Showing posts with label Just a thought. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Just a thought. Show all posts

Dear future self,

2020 was not like anything we planned. Neither is 2021. By the time you read this, you're probably in your bikini somewhere in the tropics or maybe halfway around the world whining about the despicable freezing weather.

Oh, how I miss traveling! It’s petty, really, to miss traveling when an unseen killer is on the loose. But that was my favorite and biggest form of distraction when things go crazy back then. And *deep breath* things are crazier the past sixteen months. I would have wished to trade places with you, but with the vaccines rolling out,  I can feel the end of this pandemic is already beginning and I don't want to miss it.

I know you can't wait to hear about everything that is happening. Well, let's start with something that is less shocking: I shaved my head. It rocks! And I love it—only if people weren't trying to pet me all the time. Kidding aside, what I am about to tell you is not going to be the most tear-jerking story you will hear. Not even close. But I promise you, it will be worth your time.

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My armpits, although not perfect, is something I was not insecure about. I used to have fair armpits. It was not exactly flawless but it was enough for me to raise my arms confidently, until this pregnancy. I knew this is normal.

But I also knew that having dark, unsightly underarms is always unwelcomed, heavily criticized and, who knows, is close to becoming a taboo.

When I took this selfie, I realized how bad my armpits have become (I swear these look worse up close). I was about to delete this and give myself another round of self-disgust when the little one gave me the strongest kick I have ever felt. I was reminded that this is happening because I am carrying a life inside me. But more than that, I was reminded that I am human. Never perfect and always flawed.

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Following our marriage last year, we have fervently prayed for a baby because, I hate to admit it, we are already in our mid-30s. We cannot deny the fact that our bio clocks are ticking. Jan and I have always wanted our own. The sooner, the better. And it was December last year when our prayers were answered. I knew 2020 is going to be our year.

Took this shot a few weeks before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Fast forward to 4,357 days (or at least, that's how it feels), the world has turned into something I thought I would only see in movies where we deal with constant anxiety and fear. How is it different for me? Everything is magnified a thousand times because I am carrying a precious life inside me. Apparently, 2020 is not a good time to be pregnant.

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"What do you look for in a man?" one friend asked.

"Syempre yung kaya akong buhayin," said another.

Bigla akong napaisip. When Jan and I were still dating, it never occurred to me that one day I'll be marrying him because he can provide well for me. I CAN DO THAT ON MY OWN. I still remember those days when he only had one pair of shoes he used for work, beach, sports, and practically everywhere. It had been dying on him but he held on to it because he couldn't afford a new one. When it comes to dates, he is not galante. So I always insist 50-50 when we eat out, watch movies, or basically anything we would do together. I wouldn't say he's in such a bad, poverty-stricken state but certainly, he isn't well-off. And if I take a look back at the Jan Carlo I knew 6 years ago, hindi nya ako kayang buhayin.
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For more than a decade, I was okay with having jobs that can provide our needs, pay the bills, and splurge a bit. I have never been in debt. And that's pretty much an achievement, especially for a then single mom like me.


I had no savings at all. I guess it's because I do not have the balls to do a walk of shame away from restaurants after seeing menu prices that trigger temporary paralysis. I also blame it to these shopping apps where they lure you to spend "less" on every sale event that happens every freakin month. Funny I don't actually have expensive items, high-end gadgets, and whatnot. But I do have these small and insignificant things that I bought at the thought that it does not really affect my salary. Phone cases, pens and notebooks that I do not use, or 90 pairs of chopsticks, for example. And lastly, the one that takes a large chunk of my income is my love for traveling. And I do it quite a lot compared to most nine-to-five employees in my generation.
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You know how I still get "judged" for being skinny despite my reputation of being a voracious eater and having a flabby midsection (that's about 2 inches of pinchable flab, I kid you not).

