a list of things i thought i would no longer be after 30

During Friday’s night out with the girls, they reminded me about how, at seventeen, I had boldly said that I wanted to die at 35. I remember none of it, but apparently I also said things about wanting to get educational plans for imagined future children, and similar nonsense, so. Yeah, I said a lot of shit as a young college kid who had no idea life was about to be very different from what had been within my imagination at the time.

“Thirty-five,” they said, “is only four years away.”

“Fuck,” I said.

“And we’re doing Greece pa nga when we’re 35, di ba?”

“God, Kate, please don’t die in Greece?”

“I can’t make a 100-percent fool-proof promise, but I will *try*–”

“Bawal mamatay sa Greece.”

“Ok, ok–”


What had I been thinking, really, talking about dying at 35? Well, something has to be said about someone who’d wanted to go at her peak: Suppose this was someone who thought she’d be done by 35? To be fair, I was seventeen, so I must have thought simply doubling my lifespan at the time would have been enough for me to do everything I wanted?

It’s strange and naive, because while the years between turning twenty and turning thirty have taught me a LOT, I am most definitely not done learning just yet.

tl;dr – Kate at 17 was stupid and wrong.


These days, I am still stupid and these days I am still wrong, and I was mulling over these thoughts as I was on the way to the grocery store on Sunday morning: There are a lot of things people expect 30-somethings to no longer be. Such as stupid and wrong, of course.

Over dinner on Friday, we also talked about skydiving. A friend said something about wanting to do it when we were younger. “But then again, married now,” she said, and apparently, that was that.

“So it does make sense to be reckless in youth,” I said. “Growing up, you tend to become more risk-averse.” At which point I dutifully began drawing a graph in my head: Risk-aversion is directly proportional to age.

Later, another one chimed in to note: “However, when you reach a certain age — say, 60 — you tend not to pay attention too much to the risk anymore.”

Which makes sense, so I edited the graph in my head to depict a bell graph, the line dipping after 60.


So older, you could no longer be stupid, no longer be wrong, no longer be reckless. (Or so expectations go)


Which brings me to the point of this entry, which is supposedly a list of things I thought I would no longer be after 30 (but still kind of am):

Continue reading a list of things i thought i would no longer be after 30

a decade under the influence

Taking Back Sunday – A decade under the influence


So I’m marking my tenth year with The Paper today — true to form, I’m doing so at work. It seems fitting. Can you imagine ten years going by? I have a hard time fully grasping it myself, but here I am. I still remember introducing myself to class as someone who has been with the same company for the past ten years and getting more gasps of disbelief than that time I told them I was in a relationship with a woman for eight. Haha.

our printer did a thing.

A photo posted by kate pedroso (@thegshift) on

Wipe you clean with dirty hands


May has been a good month. I have been sending out Tinyletters instead of blogging, and writing a ridiculous amount of things that never see the legitimate light of day. My sister graduated from med school the other day. I’m all right. Everything’s quite all right 🙂

a father’s day post

My father and I may not hang out that often and much, but when we do everything’s pretty golden. One of my recent favorite moments is that time he introduced me to English-speaking distant relatives as “my son” — we were in the airport in Iloilo that time my grandfather (his father) died. This was a couple of Junes ago.

I concluded it was an inside joke between him and Auntie — I like to think they’ve already made their peace with the fact that I am gay, and that there are no grandchildren coming anytime soon from any of their children. Some mornings though on my way to work, I think about that other life: Could be twenty-nine with a kid or two, like some of my friends right now. Could be that my father and auntie would fawn impossibly over smaller versions of me and whoever’s the other half of those children. It’s a surreal scenario, of course; one that requires an uncomfortable stretching of my imagination. I think it’s the heat and the fumes.

Some parents would say we should have kids for the future. I do not understand this concept very much; must be that my father belonged to that school of parenting that wanted nothing in return. The moment I moved out of the house, my dad thought I could handle whatever it was I got into; that I was old enough to know better. This was his reaction to that time he found out I smoked. At the time, I was twenty and the truth was I did not know any better. Yet he believed in me so severely I took it upon myself to prove him right.

It’s been a rough almost half-year for us; one that probably has them thanking all of us that we don’t have a sub-generation yet to support. Yet for all the difficulties, when we get together it is always pleasant and childlike, like we’re all using our breaks with each other as recharge checkpoints.

My dad, the powerbank. I wouldn’t object to this modern metaphor at all.

#throwback: happy birthday, doc!

Just leaving this here because it’s my sister’s birthday today — I stopped counting na when we both turned twenties. LOL. Hands down the most intelligent and hardworking girl I know. =)

Just me and my sister hanging out at the temple in our leotards, no big deal. (I may be 8; she may be 4.)
Just me and my sister hanging out at the temple in our matching leotards, no big deal. (I may be 8; she may be 4. Also, upo ko pa lang, alam na.)

I’m pretty sure this photo was taken in Cebu, maybe by our mother, who liked taking us places back in the day — and dressing us up similarly. Ugh, mom. Why. Haha. Looking back, perhaps I should treasure this era and call it The Golden Days When My Sister And I Could Dress Alike hahaha. Check out my bangs! Check out her twin pig tails! Man, having daughters must have been a riotous joy for our mother. =)

what i read: the unmothered (new yorker)

Oh wow. What to say about Ruth Margalit’s “The Unmothered” over at the New Yorker.

About two weeks after her death, I wrote in my diary: “The finality of it. When she was sick, at least things kept changing. She felt better, or worse. It was a good time to talk, or it wasn’t. Things happened. Now nothing is happening. This is it.”

A year later, my diary reads: “Hardest thing: overhearing colleagues tell their mothers ‘Love you’ on the phone. So casually.”

Aaaaand just when I thought I was done with Mother’s Day. Heh. Kidding of course — I always read things like this, because every time I do it makes me feel like 1) I’m not alone and 2) I am doing a shit job at writing about my mother, considering. Heh.

Some nights I wonder if my mother and I would have had this Call in the middle of the fucking night kind of relationship — one where I could just pop in and call around midnight just to tell her what I’d been doing at the paper for the past twelve hours. Maybe it would matter to her as much as it does to me? Maybe we’ll be angry at the same things together? Idk. Not that I have a shortage of people with whom I could be angry about the same things, but you know. Whatever.

In my journal from that period, instead of writing how I felt, I sought out and copied everything that seemed to express what to me was inexpressible. From Proust, I took: “For henceforth you will always keep something broken about you.” From C. S. Lewis: “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.” From Joan Didion: “A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty.” From O’Rourke: “Am I really she who has woken up again without a mother? Yes, I am.” From a short story by Alice Munro: “What he carried with him, all he carried with him, was a lack, something like a lack of air, of proper behavior in his lungs, a difficulty that he supposed would go on forever.” From one by David Long: “Eventually, a truck would come rattling down… a car door would chuff, and the world would go on—not where it had left off but on the other side of this nothing time. And when it did, though she couldn’t quite see it yet, [she] would begin the never-ending task of not forgetting her mother.”

Guess what I am doing right now.