Some Thoughts: Women in Clothes 

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a copy of Women in Clothes. I saw this book on a sale pile at National Bookstore. One of the reasons why I decided to buy it was because of its massive discount. I love getting good deals on books and magazines, and I always get excited whenever I see copies of i-D or Vogue at my nearby Book Sale.

Aside from its price, the real reason why I bought it was its premise. The book’s jacket said that it was a diverse collection of conversations, stories, and ideas about personal style and self-expression from women across different races, ages, and backgrounds. Some of the pieces I’ve read were a feature on a sweatshop worker, an interview on Lena Dunham, and even a conversation on power dressing. Visuals-wise, the book is packed with photographs and illustrations!

Learning about one’s personal style is very fascinating. For me, I see it as an extension of one’s personal journey.  More often than not, our personal style can influence the way we approach other aspects of our lives. As someone who lives with a lot of internal chaos, having a semblance of control through external means is a huge deal. I choose to exercise that control through my personal style and beauty routine.  It’s a small step in being in control of my own life, and getting my life together.

I’m happy that there are books such as this, because it’s not a how-to on fashion. Rather, it’s more of an in-depth look on how women develop their own personal style over time, as they go through the motions of life. In a time where women’s clothing are still policed or heavily judged by society, I honestly think that it’s important to live your truths in any way possible— even through the clothes that you wear.

Getting There

Hello there!

It’s been over two months since I last wrote here, and those two months off were mostly spent on real-life, actual adult things. January was dedicated to the job hunt, while last February was all about adjusting to my new job. Yes, you’ve read that right. I got a new job after nearly a year of stepping back from the workforce. It feels strange, but I am embracing it day by day, however a little slower than before. One of the key takeaways I had upon reentering the workforce was to manage my expectations. It’s such a loaded phrase, but for me, a huge part of managing my expectations meant not being too hard on myself, especially with my career and life goals.

These days, I am taking each experience at work one day at a time, and treating every day as an opportunity to grow and improve as a copywriter (and as a writer in general). My new job as a copywriter is also compelling me to learn more about the advertising industry, as well as to develop my thinking skills (which I sorely lack sometimes). Nevertheless, I feel immensely grateful for this opportunity, and the people who have been instrumental in it. I guess this is a sign that I am growing, and that I am starting to embrace my own pace in life.

With my new job now, you might be curious as to how I’m going to pursue writing now and in the near future. I am still very much passionate about writing, and that I don’t see myself quitting the craft. I will still write as much as I can, whether here in my blog, or for a publication. I just need to balance my time and energy, and find a schedule to work with so I can pursue these writing projects.

Anyway, I am hoping for the very best in this new beginning in my life. After the horrible events that transpired in 2016, the good things that happened (and are starting to happen) this year will continue to inspire me to become a better writer, citizen, and human being. Wishing you all the same, too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Update #10001

(Will be quite rambly, since this is a another stream-of-consciousness post)

It’s been a while since I updated here. The last thing I posted was my review on some of the Glossier products that I bought earlier in the month. Since then, I haven’t really posted anything. I have been doing a lot of real-life things, such as applying for jobs (and other opportunities), improving my carbonara recipe, and getting some writing done, which is actually pretty good.

However, on the flip side, I’ve been dealing with a lot of negative thoughts and feelings. Actually, I’ve been dealing with these thoughts and feelings since the start of the year, but it’s only been recently where I have actively confronted them head-on. This big balloon of negativity has weighed me down for so long, and has created some perceptions that continue to destroy my self-confidence and belief in myself, as well as my relationships with other people. Much more so, having these negative thoughts and feelings have steered me to a direction where I have contemplated on decisions that will put my life in potential danger. It was only during a recent near-death experience where I realized how important life is, and that life is unpredictable. That experience taught me how to take care of myself, even if times are hard.

Speaking of self-care,  I have to learn how to manage my time and resources better. At the same time, I also need some structure in my life, like setting up a daily schedule for attending to writing assignments, as well as other tasks and commitments. I’ll also set up a bullet journal too, to help me with this journey to healing. It’s going to take some practice, but I will get there. Spiritually, I also have to learn how to forgive myself in terms of dealing with fuck-ups from the past. I have to come to terms with them, and not reject it like some toy with factory defects. Mistakes, failures, and rejections are part of life, and over time, I am slowly opening up to seeing them as lessons or opportunities for growth.

To anyone who’s reading this, I will get better. I will get through this, no matter how difficult.

 

 

 

Not Now

Hello, crippling self-doubt.

We meet again. Why do we always bump into each other often? Last week, I was at a high because I went to the Philippine Readers and Writers Festival, inspired and motivated to write better. Then here you are again, telling me that I can’t write, or that my writing is comparable to a grade school student.

