2018, A Retrospective

2018 is coming to a close. It has been one hell of a year, with amazing highs and some pretty deep lows. This year has also a been of discovery, which opened me up to a lot of personal breakthroughs. Speaking of breakthroughs, I remember talking to a former colleague of mine in the Human Resources department at my old employer, where she told me about how our individual struggles build us and make us stronger over time. She was right. Over the past year,  I’ve learned how to reframe these struggles as building blocks for growth. Here is a long, detailed account of my 2018, in case you are interested.

2018 started out quite negatively. It was negative, in a sense that a lot of self-loathing and unpleasant self-talk has manifested in my work life. After almost five months in public relations, I got reassigned to our agency’s digital team. When I first learned that I was going to join the digital team, I was close to losing it. Not to mention, the new assignment reopened work-related traumas from my first job, to the extent that I could feel my demon of an ex-boss hurling invectives at me in my head whenever I commit mistakes at work. These apprehensions and fears heightened the performance anxiety that I have due to my ADHD. This left me feeling lonely and distrustful towards people, because I was anxious of screwing up and being treated like I was incompetent. I wanted to prove to myself (and to others) that I can get regularized. I can keep a job. I can stay in one.  I did what I could to stay afloat and grow into the role, even if it had some trade-offs on my social and emotional health. I was that way for a couple of months, and now, I’ve been doing my best to untangle and unlearn the habits that I’ve developed from this experience.

Fast forward to the last week of May, and I got some pleasant work-related news: I got regularized! This was a HUGE deal for me. When I received my regularization letter, a huge weight was taken off my shoulders. It meant that I wasn’t as bad as I thought I was, and that I could unleash my potential. Since then, I’ve learned how to ask for help and believe in the people who have helped me a lot with work. Not to mention, the office environment has been a lot less hostile, which made it easier for me to let my guard down.

I’ve said at least close to 500 words about my work life here, but to sum it up, it has been quite a journey. I still have a long way to go in terms of fully embracing and loving what I do for work, but I’m grateful that my job is an intersection of what I like to do and what the job market needs. More so, I am grateful for my boss, my teammates, and several other colleagues who have cheered me on and encouraged me to be better at what I do. Their support has helped me move forward and work through the past traumas and apprehensions that I had towards digital work, among many other things.

Now that the work stuff is out of the way, this year has also been a huge one for me as a K-pop fangirl. In January, I started getting into NCT, and things have snowballed from there. I’ve grown to love NCT (and K-pop) so much that it opened me up to new friends and a shared love for the group. (Also: I have accumulated a boatload of NCT merch this year)

Aside from getting into NCT, I also watched two K-pop concerts this year, which are Super Show 7 and the Eyes on You tour. These two concerts were spur-of-the-moment decisions, and they were really fun shows! I’ve already shared some bits about them here, so I don’t need to say much.

Beyond work and fangirling, this year has also a been a year of self-discovery and lessons. I’ve learned (and I’m still learning) a lot of things about myself this year. The first personal truth that I have come to terms with is that I’ve been struggling with thoughts on self-harm and self-loathing. I’ve denied it for years, and now that I’ve acknowledged it, I’m working on taking better care of myself. I still find it ironic that I wrote this bit with an injured knee (but it’s getting better, so yay!).

The second thing that I discovered about myself is that I’m actually more open to dating anyone. Although I’m still attracted to men, I’ve become more receptive towards liking other genders. I may not have any experience with dating right now, but I’m sure that I will love whoever I want to love if the opportunity comes.

The third thing that I’ve accepted about myself is that I am quite introverted and weird, and that’s perfectly okay. I’ve always been the weird, awkward girl in my friend groups, and socializing has been quite a struggle for me. Before, I would usually try my best to fit in and flex my personality to be liked by everyone, but now, I’ve come to terms that I’m not for everybody. However, this also means that I shouldn’t be a judgmental asshole, and that I have to exercise kindness and patience to everyone.

On top of these lessons and discoveries, there were other amazing things that have happened this year: there’s the New York trip, I saw Taylor Swift live, I got more ear piercings, wore more cozy pants and striped shirts, bought more makeup, met new people, and drank good coffee.

Overall, 2018 has been really good to me. I’m grateful for the people, the opportunities, and the experiences that came my way, and I will treasure them forever. I honestly believe that this was the year where I started getting things going for me, and I hope that momentum goes on in 2019. I hope 2019 is a lot better and a lot more exciting for everyone. I wish everyone the best.

 

 

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Observations and Notes: Knee Injury Edition

Hello there!

