Monday, February 27, 2012

Girl-Friend Material

All through my life growing up, at least after the time puberty started and hormones made it matter, I've always felt like I'm someone the boys are close to, not because they want to be with me but because they feel like I'm..

One of them.

I'm the girl they go to to understand girls. I'm like the gateway to the mysterious other sex. I'm the girl who makes sense, the girl who explains stuff, the girl who helps them sort out their issues.

I'm the girl best friend. One of the boys.

I remember talking to my crush when I was thirteen, and him telling me that I caught his eye when he first saw me, but then said "When we looked at each other, I felt like hey, this person is someone that could be my best friend."


I wasn't dumb, I knew it's just a kind way of him saying "You seemed interesting from far away, but when I got close enough I just didn't feel that way about you. But hey you seemed cool."

Granted, we did become really close, even though I was always aware of how attractive he is. But I eventually felt genuinely friendly with him. I began to understand that he's not really what I'm looking for even though I always enjoyed looking at his face and being around him.

I'm not mystified by the reasons either.. I know that I don't act ladylike nor mysterious, and boys love that shit. I've always been so awkward and honest. And I guess, I haven't really spent a fair amount of time acting helpless enough for them to feel like they want to take care of me. First of all, I like doing things on my own, second of all, especially in my country, I am physically on the large side. Not even fat, just really big boned. And I understand how hard it is to feel turned on than intimidated about that.

All these years it's felt like a bad quality to me. Because I sometimes get too close and get my feelings hurt. I sometimes wished they would like me in the way that boys like girls. Not in the way that usually happens: them feeling really comfortable with me, comfortable enough to be themselves in their true form, but also comfortable enough to take me for granted.

But I guess, years of being out of high school and therefore around different people, and finding out what I actually want instead of what seems to be what I want based on what everyone else wants, I've learned a couple things:

1) I don't mind. I like being a friend. You get to appreciate the good stuff in the people without having to deal with the complications of pre-love infatuation games. You have fun, you spend time with them, you get to look at their pretty faces, you joke around, share stories, and even love them as people. And they love you back. But you don't become codependent. And your relationship doesn't get very complicated.

2) It's a good thing. It means I'm good at things like understanding people and helping them sort themselves out. Because I'm awkward, I don't need to save face when something embarrassing happens. Because I'm not mysterious, I don't encourage false expectations about who I am. And who I am isn't half bad. High school just has a way of making young girls feel ugly.

3) It's no big deal. I don't need to be a sexpot. Give me one person who loves me and I love back, and I'm all set. Anyway, I especially don't need to be objectified as just some pretty face. I'd rather be known for my mind. If you really think about it, it's only the weird need for validation in that way that makes this a bad thing. Get rid of the idea that you need to be sexually attractive to be worthy of people's time, and it all becomes really funny.

Basically, without the need to be wanted, everything works out, and my championship in the friendzone arena makes my life really meaningful.

So to any girl out there who feels like shit about always being the girl-friend instead of the girlfriend, don't worry. You're getting more value for your time.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Laidback Thursday v.1 (Tao of Pooh and undergraduate thesis stuff)

Hi! Yeah I'm saying hi now because I feel like I've earned the right to, (or at least it won't seem AS stupid anymore) since I'm only a little less than a hundred views away from a thousand. I'm still an unknown but, I think I've earned saying hi and pretending someone's reading this by now. B-)

So hi! Whoever you are, be you a personal friend who loves me so steadfastly that you'd actually check out mumblings I scatter around the web or a random passerby who's been Googling about Ricky Garduno after watching an episode of Family Guy... Hi to the five or maybe ten of you!

This week in retrospect has not been very great on my self-esteem (regarding my hopes for graduating this semester) but today actually felt a lot better and hopeful. After some days of serious down times of wishing I could just run away to a forest with lots of trees, no people and maybe a single beautiful waterfall, isolating myself from all of society to live in peace and untested stillness, and struggling bigtime to make my thesis film happen, today, I feel more in the process than ever before.

This is, hugely, thanks to the help of The Tao of Pooh.

I let my friend borrow it right after I borrowed it so I didn't have time to read it. She kept it for more than a year! Haha. But gave it back at the MOST. PERFECT. TIME.

Things work out that way.

And now I present to you my trailers and posters.

I've got a LOT of nerve posting these. I haven't even finished shooting! 

(The music in the trailer was made by spontaneously downloading Audacity and humming and "bumbum"-ing to my laptop's crappy mic over and over and over again. The posters were made with MS Paint.)

But yeah, what do you think?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Blog Love v.1

Okay I know that I keep getting stuck with just volume one's of everything for now. I suck at routines. This time I'm not going to try and make this a weekly thing, We know how well that went the last time I tried...

But yeah, right now I just feel like sharing to you blogs I frequent a lot. All pictures are taken from their blogs, all linked up so feel free to click away and start loving them as much as I do <3

1)Tiny Tangerines

Kelly Anne is a twenty-something crafter mom. Her babies have the cutest names! I've been following her for a long time on tumblr now. I just love her, her style, her outlook on life, her ADORABLE family and creations :3 She makes the cutest hats, bows, headbands, and she always rocks adorable nail art (and fierce mermaid/fairy hair).

