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Hitting Rock Bottom

Warning: This blog post is very personal. More personal than usual. I have been hesitant about writing about my current state, but street cred be damned and so here we are. Maybe someone else went through the same thing. Maybe someone else is going through the same thing. Maybe someone could help.

The past month has been the darkest, most painful, and depressing I have ever been in my life. I thought I have had pretty depressing phases in the past couple of years, but I was wrong. Holy crap…was I wrong.

I am the eldest of three. My dad left when I was 11, and from then on, I felt the responsibility of being head of the family looming overhead. My mom is now a senior citizen, and has been out of work for years now. I had no problems supporting the family, with the help of my siblings, yet I carry the bulk of household bills and whatever else expense must be taken care of. Up until recently, when more important matters in the household needed to be taken care of.

As a result, I had to take out loans from lending apps (yes, those online loan sharks we should all avoid by all means). I had no problems at first paying off my dues, where due dates went for a quick 7 days, an okay 14 days, to a longer payment period of a month. And then I had to take out a couple more loans to be able to cover the previous ones. BAD IDEA, I know. But when you’re in a dilemma where no family nor friend could help you out of the situation, you had to take drastic actions to get you out of that slump. Besides, it was quick money, especially when the electric bill is due for disconnection the following day and your next pay check is a week from then.

And so the due dates kept coming, and I was stuck in that situation with interest-heavy loans to pay off. Collection agents started harassing me on the 5th day I couldn’t pay, so imagine how it was by the 14th day. And by harassment, I meant the insult-my-whole-person-insult-my-appearance-make-fun-of-my-financial-crisis kind of harassment. They called every day of the week, including weekends and holidays. They called as early as 7 am, and as late as 11 pm (due to automated message-sending systems). I’ve been shouted at, threatened to be taken out of my job for non-payment, and what’s worse was that they have resorted to calling my phone contacts list just to get me to pay, due to humiliation. As if that would help my situation! If I had money, I wouldn’t have missed my due date. But then again, I had no right to complain until I have settled what I needed to settle. It was my mistake and no one was to blame but me.

Before anyone judges me for committing this financial mistake, I have not gone shopping for years. Trust me. I’ve had the same clothes for the last 2 years. Same shoes. Haven’t had any vacation time in a long time. Haven’t been to the movies in months. Every pay check went straight to household bills and paying off debts. I’m selling some of my stuff soon, and will be selling baked goodies to people at work. I do know my priorities. And I also know that what I’m going through at the moment is a result of stupid decisions made out of desperation. But it’s here and it’s killing me, and there’s nothing else to do but own up to it and find a way to get out of this blackhole.

No one knows how many times I wanted to hang myself. I had to laugh when people told me to “hang in there” because, in all honesty, I’ve been wanting to do it literally. Would it give me peace from collections harassment? Maybe. Would it solve my money woes? Not really. Would it help my family? Absolutely not. But the temptation is real, especially when I am struggling just to get through the day. Every morning when I wake up, my first thought would be, “another day alive, another day of harassment”. Frankly, the thought of finally letting go was at its strongest this morning.

Help me. Someone help me.

Despite all that, I have been slowly paying off my debts with my salary and with the help of online friends. Yes, online friends. Paypal has been my real pal in the last month, and I am overwhelmed and genuinely surprised that online friends were more helpful than the people around me. It was sad, thinking about how these people I haven’t met outside the internet, have been helping me. Whether it was monetary or emotional support, I am extremely grateful. Still haven’t gotten over the fact that there still are many kind and generous souls willing to help out there.

My anxiety has been at its extreme high at this time. Tomorrow, I go back to work. And tomorrow, the 27th, is my birthday. It would be the saddest, most painful one in my lifetime. I feel like I have no right to celebrate, because I have 3 loans overdue, 1 due today, another 1 due tomorrow. And there’s the disconnection notice for my unpaid electric bill, 3 people at work I have to pay, and some more groceries I wasn’t able to get over the weekend. How. How in the world am I going to get through tomorrow? I weep as I type this blog entry, and I am extremely overwhelmed by the thought of “celebrating” my birthday getting harassed by collection agents. Lord, help me. I am drowning.

If you’re still reading this, thank you. I hope you learned something about financial mistakes. And ignoring all dignity and pride, if anyone’s willing to help, please let me know. I am that desperate, I’m sure you could tell that by now, but I truly am. I am determined to be debt-free before this year ends. It’s just the now I’m still trying to figure out.

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The Self Love Experiment

I’ve been on mandatory leave from work since Monday, and my anxiety about it ending soon is starting to emerge. By Monday, I would be back on my work desk, doing routinary work yet again. For now, I shall bask in the amazing feeling of waking up without having to hurry and beat the weekday traffic. I refuse to mess up my body clock, though, or it would be hell come Monday. My alarm still rings VERY EARLY in the morning. It’s just that I don’t have to get out of bed when it does.

