I, Artist…not!

That word gives me the prickles. Aren’t they the ones with faded clothes, scruffy hair, black-rimmed eyes (due to lack of sleep or….gasp! eyeliner), yet look effortlessly cool? Aren’t they the ones who have pot sessions and whirlwind romances? Aren’t they the ones who didn’t do so well at school, don’t so so well at work, yet go through life with their genius and charisma? Aren’t they the brooding types? Aren’t they the ones who live in (self-imposed, self-made or self-imagined) poverty? Aren’t they the ones who pursue and are consumed by their passion (for whatever fancy they may take)?

I am none of those things.  I have no eye for design or fashion (although my brothers, artists both, will say that they’re anti-fashion, but whatever). I am so straight-laced that people laugh at my dorkiness. I did well in school and I do well at work. I’m not exactly likeable; I only have handful of friends. I cannot be passionate about anything. I am a capitalist-minded, conservative conformist who loves money.

I can’t draw. I can’t paint. I can’t dance. I like reading but I am not well-read. I’ve heard of, but have not read, Nicholas Sparks, Neil Gaiman, JK Rowling, etc. I love music but I don’t know the history of blues, jazz or rock music. I sing, but I’m a terrible performer. I like looking at paintings but I don’t know what they mean.

 And then my boyfriend calls me a Toreador (a fancy-pants Moronic-Byronic wimpy Anne Rice type)… i.e an artist. I was taken aback. The nerve !

He explained that, to him, that an artist is simply someone who needs to express herself so bad that if they don’t they’ll explode. I’m not exactly the exploding type.

Is it because I blogged about Angono? Is it because I blog (with a severe case of oligo-blogia)? There’s nothing artsy about blogging. The crassest people can be found on the blogosphere.

I was a writer in high school. But everyone knows you can’t stay in high school.

My friends and teachers from high school tell me they’re surprised that i took the corporate track. They expected me to be a bohemian, an artist, an activist. Just because I wrote news in the schoolpaper.

The truth is, I knew I would have never been successful in that path. And they knew it.

I can’t write anything of my own. I had to have someone tell me “Please do an article on the newly elected student council. Leave it on my desk by Friday.”

None of “Omigosh your love requiem was so hardcore it made me cry blood! and I’ve never liked poetry before!” I wasn’t “Such an insightful editorial I wanna march into the Senate with you now!” I was just OK. Good, but not great.

I was old reliable. And I still am.

Maarte lang ako. Hindi ako artist.


Should I have?

Cattiness. I’ve always had trouble getting along with all most some girls.

I was wearing a white pencil skirt and a maroon (old lady) top to work yesterday. No jewelry save for my pearl earrings. Not very corp-y, just a slightly professional, harmless outfit. Kind of grama-ish. The CEO was visiting so we were advised to look polished.

I walked past two girls and one of them asked audibly “Sasayaw ka?” (Are you going to dance?)

My ears pricked. I knew that subtly catty comment was meant for me and my “costume”.

I turned around and said “Fuck you!”


Why not?

  • It may have not meant anything.
  • It may not have been meant for me.
  • I didn’t want to cause trouble.

In truth, I am a senstive mouse. Nah, I’m just plain chicken. I didn’t even bother looking at the girl’s face. I never found out who it was.

Should I have?

“My you’ve grown!”

I’ve always been big for my age. Not exactly fat, but big and tall. In Tagalog, this is what we call malaking bulas. For Pinoys, where everyone is so cute and tiny, I got left out.

I developed quite fast, too. Everything came early for me: walking, speaking, table manners, schooling a year ahead of most kids, cutting classes, etc.

I got scared and ashamed of my own body when the neighbors warned me against biking in the rain at age 8 — my breasts were taking shape.

I’ve always felt strange because I couldn’t relate to most kids, especially girls my age. I placed it in the back of my mind because I got busy joining singing contests, writing contests, science clubs, drama clubs, etc. Dorkiness became my refuge.

I got through school and got a job facing people. I could no longer hide. And I am still developing at breakneck speed. At age 22, I already feel like I’m 30 (see About). I have spider/varicose veins, cellulite, a huge waist, huge hips, etc.


My boyfriend insists that this is normal. I can’t really tell for sure since I don’t know that many girls. Most of my cousins and friends are tall and skinny like models.

He says my body simply is catching up with my career. I got my first promotion (a very sedentary job) at age 20 and another at age 21. Which is why I find it hard to relate to girls my age.

This blog is, in part, a way for me to ask people out there if this is, indeed, normal. If not, I have to move to the US where I am relatively small compared to most white people. Hehe.

i wonder what I will look like when i do hit 30. I’m scared.

thanks www.mvm.com for the avatar.