything, blaming everything on herself, thus deciding that the world would be a better place without her. It’s a story of her accident-disguised suicide and how it affected the people around her and her relationships.
If we’re gonna take a look at it, on the surface, Liz Emerson is the typical popular bitch in a high school setting. You’re either gonna love her or hate her. You can’t help but to notice her even if you don’t want to. You can’t help but admire her and wish to be her even if you despise her. However, the book shows us that even with all the reputation surrounding her, even with all the admiration and looks, she’s broken just like everybody else. She unknowingly is the way she is because she just is.
The book also took the story telling in analogy with Newton’s laws of motion. And even though I really didn’t grasp fully how the laws connect to the story, I find them endearing and essential. Newton’s first law states that every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force. In relation to the book, this may have applied to Meridian wherein Liz Emerson is the force. Life at Meridian might have stayed the same for its residents if not for Liz Emerson’s coming. It may also apply to the strained relationship between Liz and her mother as well as Julia’s and Kennie’s. It may have applied to Liam’s secret affection for Liz Emerson wherein nothing’s changing since he’s not acting on it. Basically, this first law can be applied to each and everyone’s lives.
“NOTHING WILL CHANGE UNLESS YOU DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.”
Whether it’s for the worse or the best is a different matter.
Newton’s second law of motion states that the force acting on an object is equal to the mass of that object times its acceleration (F=ma). Gossip is what first comes to mind relating to the story. The force or the impact of gossip or rumor depends on the importance (mass) and how fast it travels. When the news of Liz’s car crashed spread, the impact was huge. She was after all Liz Emerson.
The third law of motion of Newton is the most famous in my opinion. It states that there is for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Being the bitch that she is, Liz Emerson has done a lot of stupid things in her life that affected the people around her – from the side girl of his on-and-off boyfriend, to the ‘unpopular’ kids of the school, to people who hurt her friends, to Liam. And she was wondering why no one got back to her given Newton’s third law. Why did no one take revenge? But she thought wrong. She maybe expecting the ‘same’ thing to get back at her – the rumor that she spread, the vandalism she did. Little did she know that life has a funny way of getting back at all for all her wrong doings. The silence that she’s experiencing, the distant mother, the guilt, all these are the repercussions of her actions.
I really appreciate the 3rd person POV of the story and when it was revealed that the story teller is Liz’s old self, the childhood one she has lost, the one she has forgotten, the one she doesn’t remember, it made me love the novel all the more.
Suicide is not a laughing matter and it can affect ANYONE. There’s a lot going on in a person’s mind even if it doesn’t show on the outside. People are always trying to find at least just one thing, one thing to hold onto. To make living bearable, to make living this hell of a life worth it. But when’s all hope is lost, and you give up trying to hold onto anything, that’s when everything sinks in. And maybe, just maybe, we only need a few words, a few gestures, maybe just one person for us to get our acts together and for everything to fall into place.
The book shows us that maybe, just maybe, it is when we thought everything’s over and we gave up all hope that everything will finally fall into place.
Falling into Placeis a novel I’d recommend and I’ll be looking forward to more of Amy Zhang’s stories.
I’ve been eyeing this book for a while now and finally decided to read it. I actually finished the book before 2017 ended but just posting my review now.
I actually spoiled myself when I was halfway reading. I scanned the last half of the book and then boom. LOL. Even with the spoiler though, I actually enjoyed the book. It adds freshness to the typical romance. It touches on pain, acceptance, growth, family, and of course love.
Flat Out Love is about Julie Seagle, a newbie Boston resident who was saved by her mother’s best friend’s family from living out in the streets after being scammed in Craiglist for the supposed to be ‘apartment’ that she will be living in throughout college and about her experience living with the Watkins. The busy and absent parents, the mysterious and away oldest brother Finn, the geek and kinda over protective Matt, the closed off Celeste, and of course Flat Finn which is a cardboard cutout of Finn, the older brother.
The story got me hooked from the start and I know that there’ll be more to the story than what’s already been laid down, especially regarding the elusive and mysterious FINN.