Like I said in my last blog post,  I’m learning the difficult task of self love. Might be easy for some (or most), but it’s a little more difficult for me. But I am trying! I’m also taking advantage of my vacation time to discover new things around me, and new things about myself.

I find quiet coffee shops very relaxing. And I get to think more in such places, than noisy, overcrowded ones that sell overpriced coffee. It’s a plus if there’s wifi and gadget outlets, which is probably more important than the actual coffee and food. For me, at least.

I do have my own room at home, and there’s very strong wifi connection too, but sometimes you just have to get out of familiar places to get your brain working better. I don’t know. I’m weird like that. Or is it really weird? Maybe someone can relate to this!

Besides, they play jazz music that I’m very into, unlike most people.

Time alone won’t hurt anyone. Time with others won’t either. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve gone the hermit life. I’d rather be alone and on my own than deal with someone else. And the horror of it, if it were more. But I’m learning that there should be a balance and a compromise. Alone time is very important to one’s soul and sanity. Spending time with others is just as important too. It helps keep you in check when the depression kicks in. It’s important that there’s someone else to listen to you rant about things that make you angry, and rave about things that make you happy. It is a balance. Can’t have one without the other. Also, for the simple reason that it lets you know you still have friends and family to lean on during rough and tough times.

Watch something other than your usual genre or topic. I love those pretty home renovation shows (CHIP & JO FOREVER). Those popular, drool-worthy cooking shows. Drag queen reality TV (Shantay, you stay!) Those fictional/fantasy shows that make you cry because direwolves die and a Northern patriarch gets beheaded by some stupid bastard king. ANYWAY. I’ve been watching more documentaries lately. Historical documentaries are my favorite. English and Spanish kings and queens. Real crime investigations, government conspiracies, powerful historical figures, origin stories. They’re all fascinating to me.

I recommend watching Chernobyl in case you haven’t yet. Funny, because I’ve always been fascinated by their story, until Netflix came out with Chernobyl, which was soooo good. Say Pripyat several times, because it’s going to be your favorite word for the next couple of days. Pripyat. Pripyat. Pripyat. 

Take extra time with your nightly skin care and shower routine. Or baths, if you prefer that. It sounds silly and menial, but it works wonders on your mood too, not just your skin. I’ve introduced my mom to the aloe vera face mask. I’ve used up boxes of face mask sheets. I’ve yet to figure out how to get these stupid dark under eye circles, but oh well. Massages once a month, or twice if necessary. Get some mani/pedi on the weekends. I’ve also been searching for a good reflexology place because I have issues with my feet and legs, and I think it goes beyond just massaging them. I want an actual reflexology session because I believe in that, if you must ask.

Any skin product recommendations you can give me? I’d love to try them.

Pray more. Doesn’t matter what your religious beliefs are. I’m Catholic. Religion isn’t something I get into discussions with people because it could turn into arguments. At the end of the day, there are people who do not believe in what you practice and believe in. Let them do their own thing. My only wish is that people who don’t believe in Catholicism also respect our practices. I don’t need to hear whose faith is better and above everyone else’s. There’s only one God. We just have different practices and beliefs, is all.

ANYWAY. Back to my original point haha. I’ve been struggling a lot this year, and prayers help a weary soul very much. There was a point where I’ve forgotten how to really pray. Not just reciting words and opening my mouth to respond during mass. But to really pray. It’s very uplifting and it gives hope to anyone going through difficulties.

All in all, just be kind to yourself.  Don’t sweat the small stuff. There is more than one way into the castle. All those quotes that give one hope, you name it. Bottom line is, you’re doing the best you can. You may need someone’s help along the way, but no one else can help you better than yourself. I’m trying to do away with negative words, so the motivation to stay positive is strong. And be kind to yourself. Self pity won’t help. Pulling yourself down won’t help either. Quick flares of anger definitely won’t help anyone, though I am very guilty of this. Another thing to work on very soon.

Let me know how you’re doing. I’m an email or message away. I’ve got your back too.

 

P.S., here have some coffee shop photo things

 

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Currently reading Carina Santos’ latest blog post from nothingspaces.

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I’ve had Coffee Project’s Continental Breakfast twice this week and I wanted to try something else today. Sadly, the answer is no. Why did I even think about changing? This sausage and garlic pasta is VERY SWEET and not really sausage-y or garlic-y enough. It’s swimming in oil and I can’t get enough of how sweet the sauce is. Doesn’t matter if they’re sun-dried tomatoes. Just…no. Never again.

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I hate taking selfies. So here’s an eye and a wide forehead for your viewing pleasure.

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“Today’s good mood is sponsored by coffee.” You’re welcome.

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The suns’s peeking but still refuses to come out. I like the weather, though. It rains hard every hour (or couple of hours), and the wind’s so strong. But it’s bed weather, which means it’s time for food and Netflix.

