things you learn at nineteen

Bidding farewell to the strangely underwhelming 18th year of existence while reluctantly embracing my last year of being a teenager. Some things I’d like to put into writing:

  1. We’re always at an intersection.
  2. You have a lot more control over time than you think.
  3. No matter how far you travel, you will always be with yourself.
  4. Sadness, like joy (and most things), is a blessing.
  5. Do not underestimate the power of counting your blessings.
  6. Sleep is and should always be a priority.
  7. Prevention and maintenance is a lot easier than curing. Apply to skincare.
  8. Groom! Your! Brows!
  9. Art heals. The meaning of life.
  10. Inspiration comes from within.
  11. Try to recognize value instead of placing worth on all things.
  12. A little routine never hurt nobody.
  13. A person is only as good as their word.
  14. But it’s okay to change your mind.
  15. What is enough?
  16. We give in sometimes, might as well enjoy it.
  17. Actually, no one really gives a fuck.
  18. Take it easy on yourself.
  19. It’s very helpful to listen to your own advice sometimes.

Love, Chili


trade secrets

I’m sort of at a loss. I don’t know how to phrase any of this without sounding like a complete asshat–maybe that is the sign that I shouldn’t say it–but well, if I don’t try to pick this apart, then what’s the point of this blog [confused laughter]

Anyway. I’ve come back to question! the! universe! if it is in fact necessary for friendships to be quite… difficult. Like the requirements to maintaining modern friendships just seem way out of reach for me. Scenarios being: (1) regular heart-to-heart talks are good for your soul, (2) the more hugot you share, the better, (3) friends are repositories of your feelings. Is it just a “millennial thing” to find comfort in sharing your ~profound experiences on love and heartbreak? Are friendships supposed to be defined by how much you’re willing to share your emotions with each other (and I use ‘share’ in the “we will both have a role in this” way)? And the reality that /most of this sharing happens online and in a chat box? It feels like every time someone opens up to me they expect me to level with them in the same way.

I don’t want to come off as the coldhearted / afraid of emotions / tsundere type, but god, I just find this kind of set-up so… immature? Unreal? All of it just screams emotional porn! (Also I am sick of living as a side character to someone else’s delusional interpretation of their life as a John Green story. Just–No. Leave me out of it.)

I guess all of it boils down to me not knowing how to communicate with my friends–well, at least in the manner that some of them use. If you give me your feelings (uhh, especially online) I wouldn’t know what to do with them. I’ll stick ’em in a bag, pat your hand and drop two cents in your hat. I can listen. I can make jokes to help you feel better. I can give rational, objective advice. I don’t want you to feel bad for my unresponsiveness. I don’t want you to think that I’m not interested. But expecting anything else is just a neon sign for me to go run for the hills. Is this normal? Is me admitting this also me admitting that I’m an increasingly shitty friend? I don’t want to be a friend only when it’s convenient, but I also don’t want to stick around when I’m obviously uncomfortable with something. How to get this across, then, is the question…

the long and short of it:

i can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. this has never been about what i wanted. truth be told, i gave you the short end of the stick. you wanted your choice? here it is, the matchbox, the gun. i left some change in the drawers. i got the easy way out. but this was never about me. the ball has, is and will always be on your court. staying, leaving, running away– this has always been your call. and call it what you want: the wishbone, the fork in the road, the bus fare for a one way ticket to somewhere. the payphone is ringing and it’s for you. spare me the melodrama, just answer it, just pull the fucking trigger. the lump in your throat, heavy. the bullet crossing my eyes, the glint of the gold too bright for second guesses. we are all moving forward. none of us are (looking) back.

well. y’all know i’m siken trash anyway. this was supposed to be something with some smidgen of honesty but i can’t deal with that shit right now. goodnight.

the plague

Ola. Guess who’s back from the grave. A month into my break finally gave me reason to update this thing again. About my life, lol. Although it remained completely uneventful since the last time I posted. Hmm. Runthrough again with classic enumeration.

