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is at the library.

I'm at the Main Library, taking advantage of the access to Project Muse and JSTOR for one of my critical papers. Our deadline was extended from Thursday to next Tuesday thus I am forced to look for more sources and work some more on the paper. Not that it's a crappy one right now, but I've finished it over the weekend already, and so the extension forces me to find more resources and edit out further. Gaaah. I am seriously running out of things to say. It doesn't help that it's about a sonnet on death. Literature is hard work, really.

How I wish I'm at my "home base" right now instead: the CAL library. It's air-conditioned, bright, and cozy. Unlike here where it's dark and the ghosts of Hell Weeks past loom over the cracks that fill up the ceiling. But hey, that's the state university for you.

On another note, today I'm wearing a dress because (1) my blockmates and I are having "theme week" where we are to wear a specific kind of outfit depending on the theme of the day. Today is Girly Day, (2) we had our Nutella Party for my Italian class a while ago, (3) I need to feel extra pretty because the stress is taking a toll on my face, (4) I just need an excuse to use these numbers-in-a-parenthesis thing. I'm getting quite fond of enumeration lately.

End random post.



I've spent countless days being alone in this room, but tonight I don't appreciate the silence, I don't like having the electric fan the only sound I can hear. I feel lonely tonight, and I hate it.

I'm used to being alone, in fact I enjoying staying inside my little bubble (to the surprise of many). I am an only child after all and I've learned to entertain myself, keeping myself busy when no one is around. Being alone doesn't usually bother me. I can handle being alone if it's something inherent. Like me being an only child, or me choosing to go home early to sleep. But being lonely as a consequence of that which should have been part of something -- it eats me up. It gets to me and it feels like I cannot do anything about it. It just won't go away.

But the reason I hate this growing loneliness is because it's like admitting my dependence on other people. Growing up alone meant I had to learn to stand up for myself. And so I never confess to letting people completely get to me, even if I let them through my bubble. I share my feelings with several close people, but that that doesn't mean they know everything. I don't let them all the way in. Or at least, I don't let them know they are inside the bubble. Because that only sets me up for trouble once they manage to burst out of it.

I don't like this loneliness. But more than that, I can't take this loneliness. I can't accept the fact that it saddens me so much that (1) I'm going to miss my roommate as she and her family leave for Canada on November, (2) I miss someone so much more often than I should, (3) I actually really miss home again and I still can't wait for Fridays, because I can't admit to clinging to something, to someone. I'm supposed to be independent. I'm supposed to stand my own ground, manage on my own, and carry on.

I say "Aww, okay," when what I really want to say is, "No, don't go." I say yes when it's really a no. I deal with the loneliness rather than admitting to not being able to handle things on my own. I put on the brave face. It's default setting.


The bed is unmade.

And here I am yet again, sleepless and eyes wide awake in the middle of the night. Being the insane sleeper that I was for most of my life, I'm still having difficulty grappling with this seemingly newfound "friend" called Insomnia. Ever since college began, or perhaps more specifically, when the serious writing subjects began, I've been having more and more trouble sleeping. So yes, thank you very much for messing up my body clock, Stress.

But while stress will always be the number one reason for my restlessness, I've just had another complication to deal with: My New Bed.

A few weeks ago, they had to change my bed of more than ten years because of dust mites. (How they got there, I have no idea.) It's no surprise that my dorm bed has brought me more comfort recently than the one in my room because I spend more nights there. It's been my total refuge in times of late-night revising and cramming. It's smaller than a single and took me a long time to get used to it, but now it's a lovely companion. The old bed back at home has been more of a stranger in the last few months -- it's like we were drifting apart. And so, the decision to buy a new bed wasn't really that difficult for me to make. But of course, nothing can still replace that bed; it was My Bed. It was a beautiful double sized bed, big enough to have as much pillows and stuffed elephants as I wanted. It had been the venue of numerous sleepovers, brainstorming sessions, television show marathons and significant writing. It's the focal point of the room, and seeing it gone last weekend was just so devastating, to say the least. The room felt so empty without it.

And now that the new bed is here, it's just so different. The new one has a much better mattress (for my scoliosis) and is significantly smaller too -- it's a single to give my room more space. Besides, the main reason why I had a double was because my parents feared that I'd fall off the bed when I was seven. Now that I've been accustomed to sleeping in a smaller bed, we decided it would be more practical to get a new one in this size. And right now, at this very moment, I am lying down in my spanking new, beautiful wooden bed.