Life Lately vol. 7

I’m officially out of hibernation, thank you.

I disappeared from the internet since my last blog post, though not entirely MIA. A little Instagram post here and there, a little blog-hopping once in a while…it’s all good. Sometimes, a little time out for yourself is necessary for your journey to self-betterment and self-love. I’ve had, like the rest of the human race, very trying months and yet I’m still here. Marching on like a gods dang soldier during the worst months of this year.

I wouldn’t want to dwell on how I’ve struggled (still struggling, to be honest) in the last couple of months. I think I’m ready to move forward, now that I’ve come to terms with the state I’m in. Nice and slow…easy does it. I’ve got a lot of issues to fix, and a lot of love to give myself.

Moving along. A list of what I was up to, and what I was dealing with while I was MIA.

  1. Game of Thrones withdrawals is a bitch. I’ve been a fan since the beginning, and I had to cry after the series ended. It was such a part of me for a good eight (or ten?) years, and now we’ve gone cold turkey. Just like that. Season 8 was done and we’re left to lick our wounds. It wasn’t the best season. Sort of fan service-y, but I’m also not complaining. It could have been better, and they shouldn’t have rushed it, but oh well. We’re merely viewers of a decade-long series that we’ve come to love and hate.
  2. My cousin was diagnosed with liver cancer three weeks ago. Last week, we buried him close to where his mother, father, and sister were buried. It was the biggest shock to us all, but our family came together as a unit, and we remember him as the life of the party. He will be missed dearly.
  3. Work is good. Work is better this time around. Work puts food on the table, and it pays all our bills. This is the happiest I’ve been work-wise, and I hope it continues for the rest of the year.
  4. I’ve been listening to meditation and self-love podcasts, TED talks for motivation, watching more documentaries on Netflix and YouTube. I do know that on the way to self-betterment, it is also important to not stop learning and discovering new things. After years of working in a corporate environment, where everything is run on routine and a fixed job description, sometimes I feel like my brain’s getting rusty. My attention span has lessened by half, and my patience for everything is significantly shorter. But I’m trying to fix that by listening to podcasts and documentaries and trying to pick up a book again

I don’t know. I’m a work in progress. But I can say I’m good. Doing better than last year. I’ve got good people around me, which is the most important thing out of anything. Hopefully, time and chance will be good to me this time around. Sometimes, I feel like I’m running out of time and chances. But I’m determined to kick my way through it all.

Another Year Bites the Dust

Last year wasn’t the worst, but it wasn’t the best for me either. I learned a lot about myself, about the people I know and interact with on the daily, and learned a lot about how the universe works. Maybe. And so I bid adieu to 2018 as we put her to rest, and try to welcome the new year with a more positive outlook.

I refuse to make New Years resolutions now that I’m older and know full well I won’t be able to make good on promises. Instead, I reflect on what last year was for me and try to make a mental list of what I want to actually get done this year. No big declarations, no promises, no extra-dramatic statements like “I’m going to lose weight this year” or the usual “I’m going to make this year the best year ever” because do we actually get this done? I’m making goals, instead. Attainable goals. Make things happen and be happy while I do it.

How was last year for me, might you ask. I’ll say, it was like everyone else’s. I was struggling. Struggling so hard I was at my wit’s end. I was desperately clinging to the last thread of sanity I had towards the end of the year, with prayers getting less and less. What am I even here for? What was my purpose for still being around? I’ve had those disturbing 3 am nights where I would stare at the void in my room and wonder if an overdose or a noose would be the best way to go. Sometimes I’m scared to confront the goings-on in my head because…how exactly does one get out of that blackhole? And then I wake up for work and go about my usual routine, come back home to get rest but get those ugly voices in my head again. On other days, I’m happy. Like, genuinely feeling joy and contentment that it seems stupid to have been in a funk the week before. Some days, I get that flashing red sign that says the happiness won’t last and something sad or bad (or sad and bad) will happen in exchange for the happy feeling. I was tired of thinking that the elation had an expiration date. Why couldn’t I be happy like my best friend, my colleague, or most of my family?

So I think about what I want this year and how to get things done. Self love is key, methinks. I didn’t have much, if any, self love in the past year. I was neck-deep in that blackhole that I now realize I never did anything worthwhile for myself.

  • Haven’t been out of the country this year.
  • Gained a lot of weight.
  • Haven’t explored new places outside my new city.
  • Haven’t taken up a new hobby.
  • Haven’t had the motivation to do anything at all.
  • Been hiding from people because I don’t really want to hear about how life has been great for them, nor do I want to explain why I’ve been avoiding social situations and such.
  • Have had more anxiety attacks this year than last.
  • Have had suicidal thoughts more than thrice

And the list goes on and on. I don’t think one can truly understand these bouts of depression and hopelessness we go through, unless they’re in the same state of mind as we do. One can only wish a better mental state for us, or that this funk will pass at some point, but sometimes words are just words. Words are wind. Words are comforting yet temporary.

