2018 is a weird year with weirdly proportioned months. January felt like eternity, remember? Although we all testify to that and swear the rest of the months swooped by, I raise you a worthy, equally droned out contender. August.
This month I:
– preached at our youth group
– taught elementary kids for two weeks
– finished another script!
– taught a filmmaking workshop at Oroquieta City
– watched really good films
I was privileged to be asked to share a message at Lifeline, our church’s youth group early this month. I had very little time to prepare, because I was teaching then and writing a script (freelance). Come day of preaching, I had a fever (this will be recurrent throughout the blog post, haha). But it turned out well. I just talked about Christ for 45 minutes and cried a lot. I wonder if there will ever come a day when talking about Jesus or what He had done for me won’t make me cry.
I kinda don’t want that day to arrive.
2. Teaching, over
An update to the previous post: a few days after I wrote that, I found myself in the principal’s office saying I wanted to quit. I had to teach for 2 more weeks; but it was a Monday, and my knees hurt really bad, and I looked at the pile of to-do for my real job, and I was slightly feverish. The kids were great. But I’m not a teacher. The principal understood, of course, and she thanked me profusely for those weeks I gave. She asked if there was no changing my mind. I thought for a second, thought the money would be useful, but I said no.
One of my ates lovingly scolded me, after all this, she said I can’t say yes to everybody all the time, or else gagawin kang secretary ng lahat. I was taken aback at first (Enneagram Type 2, nice to meet you). I only want to help. I like making lives of others easier for them. Whatever I was doing was not sustainable. And the loneliness magnified when I looked around and saw that the same type of help I was giving was not available to me, anywhere. Not that reciprocity was my goal at the beginning – that I will help you so one day you’ll help me – no. But I looked at a barren view. It made me think twice about rationing my self well, not where it’s most profitable to me, but where it’s sustainable.
What looked like a week of loss, early August, turned out to be good for me because I just finished another commission script! It took me a few days to break out of the block, which meant hours and hours of transcribing and translating. Pacing around. Procrastinating. But I did it. Yay! And I’m proud of this particular script. It’s one of my favorite stories we’ve done so far. I’m just waiting for feedback from the editor.
This month’s crazy, out of nowhere twist – I was invited to speak on writing stories for a filmfest workshop in Oroquieta. I KNOW, WHY ME? I have one short film on my reel, and several scripts but that’s it. The other speaker had a mouthful of accolades. I wasn’t qualified, and I felt like a fraud half the time. At the end of the workshops we watched their outputs; already good stories. At that point I didn’t feel like so much of a fraud anymore. Hey, I know a little, that’s true, but I don’t give the stories, the stories were already inside them. I just had to point them out and help light the fire.
Also, in the two days I spent in Oroquieta, the urge to just stop stalling and write a film burned my heart SO MUCH. I’m not brave enough to do that yet. Maybe one day.
5. Watching movies
Wow, August was a good month for films. I watched To All the Boys I Loved Before, Crazy Rich Asians and The Hows of Us.
I wish the visual of Lara Jean existed when I was in high school. I know my younger self needed to see her, so that I wouldn’t be so hard on my self and my body growing up.
I’m grateful for a strong protagonist like Rachel Chu – who knows when to play to win. Not just play to avoid losing.
I’m grateful for George, who I feel like is an Enneagram type 2 as well. Haha. I felt how tired she was in the film. So tired. Wanted to hug her.
I’m grateful for all the opportunities that came up for me this month; the Lord surprised me and whispered to my heart so many times. On August 3, after I preached, I wrote on my journal, “Lord, thank You for the privilege of sharing Your word. It feels right, too. Maybe this is my calling.”
I’m grateful for my short teaching stint – it paid for my lab tests and medicines.
I’m grateful for the little nods of approval from God when it comes to writing, and telling stories. It’s the only thing I can offer you, Lord. Thank you for this space.