As you can tell in the title, I sustained a knee injury. I twisted my left knee from working out two weeks ago, and it was quite a painful, gruesome experience. While I have seen progress with my knee and my overall mobility, there’s still some panic and fear looming (and also, if we see each other, you might notice that I’ve been walking in a pretty funny way).

I will spare you the nitty-gritty on how the injury came to be, but rather, I’d share with you some takeaways over the past two weeks as I deal with life with my injury.

My biggest observation from this is learning how to slow down and learning how to honor your own pace. Prior to this injury, I’ve taken a liking to expediting things, and you know, keeping up with everyone. In short, I like going hard and fast when it comes to living my life. It’s an attempt to keep up with everyone and seeing things as some race after being dubbed as slow and dumb by people growing up, and I’ve taken it into different areas of my life. While it’s okay to step up your game and speed things up in other areas of your life (in my case, it’s writing for work and doing other work tasks), there are areas in your life where you have to slow down and trust your own rhythm.  With my injury at the moment, I’ve learned how to take my time when it comes to doing other things, and listen to my body when it comes to my limits and whatnot. In the process of slowing down, I’ve come to accept that it’s okay to miss out on things, especially if those things compromise certain areas of my life, like my health and safety.

Speaking of health, I have also started becoming more mindful of my health and overall well-being. I’m trying to incorporate healthier food into my diet, and I’m doing my best to do low-impact workouts when it comes to my knee’s condition.

Another important takeaway from this is that I’ve gotten closer to my family, especially with my dad. I know my dad and have always been quite close, but this incident made us spend more time together, especially during the last couple of months. It’s been an adjustment on my part in terms of my schedule, but it’s been quite helpful, since I struggle with tardiness a lot.

What else? Hmmm, remember when I mentioned about my struggle about asking for help and being more open towards others? It has never felt more real because of this injury. I’m usually very suspicious towards people, which is why I struggle with making (and keeping) friends. But I’m going off. Anyway, I noticed that the people around me have been concerned about my well-being. In the past few weeks I’ve been injured, I’ve received messages of concern and care from people. I’m grateful for that, and it makes me feel like I need to be more appreciative and grateful for others too.

On to more superficial things involving my injury, here’s a laundry list of the stuff that have made this ordeal bearable:

  1. Salonpas and topical pain relievers
  2. A good pair of flats or sneakers
  3. Commuting/walking buddies
  4. Stretching and bending exercises
  5. Tailored sailor pants
  6. Knee compression sleeves

Despite all these positive observations, I am not going to deny that there were some instances where I’ve noticed some negativity around me. There were times when people asked me “Kelan ba gagaling yang tuhod mo?” While I do have a hunch that this question was intended out of genuine concern for me, I do have gripes with it. But I’m just going to let it pass, since I’m more focused on my recovery.

The past two weeks involving my injury has been quite an eye-opening experience. I’m optimistic that my knee and my mobility will go back to normal in time. But for now, I’m relishing the progress that I’ve made.

 

 

 

 

Turning 24, And Making A Few Lifestyle Changes

If it isn’t obvious yet, I am already twenty-four years old (I turned 24 last August 12, by the way). As usual, I am very late to the party when it comes to processing these things.

Needless to say, birthdays are both strange and normal occurrences in one’s life. Yes, there’s the obvious fact that I’m a year older now, but there’s also that feeling that I’m not as old as what my birth certificate tells me to be.

But speaking of getting older and acting my age, I have been on a kick lately with a bunch of lifestyle changes. One of which is coming to work on time or coming to work earlier than what I’m accustomed to.  I’m almost always late to work, and it’s not good for my finances and productivity.

So far, the most feasible process that I came up with to rectify this problem is this: set multiple alarms, wake up at 5:00 am, leave the house at 7:20-7:30, and hitch with my dad on the way to work at least thrice a week. If he’s unavailable, I make it an effort to leave the house earlier and walk to the UV express station. I’m lucky that I work in the same city as my dad’s, so it’s easier for us. Not to mention, I get to save at least 150-200 Php a week with this arrangement. However, I’m still figuring out how I’ll go about this while my dad is out of town.

I’ve been coming to work on time for two weeks straight, and I’m doing my best to keep at it. It’s been good for my productivity and my bank account too. I don’t feel hurried or stressed when it comes to work, and I get to pace my workflow better now (with much credit to this Knock Knock to-do list notepad, a timer, and teamwork).

Another lifestyle change I’ve been gradually working on is developing an exercise routine and making slight alterations to my diet. I love junk food, pasta, and meat, but it’s making me feel bloated more frequently these days (I also struggle with buttoning up my pants— it’s THAT bad). Not to mention, my “exercise routine” has been limited to daily walks from my office to the UV express station in Park Square, lol. Speaking of exercise, I jogged around my village and ended up almost passing out. Perhaps I need to build endurance first, like how I would do it in the workplace. When it comes to eating, I’ll gradually tweak my servings and not order 2 pasta meals in one go.