"Kain ka ng marami. Mas maganda kung magkalaman ka ng konti."
No high waisted pants can hide my flabs.
Not that I take offense at such. But I'm sick of explaining that I don't go on a diet or that it runs in the blood, yadda yadda. So before anyone strikes me again with remarks about being underfed, malnourished, and that I should go get a quarter pounder, let me tell you this: I would eat the next person who will tell me that I look better with more meat.

I dare thee.

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I am now trying to live a plastic free life. I know it won't be drastic because plastic has been practically in every part of our lives (some even disguise themselves as friends). It won't be easy to ditch plastic completely but we'll get there. Baby steps, they call it.

I'm into DIY and reycling, so that's a start. I also started refusing plastic bags from mini grocers if I can carry the products with my hand or inside my bag. I also use my own reusable eco bag for large groceries. I am having my caffeine fix in my own tumbler (and by caffeine, I mean milk teas with only 0-25% sugar). And now, I use reusable straws.
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And down to the turtle's throat.

I remember the time when I attended one of my close friends' wedding, I was asked to hold one of the dozen balloons that was to be released into the sky. I shook my head frantically and blurted with some diffidence, "Dili ko. Environmentalist ko." (I won't. I'm an environmentalist)

A friend gave me a perplexed look as he walked away holding the balloon after being forced to volunteer.
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Honestly, I still think Valentines is overrated.

But I never quite understood the bitterness of some people when it comes to this day. Seriously, guys? If you are looking for a day to hate, go hate those days that come after the Christmas and New Year holidays. Because that's the only time of the year you feel guilty and you go rushing to drop all that weight you gained from all those lechons and daily lechon paksiws, just so you could still fit in your pants because you can't afford to buy a bigger pair because you got broke from all that Christmas shopping (long badly written sentence right there). And also, all you do is whine about that bulging belly and never really do something about it. #BalikAlindogAngHashtagForever
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I was browsing through a thousand photos that I have just transferred from my memory card and sorted them according to the places I've been to when I said to myself, "my 20-year old self would be so envious of me".

She was a carefree, adventurous, and spirited young girl but the chains of digital age caught her. She got herself locked up and enslaved in a virtual world. Many of you would describe her as a video game addict. Yes, that typical gamer who'd resist the urge to use a toilet and deal with it for as long as she can. She allowed the video games to control and take over her life. And for years, she turned into a zombiefied no-lifer girl who merely existed for rare drops and +7s.
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I don't air grievances on Facebook.

Okay, I did it once. But only to defend myself from cyber attacks of people who were once significant to me. And that was it. I believe in taking the high road and not stooping down their level. I can bite my tongue and just let it slide even if there are already a hundred reasons to take out that inner bitch inside me.

People suck. That's a fact. I have high tolerance for rudeness, stupidity, jerks, assholes, hypocrites, and bullshit. I think I deserve a medal or a merit for this. But all I get is more assholes pushing me to the limits until bam! I just found myself mudslinging.

And you're reading one of my moments.
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Not that I am a ruthless, vile, and mean girl.

But I can be ruthless, vile, and mean. You just have to ask for it.

For a few days, I tried unplugging from Facebook because every time I open it, I feel like I need Advil or something. I've gone as far as deactivating my account before only to log back in two days later. So it's no surprise that I miserably failed in my attempt to unplug again. I hate to see myself take comfort in this Facebook-induced sleep-deprivation and I continue to feed on its toxicity. Well, it's not my fault that whenever I open the browser my left index finger would immediately hit "F".
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Things don't always work the way we want it to be.

Because life was never meant to be perfect. Shit happens. There will always be those days in your life when you have been wronged or have made decisions you regret. Days when you've poured too much of your time, effort, and invested a lot of emotion on something - a relationship, a job, or anything you've committed yourself into - and yet, things don't come your way. There are days you'd feel down, disappointed, or devastated. And days when slumping into the dumps felt more comforting than anything else.

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WARNING: "Adult" language, although not necessary, will be used a lot in this post.

