Thursday, February 14, 2008

February, Φεβρουάριος, 2 月, febrero, fevrier, febrraio, febrar, whatever.

It's been a long time since I've written (Heath Ledger died!); things have just been sooooo busy! It's almost unbelievable, actually. I still have some time before I teach, so I figured now would be a good time to un-procrastinate and actually write!

I last wrote-wrote before I left Houston. And now I'm back in Houston, with a month plus-plus in between as writing hiatus. It is hard to get an act once it is put off; it is no longer habit, you see. So on this day of hearts, I have chosen to write--to send love not to one but to all who have shown me love, in various forms.

Before anything else, big news (but since last year): I am no longer vegan. My colleagues know this, and so do my parents, but I am saying it now. I am sure my parents are relieved and happy, but I credit it to teaching Bikram yoga. Honestly? Bikram is absolutely correct: this yoga is not for vegetarians. Maybe I just wasn't doing veganism right, but it gets too hard after a while, plus with living on your own. I need protein when I am up in that stage and telling people what to do with energy, assertion and a happy, smiling face! Also, to remember and assimilate the dialog? Vegetables just don't cut it. And carbs in the morning before class? Flatulence city, so no thank you. Protein--in the form of whey (thanks, Lynn!), fish, and the occasional fowl, have helped me improve--and continue improving--exponentially. Plus it cut the snacking and junk food out, so there you go. As to the rest of veganism, sorry, but I detest insects; I avoid killing them, but I will use repellent if necessary. Leather is still an issue with me, as is silk to a lesser degree, but I'm ok with wool, as long as it was done humanely (no mulesing). Gasoline and jet fuel is necessary, too: can't avoid that. I am still open to veganism, but at this point in time, it just takes too much time and effort. So maybe someday in the future...

What really bites about going back home--to the Philippines (because Houston is home too but different)--is the travel time. And leaving during the holidays is pure, utter CHAOS, to put it mildly. An hour-long delay in San Francisco cost me my connecting flight to Hong Kong and I had to stay the night in the airport hotel, after hours of running around looking for someone to help me get a flight to Manila. But all's well that ends well: through pleading, prayer, and what-have-you, I got on a plane to Manila the next day. However, that experience kind of put me off holiday traveling, especially Christmas, so I don't even want to think about this year's holidays! But anyway. I'm back, in Houston. And believe it or not, I am only getting back into the groove of things. My first class back was awkward, but it's gotten better, especially when I am a student in another class, myself. I am grateful for how pure the yoga is taught here, enhancing my own classes; things aren't as great elsewhere (I should know). Hopefully, I'm back to stay.

I told this to Joani, but I love Houston: I love the pace, the people, the immense possibilities that can be had, right here. There is that saying, "Everything's big in Texas," and it is the immenseness of possibility, of people's hearts, I think, in this warm Southern state that make it big. I especially like the neighborhood I'm in: right near downtown (though I've never really been there except this one night to listen to a band with Ana), near Rice U, with funky shops around (Gamestop, Whole Earth, and Teahouse tapioca included!), and Wholefoods a good walk away--enough to look around and reflect. Having Whole Foods nearby is spoiling me to only look for fresh, organic produce! But I guess that's best for the long run: we're talking about our bodies, after all. OK, so the weather can be a bit nuts (going from a pleasant 70 Fahrenheit to a miserable 45 in hours, if not minutes), but it's a part of this state's identity. At least gas is a bit cheaper, and taxes aren't as astronomical as California's. But...I don't know: there is a "6th sense," a sort of radar one has if a place, a situation "feels" right, or wrong. Ever since I've started traveling on my own, and especially now, living on my own, I have come to rely on it and not discount it. There are certain places that have a weird feel, and I avoid that place if on my own, and there are places that just give a warm vibe, and I am at ease. The place I'm great, and Houston itself, even with its immensity, matches itself with a big heart, so far from what I've seen and felt, however kooky that may sound. And I like it here. A lot. Not to mention I work in a good place, surrounded by good people. The yoga is taught the way it should be; people are (mostly) oh so kind and supportive. As I told a colleague, why mess with something good? It's been harder on my parents having me so far away (my boss knows what I'm talking about!), and there were tears on both sides when it became apparent I wanted a life away from the home I grew up in, but there was some reluctant acceptance. Besides, I wouldn't have decided so if the situation weren't good. But it is. Things are still a bit rough around the edges--growing always is (if it's not, something will present itself later on, so better earlier than later, I think), but I am blessed with supportive parents and great colleagues who treat me like family, thank the gods. Armed with these, I can only grow onward and upward :-) Next up, to learn how to drive. Especially in Houston, this is an essential skill! Then maybe we'll see about web design and holistic nutrition in the future. My parents are all for it, and I told them not to buy me any more stuff: an education is one of the most important gifts; I am glad my parents think so, too.

And because Ralph tagged me: "List 10 things that make you happy"

1. backbends
2. music, music, music.
3. walking, wandering, however you call it.
4. browsing/shopping
5. taking my time
6. engaging in happy conversation
7. dogs (and of course puppies!)
8. order and neatness
9. flowers
10. efficiency

Y'all can create your own list of 10 that make you happy, then tell me :-)

From Houston with love,
Therese (Trissa)