The Thing About Uncertainty

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Photo via Brooke Carli

Most days I feel alright, but some days like today, I don’t feel quite my best. In fact, I’m starting to lose motivation in my tasks. I keep looking for motivation elsewhere but my lazy bum ass can’t seem to find it. You see, I’m at a point in my life where I’m starting to ask questions yet again; about my job, my career or just simply where life will take me in general.

People who know me well that I live to write. I’ve always imagined it- writing articles for a newspaper or famous magazine, starting my very own novel in my apartment, but that is far from where I really am now. The dream job is elusive to its dreamers. It’s been a year working behind a desk, in an office, for 8 (or more) hours a day facing students, working on statistics and numbers, research and other stuff the administration demands of me. And I can’t really help but have the urge to stomp out of the office, scream my lungs out to the universe and beg for  a little chance encounter with writing. I wanted to write if I could most days but I couldn’t. I want to spill out fully but when I do, it seems that my words aren’t really there or that I’m just exhausted from a hard day’s labor. My heart and my head are all too noisy arguing, contradicting, which makes up for really terrible writing, I must say.

So many what-ifs surge upon me and I am brought back to the thoughts buzzing inside my head again. What if I had lived an entirely different life than this? What if I flew to a different city and followed where my pen and paper will take me? Had I been courageous enough, would I be happier and more content? Would I even be mulling over the possibilities so far out of my reach like what I constantly do now? The answer to those questions, I’ll probably never really know.

I thought that by now I had figured things out on my own, settling with what I have and accept that this is just how things are but no, we will always feel this way. The uncertainty will always be here, looming above us all, going on and on.

Maybe the dream is still a faraway thing and I’m left with waiting for now. If this is what God sees appropriate for me then I’ll just bloom and grow right where I’m planted.

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Artists’ Night: A Creative Gathering

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Last Saturday, September 2, 2017, I was able to participate in a creative gathering hosted by Chingkee Te (chingkeetea). Chingkee has partnered with Vivre, our website, for so many several creative activities already and after planning about having a dinner where local creatives could take part in, it finally came into fruition. She provided everything- from the beautiful venue, to the amazing food and table set-up we had that night.

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She invited over few local artists for the gathering, where we could meet each other, create art and talk about our next big project, spearheaded by her.

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The dinner took place at Pacifico Hotel E-Bar. We were already at the place by 5:00 p.m so we could catch the sunset before our very eyes. The venue adorned with the sunset was just perfect! There was also jazz music looming over us as Chingkee brought her vinyl player and newly-bought jazz records from Satchmi.

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After finishing up our food, we gathered at the lounge area to finally talk about our project. But before that, we shared our poetry to the group. So for the first time, I read my poetry out loud. I don’t usually do it but right then and there I was able to. I got slightly nervous because people intently listened to me but after their applause I felt much better. Our project is still under wraps but it’s something that goes in #INDIGO. We’re keeping our mouths zipped yet but promise, it’s going to be worth the wait. Chingkee has chosen us to be a part of it and I couldn’t thank her enough for being so humble and genuine in all of this. She’s such an amazing person, I tell you that!

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We had a mini shoot right after the dinner so the night ended with a lot of photos! The night went on intimately and peacefully. Definitely, it was a much-needed time away from work and graduate school!

 

5 Reasons Why You Should Watch ‘Suspicious Partner’ ASAP

After the recently concluded SBS Drama Suspicious Partner, I am, most definitely, having a difficult time moving on from the series. Call me a fangirl but that’s just how it is when a Kdrama has you hooked! Centered on the world of lawyers and prosecutors, the drama’s mixture of crime, thriller and swoon-worthy romance will have your eyes glued to the screen. If you haven’t seen it yet by now, well here are some reasons why you should:

  1. Strong female protagonist

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Eun Bong Hee (Nam Ji Hyun) isn’t an ordinary woman. Though she struggled making a name for herself as a lawyer wrongly accused of killing her cheating boyfriend, she still fights everyday to prove her innocence. Her bubbly, optimistic personality also shines bright in the series. Not only does she kick ass in the courtroom but also of perverts in the streets. Having earned a black belt in Taekwondo, she definitely is a woman you don’t want to mess with.

2. Swoon-worthy male lead

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I don’t know about you but Ji Chang Wook makes a fangirl out of anyone. His past series (The K2, Healer and Empress Ki) proved he’s the man of our dreams! In the series, Ji Chang Wook plays No Ji Wook- the stubborn yet forthright prosecutor with a dark past who saves Bong Hee from getting imprisoned for life. Having revealed fabricated evidence from the crime scene, Ji Wook resigns as prosecutor and settles into being a private attorney. In his own firm, he takes Bong Hee into his wing and the rest of romantic history finally occurs. He manages to be playful, childlike and gooey romantic around Bong Hee’s presence all throughout the drama. I mean, he cooks her food when she’s starving, hugs her tight even when she hasn’t washed in days and takes care of her when she’s sprained an ankle? Go get yourself a man who can do both!

