Stereotypes, Traditional Rules and Strong, Independent Women

It’s Christmas time and aside from Valentine’s Day, Christmas is the time when people “desperately” want to get involved in a romantic experience. When I was young, my only thought of a happy Christmas was one I could spend with my family but somehow it changed when I hit puberty and has continued on until adulthood. The want for romance became a staple especially during such seasons. Maybe it’s because of the cold weather or maybe because it is a season of love after all, whatever the reason there is always that connotation that people would be happier if they have a significant other to share the holidays with.

When you’re single like me (for my whole life) you get curious about why you’re still single. There is that inner feeling of wanting to know how it would be like to have a significant other. There is also that wonder whether there is a secret to getting into and keeping a relationship. And if you’re also a geek like me that curiosity will get the better of you and you’ll start researching. So I did what most single geeks would do — I researched, looked for good materials and read up. I couldn’t count the number of references I’ve looked into but almost all of them had this one similar factor, the concept of a “Hero Complex.”

I won’t be able to completely explain it here since I found no singular explanation of the phenomenon. However, it is basically something related to men. According to one reference the “hero complex” is the basic instinct of a guy to become someone’s hero. It is termed as a need for a man to feel like he is needed and trusted by someone. It is an inner complex that makes a man want to save and protect someone who needs them. Translating it to the world of relationships, a man basically wants a woman whom he can save and protect, a woman who needs him to be her hero and for girls to get a man’s attention, they’d have to play to a man’s hero complex by being the damsel that needs one. There is this one book that teaches how to get a stranger’s (a man’s) attention. It says that a girl should try to drop something in front of the guy (maybe a handkerchief) and let him pick it up and give it back. This plays to the guy’s hero complex because he feels that he did a small heroic thing by helping the girl. This will also make him feel like he made the first move whereas in reality it was the girl that picked him. I have a lot of comments with this example alone. One, the girl is expressly being told to become manipulative. There are times that manipulation to get what you want is fine as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone but when you want to start a life-long relationship with someone, starting it with a manipulative move will not end well since you’d have to keep it up until the secret comes out and both of you realize it wasn’t worth it in the end. Two, it somehow made the guy look dumb. The handkerchief move has been there for generations and a guy who will obviously fall for that trick is well, a little out of it, don’t you think? Also, it presupposes that guys have the obligation to pick the handkerchief up for the girl. He doesn’t. It is courtesy, yes but it something that should not only be done by men. If a girl sees the fallen handkerchief first, as courtesy, she can pick it up and return it to the owner. In the first place, why can’t she? As you can see, all this talk about girls playing to a man’s Hero complex strikes too many issues with me but still the curious cat in me wanted to give it a try.

In my previous post I related about the time when I found it hard to write because it felt like I was lying to myself even when I wrote. One of the reasons for that was because during the time I tried to woo a certain guy I tried to play to his hero complex by letting him carry things for me that I can carry on my own, letting him walk me home when we basically live near each other and I can go home on my own, letting him take the lead when there are times I thought I can do things faster and more efficient, not calling him out even though I knew he was doing something wrong. Now, you’ll probably say that I’m full of myself thinking that I am better than this guy at everything. That’s not it. These were only moments and not an everyday thing. There were times when I really needed help carrying stuff and I appreciated his help and there were more times that I find his methods efficient and let him lead because it was the better way of doing things. The issue is, when I can do it on my own, I still let him do it because he wanted to and I wanted him to think that he’s helping me and make him feel like, well, my hero. Wrong move. Every time I did that during such moments I could feel a tingle in my heart. It kind of hurts whenever I try to restrain myself from even saying anything for the fear that he might look at me differently. There was a fear of coming off too strong and making him feel insecure. It honestly hurt every time because I knew I wasn’t being myself. I was close to losing myself and that was when I decided that all this hero complex, playing the damsel, etc. are nothing but stereotypes and traditions that undermine who I really am — a strong and independent woman. Luckily, I got out of that mess.

Fast forward, I met another guy just a few days ago who interested me. Due to a similar interest in a movie we decided to go and watch it. This was the first time I’d be going out alone with, basically, a stranger. There was no mention of it being a romantic date and honestly, I did not get my hopes up. Still, I wanted to see how it goes and if ever there was a chance that it might turn out to be something else. At first, it was a bit awkward. We just met and there were a lot of things we still didn’t know about each other. Some dead air was for me, just normal. There were times we held conversations about random stuff but the conversation that really stuck with me was one about why he thinks I’m still single.

When we first met I already mentioned things about not conforming to sexist notions. I think that was when he said he’ll be okay going home alone even when it’s already late since he was a guy. I directly told him that it was a sexist notion and told him honestly that he was in the same danger of getting robbed or killed even as a guy since he wasn’t that big or muscled or intimidating. I admit that was too frank but I think that was the alcohol talking at that time. 😀 Therefore when we met again there was no use pretending I was a damsel in distress. Frankly, I had no intention to. It started with doors. Whenever I arrive at a door first I open it and do not wait for him. There was even a time I let him pass first and opened the door for him. Another incident was when he opened the door for me but instead of passing first and thanking him my inner instinct made me want to hold the door after him so that he can pass through first and I’ll just follow. At first he jokingly remarked that I should at least give in and just pass through the door that was opened for me. I told him I do not need to. I forgot how we got to this point but we started conversing about men leading during dates. I think it was when he wanted to assist me with my stuff and I told him I could manage. He made a comment which I forgot what it was. All I remember was that I asked him if guys get offended by such move and he bluntly told me YES, especially when a guy has intentions towards a girl and they were on a romantic date. He abruptly added that what we were doing was not a romantic date but a friendly one. That was when I knew I’d been friendzoned, again. Having been friendzoned, all the more reason for me to be who I really was, right? He kept calling me a “strong, independent woman.” I didn’t mind because I believed I was but I knew that the undertone to that was the fact that he did not see me as a potential significant other because of that fact. If I had brought that up we may have ended up in an argument rather than a healthy conversation.