More so than the romantic aspect of the story, I was moved by it’s touch on pain, trauma, and family. Coz my guess was right. There was more to Finn. When “Finn” supposedly told Julie in their email what’s up with Flat Finn, I had a feeling that it was not all and that there was a deeper reason behind. And when I spoiled myself, I realized I was right. haha. The story touches on how losing one’s family member and witnessing the scene itself can cause problems which even when covered by ‘normalcy’ cannot be unseen.
Everyone deals with grief differently.
In the story, Finn died in a car accident which is primarily caused by the icy road but the mother couldn’t help but blame herself as the reason instead. I can only imagine what losing one’s child feels, especially if you’re blaming yourself for the loss. It might have been difficult and a long way to recovery, especially if you are already depressed to begin with. I can kinda somehow relate to this because I lost my father when I was 19. Although, in my case, I think I’m kinda apathetic and such a bad child. I cried, of course, but it was like I readily accepted it. I did not go through much grief like the Watkins family. Maybe because, my father and I are not really close. He has been working in the city when I was a child and I only see him on weekends. Maybe because, he has been battling Diabetes and his kidney failure for months before he passed. Maybe because, I was just really trying to suppress the pain and chose to feel numb instead. I don’t really know but for whatever reason, I did not go through much depression and grief. Life went on.
Let’s talk about Flat Finn which is one of the most important characters of the story. The cut out cardboard of Finn symbolizes a lot of things. It shows that the Watkins are not ready yet to accept the reality that Finn already passed. It symbolizes that the mother doesn’t want to accept her guilt or maybe she wants to be reminded of it instead. It symbolizes the pain of being number 2 which is the case for Matt who has always been second best, next to his brother. Slowly Flat Finn changed. He had “joints”attached to him. This change symbolizes that something is changing for the Watkins family. The wall that they have put tall is now cracked, even if it’s a little. Maybe, it just needs an outside force, a persistent one, to take down the walls that we have build for ourselves. Maybe, we are just waiting for somebody to intrude into our lives, so unexpectedly, and hope that he or she will be able to save us from misery. In the end, Celeste was able to tuck away Flat Finn to the attic. Basically, concluding the story that the pain and reality was now accepted and although, the Watkins is still in the process of healing, at least there’s hope, there’s change.
I also fell in love with Julie and Matt’s love story. It’s not really a new concept where somebody is pretending to be somebody else when chatting and the other person will fell in love with that person only to find out that the person is not the person she thought she was chatting with. Julie is a very straight forward person and Matt is her opposite. They met in an unexpected way, fell in love in an even more unexpected way, then reality stopped the momentum. Matt was pretending to be Finn. Julie started chatting Finn when she doesn’t know yet a thing about what really happened, and she fell in love. She fell in love with the Finn that she was chatting with. Only to find out that it was Matt in the end. It is definitely hard to accept that the person you fell in love with isn’t the person you think he is. But I guess, in the end, genuine gestures will make you get past the pretending act. And in the end, YOU FELL IN LOVE WITH THE CHARACTER and NOT JUST THE FACE.
Flat Out Love is a gem. I can’t say that it’s the best but it’s definitely one for keeps.
I said that 2017 was not THE year nor were the years before it. I do believe though that 2018 will be THE YEAR!!! Yes, I have faith in this. I firmly believe. 2017 was the stepping stone year, the laying of the foundation year, the getting the act together year. And now, 2018 will be THE YEAR to tie everything together and produce results. I’m not off to a good start, to be honest, but I believe I’ll pick up the pace and start running to the finish line of my goals this year (though my destination is really not clear still).
New year, same old resolutions, haha. This time i’ll make sure that i’ll follow through.
Here are my goals for 2018.
FITNESS, BEAUTY, HEALTH
1. Love my body and accept who i am.
I want to change, yes, but before I do so, I have a goal of being comfortable in my own skin. Accepting who I am, loving myself will be the first step for change.
