~ Writer's Block ~

..:: the insanity of callie :D ::..



Meritocracy (
1. an elite group of people whose progress is based on ability and talent rather than on class privilege or wealth.
2. a system in which such persons are rewarded and advanced.

For anyone who has gone through a Montessori education - and actually understood the principles behind the system - one thing that would probably be pretty much understood is the fact that merits and rewards are not something an individual should seek. Instead, one should immerse themselves with the work at hand for one's own betterment. Hence, there is a saying: Work is its own reward. After all, children who are given rewards for good work will equate the good work with a treat instead of finding motivation within oneself to do the task. Hence, a child is encouraged to be independent, to be curious of his environment and to explore it under his or her own terms. Only then can he learn that the world is fascinating, that there are things that he can or cannot do and he will react to stimuli as he goes along; the teachers/adults/etc. are there to support him but not to dictate what he wishes to do.

There have been a couple of thoughts about the Montessori Method, both good and bad, but I will not cover them here since this is not why I am writing about these topics.

Lately, I've found myself in a position where I could see just how different I think from other people. True, doing good work would give you praise, a probable raise in pay, good reviews and all that. Now, I don't think I'm a poster child for my school but something that I've read recently somehow coincided with Montessori's beliefs in finding satisfaction or fulfillment in finishing something on your own. I don't remember the exact words nor the article I read but the individual said something to the extent of, If you feel like you've been working, then you're not enjoying your job. Hence, in all the years he had worked in his industry, he says that he has never worked a single day, which only goes on to prove that he had enjoyed his job so much that he never ever thought of it as work.

This belief had challenged me lately. A part of me had this feeling some time ago but, like so many things in life, nothing is permanent and there are changes that are beyond my control. There have been a number of WTF and incredulous moments, a number of "Why me?"'s, a number of sleepless nights, and a number of head shaking and eye rolls. Yes, I acknowledge and appreciate when others are recognized for their efforts; anyone would most especially if it is well-deserved. However, sometimes, even I find it funny when all that is being worked for is the prestige and the esteem... while sacrificing quality and processes. I will not go into any other specifics but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Honestly, it shouldn't be bothering me at all... but I found myself seething with anger all weekend and after evaluating my feelings, I know that it's because credit was not given to where credit was due. Again, I am not looking for people to say, hey, she did it! Give her something! For me, it's just plain: do not give credit where there is only smoke and mirrors.


compliments and whatnot

Recently, I have been finding myself a popular target for, well, compliments. Unfortunately, it's something that I don't take to very well since I'm probably a textbook example of an individual who is uncomfortable with herself. Don't get me wrong; it's actually pretty flattering to be complimented once in a while. However, it's just downright uncomfortable for me in all honesty. I simply don't know how to respond except with the standard, "Thank you"s.

How do you react to these types of situations anyway? 

The spotlight has never been a place where I want to be but it seems to find me anyway. Seems like I've been asking myself more and more lately, "Why me?" yet I don't get any clear answers... makes me want to find a rock to hide under yet I know that isn't a choice. What to do, what to do, what to do... That, my friends, is the question to ask.


life's that way

Mr. Jim Beaver came under my radar when he played a recurring character on my favorite TV series Supernatural as the Winchester boys', well, surrogate father figure named Bobby Singer. At first, his character was just in the sidelines until the latter seasons when he started to be much more central to the story leading up to his *spoiler alert* untimely demise early in season 7 *end of spoiler alert*.

Because of his role in the boys' lives, he has become pretty much a beloved character worldwide and when he met his fate, I, being the fangirl that I am of the series, finally took the time to look into the real actor's life. It was in Jim's biographies that I found out that he wrote a couple of books, none of which I was really into most especially when I read that one of them was a memoir.

Now, don't get me wrong; there's perfectly nothing wrong with reading memoirs but non-fiction books aren't exactly my cup of tea since they tend to be pretty much heart-wrenching (read: I'm a cry baby. Seriously. Reading or listening to something melancholic can easily trigger the waterfalls!) and on the heavy side. I pretty much skipped it and had almost forgotten about it when I stumbled upon Mr. Beaver's twitter account. Naturally, I clicked on it to see what's on his timeline... only to find that the background images for his page was the cover of his memoir, Life's That Way (picture shown below if you're viewing this in LiveJournal not Multiply :) ).

I don't know what made me do it but I ended up on Amazon to read up on this book. Suffice to say, I was devastated. Short synopsis: Jim married his wife Cecily after a 4-year courtship and, after a little over a decade trying, they finally had their first baby, Madeline Rose. However, Maddie, as she was fondly called by her parents, was soon diagnosed with autism before her 3rd birthday and Cecily, a non-smoker, was suddenly diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. Like I said, memoirs tend to be a little on the heavy side.

