Hallway

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I’m in transit — at least in my mind. I’m trying to make the best choices that I can, but like what I learned in college, I can’t please everyone.

One of my so-called friends in the office got mad at me, and it led me to think that maybe, I should reassess my list of friends. It’s not because they are mean, though; it’s more on the idea that I might not really care enough about them to keep calling them friends. That thought led me to realize that being a good person isn’t the same as being a good friend. Even if they can be done at the same time, being generally nice doesn’t mean that I would stand by them all the way. On the other hand, being a good friend would sometimes mean that I should not be nice and condone their behavior. Sometimes, I should give them a piece of my mind for them to stop doing bad things.

Like what I said when I stated this post, I’m in transit. I need to arrive at a decision, maybe not right now, but still, a choice needs to be made. Hence, the picture of the office’s hallway.

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Virtue, Truth, and Wine

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image I’ve been meaning to post something last week, but I got sidetracked. I rambled about excellence, and that might have been foolish of me because I fell into a trap. According to Paulo Coelho, a warrior of the light can talk to his demons and win just by letting it do the talking; afterwards, he should just walk away. I didn’t do that. I brandished the virtue of excellence at my demons, and accosted them with dagger-like words propelled by righteous indignation. Perhaps, they learned Paulo’s trick; they just sat there and listened. Then, they put the naked truth — that people won’t seek excellence the way I would because they’re not me — in front of me. It made me fume. I swore. I slandered others. And I swore some more. Thus, I’ve lost the good fight. It’s not a total loss, though. Through that day, I realized that instead of criticizing others, I just need to accept the harsh truths. Also, I need to turn my theoretical virtues into real action, not just proclaiming them. It could have saved me a lot of anguish. Now, I’ll resolve to do better. On a lighter note, I went out for drinks with a lady friend. We talked. We shared some intimate details, and though I know it was platonic, I felt glad that I can still get a lady to go out with me.

Owls and Excellence

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I’ve visited the local zoo with my adoptive daughter (well, she adopted me as her dad, really, so how can I refuse an angel’s request) and the rest of the family. I was glad to have the chance to visit the animals; it brought back a lot of good childhood memories.

However, I digress. So I’ll cut that story short, and get onto my actual topic.

I’m consumed with the thought of excellence since Friday, last week. Mostly, it’s because I see people in our office who just gets by through mediocrity. They slack off, and they even have the guts to complain about getting poor evaluations from me when they know for a fact that they didn’t do anything stellar. It just makes my blood boil after it has curdled. I was raised with an Opus Dei philosophy, so it just makes me feel indignant when I come across a culture of mediocrity. As part of my protest, I’ve been putting quotes about excellence as my chat status message, hoping to inspire even just one person to strive for excellence.

I say “strive for excellence” and not perfection because excellence is not something permanent — at least as far as I know. One day, I might be excellent, but if I’m not careful with what I do, I can fall in the same traps that mediocrity seems to lay out in front of everyone. It might be a simple headache, a shiny red balloon, or blinking at the wrong time, and what we have can be spoiled. Could we really account for all those minute variables when we sometimes forget periods after sentences or feel angry at bird poop on a newly washed car? I think not, so we can’t really be perfect — just continuously striving for excellence. Nevertheless, there’s always a vanguard for excellence, and that is vigilance.

For me, it’s vigilance against the illusion of perfection. Yes, I admit that I pride myself with my achievements, but I realize now that it’s unattainable because it’s either the absence of fault or the completion of all requirements. Saying that someone is perfect is just simply turning a blind eye on a minute flaw or saying that a high standard was met when in fact, it’s just partially fulfilled. It’d take an infinite amount of energy for us to really achieve that, making me think that it’s just God who has the capacity to achieve. So really, we can only strive for excellence.

My Ex and I

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The way you perceive the world would taint how you take pictures.

Two days ago, I told one of my closest friends about this blog. Her initial reaction was like, “Wow! You have a new blog — again? Actually, you take better pictures than your ex, who claims that she likes photography.” While I was taken by surprise because my ex was mentioned, I felt that what she said was true; my ex only says she is passionate about it. In truth, she can’t push through with it, even when I was there to support her with all my heart. My friend continued to say that my ex’s photos didn’t have appeal and that she really don’t know how to take pictures. It got me thinking for a short time. Why do people say that about the photographs that she shoots when she’s the one who has a better camera and some training to boot? Considering that the topic was my ex, I soon drifted off to other better ideas to think about.

The next day, a former friend and colleague went to the office to get some documents about her employment there, and we got to talking. During our chat, I mentioned that I have started this photoblog. Somehow, this other friend was able to steer the conversation toward my ex. Then, she suddenly blurted out her opinion about my ex: “Well, it can’t be helped. The way you perceive the world would taint how you take pictures.”

Maybe, that’s it. Maybe not. All I know is that when we were together, my ex-girlfriend only looked at her life like it wasn’t interesting. She couldn’t find things to smile about most of the time, and she even confessed that she didn’t know what she was passionate about. Those were some of the reasons why we didn’t work out. I’d hate to think that it’s also the reason why she’s not excelling in what she considers as her craft, too, but it sure sounds plausible.

Like what I said before, I don’t know much about photography, but I’m willing to learn. I can’t really say that my photographs are top notch, too, but I’m serious when I say that I’m passionate about capturing parts of my life using (a very crude) camera. I hope that my ex wouldn’t get to see this post, but if she does, she realizes that negativity and halfheartedness isn’t the way to go. It’s really facing life with smiling eyes and blazing passion to look for and claim the things that’ll make her happy.