Friday, September 28, 2012

Recipe notes

          I wrote down recipes I found online that I definitely want to try soon! Then of course I doodled over them. These were coloured in using Photoscape. 

First up, "Meat balls! (for Spaghetti)"

I've been craving for this for a while. Mostly thanks to that Spag n Meatballs from Yellowcab that Emmy and I ate for dinner on our last night in Boracay last month. It had two huge ones, it was so gooood. I can't help thinking about Top Gear when I remember the taste. I might always have that association with it. That's the show we were watching as we ate.
Special thanks to Chef John from for the recipe!

        The meatball is having a marvelous moment of self-realization before death due to nom. "That's me. I am a meatball. I was created for spaghetti. "

Second is DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte! Why? We don't get them here. I guess if you don't get the season, you don't get the seasonal drink that comes with it. I did have a salted caramel mocha on the weekend, though. And they had "autumn blend" coffee. So I don't know why they don't sell this. Most canned punkin is made from kalabasa anyway...

Optional: whipped cream and nutmeg.


Or the preposterous pouncing at profoundness.

     One of the traits that differentiate us humans from or beastly brothers is the ability to give meaning to the mundane. In the universe's objective way, everything is just what it is. No judgement, no motives, no "reason for everything". But humans feel the need to piece things together. They want the world to "make sense".

To be fair, this quality isn't bad. It improves the quality and happiness of life. It gives us a sense of purpose. It keeps us going.

But where is the line between necessary and too much?

Some people are so attached to the search for meaning that they start to overlook what's in front of them. They start building stories around everything, which makes them misread intentions, and assume the character and intentions of the people around them based on what "makes sense" in this story they have built.

Sadly this uproots them from reality and makes it hard for those closest to them to relate to them. Instead of genuine, spontaneous interaction, they get stuck in their heads. You'll see in their eyes that they're drifting away while you talk to them, piecing things together in their brain, making up connections between things and events that aren't necessarily true.

It's hard to get through to these people, especially when they've held you hostage as one of the characters in their tales. You have to step back and realise that they are trapped so that you don't get fed into the book and get trapped yourself. And if you can, be the light that guides them out.

Meaning is nice, when it makes reality seem more sweet or bearable. But once you let the search for meaning distort reality, you build your thoughts on a very unstable foundation. And think of the horrors of basing your actions on these thoughts!

Once in a while I have to stop to remind myself to look at what's in front of my eyes, instead of what's in my head. Usually I automatically allow my brain to control me, disheartening me from doing what's the best for me, already failing me before I start, making me feel shy to reach out to those I love, even if they show no evidence that they are annoyed by me, etc etc etc.

It sounds easy, but especially when it's your subconscious' default pattern, it's a bit challenging: you have to catch yourself when you allow thoughts that do not serve you, and guide yourself to a healthier perspective. You have to look what's in front of you and realise that it can go either up or down, and that it's your call to choose if you want to act towards your advantage, or towards defeat.

In my experience, when I open my eyes instead of my mind's storybook, details actually begin to be richer, and hence, more meaningful after all. I feel that I'm in contact with a kind of magic that's imminent and doesn't need to be explained. When I look at the people I love, listen to beautiful music, unquestioningly absorbing what they bring to my senses instead of letting them stand by the side to wait until I've found "the perfect spot" for them in my story.  I'm directly in contact with my surroundings, and everything's beautiful.

With or without meaning, this universe is a magical place to be.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

the n00b advantage

I've always been vocal about being a fan of Cesar Millan. I even dedicated a campaign proposal project in school to his philosophies. Today I watched an episode of the Dog Whisperer that pulled on my heartstrings a lot of different ways.

First of course, the main story of the episode and the basis for the episode title, there was Gotti and his late owner Jimmy who was a great follower of Cesar (from afar) and looked up to him in the way he trained Gotti. 