Is it because my writing is still not there yet? Or am I just too scared to go for it? Write, submit, share your soul to the world—it’s easier said than done. I have skeletons in my closet that I am still afraid to show, and I am afraid that I will be subject to the scrutiny of others. Years of bullying have made me quite self-conscious about myself, and the work that I have put out. It’s as if I’ve let this experience consume me, to the extent that I have to be ashamed of my entire being and mold myself into someone that’s more desirable for others.

I guess it’s the same thing with my writing. I just want to be able to express myself and just write whatever my heart desires, but there are people out there who will mock me and tell me that I can’t do it. On the flip side, there are others who will say otherwise. There are others who will believe in my writing and motivate me to go for it. There are people who will tell you, “You need to straighten your hair for boys to like you,” and there are people who will tell you that they love you for who you are, flaws and all. It runs parallel with one another.

Because of you, crippling self-doubt, I am more motivated to shake off the weight of the past. My bullies from grade school until now do not matter to my growth anymore. I am more motivated to get back into writing more than ever, and you do not need to bother me every single day to remind me that I can’t do things, especially things that I am dedicated to. I will keep on writing, and I have to remind myself that I am strong, beautiful, and capable.

 

The Weekend

Another free-writing exercise. This time around, I will be talking about how my weekend went.

Saturday

Yesterday, I had lunch with my best friend Jow. Jow and I have known each other for sixteen years, but we’ve been best friends since we were in the fifth grade. We haven’t seen each other for months, and we really needed to decompress and see each other.

For our lunch date, we had lunch at Pancake House in Glorietta. Jow ordered the Grilled Cheese and Spaghetti combo, while I ordered Salisbury Steak. Too bad we didn’t take photos of the food, because we were really hungry at that time. Over lunch, we talked about work, writing, and life in general. We also tried catching Pokemon in between bites. After lunch, we decided to pass by Baskin & Robbins as an attempt to chill out and talk about more things again.

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Jow got Chocolate Chip, while I got Maui Brownie Madness. I usually get Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough whenever I drop by a Baskin & Robbins, but the Maui Brownie Madness is so delicious!  We also took turns in taking snaps and tried to catch for Pokemon again inside Glorietta.

After we had ice cream, we decided to head to Landmark. Jow wanted to buy the new Maybelline brow product that Liza Soberano is currently endorsing, and that said brow product is on sale. Unfortunately, it was out of stock at Landmark, so we passed by Greenbelt and checked out a couple of stores such as Muji and PCX. We dropped by PCX, and the brow product was out of stock there. We also tried some foundations and other beauty products at the store. At some point during our stop at Greenbelt, we also dropped by the Beauty Bar branch at Greenbelt 5. Going to Beauty Bar is equal parts hell and heaven, because the products that they have are so cool, yet we can barely afford them. Finally, we dropped by the Watsons at Greenbelt 1 and we finally found stocks of the Maybelline Fashion Brow Shaper Duo. Jow and I got one each after we tested them out. After deciding on getting it, Jow got a new face powder while I got some sanitary napkins. I know it’s TMI territory, but I get paranoid when I don’t have an adequate stock of period products.

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We needed to take a photo.

After we went shopping, we decided to roam around the Greenbelt area while waiting for Jow’s sundo. While roaming around, I asked her if I could charge my phone, since my phone was running out of battery. She agreed. We also stopped by Cafe Mary Grace, because she wanted to buy some treats for one of her aunt’s friends. Afterwards, we parted ways because Jow’s sundo already arrived. We parted ways, and then I realized that my phone was with her! Fortunately, my iPad was connected to the Ayala  Malls wi-fi, so I was able to message her. She then messaged me that she left my phone at her aunt’s office, so I just picked it up from there. We parted ways (again), and we promised that we will do something again next month. We’ll go to a board game cafe, perhaps? Or try a new restaurant? We’ll see.

I was on my own for the rest of the day, so I decided to do my usual routine whenever I go to the mall.  I window-shop, leech wi-fi, go around, eat, the works. I dropped by the Color in History exhibit at Ayala Museum, which was on free admission. While there, I saw one of the women that I looked up to back in high school.

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Meet Ms. Villegas! Ms. Villegas was my Literature teacher back in third year school, and she was one of the teachers I had in high school that I admired. She had an immense passion for writing and literature, which inspired me to read more and write. We talked about life in college and in high school, as well as some stuff about the exhibit. It was nice seeing her!

 

Some photos from the exhibit.

After I dropped by the exhibit, I did my usual routine. Along the way, I bought a notebook for my mental health journal from Papemelroti. I was also able to try out a bunch of makeup, but I recently promised myself to buy less makeup in the coming months. I was also able to catch a lot of Pokemon yesterday.