There was also a part in our conversation wherein I told him about the hero complex and said that girls nowadays no longer need heroes and guys to save and protect them. He countered by saying that the fact that she was with a guy says otherwise. I think I told him that it doesn’t matter because what is important is the company and he said that “kailangan talaga lalaki?” That honestly did not make sense to me because why not? If your friend is a guy should you not be hanging out with him alone for the mere fact that you enjoy his company just because he is a guy? That does not make sense. I’ve hung out alone with many of my guy friends and it didn’t matter. There was no difference between hanging out with them and hanging out with my girl friends because I enjoy their company nonetheless. Gender does not play a role in enjoying one’s company. I do not remember how this conversation ended but at least we did not end up arguing. When we parted he thanked me for “the company” through a text message. I think it was aimed to jab at what we just talked about. Despite all this, he was still supportive. He said that someday someone who will be the best pair for me will eventually come and I should not give up or be bitter that I don’t have a boyfriend at this time. In the end, it was a good conversation and we parted as better friends, as it should be. I will not attempt to make him change his views on dating because I respect him and his views but I will definitely not hold back on saying what’s mine. At least he’ll know that there is another side of the story.

To end, I think people, and not just men, should realize that the traditional rules of having the guy lead are slowly going extinct because the truth is, all relationships, especially romantic ones, should be a shared experience. Personally, I do not need someone to come save or protect me. I think I can do that on my own as I have been for 26 plus years. There may be times when I do need some saving or protecting but not all the time and certainly not for the rest of my life. I do not need a hero, I need a partner who would stand by me and I by him whenever we need each other. I want a companion who, even without saying anything, makes my day brighter by just being there and I hope he thinks the same way about me. So, I’m sorry if I will break tradition and say that girls playing to a guy’s “hero complex” in order to become attractive to the opposite sex is outdated and a complete bull. I refuse to conform to such nonsense and if this means that I might never (or have a very slim chance to) find someone who will be attracted to me then fine. It’ll be a little sad to realize that there isn’t someone out there who thinks the way I do or at least accepts the way I see and believe things but that’s the price I’m willing to pay just so I can hopefully change the way people see things. If I conform and give in to the temptation just because I want someone to share the rest of my life with then I won’t be changing anything. I’ll just be proving that the tradition is right. Still, I do believe it’s time to change so I will step up and continue on this path hoping that someday viewpoints will change and we are finally ushered into a world where stereotypes and traditional rules do not matter and that strong and independent women will not be forced to compromise who they really are for the sake of a chance in love.

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Lost and Found

It’s been a while. The reason why I haven’t written for several months now will become evident in this post but before anything else I would like to say that I am finally back in the game. I think. 😀 

Here’s the deal ladies and gents, I wasn’t able to write because I wasn’t able to write, period. There were times when I started to compose articles, verses, etc for this blog but just ended up deleting everything and starting from scratch. Main reason: what came out of me felt like it didn’t come from me at all. It felt like it came from another version of me living in an alternate reality. In short, what I wrote didn’t reflect who I was and what I was actually thinking at the time. It all felt fake and forced so I had to delete them.

For a while I was wondering why this happened and when it happened. Thankfully with the help of a close friend who is more in tune with people’s emotions than I am, I was able to somehow pinpoint the cause and maybe the solution. As much as I do not want to be boxed in a certain stigma especially when it comes to Zodiacs, personality tests and other stuff that most people find describes them best, I cannot deny that what some of my personality tests say are true especially the one wherein they describe someone like me as aloof and not in tune with emotions. I do have a problem with understanding not only other people’s emotions but also myself’s. I tend to rely more on solving things logically than to be emotional about stuff. This is good when you are dealing with other people because you are able to help them solve their problems without getting attached but this is problematic when your problem is your own emotions. Most of the time I don’t understand what I am feeling or why. So, as for the reason why I wasn’t able to write anything from articles, to poems, to songs escaped me but now I probably have an idea, somehow. I hope.

I will not deny that when it comes to falling in love, I fear it more than I fear the apocalypse. That is because I am somehow ready for the latter and have devised plans of action once it comes but for the former that is new territory for me. Not only that it is uncharted, unpredictable and illogical, so to speak. Every love story is different and matters of the heart do not have a manual or a what-to-do list that you can follow to a T. Perhaps this fear can be traced to my childhood, how I was raised, what I experienced, what I was led to believe but what matters is that it carried over until my adulthood. I knew I was afraid of the feeling. Maybe that’s why I do not deem that romance or romantic feelings in general are necessary in my life. I have prepared myself to live out a single life in the future because it was better than having my fear realized. But what was it that I truly feared about falling in love, I still do not know for sure. What I do know is that I feared the feeling so much that I even used a certain person in my life as an excuse not to fall in love. I masqueraded that in a fake feeling all the while knowing that either the feeling wasn’t real or that it was never going to come true. I think the latter’s more accurate though. I focused on a person so unattainable he became a cage I could protect myself in as I lie to myself that I cannot fall in love with another because I already had him in my heart. The truth is, I knew all along he was never in my heart. I just wanted to pretend in order to protect myself. Having realized this I decided to forget about that person and it was easy this time around because I knew why I held on for too long. It was my fault and I genuinely want to say sorry to that person for all the inconvenience that my own insecurities had caused him. Unfortunately, we might never talk to each other again in this lifetime.

Now, they say that an empty heart is dangerous as much as a broken heart is. That it clings to the next person that shows it mercy and affection. I tripped that wire and fell into that trap as much as I would like to deny that it ever happened, it did and this time it was again due to the fact that I needed an escape. I got confused. Do I want to fall in love or do I not want to? Do I still fear it or do I not anymore? Here is the thing, I still fear it but not as much as before. I know now that I want to at least know what the feeling is and what it looks like in my life but there are still doubts in my mind whether romance is really for me. However, I do know that more than before I am open now to the idea of the experience but that doesn’t mean that I’m supposed to fall for just any person that easily. I still needed to find someone who I’d be comfortable with, my partner in crime and someone who can understand me. My confusion with what I truly wanted, however, got the best of me and as I said before, I fell into that trap. I met a person whom I thought would show me how falling in love really means and would in turn love me for who I truly am. I think I was also a little curious so I dived right in. I was open to the experience that I, despite my logical side, choose to abandon all logic and go with the flow. I probably thought that time that it was worth the risk. It was was however the problem was not in the fact that I made myself vulnerable. The problem was that I didn’t let go even after realizing that we are complete opposites and that he had needs that aloof me may never be able to meet. I continued to delude myself into thinking that maybe things will work out in the end. I know now that it will not. To connect all of this now to why I stopped writing, it was because I was trying to become someone I wasn’t. I was trying to impress the wrong person by holding off from who I really am, what I wanted to do, what I wanted to say that I became a tamer, faker version of me. It didn’t feel right and that translated to my writing. It just didn’t feel right anymore. I became someone I always feared to be when it came to love. I changed who I was just to get a glimpse of that feeling I once shunned myself from all these years. Maybe I got too excited, I don’t know. However, this was something I would never have done in the past and surely something I definitely will never do again in the future.

