Note to my 19-Year-Old Self


I wrote this blog entry when I was an angsty 19-year-old, too eager to belong in a serious relationship. I had so much to learn back then about boys and dating, just like any other teenage girl who felt “not too young and not too old.”

There are times when I want to be single—unattached, tied to nobody, not having to update to someone where I am and who I’m with and what my plans for the day are.  But there are times when I want to be in an official relationship—bringing my guy to lunch-outs with the family, having a “couple album” in my hard drive, proudly being “In a Relationship” (or must things get mushier, “Married”) in all of my online accounts, setting our favorite “couple photo” as primary. Sometimes I’d like to be the girl who makes her closest guy friends torpe over her. The one who actually has a selection of boys but opts not to choose anyone at all. The girl whose life revolves around friends and family and work and school. The power girl who doesn’t have any time at all for a boyfriend, or even just a crush. The girl whose value appreciates directly proportional to the number of guys she’s turned down and ignored. The free spirit whom nobody just can’t have. But sometimes I’d like to be the girl who helps her boyfriend’s mom cook his favorite meal on his birthday. The one who’d always have someone who’d pick her up after work or school. The one who’d join her guy’s family on out of town trips and the one who’d bring her guy along on her own family outings. The one the boys would best want for him because she’s always game and her corny jokes actually sell. I could be either of the two, actually. My Friendster account would proudly say either “Single” or “In a Relationship”. I would be happy and content either way. But here’s the painful truth: I am definitely unhappy and discontent right now being in between. Just in between.

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Something for you, Dr. Sy-Alvarado. ;)

Rare and Well Done

Sometimes you have to experiment and take risks before finding the right one at the right place.

So they were having their favorite steak at their favorite steakhouse while enjoying a couple of laughs about random recent events in their lives… until conversation led to an objective review of each other’s past relationships.

A: Honestly, though, you’re the best person I’ve ever been in a relationship with.

C: Well, I can say the same about you.

A: But you haven’t had that many relationships to say that…

C: I know, but still. You are the best. Ever.

And a certain kind of silence filled the air. The silence of contentment. With nothing left to say, they savored each other’s last words.

Maybe there is some truth when they say that to taste the sweet, you have to take a lot of bitter. That to find your pot of gold, the rain has to pour to make a rainbow. That you have to kiss a lot of toads before the prince comes out of his spell. And all that crap they say to make us feel better about after having to put up with abusive, polygamous, or one-sided relationships, or all of the above. Imagine what they’d had to go through to find themselves beside each other’s rare find.

A few seconds later, he grabbed his fork with his left hand and his knife on the right and went back to his steak. Her lips slowly upturned and she glanced at him putting a piece of steak into his mouth. She then motioned for her own fork and knife left on top of the stone grill and sliced a piece of beef to help herself.

Farewell, Conan.

Farewell, Conan.

A usual day at work/home for Conan: Running around the narrow terrain of our backyard-slash-fishpond, looking out for the rest of the family.

A eulogy written by my dad for our beloved Conan, who recently succumbed to a serious tick infection:

Always loyal, always suspicious of strangers, always alert, always on guard, always ready to protect but ever intelligent and obedient to his masters! Thank you for all those years you made us feel so secure by your watch. You will be the yardstick and standard by which all future guard dogs will be measured. Rest now God’s faithful creation and bring our love and gratitude!

I don’t really know what Margot could have said but my sister Girlie captured her reaction on camera while she was being told of the bad news.

Margot, forlorn and broken

I am still not over you. I love you always, Conan. Our family will miss you so dearly.