CSE

After waking up earlier from a nap, my grandma greeted me with “the schedule for next year’s civil service exam has been announced, I saw it on facebook” and I checked it if it was legit and it is. I had been meaning to take this since last year, but I didnt make it because the filing schedule was already done. I heard that it isnt a walk in the park because out of the 5 people I know who took it last year, only 2 passed. I hope I pass it in just one take though, because my kuyas (older male cousins) did. I know there’s a certain amount of pressure because most of them but I’m not overwhelmed by it, I was a good student throughout my stint in school, but Im not too confident that I will pass (I can only hope). I’ll take a self administered diagnostic exam so that I’ll know which field to improve, I’m taking the professional pen and paper type CSE.

As I was eating my dinner my other kuya came into our house to borrow soy sauce and my grandma told him about the CSE and that’s when I found out that he’s gonna take it as well. Now we’re not the same age, he’s 2 years older than me but he worked at a call center before and now he’s planning on working in the government. Now I dont plan on working for the gov’t, I’m just taking this test just in case I decide to do so in the future (because perspectives tend to change). And I dont like the fact that I’m taking it with my kuya because we’ll just butt heads, we’re both very competitive.

The filing period will start on November 16, 2017 – January 31, 2018, and the exam will be on March 18, 2018. Still plenty of time to read up, because I dont believe in luck, I look at it like this, if I were a soldier and I bought a rifle with no bullets to a war…I’ll be dead. I dont plan on purchasing a reviewer though, I’ll just search the interwebs for a pdf of sample questions or something, jesus christ the reviewer costs a fortune man! and I’ll only use it once. I’ll just read up on these topics, stock up on knowledge and get on with it. I look forward to it, this time I wont do it half assed like I did in UPCAT (which I regret up to this day, I got wait listed) this time I’ll do my best even if I get head to head with my kuya ahahaha.

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Growing up

As I’ve established a couple of times here I am a Filipino, and my family are too of course. We do have Spanish ancestry on my dad’s side but I was raised by my maternal gradmother, and boy does she have an iron hand. She’s the traditional Filipino grandmother, religious, conservative and she’s not afraid to hit us as punishment. When my brother and I got older though (became College and Highschool students), she became calmer and she’s actually cool now haha. I love her to death though, but when I was a kid she imposed this “winner” mindset on me. I dont know if this is a typical Asian thing, but unlike other kids who were told “it’s okay to lose, you’re still the best”, I was told that losing shouldnt be an option and to never take “no” for an answer. Granted that those other kids were raised by their parents who most likely belong to the Gen X, (granmama is a baby boomer) who exercise more liberal ideologies. I was punished for getting a 96 instead of a 100 in my exams and quizzes (yes she checks them, we were instructed to return the tests to her), whereas my classmate’s mom was happy when he got  an 85, I was given the silent treatment for winning 2nd place in contests, while my classmates were treated to lunch in KFC for having a participation trophy, I couldnt understand why I had it hard-er than most of my classmates. Whenever I’ll tell her how different she is than other grandmas she would tell me “because I am!“, straight up with no further explanation. Other kids were allowed to go to sleep overs while I was not, I had to lie and tell her we have a project to finish but even with excuses like that, she will ask what time we’ll finish and she’ll send my cousin to fetch me.

When I was 9, my parents separated and we were given to her. The afternoon of the first day of us living with her, she was standing in the kitchen and I was so upset and was so used to my mom’s “cuddly” attitude that I hugged my grandma from the behind, she didnt react the way I wanted her to and she continued cleaning, then she asked me if I was crying and I told her yes, then she broke the hug and she said “Let’s not be silly and dwell on something that is over”, she raised me to be tough. But I didnt turn out that way really, I just learned how to handle my emotions in public but at night I still breakdown, basically she taught me to have a hard exterior. That’s just one of the many times she refused to console me because she believed that by doing so, she’s making me weak. I was taught that this is a dog eat dog world and that I wont get what I want without working hard, she taught me that things are never easy and that if it is then I’m doing something wrong.

There were side effects of this of course, because as soon as I went to college I rebelled, but not to the point where I permanently screwed my life. I just developed a drinking problem and smoked, I was still a scholar/dean’s lister until I graduated. I have anxiety too, and I overthink, am insecure because of all the body shaming she did, I also dont know how to express my emotions well especially to the people I love (because I was told growing up that it’s a sign of weakness) and the list goes on. But the good weighs the bad, although I had that kind of upbringing I am still alive and kicking, and I am not easy to be brought down, I may get upset sometimes but I dont  give up and cave in. I can easily adapt to different environments too, I find ways to get what I want and I am independent. If I settled for second best then I wouldnt graduate uni with flying colors and I wouldnt be working now 🙂 yes, I do have a job, not my dream job yet but I’m saving up for that. As I’ve said, I dont give up and I always find ways to get what I want.

Maybe this is a typical Asian upbringing, but I just wanted to share it because whenever I’ll tell people this in Uni before they were shook hahaha. But it’s okay, I grew up a decent human being anyway and I am grateful to my grandmother for that.

