Filed under: Chronicles
Dry lightning cracks across the skies. Those storm clouds gather in her eyes.
Rainy Wednesday night. Walking from our office building to the bus stop with loud music banging in my ears is my thing. When it’s raining, I’d sing out loud on the street. That particular night, I fancied Carrie Underwood’s album Blown Away which was dark – very different from her previous efforts. I can feel wrath and venge through from her pipes to my ears to my voice, and I’d end up walking faster, bigger strides than I normally would.
There’s not enough rain in Oklahoma to wash the sins out of that house.
When I embarked on the bus home, I can feel evil Carrie inside of me. I took the window seat. That’s my favorite seat when it’s raining.
She heard those sirens screaming out. Her daddy laid there passed out on the couch. She called it sweet revenge.
The bus isn’t full. A kid selling sampaguita sat beside me. He was dirty and he stinks. He shoved his sampaguita in my face and asked me to buy some. HEY KID, I’M ALLERGIC TO PERFUME SO WHY U PUTTING THAT IN MY FACE.
It was the first and the last time they saw each other face to face.
I shook my head. The kid insisted. “Baka meron po kayong barya.”
“Kuya, baka meron po kayong barya.”
He went ahead to the next row of seats.
She held a crimson smile and just walked away. And left the secret at the grave
I was shocked with myself. I don’t normally raise my voice on people (except lovers and close friends). For a minute I was rethinking my actions, but I let go of it quite quickly. Back to regular programming.
I reached home, and called it a night.
I was up the next day very early to hit the gym. When I reached Gold’s Gym at Intercon, my wallet’s gone.
And the preacher said he was a good man. And his brother said he was a good friend. But the woman in the black veil didn’t bother to cry.
Filed under: Nonsense
Nag-move on na tayong lahat. Why I deserve this cold treatment, I don’t know. Dinefeat mo lang ang purpose ng ‘righteous’ action mo from the start. I expected more from someone like you.
February 1, 2013 – I walked out of the Ateneo Professional Schools exhausted and lonely. I called my mom and told her the bad news. Then as I walked towards Ayala Avenue, tears started seeping through my chinky eyes and down my cheeks. I did not care about the people around me that time. So what if a five-foot-eleven guy
(who happened to be attractive) is crying? I didn’t answer all phone calls, but my colleagues were good enough to locate me.
We went to a cafe. I cried again. They cheered me up and we were laughing after some time. But they have to leave because it’s a workday and it’s not even 6PM. I cried again in the same cafe. Another set of colleagues arrived. This time, two of the best in the industry – Chris and Kristel. They didn’t cheer me up, but they left me believing I can really do it, just not pushing myself enough.
We went for dinner and in the car, I cried again, for the third and last time that day. Ugh, I never felt so vulnerable in my whole professional life. But anyway, the last teardrop fell that night, at least for professional reasons.
March 1, 2013 – After taking a whirlwind Malaysia trip to forget all my insecurities, I went back to the office to learn that I was promoted to a higher role. My feelings were mixed because I’m still doubting my capability as a future actuary. The little demon inside of me is screaming something which makes me feel like I need give my ‘award’ back or something because I didn’t deserve it, but I just went with the flow. I hate office drama. And everyone said I deserve it. End of story.
April 1, 2013 – Scores are out. I got a 5! Passing score is 6. My score translates to 1-2 correct answers short of passing that exam. I was happy. At that point, I can’t wallow in sadness because I fell short.
I studied and studied. No weekend breaks. I would head to coffeeshops by Saturday morning and head home in the evening. I tried to solve and understand each of the very many sample questions. There’s nothing else I can do, or else I fail – and that’s not an option.
Sounds so boring no? Not really. I keep my social network connected. I don’t get distracted by social media; it relaxes me during breaks. And of course, the textbook authors also have their own sense of humour:
June 20, 2013 – Judgment Day! I woke up early, before 7AM. When my parents left, I locked the room, blasted party music and danced my ass off. I need to warm my body for the day! I left the house and arrived by 10AM. Exam is scheduled at 1:30PM so I stayed at Starbucks right across the street. I answered more sample problems – those I already answered – just to warm my brain and increase my confidence. (Don’t try this: Answer a very hard sample exam – and failing it – right before your exam.)
I went to the exam center at 12, I want to get this over with. My voice is shaking. I cannot control my nerves. This is a make-or-break exam. They seated me and I was told to wait. After 45 grueling minutes of waiting, my nerves were calming. It was actually a good thing. I am bored. I wanted to tweet, but I didn’t (Twitter, not the bird sound.) Finally after couple more minutes, I was called to start my exam.
Item 1… six minutes passed and I can’t figure out how to do it. Item 2… Still can’t. Argh. My hands are shaking again. I can feel my heart beating. I wish I didn’t have that mocha at Starbucks. Item 3… Still can’t solve it. Item 4, finished in less than a minute. Then it sailed smoothly until around item 18. My confidence rebounded. I keep talking to myself to help calm me.
“Jodi, huwag kang kabahan. Nag-aral ka.”
“Jodi, kaya mo yan. Alam mo yan.”
“I think you got it in the bag. No! Don’t be too overconfident.”
I finished the last item (Item 35) with 40 minutes left. I went back to items 1-3 and other items I could not answer. There were 11-12 items I left unanswered. That is not a good sign. Fortunately, I found some turnarounds and some stupid mistakes and 12 unanswered items were reduced to seven. I have 6 minutes left. I didn’t know what to do. I thought of Top Chef, and how the chef’testants felt when time was running out. I made intelligent guesses and clicked on ‘End Exam.’
I felt the back of my head ache. I let out a heavy breath. No results yet – we have to answer a survey first. I breezed through the survey, 14 questions about the exam center, exam coverage, etc., and at the end, I clicked “Finish.” The screen turned white and it was blank for a second or so. The mouse pointer turned to an hourglass. I rolled my eyes. And then the results flashed.
The proctor went to me and I was so incredibly happy that I started talking to her.
“Wow, yes! This exam is exhausting. Imagine three and half hours of calculation. It took me six months to study for this and…”
(Imagine me speaking in Jodi-mode.)
“Sir, may isa pa pong button na i-c-click to officially end your exam.”
When I went out, they gave me a piece of paper.
When I prepare for big exams like this, my motivation is usually salary increase and other bonuses. But on the spot taking the exam, I want to pass just so I wouldn’t have to take it again.
I received lots of support during my preparation for this exam. I really appreciate everyone’s concern. Thanks for the prayers and well wishes! Manlilibre ako! WUHOO!
July 26, 2013 – I’m going (again!) to Hong Kong to celebrate. LOL! Shopping and food trip. My very good friends, Chris and Kerwin, will accompany me this time. :)