*Larita Kutsarita - n. see THE AUTHOR
*Spoonfuls - n. articles/dispatches/scribbles by Larita Kutsarita
(Background photo by Aiess Alonso)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Back to Basics

The following is a brief essay that I've written for a major course last semester. It's [supposed to be] about my self-concept. I dunno if I did the right thing. Then again, I'm usually clueless when I'm able to write something. So...whatever, right? Here it goes:

Interpersonal Communication:
A Worse Kind of Writer’s Block
(on the Concept of Self—and Self-rediscovery)
by Lara Sinson Mendizabal

I am not the typical “girl next door.” That, I’ve always known eversince I knew that I hated the word “ordinary.” I do not believe that I am a “girly girl,” either. My Barbie doll never really had her head located where it was supposed to be, and I’d go off and make my own paper dolls and their paper clothes and paper things. If that was girly, that was a more creative kind of “girly”—no, I’ve always taken fashion more seriously than just dressing myself in pink and sporting all the season’s goods all at once. Sometimes, I also doubt that I am young at heart. For some reason, I’ve always found it difficult to try to like my generation’s trends, e. g. some hip hop, a lot of pop—boy bands, most especially, my one and only past guilty pleasure being A1—as well as Gossip Girl and American Idol. Oh, and EMO (short for “emotional rock,” a subculture that’s had kids applying thick black eyeliner, growing bangs over an eye, and threatening to slash their own wrists whenever they’re down in the dumps--and they're always down in the dumps) may just die anytime, thank you. Whereas with The Beatles, phonographs and vinyl records, faded photographs, worn-out radios, yellowing pages of dusty books, vintage cameo brooches, vintage tees, vintage cars, and vintage what have you, it’s almost like I feel one with them. Many have often told me that I’m an old soul. Back in high school, they thought I was boring, and I thought they were tiring.

In college, there have been a few—or so I believe—changes. I’m glad to say that I am able to cope with diverse kinds of people now, very much unlike my pre-college antisocial self. I guess it’s mainly because I go to the University of the Philippines where—and this is totally my favorite illustration—you may find yourself sitting next to the mayor’s nephew to your right and the janitor’s son to your left. I’ve often told Mama in my utter amazement that it’s only in U. P. that you learn how to rise among the great and stoop along with the oppressed and lowly at the same time. Oble’s crest definitely makes up an enormous chunk of my self-concept. U. P. does not just mold you to be “men and women for others.” More importantly, you also learn how to think for yourself just so you may live for your fellow Filipino men and women—or so the ideal scenario goes. I owe it to my school that I’m well aware that I’m only part of something bigger than myself, and that is the society we are all living and struggling in. It can be mirrored in so many ways, art being one of the strongest and most enduring.

The arts have been close to my heart from the day I first held a pencil. From smiling angels with halos on their heads on little nimbuses, to wedding dresses I’d pretend to have designed for my aunts’ girlfriends, to short stories about mermaids magically gaining legs (not very original, I know), to my crack at creative nonfiction through blogs and campus journalism, my pen-and-paper affair has introduced me to many worlds. Eventually, writing—my very first love—has also led me to my second love which is speaking. It all started when I wrote a speech and delivered it, and from then on, I just couldn’t understand—for the life of me—why Glossophobia, fear of giving public speeches, is actually number one among all phobias on earth. I love talking and I love writing, and I love how one can play with words.

And yet, there are times when I cannot help but question where exactly I am to go. After all, all I have are words. I cannot remember any particular Physics formula to save my life. I’m too nonchalant to care for money for me to be running a long-term business in the not-so-far future. I’m way too in love with freedom for me to be stuck in an eight-hour cubicle job. And I worry that a freelance job may never really be enough to sustain my unstable self—well, as far as my sense of handling money is concerned, anyway. I’ve been pondering on this quite heavily this past semester, and it’s been real hardcore thinking so far. At times, I wonder if Speech Communication will really be able to give me a future to look forward to. But then I realize that thinking about it won’t exactly do me any good, so I guess I’ll just have to work my eyeballs out—something that I know I should have been doing but have largely neglected due to some personal dilemmas. It was actually more of a question whether everything I do was going to be worth it. And I’ve been questioning for as long as I can remember until I realized that I’ve been worrying too much about tomorrow that I forgot all about today. That’s me, a constant distant dreamer.

Recently, I think there’s been a clash between my present self and my ideal self, and it just so happens that I got lost in all that discord. Right now, all I have are my passions and my rhetoric, but as to a personal vision, I am not even sure about what I want exactly anymore, and that, to me, is quite sad. “Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worse kind of suffering.” Paulo Coelho wrote it so beautifully. Oh well, perhaps it’s just a phase, and I do hope it is. I guess I’ll just have to take on one day at a time, and slowly rediscover my dreams, one by one, like picking up little breadcrumbs in a tangled wilderness, gradually directing me from loss to my gingerbread house—without the old hag, of course. No, I’ve had enough of old hags this year. And I think I’ll be going back to my smiling angels with halos on their heads on little nimbuses for now. Yep, I’m back to basics.


iamvirna said...

Lara, Im adding you to my links. Ok? Wala lang, just so you know. :P
Nandito yun: www.freewebs.com/iamvirna

joshua said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



joshua said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Anonymous said...


Lorgen Shadoufang said...

I arrived here from a link on kampo ni wejos [where I have no affiliation, just browsing through...]

I haven't read Back to Basics in whole, but I just want to say that maybe the difficulty of self concept, -definition, -discovery, or whatever you want to refer to it, is in the difficulty of defining knowledge and belief and differentiating them from each other. That combined with the difficulty in discerning or deciding whether You are for yourself or for others makes it more... confusing, difficult, paradoxical (???)...
And then we have to consider the aspect of time (if you believe in it, that is): Are you unchanging? Or are you someone who changes? What would you define as yourself anyway: the unchanging aspect of you or the changing aspect of you? Do you want to define yourself everytime you change?
There are more questions and I know that you know.

"Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." ~Sir A. Conan Doyle through Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal In Bohemia"

May the Force be with you :')