Sunday 

Sundays are usually chill days for me. I woke up at 6:45 am, which is something I consider early (I usually wake up at 8:30 now). I had pancakes for breakfast. Afterwards, I went back to my room to check stuff online. I ended up feeling ambivalent after, since I learned that President Duterte said something absolutely shitty. His charm is comparable to a cult leader, with his supporters blindly attacking those critical of his administration with rude comments. His comments have made my day a bit terrible, but thankfully there are some things to be happy about.

First, there’s the release of Frank Ocean’s second studio album, Blonde. I like Frank Ocean and his music, and his songs hit an emotional nerve for me (“Thinking About You” made me cry). Next, I finally got some alone time— well, sort of.

My brother asked me to buy something for her (He and her are my brother’s preferred pronouns) at SM Bicutan, so I obliged to her request. After I did it, I spent the afternoon at Bo’s Coffee to write in my journal and use the wi-fi. I was also craving for coffee, so I ended up ordering an iced latte with vanilla syrup.  In a previous post, I mentioned that I will try to stay away from coffee as much as I can, but  I realized that I still need coffee once in a while. Afterwards, I roamed around the mall, with Booksale as my last stop. The Booksale branch in SM Bicutan has a couple of rare finds; I was able to find some old issues of i-D, The Fader, and Wired there a couple of years back. I didn’t want to buy anything at first, but the preloved book section came calling. I ended up getting Steve Martin’s novella, Shopgirl! I have a lot of books on queue, but this book was one of the books that I’ve been meaning to read for quite a while now.

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After I went to SM, I went to Army Navy. I wanted to try Army Navy’s steak breakfast burrito, so I ordered one with some extra bacon. I really liked it, and sour cream gave the burrito an extra kick. It’s the perfect all-day breakfast meal, and I highly encourage meat lovers to try it!

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(P.S.: I am just going to eat bacon less. Maybe when I’m out of the house.)

Before I went home, I did some window shopping at a Korean general store in Better Living. I found some Face Shop products, as well as some Pepero variants that I have never heard of.

And oh, Jow and I decided to go to the Philippine Readers and Writers Festival this weekend. We’re usually not morning people on weekends, but we will go to two of the morning talks on Saturday because the topics are right up our alley.

This weekend was a good breather. Friends, food, and alone time? Yes, I know it’s a strange combination, but this is how I would want to spend my spare time. I have to read Shopgirl now, and probably try to sleep.

An attempt to write again

Recently, I hit a wall with my writing. As I mentioned in my previous post, I found it difficult to write something— whether it’s an article for work, or a personal piece. It sucks to feel stuck with the current trajectory of my progress as a writer. What the heck, I can’t even be considered a writer by certain people because I don’t have a lot of experience, and my vocabulary is not as sophisticated as theirs. But on the flip side, this is the way that I write, and I will continue to form this writing voice that shows who I really am. Fuck what they think.

As a headstart in improving my writing skills, I discovered this little challenge called My 500 Words. My 500 Words is a writing prompt by Jeff Goins, which compels people to write something in 500 words, for 31 days. I really want to be able to get better at expressing myself through writing, and my fellow writer friends told me that I just need to keep writing to grow and improve. I also want to stop the habit of constantly berating myself for “not being good enough,” or being overly self-conscious about by my writing. There are several prompts in this challenge, which include free-writing, goal-setting, and storytelling. I am excited to do this challenge, and I am hoping that this will help me relax and love writing again as a craft. Wish me luck!

P.S.: Lea, please keep writing. You have a voice, and you can write. There are people who encourage you to keep on honing your craft. Listen to them, and not those who say otherwise.

(PPS: I will take on this challenge in two ways: write blog entries or write a personal entry in one of my many, many journals)

 

 

Odds and Ends (Stream of Consciousness #1)

As you guessed in the title, I am doing a stream-of-consciousness type of entry today. Although I used to do this with my “Life In Bullet Points” entries, I figured out that it would be more organic to do this in paragraph form. Read on if you must:

First, I recently had a chat with my aunt from my mother’s side of the family. Although I am usually the type to stay away from my relatives (from both sides of my family), there are some people in my family that I genuinely love and appreciate, and she is one of them.

During that chat, I shared to her the things that have happened to me over the past five months, from the time I quit my job to the time I started building my writing career. When I told her this, I was expecting to get a reaction similar to my father’s, or someone from my  father’s side of the family, but she told me that she admired my courage for being brave enough to pursue what I really want, which is writing. Her words made me feel motivated to continue to pursue writing. She also told me to be kinder to myself, because she sensed that I was being too hard and forceful on myself to keep up with the expectations of others. For the longest time, I’ve been pushing myself too hard to yearn for what is normal, but deep inside, I know that my interests and passions are not what is usually accepted, and I have to fight for what I want day in and day out to people who are not understanding of it. Because of this, I am grateful for people like her, and people like my friends who are supportive of me, especially with this change in my life’s course.