In the end, I still do want to fall in love but I fear it still at the same time but I think that fear is enough to at least remind me that I still have to wait for the right moment. I do believe that soon I will meet someone who will minimize that fear and make me take that leap of faith and that someone should be a person for whom I do not need to change or compromise who I am just to be loved by him, unlike what just happened to me. Now, I can write because I found myself again. One would think that after 26+ years I’d realize such things sooner (also because I preach it everyday, only to do it myself — #idiot. But hey, mistakes are made so we could learn. <– that’s just me making an excuse so I won’t look like a fool. :p). There will definitely come a time that I will finally be truly open to the idea of falling in love with someone but until then I’ll continue to always and forever love the one person who will always be there for me — ME, without compromising anything in return. 😀 ❤

Looking Back

It’s almost ten years since I graduated from High School. Although I haven’t heard anything about my Alma Mater or the people I once shared it with (except that they’ve moved to a new campus) I still remember the times I spent there, all the highs and the lows. I would be a hypocrite if I say that I did not miss High School life. The innocence we had, the minor problems that we had to face everyday, and the abundance of our dreams of the future — these are things that I look back to BUT I would never wish to relive those moments again.

Truth be told, I hated my High School self. I just don’t dislike her, I hate her. *From now on I’ll refer to my High School persona in the third person*

Although she was bestowed with several gifts: a wide array of talents, the image of being the smartest in the school, popularity (both good and bad), finances, praise from people of all ages and the privilege of being “maldita”, “suplada” or just plain evil without suffering consequences — she was just a really disturbed and dark “emo” teen with no purpose in life.

I remember that since then I’ve always dreamed of becoming a lawyer. I can see myself in a court room arguing for my client. I was in debates, in public speaking clubs and leadership conventions because I believed in my being the best — I was so assuming. I was never humble and I thought the world revolved around me because back then it felt like it did.

Come College I was enrolled in the country’s premier University which I thought I could ace easily. I experienced the hardest slap on the face then. That was when I realized that I had been a frog living in a small well where I am the best frog because I could climb out of it not knowing that outside, there are several (tons) other frogs that are bigger and better than me because they’ve been in the world and I remained too long in that small, dark well. I was a helpless frog. High School wasn’t the time to find myself. It was in College that I realized the limits of my strengths and the darkness in my soul. From Extrovert I became an Introvert as I began to see the world in 360 and people more of friends than minions. However, this transformation cost me a great price. I lost my dream of becoming a lawyer. Somehow, it feels like it wasn’t my calling anymore. Maybe I lost the confidence I had built up when I was in High School when I suffered a blow to my ego or maybe I just realized it wasn’t what I really wanted.

I look back to the past and I remember that even before I began thinking about being a lawyer I have always been writing. As a child I was so happy just being in a corner reading story books and writing stories of my own. The happiest moment I could remember was when my story was published in our school (we had Elementary and High School) paper when I was just in Grade 1. I had rejected our principal’s suggestion that I should take up Journalism or Creative Writing because I was invested in being a lawyer all too much only to realize that it wasn’t what I really wanted, nor was it the profession that made me truly happy.

Although here I am finishing a law degree, my heart still yearns to convey the many unfinished stories that I have in my head. I still keep all the drafts of my plots and unfinished write-ups. The 500 poem collection that I started from High School and finished while in College is still there in my cabinet. My precious notebooks where I jotted down ideas of stories and even of songs as I combined my love for music and writing are still with me in my room. I could never let go.

The reason I hate my High School self is because she made me forget the joy that a simple story could make me. I was too focused on being the best academically and I thought an “Atty.” in front of my name would prove to everyone that I am indeed the best. I cannot remember how it started but I forgot the child-like wonder that I had when it was just me, my books, my stories and the world. I am slowly regaining it now though it’s so hard to start anew.

What I do want to thank my High School self for is the fact that I experienced darkness and depression because of her — things that I need to help me see the bigger picture and create better stories that play right into a person’s deep emotions. It was in High School that I first started composing songs and in High School when I won many times for my poetry because I had to vent my rage somewhere. So maybe I really did not forget my passion back then, I just turned it into a hobby instead.

For now, I will finish what I have started (this law degree and the Bar) before I go back to practicing my forgotten craft. I really miss the times I look at people and places and form a story about them. I miss just being me but I am grateful because now I know who I want to be.

Isn’t it Ironic?

“It’s meeting the man of my dreams and then meeting his beautiful wife.”

I’ve always liked “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette. It’s even one of my go-to karaoke songs. I like how the lyrics weaved a story per verse and ended in the singer’s most ironic and heartbreaking moment. We’ve all had ironies in our lives, some little, some really big ones like the one mentioned above. So far, I’ve only had little ironies but there is this one time that something kind of similar to this song’s “best” ironic moment happened to me.

It happened recently although the persons involved haven’t tied the knot yet. Still, they’re going there. I won’t exactly caption the other party as “the man of my dreams” because he is basically still just a stranger to me. I don’t know him that well but I really liked the way he talked and most of his ways when we got together recently. I felt we could get along well since we somehow have similar personalities. But before I even try to get involved I knew that I should check whether someone already has their eyes or seal of ownership on this person. I knew that there was a 90% chance that there already is someone. I was right. Almost all of the time I am never wrong when it comes to a person’s relationship status especially if I get to spend time with them outside of school or work. I guess I’m just a good judge of character. As someone who follows the Golden Rule (most of the time) I just decided to keep my distance and compel myself to not think of anything further than just being friends or probably just keep the admiration to myself.

