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Life Lately 21: Turned 22

We’re happy, free confused and lonely at the same time. . . – Taylor Swift

Recently, I just turned 22 and there’s not much of a celebration that has been done because I got lots of work to do, my mom was trying to tell me to celebrate and buy something to eat and I told her that we can just cook something the weekend after.

So, how does it feel being 22? It feels kind of surreal, I just couldn’t believe it that I’m in my early twenties already and that I’ve been on this boat for quite sometime now (the boat called 20s), one thing’s for sure, I still couldn’t figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life – and that’s normal, right?

I can’t seem to figure out on whether I should just jump straight into the cold water without thinking and hope that I’ll probably stay alive and be okay without suffering from hypothermia or calculate every means there is and figure out that I can simply just take a bath somewhere with hot water, be comfortable and chill (what’s up with the cold water anyway?). How can I figure out what I wanted to do next when I can’t even figure out what I’m doing right now? There are lots of question in my head and sometimes, I wonder if there’s any hidden manual somewhere that I can find to help me with life, but that’s not how it works.

Life really is a mysterious thing, you can’t simply calculate or figure out what life would give you, will it give you lemons? apples? oranges? I don’t know! Maybe it can give you or me something other than fruit, who knows? Kidding aside, my take on this dilemma of mine is, if it is something that scares me, then I should do it, why? Because if it’s something that scares me, then it’s something bigger, it’s something out of my ordinary, something out of my zone called ‘comfort’ and I think that’s when you feel that you should try it out, ’cause maybe, just maybe, it could bring you surprises and unexpected opportunities, which can also mean that it can bring you failures and sadness, but, isn’t that what life is all about? It’s not just about success and unending happiness because then life wouldn’t be meaningful, it is about experiencing sadness, failures, and all these negative emotions in order for us to realize and embrace the meaning of all the positive feelings and experiences. What’s the point of celebration without triumph over something?

I can’t wait ’till I got my life figured out, I mean, I wouldn’t wait, ’cause I’ll do something now and that is to take action then figure it out later.

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Thoughtless Writing

Write even when you have nothing to write about. . .

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how am I going to write just like how I used to and to gather all of the thoughts that cluttered my mind for so long – I lost some of them but still have bits and pieces of ideas inside of me. Blogs became my open diary to read, to document all of my experiences, and share to the world without most of the world knowing.

I’ve been writing since I was thirteen but never really accomplished anything except for that one short story that I wrote on Wattpad called, “Realize”, I also do have 2 novels which I published earlier than that but I didn’t finish it (I only published around 30 chapters or so and the idea has been gone by now). I thought that I could maybe pursue and explore writing through blogs and I did, however, I’m still not consistent with it, and I truly apologize for that, I can’t make up my mind and I can’t make time for my love of literature and sharing of ideas.

While I’m writing this now, I suddenly felt free, I felt those butterflies in my stomach from when the first time I held a pen and write that cliche short story at the back of my notebook when I was thirteen, back to when I was having a tough time so I decided to write about it, back to when I’m so into writing that I eventually join the school newspaper to write features and poems. Writing gives me peace, I never felt so happy while I sat silently on my table, with my laptop, coffee and thoughts knowing that I am free to write whatever I want, whenever I want it. Writing gives me freedom, it gave me platform to express and to just go with the flow of whatever ideas I have. Writing became my rock, the one that I hold onto through the ups and downs of life. I may not be at the best pace of my life right now but here I am writing all of my feelings through without really thinking about whether everything about this post makes sense or not – because that’s what writing is.

I may have forgotten it and I feel bad for not letting myself into this world again. I hope that writing just doesn’t become my escape, I hope that writing becomes my constant in this ever-changing world.

I hope that you find your constant too.

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Life Lately 20: The ‘Do Something’ Principle

When things go rough and you can’t find motivation to do, the answer is: Do something about it!

I’ve been to many situations where I am constantly distracted by various things, that includes my phone, my random thoughts about the health benefits of coffee, or how to be motivated all the time (no such thing like that), and other minimal stuff or tasks that I want to get done rather than I need to get done. You see, these minimal stuff were so irrelevant that doing it first thing feels like a sweet escape from all the stress of solving the bigger things, instead of me working my way out of a task that I should be doing right now, I would try to excuse myself by doing other stuff that doesn’t really contribute to my task. It’s crazy and frustrating. This thing makes me hate myself at the end of the day, ’cause that is when I’ll came to realize that trying to escape only made matters worse for me and my productivity.