"You're obsessed with that woman!" 
- My boyfriend's actual words one day I showed him like, three separate pics from Kelly Anne's tumblr.. woops!

2)Delirious Rhapsody

Deanna also runs a mom blog (don't judge me) and she has two adorable little redheaded boys. She updates frequently which I love but also makes her blog a bit addicting! I love reading her posts cos she seems so honest and real, and although I'm not a mom, very relatable.

I love reading the reviews on this site. I don't really buy a lot of chocolate and I try to not eat so much either but I'm really a chocogirl at heart. The writers are really good and describe stuff in a way that makes me feel like I'm tasting them too. :> They also post recipes, which is special. I'm totally thankful for that.

At last.. Mah main squeeze! Haha, in all seriousness I think it's obvious that I get a lot of life fuel from this site. I love it to bits and often mention it. It provides a good mental-emotional sorting out for anyone who is looking for some. I highly recommend it.

I also want to add His Black Dress, which I only found today. 

In Michael Spookshow's own words, he's: 
"Just a spooky boy in a skirt who loves alt fashion. I'm here to sabotage social perceptions about what men should and shouldn't wear, and I'm doing it in a smokin' pair of heels, baby!"

I know some of you might think I'm only mentioning it for the shock value, but honestly, he's REALLY GOOD at this. I'm actually learning a bit about layering and stuff. I'm usually just a sneakers and shorts kinda girl. Looking at his clothes makes me feel like I can be a bit bolder, too. Maybe :p

And who doesn't love a little middle-finger-upping towards society? I think it is a bit queer that girls can wear men's clothes without having to be labelled gay while men can't do the same. I mean, I'm not under the illusion that crossdressing for both sexes should be the norm, but the few men that want to wear women's clothes should really be left to their own choices. 

It would be a pity to force jeans on those amazing legs. He wears heels better than I do.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ricky Garduno and untimely deaths.

This was supposed to be posted last night, but I felt like I didn't have the energy to make the post on this topic conclusive to anything. I still can't make it conclusive today, but I think that's kind of the point. So don't expect to learn anything from this I guess.

Yesterday was all about untimely deaths. And recognizing that nobody is spared. Even myself, if ever events decided it.

My brother was driving me to the bus stop. A crazy fast, colossal truck wooshed by us, honking me to full-awakeness. And as I've been somehow doing a lot lately, I imagined the outcome of an instance wherein it didn't just zoom past us, but kind of hit us, causing a domino effect or whatever, ultimately just crushing us and killing us.

I thought about my boyfriend, and how I would really hate myself if I had to leave that way. I was suddenly reminded of his brother, who died in an accident a couple years ago, and in a weird way I felt again the shock that I oddly felt when I'd just heard of the story and imagined it. If I, who never even met him, feel so much frustration over what happened, like I can't accept that it happened, what more for my baby who knew him all his life? The thought of making him feel that way again, left by someone closest to him, it just made me worry about where he would get his reasons for living if I suddenly die. I know that he would, eventually, but just the thought of the initial hurt was enough to make me hate myself for that event. Which didn't even happen.

Sorry about that. That was dark, but it's honestly what went through my mind. That happens sometimes. Dunno what it is, maybe a little bit of this?:

These are screencaps from the latest episode of Family Guy. Coincidentally, it was what really triggered this post last night. After the show was over, this slide was shown:

As always, when I see something like this and the person who just died looks young, I read up about them. Young people dying just sets off an alarm in me, like I immediately need to see an explanation. Maybe it's a self-bracing thing. I guess I want to know about things that could kill me before I'm ready. Maybe I want to see how the factors aren't the same for me, or at least gather up more note-to-selfs towards avoiding that path.

I never knew Ricky before that episode and this whole post might seem obnoxious to anyone who did. But after googling his name, and reading the first two results, my heart ached for him. He was apparently in so much pain. And unlike a lot of the (possible)suicides I've heard of, he wasn't someone who just gave up. He tried to get up on his feet. He tried to fight. People saw him struggle. But somehow, a foolish act one night took his life. I don't know if it was on purpose... One of his friends made an illustration saying something about how she doesn't want to believe he really wanted to kill himself.. that he just "went down a gray path and.. stopped being careful, you know?" And I totally get that. Whatever the actual act was.

"Suicide by omission".. I get it.

Whether it be by being so weak inside that one cannot look after himself anymore, or a blink of an eye that was less than careful, the point is that things just happen. Things just happen sometimes. Not for a reason. And I really believe that. I believe that "the reasons" are just ways to look at the bright side, which is nice. But in the end, nothing can really prepare us. Nothing can be calculated to guess a certain result. Life is unpredictable.

