Thoughts on Today

So here I am back. School and newspaper work keeps me tied down for most of the time, although I’ve learned to balance my time once more. I can’t remember that I ever dida New Year’s Resolution; after all, I am not exactly the kind of person who makes elaborate plans for myself, relying instead on scribbled lists and pure intuition to see what is needed to change. However, I remember that I wished that there will be more peace in the world, and thus far, it seems that the wish has not been manifested in a concrete way.

Does anyone want to start with ISIS, the bombings, the suicides? I mean, hey, why does these problems never seem to end? Is it just because everyone is so helpless? Or is it because that no one cares?

I really hate it when I need to rant and talk about negative things, but I really wonder why can’t just people live in harmony and tolerance. I really wonder why black men need to be killed, why people can’t accept differences, the like. I really wonder why my own countrymen insist on being like a crab even though they see that it does not work!

I just don’t understand the culture of hate that permeates the world today.

Do we really need an apocalypse in order for us to realize the meaning and the value of being human?

Do we need large cinematic-like events in order to remind ourselves to smile, to be content, to laugh?

I know that it is not a good thing to talk especially as a lot of people are having holidays.

But we must learn to be human. If that means ripping the heart apart, then so be it.

Because no one knows when it will be too late for change…and when that time comes, there will be nothing but endless pain and regrets.

Today, did you resolve your New Year’s resolutions?

Thanks for sailing with this blog!

Dreams: Today and Tomorrow

Yesterday, I told myself that I’d like to be featured in a national newspaper.

And I was given that chance.

Then, I dreamed of working as a journalist at a large newspaper.

I was granted that one too.

Now, we are dreaming to bring honor to our country by bringing the Pulitzer Prize to our soil.

This is another one of my dreams as well; I want to do something for my nation.

And I believe that this is the best way for me to do this.

Even though the mountain seems so high,

We will never stop.

Because as what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said themselves,

“The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer.”

We will bring that one to our country.

And prostrate to the ground, saying graces to the Almighty,

Because we all want to dream,

At the worst, it is free to dream.

At the best, it is the best thing that will happen.

Because as what the British Special Air Service says,

“WHO DARES WINS!”

In the end we will fade away with grace,

Knowing that we have done our service,

And we will create a sustainable world…

We will do what is just…

And hope that we will be immortalized in death, beyond the grave.

And pray that the Almighty will have mercy on us.

Because at the end of the day, we are humans

And we are just humans who

Like to dream.

Odd Times

As I answered one of my friends’ research assignments, one event came to my mind very well:

One day, when I was in third year high school, I went to Turkish class as usual and to be honest, I was really bored in class. I went on to scribble some things on my notebook and the teacher noticed that I was not listening to him.

He called my name and asked me in a rather high-pitched voice, “Why you don’t listen to me?” On that day, I was unusually emotional, so I fired back with “Because I really hate that damn Turkish subject very much, SIR!” Everyone was shocked: No one had the heart to say those words to the teacher and to this very day, whenever I meet that instructor, he always remembered that particular incident.

And now here I am, speaking Turkish with my classmates in a such a way that were if I to have a local accent, then no one’s gonna tell the difference between a local Turk and well, some noob like me.

Very ironic.

What’s more, quite a good number of my friends have asked me one or more of the following things:

1. Improve the way that I write in Turkish
2. Improve my pronunciation (accent, no?)
3. Read more Turkish books

Another ironic point, considering that I’m gonna leave Turkey soon and I will not come back pretty much soon. So what is the use?

I don’t really know what to say, but it’s another matter to ponder. Well sure, more mastery of Turkish will help me in my later life, but I don’t know yet in what ways it will lend me a hand.

Sometimes, it is ironic that some of the things that you think will never happen to you are the biggest things that happen in your life…

Just my two cents.

Being an Idealist and Other Thoughts

To be able to do a place where one shares the same ideals is a sort of impossibility nowadays. Each person is locked in his ro her own world, flooded with thoughts, fears and aspirations that may or may not include the people around them. In other words, instead of bridges, there are walls that separate us from each other; instead of tolerance and reconciliation, suspicion and fear dominate the psyche of what we call today as the cutting-edge, competitive, modern man.

My thoughts were scattered as I was starting to write this piece, and well, thinking of an idea is hard enough, let alone have to courage to tell it and to spread it to the world. Well, “making it somewhere” for me does not just involve about breaking out in terms of money or some other material means; making it means that I will be able to spread my ideas and have people respect them and whatnot.

In one of my personal essays (I can’t put it on this blog as it is a part of my personal writing portfolio), I said that the high school where I studied has built me up in the best way possible. However, I had to experience every freaking horror before I turned out as a strong and “model” student, and I almost paid the price of seeing the worst of humanity at such an early age with either my sanity or my life.