3. The villain

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You’ll hate him for being a serial killer or pity him for his past. Either way, he can get you fooled in a matter of seconds. Dong Ha as the murderous Jung Hyun Soo played one hell of a psycho and he did effortlessly quite well with it.

4. The gang

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There isn’t a single boring day in Ji Wook’s lawfirm. Their presence alone is a colorful addition to the series. You’ll love their inside jokes, funny banter and witty conversations.

5. Every little romantic detail in the series!

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I never knew Nam Ji Hyun and Ji Chang Wook’s team-up in the series could actually work. It went even beyond all of my expectations. On and off-cam (their BTS takes are so kilig!), chemistry oozes off of them. All the romantic things Ji Wook has done for Bong hee truly makes the series on top of my romantic comedy list.

See the series for yourself here: drama3s.com

 

Here’s to the bullied…

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I know so well how it feels to be bullied. In fact, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with it too. So when I listened to other people’s own stories, when I hear my students out in school, the familiarity just comes to me.

When I was little, a fellow kindergartener spit on my table and pinched my arm. Stamps of stars on the back of my hand were my best friends. By first grade, I was terrified of entering class. I would cry out so loudly so my parents and my nanny would take me home instead where I feel most safe. Far from where my classmates would pick on me and call me names because I was the weak, reserved, chubby girl. High school came, the cool boys and girls would call me out for my acne and weight. Apparently, I wasn’t getting any skinnier, just taller. High school was a pretty vulnerable place, might I add. Maybe a part of me has become so anxious and scared of speaking up because of those things. When I got into university, I thought those things never existed. I got into an organization by sophomore year of college where they did just the same. I was still as introverted as I’ve always been. I’ve fallen into their prey thinking they couldn’t get to me like the others would. They would constantly make me feel like I was a joke and threw on rape jokes at me. I’ve hit rock bottom then and promised to myself  that it’d be best if I leave but never, ever quit.

I would’ve given up seeing from those things that have transpired to me but I chose not to. Although there were bad memories which weren’t worthy of looking back on, there were also the good ones that truly made me a better person. I stuck by my best friends who knew me deeper, past the weight and the acne and my walls. Friends who knew I could write, play the guitar, mess up on my piano lessons and hear my heartiest laugh. I found comfort in my family whom I could shed a tear on no matter how things badly turned out. A family that saw me like the most precious star out there in the universe. I had set goals and reached for them. I got into the university with the course I dreamed of studying. I’ve met new people whom I’ve grown into and become good friends with. I made it to the organization which valued me for my work as a writer and as a person. I earned my license as a professional, got published in a book and one of the magazines I had once daydreamed about. I have a God who embraced me despite my weaknesses and insecurities- a God who created me, molded me into His and has given me love no one could ever compare.

So this, I tell you, turn yourself past the negative things and use those to fuel you into becoming a kinder, more gentle individual. Stay with the people who hold you dear and who sees you for who you truly are. Win at life, because you definitely can; your dreams will get you far. And most importantly, love yourself, it radiates through you for certain. Had I let those words get to me, had I let them break me, I would’ve never recognize the person I would turn out to be. Yes, people can say things about you in your face. Yes, they could hurt you bad but you’re bigger than those things, you’re so much more than that.

6 KDramas You Should Watch

Call me crazy obsessed but my main chill pill amidst the busy days at work are Korean dramas. Like I once said, I am no longer immune to the Korean pop culture as everyone else. Other than their fashion and music, their series are on top of my list. I still have more dramas to look forward on watching but here are my main favorites I highly recommend you should watch. Sure enough they will leave a mark on you as it did to me.

  1. Goblin

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I don’t know any person who hasn’t seen Goblin. It was 2016’s most talked about Korean drama and I was beyond excited to watch it. After my interns gave me a complete copy of the series, I was just instantly hooked. If you have not seen Gong Yoo’s chronicles as the great and lonely god in pursuit of searching for his bride, then you should now, pronto!

2. Oh My Venus

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I fell in love with this light yet heartwarming story about a lawyer and Hollywood fitness trainer. You’ll fall in love with how adorable Shin Min-Ah and So Ji Sub’s chemistry is on Oh My Venus. Not to mention So Ji Sub’s disarmingly sweet smirk and ripped body, this story’s in for some fun.

3. The K2

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The K2 was the first series of Ji Chang Wook that I have watched, as recommended by a friend. Seeing him in a suit as a former soldier turned bodyguard had me swooning everytime. I mean, having him guard your life? Sign me up! His superb fighting scenes and brooding, mysterious aura will have you tuned in on the drama. The series also stars Im Yoon-ah of the girl group Girls Generation as the reclusive and traumatized daughter of the assemblyman whom Chang Wook is to protect.