Some people might ask, "then why try to control things if at anytime, things can happen to fuck you up?" But I'd really rather take advantage of whatever I can grab by myself. Whatever I want to control, I'll control. I won't let the fear of death stop me. I don't want to live as if I'm just a death waiting to happen. I already am, but I'm also a life that is already happeNING. If I die tomorrow, at least I will die while I'm alive.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How to not F*ck Relationships Up

 (not just on Valentine's, but for the whole year!)

The most festive title for the most festive of occasions!

        For two people who share a lot in common or understand each other and love and respect each other very deeply anyway, for love to work is natural. What really happens when shit hits the fan is that we get in the way. We weatherproof, we get greedy, we get needy, we worry, we blame, we overthink... We create all of the batshit craziness that ends up spoiling all the fun.

        These are things I've learned and am still learning about relationship maintenance. A lot of this was inspired by an article I found in Reader's Digest back when I was single, awkward and forever alone (I was around 15) Being the big emosh-fixer that I am, I somehow felt the need to remember the information even though it didn't apply to me yet. I read the article over and over, flipping back and forth, absorbing all I can, and I even took notes in my cellphone. I felt like it was my duty to keep this treasure that I found (seriously, it felt really precious and revolutionary to me) and if I die single and never get to use it for my own life, I could always comfort my friends with it when they are in the middle of hard times. Little did I know that very shortly I would have found the magic of internet archives and it would be available online anyway.
          Anyway, time has fermented the teachings in me, and through osmosis they have been reduced to simpler, easier to remember nuggets of wisdom that have either become natural to me, or more accessible to remember. I'm now going to simplify the best things that I learned and lived, and share them:

1) Blame is Lame
Optimism: Because anything can go wrong if you set your mind to it.
       Intimate relationships. They are sensitive. When we become so attached to a particular person, we start to become dependent on them. They are suddenly responsible for our whole emotional well-being. We identify to them, and when they fail to give us something we think we need from them, we freak out. Calmeth thine teats. Take a step back brosef, and understand that sometimes we need to ASK for things. Not in a "WHY HAVEN'T YOU DONE THIS" kind of way, but in a "You know what? I would like it if you..." Because let's face it. Most of the population is not psychic. Instead of freaking out and blaming your partner for their shortcomings (or whatever else goes wrong in your life, like your toilet not flushing) give them a gentle poke towards the right direction (okay, not necessarily the "right" direction especially if you're kind of a psycho, but towards whatever you feel you might need.).. This way, with some hope, and time, and some laws of nature, your partner will get to know you better and better and feel encouraged to do it whenever s/he does something right. I don't want to sound like I'm comparing people to dogs but, positive reinforcement, man. (great. now I sound like a speciesist. Whatever.)

If you try to change each other by scolding and complaining, you will already feel like you failed at something. It just sucks the fun out of everything. We start feeling insecure now, and stupid, and in some cases, we start looking for other people who will give that great feeling again, the one we felt at the start, when our loved one made us feel good about ourselves. Rather than pure evil. 

You keep hurting meee. You keep hurting mee!

2) See the Good.
Extreme Grammar Nazis: The new cat ladies
    It only makes sense to be right if it betters the situation. OR if you're in a debate in national TV or something. And even in that situation I think the same goes. I would still want the (for example) politician who can make the world a better place to be the one regarded as "right". I'm not saying we should let each other get away with everything. I'm just saying that, in our individual quests for justice I hope we don't fail in the quest for happiness. And joy. And joyness. I don't see the sense in being right if it antagonizes my loved one senselessly.

Instead of looking at it as "you're right I'm wrong" or "I'm wrong you're right" let us focus on just "how do we make this work for both of us?" Think win-win. The question of wrongness or rightness is just a matter of pride, mostly. Feel free to consider each other's opinion, and be honest with what you really THINK is correct instead of what you WANT to be correct. Think in third person. Now, this is very sensitive and difficult at times. For example, when one is like, TOTALLY in the wrong, and one is in the right but a very gentle person? Would it be good if the gentler person yielded to the psycho one? Not really. So this really only works with people who are in it together and understand and respect each other. So, if you're reading this and you want to implement it, it's really a lot more beneficial if you let your partner read it too. *cough*

See the general good, the universal good, and what's good in your partner. That's really all that matters. The good stuff. Look at the stuff you LIKE about them. Because if you focus on the bad... Little things become really bad stuff and... You'll get a hurricane on your face.

3) It's the Little Things
Cheesiness: Not so disgusting when you're both guilty of it. PS: Hi hairy arms :p~
     Be silly. leave them notes. They don't have to be overtly cheesy or romantic, they can be just hilarious. And it would still be sweet, because no matter what it says, what it says under the lines is simple: "I thought of you." Making our presence felt as much as we can can mean everything to our partners. Even if its just putting the blanket over their sleeping bodies, leaving a text, cleaning the toilet, whatever floats your boat, when the person feels like you thought of them even when you weren't around them, it makes it clear to them that you're CHOOSING to be with them. You're not just stuck in something you signed up for in the start and don't really want anymore, you're not just comfortable and used to the routine of it all, you're really there and you love them, and you're choosing them again and again everyday.

