Nov 13, 2014

Like how most coming of age films play out, our hero finds him or herself in an ordeal we call adulthood. And like most coming of age films, it can all turn pretty funny, somehow, along the way.

Being young has its perks. You can go crazy with your day to day activities because it seems like the most logical thing to do (at the time). You can stay up late night after night, wasting away hours playing Resident Evil, not minding a thing about tomorrow's responsibilities (because there is none). You can parade around establishments filled with like-minded individuals such as you and become a tequila machine. Wake up the next day without a hangover because (yes, you guessed it right) you're young!

You don't have to worry about bills, mortgages, rent, savings, stock market, promotions, etcetera etcetera etcetera. Being young sounds like the teenage dream. Being young feels like the best years of your life. Don't you just want to freeze frame every minute if given the chance? Your younger years can be summed up in a montage of you dancing to My Sharona in the movie version of your life.

And then one day, without you even noticing, you notice lines form across your face. You notice zits that never seem to go away. People say you look tired all the time, and you're starting to feel that you really are. Why does my body ache for no reason? I don't remember breaking a bone. Suddenly, doing things without thinking of the repercussions doesn't work. Eating a whole box of pizza will not go unnoticed as you find it harder and harder to fit in your jeans. A night of drinking? No thanks! I want to be well-rested function properly at work tomorrow. Wait, what? Who are you and what have you done to Tin?

Your time is now the most precious thing you own. You start counting how many hours you'll get to sleep in a day and get excited if it's more than four. Buying things at Daiso or Japan Home is something you look forward to. Come Christmas, you are most thankful for quality bath towels and bed sheets because god knows you can't afford them.

It's not all bad. Adulthood has its perks like attending cocktail parties and finally knowing how to pronounce hors d'oeuvre. Paying the bills on time using the money you worked so hard for gives you the similar feeling you get when beating the big boss in a very, very advance level. Take that, responsibilities! Getting enough sleep is joyous and wonderful and I always wake up feeling like I came out of a coma.

So hello adulthood, you have finally arrived. I welcome you with open arms. Excuse me while I try to find my manual on How To Be A Functional Adult (And How Not To Burn A House In The Process). I know it's somewhere beside my copy of How To Not Eat Your Weight In Pizza And Other Stories.

Help! I'm In A Coming Of Age Film!
11:57 PM

Help! I'm In A Coming Of Age Film!

Oct 30, 2014

When I was younger, I really considered myself to be quite the unlucky one. The younger, more unstable me felt like living off an episode of "A Series Of Unfortunate Events". It also didn't help that I was accident-prone and a mainstay at hospitals. My brothers would often poke fun at how I steal the show during family gatherings, being confined at the most opportune times (like spending 2 Noche Buenas in the hospital) because I would always be sick in the holiday season. One fine Christmas of 1996, my mother started praying to all the gods imaginable because they were so sure I was gonna die from Pneumonia. Like a true Christmas miracle, I didn't and I'm now happily living my nth life as a cat.

I've been hospitalized so many times that I already have a fair share of hospital stories. Like that one time the kid beside me died in the emergency room because he never woke up from a nightmare. Or the time I was beside a breast cancer victim and I could see her decapitated breast at a good distance (and it still gives me the chills). But my all-time favorite would have to be the Christmas drunkard who passed out from alcohol poisoning at 12 noon on a Christmas day. 

Hospital stories and dramatic life events aside, I actually had a change of heart. I would like to retract my original statement of being unlucky because I am actually not. Like most people, I tend to focus on the bad things because it is just so easy to cry and complain and make the world your stage. And as my favorite Doctor Who quote goes (see above photo), the bad things will never spoil the good things.

I know some people may be having the worst day or week or year. Chin up, human! Like everything that moves, this will pass. It just seems extra hard most days, especially when it really feels like an episode of Punk'd, but there is no other thing left to do but survive. Laugh at that problem in the face. Tell a very bad joke and laugh anyway. Dance it off (and burn calories in the process). Find the pile of good things beneath the bad things out to ruin your day. It is as easy as it sounds.

I consider myself quite the lucky one because I am surrounded by the most amazing set of human beings who have managed to spark change in my life, one way or another. I'm quite guilty of not being able to say how grateful I am most of the time because I don't know how to properly say it without sounding like a kiss-ass, but really, thank you everyone in my life. Thank you for the crazy good stories I will forever keep in my heart. Thank you for the life lessons which I know I badly needed because I don't make the smartest decisions alone. Thank you for trusting me with your friendship, no matter how long or short it may be. Given everyone I've met in this lifetime, there is no point in complaining. Luck is on my side.