Cesar came over to his bereaved family months after Jimmy died to rehabilitate Gotti, who was already used to the techniques from Jimmy because Jimmy watched Cesar so closely when he was still alive. By this time Daddy had already passed away, and Cesar noted that Gotti has similar behaviours to Daddy. Jimmy's sister emotionally expressed that she felt really honoured by Cesar's comment, (and to be honest I felt emotional too) and felt proud that Jimmy seemed to have done things right with Gotti. Like Cesar said, it was like he met Jimmy in spirit, and he was very much still alive through his legacy in raising Gotti.
Second, there was the story of Madison and her owner Adrianna. Madison's only real behaviour problem was how she jumps at people when she greets them. At 150 pounds, it proved to be a bit serious after Adrianna's dad sustained a neck injury and had to wear a neck brace. Adrianna seemed to be aware from the start that she had problems asserting herself, specifically in terms of personal space. She grew up with a twin sister and never had to familiarize herself with owning it. She said she "wasn't good" at it, because of this fact.
Cesar and Daddy

But Cesar digressed and said (this is paraphrased from memory):

That's good! To me, all I see is possibility. ‘Cos you don’t know how to do it wrong! You’ve never tried it. It’s a blank canvass.
That hit me on the head like a bottle of cold water on a hot, sweaty day. Unexpected, eventually what you needed in the first place, and ultimately refreshing.

I realised that there are probably many things in life that I put myself down about, but have never actually tried to know for sure. Selling, working in a professional environment (that isn't run by my mom that is), croquet, tennis, writing a book, even the big things, like running a business!

There are so many things too, that I felt like I've tried and failed at, when I in fact haven't given them a real good try and can't possibly judge myself on them fairly. So much things that I've mentally sorted as "not my thing" when I've in fact not really given them a good go to be sure. And they're things that I find really interesting so it's not like there's no reason to try!

What I do know I'm not very good at is constancy and determination. I definitely know how to do those wrong. But the fact that this comes from knowing something changes my paradigm: Maybe I can change the way I know about them, and get a way that will work for me! Cesar had certainly changed many people who knew very well how to do stuff wrong. It's harder and needs more repetition, but not impossible.

But first I need to focus and re-frame the way I think about the things that I'm "bad" at but haven't really tried. Who knows, maybe I'm actually good at them.

First things on my list:

  1. making documentaries
  2. doing citations
  3. finishing college
Okay okay, I admit I kinda molded that to my current needs but.. It's hard to focus on much else. But hey, I'm usually bad at that so that's a good thing!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Eating and my body clock.

I searched for a lifehack of a particular nature recently, one that would help me adjust my body clock. The one that looked most promising (the first result, really. I'm not very picky) was a technique used to combat jetlag. 

 Basically, you're supposed to figure out when your ideal wake-up time is wherever you're going, count 12-16 hours back, and start fasting from there. Then eat in the morning. Your body will reset its morning to match your eating habits! Supposedly. But I analyzed the last time I feel hungry at night and it did match the time I wake up in the afternoon!

 Lately I have been eating really healthily, save for the time I do it.

 I wake up at noon, eat in the afternoon, dinner, and midnight. so about every four hours which is healthy, but six hours late.

My midnight meal last night: apple, almonds, spinach and lettuce with onion dressing, mint green tea, champorado with an orange slice.

For tonight (i'll be eating this twice): lettuce, spinach, garlic chicken, orange chunks, sliced almonds and sesame dressing.
sparkling grape juice.

accidental salad triceratops

Tonight I decided to eat three hours apart in between, so that my last meal would be at 9pm. I'll set my alarm at 9am and hopefully I'd be hungry enough to wake up or something! Sounds easy enough, worth the shot!

PS: I'm having trouble figuring out which stuff to post here and which stuff to post on my wp, but I settled on limiting those for dailies and more specific stuff. Otherwise I won't have anything much to write here! I feel like I can't help it though, the interface tends to make me wordvomit woops?

tiny improvements

I have big goals that are still unresolved. But I try to keep my eyes peeled for reason to keep my spirits up, to pat myself on the back every now and then. It tends to be discouraging when my perceived "victories" are too few and far apart in between and it spoils the mood of the process.

