The past few weeks I have been thinking about doing an EXTREME LIFESTYLE CHANGE. To be honest, I have been feeling pretty sad and tired. Perhaps sad because I’m tired? Or maybe tired because I’m sad. Whatever the relationship of those two are, one thing is for sure. I’m not completely happy, and I’m not completely energized. But I’m glad that I have the best groups of friends around, that even if I’m not exactly at an optimum level, I still feel ok. Even when I’m really not. For everyone who knows what I’ve been going through, this shouldn’t be a surprise. For those people that don’t, well basically I have been on an emotional rollercoaster, where most of the turns are going downward. Really, sadness, being lethargic and off-balanced-ness, these were principles I lived on these past few weeks and months.
Another confession: I have been trying to amuse myself when I write my poems, and when I write funny stuff on facebook, And it really helps me feel a bit better every time someone enjoys something I post.
A friend of mine once asked, “Do you consider yourself an artist, Apags?” Truth is, I can’t say that about myself all the time. Sometimes, I don’t feel like an artist. But I really try to be the best entertainer I can be. And entertaining people has always been something I enjoy doing. So when I post something, and it entertains you, I’m very happy with that.
Speaking of entertaining, that’s one of the reasons I am doing this lifestyle change, but it’s not the main reason. I want to entertain myself. I want a change of pace, I want a change of scenery. Kind of like when you get entertained with something on TV or on Youtube. You watch it because it entertains you, and it’s something out of the ordinary course of your life. It disrupts the same old routine we’ve become so used to living. I do have several other reasons, maybe you’ll see them as this article progresses.
So what is this EXTREME LIFESTYLE CHANGE I am talking about? I call it “Apags Buhay High School” and henceforth will be know as #apaghs. Which basically means, I will try to live my lifestyle back when I was in High School. And I guess, for that to make sense, then I sort of have to describe my lifestyle now.
MY LIFESTYLE NOW
If there is one word I can use to describe my lifestyle now, I would pick the word HARSH. I am a producer, director, writer, teacher, and a few other things that I’d rather not mention (there may be kids reading this — ie my students). I leave the house early or semi early, go to work, get home late (some days I don’t go home), and then do it all over again. I don’t have the luxury of time. Nor do I have the luxury of control. I live on shortages. To compensate, I drink, I smoke, I read buzzfeed, I pinterest, I 9gag like most people. Hahaha! I find all sorts of ways to try and cope with stress, which is perhaps the one thing my life does not have a shortage of. It’s really no way for anyone to live. Granted that it is fun because I get to work with the best people I can wish for, but it’s still difficult. And it really isn’t a way to live.
MY PLANNED LIFESTYLE
My high school lifestyle, was pretty much the same in terms of amount of stuff I was doing, and the sheer stress and pressure that I had to juggle between my hands and feet. But I was a different person. I was full of energy, at a time when I should’ve been drained, vulnerably sprawled on the floor. And I loved every second of it. I was a student leader, I was a boyfriend, I was a brother and a son, I was the drummer of a band, I was an actor, I was defensive player of the year in my basketball team, and many more things I wish I can do again. And I want that energy again. I want that lifestyle again.
For some of us (I would think for more than a few), high school was the best time of our lives. We probably got bored with school, but that was ok, because we were building relationships with people that we still hold close to our hearts today. So why not try living it again? Maybe it will be a nice #throwback lifestyle.
WHAT I’M GONNA DO
#apaghs is built on three premises. Time. Health. and Finance. And let me tell you a few stories.
When I was in high school, I always woke up at 530 am, because I rode a school bus, and it picke dme up at 6am. I tried to sleep before 12. My friends will tell you that I stopped replying or I put the landline down at around 12. In cases where I needed to stay up later than 12, I still would wake up at 5am. I would get to school at 715 am, and have enough time to chill at the cafeteria before the bell rang at 7:45am. And no matter how tired I was, my day started when that bell rang. I was ready. I was prepared for a full day of learning. I also studied in spurts of 45 mins — the time a class ran. I had a five minute break, and a 1 minute silence bell. That was a regular schedule. And that regularity of a schedule helped me become as productive as I can be. Which isn’t the case now.
