Some thoughts and feelings: Right Now by Aziz Ansari

Disclaimer: I’m sorry if this was poorly-written and somewhat ill-informed. I’ll edit this.

A few years ago, I was vocal about my admiration for Aziz Ansari. He was funny, self-aware, intelligent, and woke. If I remember correctly, I even wrote about my little crush on him on my Facebook profile. I loved Master of None.  Then the Babe.net story happened. In a time where most of us take into account one’s personal values in the goods that we consume, I struggled to grapple with the idea that Aziz Ansari is an alleged sexual predator. I fucking liked him, and it sucked to know that he was likely to be like that. 

Now that the brouhaha over the Babe.net article has mostly died down (or did it, really?), I finally had the balls to watch his latest comedy special. Needless to say, I was ambivalent about it. I actually liked how self-reflexive and contradictory it was (especially on woke culture), but I struggled to be comfortable throughout the sixty-five minute special. Is it because I found the apology somehow lacking? Is it because Aziz never really addressed the allegations head-on in his material? Most likely. 

Am I ready to forgive (and admire) Aziz Ansari again? I’m not sure about that yet. But one thing’s for sure: the journey of moving forward after a major screw-up is difficult and potentially life-altering. It’s not a linear path, and there’s a lot of introspection, empathy, and dark truths to deal with. He still deserves to move forward in some way, and I guess we all need to cut him some slack for that. 

 

 

Life Lately: In Pursuit of Balance

Hello, friends. I’m back. It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote something personal, so allow me to share things for a bit.

Ever since I returned to work two and half years ago, work has taken up a massive chunk of my life. I thought that I wasn’t going to be /that/ type of person, but my job as a social media manager has greatly influenced the way I approach my life over the past year and half. Because of the “always-on” nature that my job entails, the pursuit of a work-life balance has become quite challenging. Before, weekends were almost always completely free. Unplugging on social media was an option that’s readily available to me. Now, I have to manage myself (my energy, my time, and my resources) to create the work-life balance that I need (and desire). Although I feel envious of people who get to own their weekends, I’m reminded that work-life balance and free time doesn’t have to always happen on the last two days of the week, and that’s okay.

Because of the toxic circumstances that came with my previous job, I learned that I needed to be more proactive in pursuing my work-life balance now. Rather than aligning my working style and my habits with my co-workers so that I can be seen as “hardworking” and “capable,” I realized that I have to honor my personal strengths and limitations first. Second, I have to establish clearer boundaries when it comes to work and life, and those boundaries can only be fulfilled through a plethora of coping strategies. For example, I will only work for a certain number of hours during weekends, and I will not do work after office hours on weekdays (though it will really depend on the circumstances, but I’ll work towards that). I also have to do a lot of bullet journaling, and I have to keep track of my work too. It’s hard, since my executive functioning capabilities are not sharp (because of my ADHD), but I’m doing my best to get by. Third, I am slowly reintroducing old hobbies into my life again, and relearning household chores.

I guess balance looks different on everybody, and it’s a truth that we have to make peace with.

 

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

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.

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.

 

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”

Notes from last night’s rally

Last night, I joined my first REAL rally.  As someone who begrudgingly admits that her activism is limited to the online space, participating in a protest for the very first time was exciting. It’s exciting because it’s an amazing opportunity to meet and learn from fellow activists and millennials about their plans to mobilize and engage young people to speak up about their causes. In this case, we were all fighting against the decision to have Ferdinand Marcos buried at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, as well as the fight for good governance and justice.

My first experience at a rally was not as pleasant as I would like to be. I got lost so many times, tripped and got injured, and cried out of hopelessness because I couldn’t find the People Power Monument. Despite the rough journey to get there, I was still grateful to have participated in it. I also met some upperclassmen from college too, who organized and helped out with the rally at PPM. The crowd was small last night, but I believe that even the tiniest voices can have the biggest impact. Rallyists chanting “Busina, busina para sa hustisya” and shouting “Never again to Martial Law” last night was so empowering to hear. It also brought me chills.

I am excited for the rally on Wednesday, and I am hoping that there will be more people who will come out and show up for a cause such as this. Marcos is not a hero and he will never, ever be. To my fellow millennials, don’t let others spoil your chances of speaking up against this horrible decision, and continue to fight for what is right.