It’s hard. -_- Especially when that person has now become a constant part of my day (somehow). These are the moments when I think it would be better for me to become like my close friend who is asexual — who does not feel any special attraction to anything. It also makes me want to become a monk who does not care for the base emotions that drive most people to fall in love once they find someone they are attracted to. But since I am neither, it’s quite a hard task to keep the emotions at bay. Of course I cannot act differently towards the person or questions will come up and that’s not good. I also cannot be too obvious or even harder questions and even assumptions will come up which is even worse. So I have to take extra care to keep myself in the middle. It is so hard. Usually most of my crushes start out single then they get a partner which helps the feeling to fade away. It’s a first that I find myself attracted to someone who is already in a relationship. It’s ironic in some ways and very much frustrating. I sometimes wish it never happened but there is nothing I could do about it now except embrace the situation and learn from the experience. I’ll just go back to my quest of self-improvement and deal with my own internal (self-esteem, etc.) problems first before I deal with external factors that affect my view of the world. It’ll be fine of course. I know.

Why I think Sheldon and Amy has the most stable relationship in #TBBT

If you’re like me who has seen and loves the American sit-com ‘The Big Bang Theory’ (TBBT for brevity) then there is no need for me to explain who Sheldon and Amy are or how the met and what they went through as a couple. If you are not then sorry, I will not be explaining those things in this post since it will take up most of the space and the time I need to compose this post. Just do yourself a favor and watch all ten seasons of the show. I promise you, you will love it!

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Moving on, I have recently read an article online where the writer went out of his way to ask his readers to give him advice on how to keep a marriage stable since he just recently got married himself. Upon receiving his readers’ responses he noticed a pattern and several repeated answers that he was inclined to share these to his other readers. He believed that the repetition he saw in the replies of those couples who have kept their marriages for more than 20 years now are indicative of the factors that determine whether or not a relationship would last that long. I noticed some glaring similarities with what the article mentioned to that of Sheldon and Amy’s fictional relationship as shown on TBBT. Some of which I will focus on in this post.

1. Boundaries and Consent

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As many of TBBT fans know, Sheldon and Amy’s relationship is unique as it is governed by a relationship agreement where many of the things they are willing and not willing to do for each other are stipulated in contract and binding to both parties. Sure, the agreement is unnecessarily skewed in favor of Sheldon but by allowing Amy the benefit of choosing to get into a relationship with him despite his many quirks (most of which are written in print), Sheldon in fact asks Amy’s consent from the start and lays out everything (almost everything) that she should expect from having a relationship with someone as tough to handle as him. By consenting to the agreement Amy already knows what she is getting into and that is why despite Sheldon’s many irrational manners she still just sighs and tries to understand him. There was one scene in the series where Amy mumbles, “His mother warned me. Everybody warned me. Actually, he warned me.” This meant that Amy knew what she was getting into but she still did anyway because she was willing to put up with him. They were both practical enough to set ground rules for their relationship which they both agreed upon. In other words, not one of them can make a fuss as long as the contract is followed since they already consented to it. However, this did not mean that Amy did not do anything to slightly skew things towards her own favor, she did but I will talk about that under another sub-heading.

Aside from the fact that the limits and boundaries of their relationship were set and kept both of them went into the relationship for the right reasons. When they first met both did not believe in romantic relationships which gradually changed when they both realized that they wanted to be more than friends. Although Amy was lonely since she did not have any friends she wasn’t particularly looking for a romantic partner to fill the void. She just wanted a friend and she found that in Penny through Sheldon. That is why you can see her clinging more to Penny than to Sheldon during the first parts of Season 4 and 5 (when she first entered the story). With that void filled she did not need a romantic partner to make herself happy but she got into one with Sheldon not because she was lonely and needed someone but because she found that she was happier and better whenever she was with him. This goes the same for Sheldon. He was completely content with the way he was living his life. Furthermore, he was a person who hated change the most but in the end he was the one who proposed that they get into a romantic relationship and embraced the change of having a girlfriend in his life since he saw that he didn’t prefer it otherwise. They were not pressured by any external factor to go into a relationship. They did not need each other to feel good about themselves. They just needed each other, period because they cannot see it otherwise. In short, it made more sense to both of them if they were in a romantic relationship just because they love spending time together.

Another thing to note is that they regularly talk about their relationship and the things that they find important. They have meetings on where to go on date night, what each other’s pet names are, what to do during their free time, what to purchase, etc. They talk about the littlest of things and make sure that they both are okay with their choices even if it sometimes leads to small arguments. Most couples think that it’s not important to dwell on the small stuff. Wrong! It is the little things that build up gradually until it becomes a big fight in the end. People may think that something as small as deciding on which restaurant to go to, what brand of soap to buy are things that they can easily brush off but it really is not. If something, even a little things, is bothering you it is healthier to talk it out with your partner so that he or she can understand your take on things. Communication is the key. Although later we will see that communication is not the most important thing to keep a relationship stable, we still need to take note that good communication plays a big role in a romantic relationship.

