It’s been years since I’ve actually thrown a party for my birthday. The photo to the right was probably the last one I remember having where I was relatively carefree. In fact, I remember stressing out about which toppings to have on the pizza we were going to order! It seems trite to engage in a moment of retrospect but I’ll go ahead and indulge myself. My life [after High School], it seems, has been unfolding in increments of three years.
Allow me to explain. I graduated High School as the Class of 2000; I was 16. [9yrs ago]. I attended San Francisco State University and during those three years I was in a long distance relationship with my first love. When that relationship went south, so did my attention to my school work. Sad, but true. After three years, I moved to Hawai’i to continue my schooling. It may have been a combination of wanting a change of scenery [the Daly City fog was NOT helping my depression] and wanting to be some place familiar [island weather + my sibling who resided there] To be honest, the move did me wonders. It was during the next three years there that I took a leap of faith and enrolled in a drama class; Acting was always something I’ve wanted to pursue. It turned out to be the greatest ignition in my life, up to that point. I was immeasurably ecstatic that I’ve found something I can do and experience that contributed positively to my mental and physical health. I’ve never felt more passionate about a solitary thing as I do for performing arts but I’ll reserve the self-analysis and my general disposition towards acting in another entry.
As it happens, the good and the bad usually go hand in hand. Shortly after enrolling in that drama [no pun intended] class, I meet someone. And without too much exposition, I noticed her a few quarters ago and jokingly made up, in my mind, that I was going to be with this person in the future. Flash forward months later–what do you know? We’re officially a couple. This was the first time I’ve ever wanted someone so bad. I had to be with her. And I did. And I was. Whether or not it could be classified as a “showmance” is up for debate. In the end, the relationship was volatile and contributed to the deterioration of my mental health. Conveniently three years was rounding about and it was, once again, time to pack up and leave. The destination this time: San Jose, California. I left with two suitcases, a broken heart but an even stronger resolve to find happiness [in whatever shape or form it comes in] and determination to succeed. And most important in my new travel arrangements, my new found passion: Acting.
I arrived in San Jose awfully homesick and distraught from the recent breakup. It was a rough transition, but one that has helped me realize how easily one can adopt tunnel vision. Skip ahead a few months and I’m working three jobs, during Christmas season. It was horrible. It was tiring. It turned my life gray. But it was therapy. There, in the midst of taking public transportation between jobs I was able to revert back to a neutral state and apply a new jumping off point. [Thus my continuing fascination with public transportation] It was during my stint at one job that I met someone now dear to me, one of my best friends, Alana. Eventually I dropped two of those jobs and dedicated more hours to working at San Jose Repertory Theatre! So what if it was working in a Box Office, it was in an environment I highly desired to be a part of. Auditions came around for local theatres and small film gigs and I snatched up every opportunity to say, “HERE I AM!” I landed a part in a local play called PANDEMONIUM, directed by Susannah Greenwood, in which I played a Peruvian Rainforest Devil. It wasn’t long before I found myself participating in local 48hr Film Festivals with a Filipino American film crew named, BARKADA INC. With a growing number of auditions, gigs and experience under my belt–I felt it was time for more growth. I spent hours pouring over books at the bookstore. It was while I was waiting for my bus after a late night bookstore romp that I had an epiphany: I hated school but I loved learning. And to quote [roughly] Mark Twain, “I never let school get in the way of my education“.
My passion for acting began to break down into tiers, and eventually I landed on photography. What a simple joy! Well, that’s only the half-truth. You can say I was inspired to pick the camera up because of a crush I had on someone who was studying photojournalism. While the crush thing didn’t quite work out, the photography bit stuck through! You can visit my photoblog at http://gottabeb.wordpress.com
Today, I turn 26 and this month marks three years here in San Jose. I’m ready to move again. I’m ready for more adventures. One last thing remains unresolved: the original obligation that ties me here. My brother was going through a rough divorce and due to the custody limitations, I essentially babysit my twin nephews every other week. This has been the case for the past few years. They’re here every other week, and in the mornings I get them ready for school. I actually have a blog entry about it, if you’re curious to read a little bit more about the topic. At any rate, I’m glad to finally announce that I can see the light at the end of that tunnel. I’m hoping this time next year I’ll be free to move about the country…oh heck, the world!
26. 26. So what is it? This year, 26. As I’d like to hope, this year [and those that follow] will continue to bring creativity, inspiration, passion and maybe some love. The latter being the missing piece the last few years. It’s interesting to note that when I was younger I thought romance was the solve all solution–and now, in retrospect, I happen to disagree. It’s just another helpful piece to fulfilling a more fuller life. With that said, I’m sliding the keyboard aside and going out and find some adventure! If you’re still reading, I commend you–I thank you for taking a trip down memory lane with me. Perhaps you’re one of the few whose path will continue to intertwine with mine. And who knows, maybe we’ll have an adventure together.
- Butt end of 2011. The retrospect. (kreenpananas.wordpress.com)