Continue reading “Notes from last night’s rally”

1:09 (Stream of Consciousness #2)

It’s currently 1:09 am, and I am still not asleep. I have a lunch tomorrow with Jow, plus I have to continue some writing for work. Speaking of writing, my other writing gig hasn’t given me any assignments yet, so I have a whole month to focus on Philihappy assignments. I am also looking into other opportunities for writing, in case that secret writing gig won’t pan out. Right now, I am just trying to gain as much experience as possible, so I can build a proper portfolio in the future for job applications. I really need to stop ruminating about this. Just apply for those gigs, Lea. Stop being overly self-conscious!

On the topic of being overly self-critical, I think I developed that trait after years of feeling inferior to other people. For most of my grade school and high school life, I have been constantly compared to one of my close friends. I guess it’s because our parents are close friends also, and that my father felt that I had these deficiencies that needed to be compensated by being exemplary in certain areas. As a result, I guess this experience made me feel like I needed to compete with everyone— to the extent that it’s holding me back from making true friends along the way. I guess my father wanted me to imbibe this work ethic that he has developed growing up, and while it is admirable, I am aware of certain variables that will prevent me from being like him. I can work smart in my own way, and I can make my own mark. I guess the reason why I looked for jobs and internships without his intervention is because I wanted to prove to him that I can do it, and that I can stick with what I know and love. I am still somewhat bummed though, that I didn’t spend the first few months after graduating from college attending writing workshops, blogging consistently, or doing an internship related to media. Yes, the management classes were helpful and they gave me some credibility, but I can’t discount the fact that it felt forced. I may have said way too much, and while my dad has played a huge role in harboring these bad thoughts and feelings, I still have the capacity to break free from it. I have accepted that my friends are better than me in certain areas, and I have also accepted that I am better than them in others. That’s how life works, and life shouldn’t be a competition.

As I write this entry, I am also in the process of creating a mashup of Hip-Hop Abs videos so I can create a workout that I can follow four times a week. I have been on a wellness kick lately, but my eating habits are almost the same. I just eat more vegetables now, and I haven’t been eating as much rice. I also have an abundant supply of chicken breast fillets in the fridge, which is more than enough to create homemade chicken nuggets for inumans with friends. Speaking of cooking, I have yet to figure out how to operate the oven so I can bake and make more magic in the kitchen while I have the time. I also have a couple of plans for my 500 Words challenge, and that involves the use of my digital camera. I also have plans on restructuring my finances, so I would  stop buying makeup almost every month. So many plans, so many thoughts. I have to jot these down in a notebook.

 

 

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”

Current Beauty Favourites (Part 2)

Apologies for not updating my blog, since the past month has been quite turbulent. I’m starting to get into the swing of things again, so allow me to kick things off with a beauty post!  While some of my favorites have been consistent from last July, I’ve added new products in my roster because I’ve been trying out new products left and right. Here’s a list of the beauty products that I’ve been loving so far, ranging from shampoo to lipsticks:

Hair Care 

  • Dove Daily Hair Vitamins – I’m still thinking that this thing is made from unicorns because it repaired my dry, damaged hair. My hair is now a lot more manageable than before and I would like to thank the hair vitamins for that.
  • Pantene 3-Minute Miracle Color and Perm Lasting Care Conditioner – This is a very new addition to my hair care routine (I’ve been using this since last week, by the way)! I dyed my hair recently, and using a color-safe conditioner has helped reduce the damage in my hair.
  • Head and Shoulders Apple Fresh Shampoo – Best!! Shampoo!!! Ever!!!! And it smells good too.

Skin Care

  • Biore Micellar Cleansing Water – Sometimes, makeup remover wipes just don’t cut it. If you have thick foundation and waterproof mascara, you need a makeup remover that removes everything. This makeup remover just does that, and the formulation is gentle enough to not dry your skin out.
  • Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate – This facial oil is so good! Although I find the smell of this a bit cloying, I can get past that because it’s so effective. It has calmed my irritated, sensitive skin, and it has tamed my acne scars too. It’s quite sad that I only have a sample of this 😦
  • Olay Natural White All-In-One Fairness Day Cream with SPF 24 – This is my favorite day cream/sunscreen. Not only it hydrates the skin and gives enough sun protection for my face, it also lightens dark spots too!
  • Clean and Clear Active Marks Acne Cleanser – I like this facial wash because it’s very effective yet very gently. Not only does it zap pimples and other impurities, it also has a calming effect on your skin too.

