Saturday, May 11, 2013

Reader question #2: Why are you so humble?

That's from an anonymous reader who I suspect I actually know in real life because look at her full question:

"I'm inspired at how you gave up your glamorous career to be a full time mom. You were at your peak but you chose to stay home and be with your family. What's so inspiring about it is you did it with so much joy that you make the housewife career so glam! I'm not surprised because you always are so down-to-earth. At events, you're so friendly and approachable, unlike other magazine editors who act like they're such a big deal. How do you stay so humble?"

First of all, thanks for the kind words. You're very sweet!

Second, I don't know any magazine editors "who act like they're such a big deal." I think they're just misunderstood. Many of them are actually very busy or very shy. Yes, shy. They're writers. Writers are shy. Plus, believe it or not, editors don't really like going to events, especially events at night because they've been at work all day and they're tired. Making a magazine is not easy, no matter what the movies say. Then while the rest of the workforce is on their way home to their kids and a nice hot dinner, editors have to dress up and put on uncomfortable heels and attend events that start way too late and serve very little food and... It's not the best part of their job really. So if they look sour and are short with you, make a mental note to plan the next event during the day!

Actually, if you do meet editors who act like they're such a big deal, just do the math. Let's say a magazine has a circulation of 40,000 copies. Multiply that with its newsstand price of, say, P100 and that's a total of P4 million a month. Multiply that with 12 issues and you get P48 million a year. That's just circulation. We haven't added the profit from ads. Now a magazine staff is usually just a few people so these 5 to 7 people make millions upon millions of pesos for their publishing company. So if some magazine editors act like they're a big deal, that's because they are a big deal!

Third, I'm not as humble and friendly as you think haha. Especially since I became a mom, I think I've become very impatient with people because I don't want to waste my time. Time spent with other people, whether at meetings or at events, means time spent away from my babies!


This was taken 19 years ago!

Fourth, how do I stay humble? Well, let me share with you a chat I had with an old friend about our upcoming high school reunion next year. Background: I studied in Manila Science High School. It's a really good school for really smart kids. But I don't think it's a good school for soft hearts. It was tough, fiercely competitive. I still shudder when I think about my high school years. It was not an easy time. But, hey, I graduated. That makes me smart! So back to my conversation with my friend.

Friend: Why aren't you going? It's our 20th year! Don't you want to go and see how everyone else is doing?

Me: That's what Facebook is for.

Friend: But don't you want to let our classmates see you're big time now?

Me: I am so not big time! I'm a lifestyle writer. I write about fashion and beauty products and celebrities. I don't even design or make anything. Meanwhile, our classmates are doctors, surgeons, engineers, scientists, researchers, mathematicians, professors. Me? I'm ridiculous!

So, to finally answer your question, I stay humble because I know my place in the world. It's a lovely place, I'm very grateful, but I haven't really done anything that will change the course of history. I'm from a family of talented musicians and singers but I can't play any instrument or sing. My friends now are entrepreneurs while I'm still figuring out how to start a business. In the great scheme of things, I'm not really hot shit. And that's why I'm so friendly and approachable!

11 comments:

  1. Hey, we're from the same batch! 20 years na rin kami since graduating from high school. Baka nagkasalubong na rin tayo sa Diliman no? I think I had blockmates from Masci. :D

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    1. We're actually 20 years next year =) 1994. Oops. I'll edit that!

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    2. I see. You're a batch younger.

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  2. "but I haven't really done anything that will change the course of history..."

    Hhhmmm maybe... but, you're influencing other women out to there to become good mothers too! So, you're actually changing other people's lives through your brilliant insights, humble attitude, smart ideas, fantastic writing... and just by being the wonderful you. ;)

    Happy Mother's Day Ms. Frances!

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    1. Aww. I'm just living my life and if it helps anyone out, then yes, it's a life well lived =) Thank you!

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  3. You might not see yourself as someone humble, but you really are friendly and approachable. I don't know many bloggers who will even reply to my senseless questions on Twitter, but you do! And take note, professional writer ka pa at hindi lang basta-basta blogger. I love your outlook, Ms. Frances. I totally look up to you! :-)

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    1. Naks! That's because I only have a few followers (thanks for following me!!!) so kaya ko pa sumagot. Imagine kung libo-libo na kayo! Hindi ko na kakayanin mag-reply =D

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  4. You really are humble and approachable. I distinctly remember our first encounter. We had the same VR going to the L'Oreal event where we tried on wigs and had our photos taken. You were so easy to talk to. A few days later I saw our photos on your blog, I was so kilig! :) More power to you! I've always admired your spunk.

    Btw, I saw you a few months back at Poco Deli, but I became shy because you were with your whole family hehe.

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    1. And I still have the book you gave me! Thanks so much =D I really really appreciate the gesture!

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  5. Though this is late but I enjoyed this post of yours. I have to agree with you especially during your High School years, Ms. Frances. My sister was also from the same school. I had seen how stressful and competitive it was knowing most of the graduates either went to UP Manila or UP Diliman.

    But so I really enjoyed this one and in a little way you showed me how I should live my live to think I'm still young. And you have your point with magazine editors...but some still look like a snob.

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    1. They're actually really nice people! Promise! =)

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