I don't intend to end in a cheesy note but I wanna say thank you to the best guy in the world (you know who you are). I am the luckiest girl in the world. ;)
A Series Of Fortunate Events
11:01 PM

A Series Of Fortunate Events

Sep 22, 2014

I never learned how to fix the pipes under the sink. The sight of a dripping faucet frustrates me. Being inside a hardware store alone gives me paranoia. Car problems (somewhat new) bugs me to my very core.

I don't wanna point fingers or blame anyone. Circumstances are different for each of us and putting a title like "daddy issues" bothers me, because acknowledging it as an issue means it's a recurring thing (and I sure hope this one won't last forever). Rest assured, I don't dwell in this feeling.

As my friend said, this god-knows-what feeling comes in waves. The waves --- sometimes I ignore, sometimes I don't. During those odd times that I don't ignore it, I end up connecting point A to point B (or why my childhood trauma resonate up until now) and it always leaves me with an empty feeling. So I try my best to avoid it using my perfectly honed skill of ignorance and apathy.

If you know me, you would know that I  avoid father-daughter movies like the plague. When I people watch (and I do this a lot), I avoid looking at families in perfect attendance, especially those with dads holding their daughters in the hand. Don't even get me started on father-daughter commercials, specifically the one about that insurance company in Thailand because it will not end well.

Of course I'm better now. Still, fathers intimidate me like crazy. Whenever I meet a father figure like an uncle or a mentor, I automatically put my best foot forward, afraid to show any sign of weakness lest I be considered a failure. Ironically, the moment a father figure shows me affection and care, I transform 15 years back into a fragile, little girl with a balloon. I catch myself doing this a lot and it is exhilarating. I feel like I'm always searching for approval everywhere I go.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not mad, I'm not holding grudges. I don't wish anything bad for my dad. Who he is right now is not the most ideal but I'm not embarrassed anymore. I have actually accepted that I will never know the "dad" I always see on TV, wearing a business suit with a stern look and briefcase in hand, kissing his daughter goodbye as he leaves for work. He won't forget to whisper that he'll bring home her favorite pasalubong. He will always assure the family that he's working late for a brighter future for all of them. That superhero, unfortunately, doesn't exist in my world.

I will never have that father-daughter relationship that most girls my age have. I will never be a "daddy's girl." I will never know why girls cry when their dads take them to the altar. What I do know is that I'll eventually figure out how a car engine works. Learning how to drive was just one of the many supposedly "dad bonding activities" which I did on my own. I will probably still freak out whenever something in the house needs repairing...and that's okay. Knowing myself, I'll figure it out.

Today, I went inside a hardware store and I didn't panic. I might have bought the wrong supplies but hey, baby steps!

Letter From A Sometimes Daughter
11:12 PM

Letter From A Sometimes Daughter

Aug 15, 2014

Went poem hunting yesterday and found this. I am nowhere near heartbroken but this was so beautifully written that I just had to share. 

I almost miss the sound of your voice, but know that the rain
outside my window will suffice for tonight.

I’m not drunk yet, but we haven’t spoken in months now
and I wanted to tell you that someone threw a bouquet of roses
in the trash bin on the corner of my street, and I wanted to cry
because, because —
you know exactly why.

And, I guess I’m calling because only you understand
how that would break my heart.

I’m running out of things to say. My gas is running on empty.
I’ve stopped stealing pages out of poetry books, but last week I pocketed a thesaurus
and looked for synonyms for you but could only find rain and more rain
and a thunderstorm that sounded like glass, like crystal, like an orchestra.

I wanted to tell you that I’m not afraid of being moved anymore;
Not afraid of this heart packing up its things and flying transcontinental
with only a wool coat and a pocket with a folded-up address inside.

I’ve saved up enough money to disappear.
I know you never thought the day would come.

Do you remember when we said goodbye and promised that
it was only for then? It’s been years since I last saw you, years
since we last have spoken.

Sometimes, it gets quiet enough that I can hear the cicadas rubbing their thighs
against each other’s.

I’ve forgotten almost everything about you already, except that
your skin was soft, like the belly of a peach, and
how you would laugh,
making fun of me for the way I pronounced almonds
like I was falling in love
with language.

Poem Of The Day: “If I Left You A Voicemail, This Would Be It” by Shinji Moon
2:06 PM

Poem Of The Day: “If I Left You A Voicemail, This Would Be It” by Shinji Moon

Aug 13, 2014

A poem I wrote in 2012. It seems so fitting for this morose month of August. 

People die and,
It will never be okay.
No matter what you,
Tell yourself,
At the door,
While in bed,
While on the bus,
While you cry,
During shower,
It will never be okay.
People die,
And people will tell you that
It’s gonna be okay.
But it won’t.
You will keep finding
Excuses, and you
Make believe their existence.
You keep them alive
With music and photographs,
And stories.
You laugh while you,
Remember the times,
That were good.
And then you realize that,
It will never ever be okay.
Because they’re gone,
And you’re here.
And you are not okay.
And You
4:00 PM

And You

Aug 11, 2014

I told myself I'd blog more. So... (in my best Kel voice) here goes!

