If it takes a good 20 minutes to put together the entire sixteen years of my life, then I will dare myself to do so. Sure enough a lot has happened in my life, as well as in others’, and a double-digit number of pages wouldn’t even suffice. My life isn’t a fairytale; but I won’t deny the several bad endings in some aspects. But life doesn’t end there right? I don’t know if I can tell you WHO AM I because I haven’t known myself totally. Like the human mind, there are parts of me that I haven’t discovered. Painfully trying to control the pessimistic in me, I’ll impart the slightly dysfunctional and comical goings-on in my life and who I am.
Arriving in this world on the 5th of February 1991, Tuesday at 2:45 a.m., I was named Anjelie Dawn Suelo Mendoza. My first name came from a Greek word that meant ‘angelic / innocent’ and an Old English word that meant ‘hope’. Pretty awesome, don’t you think? This was what I hoped were the reasons why I was named so but, sad to say, my mom named me Anjelie because it was a popular name back then and just changed the g to j to incorporate uniqueness; as for the Dawn, she thought naming me Dawn Zulueta would be cool. I admit I get glum and sulky when this comes to mind but I try to shake it off. I was really hoping for some kind of history coming from my name but alas, the only history I get is from my mom’s celebrity idol. Maybe when I turn 18 or any legal age where I could lawfully change my name, I’d make it into Alexandra Dawn or Gabriella Dawn or some ridiculously amazing name. Good thing my nickname, Jellie, which means ‘youthful’ in Latin-Greek, sounds a bit distinctive. But since I’m a few years from being a full-fledged adult, I’m sticking to my given name.
It’s a privilege to belong to a medium-sized family. You’d only see five persons in our house on an ordinary day: Me, Popsick (pet name for my dad, Ericson Monicit Mendoza), Mamang (taken from mama+amang for my mom, Ofelia Suelo Mendoza), Badon (for my brother Eldon) and Te May (my cousin, Gemma Sobredilla). But despite our small number, our family is never without the familial laughter and genuine love. #0006 Zone 5 Brgy. Sto. Rosario, Tambo, Iligan City is the address where you ought to be if you want to take a glimpse of good family values and drama. Not to brag, but I’m proud of my parents’ upbringing. Although we’d get into each other’s throats sometimes, we know we can’t stand hating each other that long.
My grannies, Tarsila “Sela” Suelo and Dulce “Dulcing” Mendoza, where more like big sisters to me than grandmas. They always treated me so nicely, letting me bite my nails and eat with dirty hands. And before I sleep, they combed my hair and told me scary/hilarious ghost stories. Those were really fun. And my grandpas, Eluterio “Pidog” Mendoza and Andres “Ande” Suelo gave me loads of good memories. Grandpa Ande was always the strong one. Despite his old age (he is 97 years old), he still manages to clean the backyard and feed the farm animals. Maybe he’s a hiding a red cape in his closet or something. Grandpa Pidog was kind of detached but puts me in a spell every time he shares his escapades during the war.
There isn’t much to say about my kindergarten years in St. Michael’s College (SMC). All I remember was that I was constantly asked to go to the board and write or go clean up the comfort room when I get late (which happened only twice). I was also a bit naughty back then. We had this event where we girls were picked to be angels and get involved in a ceremonial occasion. I wasn’t picked yet I told my mom I was and showed up in the prescribed costume. If you could only imagine my teacher’s face seeing me in my attire, it was hilarious! There was no choice but to let me join, and believe me, I took pleasure doing so. I had my first two years of elementary in Iligan City East Central School (ICECS). There I had a few good recollections and a lot of bad. The good comprised of having been the top female student in the whole year level for two years and being constantly picked to play lead roles in plays. The bad comprised of encounters with supernatural beings, being picked upon by girl bullies due to my reputation to the teachers and being blackmailed constantly. The latter was probably the worst experience I had because it made me horribly melancholic and indifferent in school and studying; something very out-of-my-character. I was constantly crying in school and soon after was brought for a couple of sessions to a psychiatrist to calm me down. The psychiatrist was a pretty young woman named Patty and she asked me to draw whatever I feel. If memory permits, what I drew was a house: yellow and red, set behind 3 mountains and there was me and a friend playing dolls in the yard. My drawing showed me crying and my tears formed a lake that had a castle in the middle. Patty made me explain why I drew that and what I said was, “I want to go to the castle because [my friend] wants my doll. But I can’t swim. What if I fly?” She found it very interesting and advised my mom to arrange my accounts in ICECS and prepare to transfer in a private school. Then, I finished off my elementary in La Salle Academy, joining a couple of school clubs and organizations. I was in the Math Club, Dance Club, and school choir from 3rd grade to 5th grade. Sixth grade was fun since I expanded my horizons and got into the Busay School Newspaper and the history and science Club. Come graduation time, it came out a surprise that the class eccentric oddball of the class belonged to the Jose Rizal Awardees, which was the school’s top 10 students, without me having any strong extracurricular activities to actually help me get there. Ultimately, it was my academic grades that saved me a spot in the elite group.