I’m bad with consistency, and I hope that this approach will help me become more consistent with these changes. Wish me luck.

 

New York, a photo diary

I’m not gonna be super wordy here, so I’ll be sharing some of my favourite photos from my recent trip to the US. Maybe I miss New York a little too much.

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Brooklyn Bridge
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Just a portion of the protests I spotted while in DC. The message remains relevant across different areas of life, though.
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A major highlight of this trip was GOT7’s concert in Brooklyn! I’ve been a fan of them for at least a year and a half now, and this concert was a milestone in my life as a fangirl.
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I really tried to take good photos of them, but oh well. Still an awesome show!

 

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Glossier Showroom
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A slice of Central Park

A Bunch of Random Facts About Me

I’ve been blogging for years, and while I have an “about me” page, I feel like I haven’t really introduced or shared something about myself in a random, almost unfiltered manner. Here are some facts about myself, from the really obvious ones, to the not-so obvious ones:

  1. I have spent most of my life as a South girl— I have lived in Paranaque since 2000.
  2. My MBTI personality type has changed for around four times already. When I was younger, I was an ENTP/ENFP, and now, I currently see myself as an INFP/INTP. This change in personality can be attributed to a bunch of not-so pleasant circumstances in my life over the past few years.
  3. I am on k-pop stan twitter (and I am very active there!).
  4. My alcohol tolerance is dependent on the amount of food I consume. If I eat too little or too much, my alcohol tolerance dips.
  5. Speaking of alcohol, I love vodka sprite and San Miguel Pale Pilsen.
  6. I am almost always in striped shirts! I have around ten in my closet. (Actually, I have lost count of them)
  7. I initially decided to pursue a career in advertising because of a random perk: I’m not obliged to wear corporate attire every day! Nowadays, I see advertising as a career that intersects my passions and needs.
  8. I have tried several roles and tasks (social media, copywriting, accounts, events) in my two-year career in advertising (well it’s three technically, but that’s for another story), but I always go back to writing. Among the forms of writing I’ve done for work though, I find social media copywriting and online content writing to be my specialties.
  9. I wore braces for three years, and retainers for another three (unfortunately, I lost my retainers in my freshman year of college).
  10.  I like to cut my own hair! It’s a fun (and weird) way for me to gauge my hair’s texture and versatility.
  11. When I was younger, I wanted to become a magazine editor. This dream is still something that I hold on to, even if I’m currently working in advertising. But then again, advertising opens you up to new experiences.
  12. I grew up quite sheltered. Growing up, I never got invited to sleepovers, and other normal teenager-y things. My dad was quite strict with me back in grade school and high school, so a huge chunk of my life revolved around school, a few friends, and at home. Not to mention, I only learned how to commute to longer distances during my freshman year in college. I think I only started to come out of my sheltered shell when I entered my current job. It’s still an ongoing process, and I would like to be more well-rounded and socially adept in life.
  13. I would like to think that my sense of humor is highly influenced by Twitter and Tumblr meme culture. I tend to speak in meme language whenever I tweet, lol.
  14.  I once had a phase in college where I did film photography. I miss it though. I used to post my film photos here!
  15. My ultimate bias groups are GOT7, Super Junior, and NCT. I usually talk about them on my fan account on Twitter, lol.

A Summer Mix

Decided to make a playlist on Spotify featuring a bunch of season-appropriate songs. A good number of the songs in this playlist are some of my favourite K-pop songs from SHINee, NCT 127, EXO, and GOT7, while the rest are from acts such as Calvin Harris, Childish Gambino, Friendly Fires, and Haim.

This playlist is still a work-in-progress, so if you have any song suggestions, please let me know!

Something’s amiss

Hello again.

It has been quite a while since I sat down and attempted to write something, and actually focus on it from start to finish. You see, paying attention and focusing on things is a huge challenge for my ADHD brain. Ever since I can remember, I couldn’t focus on one thing at a time. There are so many things that I want to think about, as well as things that I want to do—- all at the same time. Maybe it’s because I have to prove other people that I am not lazy, dumb and incompetent as what people make out ADHD-ers to be. I can do a boatload of things, and that I am actually skilled at something.

It’s a slippery-slope of things, and I’m making a sad attempt to synthesize everything and make decent solutions out of them.

But I’m hopeful that I’ll grow, and be the person that I want to be– in spite of my ADHD.