I bought two books from Good Books last week which I got yesterday.

If you have money to spare for books, please please please buy from their website. 100% of the profit goes to a good cause. Also, if you are willing to part with some of your books (still for a good cause), Good Books accepts donations!

I was also invited by KB to join Book Bed -  a reading community based in the Philippines. I'm newly part of the Editorial team and I'm quite excited to write something about, what else, Young Adult books! Hope I get to write something soon.

Currently Reading: I am actually reading a lot of books and I can't seem to finish them because I am always so busy sleeping living! I hope to finish the following books before this week ends.

So far, my favorite is Generation X. Hope to provide a decent book review once I'm done. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P is proving to be quite a struggle to read because the protagonist is such an asshole. Of course I have my YA fix in the form of Sloppy Firsts and The Probability of Miracles (which is about cancer, what's new). Kluge is the only non-fictional book I'm reading right now and it is also a struggle. I hope my brain can stomach decent books once again because it is so hard to transition when you're stuck in a YA limbo. 

 Ever since I got a hold of John Green's Looking For Alaska, my attention span for non-YA books is that of a 13 year old teenage girl. I am definitely not proud of this but I don't see it stopping me from consuming more Rainbow Rowell in the future. Sorry self! I promise to go out of this comfort zone and read a book or two that's not about cancer, hormonal teenagers, or manix pixie dream girls. For the mean time, let me daydream about getting lost in a world where convertibles are cool. 

Currently listening: This amazing Spotify playlist based on my most favorite Rainbow Rowell book - Attachments.

And that's about it! Are you in a YA limbo also? Tell me about it and let's share the pain together.

Currently: Books and the YA Limbo
5:01 PM

Currently: Books and the YA Limbo

Aug 1, 2014

You don’t pass or fail at being a person, dear.
—  Gaiman, Neil. The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

2014, so far, has been the year of the not-so-comfort zone. It started with a bang (literally) on my 24th birthday on the eve of December 31. I was at Future with my bestfriends while we watched the fireworks consume the Cubao sky. This may just be my imagination but the moment the clock struck 12, I knew 2014 was the year of something else. And boy, that something else really was something else.

I'm not gonna go into details as to what happened starting that day up until the 1st day of August. All I can say is that I made a lot of decisions, some of which I love, some I do regret, but the most important part for me is that those decisions, good or bad, were mine to make.

It really was a whirlwind of a ride, this year. I fell down so many times (still, some literally) because I once again thought I was superhuman and could handle everything on my own. I would find myself staring at random spaces because I was either too tired or too confused to function. I really felt like the world, with its humongous weight and all, was on my shoulders.

I questioned myself a lot of times for the past couple of months. Was I a good person? Or was I just pretending to be this good person when in reality, I am evil? Am I really evil? If I was a good person, why am I making so many bad judgments and why am I getting enemies here and there? Are my principles really supposed to be like this or should I just pretend that everything's okay even if it's against everything I believe in? Basically, my head got crazy and I would have trouble sleeping.

I tried to find the answers to my questions but I failed miserably. Let's face it, no one can figure out anything in this lifetime. We're all just surviving.

I finally understood the phrase -- you can't please everyone. At the end of the day, what's important is that you made decisions you can live and die with. Those decisions you regret, you learn from them. Making mistakes doesn't make you any less of a person. To some extent, it makes you more of a person.

One good deed doesn't make you a good person. 2 wrong deeds don't make you bad. The concept of being a good or bad person is just too complicated. At the end of it all, we just have to be someone we know we truly are, not some person with a good or bad deed labeled on his/her forehead.

How to be a person in this lifetime? Don't ask me. How to be yourself? That's easy.

How To Be A Person
12:41 PM

How To Be A Person

Jul 30, 2014

“Baby, I have no idea how this will end.
Maybe the equator will fall like a hula hoop from the Earth’s hips
And our mouths will freeze mid-kiss on our 80th anniversary.
Or maybe tomorrow my absolute insanity
Combined with the absolute obstacle course of your communication skills
Will leave us like a love letter
In a landfill.
But whatever
Whenever this ends I want you to know
That right now
I love you forever.
—  Andrea Gibson, “How It Ends”

I may have a problem with how things have a finality of sorts. Knowing me (and I know me), deadlines are not my strongest suit.

Similar to when a really good video game ends and there's nothing to do but to relive the best parts. Like with most things, I would write a sequel in my head, hoping it could turn into something I could hold on to.

I live each day thinking it could go on and on and on. I don't say goodbyes, I say later. I sometimes think my head can't comprehend if and when someone leaves for good. I put them in a little box I labeled "for another lifetime."