2. Have clear face and skin.
I have bad skin. It’s been one of my insecurities for the longest time. I get acne a lot and they leave marks for a long, long, long period of time. Also, I don’t like wearing bikinis because it will show the stretchmarks on my butt as well as the dark side of my bikini area. I’ve been trying to resolve the issue for a couple years now but still to no avail. Recently, I’ve started using organic products for my facial wash, toner, moisturizer, cream, shampoo and conditioner. I’ll continue seeking the best way to handle my skin problem but my goal is to find it this year.
3. Have a fit and lean body.
This has been one of my most used resolutions but one of which I’m always falling. haha. This time around, I won’t let it be a failed one. Step by step, day by day, I’ll try to go ahead and achieve a fit and lean body. I’ll chronicle my journey as well which hopefully keeps me going.
CONTINUING EDUCATION AND CAREER GOALS
4. Enroll and finish Programming bootcamp (Tuitt).
This will actually be very challenging coz enrolling in the bootcamp means that I will lessen my hours of sleep, travel to and fro my work place, enduring long queue in the train as well as a sea of people. I hope I’ll be able to survive 6 months of this and complete the course with flying colors. The fee is a lot so I really need to make this work.
5. Finish myTEFL course and get certificate.
So I finally purchased myTEFL 120-hr course last January 2. However, I haven’t had the time or energy to actually start focusing on completing it. I only have 3 months to work on it, pass the courses and get my certificate. I will work on building a habit to a lot at least one hour of each day on it and make up whatever I missed on weekends. I really hope I’ll be able to stick to this because I spent a fortune on the course.
6. Get accepted into an online teaching job in April.
After finishing the TEFL course, my goal is to find a teaching job online as a part time. It will put my skills to test and at the same time learn from the experience that I’ll be getting which will be necessarily when I apply for a teaching position in Japan by August.
7. Apply for US J1 VISA.
I got to know from one of my new co-workers how she interned in the US where she was able to earn money so she can visit Japan twice. USA, amidst all the political controversies going on, is still one of the places that I want to visit and live for a while. There are places I wanna visit and relatives I wanna meet too. So, I decided that I’ll save money and gain the qualifications needed so I can apply. My target is to apply by August.
8. Get a job in Japan/USA/Vietnam.
The future is unclear. I’ve been trying to go to Japan for almost three years now to no avail. This year, by God’s grace I will be able to go to Japan. Back up plan is to apply for a teaching job in Vietnam. The USA is another matter since I’ve allotted a year of preparation to go there but I really wanna work there too. Basically, I just wanna get out of my comfort zone and travel the world. Target date is September.
9. Get accepted in the PJ Link Scholarship Program.
PJ Link is a language center that periodically screens applicants who wants to go to Japan to work or study. I’ve applied twice for different programs but to no avail. Just this week, I’ve applied to yet again another program which is a scholarship program this time. Hoping this time, I will pass and be able to participate in the program and finally go to Japan. Well, interview’s next Saturday and I’ll be able to know if i pass or fail within the month. Hoping for the best.
10. Finally pass JLPT N3.
I’ve taken JLPT N3 thrice already. THRICE. AND I FAILED THRICE. Miserably. Lol. So I finally relented and took JLPT N4 last December 2017. Hopefully, I passed N4 so I can focus 2018 passing N3. I’ll get to know the result around 4th week of January. Praying that i pass.
PERSONAL GROWTH GOALS
11. Travel solo abroad.
It’s been one of my life goals to travel abroad. Coming from a lower middle income family, I decided that once I started working I’ll save up money so that I can go ahead and achieve it since it wasn’t an option when I was a kid. Four and a half years after graduation though and I still haven’t gone outside the country even once. This year though, I’ll really make it work. I had booked to Japan and China before but wasn’t able to apply for visa and got rejected respectively. This year, I already booked a trip to Singapore in August. I’ll save money for the trip and make it one for the books!
12. Have devotion time everyday.
I’m a baptized Christian but I don’t see myself as one which makes me feel guilty. Following Christ is not easy, especially since I’ve prioritized the world for too long. But i’ll make it through. One day at a time. Having a devotion time every day is one of the goals, for reflection and meditation.