Have a lovely Valentine's day (or night c;)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Emotional Expansion

I'm sure this has been said before, and in my life I've found it to be personally true. The more room your heart has for sadness, the more room it has for joy. Now unfortunately this also goes the other way around. When I started to allow myself to feel more, I felt more of EVERYTHING.

I laugh easier, I cry easier... I cry when I watch Ellen and she gives really cool nice deserving people stuff they need, I cry sometimes when I stare at my baby brother and think about how he isn't a baby anymore and how someday I'll be moving in a house away from him... I cry when I see mindblowingly cute furry animals.

Personally, however, feeling genuine sadness over something after a long time of feeling like I had no genuine feelings, actually felt happy in a way. I felt like a fuller human being. I felt that I cared for something, meaning I had precious stuff in my life. Call it crazy, but we all know that life isn't really black and white anyway, even though it may seem easier to look at it as so.

I guess I've grown out of a phase within this past year. A phase of teenage-idgaf-ity. During that phase it just felt like I was so above the stuff that used to bother me, because I felt that found something constant within myself. And it made difficult situations so much easier. But after a while I started feeling like I was numb. And clearly it wasn't something I wanted if I wasn't comfortable.

It's not a very consistent thing. Some days are more emotional than others. And I still get days wherein I just do not give a damn about the usual things people worry about in life. But it's a kind of indifference that feels good, and enlightened instead of bereft of any sympathy or emotion. It's a kind of no-care that just feels like I ACTUALLY care, I'm just not WORRIED is all. :)

So yeah, as usual, it's constantly changing but there are just some things that you can never totally unlearn. They stick to you and become a part of your inner compass :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Conservative Delusion

Hi. Just warning you. This might make our relationship awkward.

But a thought came across me today, as I unmounted the van I was riding to get home. A girl who was once my playmate was on her bike going the opposite direction. I told the driver that she used to be my playmate and now she's a mommy. Then I remembered a conversation I had with my boyfriend where he was surprised about a friend of his who was "only six months older" than he having a baby. I told him it's not unusual for people our age to start having children. He said that it was in France. I realised that the fact that it is prevalent around me does not really make it normal everywhere.

Walking into my house I thought, isn't it ironic that I'm the one living in a so-called conservative country?

These are in no way isolated, coincidential cases. If you compare teen pregnancy rates (and even divorce rates) in America for example, numbers are worse in conservative or evangelical communities and states. Although mainstream media (e.g. Sarah Palin's daughter) has influenced me into thinking this and that isn't always the best way to assume things about a country, I thought it was important to only spout credible conclusions and researched so I'm not making this up:

"Perhaps paradoxically, states with a majority conservative population and higher degree of religiosity tend to have higher teen birthrates. The findings suggest that the social structure of the state, such as the degree of conservatism, can undermine the effect of the sex curricula.

The researchers, from Washington University in St. Louis (WUSL), do not recommend abstinence-based education, but rather crafting sex education curricula that take into account the influences of a state's sociopolitical composition. The study appears today (Feb. 6) in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine."

"Ignoring sex education does not appear to be working very well. Bible studies and pretending as though sex doesn't happen with teens is not a policy. Wouldn't it be nice to see this Congress put an end to the silly abstinence programs that cost so much and deliver consistently bad results? Oh wait, we need to be fair to them too despite the facts."

"Ask most people about the differences between families who live in “red” (conservative) states and “blue” (liberal) states, and you’ll hear a common refrain: Massachusetts and California are hotbeds of divorce and teen pregnancy, while Nebraska and Texas are havens of virtue and stability.

The reality is quite different. 

...The US family system, which once differed little by class or region, has become a marker of race, culture, and religion. A new “blue” family paradigm has handsomely rewarded those who invest in women’s as well as men’s education and defer childbearing until the couple is better established. These families, concentrated in urban areas and the coasts, have seen their divorce rates fall back to the level of the 1960s, incomes rise, and nonmarital births remain rare. With later marriage has also come greater stability and less divorce...

Difficulties in the “red” world, meanwhile, have grown worse. Traditionalists continue to advocate abstinence until marriage and bans on abortion. They’ve said an emphatic “no” to the practices that have made the new “blue” system workable.
Yet, paradoxically, as sociologist Brad Wilcox reports, evangelical Protestant teens have sex at slightly earlier ages on average than their nonevangelical peers (respectively, 16.38 years old versus 16.52 years old), evangelical Protestant couples are also slightly more likely to divorce than nonevangelical couples, and evangelical mothers are actually more likely to work full time outside the home than their nonevangelical peers.
Sociologist Paul Amato concludes that among the marriages least likely to last are those in which women who would prefer homemaking roles end up working outside of the home much more than they expected because of the husband’s inability to support the family."