My first reaction: Yikes. But I looked at the book's rating and saw that it was pretty high. I took a look again (and even read the available excerpt over at Amazon). Apparently, it was a compilation of some of Jim's nightly email updates to family and friends (later to include friends of friends) regarding his family's condition during this period. Unfortunately, Cecily lost her battle with the big C but Jim continued the updates after requests from all quarters.

The result: a very moving piece of literature regarding a family's struggles to balance life while battling what he called the "elephant" in their midst. I'm not yet done reading the book (about a fourth to go) but I found it to be a page-turner with content that's sad, funny and very touching all rolled into one. Mr. Beaver manages to bare his soul in every page as he reflected not only on life during Cecily's battle but also how he tried to cope with the crippling grief he faced when his wife lost the battle and the daunting prospect of raising a child all on his own in his age. Kudos to his efforts thus far!

Hmm... I was also intrigued about the book's title. I mistook it, at first, to mean that well, life's like that, let's accept it as it's given... so to speak. But halfway through the book, Jim tells the origin of the title; I'll give the abbreviated version. When Cecily died, Jim's friend told the actor, after the latter had to deal with the fact that his wife had just died in the hospital and to notify immediate kin and some friends, that life's that way and pointed to the hospital's exit. A simple gesture but one that pretty much summed up a simple truth in my opinion: grieve for now... but don't forget that you still have a full life ahead of you.

To end this post, I would just like to quote the book with two of its most important "quotable quotes" (in my opinion anyway).

Life's that way →.
No bye-bye.


being apart

Early this morning, a colleague of mine whom I consider a good friend, texted and asked if I was up because she was sad; her bf's off for a one month business trip and it was hard for her not being with him here. I felt instantly sympathetic since - not that I'm being pompous or anything - I've crossed that bridge quite a few times in the past and it was never an easy thing.

Truthfully speaking, I teared up when we were exchanging words last night because it brought back memories of what I went through some time ago with my "boylet" (bwahaha). Some time ago... hmm... hard to believe that it was about 4 years ago now when he first went on an OB trip to Japan and that he's finally been home for about 1 1/2 years now! My, how time flies after the fact... and how time crawls when you're apart.

In a way, it's one of those experiences that I believe people won't really understand until they've actually been there themselves. Long distance relationships, as it's been said, are never easy. For me, that wasn't a reality until I myself went through it for nearly 3 years. And, yes, I can safely say that it was NOT easy. I cannot count how many times I've cried, how many times I've cursed, or how many times I've felt really lonely and betrayed that he wasn't here. I cannot count how many times I've felt mad that he couldn't come home because his assignment kept on dragging and they kept extending his contract abroad. I cannot count...

So many things had happened - both happy and sad - that on hindsight, I don't know how I went through it all. I'm never known for my patience and this one pretty much trumped everything that I've been through. In a way, there were times when you felt that pieces of yourself had gone missing, that not everything seemed quite focused... But you have to drag yourself up everyday and go about your business pretending at times that you're fine when all you wanted to do was scream out in frustration.

At the start it was like that. Everything just ached, everything just seemed hollow. But you realize that you have to persevere, that this was just a job and like every job you're given, you have to give it your all. It's pretty much climbing up the mountain with the world on your shoulders but you must not falter. After all, you're not alone going through this since there are others who are in much worse situations. Consider myself lucky, I suppose.

But there was one undeniable thing that was rewarding as I learned later on...

Let's just say that the waiting was just a precursor to a rewarding reunion. Yes, it's difficult being apart even if it's because of work. Yes, it's painful. But you know, at the end of the day, when he comes home and gives you a hug and a kiss, it's like the separation never happened at all. They say that absence makes the heart fonder and I believe that to be the case as well. It's true that it was nerve-wracking that he would be only home for a week or two on Christmas holidays but it taught me to be strong, to not depend on expectations that he'll always be there, and to start believing and relying on myself as well. After all, it was also hard for him seeing me hurt and that he wasn't always there to give the support that I needed. It took time for me to balance understanding and acceptance but that's just life, we just have to learn to control our selfishness so that others would be free to live their lives as well. It all comes down to you and your willingness to bend at times because not everything will happen the way you see it happening. And that's just life - unfair but, when rewarding, you'll just forget that it was unfair.


patience... patience... patience.

I've probably lost track of how many times I've written about patience or some form of it. I for one will admit that I have not yet mastered its art and recent events have shown me that I really have to exert some extra effort into controlling my temper. I'll write more about this once I gather my thoughts but for now, here are lessons learned: stay focused. Breathe in.. and out.


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