“Wala akong piyesa!” This was my main excuse as to why I wasn’t submitting to literary publications. I still need to write something, I kept saying. A few days ago, a friend ask me where my Creative Writing thesis was, and when I said it was just somewhere, he suggested that I submit it to this journal. I was like, ack! But he was right, I should submit. I also realized that I have entire folders in my computer of stuff I’ve written. So marami akong piyesa, ayoko lang ipakita. Then I read this article Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year, and it made complete sense.
In my post Couldn’t think of a list of happy moments, I talked about how I had a hard time coming up with happy memories, which I felt were completely different from the easy task of listing down activities that make me happy. In that post, I said I was ruling out my moments of achievement because I did not want to create a list that just pumped up my arrogance. I also said that I will make exceptions if those moments truly made me happy, but if not, sayonara.
After reflecting about it though, I began questioning this self-imposed rule. If my achievements don’t make me happy, then why am I devoting so much time in the pursuit of them? Do I have wrong priorities, or have I just been not appreciating my achievements?
My cousin gave me a journal called The 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration, and, yup, it is filled with blank pages that have headings that ask you to make lists, The first was “List your goals and dreams for the year”, and I easily filled that one out. The next was “List your favorite characters from books, movies, etc”, and I answered that by writing the names of my favorite real people because I don’t have favorite characters. I read too much non-fiction, I know, I know. The third was “List the happiest moments of your life so far”, and I was shocked that I had a hard time writing things down.
During my student days, whenever we had to work in groups, my classmates always made me the leader. I hated it because I didn’t want the responsibility that came with it. I also didn’t feel like I had leadership skills because I didn’t think I was good with people.
I never wanted to run for class officer but I still did get some official leadership roles in class, in clubs, and organizations. I was proud of one experience when I lead a class play during my second year in high school, and I got torn up about not getting a specific position in my debate org, but apart from those few times, mostly I didn’t want to become a leader nor did I enjoy it.
In the Philippines there are newspapers but they are supposedly “national” but are Manila-centric in practice. There are a few newspapers that center on a locality but there aren’t much of that. I wonder what if there were more newspapers that concentrated on news and issues that develop in different cities or districts. So there will be a Makati News, Tondo News, Aklan News, etc. What if these newspapers not only circulated articles by journalists but also by ordinary people, specifically from the lower classes, so that the production of information and opinion is not controlled by the upper classes? Would that do something good for the society or would it create chaos?