In trying to be more conscientious with my actions, I seem to have erred to the side of limiting myself from "enjoying too much"... Today I remembered that my happiness is the big picture. Every effort I make towards feeling better about myself, or having society-dictated badges of honour boils down to me trying to feel good. To feel happy. Surely there are enjoyable things that need to be put aside for more important tasks, but in between tasks, there is no reason to keep myself from doing little side-projects that boost my daily happiness levels.

That's where these come in:

1) My mom bought a new towel rack for her bathroom, so she passed on her old one (which is actually relatively new, only a couple months old) to me, and I enjoyed looking for a place for it. It matches the other fixtures in my bathroom, as I was very happy to notice. All shiny and silvery.

2) I painted my room, bathroom, and drawer keys. The designs on them are actually representative of what they open! If the world spoke in codes, it would be very clear what they're for. My bedroom key has an alien on one side (for my alien tie that's tied around the doorknob) and a blue feather on the other (I have a blue feather stuck to my door). My bathroom key has black and white checkers on one side for my black and white tiles, and neon green dots on the other side for the neon green details inside my bathroom. The key for my drawer has a metallic blue heart. Inside my drawer is a tiny blue chest with sort of the same finish, and just across the drawer is my bathroom door, which has a blue 8-bit heart illustrated on it with squares of blue duct tape.

3) I made a face/hand towel holder with various random objects from my room. I found the curtain rod hinge a while back and displayed it by pinching a level of the computer desk with the tong-like parts. My mirror didn't have that, and I didn't want to puncture the wall, so I balanced the right angles at the end with chopsticks that I sneaked behind the wall, instead of screwing them on. The rings are also random objects I found lying around; I cut them with pliers so I could use them as binders for flashcards in the future, but this is as good use as any. The beddazled apple is something beardy's sister gave to him that he passed on to me.

My current workspace
Full Disclosure Time: As for life changes that are actually crucial, I'm in the middle of accomplishing two looming leftover requirements from semesters past; the only things that are in between me and my diploma. It's kinda frustrating, and there's so much pent up tension invested in them. Most especially my thesis paper. I set up this blog for my daily(-ish) self monitoring / progress report whatevers,  and wrote more about it there, if you're interested. I'm making improvements, however tiny they may be, but you know.. *pats self on the back*

My mom wants to take us to a mini vacation in HK+Macau around Halloween (where I'm planning to dress up as Minnie Mouse in freakin' Disneyland) and after that I'm supposed to start working, wherever work will be. I'll have to resign after six months to go to France for the summer (I know, huge feat) to be with beardy again and that makes it a bit complicated. But I guess I can just resign if I'm not on contract. I have no idea how these things work and I'm nervous, anxious, excited. If I figure it all out I'm going to feel like I'm on top of the world.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

remember when.. (a hairy tale..or tail)

I like sifting through the pictures and videos that we have accumulated during Emmy's vacation/staycation. Most of the videos are acts of "cambush" on my part (get it? camera+ambush=cambush) which kinda make them funnier. Here is a video of me harassing him during a game of Happy Wheels:

Santa Claus is magic.

I read in The Happiness Project about the importance of saving happy memories. During the aforementioned days wherein I would dream at night about losing him or him leaving, (by the way last night I dreamt about him again, but this time it was a good dream! Just us kissing. It was a foot-poppin kiss.) I noticed that I lacked happy memory tapes in my braindeck. The book did say that sad people tend to remember sad things. And I admit to having been a sad person lately. So I decided to brush up on my happy-memory saving-and-remembering skills!

Even with the pictures, a lot of them serve as evidence of me harassing him. One of the perks of being someone's girlfriend! Here is when I jedi-braided his hair around his birthday:

He wasn't generally unhappy about what I'd done, I just picked this photo cos the look on his face is hilarious.

I like Emmy's hair, I like how much it contrasts from mine. His hair is really fine and wavy and ranges from foozyfuzziefrizzy to angelic and mine is straight and thick and can hurt people. I'm not even kidding. I've whipped a couple of people by accident and even have gotten papercut-like wounds on my fingers from them.
We wonder from whom our babies will take after on this matter.

