THEORY: Choose Your Battles

It absolutely frustrates me that some people use and abuse people around them without care at all! It's like they can't even recognize the evil that they are doing!

It frustrates me more that this situation proves kindness does not always win. That being good and understanding and patient do not guarantee fair treatment or deserved respect.

The worst part is that the abuse does not end with me but extends to the people I love and care for. And since these people I love do not have the heart to say no to someone knocking at their door for help, I just helplessly watch the abuse continue.

But more than frustration for my sucky situation, I feel pity for these abusive people. I pity that they have become so absorbed in their evil ways that they fail to recognize it. Or that they have become so absorbed that they don't even care.

I want to fight them so much but I know better than to fight people I pity.

STORY: Teacher, teacher

I'm in the middle of creating Amanda's math reviewer when I decided to take a look at the large photo album I was using as a lap desk. What started as a one album break turned into a 5-album trip down memory lane. Before I go into the mushy stuff, I need to remind myself (1) to thank mommy for documenting everyone's childhood and (2) to start documenting Jose and I's photos.

Okay, back to memory lane. I saw a lot of photos of my grade school years and I could still fondly  remember a lot of details about them... except my teachers' names. I remembered what they did for me and what they taught me but I just can't remember their names. Part of me felt ashamed that I easily forgot the people who taught me so much and really helped transform me into the person I am today. I know those teachers don't remember me, too and maybe back when I was their student, they didn't really took me as anyone special, but still. I felt I owe it to them, all my teachers, to at least know their names so I can give them due credit when I get praised for my algebra knowledge or my ability to spot a dangling modifier.

I stared at the group of photo of my 6th grade class. I was president that time and my adviser was smiling to the camera. She has long forgotten me now but when I was her student I remembered she was very proud of me when I was the only student not part of the special star section for girls to get picked as a student teacher. Maybe it's all the movies about teachers/mentors speaking, but I imagined she had a hand in making that happen. That she saw potential in me and wanted to help me hone whatever talents or skills I had. Whether thay was true or not, she still told me how proud she was of me. I didn't realize it then but that was one of the moments I unconsciously decided to be more outgoing and more active in school. I never truly thanked her enough for that.

Suddenly, my brain went it to flashback mode and all the teachers who ever made me feel that they saw something special in me came flashing in my head. And I didn't know their names. Well, most of them. To top it all of, the taste of guilt became all the more bitter when I recalled my favorite The Wonder Years quote (which I printed in my college yearbook, btw) --

"Teachers never die. They live in your memory forever. They were there when you arrived, they were there when you left. Like fixtures. Once in a while they taught you something. But not that often. And, you never really knew them, any more than they knew you. Still, for a while, you believed in them. And, if you were lucky, maybe there was one who believed in you" - Kevin Arnold

To all my teachers, thank you. I never really knew you, nor did you know me. But for that one school year, I believed in you and I still can't be thankful enough that you believed in me. 

STORY: Loose Screw

I don't know if "confused" is the correct word to describe what I'm feeling now but it's the closest I can think of at the moment. If I postpone this until I've found the right word, I may not write this thing at all. So, let's just imagine what "confused" feels like and add in a little controlled excitement and feeling displaced and being in the dark with little bursts of light coming in now and then. 

Anyway, whatever word captures that feeling, I've been feeling it for the past three weeks. I'm still trying to find how I fit in this new world I entered, without making it obvious to everyone else how hard it is for me. The last thing I want is for people to see me as the person who couldn't adapt to a little (well, a little big actually) change. 

Well, time has not made anything easy for me so far, if that's what you're thinking. That in time, I will just find my place and everything will be like it was before (although the last time I felt like this, it took a little less than two years to finally feel at home!). Then again, it has only been three weeks and in one of those, I basically did nothing but rearrange my files and curate wedding decor pegs (not for my wedding, okay!) So I guess I'm just panicking and feeling a little agitated that things aren't progressing as fast as I imagined it. I thought by this time I'd already be a fully functioning part of a well-oiled machine. But I'm still a loose screw finding how she fits and desperately wants to help. 

I've never really acknowledged this unnamed feeling until now, so why I'm so upset about the next part of my story is only making sense to me now. So what's the story already??? Well, there's this person who since the first meeting, already felt a little off to me. Not that there was anything wrong with the person but I kind of felt that we were not pieces meant to fit. I would observe how this person talks and carries h**self and I couldn't really pinpoint what it was. There was just something I didn't quite like. Was it the person's lack of humility (if only I kept tally of how many times I heard this person say "I" and "me," I'd have solid proof... but I'm not that crazy... yet.) or his surplus of confidence? I'm not sure. But I ignored that. I blamed it on my unnamed feeling. Maybe I was just agitated and was just overthinking everything. 

But what happened today - how this person talked to me and how this person made me feel that I did not know anything, how this person not only reminded me but emphasized that I was just a loose screw trying to find purpose in an already functioning machine - that validated it. It wasn't my unnamed feeling. It was really h**. Sure my unnamed feeling has made me exaggerate how I view things but this instance was just really as bad as I felt it was. I mean, I could have just let it slide. But there was just something about being at the receiving end of those demeaning words that tells me I shouldn't! I couldn't fire back right there and then because I didn't have all the facts. When I fight my battles, I only do it with confidence. And since confidence was lacking at that moment, I had to retreat (oh, my pride!)

But... I don't really believe in revenge. I believe that things will happen to people when they should happen. So, I'll let whatever force take care of h**. As for me, that incident only motivated me to speed things up (as much as I can! I've been trying to, really!) so that I can be part of the machine and let h** know, with confidence, that you don't talk to people like that no matter how new or old they are!