I believe that a big part of the cause is that religion traditionally imposes that the women do not take charge of their sexuality, bodies, and lives. In fact in the bible days they are under ownership of men, either their fathers or husbands. Pretty sick and stupid to somehow sneak into modern days in some subconscious manner but it has. Girls who grow up in conservative or religious backgrounds are made to feel bad and disgusting for being sexual. We should stop fooling ourselves. If your kid is above 18 they have thought of sex and are of legal age. This doesn't mean that they should start dancing and waving their fannies around and having casual sex everywhere, it only means that they have grown old enough to be aware of sex and are old enough to make the right choices FOR THEMSELVES. And if they don't make the right choices what more is to blame than a society that deems contraception unholy for it communicates an intent to take part in a very basic human activity? What conservatism does is to force people to cut off of very natural urges, setting them up for failure. When you deny them sexual education this does not make the urges stop. It just makes them charge towards sexual acts uninformed and unprepared. If we raise our kids equipped with all of the knowledge they need to acquire regarding these matters they are actually less likely to make mistakes because they take the necessary steps to avoid the consequences that need to be avoided.

Sexuality isn't always automatically dirty, filthy, or disgusting. Examine yourself if you think it is. It could be shared between people who care for each other as an expression of unity and trust. And shame on you if you cause a young person to feel that it can only be a bad thing. Shame on you for letting them feel like they are despicable when the causes are natural and inherent. Shame on you for misleading them instead of giving them the proper tools and education to give them the power to control themselves. If you suppress a very strong force you create pressure and it becomes harder to control once a barrier is crossed. It's far better to safely guide a current where it has to go and where it won't end up destroying everything in its path.

Trust that they know what they are doing. In this age, they usually do. Especially if you help them. Unless you guilt them out of their own logic.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My 2012 Theme Word

Today (tuesday lol, i wrote in advance and queued ehehehe) as I was walking the short distance from the first jeepney I write from and to school everyday to the second one, I had an idea that I felt would help me stick with my new year goals. Details regarding how I came up with it are now murky, but I decided that I should create a mantra of simple encouragements towards the ideal me that I want to achieve soon (like, this year) and write it on a card that will move forward in my planner as the year passes by. It would be small things that, if I reminded myself of them and did them everyday, would significantly improve my state of life. Something like "Today I will: Eat clean, eat well, Move, drink lots of water, Learn, Love, do my best, appreciate, laugh" etc.

But then I read today's entry from Think Simple Now, and in a magical way it coincided with the idea. It encouraged me to choose a word instead of a mantra to guide my whole year, but in a way it doesn't make the mantra idea obsolete either. It may even guide me to remember it. :)

Almost instantly after reading the instruction to create it, my word just hit me: BUILD. Following the first instruction to expand on the word, here is:

1) What it means to me:

  • build a healthy body, investing in exercise, healthy diet, self care, even with the girly stuff. no shame in loving yourself.
  • build a career. now that i'm graduating i can start building ways to financially support myself. and to use my talents and whatnot
  • build better relationships with people in my life
  • build a lifestyle that is kind to our habitat
  • build my self-esteem
  • build savings? doesn't sound very correct but intuitively, it does enough.
  • build myself!

2) What I feel a life of "building" looks like:

  • it is a life of investment in things that have a value, not only in the end but at every single moment that it  is invested. investing towards things that pay off  both today, and in the long term.
  • it is doing the little things that together, build up bigger things of importance. it is to focus on the process of building before the yielding, and fully immersing and enjoying myself in it.
  • more literally, it will be about creation, the little stuff i build and make to give and sell. I want to immerse myself even more in DIY :) making things other people would rather buy :) just cause i can ...and cause it's better for the habitat and my wallet at times. Speaking of DIY, the earth and my wallet, check this wallet I made out of an old comic book!
made 6 more of these :)

In the end, the whole process of making oneself commit to goals or resolutions is a step towards self-betterment. We must treat these things we list as suggestions. Any step we progress towards them is a good thing and should be celebrated. The point is that you became better. Let us approach them with the attitude of "I would like to" instead of "I must" to keep it light and fun. Again, the Now is what matters. Whenever the Now may be.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Resume to myself. A self-esteem exercise.

Hello Bea.

I'm Bea and I want to be accepted into your company. Recent years have diluted your trust in my abilities and so here I am reminding you of what I can do for you if you let me. My skills/talents include:

Magic. Just kidding. :) (kinda)

  1. Writing - songs, articles, poems, stories, screenplays
  2. Singing - most genres, too. I'm versatile
  3. Dancing - I'm also versatile in this albeit a bit rusty, outdated and lacking in practice. But a few pushups and situps and you got yourself a dancer.
  4. All sorts of DIY and crafts - I like making stuff other people buy. I easily learn how to handle materials and am willing to learn more if you invest in my education about these things.
  5. Painting, sketching, etc - My abilities in this area surprises people, usually. I don't really advertise this much. But I don't want you to forget this. It's there and it can still be ripened.
  6. Having one-woman production material - If you clone me enough times, you'll be able to form a team that includes a make up artist, a lightsman, an actress, a director, an art director, a voice talent, a production designer, someone to do the dirty work it takes to create sets and props, and even a morale booster. 
  7. Design - Again I'm outdated in this regard, I didn't really keep with the times in terms of software (I still use MS Paint) and I haven't fully migrated to a cyber platform yet in terms of designing, but I believe that if you invest in training me, it will be very much worth your time.

