Monday, December 28, 2009

Love Happens, and Christmas too

(pokes head out and sniffs the air)

“Is it over?”

Hi, folks. Guess we’re back online. If you care to know, yep, it was a particularly hard one this year. My self-taught headology explained to me that the 3rd year is a leave-don’t-go kind of phase, where memories are fading, and sometimes, even the pain recedes. But that just makes you fight harder to keep it here, right here, not letting go, because that’s one more thing to lose, and your heart will just break, or stop beating altogether if you lose one more thing that’s precious. Or at least that’s what Dr. Liv says. But don’t count it as an official prognosis; she’s 3 units short of a minor degree in Psychology. I can hear her quacking from a mile away.


How I Spent My Holidays



Anyhoo, my self-imposed hermitage did allow me to do super fantastic things such as wake up at 11 a.m., stress myself by playing Plants versus Zombies, forget to brush my teeth, cook food nobody in the house would touch with a ten-foot pole, and watch dvds one after the other.

I got all the gifts I wanted but none of those I actually desired: i.e. 320g external hardware drive versus halaya cooked by Daddy, Fundamentals of Drawing exercise book versus corny, useless, touching gift from Mummy, a book thumb ring versus 1 million pesos, and a beaded cellphone bag versus hunky, cerebral boyfriend. Kudos to my sister though for being the one bright spot during the entire wreckage that the holidays have become for me. We can’t get all we desire or want, but we get what we need. What I needed was family. She was there. Sniff, sniff.

Now enough of the Hallmark stuff.


Love Happens: The Movie



Let’s talk Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston. I haven’t the foggiest idea how their Christmas was, but I sure spent mine with them. Watched Love Happens on dvd (do you have to ask how?), and it was a spot of cure for me.

It is NOT an exceptional film, so don’t go waiting for it to be nominated in the Oscars or the Globe. It was even kind of slow going, and didn’t provide me enough full-belly laughter that would qualify it as the perfect romcom. But, and that starts with a big B, you know how some movies could just be so dreadful, but it came at the right time, and you finish the movie bringing something more with you than you did before you settled in? It was like that. Because, as lackluster as others may see it, the movie had something that reached out to me on 2 levels:

Being A-Okay


It talks about grief. Aaron Eckhart plays a motivational speaker who literally wrote the book on being A-Okay after the death of a loved one. He conducts workshops on how to move on, and the lingo he uses is familiar to me. Haven’t I been reading the same books, and telling family members the same thing? You become a sort of cheerleader and task master at the same time. But there’s a time when you just can’t be strong anymore, and you have to come to terms with the grieving still left undone. The difference between us is that, he didn’t allow other people to be strong for him, and he carries his burden alone. So even if he’s blabbering on about taking the first step, he hasn’t actually done any of it himself yet.


Meanwhile, I have been a very spoiled little girl, moaning and groaning, and the people around me ready to give me hugs and a hearty “Cheerios, girl!” greeting every time I tag along with my nimbo-cumulus cloud following my wake. Believe me, I can’t thank these people enough.

On Beng Fake for A Living


It shows the inside take on being a facilitator/ trainor. And no, my profession doesn’t get satirized in this one. In the movies today, there’s a lot of satire showing how “trainors” do all these bull to manipulate other people’s feelings so as to reach a “facipulated” goal. There’s also a lot of shit showing that self-help or capability builders are “fake” and a tad bit overdone. Maybe it’s because you have to be perky most of the time during sessions, and we all know nobody is that happy unless they’re high on something.

What very few people understand is it’s not an easy job, to switch your emotions on and off like a light bulb on meth. You have to have an energy level the same with or higher than the cumulative energies of the participants in the room; you have to diffuse positive, optimistic energy that affirms change can happen. And when it’s needed, you have to be the stern task master as well. Once inside a room, what you want takes a backseat to what the participants want and what they actually need. You walk on eggshells, radars and gears on full whirr trying to detect the slightest change in the human emotional temperature, putting out fires before they start, and other times, starting fires that you hope will keep burning for a long, long time.


So you see, you really have to believe your stuff before you conduct sessions because otherwise, you will drain your soul of optimism and life. I should know. My favorite scene was when Eckhart’s character was shown nervous and pensive outside the workshop room, waiting for his name to be called. And when it’s his cue, he walks in, flashes a great big smile, and shakes hands with everyone as if he’s Dubya on his way to claiming his Presidency.

It’s not fakery, believe me. It’s the business of change, so you need headology. They’re smiling not because they want you to believe they’re special. They’re smiling because they want you to understand you are.

Love Happens will show in theaters by January. It’s not a happy-joy-joy movie, and que-horror, Jennifer Aniston is in it, but she's not as irritating here as in her other movies and might be worth your time. If you have the chance, grab it. Relax and watch the movie.

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