Luckily, I made it out and I became stronger.

Well, I don’t know, but I guess facing hardship at such a young age has enabled me to become a person who is advanced of his age in terms of mental and intellectual strength. I still have ideas that are quite eccentric by “normal standards”; however, it did not really matter.

I guess that it is not easy to make it out as someone who stands by ideals in this pragmatic world.

Just Wanted to Share

This week is all about lists, so here are three lists (it’s also partly a reminder for myself):

A. 10 books that have influenced me in one way or the other:

1. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
2. Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
3. So That Others May Live by M. Fethullah Gulen
4. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
5. The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf
6. Books v. cigarettes by George Orwell
7. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
8. Whatever you think, think the opposite by Paul Arden
9. The Collector’s Book of Science Fiction (various authors)
10. The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

B. Dystopic novels that I have read:

1. 1984 by George Orwell
2. Jennifer Government by Max Barry
3. Animal Farm by George Orwell
4. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
5. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

C. Dystopic novels that I want to read:

1. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
2. The Iron Heel by Jack London
3. Neuromancer by William Gibson
4. The Road by Norman McCarthy
5. Fatherland by Robert Harris

I guess that’s all for now.

Strength of Faith

It is one of the darkest nights of his life and it has been a time for him to contemplate about all the things that he has done so far in this life. He can barely raise his head; after all, he is buried under six feet of snow. The only good thing about it is that his LG tablet is working and is at full battery; he can see that it is already midnight. He tries to breathe as lightly as possible; after all, he knows that if the oxygen goes out, he will die of asphyxiation in five minutes.

He first decides to supplicate to the Almighty. After all, if there’s anyone who can help him out of this mess, then it would be Him. Afterwards, he decides to try to close his eyes; after all, he knows that his body will slow down once he goes into a nap. However, he also knows that he can’t be fully asleep: He must not lose consciousness if he is to survive this one.

He closes his eyes and he starts to think of the good times that he had when he was a child.

For instance, he thinks about the times when he had an Audley RC car. It was really exhilarating to drive it, even though it came with a very expensive price tag.

He remembers the days when he worked at a convenience store so that he can have the money to buy the car. Afterwards, he recalls the day when he bought it.

It is a thing of beauty.

Then he goes on to the endless days that he played with the car, especially during weekends and at races. He remembers the time when he has won the local Audley RC car championship; he can see his father standing beside him, full of pride and joy. He can see that his father is really ecstatic at his son’s success.

Then he goes on to the time when he has finished his first arcade campaign with his brother. The whole neighborhood was amazed at their teamwork and determination.

He can still see vividly in his mind the delight of his brother when they have beaten the final boss of the game.

They cannot believe it at the time and he still does not believe that they were able to pull it off.

Finally, he goes to the memory where he has met the person who will change his life.

The person that he loved.

He can see the smile in her face, the way that she said hello, the way that she talked to him…

He can see the sparkle in her eyes when she got an award for writing a very good essay…

He can still picture the moments that they have spent together and the hopes that one day, they will become one…

And he can see two hands…

Touching…

Unconsciously…

All of a sudden, he opens his eyes and he sees three rescuers.

He’s saved.

What will you do under the snow?

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Thanks for sailing with this blog!

There are Many

Well, I am very happy with my life right now. Even though it is cold outside and the clouds are gray, it is a fact that I have a lot of reasons to be thankful for. I have always thanked the Almighty, my parents and a couple of my friends as well as some teachers and some other amazing people who have helped me all along the way.

But yeah, I don’t think that I should forget the other groups of people who have gave me opportunities to show off my potential. Here they are, in no particular order:

Former Haters: Thank you for making me realize that hating people is never a good business to do. Thank you for making me see the things that I must do. Most of all, thank you very much for all the memories, now you’ll be tropes in my books! LOL.

Former Doubters: Thank you for giving me an audience. Thank you for giving me a chance to prove me wrong. Thank you for advising caution and showing me what negativity is. Finally, thank you for more memories…because I am pretty sure that by now you have stopped doubting the things that I can do.

Angelic Strangers: Thank you for the occassional warning or the random napkin. Thank you for picking my things when they fall down to the floor. Thank you for making me shut up when I go too overboard. Finally, I am really thankful for your unsolicited and pure kindness.

People at the University: Well, whoever you are, thank you for the free ride, for letting me go forward in the queue at the dining hall, for encouraging me to pursue higher dreams and for just saying the occassional hi or hello. Yeah, you rock guys!

Classmates: Well, I will keep this short and sweet: I will always cherish the memories that we have had together and I am very sincerely hoping that you will find your respective callings in life. I wish you all the best of luck and success…and thank you for all the moments!