And yet I’m still here. I’m doing my best into steering my life into a happier, more desirable path. I have goals I want to attain this year, and hopefully even after the year’s done. I genuinely feel more positive this time around. Everything feels lighter, somehow, and I’m taking advantage of that and turn my sorry, sad, mess of a life into something more meaningful.

From hereon, I free you from these heavy thoughts and show a bit of my uneventful 2018 in pictures. I’m hoping to document more this year, so I can look back at them on the 31st of December and say that I’ve had an eventful 2019.

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My new city has one of the most beautiful sunsets out there. If anything, it was very humbling just staring at views such as these. We’re all just a tiny part of this massive creation, and thinking about it helps pull me out of the blackhole I was in.

Just little reminders that life is good. And that life can be better.

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Fur babies make me happy.

At my happiest when I experiment in the kitchen, or when we try new food discoveries. Cooking is some sort of therapy for me. I like hanging out in the kitchen and making something up for my family.

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Missing my old city especially around the holiday season.

More sunsets in 2019, yes?

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If you’re struggling like I am, know that there’s a way to get past it. It took me a very long time to admit this, and I’m very sure there will be A LOT of days this year wherein I would abhor the thought of getting out of bed in the mornings, or even just to keep a straight face when thinking about making an effort to go to work diligently. But if I wasn’t meant to still be here, then I would have been gone a long time ago. But here I am, and so are you.

 

Life Lately vol. 7

It’s a long weekend and I’m trying to enjoy the time where I can stay home and just do whatever that doesn’t involve work. It’s National Heroes Day on Monday, the 27th of August. But it’s also pretty sweet because it’s my birthday, though nothing extra special is planned on that day. I realized that the older you get, the less celebrating you would want to do.

I had a bit of time to think about this year and what I’ve been doing with my life. It’s so depressing to know that the only thing I’ve truly accomplished this year has been about our move to the new house and the changes we’ve been working on here. Personally, it has been a shit year so far, but I don’t really want to dwell on it and I still want to make it better. It has been difficult…very difficult…and even if I’ve received support from my best friend and a few others, people don’t really understand what you’re going through even if you tell them what’s happening. How can people help when you’re struggling on the inside? It’s not like you need help carrying this or that…not like you need help finishing a task or anything like that. It’s the emotional crisis that’s eating you up and how hard you’re struggling with keeping your sanity despite the circumstances. What does one do to make things better? I don’t really know. Right now it’s a f***ing struggle, but each day that I finish is an accomplishment for me. That’s all I’m focusing on right now amidst all the internal chaos.

How will I be spending my birthday this year? I’m not really up to a big celebration, nor am I thinking about going out. Maybe cook a birthday dinner for myself and the family, and splurge a little on wine and maybe some ice cream. It’s going to be a sad birthday, I can already tell. I’m trying not to cry just thinking about it even as I type this. You know the feeling of hearing two voices in your head telling you “It’s going to be a f***ing sad birthday, brace yourself” and the other going, “You’re alive, you’ve been blessed, don’t be a f***ing ingrate.” I don’t even know. My emotions are in a pretty bad place right now, but I know, things will eventually turn around for the better.

I’m also physically exhausted. Sometimes I sleep the whole day, sometimes I sleep just a few hours, but it will always be the same thing: I’M TIRED. Even my vitamins make me tired. I wake up at 4 am, work from 8 to 5, get home around 8 pm and feel utterly useless and exhausted. I need time to work out. I need time to watch TV before bed. I need time to read. Time for dinner. Time to do chores so I don’t have to do a lot on weekends. I need time to have time. Can you feel my struggle??

When I’m not in this depressed and anxious state, I’m good. Cooking and baking makes me happy. The kitchen is my happy place. Having weekend family meals make me feel some kind of satisfaction that I’ve taken care of people I care about most. I try to keep myself distracted during the day. At night, I try meditating. Sometimes tuning everything out and keeping your mind blank feels so good. It might seem trivial, but deep breathing helps the anxiety.

See? Nothing so special for the past eight months in 2018. Some say it would all depend on yourself if you want to accomplish anything. It’s not that I haven’t been trying. It has been extremely difficult, especially if not everyone can understand what it’s like to feel this way.

MOVING ALONG…and on a positive note…I’ve seen a couple of shows/films that made me happy. Some old, some new, but here’s a list of things I’ve been happy about to date:

The Kissing Booth and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Okay. I have the book (The Kissing Booth) and I’ve read it years ago. I’ve seen To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before in bookstores but didn’t really pick it up. I should have, though, now that I think about it. It was so fun and different (in a nice way) to be able to ‘relate’ to the lead actress just because she’s of the same ethnicity as you. And the leading men are cute, so sue me.