It was nice having someone with hair I can play with. Perks of having a boyfriend with long hair (AAAND THE BEST BEARD)!! And play with it I did! 

On his birthday, Emmy and I made some crêpes (I might make a separate post about this memory too!). He did most of the work, and I did most of the documenting: 
Poor creature awaiting what is to befall him

Poor Emmy is of course not used to how hot and humid it is in the Philippines, and he was sweating so much! I offered to put his hair up, a request met with variations of stern "no's"...

But it only takes one yes to make it happen...

Yeeeeee... my boyfriend, with his hair up and from behind, is a prettier girl than I'll ever be *3*

I  vaaaaageuly remember promising not to show his face online with this hairdo, but two months later I'm hoping that his desire for me to keep this promise has weakened as much as his desire for reminiscing has strengthened. 

THERE I made it tiny cos I'm the best girlfriend ever. Riiight? RIIIIGHT?

Emmy isn't really a crazy balls-out guy, he's very shy and reserved. So I want to take this opportunity to express how grateful I am that he lets me do what I please with him anyway. He's usually still and compliant and patient about it. For example, his "look" in the video is very douchebaggish and not him at all! He just didn't fight me when I insisted on putting his cap on backwards while he was playing something on the laptop:

My patient litol beardy <3 :')

Anyway, as much as this post may imply otherwise, he dishes it out as much as he takes it! Exhibit A:

We're just a delightful couple-o-goofballs.

Friday, September 21, 2012


It's funny to think of how much time I've dedicated to reading about staying in the present. Putting that side-by-side to my success rate in the matter, it's very easy to conclude that I'm a failure at it, or that it was a waste of time.

I get weepy over the past a lot. I miss people, decades, stuffed toys a little too much. 

Even when I'm "happy" It's often because I'm projecting a beautiful moment in the future for myself. And whenever I successfully get in the zone and enjoy myself inside the present moment I worry that I'm not enjoying enough or being present enough, and I think about how "tomorrow all of this will just be a memory"

However I think of this and feel glad that I opened myself to learning about it as much as I did. I sure as hell needed it. I still need it now. I just have to approach it in a more hands-on way rather than my usual (annoying) philosophical way.

I watched the movie called A Single Man yesterday. It was a very sad film revolving around a man who lost his boyfriend in an accident. His family didn't want him in the funeral and he'd been mourning alone for eight months. He was so depressed that he decided to end his life on the night of the day where the movie started.

Emmy told me that he watched sad flicks and listened to sad stuff whenever he felt sad. He said it served as a form of catharsis for him. I never understood him in that area; I always avoided sad stuff for my own sanity. I know I have a very sad disposition and those things make it worse. I gravitate towards positive books, songs, films, you name it. I like things that make me laugh. Most people, including myself, write me off as a very happy person because of it. It's only recently that I myself realized that it's a form of coping. It's a survival skill I'm proud to have naturally acquired to keep myself afloat. Thinking back, I've had more depressive episodes than euphoric ones. 

Anyway, after watching the film, I told him "this isn't for me. it's making me snowball" and sure enough I finally cried about missing him, about wanting him here. But at the same time, that night I didn't dream about him getting lost, or leaving me (I did the previous two nights)... So I guess it did work. But I still felt a bit sad today.

In the movie, Colin Firth's character takes on a new attitude with his encounters, they become more vivid to him (as shown in the film by heightening the heat and saturation of the colors) and he starts to be silly and happy again. 
 Sometimes I get glimpses of it too. It's just hard to do it on purpose. This was my salad this morning. I noticed how pretty it looked and instead of letting my laziness get the best of me I took my camera from my room and snapped a picture.
 This was Sly today, holding on for dear life because I plugged him on stuff from both sides of the computer.

I'm usually receptive to the little things in life like this, so that's not where I get my discontent from. It's because of my weird aversion to things that are required of me that can propel me to any kind of success. I live in a floating world of todays, but ironically my head gets stuck in pasts and futures. Because I don't let myself make today big.