I guess that is all.

Today is all about being grateful.

Thanks for sailing with this blog!

The Best Push In Life

I really love computer games.

And I was hoping that one day, I would be able to write for an electronic sports website.

Well, that remained to be just a…hope until I did something 55 days ago.

One morning, I started to take a bit of courage and apply to a few websites. I did not think that I will be even accepted into the job; all I wanted to do is to try something new apart from me trying to create a portfolio for my upcoming Creative Writing MA/MFA applications.

Then I remembered that there was a forum where members of the Philippine eSports Organization posted lots of stuff; I decided to register on the forum and share two of my takes on electronic sports. I did not intend to apply or anything; rather, I just wanted to share my ideas on the matters that I thought were important to the scene.

Afterwards, Lady Luck answered me with a good smile. Apparently, my current editor was able to read the articles that I made, and quite surprisingly, he invited me to be a guest writer at their official website, which is actually a partner of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, one of Philippines’ largest and most respected newspapers!

I was really happy that it happened, and although it took me three days to think, I really wanted to take the job.

I started writing by October 4.

For those who are interested in reading what I have created so far, come here!

It changed my life literally.

It allowed me to have exposure, improve my writing, meet with people, and get the experience that I need in order to do better!

What’s more, I am doing my two passions in one job: computer games and writing!

I am really happy that I took that leap of faith. After all, doing it was no easy task!

Today’s prompt is about taking a leap of faith.

Thanks for sailing with this blog!

On A Friday: Randomness

The weather outside is gloomy once again and I am a bit sick. Just a bit.

I guess I’m thankful that I am just a bit sick. I expected worse to be honest. At least, this one may be solved with a few bananas and some other fruits.

Meds make me really drowsy and lethargic, to be honest; the weather does not help by showing a gray face, like those Kappa emoticons that they are showing on chat. Well, I’m trying to be upbeat and everything (being the professional optimist that I am), but right now, taking even a few steps outside is quite a problem for me!

Well, whatever. I’m not here to rant about being sick.

Life is beautiful.

You take it for granted, but you value it just as it seems to flutter.

Well, as for me, except for a short period in the past, life was full of memories, both funny and happy.

There are a lot of things to smile on.

Starting with the fact that I am still alive, for instance…

Lately, I saw this status on Facebook:

“Other people’s success is not your failure.” And if in case you’ve forgotten, you’re a human and not a crab.

In the Filipino culture, there’s a tendency for people to pull others who are at the top back down to the bottom of the pit. It is famously called “crab mentality”.

Here is my reply (and yes, it has became a part of my life for a very long time):

“Other people’s success is also a ladder for mine. So no reason to pull people down!

For a lot of instances in my life, it is true.

I don’t tend to have malicious intentions against people who did not harm me in any way whatsoever. Even though he or she can be my enemy, I don’t think that I should put “justice” in my hands.

Well, these are the random thoughts that I have this Friday.

And yes, it is still cold.

Teaching students is always a good thing.

Even though it is tiring and some people throw sh*t at you.

Once you got the heart to do it, you’ll love it.

Trust me.

And yeah, don’t forget to develop professionally! It helps a lot!

Lethargic Mode

Today, I’m a bit sick and I feel really, really lethargic to the point that even banging the keys of the keyboard takes me a lot of effort. I’ve got flu, I’m on meds and what’s worse, I’ve become as wet as a cat in the rain. Hell, so why am I even writing about the things that I want to do?

I don’t know. Maybe it is just the irresistible desire to share. Or maybe it is just the fact that I just want to bang the keys of my keyboard to the very end.

In this case, I either want to do two things: Firstly, I want to sit at home and have some good old-fashioned matches with my friends. Most probably it would be Call of Duty or some other game in which we could play together. Or maybe we’ll just all share a few moments with biscuits and tea.

Secondly, if I have the money and the desire, I’ll go to a museum for the day. See history, or to be more precise, the remnants of it.

Then maybe I’ll just stay at home, eat grapes and drink some apple juice. To be honest, I do not have much to think about – no, I have a lot to think of, but I do not even know where to start.

I really want to do everything in one day, if that was humanly possible. But I can’t do it in one day.

Maybe I’ll just settle on doing one thing at a time then. So here’s the thing that I have in mind right now:

Read a book, eat some oranges and rest as if there was nobody else in the world.

I know that I can’t drag my feet anyway, so I guess I’ll just do my best to be alive.

Because right now, I feel like a freaking zombie.

A zombie with a heavy head.

I just want to rest, relax, and try to do something!

Today’s prompt is about the ideal day.

Thanks for sailing with this blog!