High school was a challenge; a new school, cranky teachers and a lot of freakishly fun and daunting experiences. The former distant and detached me realized that high school was actually somewhere I can build my own character and stand out. After a few quarters, I began to make friends in sizeable numbers due to my wide experiences to different social groups. Small talk became a breeze for me. Soon enough, I was hanging out with friends from both genders and from different year levels.
You could imagine how eager I was to have a circle of friends—heck, I only had three real friends in elementary and now I had more than a dozen of them! It was a surreal episode on an unexpected occasion. My grades were likewise were in flying colors that could rival the Color Wheel’s. I was always the one whom they ask questions to, seek help from and it made me feel proud of myself; something very foreign to me until recently. Freshman year passed and in two shakes of a lamb’s tail, we were having statistics and intermediate algebra. And that wasn’t only it, belonging in a clique primarily concerned with dancing made me a bit lax on my school work. But still I belonged to the class’ top half. I auditioned for the school’s cheer dancing team and got in, adding load to my busy schedule.
Junior year was all work and no fun and I had a lot of burnouts along the way. Imagine having to practice from 5:00 till 8:30pm. And then going home and studying for consequent tests the next day in physics, chemistry and geometry. Who wouldn’t get worn-down? It was no doubt when I got my grades of 83 in 2 major subjects; the lowest I’ve ever had. My parents got extremely worried and frustrated why I would persist doing cheer dancing when it wasn’t doing any good for me. But I was so stubborn and I kept doing it and so, the insufficient time for school work took its toll on me.
By 4th year, I got transferred from the 1st section to the second. Everyone (most especially me) got disappointed at myself and how I have messed things up so much. But things turned up great for me next. I learned to know how to belong in my new section, how they are so eager to help anyone out in need, how much of a family they were like—close-knit and ǘber appreciated they make you feel. I also got chosen to be the English school paper’s ed-in-chief, despite my belonging in the second section. I guess the English council overlooked my flaws and saw that I give promise with my writing talent. And I do admit I write that well, but I didn’t expect to be that esteemed. But the adviser that handled our paper and I didn’t see eye-to-eye with things. And she always, constantly, belittled me and looked down on me and my work, blatantly accusing me of plagiarism. And she does this in front of my staff members and telling this to other English teachers, making me look bad in every possible way. I got depressed once again and made me look down on myself even more. But my good friends were there telling me to hold my chin up and boosting up my spirits, but still it was difficult. Thankfully I had the paper done without breaking down in front of our adviser or she’d see how much of a weakling I am and I surely don’t want that to happen. In fact, I actually got 2nd places in regional and national school press conferences in feature writing and editorial writing. That’s something else.
No one is exempted from getting a dose of puppy love, not even me.
First year, my 2 close guy friends started showing signs of interest in courting me. Those guys were polar opposites and dealing with them was awkward. None of them got my yes, but still maintained our ties nevertheless. At the last part of sophomore year, I got into a very toilsome naïve relationship. It was all good at the beginning, but I was hardly ever ready to commit to a guy who wants a serious relationship.