While I was taking a dump, I just realized that my presence in the internet is becoming large that I am now running the risk of being exposed to one of its dark sides: the snide comments and personal attacks.

These keyboard warriors, or maybe trolls, could be anywhere - lurking and waiting for the moment to pounce you with their filthy language and wild insults. If you aren't smart enough, you'd fall victim to their relentless barking, take the bait and latch yourself into the perpetrator's mouth, and you become emotionally consumed before you even know it. Well, if I didn't know better I would have gladly fed them by responding to their audacity - which is often fueled by the power vested upon by their anonymity - to give meaning to their life even if it sounds pathetic. But I realized I just ran out of fucks to give.
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Do you know what Dementors do aside from guarding the prisons of Azkaban? They suck light and happiness out of you. They feed on every good feeling or every happy memory until you are left with nothing but despair.

Just like everyone in the wizarding world, muggles also have dementors of their own. They come in the form of the true horrors of our past to minute daily life inconveniences such as the horrible meat and bread ratio in a sandwich you just bought.

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It's August. Cheeses, where did time go?!

I have made it more than halfway through 2015 and thought it would be good to see how I'm doing. I know it's still early to say this but so far 2015 turned out quite well. Although turning 30 this year didn't seem to have a really big impact in my life like how I expected it should be. Perhaps I am still having a hard time realizing that I've lived three decades already because deep inside, I still feel like I'm in my early twenties or maybe even younger. But of course, for 30 years, I've seen how life can sometimes be sneaky in delivering valuable lessons right in front of me. And there were those times that I just wish I had known them sooner in life. Just like...
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"All you need is love... love is all you need..."

I'm sorry to burst your bubble Mr. John Lennon, but I have to disagree with you on this. Love is not all you need. Love is not enough. Yep, I say that loud and clear.

When it comes to relationships, many of us overrate and oftentimes overestimate love. We rely too much on love that we'd think it is the answer to our struggles, the ultimate solution to our relationship goals, the one that conquers all. And while we believe and idealize this thought, little do we know that it is our relationships that pay the price. I believe in not relying our relationships on feelings of love alone because it might be too late to find ourselves drowning in a deep pile of shit when a problem occurs that love cannot solve. Trust me, I've been there and it was not pretty.
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A few days ago, while Jan and I were having some hot chocolates at McDonald's, we had a conversation that went like this:

Jan: *while browsing facebook, he saw one post from his friend* Unsa diay ang naa sa valentine's? (What's the big deal about valentine's?)
Me: *shrugs* Hapit na man diay valentine's. (Didn't notice valentine's is coming)
Jan: Sa atoa kay valentine's man pirmi. (Well, for us it is always valentine's)

I just nodded in approval and gave out a meek smile. But deep inside, I was grinning from ear to ear and my heart was already melting. Ayeee. Haha. (Not the exact words though. And I know I suck at translating one dialect to another. But it doesn't take a genius to get the message.)
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You know you're old when you start not giving a f*ck about what people will think about you; case in point, I went out in public, unkempt. If wearing a wrinkled clothing is a crime, I would now be serving a life sentence.

Not that I did it unknowingly. Since I was already too late for work, I didn't mind warming up the iron. Besides, I never really iron my clothes. I avoid creased pants like plague. I know it's not one of my best days and I definitely looked sloppy (pants and collared shirt fresh from the clean laundry basket, matched with Chuck Taylors that has seen better days). But who cares? I strode down the road as I wore what seemed to be cringe-worthy, with pride.
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I have an old shoe box that sits on top of my closet. I never got to touch it since the time I posted about the same old shoe box back in 2011. It has gotten too dusty and too frail to hold all the letters and other memorabilia that were in it.
Old letters from my old shoe box
My old friends knew me too well. They knew how much I love sending letters, much more, receiving and reading one. My childhood bestfriend, Faith, and I exchanged letters since grade school even though we are living in the same city and not to mention, we see each other every Sunday.
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