On University and Work

  1. Well. Survived last sem. I used survived because I barely came on top of my overwhelming laziness and extreme lack of motivation. Grades turned out alright though, but I want to strangle my international economics professor, that shithead. Anyway. Generally speaking, that semester wasn’t so value-adding in retrospect. Partially because I didn’t like my professors and also because I was just so burnt out from the previous one.
  2. Actually also planned on taking midyear classes, but unsurprisingly, I didn’t enroll because I was too lazy. Here is one of the reasons why I decided to post again.
  3. Signed myself up for more shit and work in my orgs. My friends keep asking me why I did it (don’t do it hoe, then ohmygod) but I guess I just wanted to feel like my work was value-adding and fruitful again. Like they say, it’s satisfying to work with a good team so I’m just feeling my way around for now. Actually enjoying the work so far.

On My Regression Into the Void that is KPOP

  1. Somehow, I found myself back in my kpop phase. Jesus. This is all EXO’s fault. Actually now that I think about it, I spent the latter half of last sem reading all the fic I could get my hands on. I gotta say man, the EXO ficdom is gloriously kinky. Like, sexual awakening levels of kinky. And I don’t say that shit lightly, I consider myself a fic connoisseur (LOLLIN). Bring on the knife play and bottom bitch!Jongdae.
  2. Many surprising gems in the ficdom (surprising because plowing through the EXO fan/ficdom is like going to war and expecting diamonds), so allow me to list down a few favorites: Kkangpae (wonderfully kinky sekai, mafia!AU), Endgame (brilliant spy!AU sekai), Gesamtkunstwerk (who doesn’t love 49k words about creative burnouts, and gorgeous character analysis? top form from the wonderful Di), the heart where i have roots (supreme character and relationship development. cried through this eternal sunshine!AU chankai), The Fine Line Between Love and Jackson Pollock (what can i say, i’m a sucker for art and reckless Chankai), Purgatorio for Two (murakami-like mood. jesus wept. and i don’t even ship baekyeol), Park “Pussy Smasher” Chanyeol (because i’m trash and this won me over with jongdae. this actually hit too close to home i’m depressed because it’s my pwp fantasy come to life). I should stop here. I could go on and on about fic and not run out of shit to say, ya know.
  3. Because of the sekai in LMR, I am /this/ close to writing the fic I want to read. That is, my reckless youths, roadtrip AU. Whiskey, Siken, a bottle of pills, coffee and cigarettes, dingy motels and apple pie a la mode, and Corvettes. Oh the dysfunction! I foresee gunplay and a load of miscommunication. I’m not sorry.
  4. In other KPOP developments, I can’t believe I still don’t have tickets to Big Bang’s concert. LOSER and BAE BAE were my anthems to surviving Hell Week. As well as Chanyeol’s voice. And his grey hair. And Jeonghan’s angel face. And JACKSON WANG. And SHINEE’s Odd Eye and Minho’s biceps and ass. Zitao’s laughter and rap in Rewind. Jesus H Christ. HELP. I’ve got a soft spot for tall Korean rappers with deep voices and I made a fangirl trash twitter account because of it. 😦

On Other Interests

  1. The annual film festivals are nearing and I’m really looking forward to Eiga Sai (Japanese film fest). Hoping to catch Princess Jellyfish and couple of other films. Apparently the theme is something about food, so it’s perfect.
  2. Also starting to rekindle my romance with animanga and comedy TV again. My break’s been spent by basically switching around marathons of Bob’s Burgers, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Orange is the New Black and Yowamushi Pedal. I swear, I’ll get around to updating myself with Game of Thrones soon.
  3. Oddly enough, I didn’t keep track of my film watching this year. I guess the whole list thing unconsciously put pressure on me that I feel strangely burnt out. Still watching movies though, but I guess that also took a back seat in lieu of KPOP reawakening, lol. Mad Max was brilliant. Also enjoyed crying over the Korean classic My Sassy Girl.
  4. Finished a book on the art and science of memory by Joshua Foer called Moonwalking with Einstein. Take that, naysayers! Mind palaces are real and effective!
  5. I’m trying to tell myself to create more reports about the shit I want to learn (i.e. Map of Africa, Dutch 101, etc) but my body clock is so fucked up that I wake up past noon every day and find that I’m just reacting to my life. But I really want to remember how it feels like to learn something for myself again, without any pressure.
  6. I’ve gotten into the hobby of penpalling and it’s a wonderful thing! I have penpals from all over the world– from Arkansas, to Amiens in France, to India. It’s slow, unassuming and intimate. Glad I have something to keep to myself right now. Although I really am coughing up serious cash because of the godforsaken postal service here. Worth it though.
  7. Also had a brief stint with calligraphy. Materials are serious investments so I’m still thinking if I’ll push through with it. Probably will end up trying out cross stitching again instead.
  8. I really, really should get around to posting my Japan 2015 photos because it was a lovely trip. Lightroom is just a little shit and again, laziness.
  9. I’ve been trying to learn how to live ~independently because The Netherlands 2016 is really starting to calcify. I’m actually currently alone in our new pad. Learning how to cook and uhh, /chores/ are really foreign to me (shit, what a millennial!) but I’m liking the freedom. I’ve been spending a lot of days here and even developed a habit of swimming, so I guess this is working out fine. I can cook chicken wings now.

