June 26, 2012 by Banuk
In the midst of her romance-gone-shitty, boards review and my frenzy freelance sked, Jorgette and I had a chance to squeeze in a few hours of hearty conversation on love, life and dreams. We exchanged interesting insights on what’s wrong with Filipino men which inevitably led to discussing “standards”. It was at this point when she showed me her personal list of Life Partner Non-Negotiables. It included the usual “good sense of humor” to “good set of teeth”. I thought it was interesting. I vowed to make mine too, just for the fun of it. I also found it funny that she carries it with her every time. As if to consciously remind herself, should the need arise. It totally makes sense. After all, standards as “non-negotiables” are much like daily to-dos. Reminds us to accomplish a task as humdrum as laundry – when you keep telling yourself at the start of each day to finally do it today but something always comes up. Then one day, you remember you have this mustard skirt which will look good with this new top. Then you stop and think: where is that skirt anyway? Lost? Borrowed? Too tired to scurry the pile of dirty clothes? So you settle with the black skirt you wore yesterday instead.
Sure we have that vague idea of the kind of person we want to end up with. But at this fast moving age of 15 minute-fame and viral shallowness, it’s easy to get lost. The Non-Negotiable List will then prove helpful in the following scenarios: when faced with “maybe good” options, when in a seeming settled settling relationship and when nobody nice comes around. It is most especially helpful at times when you forget the image of your best self. It will remind you of your most beautiful possibility – through the image of that best person you know you deserve. And best deserves you.
So, I will write mine soon. Meanwhile, I’ll write my Life Non-Negotiables first. You may call it bucket list or mid-year resolutions or call it whatever you wanna. Here they are:
1) Learn a new language.
When I was a kid, it took me only a couple of weeks to finally learn Bisaya. It’s different now, of course. You can’t teach old dogs new trick – yes, but it’s always never too late. A new language is like the classic white polo must-have. It’s fashionably useful in many ways if you have it handy. Imagine in a zombie apocalypse where you suddenly find yourself lost with a group of hot Mexicans. A little donde estas mi hombres just might save your life.
2) Learn life survival skills.
Life saving. Driving. Diving. Krav-maga. Rock climbing. Signature forging. Gun shooting. Heckling. Cooking. Fire fighting. Fishing. Midwifery 101. First aid. Lock picking. Aeronautics. Sailing.
Again, these skills come handy during a zombie apocalypse, imagine: when the only way out to the next safe town is through a yacht. Sail for your lives bitches!
3) Learn “-making” skills
Crafts making. Candle, soap, bag, shoes making. Baking. Pottery. Crochet. Love making. Baby making.
I can’t be the next zombie bait if I make everybody in the group happy, can I? Say, newly crocheted sweaters for everyone? :-)
4) Travel more. And more. And far. And farther.
6) Have kids and be a mother.
7) Be someone’s wife, if necessary, if applicable. But in case it fails, be this cool mom instead:
8) Be a grandmother i.e., live longer i.e., try to be healthier…now.
9) Die every once in a while…
Skydive. Bungee jump. Cliff dive. These. Love. Set fire a fart. Love again. Fail. Accept life literally ends. Stand on the edge…of a lot of things. Go crazy bald. Be stupidly bold. Love.
…then live again after every while.
10) Never. Stop.
For the zombies will eat you out alive!
So again, you may call it bucket list but I prefer non-negotiables. They are, after all, more than just a checklist of experiences. They’re proofs of a certain “me” I’d like to create. And maybe, meet and greet someday.
Caveat, standards are flaky so they must be uttered with caution. They may be personal, but it’s best if they are inclusive rather than exclusive. Though flaky, standards are necessary. They push us to be better. To strive to be, not perfect, but always better. Standards should change for it proves lessons are learned and a life is well-led but what’s essential should remain. What’s that should be clear to you. As for me, it’s this: the true, the good and the beautiful. A life of truth, goodness and beauty is a life worth striving for.