Speaking of writing, I recently hit some form of a wall when it comes to my own development as a writer. I’ve been trying to juggle two writing gigs, and it has been difficult for me to pace myself when it comes to dealing with writing assignments. Moreover, I guess it’s because I also haven’t found the time to write for myself. I miss writing about the things that matter to me. I guess I need to practice how to carve out time for everything that I need (and want) to do, whether it’s managing my writing assignments, cooking meals, exercising, or writing for myself. I just feel like I need to write for myself more often to balance out the writing that I am doing for work.

Moving on to the topic of exercise and general self-care, I have recently developed a knack for exercising and eating healthier food. I made a personal commitment to eat more vegetables, exercise more frequently, and wean myself off of certain indulgences such as coffee, chips, and bacon. I know it’s a crazy move, but I guess it’s one of those changes that I want to make so I can take care of myself better. I have also been exercising four times a week, which is gradually helping me recognize that I can grow and improve as a person. I’m being cliche about it, but going through Hip-Hop Abs almost every day has been helping me to get out of my bed and do things.

My key takeaway from all of this is that life is not a competition, and that it takes a lot of acceptance (and work) to accept your inner wiring and personal pace. I am still in the process of fully accepting that, but I have faith that I will get there.

The Sunday Currently #2

I haven’t done this in months, so let’s dive into it shall we?

Reading  

I have a lot of books waiting in line, but I just finished Alden Richards’ book!  Speaking of books, I need to finish Luis Katigbak’s Dear Distance and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. 

Writing 

This entry, plus a review of the Alden book and other pieces for Philihappy.

Listening

To the new Bon Iver song!

 

Thinking 

My workload for this month. I work from home, and I am trying to make my life as productive as possible.

Smelling 

Ummmm the Maybelline Creamy Matte lipstick I tried on. P.S.: Maybelline’s Creamy Mattes range is to die for.

Wishing 

Improved self-confidence, better writing opportunities, and less worries to care about.

Hoping 

That tomorrow’s meet-up with my friends will push through!

Wearing 

An old Forever 21 sweater I’ve had since December 2011, and a pair of Adidas shorts.

Loving 

Organic green tea, cooking, Snapchat, Pokemon Go, Hip Hop Abs, and nude lipsticks. Oh, the girls of Buzzfeed Ladylike too.

 

Wanting

More self-confidence and self-control!

Needing

To lose weight, more writing assignments to keep myself afloat (creatively and financially), and materials on cat care.

Feeling

Sleepy, because it’s already almost midnight.

Clicking

Buzzfeed’s Ladylike Playlist!

Life Update #10000

It’s  been a while since I last wrote something here. While my last entry was an unpacking of sorts, this entry is more of a life update (as obviously seen in the title), where I talk about things.

Writing 

It’s already my fourth month of funemployment, which also means that I have been working towards my dream for four months already. I have mentioned it in a couple of blog entries before that I have always seen myself as a writer, and that I wanted to make this year as the year where I pursue this dream at a certain capacity.

Continue reading “Life Update #10000”

I’m A Late Bloomer, And That’s Okay

Up until recently, I’ve always been frustrated about being a late bloomer. Growing up with ADHD, I’ve always felt that my condition set me apart from my peers— in a not-so-positive way. As a result of this feeling, I’ve always felt that I needed to keep up in certain areas of my life as to not feel left out or different from others. In other words, I felt that I needed to overcompensate for things so I could project to my peers, teachers, relatives, and other people that I am normal (according to their standards), and that I could keep up with them in any way, shape, or form. Back then, I felt that being a late bloomer meant that I was stupid, socially inept, and strange because I didn’t get to experience (and learn) a lot of the things that people my age were expected to do or have.

But over the years, I learned that life is not a competition or a race. Day by day, I am embracing my late bloomer status. After years of resistance, I have learned to embrace the fact that it takes a little longer for me than the usual to get used to many things. I have also embraced the fact that it’s okay for me to start my career as a writer a bit later than what I have expected. My own personal rhythm in life is a bit different from other people, and that I shouldn’t fight it just for the sake of being like everyone else. Being a late bloomer doesn’t mean that you’re inferior, it means that everyone’s growth runs in different directions, and that it’s perfectly okay.

I just hope that society allows people who are “different” to embrace themselves and go with their own pace, rather than forcing them to conform and uphold standards that would be difficult to bear. I am also hoping that everyone would be given a chance to define success on their own terms.