On The Plague of Thoughts 

I guess this isn’t really a blog post from me if I don’t talk about anything related to my thoughts eating me up. Just yesterday I felt an overwhelming feeling of nausea. Psychosomatic, I think. After going out with a couple of friends I just came home literally wanting to puke my guts out. And I thought of all of the things I wanted from myself and what I wanted from everything and what I didn’t want and I just wanted to literally vomit. I keep telling myself to take every feeling as it is, to let it pass, to not let it control me and I’m getting better at it, I think. I think of the lives I could lead and the one I currently have and it’s hard not to weigh yourself down with the usual, useless disappointment. And like. How do I stop getting so frustrated by other people’s actions? It’s not as if I can change them. Ultimately it ends up with me mad, frustrated, chainsmoking reds into a coffee sachet because I’m poor, jaded bitch with ridiculous, stupid life decisions. I think I just need some time off and have a sundowner again.

apocalypse, now

the end started when you kvetched your way back to bed, back to this panic room. the night began, but the moon disappeared when you started digging crescents unto my back. outside the wind howled when you breathed out bullets, so i wanted to weigh our chances of escape–i counted the times that came, and ways i could pick you up and pick you out. my hands trembling over your mouth like a mask. us in motion, just in placation, seeing stars, and watching each one fall parallel to the space between our bodies; quaking, our fault lines forcing the crush, the extinction. the whole planet flattened and you are still on me. i buried sighs into your neck, and i blamed decay for the marks under your jaw, on the spot right below your ear, and on the corner. the nook i would tuck myself into for shelter. i blamed inertia for the seven, eight rounds and revolutions for every hour up to the eleventh; i blamed combustion for the right shade of red under the skin of your lower lip, your cheeks, under stomach under matches, under the waxy pads of my fingers. if i could trace my steps back three hundred days and fifty eight seconds i’d still end up in the same spot on the small of your back, and i’d call it gravitation. the pull of the universe towards the center. you lying down, supine, restless. you on all fours, you on crumpled sheets, arms bent and hands behind your head as in victory, as in surrender. seven years could pass and the records would play the same, broken cry for help. our SOS on the sand, the one you drew on the back of my hand. the sun could pass and we’d still be here. bombs of light billowing to cloud nine. i’m not looking to be rescued anyway.

aaaaaaand this shit will remain shitty and unfinished. i tried, guys. i really tried. holy shit what is this even.

TRAVEL: El Nido, Palawan; January 2015

This is a really random and late upload but I’m finding excuses to procrastinate and delay studying for my accounting exam on Monday. So here are some of my favorite photos from our beach trip to my favorite place on earth, El Nido, Palawan. We (Bea, Livi, Anya and I) went there for my best friend Nicole’s 18th birthday. Much fun. Can’t wait to get out of school (which detestably ends in a month and with the summer season) and have the time to be a carefree bum on a beach.

Rather photo-heavy under the cut. I own all the photos. Shot using a Nikon D3100 35mm. Post-processing by yours truly.