2. Mutual Respect, Trust and Preservation of Individuality

We TBBT fans all know that among all the other characters Sheldon thinks that Amy is the one who is most intellectually compatible with him and this is coming from a person who thinks that everyone else is dumber or stupider than him. This means that Sheldon sees Amy with the highest regard and respects her as a person. This is shown by the fact that he sees Neurobiology as an inferior science to Physics but never did he once mentioned that Amy was not a brilliant scientist nor notable in her field. In fact he mentions that she is brilliant and notable many times during the series. The same goes for Amy and from this deep respect begets a deep trust which is more important. Like I previously said, communication may be important but it is not the most crucial element of a stable relationship. It is mutual trust and respect and this is the element that is most seen in the ShAmy couple. For the other couples in TBBT there is respect but the trust element is a bit lacking. Leonard is always insecure and thinks that Penny will eventually leave him for a better looking guy. Penny is insecure that she is not worthy of Leonard since she’s not smart. Howard is insecure that Bernadette would change her mind and leave him and Bernadette feels the same way sometimes plus she has doubts as to whether Howard was the right choice for a husband. These issues are not that prevalent in Sheldon and Amy. Sheldon trusts Amy to the point that he does not get jealous even when he sees another man with her. In fact, he thinks it is impossible because they have “an iron-clad rule [in the relationship agreement] that she cannot have any physical contact with other men except [Sheldon]”. Now we all know that even if it is stipulated in writing there is still a possibility that the person will not abide by it. Hello, lawbreakers? But in this case Sheldon completely trusts that Amy will honor that rule even when he is not looking or caring. His trust in Amy is, in his own words, iron-clad. Amy at the same time trusts Sheldon completely. In the last episode of Season 10 where another girl starts hitting on Sheldon it wasn’t Sheldon that Amy was worried about, it was the girl. She knew that Sheldon did not see it as anything more than a friendly gesture but she was worried that this girl, with an obvious admiration towards Sheldon, would try her best to convince him otherwise. That is why she did not get upset with him. She instead got upset with her friends who did not look out for him.

Due to this deep trust we can see how Sheldon and Amy, though gradually changing, have preserved the very things that make them unique as individuals. This is because both of them, albeit enjoying spending time together, also enjoy their alone times and their individual times with their friends. In other words, they allow each other space that both of them need away from each other to preserve their individuality. Most couples think that spending more time together would be best for a relationship and letting your partner go off on their own would open the relationship to a lot of temptations. In relation to the article I mentioned, most couples who have stayed together for longer than 20 years say that this is not the case. In fact, it is the exact opposite. “A healthy relationship means two healthy individuals”, according to the article. Sheldon and Amy may have a lot in common but they also acknowledge the fact that they have a lot of things that differentiate them from each other.

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Amy doesn’t like Star Wars or Star Trek. She doesn’t play video games and is indifferent towards trains. Sheldon on the other hand does not like Romantic love stories or any kind of romantic gesture, hates Valentine’s Day the most, dislikes gift-giving and celebrating holidays especially Christmas. But even if they are different they acknowledge this fact and make things work out. Amy sometimes takes Sheldon to train stations, gives him gifts he could enjoy like his Me-Maw’s (grandmother) Christmas cookies, allows him to spend time with his friends to enjoy games and watch his favorite movies. Sheldon also does the same with Amy and because they are happy as individuals and they still get to do the things they love despite being in a relationship with someone who has other likes make them happier as a couple because they do not see their relationship as a burden to their individuality but instead they see it as something that can foster their understanding of the other better and thereby becoming a more stable and loving partner to the other.

3. Romance is not a priority

Unlike Howard and Bernadette, Amy and Sheldon started off as very good friends first before they became a couple and even when they did become a couple romance was not the main point of their relationship. Leonard once noted that they once spent hours just ignoring each other despite being together but they just replied that they both enjoyed it. What they love is spending time together, not exactly spending it cuddling or spooning or even having sex. Although this changed when Amy started asking more attention from Sheldon and this became a problem which led to their break up in Season 8 and 9. Eventually when they got back together Amy realized that it wasn’t just Sheldon’s fault and that she shouldn’t have pressured him to do things he wasn’t comfortable with. Having learned her lesson she went back to putting their friendship as a priority first instead of romance. However this topic is best talked about under another subheading.

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4. Slow change

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There has been nothing slower in development than Sheldon and Amy’s relationship. It took them 2 years to hold hands, 3 years to finally kiss (not drunk), 5-6 years to have sex and 7 to move in together. Sheldon, with his discomfort with physical intimacy, is the one who was changed the most in this relationship. As previously mentioned, Amy made attempts to gradually skew things in her favor but she did it at a slow pace which made it possible for Sheldon to grow comfortable with the steps that she gradually introduced into their relationship. As someone who dislikes change so much Sheldon would have been hesitant to accept all the new physical intimacies that he would be forced to do with Amy as her boyfriend and Amy knew that. That is why she gradually eased in the changes so that Sheldon would not see them as changes that would frighten him and eventually make him run away but instead he would see it as an evolutionary cycle, something that naturally occurred as time passed by. This was successful due to the unique circumstances that their relationship were in and it was important that Amy recognized those circumstances and worked on them in a way that was fit for the situation. This is true especially since not two couples are exactly alike. One has to recognize that their partner has certain boundaries and ways by which they like to do things and the other should respect that. It all boils down to respect of the other person’s wants, desires and beliefs but this doesn’t mean that you will just be a martyr and put up with things no matter how irrational they seem. Amy saw some irrational things in that contract like the hand-holding clause which she successfully repealed and amended because she worked through it like a pro. She did not force him to change, she guided him to become a better person than he already was and that led to both of them becoming better people through their relationship.

The term people don’t change, in my personal opinion, is wrong. People do change and in a relationship you and your partner will change mainly because of your interaction with each other and with other people and events around you. What matters most is that your relationship is changing you to become a better person and not making you more pathetic or insecure. In the series Sheldon, after their break up, acknowledges how much Amy has changed him into a better person: “I was living like half a man. Then I couldn’t love but now I can. More soul than I’ve ever had. I love the way you soften my life” (Darling by the Beach Boys) which makes him realize how much he loves Amy and wants her back.

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5. Rough break-up

Lastly, the ShAmy couple, unlike the other couples in TBBT, went though a really rough break up. Unlike Leonard and Penny who broke up because the other was unsure of her feelings for the other or Howard and Bernadette who broke up because of a “gross” misunderstanding 😀 (pun intended), Amy and Sheldon broke up because of larger matters. It wasn’t because the other was unsure of their feelings. In fact both of them were completely sure that they loved each other deeply. (It was in the same season when Sheldon finally said ‘I love you’ to Amy) It also wasn’t because the other did something horrible or that there was any misunderstanding of some kind. They broke up because there was a flaw in their relationship. As I mentioned before, Amy was asking for more attention, physical attention, from Sheldon but wasn’t getting any. Just when Sheldon finally decided that Amy deserved much more from him Amy breaks up with him because she needed time to assess whether or not she wanted to continue their relationship. This was because she put romance first instead of just preserving their friendship and she felt she wasn’t getting any of it so she left. It was a mistake on her part but it was something they needed to go through because without that break up Amy wouldn’t have realized that she had pushed buttons she shouldn’t have pushed and Sheldon also realized that he shouldn’t be too selfish. They came out of the break up stronger all because they allowed themselves time to think things through separately. My favorite line from Sheldon came because of this break up wherein he said: “I excel at many things but getting over you wasn’t one of them.” (referring to Amy breaking up with him)

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They were still in love, they both knew that but they needed the space to realize the mistakes they committed and eventually realize that they were happier together. After getting back together one could see that Amy was no longer pushing Sheldon to be intimate as much as she did in the previous seasons, instead it was Sheldon who decided that they were ready to be intimate and realized that Amy deserves more love from him.