RuPaul’s Drag Race

I AM ANGRY AT MYSELF for not watching this sooner. I saw season 9 first and I was so amused. I have gay friends and I know they’re so fun to be around with. I was extremely entertained by their little catfights, those talking-behind-the-back issues that cannot be avoided under such circumstances. Plus, they’re ten times more creative than I am and it was so fun to see their creative output on stage.

Fixer Upper

It’s not a new show but I’ve been watching from the very first episode up until the more recent ones prior to the end of the show. Chip and Joanna are so inspiring in many ways, and not just because they are ‘couple goals’ but because they’ve led inspiring lives and they share that to the world.

Anthony Bourdain

Not a happy thought at all, but re-watching his shows before they were pulled out of Netflix and iFlix led me to believe that he will always be one of the best people to have graced this earth. I cried about hearing his death more than I cried about my problems. He was one of the good and inspiring ones out there, and to have lost him was like coming to a realization that the world is in a dreadful state.

The Blind Side

Don’t laugh. I know it’s been years since this came out but I’ve only seen it last weekend. The whole family enjoyed it, especially since it was inspired by a true story. There were moments when I just wanted to cry, but there were a lot of funny bits too. Sandra Bullock will always be one of my Hollywood favorites.

Crazy Rich Asians

I don’t need to stress it enough. Now I know what representation means in Hollywood films. It was so refreshing to be watching leads of the same ethnicity as yourself. The viewing experience was something else, and if that doesn’t make people happy then I don’t know what would. The movie was so good, the soundtrack was as well.

I’m sorry if this post was a mess to read (if anyone read it at all), but that’s just how my head is right now. For the record, I’ve said that I have a feeling this birthday will be the saddest one yet, but I’m also hoping it won’t be. It’s still nice to think about having an actual ‘happy’ birthday. We’ll see. Two more days before I turn another year older.

What have you been up to lately? 🙂

Life Lately vol. 6

Hello from the tropics!

I haven’t added to my Life Lately series, so maybe this is the right time for an update. I feel like there’s just a lot to cover. There’s too much going on in my life that I would probably be confused as I write it, and I wouldn’t want the readers to be just as confused as I am. So this update would be just random snippets of what’s happening here and there, and I hope somewhere, someone can relate to this too.

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Rain is Coming

Finally! Just when I feel like I’m so done with this summer heat, the rainy season will be officially announced come first week of June. Which is this week. You don’t know how much we need the rain and a little chill in the air. Sometimes, I get too lazy to go out because it’s so hot, I just want to stay home and not wear pants and take three-hour showers.

Even my uncle’s dog is done with the heat.

Mother’s Day

We took my mom out for Mother’s Day. She’s already the Queen, but even queens deserve extra love and attention on a particular day.

Since I had different plans for Mother’s Day, we went with an unplanned lunch celebration at the mall. Imagine: no reservations, no particular restaurant in mind, family barging into a very busy mall with the intention (and determination) of getting a table somewhere. After three restaurant fails and twenty minutes of waiting, we finally snagged a table at Bulgogi Brothers, a Korean restaurant that served the usual pork barbecue, spicy rice cakes, japchae, steak, bibimbap, kimchi stew, all those delicious Korean dishes that’s so popular in the recent years.

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I cooked dinner at home, something a little fancy as well, then made S’mores for dessert. As for the toasting of marshmallows, we had to improvise because we don’t have a firepit in the backyard for that authentic S’mores feel. Heh. But first attempt at S’mores is a success and everyone was happy.

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Me, Myself and I

I think I’ve said it so many times in my old posts, but anxiety and depression has been my companion for many, many months now. I’m trying to battle with it, hoping that I can still try to overcome it and make myself deal with it without having to go through a professional. I don’t like the idea of depending on meds just to “balance” things out, but sometimes I also wonder if meds will make it all better. I try to keep track of my moods because they’re very, very unpredictable lately. I used to think that if I’m very, very happy one minute, something bad will always come next. It keeps me from feeling genuinely happy for a long time, and it’s not just because I keep entertaining the thought. It’s very difficult to keep them away, to be honest, but I’m trying my hardest to not go down the rabbit hole and stay lost. My moods are either very happy or very sad, all at extreme ends of the emotional spectrum. In between are feelings of doubt, anger, and everything else in between.

Anyway, I’m still going through rough times but as always, everything will be okay.

Happy List

I keep a list of things that make me happy. Not because I need blog content (haha what) but because it’s a way for me to remember that despite rough patches, there are more things to be happy about and a lot to be grateful for.

