"What you are will show, ultimately. Start now, every day, becoming, in your actions, your regular actions, what you would like to become in the bigger scheme of things."
"Alone" in New York
To clarify, I do feel loneliness from time-to-time but I also experience multiple states of being every day. While loneliness in a foreign city is inevitable, it is not the pervading emotion that dominates my every day. It is transient, and more as a response to significant life events rather than a state of being. My every day consists of something new to try and learn, some new place to go, some new thing that makes me grow.
In solitude, “one’s inner voices become audible [and] one responds more clearly to other lives.” Wendell Berry.
"mime, v: You are incapable of imitating me; every time you spring your version onto the world, it does not have my voice." - David Levithan
A reliable friend has brought to my attention a fake Facebook account under my name this past week. We quickly took action by posting public Facebook statuses warning all of our friends/followers of the fake account and to report and block it.
What was infuriating about having an "impostor" was having someone attempt to "replicate" an aspect of my identity without dealing with the costs. It took a lot of courage and work to build the life I am living, and now someone is posing to have that life without the real work. Posing as someone else is a short-cut. Often, these short-cuts have their own repercussions.
Anyway, my friends said that the fake account has disappeared. Thank you to all who have brought this to my attention and have reported and blocked the fake account. Please remember that I only have 1 Facebook, 1 Twitter, 1 Instagram and 1 YouTube account.
On Cooking and Carving out a Life
When I was still in the Philippines applying for graduate school, I longed to begin life anew on my own terms. When I got back to New York after a three-week Philippine visit for my brother's college graduation, I was daunted with the new journey of living on my own. I had to learn what house-cleaning materials to buy, what to look for when buying kitchen utensils, learn to do my own groceries and the highlight of it all was having to learn to cook my own food. In the beginning, I was content on survival alone. Basta makakain.
I am very lucky to have a cousin in New Jersey who is an aspiring chef and a generous resource when it comes to food. He accompanied me to two grocery stores (one in New Jersey and the other one in Trader Joe's) and taught me all the basics on what to buy and how to cook chicken stir fry and beef stew. From all the basics that I've learned I am now building my own cooking "repertoire." I binge-watch Brother's Green Eats on youtube for ideas and I'm happy to say I am doing well!
Here are pictures of my culinary adventures courtesy of my new superpowers:
I am rediscovering what it is I love about food and I find that I have a natural feel for the flavors that I like. I have more agency on what I choose to consume because I buy my own ingredients. I am not only eating out of need but of want and curiosity. As I carve a new life for myself on my own terms, food has been added into the picture. At present I not only have found a new community in Juilliard which I can call my second family, found my own living space, I have also learned to "sustain" myself. Good food, good friends, working towards something bigger than me - these are the bedrock on which I am presently carving out a new life.
I've always had a negative bias towards "domesticity." To me, domesticity was for people who settled too early. I've always had a preference for activities that had "adventure" and "romance." That meant something like hiking, backpacking, communing with nature, developing a career, going to the US for the first time to audition for grad school, etc. When I was in the Philippines, I never had to cook, clean the bathroom, do groceries or laundry on my own. Part of my initial homesickness and anxieties upon coming back to New York after a 3-week visit in Manila was facing the fact that I had to do all of those on my own from hereon.
It is a slow process, this building of a single life in New York City. I am doing it brick by brick. Thank God classes begin in September. I have an entire month left to get into the swing of things before school work gets added into the picture. So aside from work-study (I've had 4 different jobs in school this summer: ushering, library assistant, painting walls, office assistant), I've been cooking, cleaning, buying general cleaning materials, laundry and grocery shopping. I've also been coordinating with the apartment owner for maintenance issues (i.e. the electric stove only got installed last Monday, July 25).
It has its own joys, I must say. I am very particular with having a beautiful home/space of my own. So I find myself easily rattled when I find dirt on the newly-painted walls or notice that the toilet is getting dirty. It's a good thing I have relatives in New Jersey who are experts on home-related, cooking and bargain-stuff. It's a new journey for me: buying my own frying pans, spatula, toilet brush cleaners, clorox (those blue and white pods you drop at the back of your toilet so when you flush it automatically releases this blue color that bleaches and disinfects your toilet are AMAZING).
Here's what I've been eating
I've been preparing my own meals. With the exception of the Peanut Butter Milkshake (which I treated myself last Thursday), the rest are meals I've prepared. The first two ones on the top left are meals prepared by me and my cousin who helped me shop for grocery essentials and taught me cooking basics. The rice and the chicken stir-fry version 2 are on my own.
Regina De Vera
I am a Filipino actress alternating between New York and Manila. I received my acting training at The Juilliard School. Take a look around!