Today I tried to tell myself to give tomorrow me a favour. I think I'm doing this through having a plan for the next week. I want to finish my studies and start working. I have zero confidence in myself by now but I'm sure a bit of exposure to the real world might give it back.
PS: LIFEHACK ALERT! I used a miniature director's chair thingy and my tripod as a guitar stand. HAH. The guitar's not even mine though.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Yesterday I was observing my friend Carmen. She was staying over and brought her laptop with her.

I noticed that whenever she would prop it on her lap, she would send resume's or tinker with her portfolio in the same autopilot-like manner that I open tumblr and facebook with. It takes me such a long time just to gather the mindset to do anything required, but she does it effortlessly, as if she were just opening twitter or reading someone's blog.

I felt so envious!

Maybe I should alter my computer environment to encourage more productive internet behaviour. Maybe snowballing doesn't have to always mean going down as in in a deteriorating manner. Whatever you start with, it just gets big. The intensity increases. The direction is irrelevant.

Maybe I should do snowball meditation exercises. Envisioning myself doing the right things, and more often and with more ease. Watching Carmen yesterday, I can really see that it's all about mindset. She didn't seem bored at all, there's as much interest there as what I have for my more aimless internet endeavors.

Ahhhhh I hope I can finally get this good habits thing right

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

holding yourself accountable doesn't work

without displacing your debilitating deep-seated beliefs.

In trying to be an over-all better person, I've been finding myself face-butting the same obstacles over and over again. I just devolve into doing the same bad stuff I did before the life change, because I wasn't vigilant enough to see through some of my brain's sneaky ways. Some beliefs are already impulses; hard to detect and blow up. They're already habits. Mannerisms. Sometimes as difficult to change as intentionally changing the way you laugh. They beat with your heart and ride in your blood. You have to catch them again and again and again, and willingly change them, a number of times that I personally am having trouble believing I can keep up with.

These are some beliefs I recently discovered I actually had:

  1. I only start things and flake out so why bother or ruin the fun of the present moment (the present moment being something a lot of fun but not gratifying like watching cartoons)
  2. Immediate gratification is the shortcut to happiness why bother taking the long route
  3. I'll never be really happy, only momentarily so why bother
Oh bother.

I have all of the reasons to believe otherwise, and when I catch myself at these thought patterns I usually can firmly say I am wrong. However, everything else, like what I do, how I feel, tell me that I still inwardly hold these beliefs. Subconsciously. They are the way I function by default. And the following beliefs support those bigger ones:

  1. Ah it's okay to rest once I've done good. Stopping the good action is a way of rewarding oneself.
  2. If I shuffle around and do random things based on my mood I'm sure I'll keep progressing in life ^^
  3. This action right here even though not urgent nor important, boosts my mood, so it's good to do it.
Once again I know how dumb these statements are. Especially when written down.

And I know how many people have taught that changing your beliefs is one of the most important steps. Unfortunately, just looking at me tells you that there's a road there that you can only discover and tread and solve alone.

 It's not really about learning anymore. It's a big, dirty, messy process of detecting the belief as it comes and physically forcing myself to build different habits. The task suddenly looks bigger and more daunting. Like trying to learn how to draw with my left hand when my right hand is just much more stronger and more coordinated. And it's too easy to just block everything out and keep doing what I've always been doing. But I already know how ugly the end of that road is.

Ah growing up is hard.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

mah cwib

Sometimes, my cousin's girlfriend Vaness comes over to take a nap after a shooting in Tagaytay. They have really early hours sometimes so she catches some sleep on our (magical sleep-inducing) sofas before or after a taping.

Recently she went upstairs to say bye because apparently I was the only person in the whole house (I know, very responsible of me to sleep until noon heh). Weirdly, just a couple of days before that I realised how she's never come up to my room before, and surely enough she says, so this is your room.. And of course I let her in.

My room was really messy as I haven't really fully tidied up since Emmy left at the time, but she seemed to like it, she said that she used to always want an attic room when she was younger. Then I realised out loud, Yeah, me too actually! I suddenly remember wishing I had Raven's room in That's so Raven. And now I'm here in the attic of our house, with almost a complete floor to myself. How fucking lucky and undeserving of me!