  • The smell of freshly laundered sheets. The fabric softener’s scent makes me want to stay in bed longer (oops…is this a bad thing orrr).
  • Maroon 5’s “Wait” and “Girls Like You” has been an earworm for days now.
  • I think I’ve seen every video released by Dr. Rahim Salehmohamed. I’m so addicted to how he works with patients and how he explains stuff to them in a very professional manner. He’s also funny, which probably makes the experience a little less stressful. If I didn’t live halfway across the world, I would have my neck cracked and my spine aligned by Dr. Rahim.
  • Being able to recreate a recipe I watched on Judy Anne’s Kitchen. So far, the tinapa rolls are my favorite.
  • My new airconditioning unit. Yethhhh.
  • Figuring out instructions to a DIY project.
  • On the same note…Pinterest. I spend hours on Pinterest, just finding mood boards and projects for inspiration.
  • Grocery shopping. Okay, listen. Every adult needs to be able to figure out the aisles at the grocery store and find what they need. It’s an accomplishment, truly. I’m the type of person who would go through every aisle in the store even if I have nothing to get from there. My mild obsessive-compulsive brain will not be happy about the imbalance if I skip aisles. #excusesexcuses
  • Food flatlays. There is nothing more perfect than a pretty food flatlay that makes you want to pick one up and scarf it down immediately.
  • Body massages and nail spa treatments. Heaven.
  • I’ve had Coco Fresh Tea and Juice twice this week. My favorite is the 3 Buddies milk tea flavor (milk tea with pearl, pudding, and grass jelly). I tried the Lemon Yakult Slushie and it was good, but I prefer Happy Lemon’s.

I’ve been more productive since my last post but I’m not going to nitpick each accomplishment or trial and write about them. Life has basically been about living the most out of what I have, and learning that there are far worse things in this world than to dwell on what I cannot control. Hopefully, June will be more productive than April and May. I’m looking forward to more blessings (for reasons) and I’m just happy that I’m still alive and breathing.

Happy weekend, folks. ❤

 

Introspection No. 9: Here Comes the Sun and My Mind is a Battlefield

Hello, 22nd of April.

I feel like I’ve been struggling with a lot of things all at once, but that’s because I really do have a lot of things to do. I also have a lot of things planned, so things can get so overwhelming at times. Most of the time.

It’s already mid-April but I feel like time has gone by quickly without me noticing it. It happens when I’m too busy with my daily struggles that I lose track of the other good things in life. My life lately has been consumed by work and work and work, sometimes I wake up in the morning wondering what day it was. I get disoriented like that, but don’t we all?

It’s summer, by the way. Which means that this tropical country is set to be an inferno above ground. The weather are in the extremes (hello, global warming) and if it’s hot, it can get disgustingly so. If it’s cold, well, it’s still hot. Welcome to the tropics!

Since we moved to this new place, everything has been calm and things are still an organized state of chaos. Which is a very refreshing change from my life back in the old place. I love that house so much, but maybe the vibe in that place was shouting for change and positivity. I no longer cry just thinking about how much I missed my old, spacious room, but we can’t have everything we want. Besides, this new house screams hope and only good things from hereon.

I keep getting distracted by the heat. It’s a disgusting 34 degrees celsius (sorry, American friends) and I don’t remember how many times I’ve taken a shower since last night. A good three or four, maybe? I’ve changed shirts so many times as well, I’ve had to do my laundry twice this weekend. Here’s the thing: we have AC for each room except my bedroom. Because the AC slot in my room is smaller than my unit, so my mom had to take my unit and I have to buy a new one that would fit the slot in my room. I guess I’m oversharing on the internet again but I need someone to cry with me while I sleep without airconditioning in my room, at 34 to 35 degree weather.

Totally unrelated to the summer heat (or maybe related idk), but my brain’s very slow lately. I miss the times I can memorize paragraphs and paragraphs of book quotes and general info, but we can’t go back to our sixteen year old selves and be as fresh and perky. The older I get, the more anxious I become. The older I get, the more insecure I get. The more self-confidence I lose. The more memories I forget. At some point, I was wondering if I should blame it on some issue like dementia (I seriously considered this, okay). I don’t know why I thought of this, but I’m finding myself losing a chunk of memories from before that I have to struggle with to recall. Or maybe it’s some other issue that I’ll have to deal with sooner than later. We’ll see.

I’ve also began thinking a lot about my future, my mom and my denial about her getting old and eventually passing on, my own passing and going at it alone, regrets, more regrets, and a ton of what ifs. Getting older each year has become a struggle. I think a lot about a lot of things, I struggle with dealing with things I didn’t used to find so difficult. My mind is a battlefield, and I’m trying very hard not to lose it. Is this normal? Or am I overthinking again?

On a different note, I love reading personal blogs like mine. I find it more raw and relatable, especially when I read about someone’s daily triumphs and struggles. It lets me know that I’m not alone with my insecurities, my problems, my silly ideas. Send me personal blog recommendations, pretty please. 🙂

 

Productively Unproductive

How long have I been staring at the blinking cursor on my laptop screen? I think I started right at the opening credits of this horrible movie being shown on cable, and realized I was actually doing it when the end credits rolled. Which was about two hours or more, come to think of it.

Yikes.

So I have stuff to write about, photos to edit, things to research about. But my mind kept wandering off into worlds unknown, never to return until two months later. Have you ever been to the Island of Procrastination? I’ve bought a large property there and I was thinking about buying another one.