I would like to work with you and make your dreams come true. Please allow me to do so. Everything creative interests me, and with enough encouragement and positive reinforcement I believe I can be everything you need. I can even bake you cupcakes and make sure they're healthy for you, too.

Again, hello, I'm Bea, and I do everything. Please give me a chance to.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

depersonalising personal problems

talking knees of friendship hehe
If there's one thing I've learned about personal problems, it's that it actually only brings about trouble if you take them too personally. Even in the most intimate of relationships, you can't go to battle with both your mind and your heart. You must keep your heart to yourself and tackle with only your brain in tow.

Many times now, I've made the mistake of feeling too much while talking something out (with someone close to me that is). I think it's something I got from my mother. In some relationships it's very hard to not feel emotionally invested in arguments or discussions. Sometimes because it can't be helped, or you feel somehow obliged to feel and appear emotionally driven in the argument, lest you make your mom or lover or best friend feel that you don't really care about them.

But I say, go ahead! Feel free to appear like you don't care. Risk it. What you gain is a calmer state of mind, and ultimately a clearer approach to the actual problem. It's a problem, fix it. Don't just dramatize. It's not a play. Even if you look cold during the argument, after you succeed in actually fixing it, and explain your intention afterwards, I think the other party should really appreciate and recognize how much effort that took, and how it really proves that you're sincere and that you care enough about them and in fixing the problem. And if they don't, well, you know you did the right thing.

To depersonalise a personal problem is tricky. It takes control, an assertive calm, and most of all, it really tests how much you care. In a non-personal, selfish (as in, focusing on one's personal logic) state of mind, you are free to walk away and not compromise when you see it fit. It shows the real value you put on things. In a messier, more emotionally-driven argument, we spout many illogical crap like "So you mean you don't love me?", just general obviously excessive accusations and whatnot, which are, in all their forms, (and there are many) just a way to measure how much the other person cares. To push an all-or-nothing button, hoping to send them into panic mode thinking they might lose you at that very moment. In which point it would be mean for them to say anything other than "No of course I love you" or whatever the right answer is. Some obvious, unneccessary blurtation that does little to nothing about the problem. They are trapped. And ironically less sincere feelings are actually expressed. We start learning to recite what is wanted to be heard to the point that they sometimes feel like chores instead of loving statements.

This is a practice that I've always applied in regular discussions etc, but I have found, now that I've got a relationship that is more intimate in its nature, that this is harder to apply. In E and mine's relationship, even though I am the more open, accepting, tolerant one, I am also the emotional/less-logic-driven one, especially in more personal matters. I am lucky to have found a partner who is a bit better at stepping away from "feelings" when a real discussion is being held. It has so far allowed me to revert back into that state of mind-over-matter even in really intimate discussions. At times I feel sad when E does this, but in the end, after the discussion is settled, I always end up appreciating him a lot more for doing just that. By sticking to his guns he encourages the relationship to be between two sincere people, clueless as he may be about this fact  (I think XD) :) Granted, there is still a balance to be achieved between both of us (we're on opposite extremes there somehow) but I appreciate that he is complimentary to me and always grounds me by being himself when I get too emotionally involved in a discussion.

I guess, this summation of a lesson is also a way of thanking him disguised (or multi-tasking?) as musings and learnings written on a little blog that nobody reads :3

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Graduation Pressure

Just decided I should write something personal or whatevers.

I'm supposed to be graduating from college this April, and more or less I've got my after-uni life planned out... The problem is that there isn't really a guarantee that I WILL get to graduate. Still got a lot of stuff to do, and I haven't shot the most of my film for my final production. Then there's a documentary I'm making about my friend for Documentary class (which is already a retake btw), and there's still that take-home exam I didn't get to submit for one class (I'm making up for it by going to the field trip, it grants you an automatic 2.5 and above) and then my internship requirements and grades.. I still haven't gotten around to handling them.

Thinking about all of this at one go gives me a sickening feeling at the bottom of my stomach and my feet. I feel a lot of pressure from relatives. They keep asking me when I'll graduate (not even just once. Most of them just HAVE to ask over and over again. Maybe they're doing it on purpose to torture me. Nah, probs just fail attempts at small talk.)

I try to focus on one moment at a time. A day, a week... Because otherwise I really will panic. And in some ways I panic a little everyday. The bad thing is that I end up sleeping it off, or watching something or playing a game just to comfort myself. Usual shenanigans, nothing new here. But in my defense I really am trying. In fact, the reason why I blog a lot lately (you can't see it yet cos I cue them hehe) is cause I'm slowly trying to do procrastination activities that are productive haha.

Anyway hope everyone's having a less stressful start of the year than I am!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Obligatory Enjoyment

As sort of a continuation from yesterday's post, which was about directing intention, I write this one about directing enjoyment, which is the step that bridges most of us to our intentions. This was thought of before that one, when i was sitting in Geology class and our professor advised all of us, after suffering a heart attack that set our syllabus a bit behind, to choose a job we enjoy doing, because life is short and it's useless to save money at the expense of happiness.