As we can see Amy and Sheldon’s relationship that was built on mutual respect, trust, consent and gradual acceptance of positive changes make theirs the most stable of all the relationships shipped by the show and frankly I can say that theirs is the most stable relationship that I know of, including that of my parents which comes close as second. That is why I am such a fan of this #ship. Note that what I have written here are my own personal opinions and takes regarding their story and that the writers and creators may have a completely different take to what I just presented. So caveat emptor everyone!

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Also, please read the article by Mark Manson which inspired me to write this post:

Every Successful Relationship is Successful for the Exact Same Reasons

#TBBT 😀

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A Different Perspective on Things

While I was looking forward to the days to come in the next seven months of my life I realized that despite me still being a student in the same College for the last four years there is a major difference that may make these next seven months the most stress-free months of my life — the lack of pressure.

It’s not like there isn’t any motivation for me to provide for excellent academic work in the next months during my internship, there is and boy, everybody else in my batch even thinks it’s more burdensome than taking the regular academic units. However as I look upon this looming experience I see it in a different perspective compared to my peers in the College. Maybe it’s because I naturally excel better at work than in school since I dislike examinations and aptitude tests. Plus, I learn by making mistakes and when your curriculum does not afford a multitude of avenues to make mistakes to be corrected later on (like when only the midterms and/or the finals make up all of your course grade) then I find myself not learning enough. During an internship program there are more avenues (a lot of them) to make small mistakes and have the Director correct them (after getting an earful of scolding) and help you realize your mistakes which means if you do not allow that fear and that rampant scolding to dishearten you then you will eventually come out of the experience with more knowledge than ever, especially since you know better than to do the same thing and get scolded again.

Some think that the internship training we get from the College is burdensome, unnecessary and ultimately tedious. Isn’t life like that anyway? Most people would trade with our problems in a second with theirs. Maybe it’s because our generation has it easy, we literally have everything at the tip of our fingers. However going back to my first point where I said that these next months might be the most stress-free months I’ve had in the last four years I will not be too nonchalant so as to say it would be easy, it won’t but the difference is that in an internship program there is only a PASS or a FAIL. Unless you remain in the same clueless and unlearned spot in the end as you where when you first started in the program then I think you deserve a PASS in the course. In other words what is measured in internship programs is the improvement a student makes throughout the course, not exactly the amount of knowledge he/she has at a particular time which is what examinations do.

Although I place a premium on knowledge, it is not like all the information I need would be easily accessible by memory alone. Also even if I have a vague idea of things it’s always a comfort to verify the things you know to be actually true. (splitting infinitives is not a hard-fast rule!) So unlike the last four years of my life where the pressure of cramming all the knowledge of a hundred different books into the limited memory space of my brain was a daily endeavor this internship program provides me with no such pressure. I might get scolded, everyone in this program expects that and if you survive not having one scolding then you’re one of the rare ones but that’s fine, at least I will know I was wrong and never do it again. Just like how I learned the hard way to never volunteer to do anything unless I am more than confident that I can bring out my best for the task. I lost a whole recitation grade because of that and downgraded my final grade to a full 0.25 degree in order to learn that hard lesson. I will never forget that lesson for the rest of my life.

I think everyone else in the program is just looking at things from a different perspective probably because they also have other academic units to think about along with the internship program while I don’t. I thought I would regret getting delayed for a year in my law studies but I seriously am not. I am happier compared to my counterparts and less pressured ever since fourth year started. Also because this year’s Bar would probably be the hardest one yet with the fact that there is not cut off with the cases and the fact that the “possible” examiners are really cruel ones. I am predicting that the passing rate would decline by a big percentage when the results come out next year. I just hope and pray that everyone who deserves it passes (mostly my friends and bar buddies! haha 🙂 #biased

With the unusual experience I have for the last year of law school I am freer and definitely happier since I have the chance to look at things from another perspective than what majority of those in the College usually experience. I don’t know whether this is a good or a bad thing but what is more important is that I feel happier now compared to when I was for the last four years and that’s all I want for now.

 

A Year for Me

Due to a dropped subject (which I discussed in a previous post), I have been held back from graduating for a year which made it possible for me to have one year where I will not be stressing about exams, recits, classes and others and be able to focus only on work (OLA is technically work). Also, if the free tuition in State Schools push through next year I will be able to take classes I wasn’t able to take before in Undergrad like foreign languages, psychology 101 or music. Looking into the future now I realize that I have a whole year where I can devote all my time to improving myself and just become a better me before I finally embark on the rough journey of a full time legal career. It makes me both excited and nervous at the same time.

Recently I have accepted a part time job to babysit kids in my area much like what they do in America. Since I have more free time and in just the few days I’ve been vacationing I am already so bored out of my mind I decided I needed to fill in the time gaps in my schedule so as not to bore myself to death. Additionally, I think it would be fun to step out of my comfort zone once in a while. I am scheduled for an interview this Monday and I hope I don’t blow it. I really want to give myself all the opportunities available in this short span of a year before I start focusing on a lifetime career. I am also thinking of taking up a small hobby, one I haven’t tried before, maybe a self-defense class of some sort or an exercise routine like jogging or swimming or yoga. I guess I have plenty of time to make a choice.

I also need to look for things that can improve my finances so that I can save up for the upcoming Bar season which will cost me at least P100,000. That’s a lot compared to what I currently have on hand right now but I know I’ll be able to manage it somewhat. I guess therefore this one whole year will be spent on my “adulting” process which has been on hold since I started to school again. I do hope this time I make the best out of it unlike before.