I remember a few years ago where I felt like my room didn't exactly fit my expectations. I loved having it, but at the back of my mind I always felt stuff like, if I can only get rid of some of these things.. It's the attic, so a lot of the useless junk from moving house was left in it.

Very slowly, I started to purge the unnecessary stuff in my room, and those that are still used but aren't really mine, like the bedsheets, I started to plainly accept, and I felt happy to keep for my family.

I've been constantly moving stuff in my room, and now I think it really feels like home. This is the final layout. I still have ideas for the space, and some elements I just added today, and some color ideas, but yep... The way I feel about it now is how I envisioned to feel in my new room :)

My makeshift "vanity" out of an old sewing machine and the percolator Emmy bought to allow us to take hot baths.

In a weird way, my room started to feel complete after it's acquired some of the stuff Emmy left. Maybe it's a coincidence (just the way i arranged it recently) or maybe it tells a story now, it reflects something that's really precious to me.
I left the dress Emmy bought for me in Boracay hanging outside my closet instead of inside.

 There's an area in my room, just after coming in the door that I always wanted to be the receiving space but never really fully used because there was always stuff in it, and I kept thinking I needed living room furniture. On my birthday I decided that throw pillows can do the job, but it never really felt put together until I decided to make the pillows look like a couch today. So now I have a floor-seating living room, kinda.
My writing area right at this very moment that I am writing this.

My desk is messy again, but I know where everything is so it would be easy to tidy up. As you can see there's an addition of Emmy and I's oldtimey pictures from Taal and the little netbook he left me. And I took turdl from the bookcase cos I realised I'd rather be having him on my bed.

In case you haven't figured, the deskboard is the back of my closet. it's perfect for the job and divides my room well. One side is the study/bed/receiving area and the other side is the bathroom/storage/"vanity" area.

On top of my closet/cabinet thingy is a picture of my mum and I when I was a baby and some other random knick-knacks. Like the Matryoshka doll set that I never got to fully appreciate till I had my own room to put it in. It's missing one doll and I have no idea where it is.

I obviously have a thing for bottles. I tend to keep Tazo and Arizona iced tea ones, as is obvious from these pictures and this gif from June (remember?):

Door details; the paperbag is something I bought from a retreat cos I obviously have always loved the night sky theme, never got to use it (never had the heart to give it away) but I'm very happy to let it just hang on the door for decoration. I don't realy love my doorknob so I put stuff on it. I love my see/speak/hear no evil alien tie. I usually just pull on it instead of the doorknob when leaving. I put a string with some clips on the wall because I have maps in the cardboard envelope thing (visible in the previous picture of my writing space) and I thought I could hang em there if I wanted to use em or whatever, they're pretty too so if I was in that mood, I can just hang em up.

 So yeah. I like my messy room. It feels like me now. :)

As a bonus have this trippy gif of my mirror's default image when it's on the magnifying side.

kids are weird.

Did you ever eat anything particularly weird when you were a kid that doesn't make much sense now that you're older? For me it was this:
I still eat it obviously (I mean, when I have the ingredients and am hungry and feel like it, which is rare), I still like the taste somehow. But it doesn't make sense in my head anymore! Sweet banana with rice seasoned with Maggi Savor?!

Maggi Savor is this thing that's a lot like soy sauce, but is somehow not soysauce and is "liquid seasoning". I have no idea what it is. I know it's got some MSG in it, but stuff like that don't really worry me anymore at this day and age where everything is "cancerous". 

Before I started liking kang kong, (which, in my personal history, is the time I consider to be the turning point where I stopped becoming a picky eater) this would be what my nanny would feed me when I didn't like what's on the table. I don't know if it's what she likes to eat at home, but obviously, little Bea liked it.

I remember my mama telling her not to do it so often, and my dad saying I should adjust to food instead of eating something else (or maybe I made all these memories up) but it did its job. Better than not eating anything!

In other news, I love this stuff. Vidalia Onion "Vinegarette". I put it on some lettuce, sliced almonds and chopped apple and wowowowow it was an awesome salad.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

making an effort

Here's some ambient music for while you're reading this post. Heheheheh

A while ago I posted about not letting happiness depend on the people on your life. Not expecting or wanting them to be anything more then selfish, so that you can focus on feeling good on your own, instead of secretly expecting things from them.