It’s been the cycle for me during this whole quarantine situation and work-from-home set up to be motivated, then become frustrated, then be motivated again to do work, then suddenly become more frustrated. It’s been really a fortunate thing for me to stumble upon this principle sitting around, inside the book that I’ve been reading for the past few days, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, he had introduced me to this principle of ‘do something’ and how, magically, people suddenly becomes motivated constantly. It’s just crazy how I have been frustrating about my life, productivity, motivation, and self awareness, then suddenly, I stumble upon answers, it’s crazy, right?

You know what? I’ve never written in like forever but hey! I’m suddenly doing it again through this post, which is the fruit of me applying the principle. Isn’t it amazing?! Isn’t it surprising?! Isn’t it? (insert Kim Chu’s voice from her movie: Bride for Rent), well partly, yeah, it’s been helping me, but I still can’t attest that it has been very effective for me ’cause I’ve just tried it quite a few times. But you know what? Here’s what I’ve learned, consistency will always be broken, specially if you’re like me who’s mind always wanders, but, consistency is not consistent – no one cares whether you started from the bottom, almost reached the top then repeat it again, ’cause you will always have a point where you gotta have to break from the system and do anything that you feel like doing, you will get bored and maybe slack, distracted and unproductive, and it’s okay, you can always try again, just better and stronger.

If you are reading this, a question would’ve probably popped in your head saying: “what is she trying to say?”, well, what I’m just trying to say is that, I tried the ‘do something’ principle today and wrote a bunch of words that may or may not make sense and I don’t mind if it’s an awful entry, but the most important thing is, I have just written another entry, I just did it! Maybe not as poetic or as thoughtful as my other blog entries but, progress is still progress.

Rejections Lead to the Destination

Learning how to say no without compromise. . .

Just like how the sun learned to rest and rise up again. . .

Saying no does not mean that you are inconsiderate, most of the nos that we said are considerations for ourselves for our own peace. Do not be afraid to always choose yourself when times get rough. Some people will tell you that you are “self-centered” and that your feelings aren’t valid, they will laugh about your antics and rants just like how adults dismiss the feelings of a child, thinking that it’s not big enough to be called a “problem”.

I’m here to tell you that you are valid every bit of idea, principles, and values that you have are a valid component of you. Complete yourself, focus on yourself, and as chilché as it may sound, love yourself. After rejecting some men (boys rather) who thought that they can just have me enter into a relationship with them just because they asked me to, even without having a single clue about me, I learned one very important thing that I know each one of us should ponder on, that is not to compromise, it doesn’t mean that you are not considerate, it’s just that you clearly know what you want and it’s not selfish, it’s not bad, it’s just choosing – yourself.

Accepting and giving rejections and are both valid decisions, you can’t always say yes to something that keeps you awake at night and violates your principles and values in life – something that questions your own sanity and stand. Keep going, the rejections that you give or receive (no matter how many) will push you through the triumph that your heart has been longing all this time.

Life Lately 22: Beware

Beware of the people who thinks they care about you. . .

Beware!

I want to share this event that happened in my life few weeks ago, I’ve learned so much about people’s behavior because of it. I have experienced an event of psychological manipulation called “Love Bombing”.

Before we dive into my story, I want to show you the definition of love bombing from a post that I saw on Facebook.

Source: Healthline

I was trying to go out od my comfort zone by being involved in the world of sales – which is really far from my profession, I was stunned by the possibilites of earning more than my 9 to 5 job.

I started my journey by approaching prospects who might want to avail the product that I sell, so, I came up with a list of the people who became my schoolmates, one of them is that person (whom we gonna call “Ms. B”). Ms. B didn’t avail my product but, we had a great talk that day, I wanted to be as polite as possible and be friendly because I’m at a point in my life where I am very fond of the possibility of forming new frienships and connections.

