Day 20 to Day 25: The Quarter Finals
Hey, everyone! I am a quarter-done into this project and it feels great. Before this, I had written zero pages. Now, I have 25. I feel like high-fiving 25 different people 25 times! So what do you think of #100DaysOfWritingTrue so far? And how are you doing with yours? :)
20/100 → Social media is tricky. No matter what your intentions are, you run the risk of coming off a little too self-absorbed. Who knows the thin line between sharing and self-proclaiming?
I tried to draw that line for a little while until I shook my head and just called it a lost cause. All I knew for sure was-- if some strange and sinister sorcery would take away my wifi connection and data plan-- I would still be writing. I would still be surfing. And I would wake up the next morning and write and surf some more.
21/100 → Some days are harder to calibrate than others. Every morning, before any coffee is served, we take precise steps toward pulling the perfect shot of espresso. We think about the weather because temperature affects how coffee tastes. We think about the grind size and the grind time best suited for the bean or the blend, the proper setting for extraction, the right volume in just the right number of seconds to produce the best taste. All these things go into a very thoughtful cup of coffee, one that should remind you that no matter how unstable, overwhelming and sour your day goes, you can always make small adjustments. Weigh consequences. Measure judgment. Swing at the day a second time.
Good days are calibrated. Take it from espresso.
22/100 → Living in a travel destination can be strange. Tonight is the first night of a long weekend party here in La Union-- 48 hours of non-stop partying, they say-- and the highway is packed, the air alive with electronic dance tracks, and people would scour the streets in big groups as if everyone was part of a squad. How weird it feels now to have been one of those people before. And now I don't know what I am: hardly a local but more than a visitor, a meantime dweller, long-term tenant, new resident, community member. Whatever it is, it feels good to care about a place. Because if you love a place long enough, it loves you back and welcomes you home.
23/100 → A simple life is not always an easy life. Yes, you make do with less, but having less will still make you wish you had a little more. The fact is, having less makes you do less too. You can find yourself in a bind if you plan to do too much but have so little to move around with.
So you surrender. But not in the way you let yourself be defeated by the technicality of money. You surrender as a means to put things on hold-- you have to trust that what cannot be done at the moment will be done in another time.
This is the real test of having less. You must know the difference between true limitations and time limitations. So be very patient. You'll feel very rich if you do.
24/100 → If you had asked me what I wanted to do with my life two years ago, I would have rambled off about many great uncertainties: travel here, watch as many music festivals there, write for a living, but I never really figured myself out. I had clear-cut notions as to who I was and what I wanted to become, but the path going there was unclear. It was like treading on a trail that still needed to be blazed and all you had to cut through the forest was your arts and crafts scissors from the second-grade. Yes, exactly that ridiculous and exactly that hard.
But life can be creative. Or life pushes us to create so we can be creative. No one can set the mold for us; we really have to make it for ourselves.
If you asked me two years ago what I would be doing now, I would have never guessed. And I would have never dared. Except it came to a point when there was no other way to live, and I had to grab those zig-zag scissors to cut an entire forest, and here I am, standing on a clearing, my life's horizon stretching ahead. Clear as day.
25/100 → Let's put it this way: I'd rather write a research paper than cook dinner. I can probably read a trilogy faster than I could be counted on to chop, dice or peel food. In the realm of multiple intelligences, I score low on spatial awareness, hand-eye coordination, agility and plain street smarts. If you drop me off in the middle of the San Fernando market, I probably wouldn't find my way back to San Juan. Consider my poor night vision and astigmatism alongside a misguided instinct for directions and you'll see why I should probably never ever drive.
But I have learned to make coffee with the same hands that spill drinks or break glassware. I have learned to steam milk without getting burned by the pitcher or the wand. And with enough practice, I've learned how to eyeball measurements-- eyesight not a problem for once. See, working in a coffee shop has taught me new ways to interpret balance and exercise control. I can now find my way back if I get lost in the process. And I can clear my mind as I clear dishes.
All my life I've worked with my words, I've worked with my mind. Only now am I finding-- fumbling I still may be-- the great and calming comfort of working with one's hands.