Last night was difficult. It was like meeting someone for the first time and being forced to get close to them. I was tossing and turning several times; I couldn't seem to get what I wanted with it. At one point, I started missing my old bed, softer and more gentle. To quote John Mayer, it was "so comfortable, so broken in." Several times during the night, I considered sleeping on our couch downstairs in our living room. (Which is just the best couch in the world! The Boyfriend and I even nicknamed it The Evil Couch of Sloth because there was no way you could ever get up once you've set your butt on it.)

But, I did fall asleep. Although not as quickly or as comfortable as I would have wanted, it managed to get me there, and I woke up with no aching backs or mysterious bruises. (But with some pillows on the floor.) I just couldn't help thinking to myself: It's like getting into a new relationship. There's this awkward, getting-to-know-you stage, where nothing seems to fall into their right places. I'm hopeful though, that like in most relationships, I'll get there. Sure, I will always miss My First Bed. The fond memories will always be there. But I'm certain it will only take a matter of time before I find myself lost in this bed, before I realize there isn't any strangeness anymore. One day, sleeping will be effortless again.

Until then, I am using my insomnia to finish my papers.



I am sitting on a chair, typing on my laptop, on the dining table, in our little blue house, somewhere in Paranaque. And yet where I sit does not exactly define where I am. Where are you? you ask, which roughly translates to What are you doing? to which responses could be: (1) in a corner sandwiched between two windows, (2) writing a paper on suicide, death, and liberation, (3) finding comfort in being alone, (4) coming to terms with what lies ahead, (5) really craving for Oreos, (6) riding 'em like a cowgirl, (7) in front of a glass of water, (8) suppressing desires, (9) "co-mingling my blood with yours" because that's what John Donne said, (10) submitting myself to some cosmic, patterned fate.

Between the boundaries of my apparent self and my real self lies a yearning for release. I want to drift away, to float around, to be somewhere else. I want to be on top, inside, upside down, standing up -- anywhere but here, where lines are black and white, where urges are damned, where standards stand in the way of letting my hair down. But I am neither here nor there. Just somewhere in between the lines of finding myself and never coming back.

Where am I? is not as important as Where would I rather be? The rain was falling hard last night, and the car was glistening with the glow of its aftermath.

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Not only is this my 400TH POST (Can you believe it? Four hundredth post!) but it is also a huge day for me as I celebrate and congratulate the..

Champions of the 2010 UAAP Cheerdance Competition!

Guess who was there, all smiles and cheers!?

Let's go, UP!


Rude awakenings.

How do you know your decisions are for the best? How can you be sure you're doing the most grown-up thing and making the responsible choices? How can you tell if you're being mature about something or have just been deluded (by your judgment or by other seemingly equal peers) into thinking you're mature about it? How will you know if you're doing what's right or just what's right for now?

Where do you draw the line between selfishness and compromise? When should you stop listening to others who only want what's best for you and start listening to yourself? How do you justify being assertive as opposed to being arrogant?

How can you be sure that what your family and friends speak of you is who you really are? What assurance can their kind words give you when you feel like the complete opposite of it? How sure are you of yourself -- are you positive this is who you actually are or just who you think you are?

How do you know about all these things?

When I was twelve, I thought being eighteen was acquiring this great sense of maturity -- you know enough about the world to handle it. Or at least know you can handle it. I always saw eighteen as this age of enlightenment, where everything will start to make sense, and you'd never have to question or doubt your decisions because you'll just know what's right. I thought with the turn of that year, you'll suddenly feel all wise and do the right thing to do when the situation calls for it.

And yet, here I am, at eighteen, with a couple of pretty decent decisions, and a truckload of really bad ones. Nothing really major, but still disappointing I-could've-done-better ones. I haven't done anything close to spectacular to prove my twelve-year-old self right and my eighteen-year-old self proud. And it frustrates me how I just can't seem to get anything right. Or that when I finally do, there's ten more mistakes coming back to haunt me. Why can't I ever do things the right, adult way? Why can't I strike the perfect balance between being a kid and being a grown-up? How come I can't tell whether I'm being selfish or just wanting to get what I deserve? Why can't I be this better version of myself that everyone expects of me? I've always been told to just always be myself and yet I can't help but equate my real self, this natural Karla state, to this irresponsible, immature, spoiled kid who can't get anything going.

I'm scared that one day, people are just going to give up on me and see that I'm not really who they all thought I was, who they all wanted me to be. I'm scared to consider the possibility that I've just been putting up a brave mask on everyday, telling myself I'm an okay person, that I'm smart, I'm all grown-up, I'm on the right track to maturity -- when in fact, I'm not brave, I'm not strong, I'm just a kid.

I try. Trust me, I try.

But will I ever really get there?

(This is what I get for reading too much into "Good Country People" by Flannery O'Connor for Eng42)