After that day, I expected that we will not communicate again and that’s okay. However, as days pass, she continued to approach me by doing video calls, at first I didn’t really mind it because I thought that it wouldn’t last long, but then, she keeps on calling me almost everyday and talk. One time, while on a video call, I tried to pull off a joke on her that I will meet my oppas soon as a I really want to watch kdrama that day since it’s the weekend and I’ve missed a lot of episodes already because she calls me almost all of the time. She got angry because of that, she became sarcastic in her responses and told me that I should just watch kdramas and that I shouldn’t mind her effort to go home early just to talk to me. Because of that incident, I felt that something was off, I felt that it should stop, but I don’t know how. Nevetheless, I still tried to explain to her that it is my hobby and that I’m an intovert, therefore “me time” is really important to me, I also told her that I am still recovering from a mental and emotional breakdown a few months back (bacause of anxiety) and slowly trying to function in life again, she can’t seem to understand where I’m coming from and she thinks that I just suddenly don’t want to talk to her.

Later on, she did apologized about her actions but then, she said that she still wants to know me. She told me that she cared so much about me and that I am the only person she wants to talk to, because of these statements, I felt bad about my actions, which I shouldn’t have. I was blinded by her so-called “concern” about me, even though she wouldn’t really let me talk eveytime we converse, I always felt like she just wants me to listen to her stories and agree with her. She’s also trying to imply that she wants to visit my apartment suddenly, so I made up an excuse to stop it. We didn’t really know each other that much because we only talked for about a week, I knew her from school but I didn’t know her personally. She would greet me good mornings or good nights through chat and she also mentioned that she really wants to see me in person, she would always try to remind me to eat and ask if I’m done with my work so that she can talk to me. As the days pass by, I tried to distance from her as her messages and her persistence makes me feel uneasy. I never felt that kind of uneasiness among my friends because they were never like that.

I started to feel anxious everytime a notification would come up, I felt uneasy because of her jokes about how pretty I am and how there’s so much change in my body after all these years, it made me feel like something is crawling under my skin. I wanted to escape but I can’t find my way out because I don’t want to hurt her feelings. I keep on questioning myself, I thought that it’s just me thinking, and I’m trying to convince myself that there’s still going to be a geniune friendship coming out of that foundation. I keep on convincing myself that I should just continue laughing at her inappropriate jokes even though it keeps me awake at night, not knowing how to deal with the feeling of uneasiness.

I always think that it’s my fault, but I don’t want for it to continue anymore. . .

So I stopped it. With the help of my friend, I walked away, and I am so glad that I’ve opened up about it, because if not, I may still be trapped in that bubble.

I wanted to share this experience because I learned a lot of things and I hope that you can learn a lot too, please don’t fall for these kind of tactics. I never knew how difficult it was to walk away from manipulation until I experienced it myself, now, I have a much more deeper understanding and connection with those people who became victims of these (not just love bombing), I hope that you won’t be afraid to open up and seek help.

I never felt more blessed having my friends who knows me so well and lets me grow and discover myself, I didn’t realize enough how healthy our relationship is, we understand that even though we don’t talk everyday like we used to, we always make time to catch up and have a good laugh, help each other in times of need and be there to cheer each other. I felt so grateful for them.

Let this also be a reminder to check on your friends from time to time, but please let them live their lives as well, they need to grow too.

Self Love

You care for other people, but the question is. . . Do you also care for yourself?

When we talk about self love and self care, it feels like it’s already a given, that it’s easy. Aren’t you curious about why it is often highlighted by (usually) famous people? it’s because as it turns out, we often forget the basics in life – one of it is taking care of ourselves, crazy, right? How can you forget to take care of your own self when in fact you were that one person closest to you, ’cause you are you.

See, that is the problem, we often get so busy looking after different people, and most often than not, wrong people. But have you thought about yourself? We are blinded by all these things around us, simply because we would always care about the things that we think is more important, we set priorities which, do not include ourselves (most of the time).

Note: This post is not made to scold you because you are not taking care of yourself most, instead, it is here to remind you that at the end of the day, the only person who got your back is you, so might as well give it importance.

Self love is not bad at all, some people might think that it’s selfish but it is not. Selfishness is when you only think about yourself and not thinking about others but self love is when you think of yourself as you think of other people. Self love is simply sitting at a café alone while enjoying a hot (or cold) cup of your favorite coffee, which you’ve ordered without hesitation and judgment. It is when you finally bought something you’ve been wanting for a long time. It is when you made a mistake and forgive yourself because you knew that everyone does, and that no one is perfect. It is when you let go of the things that make you feel bad or horrible.

