{this is actually a class requirement essay}

I stared, typed, deleted at this blank white digital page for three hours everyday for three days before completing one paragraph. Truth be told, I feel so devastated because I cannot warm up to my obligation of having the entity of me enclosed in tangibility or in a singular thought or defined by a group of words. Self-reflection essays always gave me tough times and breakdowns. But this isn’t really a sad story. This is some paragraph from where I try to pull something off about myself.

I just don’t know myself. I know facts about myself, yes. But I don’t think these mere facts amount to my identity. I’d want to believe that I’m so much more than my ability to draw or my advocacies or my love for Frank Sinatra. I’d want to be more than my incapability of identifying myself. And this is the root of my struggle. I can never be more than just a person of facts.

I’m Jill and this is the third paragraph of this essay where I’d resort into talking about some facts about myself. I can go by the name Soleil at times and light-toned earthworm-thick protrusions all over the largest organ in my body can prove it. My eyes are just as dry as my hair so, everyday, I’d have to put on pigments that ironically dry out my eyes more. But they don’t look dry once they’re on and I guess I’ll choose the comfort of my sight over how it feels like. I’m a bottle blonde. I had to endure my hands getting burnt down to get my hair to look like Taylor Swift’s. I was fat but because I loathed my body for having my tummy bigger than my non-existent boobs, I skipped breakfast and lunch to get slimmer. And I guess, I’m a lot happier with how thinner I am now.

I’m pro-choice. I have strong advocacies for giving people their rights to choose for themselves for as long as the boundaries, which are other people’s welfares, are set. From this, I draw out my support to total abolition of discrimination of all sorts and of anything that causes poverty (corruption, etc.) basically because from this social state comes many variations of disregarded rights.

I believe in a creator of all things but I don’t really have the passion to drag myself into worship. I always thought worship would mean giving thanks. But then, I didn’t ask to be created. I think I’d only thank for something that’s given to me that (1) isn’t my right, rather, a privilege and (2) I asked for.

I was born into a physically abusive family and I have grown with the same violent blood to keep myself from getting beaten up. From an early age, I criticized people who forced me into a culture of “maski ano mangyari, pamilya ay pamilya” (whatever happens, you should love your family because they’re your family). Blood is just dense liquid, nothing more. I never liked it when Filipinos sentimentalized small stuff.

I have two cats and they make me so happy. They don’t have names but they do go by the generic cat labels, “miming(s)”. One is white with gray patches and black stripes and the other is black. I got them from a friend whose mom wanted to drop them into an urban river when they were just 1-week-old kittens. Now they’re 8-months big and heavy poopers.

The previous paragraphs are excerpts from larger stories I cannot really tell not because I don’t know how to but because I’m not sure how big these stories can become. Not big like famous or something like that. Big, as in, interconnected to a larger web of stories of myself and of other people. I don’t really want to give myself that kind of stuff to think about. These are paragraphs that enumerate facts about me, nevertheless. But these are not me. I will never know the limits of the entity of me and of course, I wouldn’t want to give my identity a set of barriers.


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