Songs that are close to my heart

I know that you’ve seen so many cringe-y tumblr posts saying “music is life” or something of the sort, but it is true man, I think there is a scientific study about it but I  am too lazy to research. Sometimes you just dont want to talk to people when you’re going through a bad time, you just want to be alone but it’s still hard because  then you’ll have these thoughts in your head and the only way to silence them (for me) is by listening to music. And with that here are 10 of the many songs (in no particular order) that helped me through some of the difficult times in my life, like my parents’ separation, anxiety, existential crisis and nights when I feel overwhelmed by stuff, it’s hard to narrow it down but I was able to do it, and here they are:

 

The Beatles

Hey Jude – The Beatles

“Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better” 

This is my go to song whenever I feel the world isnt fair to me, in days when I feel like no one is on my side and I need some comforting words. It was also one of the songs my late grandfather would sing to me when I had trouble sleeping when I was young.

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Stay together for the kids – Blink-182

“Their anger hurts my ears
Been running strong for seven years
Rather than fix the problems
They never solve them
It makes no sense at all
I see them everyday
We get along, so why can’t they?
If this is what he wants
And this is what she wants
Then why is there so much pain?”

I am a child of divorce (well annulled we dont have divorce yet in the Ph), and I remember being 9 and hearing my mom and dad yell at each other, calling each other names, seeing holes on our walls because of the things my mother threw at dad, and what I do is go to my room, set my sony CD player (yes I am that old) on max volume and just drowning out their voices with Mark Hoppus’ and Tom DeLonge’s, and crying too because I felt the emotions pour out of their guitars and drum, and this is why despite of their many immature songs they remain as one of my favorite band. They spoke to me and understood me when no one did, or knew how. Sucks that they didnt stay together for us, but Tom saying he never really quit gives me hope. They practically raised me hahaha Mark was my dad, Tom was mom and Travis is my weird fun uncle, that might sound weird but that’s how I  see them even if Momma Tom is chasing aliens now, without them I probably wouldnt be here now, they saved me from myself by singing sense into me.

the-cure

Pictures of you – The Cure

“If only I’d thought of the right words
I could have held on to your heart
If only I’d thought of the right words
I wouldn’t be breaking apart
All my pictures of you”

Along with Blink 182, I owe my life and sanity to the Cure. Going through my first heartbreak in highschool, I listened to this song for a straight hour while writing a ten page rant on my journal about how I couldve been a good girlfriend to my ex, how I couldve done things differently so that he didnt have to leave me. And to this day this is still my ultimate “regret” song, I just have so many memories associated with this that when I listen to it I just become emotional, and it’s very pretty too, that long ass intro will send you to an emotional rabbit hole that you wont get out of hahahaha. Check it out if you havent, it’s a masterpiece.

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No Surprises – Radiohead

“A heart that’s full up like a landfill
A job that slowly kills you
Bruises that won’t heal”

There was a time in my life when I hated everything and I was contemplating whether I should just quit life. And then I heard this song and just wept, and I felt awesome after and then I learned how to play it in the keyboard and formed a band instead. This still helps me through my existential crisis hhahaha

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will you still love me tomorrow? – Carole King

“Tonight you’re mine, completely
You give your soul so sweetly
Tonight the light of love is in your eyes
Will you love me tomorrow”

the first song I learned how to play on the piano, well the first non classical piece. It’s just a beautiful song isnt it? Carole King is such a beautiful human being as well, her songwriting is superb. I can only wish I can write like her, and I  listen to this whenever I am in a relationship because I am a paranoid bitch, I keep seeking for reassurance that he loves me hahahaha.

blink182tom

Going away to college – Blink-182

“Why does it feel the same
To fall in love or break it off
And if young love is just a game then
I must have missed the kick off
Don’t depend on me to ever follow through on
Anything but I’d go through hell for you”

This song is my growing up/coming of age song hahaha I was so deep in puberty that I clung to Blink-182’s “Enema of the state” for support. I was so stubborn yet so passionate on my first relationship, I want to but I dont want to, you know what I’m saying? but anyway 9 years later at 21 and I still think this song is awesome, check it out.

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Therapy – All Time Low

“Arrogant boy, love yourself so no one has to
They are better off without you (they are better off without you)
Arrogant boy cause a scene like you’re supposed to
They’ll fall asleep without you
You’re lucky if your memory remains”

This is also one of the songs that helped me through my parents’ separation. Because I felt then I wasnt worthy of any kind of love, worth fighting for, whenever I hear this song I just connect with it. During those times and now when I feel out of place, I crank this up on my earphones and I feel okay afterwards.

The-Cure (1)

Lovesong – The Cure

“Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am home again
Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am whole again”

This in my opinion is the best lovesong ever created, it gave me  reason to find love because all I wanted was to feel this way. I thought I did in my last relationship, but I was wrong hahaha didnt stop me from hoping to find this kind of love someday though.

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Something – The Beatles

“Somewhere in her smile she knows
That I don’t need no other lover
Something in her style that shows me”

it’s just a beautiful song that will make you feel inlove (or more in love), it gives me that warm feeling, perfect for cold nights ❤

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Skinny Love – Bon Iver

“And now all your love is wasted
And then who the hell was I?
And I’m breaking at the britches
And at the end of all your lines”

IF YOU WANT TO FUCKING FEEL THE PAIN OF BEING LEFT BY YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER THEN BUDDY I HAVE THE SONG FOR YOU, YOU WILL FEEL YOUR HEART BEING RIPPED APART WITH EVERY LYRIC OF THIS SONG. I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING I HAD DIFFICULTY BREATHING WHEN I HEARD THIS AFTER MY BREAK UP. DONT LISTEN TO BIRDY’S VERSION THIS ONE IS MUCH BETTER.

 

So there you go, if you have the time do check these out. Maybe they’ll help you through tough times too.