Makeup 

  • Pond’s Flawless White BB Cream in Beige – This BB cream is still my favorite base product. It’s a good match for my skin tone, and it doesn’t irritate my skin because of its skincare ingredients. It also has good coverage too! But despite its benefits, I’m still frustrated that this BB cream only comes in two shades. Come on, Pond’s, give girls more shade options for your BB cream!!!
  • MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW30 – This is one of the best concealers that I’ve tried. It’s a very good match for my skin tone, and it’s great at spot concealing and tone-correcting. It’s also long-lasting as well. My only problems with this concealer are that the MAC stores here in the Manila have a limited color selection…and it can be a bit of a pain to apply.
  • Revlon Colorstay Concealer in Medium – Another very good concealer! This is a great overall concealer, but I find this concealer a bit grey-toned at times. Maybe it’s because this concealer a bit light for my skin tone, but I’ll find a way to work around it.
  • L’Oreal True Match Concealer in W4-5 Light to Medium – I’m obviously a concealer lover, and this is the best concealer that I have tried. Shade-wise, this is the lovechild of my MAC Studio Finish and my Revlon concealers. Formula-wise, it’s very easy to work with, and it’s long-lasting too.
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo Leather Cream Eyeshadow in Creamy Beige – I’m not an eye shadow girl, but if I were to use an eye shadow for the rest of my life, it would be this. It’s a dupe for MAC’s Paint Pot in Groundwork, which is a popular neutral eye shadow in the beauty community! It’s a bit hard to work with, but I can get on with it because the color is just so nice.
  • Essence Silky Touch Blushes in Natural Beauty and Adorable- I’m not a big blush person, but these blushes are great if you want to look healthy and fresh. These blush colors are flattering for different skin tones too! Natural Beauty is great if you want to enhance your ~~*natural glow*~~, while Adorable is the blush that you use if you don’t want to look dead. It’s great that these blushes are affordable too!
  • Maybelline Hypercurl Mascara – This mascara has trumped my Majolica Majorca mascara because of its staying power. While the Majolica Majorca mascara lengthens and expands my lashes, I like this mascara more because it volumizes and curls my lashes really well, while still looking natural. In addition, this mascara does not leave disgusting residue under my eyes, lol. However, I tried combining my Majolica Majorca and my Hypercurl mascaras and my lashes looked like I had falsies! But concoctions aside, this mascara is great by itself.
  • Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint in Budding Blossom – Best tinted lip balm/lipstick ever! This product is perfect for lazy days, and it wears nicely on the lips. The downside to this is that it’s expensive, but it’s so good. I love Clinique’s Chubby Stick lip colour balms, and this one is no exception. Maybe I’ll get Coming Up Rosy soon.
  • Maybelline ColorSensational The Creamy Mattes in Touch of Spice – I’m not going to lie that I thought that this lip color was a little too dark for me. However, after several tries, this lipstick has become one of my favorite lipsticks in my arsenal. It’s comfortable and long-lasting, and it smells like vanilla cookies. Haha.
  • MAC Amplified Lipstick in Cosmo – This is one of my most-worn lipsticks. It’s a nice, flattering shade for everyday use, and it’s comfortable to wear. Staying power is pretty decent too.
  • NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Tonkin – I previously mentioned in a blog entry that this was my favorite lipstick of all time because it’s my holy grail MLBB. It still is a favorite, but the title of “Favorite Lipstick Of All Time” has become the NARS Audacious lipsticks. The color is just perfect for almost every occasion, and the staying power is pretty great too, given the matte formula.
  • NARS Audacious Lipsticks in Julie and Vanessa- These lipsticks have usurped my NARS Tonkin as my favorite lipstick of all time. Julie is the perfect peachy nude lipstick for me, while Vanessa is an elevated version of Happy Skin’s The Morning After (which is my one true lipstick love). Both lipsticks are great shades, and the formula of these lipsticks are a lipstick lover’s dream because they are very pigmented. Not to mention, these lipsticks last well on me too.

Anyway, these are all my current beauty favorites. I don’t really have a lot to say after listing them all down, but these products have done me good over the past several months.