Hi, how are you? No, really. How are YOU? Hope you’re holding up well. I hope that your physical condition is fit as a fiddle. I hope that your mental health is just as good, you’re not climbing on the walls, that you’re not silently going mad. I wish each one of you the very best in this so-called new normal. Manila is currently on Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine. Next week, we’re transitioning into General Community Quarantine. And the thought of that…well, it can cause an anxiety attack for some. (I know it’s going to cause me an anxiety attack, for sure.)
This time last year, I was on the phone at work, asking for the entrance exam results for graduate school admissions. At first, I thought I heard it wrong, I had to ask the admissions staff to repeat the exam result to me, and I was told, “See you at the orientation.” That felt unreal. It still felt like it. Now, here I am, in my second semester of graduate school, trying to comply with requirements despite a pandemic, sitting in front of my desk bleary-eyed, trying to think of an objective for a certain topic for a research proposal.
Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you are well and safe wherever you are. A few days ago, I promised myself a treat after handing in the first part of my coursework. No, it has nothing to do with food, but a lot to do with making my soul happy by dressing up and putting on makeup. It’s been a long time since I put on work clothes and makeup on my face. It’s been two months already. I missed prettifying myself and getting dressed for work! So, a little playtime was in order. I looked at my wardrobe a few days ago and checked if there’s anything in it that I haven’t worn. Or if there’s an outfit I haven’t tried doing. So here I am, wearing black, with a pop of nude and red here and there.
As a big girl, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to dress fashionably. All the nice clothes, it seemed to me, were made just for the slimmer girls. So where’s the justice in that? Pre-lockdown, I’ve always felt conscious that I look drab even in my favourite clothes. But recently, I came to the realisation that it doesn’t matter what one wears–it’s how one wears it. When I finally decided to change up my look to get ready for my post-lockdown life, I look back from long ago, and I remember asking Susan, a friend from law school who is also a very hefty girl herself. I remember her wearing basically whatever she wanted. And most importantly, Susan wears clothes that flatter her best features. She tells me, however, that that confidence didn’t happen overnight. But, she says, you’ve got only one body, so might as well rock it.
In which I attempt to make cottage pie that isn’t even a real cottage pie, and an apple tart. Hola amigos and amigas! I’m back. Looks like our cherished dream of going back to normal isn’t going to happen anytime soon. We’re still cooped up inside our homes, trying not to get crazy, trying not to get sick. But hey! We all make our own good times. Yes, cooking now counts as a “good time”. Why not? Who doesn’t like to eat healthy, nutritious tasty food that’s not processed food? Yeah, that’s my family! For the past few weeks, we’ve been donning our imaginary chef’s toque, whipping up dishes we’ve never eaten in a long, long time, or yes, for the first time, even. But more on that, later.