Life Update: December 2017-March 2018

Hello there! Checking in with another blog post. I was supposed to publish a year-end reflection of sorts, but I think I am way too late to the game already. But to put 2017 in a nutshell, I would say that 2017 has been a little kinder to me than 2016. On the other hand, 2018 so far has been a mixed bag, but I would rather dwell on the more positive things rather than the missteps I encountered.

Now that the first quarter of 2018 is about to somewhat end, let me share some bits and pieces of the things that have happened over the last four months:

  • Last December, I went to Taiwan with my dad. We were supposed to go to Taiwan as a complete family, but my brother backed out at the last minute. A good chunk of our stay there consisted of trips to museums and cultural spots, while the rest was for walking, shopping, and navigating Taiwan (Taipei mostly). Also, did I mention that Taipei has a decent selection of K-pop merchandise? I was able to get a copy of Super Junior’s latest album, as well as a few magazines there. I want to go there again, and see the places that I haven’t been to—such as Jiufen!

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Day 2: A visit to Taipei 101

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  • At the start of January, I got reassigned to our company’s digital department. After experiencing PR work, I discovered that I was more comfortable and adept in fulfilling my tasks and responsibilities related to digital. At the moment, I am focused on content development and setting up of Facebook ads. It seems easy, but there are challenges along the way. So far, I like what I am doing, and I feel grateful for this opportunity. The way I see it now, my current position is an intersection of all my work experiences, as well as my passion for writing. I am excited to continue to improve and grow in this field, and finally move forward from my trauma with my first digital-related job.
  • Last Valentine’s Day, I had a very random encounter with the Korean actor Ji Soo at Greenbelt 4. At that time, I just came from the ladies’ bathroom at Greenbelt 4, and then I saw a bunch of girls in a huddle outside of the Gucci boutique. I asked what’s happening, and they were like, “Si Ji Soo ba ‘yan? Yung sa Strong Woman?” (“Is that Ji Soo, from Strong Woman Do Bong Soon?”). Unsurprisingly, I ended up fangirling with them and we were right that Ji Soo was indeed right before our very eyes at that Gucci boutique.
  • When it comes to cultural consumption, I was able to watch three movies– Lady Bird, Call Me By Your Name, and Black Panther. I really liked all three– CMBYN was gripping, Lady Bird was relatable, and Black Panther was exciting and groundbreaking.
  • I also went to Art Fair Philippines last week. I’ve been going there since 2015, and it continues to be bigger and more exciting every time I go there. While I initially had gripes with its steep entrance fee, visiting each exhibit was worth it. My favorites were Everyday Impunity (which was done in collaboration with Erwin Romulo), the photography exhibits (Neal Oshima and Weegee’s in particular), and Yeo Kaa’s “Sorry, Sorry, Sorry.”

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A hearty laugh / Weegee

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  • K-pop favorites? I have been listening to a lot of NCT lately. I’m having a bit of a NCT phase at the moment, just like how I did with Super Junior last December/early January. But so far, I’ve been enjoying NCT, Super Junior, SHINee, and GOT7’s music. I’m excited for GOT7 and NCT’s comebacks this week!

There you go! Those are just some of the life updates I have shared over the past four months. I still have a whole year ahead, which also means that I still have the whole year to pick up my pace as a writer again. Apologies for the very rushed entry. I just needed to get some things out of my head.

Notes: Money, Adulting, and More

I broke my phone’s LCD screen yesterday. I was walking on the way to SM Makati, until I dropped my phone near National Bookstore. My phone suffered a pretty massive fall, even if I had a tempered glass coating installed on it. When I went to a phone repair shop to get my tempered glass replaced, I learned that my phone screen broke with it too. Desperate and afraid, I immediately asked if I can have my phone repaired. Things did not go too well at that shop, so I moved to another store to get it fixed for a more reasonable price.

 

Luckily, I found a place that offered phone repairs for a decent price. I got my LCD fixed for around 2.5K, which was way cheaper than the price that my dad paid for when he had my phone fixed for the first time. Despite getting a good deal, I felt so stupid for being clumsy and distracted when it comes to handling things. I could’ve used the money that I spent for fixing my phone for other things.

 

This incident made me realize three important things. First, I am incredibly lucky to have a job that I love and that lets me earn in the process. Returning to the workforce reminded me that I must not take things for granted this time. Second, I need to be more careful. I’m very clumsy when it comes to handling valuables, and I need to be more mindful in taking care of them. Lastly, I need to be wiser with my money. I’m such a horrible spender, and I need to learn how to budget my salary, according to my needs (load, food, transportation, household contributions). I should get a budgeting app to track my expenses or something.

 

Now that I’ve unpacked all these realizations, what’s next for me? I’m going to embrace better habits. I will track and budget my expenses, take care of my things, and embrace the grind of work. It’s hard, but I know I’ll master it.