I spend more time working, sometimes too little sleep. And sometimes (and I’m sure so many people will relate to this), since time isn’t as regular, we put off things that we should be doing. We procrastinate, and we end up being less than our ideal selves. And that sort of destroys even the best of us.
When I graduated high school, I was 141 pounds. Slightly underweight, but I felt invincible. There was a point when I could tap the ring in basketball; I have short arms (and immense insecurity of mine), so I was never able to dunk the ball. I was pretty close though! I could run a mile easily, I could lift heavy siz without breaking a sweat. I had no vices. Never had a drop, never had a hit. The only vice I had was watching cartoons, and overplaying video games.
Fast forward to the end of college – 200 pounds. I had set records for most beer bottles drank in a night. I had smoked more than a few cigarettes. Not proud of it. Pic for Reference.
Faster forward to today – I did lose some weight. Did reduce drinking. Slightly bringing back some of the sportiness and athleticism I once had.
So the goal is to eliminate everything that damages my health: vices and stress (to the best of my ability). At the end of this lifestyle change, I plan to be that 141 — or maybe slightly heavier, my perfect BMI should be 160 pounds — guy, who can dunk the ball. Muscles, I hope you are still down there hidden in the fat.
So if you ask me to drink, or smoke, I might say no to you. I will probably be less fun that you are used to. Please understand. It’s not you. It’s me. Hahahaha.
Hahaha this will be a fun story. When I was in high school, I did not have the biggest baon in my class. I remember I had a girlfriend who lived in the super close to Ateneo place called FARVIEW (no typo there). Hahaha. And I made it a point to always try and bring her home. With my allowance, I could only do it for twice a week. I had to save every peso of that allowance (which was designed for my own survival alone). I invented this method called the 5 peso lunch. A few of my friends know this. I would spend 5 pesos during my lunch period just so I could have enough money to get a cab for my girlfriend — to FARVIEW — and for me to be able to get home to Pasig/Marikina on a jeep.
What in the bloody blue blazes is the 5 peso lunch, you’re probably wondering. How can someone eat on 5 pesos for lunch? Well, it’s easy. You buy 5 pieces of judge chewing gum for lunch, mix it with some happy thoughts, and you’re good until dismissal. And what the stomach lacked in content, the heart overflowed with love and romance and all that cheesy hulabaloo.
Hahaha. Fast forward to today – Money is not really a problem. Sometimes it is, but I wish I could save more. So it makes sense. Granted, I don’t exactly have a girl now that I have to eat a 5 peso lunch for, but I still think I need to save. For myself. For my shoes. Hahaha!
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?
I am writing and finishing this tonight at home. I am ready for this. I am sure a lot of people also are looking to change their lives. I hope that with this effort of mine, I can at least inspire someone, even though it’s only one person. I ask you guys to support me in this thing I am doing. It’s not gonna be easy. The cigarette wuitting alone I think will make me so angry and sensitive. I apologize in advance.
I shaved my head today, as the first step in #apaghs. So if you see me, I will look clean. A bunch of people that saw me said I looked weird. I had really long hair for quite some time, so this is a big change for them. It is for me. And no, I did not shave it because I want Duterte to run. Nor am I going through some life/emotional crisis, and I’m doing an extreme solution. It’s just a new thing, a first step. Really hoping this works this time.
The last beer has been drunk.
The last cigarette has been smoked.
I’m ready for a lifestyle change.
Maybe I’ll go back someday. Maybe I’ll have moments where I forget. But I promise every single one of you, that I will try my hardest to keep this lifestyle change going for as long as I can. And as some of you may know, I don’t shy away from trying something new. Something extreme.
Pray for me guys.
Wish me luck.
WHY I’M REALLY DOING THIS.
I am doing this for you Ate. I miss you. It was your birthday yesterday. I wish I could give you a gift, the way I used to. But I can’t now. So this will be my gift to you.
I miss you terribly.
I love you.
I am doing this lifestyle change to be a better person.
I aim for you to be proud of me, as much as I’m proud of you. I want to be in a better state, so I can be around longer.
I will try my very best to always be around for Mirka. For our parents.
This is me. I’m about to change.
Please help me through this, Ate.