Plant your OWN garden and decorate your OWN soul...instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. ~ Veronica A. Shoffstall
But I didn't get to write about the flipside of the whole thing. The reason why I wrote about that was because my life journey has lead me to learn that when people say "You can't change other people, you can only change yourself.", it applies to more than just everyday annoyances and simple who-does-what or work methods. It also applies to friendships, and the art of nurturing them. That was the part where I decided to deal with the fact that I can't change my friend into being a better friend to me.

I was at a time where I felt abandoned by her. But deciding to stop caring what she does didn't stop me from being nice to her and making an effort to be present.

Saying that the world will be a better place if people stopped expecting other people to be gracious and caring to them doesn't mean that it would be a better place if people stopped being gracious and caring to other people. It would make the world cold and emotionless.

(Disclaimer: There are moments where voicing out your neglected needs in a relationship, instead of silently focusing on the fact that they are neglected, is better when you can't ignore them. It may bring to your friend's/lover's attention something that has actually been a blind spot for them and may give them a chance to make things better. The people who won't even bat an eyelash or try to are not worth your tears.)

If everyone was giving but expected nothing in return, what a sane world it would be.

Make an effort for the people you want to keep in your life, because as much as you'd like to believe they'll keep the light on for you, even if they do, they will naturally feel less close to you. Especially when there's other people around who care for them just as much as they do.

It's not so much about growing apart, but human nature and common sense. You stop making an effort, you stop getting results. You stop talking to them, you stop knowing about them. You stop acting interested in them, they stop thinking you like them. And what are friends other than people who like each other?

Don't rely too much on catching up. Don't be too sure that one day you'll spend the whole afternoon together and it would be like nothing changed. Don't let people happen to you. Don't be too stuck up, saying it's not your style to be consistent, or caring, or to answer when someone calls. When you ignore someone, it's not as simple as not doing something towards the good of the relationship. You actually do something towards the friendship's deterioration by omission. When you say it's not your thing to be a good friend, you're making it so that it won't be your thing to have friends.

Make an effort. Not because you read it here, but because you want to keep the people you love close.

diaries, notebooks, blogs.

At the start of this year, I decided to keep a dated diary. Not for organizational purposes, I had my planner for that, but to keep as a day-to-day account of 2012. I figured it would be a good way to make myself commit to doing something every day without fail.

I don't think I will need to say it, but it failed. A year was too big of a goal. There'd been many blank pages and often I felt forced to write on the ones I did fill up.

While my motivation was sound, it left me no room for error. I feel so bad for the tree whose life was sacrificed to make this notebook! I thought it would be enough to guilt me into doing it everyday, but as it turns out, I don't like being guilted into doing things and am therefore likely to just forget about them altogether. Sorry tree/s.

I had two reasons for the diary, with which I felt justified spending a lot more on it that I normally would for a notebook:

  1. The diary purpose. I wanted to have a record of every single day to track my progress in efficiency, work ethic, and because I knew this was going to be a great year because of reasons *cough*beardy*cough*
  2. There was a vertical calendar thingy which served as my mense tracker.

Neither really worked to their full potential.

  1. Even when I have a lot to write, I get turned off because, as the notebook made me realise, I'm not a fan of hand-writing bursts of thought. Add that with the compact size and it's not very comfortable. While Emmy was here I often found myself just writing the week's events in a notepad file except for that brief time where we lived in an island for eleven nights. 
  2. I started using birth control this year, which means I didn't need it for a few months since the pills changed my cycles. Although I will be using it again for my next period until December since I'm off-BC again.
Next year, I just decided, I will just keep a notepad diary file that I will save online. More room for freedom in terms of write-erase-write haphazardness that tends to come when I write freely, and in terms of space elasticity. I can write as short or as long as I want and I won't feel bad. Also, I won't be limited to talking about a day. I can talk about events in say, a week, together in one entry, especially when my mind frames events that way anyway. According to meaning and significance, rather than chronologically. 