Everything became a mess bringing the whole thing to a volatile situation. His cheating on me with my close friend and both of them blaming me for being such a sissy made me loathe my life and question God so pathetically leading me to tears and heartache. The guidance counselor heard of my crying and by next week, everybody heard of what happened to me, what a fool the two people I cared for have made of me, and how pitiful I am in my state. They were even hilarious versions that I broke up because I had a boyfriend overseas and another was also because I was a dyke and I can’t bear to be with him. The amusing tittle-tattle helped me forget a bit about the stitches and burns and soon enough, I moved on.
A senior and already indifferent to having guys as potential boyfriend, I started to become myself again, the blush in my cheeks beginning to show and the gleam in my aura shining through. Soon after, a few acquaintances courted me but two were the only ones I found sincere. Even if I was love-a-phobic, these guys were genuinely interested in me, making me do a retake if I really want to get myself into something unpredictable as love after quite some time. And I thought of introducing both of them to both my parents and only one of them stood up to the challenge. But I wasn’t comfortable that his closest friend was also courting me so I decided that we remain friends. And to this day, we still are.
High school brought me to things I never saw coming. Mistakes were made, hearts were broken, harsh lessons were learned, but all of it has receded into fond memory now. Graduation brought me to a euphoric high knowing that I was going into maturity now, and that I’d get a taste of independence. After a door closes, another one opens.
Now, I’m still learning the abc’s of college. The constantly changing schedules and different class areas were new to me and I’m psyching myself up for more surprises in college. They’ll either be good, okay or bad. Maybe college is just the way it is.
I do get a bit technical in way every time I go over what has happened in my life. If something happens then let it be. But I was different way back then. When I a little girl, I was very inquisitive. I’d quickly dash in front of the TV upon hearing the advertisement of a paint brand after seeing it once a few days back, mamang told me. At 2 years old, I already memorized my book about cat’s and dogs. And at the sight of a new environment, may it be a different house, a day in the department store, or anywhere new for that matter, my eyes would be scouring the whole area and stare agape at my surroundings, as if quickly painting an image in my head. There was also an accident when I was a toddler, when I fell from the stairs from the second floor to the ground slamming the shoulder and forehead on the pavement. Thank God there wasn’t a scratch left on my face. It was a miracle really, that nothing actually happened to me. But I was a real pain because I had a crying schedule—every 2 in the morning, I would cry and go to my parent’s room, knocking over and over till they let me in. This went on until I was 4.
Growing up into a kid, I realize I was the youngest in my class. I was the bunso and acted like a bunso. I loved to play and my constant playmates were older than me and most of them were boys. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy playing bahay-bahayan and dolls but whenever I get all messy and dirty, that’s when I’m really having fun. We live in a place where people live a modest life. I guess it was a benefit to have such good neighbors. They were noisy, their families composing of 7-9 members, but they treat our family like they would their relatives. My brother and I made friendships with their children and have sleepovers in their house once in a while. One of the things we totally love about our neighbors is their use of kulambo. Although our family does not use one, we’d always go to our neighbor’s and rub our feet in them while watching Rosalinda on TV. Every Christmas time and New Year’s Eve, we’d have a really humble meal together, like buffet but the dishes were very Filipino and authentic, and then we’d have games and the older one make the fireworks go off (kids were only given twinklers). These memories have never left me and never will.
When it comes to friendships, I never was the picky one. Yeah, upon first meeting I always had my impressions like, “I won’t like him because he’s a bully,” or “We won’t get along because she’s too full or herself,” but if someone really wants to be my friend, then it’ll be my pleasure to be one. If you take a look at my friends, you’d realize that they vary in many aspects. There are the brainy ones, sports aficionados and sports fans, music lovers, adventurers, book worms, radical artists, party people, momma’s boys, daddy’s girls, plain janes, free spirits, rowdy rockers or slapstick comedians, name it and they might belong to one of those categories. I particularly avoid pessimistic people because I am one and there is one too many pessimists in a friendship if you ask me. But now I’m beginning do be affirmative and upbeat.
Friendships I have made started from anything, from being constant kasakay in the jeepney, recess buddies, book club partner, anything that would involve conversation of sharing of ideas. I think this experience in making friends is the prime reason why I am capable of small talk and make friends without difficulty.