Intentions are born through desire. It is in wanting to get to an island where we find the intention to build a boat. In bigger terms, in our day-to-day grind, it will be difficult to direct your intention for an act towards a bigger picture that you don't really understand, or feel inspired to be a part of.

We are used to seeing enjoyment as a form of a reward. Something we don't control. A treat. A welcome surprise. But maybe we are relinquishing too much of our authority in this. Maybe we have more control over it than we'd like to think we have.

I'm beginning to wonder about the possibility that people can find genuine happiness through seeing enjoyment as obligatory. Something that MUST be had. Not something one just chances upon or doesn't according to fate's design.

The idea of manipulating one's level of enjoyment in a given activity may sound like a heinous crime to people who are be-true-to-yourself fanatics. It may sound like insincerity, lies, compromise. But if you really think about it, what are you compromising when what you gain is happiness? Isn't happiness the point of it all? This endeavor basically rewards itself.

In a perfect scenario, you'd sit down and decide what you want, and simply go for it and get it. For example, you get in a company you really love doing business you really love doing, and you totally believe in your company and think that the earth is a better place with it. But a lot of us leave our true desires aside to make way for convenience. That's not necessarily wrong, but it leads us to the typical lifestyle of a person hating their job. And when you're already there, should you ever decide to settle there for the meantime instead of leaving it to go for what you want, wouldn't you like to be enjoying yourself?
Yeah yeah, I know... One cannot always simply just decide they like something. But when you are stuck in a situation that does not have an easy fix, would you choose to hate every minute of the wait, or learn to enjoy the process somehow?

I believe that even with the absence of feeling one with your company's vision or whatever, you can still enjoy yourself enough to lead a healthy lifestyle that doesn't push your blood pressure through the roof or send you into slow depression. By slicing your idea of time into bite-sized pieces and focusing on each slice.
It's not about lying to oneself. True enjoyment isn't even possible if you're aware that it's not real. That would be called acting. Not the same thing. What I think is possible, is a person actively LOOKING to find something to feel happy about, even when it's small, and actively trying to look at their jobs as positively as they can. Basically, respecting themselves as they have been taught to respect everyone else's occupation no matter what they are.

I really do hope that whatever I do after college, I will respect. I wish to not have to talk about it with disdain in my voice when my friends ask about what I do. I mean, of course I'd be self-depreciating about it, or be humble or whatever, but I hope that it's a: "it's small but i'm enjoying it" kind of thing instead of a "argh i hate my job i don't belong here i'm so unfulfilled what am i doing" kind of thing. I imagine that when I feel weary and bored and tired of the routine, I might try and do that pathetic thing where I imagine myself as someone I'm watching. I somehow have this belief that whoever I become, if I'm not aware of myself somehow voyeuristically, then I will sink into weariness. Why? (I know it sounds really weird so let me explain) Because I'm trained to see/create an image of an ideal being as how they might look in front of me, but not so much how they FEEL inside their own bodies. I don't even really imagine myself when I think of an ideal being. Just an abstract image or idea of a woman being whatever I want to become at any moment, and if my imagination was a video, the being would be in the frame. It isn't the POV kind of deal, which I think it should be, because if it's not, then my reality would never be the same. And since that's kind of hard for now, I'm sticking with just being aware of the "me" as a viewer outside of it, looking at it. It somehow always looks better to me that way. Everyone looks cooler to me when I watch them. But when I imagine myself living their lives I feel like I'd exactly the way I feel about my life anyway, why not just admire my own?

In the end, if what you are doing is even the least bit worthwhile, you'll find something worth your while to do, and happily. If you don't, then maybe you should rethink your priorities and do something else. Life is short, soldier. Chop chop. (sorry about the preachy tone. But I'm only talking to myself here.)

image source

Monday, February 6, 2012

Directing Intention (accidental learning during yoga)

While doing a yoga routine I found on Youtube, I heard the Yogi say "set an intention" followed by a short pause before starting. I'm not that well-versed in yoga, and had no idea at all about what it meant, so during the pause I had to think back, what did she say? Somehow it registered in my head as "Direct your intention" and that made sense to me. I thought she meant something along the lines of "Be in your body. Be present. Be mindful" as in, every stroke of the hand, every lifting up of the self from the floor, should feel intentional. That my desire should follow through with what I'm doing, or, that I should act like what I'm doing follows through with my desires.


Apparently, what she said was "set an intention for your practice" and what this means in yoga is to dedicate your practice to something. Your health, your children, anything, not as a novena-like, future-embedded wish but a way of being, in the now, a way of dedicating what you are doing right there on the mat, as an actualization of the self you want to be. Presently. Beautiful thought, and a bit similar, but not totally.