If I could extend the hours of each day, I would. I don't ever want to imagine a day in time when everything would be a far cry from what I came to know and love. It gives me panic attacks every time the thought would cross my mind.

I guess I could blame whatever bizarre childhood I had for this unrealistic approach in life, but I won't. I think this is just me not accepting how things are supposed to be - harsh, real, finite.

I put this into writing because, again, I want to somehow want it to make sense. In my head, everything's all jumbled up; my thoughts floating and clashing.

For Another Lifetime
1:29 AM

For Another Lifetime

Jul 20, 2014

I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.
—  F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I have never been the silent type. I would blab away about the most inane things such as the color of the sky, how good my sandwich was, how the leaves formed a dinosaur in the dark, and other mundane things I find interesting enough.

I was never afraid to talk to people. Being shy was a trait I was never associated with. The stage was my friend and a sea of people comforted me. I liked the crazy and the chaos. It made me feel alive. The world even had a name for me, they call it ENFP. A personality type that's supposed to help me explain my actions. It's actually quite funny.

My head was always filled with thoughts which somehow became noise. I found comfort in being with other people because their voices always seemed to drown out everything that was happening in my head. I never let myself be alone. I figured that this was my natural habitat.

I have to admit, it was very tiring, not being able to function without the company of others. I tried, I really did, but I wasn't happy. I wanted to be in a group of friends and reach out to anyone within radius because I was honestly afraid to go through life alone.

This continued for awhile until that fateful day when I realized that I was a completely different person. I was so preoccupied in being with people that I somehow lost myself in the process. Don't get me wrong, this is not some existential bullshit about woe is me and other cautionary tales. This was an honest to goodness life check. My idea of who I was did not fit my actions. I was too lost in a sea of personalities and individuals that I managed to mix up everything and turned myself into a combination of the different people in my life.

I did not mean for it to happen (or so I like to think). I guess I was so distracted and afraid of being alone with my thoughts and myself that I morphed into something I didn't realize was me. And unfortunately, that's what people saw of me, and sadly, it wasn't good.

And now I'm here. I'm writing to make sense from all of this. I have been thinking about this for the past few weeks and I must say it's refreshing to be alone with my thoughts. I've realized that I don't have to be with people all the time or tailor fit my personality to anyone I meet. I don't even have to go out on a daily basis. Now, honestly, I just want to be with one very special guy.

They say extroverts can't survive without feeding from the energy of the people around them. They say that extroverts can't be left alone or else we'll go crazy. Well, I won't let that title mandate what I have to do. I want to be myself. I am not a 4 letter personality type from a psych test. I know there's more to me than that.

Honestly, the silence is quite comforting.

Constant Conversations: Confessions of an ENFP
8:04 PM

Constant Conversations: Confessions of an ENFP

Apr 17, 2014

We’re only here briefly, and while I’m here I want to allow myself…Joy, so fuck it.
—  Her

Currently listening to: Banks - Warm Waters

I am writing from my little corner in Bulacan while the whole extended family is busy preparing food for a reading in the nearby church. The long weekend was supposed to be for playing Skyrim but my cousin's Playstation is not working so now I'm resorting to the internet and small talk with the aunts and uncles.

As I type this, my aunt told me to play an Evanescence song on my laptop. She then resorted to bringing out the resident videoke machine to get the party started (I think).

I have a lot of thoughts going through my head. My ever so unorganised brain is buzzing with thoughts and ideas and feelings.

A Series Of Life Is Too Short For...
10:51 PM

A Series Of Life Is Too Short For...

Mar 12, 2014

Above my head hovers thousands of songs and thoughts and I sometimes think I don't know which is which.

Above my head I visualize every word from a song that it becomes a real cloud with the pictures forming for everyone to see.

Above my head, something is creating a story for every person I meet. I don't know if that's helpful.

Above my head I form the question: Why is everything not familiar? And why does it remind people of something that's not there.

“I like where I am right now”

“Where are we?”

“I don’t know where we are but I like it.”

I like this part of the world.

What do I feel right now?
12:38 PM

What do I feel right now?

Jan 5, 2014

I grew up watching my parents dance to 80's music, specifically New Wave, as it was the music of their youth. Tears for Fears, The Go-Gos, General Public remixes were part of the formidable years of a young me dancing alone in my crib. 

My high school self got a hold of a collection of Chorus Girl CDs - thus continuing the 80s dancing streak. I would perform alone in my room, pretending to be in a Sheena Easton music video about a long long distance love affair. 

I got into other genres of music and eventually forgot about those Chorus Girl CDs until I started watching The Carrie Diaries.

Let's Talk About: The Carrie Diaries
1:05 AM

Let's Talk About: The Carrie Diaries