Here’s to a full year of fun and experiences ahead! 🙂

Why Did I Wait For So Long?

Before anything else let me first say that this post is not about relationships or any kind of emotional jabber of any sort. This will mostly be about my tendency to put off watching, using or even getting interested in things that are currently a fad. Just recently I watched the new Beauty and the Beast live action movie which probably everyone already watched except me at that time. It was worth the wait. That’s how much I dislike getting into a fad. Even though I know it’s good I still won’t watch until the “hype” for that particular thing has already died down. Up until now I haven’t watched Game of Thrones even if I know it’s so good just from the reviews. However, this post will not be about that movie but about the popular American comedy series, The Big Bang Theory.

This series started out way back in 2007, I was still in High School then or probably on the way getting ready for College. I knew the series was good. I saw clips of it on the internet, my friends talked about it and the reviews made it look so appealing. These reasons ultimately made me to not want to watch it. The only loophole to this tendency of mine is when I already started getting into the “fad” before everyone thought it was amazing and made it into one because I also have the tendency to not stop when I start but for this series, it was too late. So 10 years after its release, I started watching it. It wasn’t deliberate at first because I just started with clips from Youtube when I searched for funny clips and some popped out which were from the series. Then I came across the adorable couple ShAmy (Sheldon and Amy) which made me think, “Maybe I should watch this whole episode.” I started watching Episode 8 of Season 10 because it was the episode where that funny clip I found came from but that only made me fall in love with the couple even more that I wanted to watch how the relationship developed. That led me to watch the finale episode of Season 3 where they first met and now I finished the entire thing. I enjoyed watching the whole series so much that it made me think why did I ever not try to watch it before? Then I remembered why.

It is not like I regretted not following the series as it developed because it allowed me to enjoy 10 years of comedy in just a week without the anxiety of waiting for the next episode to be released for 10 freaking years. It’s more of like wishing I had watched this when I was struggling with insecurities before. The characters in this series really remind me of the way I was before and how much I felt insecure of myself because I wasn’t like everybody else. This series is all about that.

Also, the ShAmy couple just skyrocketed to the Top 1 of my list of Best TV couples. I love how unique their relationship is and how it defies social conventions but they simply just don’t care. I like how they took it slow and made sure of their feelings for each other before taking the big steps in their relationship. Lastly, I love how sweet they can be to each other but still not losing their sense of self and independence. The bittersweet admissions of the ever-honest and sarcastically frank Sheldon and the perseverance of the innocent yet loving and understanding Amy is a great mix of a very stable relationship, the most stable one I have seen in years. Although I am now so anxious to see Season 11 with the writers ending Season 10 with Sheldon’s proposal. That really made my day.

To the writers, creators, cast and crew of the series, you just gained a really enthusiastic fan who just can’t wait to see more from the genius that is your TV show. All the best to the team.

#TBBT

The Bar, Rallies, Ungratefulness and Nudity

As most people close to me (who really know me can attest), I am a war-freak and people who demean anything or anyone I care about are going to get their asses kicked, especially when they use baseless and unintelligent arguments to prove their point. Shameless.

Recently, last year’s Bar exam results came out and it sparked a lot of controversy here and there. The center of all these controversies was of course my beloved UP. I will no longer summarize what the controversy is all about here as most probably already know what it is. Now, I don’t really love Malcolm (a.k.a. the UP College of Law) that much but these people were attacking UP (which I love) as a whole not knowing that the two are in reality functioning as different entities. Trust me, most of the UP undergrads that went to the College of Law say exactly the same thing. Almost everything that applies to UP does not apply to Malcolm (for brevity). But anyway, that is a whole different story. Let us discuss here what most ‘ignorant’ people are commenting about the recent Bar results.

The most common ones are:

  1. The reason why there is no topnotcher is due to rallies and how students are too focused on rallying;
  2. UP is “malaswa” (for lack of a better term) because all we know is “mag-hubad”. I guess they would be referring to the Oblation Run;
  3. Sayang ang taxes nila because our education is funded by their taxes; and
  4. All we know is to protest against the government branding us ungrateful due to the fact that we are sponsored by them.

Fallacies. Why? Let me debunk those notions right now one by one.

A. Rallies:

UP students have been in the forefront of rallies ever since the time of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. We have produced top-notchers and more than a decent passing rate ever since then. If rallying is the reason why none of the batch got into the Top 10 then why were we able to land top spots before even with all the rallies we have in the past? Certainly, there is a flaw to this logic. And let me point out that this year’s passing rate from UP is our highest ever since the time of the Martial Law. We must have done something good then to get that far.
For all those who mock UP students because we rally against the government only cast dishonor on the people who once suffered, were lost and killed during the darkest times of our nation. If it wasn’t for students who led the protests that time then we’d still be under the administration of a dictator with our basic human rights still abused by a ruthless leader. Again, in EDSA 2 which was also led by student leaders, it was made possible to oust a proven plunderer from the highest position in the land. That was because of the rallying you people loathe so much. Thank you and you’re welcome.

B. Nudity

Much to the misconception of people, the Oblation Run is not organized by UP or any UP based student organization. It is organized by the APO fraternity who has members not only from UP but also from other universities including this year’s top university, the University of San Carlos. It is participated by the male pledges of the said fraternity as part of their initiation into the fraternity and also as a tradition to commemorate the 1st Oblation Run where they protested against the old Martial Law regime by shocking the senses of many (i.e. running butt-naked on the streets, not just in UP but anywhere). Now they only do it in UP since this is the only place where they are allowed to do that at present. So it is not even a UP sanctioned event and not all that participate are UP students. It is equated to UP merely because it is held here not because it is actually a UP event. I personally know of one USC student who participated in the oblation run in UP Cebu when I was still in the undergrad. So what gives?
But shifting the blame to APO is not the point I want to make. The point is that people only see the ‘nudity’ and do not even look into the context or purpose of the event. It is a tradition, a commemoration, at the same time a protest. People say it’s “kalaswaan” well how dirty can your minds get? When it was held before, the first time, it wasn’t seen as “kalaswaan” but a form of effective protest at a time when the freedom of speech was all but nil. Those times even have more conservative notions than what we have right now so what changed? We certainly did not become more conservative than we were back then as evidenced by the current media proliferating right now but we became blind to the true meaning of the event. We forgot what it was really about. Ultimately, rallying and the Oblation Run were before exalted as true forms of freedom of speech but now it is demeaned and mocked by many who do not understand what it really is for. We forgot. That is what changed.

