0237 AM, Queen size bed
My 3 AM thoughts:
1) I have always been jealous of the likes of Sofia Coppola who has a director for a dad. To grow up in a film set seemed very attractive to me. Last week, I started my training in TV Production Academy in the country’s undoubtedly biggest network. These are my first baby steps to the dreamy director’s chair. Someday, I will be able to give my children what I’ve always wanted and never had - to have a parent as a key figure in the media industry. I will raise kids in the set, introduce them to the stars and share with them my personal passion that is visual storytelling. They may not live in a first world Philippines by then, but my work will be my contribution to bring my country one generation closer to it.
2) There are so many things to look forward to in the months to come, but I will certainly miss this abundance of free time I have been enjoying. The past months were definitely not a time wasted. During those idle days of unemployment blues, I drowned myself in inspiration. But I did manage to keep afloat! I read a lot of fiction, went to different film festivals of different languages, discovered new music, fell in love with Mad Men and Marilyn Monroe (through Smash and My Week with Marilyn) and watched more films of different genres - from indies, to mainstream BS, and Oscar films to a Miley Cyrus flick! Through all of it, I made more sense of myself, and what I want in life. I learned that I am deeply enamored by the 60s, that my life sounds like a Sigur Ros song, and that I want to become a filmmaker who is a cross between Sofia Coppola-esque stories of existential crisis, Quentin Tarantino’s attention to detail and infamous long takes, Cameron Crowe’s knack for movie soundtracks and scores and Wes Anderson’s visual style.
In addition, I reconnected with my old friends, and let go of pretentious pricks.
There were a lot of impatient waiting and self-doubt in the past few months, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
0349 AM, Apartment
At a job interview yesterday, I realized one important thing - growing up is like a time bomb ticking on you. The world demands that you figure your self and your life out by the time you hit line of two in the age timeline, and be able to deliver it concretely in one smooth, beauty pageant answer to the HR person asking you the routine questions.
I guess the time bomb has exploded right on my face.
The truth is, I am still a walking question mark. But I am not some sort of missile walking aimlessly on the face of the earth. I know I have my target locked. I’m just not sure how to get there, or if I am adequate enough to even get there.
Tonight, I browsed through the tweets of the Fab Five, the US Female Gymnast Team after their winning of their shiny, gold medals. I feel a tremendous amount of inspiration from these beautiful young girls who have reached the zenith of life at age sixteen. Everyone loves a dream-come-true story, after all. But at the same time, it has dawned on me that I have a tinge of envy towards these girls. They’ve figured it all out. Their lives have been planned out in front of them. They’re having fun (and winning) in the middle of the ride.
Now, I don’t wish to do splits and cartwheels on the floor like these girls. All I’m asking is that I would have some sense of security in myself and who and what I want to be in life. I don’t want to second-guess myself anymore. I don’t want to go around feeling defeated by the demons inside me and the limitations I put up for myself. I need to do a lot of progressive thinking. I can’t be caught blindsided by disappointment again and ignore it like an elephant in the room.
I know it’s not going to be anytime soon, but I promise myself that I’m going to make it (whatever the “it” may be). I’m going to wear a gold medal around my neck and be declared a winner at life. I just have to be the best version of myself, for the meantime. That’s all I have figured out for now.
0440 PM, Empty apartment
In a generation’s time, when everyone we knew and everyone who knew us ceased to exist and remained as only a little fraction of distant relatives’ memories, you and I will pass, only to become a name on an epitaph in a grave yard.
Unless you did something very significant to society, or you’re someone famous, like a best-selling author or a notable scientist, we will all become a forgotten memory, a minor character in history.
Maybe that is why I want to see my name in the credits, flashing along a hundred other names in the big screen. For as long as the world will go on with its love affair with cinema and television, my existence, for the very least, will continue to live on even for that just little… split… second.
1153 AM, White floor
Thoughts that go in and out of my mind in the past few days.
- Wow, I have several friends who got into relationships right after graduation. Dudes, your timing couldn’t be any perfect. Now, only a few of us remain. It crosses my mind several times in a day that maybe I was simply made to be single for ….. life. I’m actually entertaining the thought of it. My epitaph would read “that woman who never loved.” I have no one. No one. Not even someone who could be a potential. I am past that age where I get sad all over it, so I rationalize this phenomenon and wonder if maybe I just might be wired differently. Well, I’d rather live with my future 27 cats than be with a guy I know I only settled for. That would be my own definition of loneliness. I plan to die young, anyway (Other voice in my head: Nah, I’m lying. Truth is, I could really use somebody right now).
- We’ve been packed up for two weeks because our lead star is currently out of the country. It has dawned on me that I need a regular job. In fact, after this project, I am practically unemployed. I don’t like the fact that I’m bumming around for two weeks, still living off my parents’ allowance, doing nothing to climb that career ladder. I am currently stagnant and I’m going cray cray. I miss the set and everything about it. I want to work nonstop. I might have a tendency to be a workaholic and I have no problem with that. The world will not stop for day-offs.
- Sometimes, I forget that I’m only 20 and I still have the rest of my life ahead of me. Chill, Char. (Other other voice in my head: Nooo, get off your butt, find a job and a boyfriend. Now!!!)
0349 PM, Hallway
I just have to write about it here.
This morning at 2 AM, while doing our last sequence of the day, I had that warm-fuzzy-feeling moment (this moment could be categorized with those life-flashing-before-your-eyes scenarios). The sequence we did was so beautifully and cinematically done. Coco Martin’s acting was a major. The cinematography was perfect. The feeling of the dead summer air was just right. Everything was flawless.
In the middle of doing the take did it hit me that this is definitely what I want to do for the rest of my life.