Moving along.

I think we all can relate to this story. Knowing we have a ton of work to do, end up taking a nap instead, then wake up hours later with still a truckload of things to do. Sometimes my daily stress (I can’t help it) makes me retreat inside my shell of low self-esteem and waning energy. I tried to keep track of the things I do when I’m not in the mood to do anything at all.

  1. Drowning in my stressful thoughts and habitual overthinking.
  2. Staring at photos of beautiful houses on Pinterest and weeping about wanting a pearl backsplash (which is unnecessary because our current backsplash is already amazing) in the kitchen and a huge swing in the front porch.
  3. Watching movie after movie on Netflix when I still have pending movies/shows in my to-watch list.
  4. Watching YouTube vloggers and be angry about not being able to travel and eat and shop as much as they do because I have a deadline to meet at work tomorrow.
  5. Searching Pinterest for the best three-ingredient-recipe for something because there’s nothing in the pantry except for those three ingredients.
  6. Watching episodes of Property Brothers even if I’ve seen them a ton of times already.
  7. Wasting two hours of my life watching crappy movies when I could have been doing something else more productive.

So. Productivity.

No, I haven’t forgotten what it’s like to be productive. Instead, I tried to change my unproductive self (who’s supposed to be doing something important) into a productive self (who’s still not doing what she’s supposed to be doing but at least she’s no longer unproductive).

  1. Going through my closet and figuring out what to keep, what to donate, what to throw away. I managed to come up with two balikbayan  boxes worth of clothes that I no longer use but refuse to give up. Baka pumayat pa kasi ako… but when will that ever be? Unless I lose all this weight, my closet will still be filled with clothes that no longer fit me because baka pumayat pa kasi ako.
  2. Doing a major kitchen drawers and cabinets organization strategy. Those countless hours of Pinterest-ing has paid off. I’ve managed to declutter the kitchen counter cabinets and fit everything in just four compartments. Now I have two more drawers that are empty and can be used for more storage in the future. I’ve also managed to clean out our fridge over the weekend! Imagine, finding boxes of unsweetened baking chocolates from the U.S. that have expired back in February 2017. Major YIKES. I’ve cleaned the fridge several times since we moved in last year, but I think I was just putting the boxes and bottles back in without checking the expiration date.
  3. Because I know myself very well, I get into those lazy moods where I can’t be bothered into doing chores. I work 8 am to 5 pm, traveling to and from work as early as 5 am and as late as 9 pm. I’m tired and I don’t want to do chores, okay? So here’s the thing. I throw in my laundry every Saturday morning, as soon as I wake up, because at least that’s over and done with before I trudge on to start my day. As a result, it has become a habit that I no longer find exhausting. I don’t even do the washing and drying…I just leave that to the machine. How hard could that be? So now, I get my laundry done either Friday night (if I’m feeling extra productive), or Saturday morning.
  4. I love to cook. If you follow my Instagram account, then you’ll know I love cooking for people. So I cook very early on weekends because a) I might be too lazy to do it multiple times a day, and b) I rarely see the rest of the family during weekdays, so I make sure we sit down together and share meals on weekends.
  5. Sometimes social media can get too overwhelming. To add to my anxiety and depression, and my lack of self-confidence thereof, I feel even worse when I look at Instagram feeds of social media influencers and celebrities. Sometimes it’s better to unplug from technology and pick up that book I’ve been procrastinating on and finish where I left off. I might be missing out on social media but at least I’ve finished the book I was meant to finish a year ago.
  6. When I’m angry or sad, I get in this angst mode and it’s hard to focus on anything else. So what I do is I clean the house. I might be mopping the floors a little aggressively, spraying room and linen fragrances a little more than necessary, drowning the toilet bowl with cleansers and disinfectants more than I have to, but at least I’ve managed to clean the entire house. Aggressively.

I’m fine, though. I have my moods. I may be feeling a little overwhelmed about a lot of things, but there’s no way of going past it except to go through it. I used to just lie in bed and nap, or stay out for as long as I could so I don’t think end up thinking about my problems. As trivial as these things on my list might be, I’m doing the best I can to overcome not being productive, and turn my hours into something a little more fruitful.

 

Happy List No. 5

I think I speak for the rest of humankind when I say “we all need a little happiness today.” What’s a better way of spending the weekend than sleeping in, eating some comfort food, and watching movie after movie on Netflix? Nothing. Nothing’s better than relaxing on a weekend. We all have five days in a week to hustle at work, go through our usual routines, and work our asses off Monday through Friday. We all deserve to relax on weekends.

