The Skating Rink that is YOU

You know who you are. ๐Ÿ™‚

A week ago, we were talking about me posting about inanimate objects. And I was exploring the possibility of animating the skating rink. I thought it was another self-portrait. But today, I realized that I am not the skating rink. You are, although I can be a skating rink sometimes.

I am just the ice princess playing on the skating rink that is you, covering up whatever space I am allowed to take. I don’t have all of you, but I have a special spot where I skid around and just be myself for as long as you allow me to practice in my poor beginner’s skates.


This is me patching you up and reminding you of who you are, reversing the lies that bind.

*************

Vastness. That’s me. I seem to have everything with my wideness but I can never have everything; I only have a lot. People bask in my facade of blue. I am the warmest ice skating rink in the entire planet Earth. Some people may find me lofty or hard to reach. But one step at the sides, and you will easily find even beginner skaters being welcomed into the center. I guide. I have railings. I give skating shoes to those who need them. I make sure everything is safe.

It matters little where you come from or what your skill level is. I open up myself, the skating rink that I am. I make Olympians out of even the small child that comes to me. I just cannot bear to refuse help especially when I had been helped in the past so greatly. I started out humbly. I was just a piece of ice in an old dilapidated refrigerator. Slowly but steadily, I got introduced to the world, and I found endless possibilities for myself. I found that a small ice can actually become an ice skating rink.

From afar, I seem lofty, dangerous and hard to reach. But I have railings on all walls of my life’s fences. The fences are made of thin glass; I barely have the walls erected because I like to welcome everybody under my wing. And it’s as transparent as can be. Some people find it hard to believe that such trust remains unmarred and untarnished by time. But I have learned that ice is never attractive or useful if it is dirty or filled with scum. It is always best to be as transparent as possible in everything and in anything.

I make sure that everyone that comes inside feels safe and welcome. Ironic, but I am the warmest skating rink on the planet earth. Hard as I try, I cannot harbor any sad feelings. In the skating rink, everything is cool, dandy and happy. And people come and go whenever they please.

There are hard hammers thrown my way because some people hate skating and think I am a retard for promoting my life’s deepest passions. But that’s fine. Sometimes they come to the point where they hurl their porcupine-rough surfaces and rub it in my face at a time that I least expect. I was not born to make everybody understand my raison d’etre. I just know what I am doing and I consistently plug that in everything I do.

I find it hard to imagine that there are far embittered people who hate skating, who are not open to my ideas and who are displeased at my success.

But every person on earth has his own set of prejudices. I may be the one made of ice and vapor, but I have seen, felt and heard far colder hearts, narrower minds and smokier intentions when it comes to people who are deliberately out to steal, kill, malign and destroy.

And I there are instances that I get scraped without having any means to defend myself. Because they often attack in the dark, perhaps afraid to let themselves be revealed to an army of skaters who can and will crush them to a pulp.

Sometimes I feel sad because of the injustice.

But I continue to press on towards my purpose. Because I know that part of getting all the rewarding relationships is the running the risk of getting hurt and attacked the most. I can choose to selfishly close myself in and let no one in. But that’s not the way to live a life, especially a life that has been blessed with such vastness and warmth.

Play time is over and all the guests have left; a humble ice princess stays on, picks up the littlest pieces of ice, those that got misplaced from the hard scrapes of those cold-hearted fellows. And she carefully cradled that piece, not making it melt.

She tries to put me back together with whatever little effort her little hands can come up with. She had fallen so many times, broke her heart often and knew how to hold things in a way that the pieces won’t melt or break.

She tries to reverse the scrapes of the cold-hearted and sings to me the song of my life in case I have forgotten. She patches up my wounds with words. She gave back warmth for warmth. And I know that for people like these, I can readily oppose and ignore the flaming poisonous arrows of words, the handiwork of the coldest hearts, and the harshest blows that life can bring.

Because there are people who believe. There are people who like to dance their lives with me. And the magic of life lives on for them and for me, even when others are blinded by their own set of beliefs.

Let us skate on. The magic lives on. Everything is still worth it. Tomorrow is a brand new day. A brand new day for skating and a brand new day for polishing the shiny ice that is me, the accomplished and loved skating rink that I am.

๐Ÿ™‚

The League of Extraordinary Employees: The Job Fulfillment Tightrope

The last two months of my life had been marred with tough choices. I applied in 24 companies before getting this job as engineering editor. And if I may visualize my path, I am balancing manuscripts while walking in the tightrope of intellectual and monetary fulfillment. And if you are an average Juan (not one of the million or six-digit earning retired young entrepreneurs that I look up to and admire), you can relate. For you will also have to walk this tightrope before you reach the pinnacle of your intellectual flow state and your financial freedom out of the paycheck rat race.

There were some companies that offered twice the compensation I receive here. Not to mention the fact that I earn way much more as a freelancer. I could have stayed withย  my online Internet jobs and just file my own SSS contributions and stuff. My bosses did not particularly want me to leave the online world for this very time-demanding work. One of the things I had to adjust to is the reporting to the office from 8am to 6pm. As a freelancer, I was used to just coming up with articles at any time that the writing Muse decides to take a visit. Now, Muse or no Muse, the manuscripts need to be settled asap. Deadlines come in hordes here, mind you. And I am often too tired to do anything when I get home.

But why did I decide to leave the freelance world for this time-consuming thing? Why did I choose to trudge my career path as precariously as this:

I am not sure if other people will find my reasons valid. But it’s different strokes for different folks. Let me give you an overview of what I am beset with on a typical day here at the publishing world.

Behind me is a woman with an American last name who bested most of us in the big boss’ grammar exam. At my left is a super sexy married woman who makes me look at my belly in concern. I’d kill for her waistline, really!

Behind that sexy editing woman is a freelance photo model who hails as a magna cum laude from Ateneo de Naga university.And has the dimples I have been trying to poke on my cheek in fourth grade (With no success, of course!)

Somewhere in the Northwest from my desk, there is a cum laude in Journalism and a Palanca awardee. Seated near them is a SPED specialist and a writing fellow in the prestigious Iligan Writing Workshop. Farther up, there is the top 2 in the recent Licensure Exam for Teachers by the PRC. If you climb up a little, you will be acquainted with some of the country’s best illustrators.

Oh, did I mention that our editor in chief edits the works of famous National Artists for literature? (there is a separate post about him, by the way)

For some people, these things do not matter in a job. But to me, THEY DO. Not because they have titles. But because I am in an environment where I am intellectually challenged to stay on top of my game. Here, excellence is not extraordinary; it is expected. So as I juggle all these manuscripts due by the end of this month, I make sure to check if I dotted my i’s and crossed my t’s correctly.I am just happy people here are most kind and they do not really brag about how kick-a$$ they really are, intellectually speaking. It’s a good environment to be in; people wear their intelligence like their underwear (Everyone assumes they have it but they don’t flaunt it for the whole wide universe.)

I am just so lucky to be here. The pay may not be that high, but I know I am so fulfilled with the benefits of being with these people, these people who are so good with what they do. And they do what I love most, what I love naturally.

In terms of money issues, I have Bo Sanchez’s useful advice to help me out: save 20% of whatever meager sum I am earning each paycheck, and set aside 10% for the Lord as thanksgiving and tithe.I plan to do it as faithfully as I possibly can.

I write everything here not just to advise the job hunter to find work that suits his natural inclinations and passions. But also to remind myself of how lucky I am to be here, in case certain irritations and frictions try to kill that passion I have for this path I chose for myself.