Custodio: Mark, me and unfortunate things

AND so I slept through the earthquake yesterday. I was so surprised to find all the post-earthquake posts when I checked my social media wall.

How does one sleep through an intensity 7.2 earthquake from the epicenter? Well? Sound sleep from a 16 to 21-hour a day work week! I had been lacking so much sleep that my body made the necessary adjustments for me to catch up! Really, we have been having a lot of these earth shakes that it is difficult to ignore!

We all notice the fact that it has been happening all over the Philippines with intensities are hard to ignore!

In a way, it is difficult to dismiss the possibility of The Big One when all these have transpired in the last few months. Makes you think that you definitely have to get ready for it by preparing your emergency kits and supplies at home and at the same time, brush up on your earthquake drills! We know it is a good thing to be ready for any disaster.

We need to prepare for worst case scenarios given the things that have been happening. We need to be serious about preparations because it helps keep panic at bay. Let us be prepared everyone!

As I was getting ready for work, I am filled with thoughts about the unfortunate things that transpired while we were all sleeping (most of us were, I presume). Thoughts not only concerning the earthquake but also the attacks in Lapanday.

How can a natural calamity and man-made chaos happen in one day? It did make me feel a bit forsaken waking up to these turn of events. As a regular citizen, I cannot help but feel worried about the situation. Who wouldn't be? It had me shaking my head, sighing and wondering whether the timing was deliberate as we all know that the Asean is ongoing. It made my heart sink just thinking about it.

I always tell myself that life goes on, no matter how the challenges seemed insurmountable and the likely outcome, disheartening. We have to move on and just try to make the most of every situation. We have to keep hoping for the best and for peace to win in the end.

That being said, I really do not dwell on it. Like every Sunday, I would like to "spend" it filled with positive thoughts and with a lot of conviction that the coming week will be awesome!

I want to end the week and start the new one on a positive note hence, I would rather much talk about pleasant things. Like painting for example.
I paint. I have been doing so the past three years and I enjoy it. It is both calming and therapeutic for me. I honestly never considered doing it in the past because I do not know how to draw (and I still can’t).

The happiness and fulfilment that it gives me is so precious that I aum truly thankful for it. My journey into painting has come at the heels of a string of health emergencies and near-deaths that I had experienced in the past eight to ten years of my life.

As I struggled and held on to fight my battles, I made small promises to myself should I be victorious over my challenges. Painting was one of those indulgences. I told myself that if I managed to stay alive after a serious condition landed me in the ICU. I promised myself I would paint no matter how ridiculous the idea is to me. I would do it because my survival meant that I was given the chance to do it, to leave no stone unturned and to not be held back by self-doubt and insecurity.

After all, we should do things for ourselves and for our own personal satisfaction first-- not to please others nor as society dictates.

Of course we know that there are universal guidelines that we subscribe to, like to do things that do not bring harm and stuff like that, that is a given. Right?

Really, we all should do things for ourselves. We should give in to those childhood dreams that has somehow survived our journey to adulthood. It was painting for me, it can be ballet for you or diving or taking up a second course or whatever it is that adulting cannot seem to squash or quench. Do that.

Try it for your peace of mind, for your personal satisfaction. You just might be surprised how good it feels and much more the world has to offer for you to explore and discover.

Which brings me to Mark. More specifically Mark Rothko, the American Abstract Expressionist painter who created No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red), the most expensive abstract painting in the world (it sold for $186 million dollars).

I had just finished studying his works as part of my workload in Post-War Abstract Painting offered by the Museum of Modern Art. It was quite an awesome week for me because it brought back memories of my first encounter with his works.

I cried ugly tears at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles when I realized I had walked into a room filled with his paintings. I could not help but feel emotional about "getting to know" him in depth and learning his views on art.

Learning about him has inspired me even more to just keep painting, knowing that the passion that I have for it has allowed me to find an outlet not only for creative release but find personal satisfaction as well.

That feeling that you are able to do something that you really love for the sole reason that you love it really nurtures your soul.

I hope you find it in your crazy schedules to indulge in things that you have always wanted to do. To be able to try things that you have always wanted to do but never did because something held you back in the past really feels good!

Reward yourself with the opportunity to experience it and discover how much joy it brings you!

Happy Sunday everyone! :)
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