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Sometimes I like to rewind to a couple years ago, and think about me then and me now. It always trips me out. I look at this picture now, and I forget that 6 years ago (This makes me feel old), this was almost a dream-like, unobtainable desire.
Well, it’s been almost 2 years, and at times I feel like it’s only been 2 months and other times I feel like it’s been 5 years. This past couple of years have really been a whirlwind–consisting of mostly amazing times though some admittedly turbulent. There are no words, or pictures, or particular memories that can sum it all up for me. There are only feelings and thoughts that are sufficient enough for me.
I don’t even know how I’ve managed to survive doing everything I do. From being a college student, to working 2 jobs, to interning for great company, to working hours and hours, to staying up all night, to forgetting what happened the night before…
Within these years, I’ve done things that I thought I would never be able to do. I’ve taken chances I never thought I’d take, I pushed myself to the edge, I’ve felt extremely happy, sad, angry, stressed and every other emotion you could think a 22-year-old girl could have. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve never felt more alive.
We’re at that change where things are constantly in a state of influx, and it could either be very scary, or very exciting. Or a little bit of both or somewhere in between. I think amidst the academic prestige at Berkeley, the piece of advice that has resonated the most with me was to this embrace change and uncertainty during our 20s. There’s nothing more boring than having your entire life planned out in front of you.
I’ve learned that there is no equivalent to hard work. I’ve learned that some people are meant to succeed, while others are not. I’ve learned that sometimes, people don’t know what they’re talking about. I now know that the idea that the older people get, the more mature they become is completely false; there are “adults” who will forever remain adolescent. I know that sometimes there is no right or wrong answer–there is no black and white. I’ve learned a lot, but I still feel like there’s tons out there to learn. My thirst for knowledge is unquenchable.
I like looking back and seeing where I was then, and looking at the present, and imagining me in the future.
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
The house I grew up in was tucked in a little suburban neighborhood on a cul-de-sac. The street was called Fig Leaf Court. I remember it being a tan color. But I remember when we painted it yellow with forest green trimmings. I was born in that house; I remember all my fondest childhood memories being in that house and in that neighborhood, and I remember the the placement of every single room, the kitchen, and living room like it was yesterday. The thing I recall the most is this black and white couch that wrapped around the living room, and the little gap between the couch and the wall in the corner that we would always hide in. I don’t know why I remember that particular detail. My family moved away from that house when I was 11 years old.
I’m 22 now, and my family has been living in their present house for about 11 years.
Up until this very day, I still continue to have dreams that occur in that house. No matter how old I am in the dream, no matter who is in the dream, no matter what is occurring in the dream, I always seem to have dreams that are set in that house. If I have a dream that occurs in my room, it will almost always be the very first room I grew up in.
I don’t know why.
It’s not that I don’t love the house my family lives in now. I spent a majority of my life here. But there’s something about my old house–how it embodies my childhood, the memories of growing up, nostalgia–that I can’t seem to forget about it. It’s always there in my head. It’s a reoccurring dream. It’s my fortress.
About a year and a half ago, I moved away from home. I moved to a house in the east bay, with hopes and excitement of never looking back. It wasn’t until the week that I moved out of that house that I began to have dreams about the house I was living in. I live in a new place now, and I don’t seem to dream about it at all.
Now, I’m living in my humble abode in Temescal/Oakland. I’ve been here for 4 months. Though I still wake up sometimes, forgetting where I am, I feel at home. My oldest house still reappears in my sleep, but I’ve already had several dreams about this place.
Who knows how long I’ll be here? All I know is that I’ve never been more excited to make memories here.
I do realize that this blog is basically non-existent now (even though I see that our blog gets hits daily–stalkers I see you!), but I decided I want to sort of *revive* it. And I don’t mean revive it as in try to make it into some awesome and amazing *fashion* blog, but more so to keep blogging for myself. My fiction-writing professor told me that in order to be a good writer, you have to write and read every single day. In fact, many “professional” and published writers, including herself, force themselves to write a certain amount of words a day, no matter how shitty of quality it turns out. I can’t remember the exact quote that I read, but it was something along the lines of “Artists practice painting and drawing, athletes practice sports to get better, so in the same way, writers have to write constantly in order to get better.” Definitely misquoted that, and I’ll have to find the actual quote later on. But ANYWAYS, my point is, the purpose of me *blogging* again is to ultimately become a better writer and a way for me to “practice” writing. And before all you judgmental people who like to put their two cents into everything and say “Wow, she’s so pretentious. She thinks she’s a great published writer,” I’d like to say 1) no 2) Just don’t read what I write! It’s your choice, and it’s not my problem.
So with that said. Welcome. or Welcome again.
Every time I’m crammed with work or almost losing it because I am overwhelmed with my busy schedule, I usually either want: one, to sleep an entire 24 hours, or two, to devour about two plates of Chicken Adobo and rice. When I come home from a long day from school or work, there is nothing I wish for more than to see some cold leftover Beef Steak and white rice sitting on the dining table, or a silver pot full of Sinigang waiting for me on that kitchen stove. There is nothing I want more. I want it more than Moose Tracks ice cream, Chinese food that has a 4.5 star rating on Yelp, Thai food from my all-time favorite restaurant, and more than pizza even.
Now, I know a lot of you are probably thinking, “Filipino food isn’t even that good.” Let me just say: Chances are you probably just ate some shitty Filipino food that wasn’t homemade or from a food truck or from some “Filipino cultural festival event.” But let me also just say: You’re also partially right. Filipino food is not the healthiest of foods (fact) nor the tastiest (objective), but for some reason, it’s something that I’ll always be craving.
When I lived at home (by “home,” I mean with my parents), I didn’t even care for my parents’ cooking. I ate it because I had to. I actually preferred eating anything other than Filipino food because I would get tired of it. But now, I find myself trying to learn all my mom’s recipes (no matter how mediocre it turns out), getting excited whenever I make a trip to the nearest Asian Market that I can’t pronounce, calling my mom to ask what ingredients to buy, and loading on my Dad’s dinner leftovers whenever I visit Sacramento.
My pantry is stuffed with the packaged powders that make Filipino food easy to make “in just a couple steps!” But it just isn’t the same. There’s just something about going back home and eating a nice homemade Filipino dinner made by your Mom or Dad.
Filipino food reminds me of home. It reminds me of how my friends always used to tell me that my parents’ house smelled like rice, and I could never tell. It reminds me of my parents. It reminds me of every single huge family party I’ve ever been to. It reminds me of the Holidays. It reminds me of my childhood. It reminds me of my birthday parties. It reminds me of my little brother and older sister. It reminds me of family.
I texted my Mom last night “I want Sinigang,” and after she basically told me to make it myself (as she always does), she told me she loved me and to take care of myself. There is nothing that can replace a mother’s comfort or her homemade cooking. It’s impossible.
I hope that one day, when I have a hard-headed, angsty teenager who moves away for college, she’ll miss my own homemade food.