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.

 

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.

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)