In my opinion, a friendship would be a warm bath on a long day. When I get burned out at school, I’d chill with my friends to detoxify. When there comes a time that I’m flighty with everything that’s been happening to me, my friends keep me grounded. If my days are dull and boring, a chat with friends and joking around with fag friends brighten my day in a snap. They will be my second parent when they realize that I’m messing my life up in some way and bring me back to reality. They’d cheer me on in every challenge I take, ready to help me cushion my fall or rejoice with me in my victory. Willing to wet their shoulders with my tears, they will be my confidantes in times of anxiety and depression. Friends should look out for each other, and try to bring out the best in each other. There must be respect and honesty between/among friends. Competition is normal but don’t let it take over. I may sound like I’ve been through a lot, but I did. A lot of backstabbing occurred in many of my friendships, and a lot of obstacles came my way. I have learned to dodge accuses or mean presumptions and walked over the burning coal and end up with calloused feet to save a friendship. I can’t say I never give up but I always try my best to make things work.
Now let’s go to my very own “Royal Tenenbaums” and give you an idea what my family is like. If there’s anything universally true about my family that I can be truly proud of is our affinity for being highly traditional. No, we don’t dance like the Badjaos nor do we keep indigenous furniture in our house. What I mean is our values—very traditional. Like how the father should be the provider, the mother who is the pillar of the house and the children following their parents. That’s how my family is built.
I always kept hearing “When we were young, your father/mother was always…” like that from Paderski and Mamang. They always instilled in me and my brother’s head that values are very important in a person. You’d look good and be very smart; but if you got no values, you’re nothing. We were taught to always respect our elders, and even if we don’t like them or have horrible attitudes, we still ought to show respect. My mother and father also taught me about having a conscience. Every time I have done something wrong, they’d tell me what the result would be if I’d continue doing it and how bad I would look if people knew I’m like that. I learned from them how to value others and myself, to appreciate my roots and never forget where I came from and how to make choices and be responsible my actions. My friends get amazed at how I could easily have a casual conversation with my parents. I tell them comes naturally and they tell me they hardly have a decent conversation (if arguments aren’t included). My parents have raised me to be a very open child. When I arrive from school, they would ask me how my day has been, how my test and all those other stuff and that made me feel like sharing because they were interested. Now, eagerly share to them my ideas on everything—school, music, people and shockingly, politics and the stock market. Mom and I share problems with each other, frustrations at school and work and joke around with corny antics. Dad, being his serious self, and I have discussions on my future and how I want it to be, my brother’s future and that I’d remember to wash my hands before eating. Papa and Mama is the best when it comes to parenting. I have been looking inside their cabinet dozens of times and never have I found a single parenting book. I found a “How to Understand Her: A Guide to Understanding Your Wife” but sadly, no parenting book. I figured they learned it from their parents (duh!). I pondered and thought that this is how I want to raise my future children—the way my parents raised me and my brother. Maybe a little adjustment here and there and it’ll be sweet and dandy. I also enjoy the flexible relationship I have with my brother. It’s good that our age gap is only two years and we can easily relate to each other. All these things about my family I have grown extremely fond of and though it might come off as conventional and boring, then so be it.
When I talk about myself, I try really hard not too sound narcissistic. I start by telling you that I believe people are inherently good. I give 100% in every relationship because of this belief. I love giving gifts, not only on special occasions but on regular days as well. My view of what relationships ought to be is idealized, and I try to uphold that view. And I place a lot of trust in people. Although my trust is seldom betrayed, once it is, it is extremely difficult to win it back. I rarely give people second chances. Once hurt, never will get hurt by the same person again.
“Carpe diem!” is my motto. I love life and I guess that makes people around me happy. I could say I’m a levelheaded person who operates on the mind-over-heart philosophy—always rationalizing first then acting on my feelings next. I find it hard to wear my heart on my sleeve. Despite my level-headedness, there are times that I’m unpredictable and a little schizophrenic. I would switch from unadulterated laughter one minute to serious mood the next.