I went home literally smiling. While gazing out the window of our van, with the yellow streetlights illuminating the deserted concrete pavements of Pampanga (very cinematic, eh?), and the snore of my vanmates orchestrating in the background, I know that I am on the right track.
0945 PM, Beside the door
Hi everyone who bothers to read this.
I’m fine and still alive, though I have these huge dark bags under my eyes. It has become an integral part of my face now. It’s day 5 of 10 filming days tomorrow and so far, I’m getting the hang of it already. My body and lifestyle have adjusted to this world that functions in a different space and time continuum. I sleep for an average of 7 hours in 2 day. I work for 24 hours straight, 3 AM to 3 AM of the next day. It’s totally crazy. If ever something happens to me, my cause of death would be crossing the street half asleep.
However, no matter how physically demanding this line of work is, I will always be up for it. There will be low points every single day where I question myself if this is really what I want to do, but I always keep in mind that it’s exhaustion that’s talking, not my rational self. Sometimes, kailangan itulog or ipahinga na lang yan. Minsan, pwede iiyak na lang din.
It’s good that I’m friends with everyone on the set - the lightsmen, audiomen, drivers, utility people, the technical and art departments, talents, etc. - because I have someone to lean on when I just need to vent the physical exhaustion and frustrations out. There will always be someone who’s going to listen to my sentiments and most of the time, I get sound and experienced advice in return. Most of the people I work with are veterans in production life. Hearing their stories make me realize that this is not the hardest part yet, so I’d better woman up. (PA tip: Take time to do big and small talk with the people on the set while in between takes. They’re a pretty interesting bunch.)
I do miss my normal life. I miss my friends, I miss the Assers. I should be out late at night with friends in who-knows-where, saluting the final days of our youth, but here I am blogging about work 5 hours before our call time again. But I take the word of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “for everything you have missed, you have gained something else.”
So I have no regrets at all. I’m having the time of my life - both the hardest and the best. I feel like I’m a pencil being sharpened to become the best there is.
To whoever you are who is reading, thank you for your interest. I’m happy you’re joining me in embarking to the climb to that director’s chair.
0758 PM, Brown Couch
I want you to know that I’m going through hell right now in preparation for our official first day of filming tomorrow. The hardest parts are yet to come.
And I’m practically going to live in Pampanga for the next 2 weeks of my life. I’m just going back to Manila for my graduation ceremonies on April 22. My entire family is flying in from Bacolod and I get to be with them for one day only.
I’m going cray cray. I don’t get the chance to savor and bask in the remaining heydays of student life because I started working immediately. Just today, it totally went out of my mind that I still had a thesis to be bound. I also missed graduation practice to do errands for work. And when I look at my Twitter timeline, all I talk about is anything related to work. It has consumed me.
I wrote about this a few days ago, about how I feel like I’m forced to transition into that “working girl” mindset almost immediately. I do, I really do. I feel like my mind is 3 years older than it is.
I can’t even sleep soundly now because my brain is actively reminding me of pending tasks. In addition to that psycho effect, I get a mini heart attack whenever my phone rings and the blinking screen says it’s our director calling.
Totally cray cray.
But I have no regrets, fellas.
Even if it’s extremely stressful, I am honestly having the time of my life. This is a kind of stress that I could get addicted to (note the GOTYE reference hahaha!) This is it, right here, right now - the things I’ve been wishfully thinking for a few months ago are now materializing.
Let’s just say my future has started earlier than the rest… and there’s no slowing down now.
1008 PM, Outside
Tonight, I was reading the things I wrote in this blog a few months ago. I’m taken aback at how sad and introspective I have been.
"Turning twenty made me realize how awfully brief childhood and adolescence is. The rest of our lives is going to be spent as adults. And now, being an adult makes me think of such things - of what I am becoming year after year… On this day, I’m not asking anything material. I just want my kind heart back and have it able to feel and give love. (from Today, I turn twenty)”
"Our greatest villain isn’t the system, or the government, or even our circumstances. It’s ourselves. Our own cage of flesh and bones ties us down with the decisions we make, hopes we let go, ideologies we put on, and memories we remember… I just want to free myself. (from Fatal Wound)”
”There’s a war inside of me. Everyday, nuclear bombs are dropped, artilleries are fired and casualties pile up. It’s a never-ending battle where everyone is on the losing side. My sickness is my self… My fears have ultimately worn me out. (from Artillery)”
I’ve been publicly writing how I feel towards life and everything in between for five years now. I don’t know if people cared, or if they read. I don’t write for them. I write for myself. I am just surprised how too personal I’ve been. It’s getting dangerous having to share a piece of my subconscious to people I don’t even talk to in real life. To some extent, this life has been an open book to strangers. And the weird thing is, I allow them to.
I look forward to the day I don’t have to do this anymore, to tell how I feel to a blank document, and instead to a listening ear who genuinely cares about the stories I tell.
When I meet you, believe me, I will tell you everything.
1252 AM, Bedlam
I find it surprising how moving on from student life is becoming easy and unemotional for me. Technically, I am still a student since my thesis is still not up for binding (and graduation day is 21 days away) but I noticed that my mindset is gradually evolving into that of a young working adult. And yes, happy is slowly transforming into a yuppie word.
I just feel so… detached.
I need to take two steps back and look at myself and the bigger picture I’m going to be a part of. Am I jumping in and trying to fit in the picture too soon? Am I hastening this growing-up process? Should I linger in the remaining heydays of my careless, reckless and audacious moments a little longer?
It’s just weird that I was thinking of work and career on my ride home, instead of lamenting over my near graduation and departure from a dearly beloved place.
Maybe I am losing my youth. It’s slipping away.
Or maybe I’m just tired.