Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done!

Daily Prompt: Our ten-minute free-write is back for another round! Tap away on whatever comes to mind, no filters attached. (Feel free to edit later, or just publish as-is).

A note from Pinay New Yorker: For the past couple of months, my posts here have been very spontaneous and I have not been participating in any of the things going on at The Daily Post, a community of bloggers on this platform.  A quick search shows that my last attempt at being a part of their Daily Prompts was in April yet with this post.  It can only mean that either I have been so prolific and not wanting for any blog prompts, or I have been too lazy to try and write with a set standard or parameters.  (That’s the rebel in me.)  In any case, I have been trying to “get back” to writing with the community, and looks like this will get me somewhere — this time.  So the clock has been set — 10 minutes… let’s see what we come up with.

I just downed two tablets of pain relievers because I have a nasty headache rearing its ugly head somewhere at the back of my brain.  It isn’t quite there yet, but I know it’s coming.  Give me my meds!

It’s been a rather quiet morning — although not for want of anything to do, but more because the boss is away.  There is a lot I need to catch up on, and I’m trying to tick things off my list.  The end of the year is always busy for us, until we all go on holiday.

This year is different because I know I’m not going home, “Home” being 10,000 miles away where Christmas begins in September and ends with the Feast of the Three Kings second week of January.  (Yes, we have the longest Christmas season ever.)  I have started thinking of my Christmas card which I have made every year — well, except for last year.

Pause.  There are times when I get stumped and this is one of those times. 

Looking back to last year, except for the fact that I surrounded myself with the love of family and friends back in Manila, it wasn’t much of a Christmas for me.  Part of me was being torn by anger and hate, and part of me was being crushed by a life-changing disappointment.  Yet at that time, I found the greatest strength in the people who have always been there for me.  The same people who have rejoiced with me when I found myself in a good place held my hand and saw me through the worst of times.  My annual holiday card was the last thing I was thinking of.

This year, my holiday card will be one of the things I want to bring back.  Yes, I will make it again.  I don’t know yet what design or which way I will go.. what colors or what symbols I will put in.  Do I do mixed media or a plain photo card?  And it hits me that I have Thanksgiving to worry about first. 

And again, I go back to last year’s.  There wasn’t much to be thankful for… and I didn’t even bother to cook.  We had a good thanksgiving lunch, though, at a fancy place up in Long Island.  I think I’m going to go that route again.  (Makes my life easier.. and easy is always better.)

I don’t like that I don’t have Manila to look forward to this Christmas, but I’m fine with that.  Part of my “journey back” in the last year has been to try and regain my footing, which, I think I’ve had some success with.  I am more upbeat about the holidays this year than I was in 2013, and that, in itself is a good thing. 

Life goes on, they say.. and I’ve gone through the last 12 months with a better understanding of that phrase.  I’m here, am I not?  And here is where I am staying.


Daily Prompt: In the beginning

Daily Prompt:  Why did you start your blog? Is that still why you blog, or has your site gone in a different direction than you’d planned?

I started blogging in August 2004 after having given birth to Angelo earlier in May.  Before that, I had an online journal in my personal website which had been more about my postcard collection and personal photo albums from before I arrived in New York.  The blog-alike was just a portion of a bigger website which honed my skills in longhand HTML encoding.  I had started putting up some of my postcards there and was more brazen about actually publishing personal photographs, albums and sentiments.

When I started blogging, I focused more on chronicling my day-to-day life.  I also shied away from putting up too many pictures and even now, try to limit actual photos of me from appearing in my posts.  I guess you can say it was a recognition of the publicness of a web log.  My first post, dated August 4, 2004, simply said:

“Having read so much about all that’s going on with the different weblogs out there, I thought I’d sign up for a freebie to try it out even if I have my own webpage (which is now a dead link after Geocities was effectively closed by Yahoo) somewhere out there in cyberspace.  Perhaps it’s a need to express myself and just record my thoughts for me to go back to at a later time.  So let’s see where this goes..”

After almost 10 years here, my blog has changed homes only once.  I had originally started the blog at Blog.com, but I kept getting error messages when too many people were trying to access their servers.  Between typepad, wordpress, and blogger/blogspot, WordPress appealed to me because many of my blog friends were on this platform.

Nothing much has changed.  I still blog for my own personal benefit.  I chronicle my day-to-day existence here, and while there was a lame attempt at trying to commercialize the site (and I still try with the links on my widget bar), I have come to terms with the reality that commercialization and staying true to keeping an online journal just don’t work well together.  If I go commercial, it would have to be done on a blog specifically put up for that purpose.  If I am to stay true to the spontaneous writing I have done here for almost a decade, I have to accept that popularity is not something I can put on top of my priorities, and I’m quite happy with that.

Besides, I knew from the get-go that”Pinay New Yorker” as a blog name would only really click with the Filipino readers who knew what it was about.  Still, I’m happy with the way it has become a brand of sorts for the things I do.  (And I am suddenly reminded by the Chinese intrusion, with a notice and denial of ceasing and desisting from using pinaynewyorker.cn — I still can’t understand why they find it relevant to register the domain name.)

If anything has changed, it’s the things I write about.  I’ve become more participative with the blog community, more so in daily posts like this courtesy of The Daily Post.  I’m still very guarded, often “censoring” myself but my writing is as honest as I allow it to be.

I make no apologies for the things or the way I write — again, my main audience remains to be me.  If you come by my space and find something you can use or find amusing, then that is just a perk of being able to write here like I do.

Literal musings — not whole truths or claimed facts.  These are random thoughts in my head — from the mind of a FIlipina living in the big apple.