I will also write little details of my day on my planner as I've done in years past, and as for the mense tracker, it's really easy to make on my own. I didn't need to pay a big corporation for their layout. But well, the year was new and I was feeling splurgy.

Overall, I won't be doing it again but it was a good learning experience. Notebooks are only a safe investment for me when they are blank. I apparently don't like being told what to do. Even if it was my idea.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

willa-wanta + guest appearance by sly ;)

In dealing with my sadness after leaving Emmy at the airport, I learned the truth about the power in saying "I will" or "I am" instead of "I'll try to", "I'm trying to be" or "I want to". It's not really about the words themselves, but the intention that we internalize. When we say or think "I will", there's no room for speculation or hesitation. The action becomes treated as a fact. Whenever I found myself too close to the verge of crying in front of the driver who was taking me home (the game plan was to wait until I'm home alone to cry) I just internalized a thought that could be worded out as: "I'm fine. I'm calm. I'm in control." and I'd snap out of it just long enough to not build the emotion up too quick. The tears were in my eyes, but I managed to not let out a single sob. When I merely thought "I'm gonna try keeping it in" I would usually end up still approaching the point of no return.

Even with doing my chores, I just ignored the fact that I had a choice. I eventually learned, as I grew up, that sometimes, having a choice doesn't matter, and should be ignored when you have a bigger goal in mind.

Eventually, the immediate happiness I give up becomes rewarded with a deeper sense of fulfillment.

In an unrelated note, just how cute is my desk buddy? He gives me three extra ports AND is cute?? wowowow. I feel like I want to name him "Sly". Seems to suit him. He can be Slender's tiny, cute, nice brother.

Sly started out with his head turned away 180deg. How do I know? He has this little red light that seemed like it could be his heart, and it was on the back side, glowing in the right side of his chest from the front. Luckily, his head's connection to the wire is only superficial, so I was able to carefully twist it. Now he has his heart in the right place!

chores and parables

PS as in Pre-script: Inko is stress-eating. We installed a metal roof at the back of our house to have a functioning laundry room and it gets so noisy when it rains. As soon as I get him a new cage I'm transferring him in front of our house. Not sure if it's just me or if he's really getting fatter! (Maybe I shouldn't be giving him TWO soda crackers at a time..) 

I could talk about the shitload of chores I did today (it involved a really gross, full sink of dirty grimy dishes)  but as what happens when a person exceeds their normal energy expenditure per day by a hundredfold, I am well-spent. Suffice it to say that I expanded my daily chore threshold a huge deal this past week. 

I'm still behind on my reading (not moving at all actually) but other than that, everything has been checked off my list so far. And doing things is usually a better way to spend time than learning how to do things.

What surprises me about chores, most of all, is how it actually boosts my self-esteem. Seeing things around me changed by my own hands again just makes me feel like, simply put, I can do things. And that's what's been weighing heavy on my conscience all this time, how I can't push myself to go beyond thinking and planning and strategising things. Chores are a quick way of practicing self-application. It's kind of meditative, when I feel myself resisting something, like an extra gross pan in the bottom of the sink with lots of disgusting old wet food stuck to it, but then I ignore that resisting part of me and think of the end of the whole ordeal. The goal. The bigger cause. (Which was simply, a clean sink) And once I see that I got to go beyond my usual whiny, immobilizing thoughts and feelings, I feel encouraged to do it more, especially when I stare admiringly at the now clear, happy-looking sink.

I realize that I haven't really had much hands-on practice with delayed gratification. Funny that I'd learn this through doing chores, and pushing my limits through them. Time limits, energy limits, patience limits, thoroughness limits...
Chores are very basic, but are good vehicles for very general lessons in getting things done. They are very simple in themselves, like parables, but in the same way that parables do, way they get down to show the core of the nature of man. They're more about the person reacting to the circumstances around him rather than the circumstances themselves.

Going to sleep now. My sleeping hadn't been so good (It's currently 2:30) , but I'm planning to bump it back up to waking up at 7AM every morning this week.