In my head and heart, I’ve been always seeking my place in the world where I can put my mark and make a difference. I have so many original ideas that are screaming to be shared. I never procrastinate maybe because I keep on hearing Superego in my head. If I buy for luxury, I get extremely guilty thinking that I could’ve bought it for something else fore practical and of use to me. Objective-thinking is my kind of thing. I’d listen to different points of view before expressing an opinion. I’m also rebellious, and sometimes emotionally detached. I hate these negative characteristics about me really, and I’m constantly finding ways to trash them.
I also am independent and could find a way to get out of tight situations. I also have a below-the-belt self-confidence and self-worth, partly because I kept comparing myself to others. I’m an extrovert, and future-oriented. I noticed this at a young age. When I read books or watch a movie, if I like a character I would daydream myself being her or him in that character and be really accomplished or whatever. I daydream too much and I think my ideas should be on paper or should be done work on rather than floating in my head. Flattery isn’t my thing but psychology stuff interests me and I think psychology is awe-inspiring. I enjoy reading books that tell you what kind of person you are if there’s an attitude that you have, those quizzes that tell you what personality you have. There was this one I have taken at Reader’s Digest and Seventeen Magazine where you could tell your personality type based by your penmanship.
If I tell you the many episodes, movies, teleseryes and advertisements I have fabricated in my head, it would take a few days before I finish. I take pleasure in making stories in my head and dreaming of making them come true. Music is a part of my life and I’d be a lost soul without it. Although it’s sad life doesn’t have it’s own background music, I still love music for what it is—a vehicle to express emotions and melodies to put a you in a certain mood. And in turn, I also like art and making art. Although I don’t take painting as my strongest area (I have made only one good painting as of now), I do admit I am good in making art portraits of people in charcoal or ketch. I don’t know, the idea of freezing a moment in a person’s life on canvas/paper seems enticing to me.
I’m really feeling narcissistic telling you all about what I am. Now I impart to you who I want to be. When I was a child, I wanted to be a cartoonist. I thought drawing for Mr. Walt Disney would be really cool and all I want to do is draw bears. Then I moved to being a celebrity, but I don’t like the blinding flashes of light bulbs coming from cameras. Then I wanted to be a writer/philanthropist but if I wasn’t rich enough, I can’t help the poor. So I opted to being a coffee poet. I realized I hated caffeine so now I wanted to become a neurological surgeon. This ambition came out peculiarly because when I was young, I constantly drew myself in my scrubs and I was outside the OR with another doctor. Even so, I never wished to become one back then, but now, every particle in my body wishes to become that. I have thought carefully and it has crossed my mind that I might not have time for my family if I take that job. But I’m willing to make any sacrifice for my family just to achieve (if possible) self-actualization and happiness. I want to impart my knowledge and experiences to the world so that I can take pride that everything I have been through have meaning. Now, how does it happen? Why are we so quick to forget the bad and romanticize the good? I guess when everything ends (like in high school), these are what we want to remember to give us satisfaction that everything we have been through, stressed so hard over, and worked so hard for actually meant something.
Now I can say I actually have performed an introspection, an observation concerning psychoanalysis, behaviorism and aspire for self-fulfillment (as in humanistic). I tried my best to incorporate what you have taught us in order to narrate our lives and tell how my behavior and unconscious mind is affecting the person that I am.
Now, the things I write here were true to me at the moment it was written. They may no longer hold true tomorrow, depending on how life changes me, and what new experiences teach me. I am a work in progress and nothing I put out today is absolute. Thank you for taking time to finish this and I hope that my mission to deliver who I think I am to you, the reader, has been successful. I hope there will be more of these activities (in fewer pages).
I wanted my 1st entry to be on a Tuesday (since my blog title read: Thieves by Tuesday) but some things just need to go first. Too bad I didn’t “publish” this entry to incorporate some depth in my blog. 😦
But, nonetheless, I’m going to give you a sort of lowdown on what Thieves by Tuesday is, and what it is not.
Thieves by Tuesday is not a neither a music blog, gossip blog, or a fashion blog. Rather it is a pop culture that we live in and inanimately draws us. Its hard to define actually. Whatever shit goes through my head and squeezes juice, then you definitely will see it here, in Thieves by Tuesday.
Hope you enjoy the following posts!