4. W: Two Worlds

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In this drama fantasy, you’ll see the real and comic book world collide. This Kdrama loves a good, intense, plot twist so if you’re going to give it a go, then prepare your fragile hearts for this one *squeal*. Also lovin’ Han Hyo-joo’s cool girl, relaxed style and Lee Jong Suk’s puckered up lips!

5. Strong Woman Do Bong-soon

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Much like Weightlifting Fairy, Strong Woman Do Bong-soon is overloaded with cuteness and humor. Do Bong-soon’s superhuman strength will make you laugh out loud, no doubt.

6. Suspicious Partner

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I know, I have the biggest crush on Ji Chang Wook ever since The K2 and Healer. Far from his action series, Suspicious Partner is a romantic comedy with crime and mystery thrown into the mix. Chang Wook co-stars with Nam Ji-Hyun, who both play as lawyers trying to solve a crime. The series is currently ongoing on SBS every Wednesday and Thursday.

Love my recommendations? Watch them here: drama3s.com

 

Hello, Graduate School!

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I come bearing good news! Guess what? I got into Graduate School!

Man, I seriously thought I wouldn’t make it, what with the difficult test (don’t even get me started on the test, I panicked along the time *gasps*) I had to get through, but I actually did! Results of the test came in yesterday and I was utterly surprised by it. Trust me, I had all the worst-case scenario played out in my head; failing the test, walking in shame, etc. but God truly brought forth the opposite.

I prayed so hard to get in because I wanted to be able to further my studies in Psychology and here I am, blown away again by how God makes the impossible happen. I have also been granted a scholarship for my Graduate studies, one of the many things I am truly grateful for. Not many are given this opportunity that is why I consider it so rare and important to me. Enrollment hasn’t started yet but I am already looking forward with it. Come late June, I will return to my Alma mater to study while working full-time.

Studying Graduate school won’t be easy at all, for sure, but this is for the dream! I’m certain that with the struggle and discipline that may come along with it, there would also be infinite possibilities and bigger opportunities that will come my way. I know that my plate is going to get even fuller in the coming months ahead but I can’t also help but feel excited over this brand new chapter in my life.

A Letter To (My) Anxiety

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So here’s the thing, anxiety: you can’t beat me.

Yes, you can take me hostage and make me feel afraid, defenseless or constantly tell me I’m no good enough for anything. You can take my heart in your cruel hands so I couldn’t breathe. You can follow me around like wildfire on my feet but you can never take over my being because I won’t let you.

I won’t let you define me entirely for feeling irrationally anxious over things I shouldn’t even worry about.

People can see me as a weakling but I know I’m stronger than this. I am stronger than you telling me I might burn the house down if I don’t carefully check the house countless of times. I am stronger than days when I’m scared to death crossing the street because who knows, a huge truck might trample me if I step on the wrong lane. I am stronger than the paralyzing fear of facing unfamiliar people. I am stronger than the tremors and the tightening in my chest. I am stronger than the panic attacks you impose upon me.

You have done so well at making me feel I’m no better than this but you should know that behind it all, I have light shining through me. I am still love, sunshine and words. I am warmth, happiness and refuge. I am still who I truly am, without a gaping hole you can ever occupy. Anxiety, you have absolutely no power over myself.

Here I am with my fists clenched tight to my chest: I am brave- that is what you have made out of me.

Trust your progress: It’s okay to be where you are now in life

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Everybody seems to be somewhere right now.

My colleagues are off to different parts of the country while some of them flew miles away from home, doing fascinating and groundbreaking things. A friend’s gone to graduate school to a reputable university, another acquaintance has gone off to another neighboring Asian country, exploring its roots all while being able to work there. Vicariously seeing from afar, it all seems they have moved pretty successfully and grown to have become contributors to the society.

Man, looking at them, there are days where I wish I could simply measure up to that instead of getting swallowed by a bunch of paperwork for eight hours a day. With a scenario like this, a big wave of insecurity tend to surge me deep and a thousand other questions make me ask myself and my progress. What about me? Will I get stuck in routine forever? Will I ever be as successful and satisfied as the others? I’ll get there, right? Well, I could just go on and on about it and the list still continues unanswered today.

Now, I’ve already been working for a year in my first (ever) job. Hurrah, I survived all the firsts that I had experienced! Tough as everything had been, I couldn’t be any happier that I have slowly settled into things. Seeing myself, I realized this is progress- this is my progress and I am doing quite well with it. I am moving with my own pace and others are in motion with theirs too.

It sank into me that if we solely base our progress with the progress of other people, we just end up in a rut and feel inferior towards them. Instead of feeling envious and whining like a crybaby as to why you’re not living their lives, why don’t you consider them as an inspiration and work on yours?

If for a second you don’t think you’ve gone far in life, try to look back and see how far you’ve already come. It’s perfectly alright to be where you are now. There’s no race you should win, after all. Like I said, this is your progress. Celebrate, revel and trust in it. Soon enough, you’ll get to where you always want to be.

As published in www.vivrelifestyle.com