Life Currently: Breaking Free from the Fixed Mindset and Negativity

In less than a week, I will be commemorating my 2-month anniversary at my current job. Needless to say, I am still very much in the process of adjusting and getting used to things at work. It’s usually been this way whenever change comes in; it’s always been difficult for me to adjust to change, and embrace growth.

I know it’s quite ironic to write about this, since I usually express my excitement and determination to grow as a writer (and as a human being). However, I still don’t feel the changes that I want to see in myself (and in the work that I’m doing). Maybe it’s because I’m holding myself back from growing too? I guess so. A huge part of me finds it difficult to move on from past hurts and move forward with life, and it’s getting in the way of my own growth and happiness.

I know it’s easier said than done, but I need to cut myself some slack and allow myself to enjoy and focus on the present so I can truly move forward from all of this. I can do this, and I will be okay.

 

Notes from 2016

2016 has been a strange, unpleasant, and challenging year for many of us. There were lots of changes (expected and unexpected ones) that happened, as well as a lot of lessons to be learned. In 2016, the biggest lesson that I learned was that I needed to love myself…and almost everything else will follow. That piece of advice is so simple, yet it is so complex to unpack and implement in your life. I have three takeaways from this lesson that I will share, and how the importance of loving yourself comes to play with all that.

Continue reading “Notes from 2016”

TV Notes: Twenty Again

Side note: A NEW BLOG ENTRY! YAAASSSSSS. This entry on Twenty Again has spoilers, so be warned!

I have a confession: Twenty Again was the first Korean drama that I watched from start until finish.  For some strange reason, I never got around to watching Korean dramas. Earlier this year, I tried watching Descendants of the Sun, but never got to finish it. Who knew that a random visit to Choi Ji-woo’s Wikipedia page would change things? Blabber aside, allow me to share my thoughts about Twenty Again, and why it’s an endearing show to watch.

Twenty Again is the story of Ha No-ra (played by Choi Ji-woo), a 38-year old woman who enters college for the first time in almost 20 years. During those twenty years, she devoted her life to becoming a wife to her condescending, douchebag of a husband Kim Woo-chul and a mother to their son Kim Min-soo. As their son Min-soo is about to enter university, Woo-chul and No-ra decided to get a divorce. While going through divorce proceedings, No-ra secretly applies for university. As she finalizes her plan to go to university, she gets misdiagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer with a timeframe of 6 months to live. She uses the misdiagnosis as a wake-up call to experience life as a young adult while enrolled in college.

Continue reading “TV Notes: Twenty Again”

Protest Fashion and Beauty, Anyone?

After the rise of the #TakeNoShit campaign online, a famous Internet troll decided to give a piece of um, unsolicited fashion and beauty tips while participating in rallies. In case you live under a rock, let me give you a brief background on this AWESOME campaign that unfortunately got some internet trolls #SHOOKT (which is very pathetic, by the way) and prompted them to spew out nonsensical advice.  The #TakeNoShit campaign was initiated by Ateneo de Manila University instructor Nathania Chua as a response to dehumanizing (and flat-out gago) comments by netizens towards protesters who spoke out against the decision to bury ex-president/dictator/demon spawn Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. This campaign aims to provide awareness on the real-life consequences of online harassment, and eventually compel people to take action against their harassers.

Yesterday, Ilda of Get Real Philippines shared a piece of advice for protesters that caused the ire of so many people, including myself. (You can really tell that it’s fucking terrible, right?)

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Want to know why? In a time where women still continue to fight for ownership and responsibility for their own bodies and lives, there are still other people who wrongfully dictate what should and shouldn’t be expected of a woman. Rape culture still very much exists in our society, and this kind of mindset presented by Ilda is perpetuating that rape or harassment victims should be blamed for their misfortunes and dismiss men’s violent sexual attitudes as a “boy thing.” In this case, Ilda insinuated the online harassment that these women received after the protests were a product of their own doing because they were wearing short shorts and on-fleek makeup, and that they should cover themselves up to prevent being harassed. As a response to her very infuriating tweet, I thought about how people should dress and look like during protests.  I was also inspired by Irish Dizon’s Facebook post on this too.

Here’s the golden rule for rally-appropriate fashion and beauty : WEAR WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT, AND LOOK WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT. If you dig sharply contoured cheekbones that will pierce the flawed logic of internet trolls, go! If you want to wear short shorts, a cropped top, or even a daster, just do it. One’s clothing or appearance should not be an issue for anyone who’s fighting for a cause that’s directed for the common good. As for the trolls and harassers, please take responsibility of your shitty behavior.

P.S.: I’m going to contour the crap out of my face and wear short shorts during the rally on the 30th because I’m a concerned citizen who likes to dress good and look good for herself. Those things are not mutually exclusive. Bye!

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.

22

Whenever I see someone celebrate their 22nd birthday, there is almost always a reference about Taylor Swift’s song of the same name.

I just turned 22 yesterday, and my birthdays are usually anticlimactic. It’s usually a regular, ho-hum day, and I remember spending my birthdays back in high school studying for my periodical exams. Last year, I remember spending my birthday at my internship. As far as I can remember, I was supposed to have a bunch of training sessions, but ended up listening to a series of talks for the whole day. At that time, I thought I was getting my shit together. I thought I was going to finally going to have that moment where I “stepped up” and got into a ~~*normal*~~ career, where I am supposed to earn good money and be the source of pride for my family (at least in my dad’s side of the family), because I had all these privileges given to me.

My life as a 21-year old was filled with lots of ups and downs. Earlier this year, I went through a spiral. Right now, I am still in the process of recovery, and I am doing my best to pick up the pieces and start anew. I am going after my dream as a writer, I have a solid group of friends, I have a decent relationship with my family, and I am picking up new interests, such as cooking.

This year, I am now 22 years old. My birthday celebration was something right up my alley. I spent it with Gilbi, and we checked out makeup, books, and lures on Pokemon Go.  It was a fairly interesting day, and it was the birthday I had in years where I didn’t really  think about school or  anything. At this point, I still haven’t experienced that instantaneous moment where I have all my life figured out, but it doesn’t have to be that way, right? What matters is that I am open to the possibilities that life has to offer, and that’s perfectly okay.