C. Taxes

If you think that UP students are totally getting the benefit of your taxes for our education then you are dead wrong. Many of the students in the University pays for more than 27,000 pesos per semester and that does not even include reading materials, other fees and expenses. Our parents or the students (if they are working) pay good money for the education of the current UP students. Those who have free education are either scholars of some organization, governmental institution or come from really low income brackets. These students are but a few in UP now thanks to the Socialized Tuition System that we have which makes us one of the most expensive State-sponsored University in the country. We are so expensive that families with a lower income choose to send their children to other state schools with lower tuition fees such as PUP or PLM. Sayang taxes niyo? Sayang nga kasi hindi naman talaga yan napupunta sa amin kundi sa bulsa ng mga kurakot na opisyal ng gobyerno.
And to top it all up, I previously mentioned that Malcolm is functioning as an entity different from UP itself. When it comes to tuition, most of the students in Malcolm pay full tuition. There are only a handful of those in Malcolm who actually enjoy free tuition. I once did during the time of Yolanda but not anymore. When I say a handful I mean literally. You can just count them in one hand. As to why, that is an entirely different story.

D. Ungratefulness

Coming from the discussion above I would like to say this: what on earth should we be grateful to the government for? We have the highest tuition among all SUCs that we even rival a private college in our tuition fees. Also, the government is not the one sponsoring us, it is the people, the citizens of this country. They are two different entities and we are “Iskolars ng Bayan” not “Iskolars ng Gobyerno”. Besides, it is a citizen’s duty to continue to check and recheck whether or not the current government is doing what it should to better the lives of the citizens, give them what they are due and respect their rights. It is a constitutional right of a citizen to protest things that he or she sees to be wrong. If using a basic human right is ungratefulness to you people then what the heck? Why am I not surprised that you don’t know a thing about rallies?

 

There are so many other things that I want to say about the recent influx of hate-comments towards UP just because the batch failed to get into the Top 10. Like that even matters to a law student. After wasting 4 and a half years suffering and agonizing every day a law student would only wish for things to be over sooner or later. A spot in the top 10 is a mere cherry on top or frosting on the cake as one may say. It is not essential. I guess none of those avid commentators would understand because they have not yet experienced the life of a law student.

The Meaning in Being Meaningless

via Daily Prompt: Meaningless

Most of the time I often wonder: “What is the meaning of my life?” or “What is my purpose?”. I know that I am not alone in asking the same kinds of questions. Humans, people in general, often feel empty inside and they try to supplement that feeling of emptiness by giving meaning to their existence. This my friends is what is called an existential crisis, when people try hard to find their live’s purpose and the meaning behind certain things. There is nothing wrong with it. It is wonderful that a person will try their best to give meaning to their life and when they eventually find it they become content and happy. However, this conclusion rarely happens for the many of us. Speaking personally from experience I have tried to ascertain the meaning of my life ever since I became aware of the possibilities of the future — when I was about 9 or 10 years old. Every time someone asks me: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I stop and think what exactly it is that I want to be when I become an adult. I often blurt out the first profession that comes to mind. “Lawyer!”, I’d jubilantly say but somehow deep inside I begun to question why do I want to become a lawyer anyway?

It wasn’t until High School (13-17 years old) that I seriously begun questioning the meaning of my life and looking for the answer as to why I was even brought up in this world. What is it that I’m supposed to do or be in the future? That was what was in my mind all the time. At one point in my life I felt really depressed and empty because somehow I could not see the meaning of my life. At that time I thought that without a meaning, my life was just useless. I was afraid that when I die I’d just be another name in the records of birth and death which will eventually be forgotten in time. I wanted to be important to the world. I wanted my life to mean something and as I grew up that meaning became more blurred as the time passed by. I grew relentless and at one point I gave up. I saw myself as a floating dust, useless and eventually constantly fading. I reached the peak of “emo-ness” and became hateful towards the world all because I knew that my life was meaningless.

However, now that I have significant life experience to be able to look back and draw on the things that I went through in the past I can see that I was wrong all along. This realization first hit me when I read about an article about purpose (no, this is not religious). There the author analyzed the existential crisis of people and how he deciphered that constantly trying to give your life meaning and purpose and constantly trying to find it in other places (like a group, a club, an organization, the church or sect, etc.) was detrimental to a person’s actual life. He meant to say that if you constantly search outside for a meaning to your life then you’ll probably never find it. What he suggests however is to implement your own meaning into your life. Meaning, you choose what your life means. This statement actually shocked me. For someone who has spent about two decades searching for my life’s purpose and now knowing that all those time spent was wasted on an inefficient search for purpose made me regret all the things I have done in the past. Now, if I could turn back time I would no longer search for the meaning of my life but try to give my life its own meaning.

This is another way of saying that destiny and fate are bullshit ideals. It is you who dictates your fate and destiny. In the past I tried so hard to conform to what I thought my destiny was and didn’t even give a second thought to what I really wanted. I never took control of the reigns of fate. I thought it was all predestined for me and the fact that somethings do not work out means that they weren’t meant to be. So there were times in my life that when I fail, I give up because I thought, “Well, maybe it wasn’t meant to be.” I didn’t even try hard enough.

As of now, I do not care whether or not there is a meaning in my life or whatever the purpose of my life is, if ever there really is one. I no longer care if my life is meaningless as long as I know that I am doing my best to give it my own meaning. Right now, I mean to be a really successful woman (career-wise) and become an inspiration to many other women out there. I aim to be a truly strong and independent woman and wherever my choices may take me I will always make sure that no matter how many failures I will encounter I will always try and try again and again to achieve my goals. I am now imposing my meaning to my meaningless life and for that, I am genuinely happy and content with it.