  1. Oscar-nominated movie marathon. So far, I’ve seen Ladybird, The Shape of Water, Get Out, The Greatest Showman, Dunkirk, and Darkest Hour. I have yet to see the rest of the Best Picture list, but so far, I’ve loved every single movie I mentioned.
  2. Saoirse Ronan. Ugh. I love her. She’s a great actress at such a young age. I don’t think I’ve seen her in any film and thought she lacked in delivery. She always delivers.
  3. Fresh flowers on the dining table. Or basically just fresh flowers in the house. I love how it brings color to a white and grey-themed house, especially since the colors and textures pop out more.
  4. Black Panther! Wakanda forever.
  5. Starbucks’ Ice Shaken Hibiscus Tea with Pomegranate Pearls. Because those little pomegranate pearls burst in your mouth and add a little more flavor to your tea.
  6. Hallmark romantic movies. Don’t judge. I’m in a cheesy, romantic mood lately and watching sappy Hallmark movies (yes, they’re sometimes silly, yes, they’re predictable) make me very happy.
  7. Miniso’s Aloe Relaxing Moisture Soothing Gel. I use this after washing my face, especially since the skin feels tight and a little dry. This is very soothing, to be honest.
  8. 5 am drizzles. Because you feel a little chill and you just want to crawl back in bed and sleep.
  9. Cleaning email inboxes. Because yes. De-cluttering is life, even if it means going through your emails.
  10. Mark Hamill finally has a star on the Walk of Fame. Fucking finally.
  11. Waking up before everyone else on a Sunday morning. And I just hang out in the kitchen and make a fresh pot of coffee. The smell wakes me up immediately.
  12. Driving around on a rainy night and listening to an acoustic playlist. Imagine sitting in the car, driving around on a Saturday night, listening to Crash Into Me or One Headlight. I need more nights like these.
  13. Discovering a new/alternative route on the way home. At least I won’t get lost on my way home now.
  14. A strong wifi connection. I love our new service provider. Yesss.
  15. Reconnecting with old friends.
  16. Discovering meditation. Trying to find more things to add in my self-care list. Relaxing my mind is such a hard task but I’m trying. Trust me.
  17. Calligraphy. I’ve always been told that my handwriting is pretty. I’m trying to learn and practice calligraphy because I find it very relaxing to doodle on empty journal pages.
  18. Chris Evans + beard. *Insert pathetic ugly sobbing sounds here*
  19. Seeing re-runs of shows I used to watch when I was a little girl.
  20. The smell of my Mom’s crispy fried chicken. It might not be Jollibee’s Chicken Joy but it tastes so damn good I could cry.

Might not be a long list but these things kept my sanity during a roller coaster ride of a week. What would be on your Happy List? 🙂

The Sunday Currently vol. 27

Reading

Picked up on The Mark of Athena again. I started this a few years ago but due to a very busy schedule and then not having the motivation to read again, I never got to finish it. I was going through some books in my (now tiny) shelf and I’ve decided to finally finish this one so I could move on to the next in the series.

Writing

This entry! And I’ve posted entries at least once or twice in the past month so I’m making progress, guyth.

Listening

I’ve recently picked up on some meditation and motivational playlists just to try to make myself a better person. It’s all in the mind, I believe. Sadly, my focus and mindset have become poorer and poorer over the past couple of years. I’m listening to podcasts and playlists that might help me focus on the things that matter.

Thinking

Small business ideas. I’m currently facing the ugly truth that this move to the new city might be the best thing to happen in a long while, but it’s the most expensive since my workplace is so far from here. Transportation costs increased significantly, so I’m thinking of small business ideas that might help with the additional income.

Smelling

The whole house (especially the kitchen) smells amazing the entire day. I’ve been cooking since lunch this afternoon, and as I type this, there’s chicken roasting in the turbo broiler. So far, I’ve smelled meatballs in mushroom sauce (for lunch), Korean sesame wagyu ground beef  (such a mouthful, but I didn’t know what to call it haha), peach cobbler, and now the garlic and lemongrass roast chicken.

Wishing

It’s the 25th of April. Just one more month to go.

Hoping

A good and productive work week!

Wearing

An old Pagudpod shirt and light denim shorts I got a year ago from SM.

Loving

Family. Friends. Food. Life.

Wanting

This Taiwan trip to push through. (Still this.)

Needing

An actual camera. Not just my phone, but something I can use that would yield high quality, clearer, more crisp photos.

Feeling

Hot, (literally) because summer’s about to start. Heavy, because I’ve been drinking so much water lately. Plus, I’ve been cooking and eating a lot too, so who am I to complain…

Clicking

This. https://thosepositivethoughts.com/personal-growth/10-ted-talks-for-personal-development/1999/

And this.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5xdS3lFApjvOs9zdys3eOw/videos  (I binge-watched her channel because she’s funny and she’s a good cook. I love her kitchen too.)

And this, since yesterday.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X89B4qTilaI&t=335s  I love her, and she’s such a good makeup artist.

 

How was your weekend? Here’s to a chill week ahead for all of us. 🙂

The Sunday Currently is the brainchild of Sidda Thornton