Plans for 2016

SECOND WIND - Barbara Gonzalez-Ventura (The Philippine Star) - January 8, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Over the holidays, one of my old, old friends passed away. I met Jorge Ramos and his wife Reme, when I was in my twenties, at the home of Christian Espiritu, another dear old friend. Christian and I both lived in Merville. I remember wearing short wildly printed dresses, net stockings and ball earrings. I learned to play mahjong and to make huge crepe paper flowers that I stuck in a basket, fashionable then.

My marriage went wrong and we lost touch for a while. I don’t remember how we got together again. I only know Jorge and my then significant other became close friends. Then I fell out of the scene and we did not see each other for a long time. But recently we sort of reached out and got together again, no longer like we used to do before, but I still treasure the relationship.

So when Jorge passed away I was at his wake, his burial and his 40th day. At the buffet table one of the pretty young women told me she read me all the time and felt she knew me. She said she also felt many of the things I felt. This touched me and I thanked her but did not know what else to say. I’m like that. I can be quite talkative and fun with my close friends but I never know what to say to strangers, especially when they’re complimenting me. I sort of feel embarrassed and want to hide under a table.

 On the way home I thought — maybe she feels that way because I write about ordinary life and if there’s anything we all share it’s ordinary life. Every morning we wake up and go through our rituals, always the same, every day. I swish coconut oil, brew my coffee, sit and write on my porch, read my Zen tarots, drink my Stem Enhance, then water my plants. Every single day! Then I do my chores. This morning it was to bring down and pack away Christmas decorations. Then I put away the things I bought in Quiapo yesterday and thought about a small dilemma I have. I said I would teach jewelry-making but then I have to meet an order from abroad. I am only one person. So which do I do first? I think I will make the order first.

Maybe I should forget about teaching. For teaching I will have to buy instruments and plastic beads and trays and all sorts of things. I don’t know where to put them. So maybe I will just postpone the teaching and attend to my orders and selling. Can I not do both? No, because I’m only one person. I don’t have anyone else to help me. So that’s settled for now. I will not teach jewelry-making anymore. 

I don’t think I will teach knitting either because people who want to knit can learn from the Net. I remember when I tried to teach it before I was only minimally successful because it takes a lot of patience to learn how to knit. The fallout rate is big. On the first day of class you have 10 students and then surprise you have only two, then only one occasional student. So I think it wise to also put my knitting classes on hold.

Instead I will concentrate on my writing classes because those keep everyone’s mind in shape. I want to teach writing to individuals and to companies.  I think I will concentrate on teaching writing in 2016. And I’m almost sure I will be successful because it’s a Monkey year and I am a Wood Monkey. Monkeys are fairly successful during their year.

My New Year’s resolution is to look for new things to do to stimulate my life, to make me less of an introvert. Just before Christmas I discovered a new restaurant called Smokin’ Cues, an informal restaurant that serves all kinds of delicious barbecues. I liked the American barbecue best and the parmesan-crusted corn was to die for.  It’s owned by the same people who own Bawai’s in White Plains where I always want to die for the Tom Rang Me. This restaurant is across the street at 42 Katipunan Avenue and it is also so good.

So my life in 2016 is getting older but folding in newer things. I want to renew old friendships. I want to make new friends. I want to do just what I can do so I need to focus. And best of all, I want to teach writing because I know that that is one thing I do well and more and more people need to learn.

If you want to take my writing classes, which I have rescheduled from Jan. 9 to Jan. 23, please text me your email address and I will give you all the information you need.

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Please text your comments to 0917-8155570.

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