The small and simple things that you do in every situation can push a thousand pounds of your dreams, goals, ambitions, and plans for yourself. Those 5-minute breaks from every hour of work can make a difference, taking a vacation once in a while is good, leaving behind all the simple everyday worries that’ll soon pile up helps. Those ‘small’ things that we thought are to be ignored or are lacking importance simply because we think that we don’t deserve such or because we take pride of what others think of us based on our outer layer, those ‘small’ things are important, those small things can make or break you.

Always remember, self love is love. It is only when you learn how to love yourself that you can fully understand to love others.

Photo courtesy: https://www.fanpop.com/clubs/i-love-me/images/15413726/title/love-photo

Life Lately 19: The Paradigm Shift

These past few days, (mainly due to quarantine), I’ve spent most of my time working from home and watching YouTube videos, I stumble upon this vlog, which talks about minimalism and financial independence, the vlogger, is Matt D’Avella, he’s a filmmaker and a full time vlogger on Youtube and he is a minimalist!

Speaking of which, recently, I came to realize how my life has been full of clutter and ‘go with the flow’ attitude, because that’s always been me, I just go with the flow, go with wherever life has to take me, and I realized that maybe I need some more thinking, some deep searching inside my heart and soul. I was inspired by Matt, and now, I aim to live a simple life, because all the happiness in life are not solely based on material possessions, there’s more to life than just fancy stuff, life is about learning, explorations, failures, discoveries and relationships with friends, family, and oneself, having a deeper connection with the people who cares is more important than being drowned with things that aren’t giving life value, the clutter.

My room in our family house is such a mess, it has lots of things that needs to be thrown out, things that accumulate dust and dirt and are just ‘fillers’ and non-value adding. I decided to clean it and it took me almost a day to finish a third of the whole room, it awakens my senses, that most of the things I own have only been used once or twice, it didn’t really add up to the quality of my life. I realized that quality is better than quantity, embracing a simple life reduces stress, it promotes a clear focus on what really matters, it gives more inspiration to be more productive. Watching all these videos made me realize that the life that I’ve always wanted is possible! and I can do things in my own will to live the life that I think is better for me and my well-being.

These realizations gave me a different perspective about life, it had put me into a total 360 degree turn, a paradigm shift. It helped me integrate my purpose in life, my will power to pursue what I really want, it gave me the energy, the drive, it gave the faith.

I hope that you, dear reader would also be inspired to take on your own adventure in life, and not be afraid on what’s there to come, have faith, have courage and live life to the fullest!

Fake it ’til You Make it

I often have self talks, and honestly, I can’t remember when it started. Few years ago, I learned that self talk is important for us human beings and that it’s normal to do it (just don’t let other people see you as still, they might think you are crazy), nevertheless, because of these self talks, I feel more confident and more absorbed into an idea that suddenly pops out of my mind. Self talks usually happens in the bathroom, in front of the mirror, and I guess it helped me a lot with my confidence. See, whenever I have dreamed or envision something I always tell myself of my plans (sounds crazy, right?) but it helps me imagine the things that I really wanna do and be honest with myself, in that way I can clearly see the path that I wanted to take and to remind myself about the decisions that I need to make later in life.

I had used self talk to gather ideas for when I was still a writer on my school newspaper, I enforce these ideas as if I’m presenting it in front of an audience, as if I’m doing my own TED talk in front of the young generation, inspiring them by presenting the idea that I have in mind, I also use it to my blogging, I imagine being in front of hundreds of people, telling them what my random thoughts are and then I write it down. Before the boards, I did a ‘pretending’ scenario about what would my professional self be like when I became one, that I will pass the board exams no matter how hard it is, I envisioned myself jumping in happiness when I found out that I passed it, I imagined it while I was taking the exams, although, while waiting for the results, all I did was to hide inside my room and watch tons of K Dramas from my phone until it dies out, simply because waiting for the result simply give me this anxious feeling.

I did it for my job interviews, I imagine the mirror as the interviewer, I practice to answer possible questions that I’ve searched online, and when it’s finally the time to do it, I pretended that I’m confident, and that I’m not really nervous at all. I faked being confident, as it turns out, I became eventually comfortable with the interview session, then I landed the job! Amazing, isn’t it? How situations that we just imagined and envision for ourselves will come true and that we will find ourselves being the person that we imagined. I know, it’s not always the case, that’s why it’s so frustrating to know the truth, the reality that we will encounter failures, but then come to think about it, if not for your imagination, if not for your vision, where should you start? Sometimes, all it takes is a little imagination and vision to form your own plan, your strategy, your survival kit. Self talks help us bring out what we truly desire, we might not see it as we are too busy running in the same direction where everyone runs but we have to pause for a while, find the mirror, the mirror to our soul and see what we truly want.

photo courtsey: giphy.com

So, there you go folks! Fake it Until You Make it – envision, imagine, but do not be delusional (have reality checks), dream, strive, and survive!