13. Blog more.
I really ought to blog more. Express more. I started a number of blogs before but I always stopped updating them along the way. I won’t let the same fate befall this blog. I started this blog as a platform to where I can share my thought, what’s up with my life. A really personal one. It seems though that it’s like a book/movie review blog only. haha. I love books and movies and will definitely post reviews of things I’ve read and watch but I’ll go ahead and also start posting more about my life, my journey, reflections, and my goals, hoping that this blog will be able to touch at least one person.
I know that there are overlapping goals and no specific time limit there. I know that goals without deadline are just wishes. But I’ll strive hard this year to achieve the goals I’ve set. I can only plan but I lay everything to God.
2017 was not THE year. I guess no year ever was yet. It was not the year where #DreamsFulfilled happened which was my goal hashtag for 2017. It was not the year where I was able to achieve much or save much. It was actually a year that I lost a chunk of my savings. It was the year that was almost. I almost grasp my dream but then i was pulled back down by gravity. Almost, almost. But almost is never enough. However, for everything that 2017 was not, it still was a good year.
It was the year where I finally took a step forward (even if I went back and forth throughout the year). A step forward change. A step forward to becoming peace with myself. A step forward my goals. It was a step forward. It is a small step but it’s already a lot.
2017 was the year I bought my netbook and even though it runs in Celeron, i am still proud of myself that I was able to buy a working netbook. It’s a great milestone for me since I never spend money much (but I keep on losing it for some reason, prolly is food lol). But I bought my netbook in cash! It cost me Php13,000 which is a lot for me already.
2017 was also the year that I was able to read the most books. I have read around 170 books in total which was more that the number of books I have read all my life. It was a good year to get in touch with discovering my like for reading, writing, novels, and poetry. I discovered great authors and poets! 🙂
It was also the year where I started to really make effort in taking care of my physical appearance. I am not pretty nor did I became pretty after making effort. haha. But 2017 is the year where I started making effort in making me decent. haha. Before last year, I think I only bought clothes for myself around 5 times for my whole 23 years of existence. I never did like shopping. But last year, there’s a huge improvement. I spent money on clothes! Even though mostly are just tops, that’s a great achievement for me already. I also started spending money on beauty products, not make up per se, but like the products that will make your face clearer (though I haven’t found the right products for me yet). I will keep in trying stuff though til I found the one. I also purchased underarm laser diode treatment which helped me save a lot of tiring trips to the salon. It was also the year that I finally decided to get braces! and the year where I did a major change in my hair when I decided to have it digitally permed.
2017 was a year that my savings run stale. My savings were not much to begin with but last year it ran stale and most of the time I was dipping into my savings to cover my expenses. I got a lot of expenses. The netbook, the braces, all those clothes, the beauty products, the failed plane tickets, the failed unfortunate ForEx scam, etc. However, 2017 also taught me that saving is good but it does not have to be the only thing you do. 2017 taught me that it’s okay to spend as long as you enjoy what you bought and it will give you much more than its face value.
ONE IMPORTANT LESSON that 2017 taught me is that NOTHING COMES EASY. This lesson cost me a lot to learn, literally. So i was very into the easy, quick rich scheme. Like be a millionaire overnight type of thing. I lost money before investing in ventures or platforms that might make me more money but it was not until I lost Php 10,000 (approx $200) that woke me up from this belief. So I attended this Forex seminar. I was interested in learning Forex so this opportunity was hard to pass up. The speaker was good, really good that it convinced me to invest $10k right on the spot but then after the seminar, I checked the reviews and boom! I got dragged down to reality that I just lost my $10k to a scam. This time, I really learned my lesson “In life, what you really want will never come easy.” You must work hard and smart for the things you like to achieve.
2017 was a year of learning, of trying out new things, of downfall, of being able to let go. It was also the year of being able to dream, of trusting God, of taking a step forward. 2017 is an almost year. Hope 2018 will be THE YEAR!