Even so, I found my misheard version of the instruction to be very wise. Direct your intention. Those words, even though misheard, guided me throughout the whole 27 minutes of the video to be present, still, sort of emptying myself of inhibition and thought, allowing myself to be occupied by trust in the sound of the Yogi's voice, to follow her instructions, and my body's messages. And the risk of sounding loony, it made what I was doing feel powerful. I felt the good that the practice was doing in my muscles, my bones, and my veins. It was as if I was hypnotized, but not by something outside myself (like a tyrant) but by something bigger than me that is inside all of us. I'm essentially an atheist, but you're welcome to read it as "god" if that's your cup of tea. Or, I guess it's safer to say that I felt one with the practice itself. Which is quite remarkable in its own right. I'm somebody who usually lives in her head and is immobilized by the moment.

In my PE classes this week, I found this nugget of wisdom to really help when I feel less than enthusiastic about busting a move. When you direct your intention, directing your action becomes unnecessary. Your body just does what you want. It stops resisting you, and you stop dragging it. You both want to punch through the muscle pains, the gasps, the sweat, the rising heartrates. It's a feeling similar to what one would feel while imagining that they are a bullet heading ceaselessly towards an aim. This feeling may be old to most of my already-actualized, headstrong, strong-willed friends, but for us lot, the sloths of the urban jungle, the forever hesitant crowd, it may sound more relatable and hence helpful.

In terms of exercise, this is very easy to apply. You just direct your intention in every flying taebo fist and every heavy hamstring you lift to kick an imaginary despicable popstar infront of you. In subtler physical acts as the one I am in the middle of now, where actions are dynamic and complex, and are in need of constant thought, It's much harder. But I'm willing to try and cross the gap.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Friendship: the secret ingredient of true romansa

As I grow older, I am slowly unearthing a dusty gem. One that is still half-submerged, but with a sparkle that can't be denied. Perhaps people are aware of it, but it's camouflaging in hardened, opaque, concrete.
So people sense its manifestations, like rays of the sun, but cannot perceive the thing itself:
That friendship is the real romance.

It seems that we have decided to separate love and friendship, parting them with thin glass, painfully keeping ourselves alert to keep the two from mixing, as if the growing roots of the slow creep of the contamination will make both of them murky, or make the vial explode. Killing us from the inside, paralysing us, confused, bewildered, afraid to be somebody with the dirty insides, someone insincere, someone who can't keep things locked inside of wherever they belong.
Even though some very good things come from two liquids infusing. Mmmm. Always love me a cuppa.

Humans like appearing pristine. We like order, we like to know where something is, what something is, feeling like this somehow gives us a better idea of where something is going. But does it really? I think taking all of romance out of friendships risk loyalty and respect, while taking friendship out of romance gives it a really short life and a potential for a crashing or slow death.

what felt magic can becomes either undone or overdone when you try to make a story out of it. especially when you’re a story-maker. - Amanda Palmer

Romance as we've been trained to perceive it, is a show. It's never in the inside, the way we perceive it from the outside.

I'm starting to learn that real romance is in friendship, and feeling like friends in a romantic relationship doesn't make the love platonic, and that platonic friendships can be romantic. All it takes is respect, love, trust, and (optional) pixie dust.

I'm not saying that you should have sex with your friends, or that it's okay to act like everyone is your lover. There is a line between mutual love, respect, and friendly admiration and outright, no-excuses sleazyness. When two friends truly respect one another, they take everything into account, and give each other the right amount of space, and only are there for the best interest of them and their friend, in equal measures. Not just themselves. (And not just their friend. I'd like to think of it as growing together, not serving someone)

What I'm saying is that real, high-grade quality friendship, be it in a marital/relationship kind of union or a platonic partnership, is the stuff that makes us feel warm inside, that makes us smile when we think about it, and what makes us look forward to life. Isn't it very much the same thing? Remove all of the hype you get from songs, movies, books that give us a bias towards finding someone, and falling helplessly in love, and isn't it quite the same thing?

I mean sure there are differences in its nature, especially in terms of physical intimacy, children, and in most cases, co-habitation, but in the end of it all, it's in nurturing friendships that we find solid investments for relationships that last, and last happily. Whatever the nature may be.

What makes one happy in a romantic relationship isn't the roses, or the wedding, or destiny, or the idea of soulmates, or even "having someone".. Those might be the things that make us hold on, and make us happy in abstract ways, but what really makes us decidedly happy in each moment is the little things, in small moments, the peculiarities of your other that you recognize and love, like little secrets that slowly unfold when one looks at someone long enough. Their smell, curly springs of hair at their nape, the way they look at you when you amuse them, the way arguments never seem to last very long before you are left temporarily mute once again, immobilized how their eyes seem to always radiate a warm loving light even when you are fighting. Not giving each other roses everyday, not even always holding each other's hand.. Somewhere down the road, you start just living beside each other, and when you find that this is very comfortable and natural to you, and makes you feel loving and loved, when you feel like your lover is a true friend, by your side, someone to talk to, to share moments with, to build and create things with, isn't that the most romantic it can get?

I know that maybe everyone I know (those who have loved) already know this, but I honestly haven't had much experience. I've been very comfortable in the friend zone all my life and I'm that kind of girl that is "best-friend material" to guys. So this is new to me, but it's nonetheless a wonderful thing to realise and see. And very comforting to experience.