Life Lately 18: No Room for Mistakes

No mistakes, no improvements, but why do I feel burdened?

It has been said, that we all make mistakes, simply because we’re all humans and that nobody is perfect. But why do I feel burdened by the thought that no matter what I do, I keep on making mistakes? Is it normal to feel that way? Is it not because of my pride and ego that’s been pestering my inner being and eating my soul?

Pondering all these ideas and theories, I have decided to practice the virtue of patience with myself, I found out that being patient with oneself is part of the healing process. The world is harsh enough and the least thing that I can do is be there for myself because at the end of the day, all that I have left is ‘me’.

I’ve been isolated with my own desires – dreams that I have for my future, I guess I’m a bit selfish in that sense, and it has been a result of me constantly being problematic about the problems and issues of the people around me who in turn didn’t truly care. It is one of the toxic traits that I have in the past, I didn’t choose the people I care about, all I do is listen to every single one of them while I suffer under my inner demons just because all I thought is that is ‘the right thing to do’.

I’ve gone tired of being all the ‘good girl’ who lives a boring life, with nothing on it, so I tried to rebel against the own world that I’ve created. Now, I realized that I have a choice, that it is not bad to do something for myself, because in that way, I was able to tell who really cared, I was able to see who were the ‘vampires’ who sucked out my blood, and most importantly, I was able to see if I am a vampire myself to others around me.

Realizations:

Now, I realized that I’m feeling this feeling of ‘no room for mistake’ thing because of my own ‘desire to be the best that I can be’ and that I realized that while I’m on my way there, I’ll stumble and fall. At this point, while looking back, I saw how far I’ve come, from the timid and shy girl to a woman who is stronger than her past self.

I hope we all find our purpose to live.

Life Lately 17: The LRT Experience

Waiting can be frustrating. . .

It’s been almost a year since I started working in Makati City, which is like 4 hours away from my home, so I found myself going home every single week to spend time with my family and take a good rest. As I had to ride the LRT every week, I got to observe the system of the LRTA itself and the people too, what I’ve seen from this is experience is the art of waiting and patience.

Waiting is an agony in today’s world full of instant, it has been a struggle to keep up with the feeling of waiting, because most of the time, we probably felt like missing out when we’re actually not. I’ve been listening the “Adulting with Joyce Pring” podcast on Spotify and she said that there is beauty in missing out, well, I really think that there is, as a person who is addicted to phone and social media, I can confess that I’m guilty of that feeling that I should not miss out on anything as it would make me feel like I am living under a rock.

Riding the LRT during the rush hour will test your patience on its verge, it’ll be a long line along the road with which the passengers take up a lane from it, you have to stand for like an hour or two while keeping yourself busy with phone browsing, of course. It’ll be the least enjoyable task of not doing anything as you have to be exposed in air pollution and some tiresome moments of standing, all of these are the struggles that every Filipino passenger had to go through every single day. But you know what? From my perspective, the people were so patient, they wouldn’t even rant in line and shout at the guards or the staff out of anger, they would constantly browse their phones while walking slowly on the line, it made me realize that it is the same thing as adulting – you’ll have to stand in your line and keep on waiting for your turn in life, your breakthrough, you have to deal with the slow progress that seemed to be not going anywhere near your destination, you’ll get impatient but still you have to move forward because you know that there is some space there inside the train meant for you.

I think that instead of trying and pushing yourself to fit in inside a filled train wagon, it’ll be worth it to wait for an empty one where you can seat along with all the passengers behind you, they actually call it “skipping train” – an empty passenger train (in which of course there is an operator inside) sent out to a specific station in order to transport all of the passengers on the platform on that time, hence giving a more comfortable and kind of a less crowded travel time for everyone.

The skipping train can mean that there would always be a place for you along with all the people who have been wating with you on the line, it’s just a mtter of patience and waiting.

image source: iMoney.ph