lunatic, the wanting comes in waves

Loose branches rustle in the strange air of
Night. Standing in the middle of the abandoned park,
on the thin metal slide, the World coos in anticipation,
it is Time. I shift my gaze to the sky.
There are two beams of light, two bodies over my head
yet I only know of one, I only know of One
Moon, and She pulls me deep into
Desperation, dank and dark behind her shadow
in the push and pull of the tides of Memory.
She hides her face and her calloused Hands
in changing phases, but her delicate wrists
always unveil in ritualistic
Slowness, like a secret being whispered
into small holes by the side of trees
so Here is my blessing, the cleansing.
this baptism by borrowed
Fire, by the warmth of her palm
pressing her prayers into mine, as if
gliding on my wavelength the Moment freezes
and the air is pregnant with Silence.
She holds her breath. it Cocoons straight
in my veins, holding her close. Her
light is not hers, but it is nothing if
not a message. Here, in our borrowed World.
Basking in the glow of stolen Light, I
greet her with faint, trembling fingers. Fate
pointing to my chest, right on the spot
where her light is the brightest, in this
World, where her wrists are bound, a waxing song
crystallizes in my ears. This is not home,
but you are Welcome. You are safe. Safe as
my Wanting can be. Find me in this world.

Inspired by Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. I really miss Japan. This is for another day.

but tell me you love this, tell me you’re not miserable

It’s 2:45am and I’m scared shitless. I can’t fucking sleep. I can’t sleep. I’m so tired but I can’t sleep. I am already regretting things I shouldn’t regret, like taking a nap because I was sick or making the weekend mine, but now I can’t sleep and this is scaring the life out of me. I’m asking and screaming for answers but nothing’s coming out, my brain is mush and the universe is silent and nothing is working and dear god, I just want to sleep. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to take pills. Oh self. Is this your subconscious punishing yourself? Is this how you deal with your guilt, with your failure? Living has slowly grown into building my case against not living, but not anything else. Is there anything worse than silence? Than having to deal with this blank uncertainty? Of not knowing who you are, of not knowing what you’re feeling, of not knowing what you’re doing? Oh I plead for understanding. I feel myself getting more neurotic, like I live by detaching myself from my own consciousness like I’m a third person living outside myself, I can’t do this because a part of me contradicts it and I can’t do that because another part of me can’t deal with that either. And dear lord, the psychosomatic pain in my gut. It never leaves. Like the holes are growing ever larger, deeper, digging its way out to the other side. Oh what must you take from me. What must you want from me. I just want to close my eyes and sink into the pitch black, succumb to the tar, the sludge of sleep, no matter how messy, how uncomfortable, how it leaves me more tired to live. Even if sleep and my dreams are growing more sinister each time. I am running out of words to describe the divorce that is ripping me away from what I want to be. God, I just want to sleep. Let me have a break, no matter how undeserving I am. I don’t like having insomnia. I hate it. I want to sleep. I want to sleep. If I say it enough will I be able to do it? Can I stop chewing myself inside out? I beg you. I don’t care if I crash or if I am cradled. I just want to close my eyes and not be in control. To not be worthy, to not be undeserving, to be free. Throw me in the chasm, I do not care. Just let me sleep. Ang sakit. Ang sakit. Ang sakit.

as we were.

“I’ve always tried to make a home for myself, but I have not felt at home in myself. I’ve worked hard at being the hero of my own life. But every time I checked the register of displaced persons, I was still on it. I didn’t know how to belong. Longing? Yes. Belonging? No.”

— Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

God, I’m so awful at this friendship thing. I don’t even know what to do with myself anymore. Nowadays I just feel like surprise news flashes– breaking news! girl tries to initiates contact with l’etranger, he shoots her instead!— all too sudden and quick to leave so I can avoid opinion, like a permanent shoot-first-think-later gig, so afraid to hear what you think about me. A graveyard out of a bone white afternoon. And it’s always the fucking corpse staring up at me. Waiting for something interesting. Too bad, honey. You’re fucking dead.

Here are a few things that have given me solace from myself:

  1. It’s Okay, That’s Love. 2014 Korean drama. 10/10, totally fresh. I suggest you educate yourself and try to feel something relevant again. I’ll reserve this for a later post.
  2. Only Lovers Left Alive. 2014 Jim Jarmusch. Utterly mesmerizing vampire movie. Hiddles The Bæ and Mother Swinton amidst a background of incredible, beautiful music.
  3. Food porn. To be perfectly honest.

As you were.


There are holes growing in my body. I can’t feel anything but this ripping numbness, this pronounced emptiness. All I have to do is close my eyes and I can feel the holes converging, replacing my skin with nothing as it creeps its way all over my body, slow but unwavering. I can’t tell if it is unpleasant. My doctor says it is normal, the sensation like frostbite, but he says it’s ordinary and tells me to let it pass. He says they don’t usually take anything anyway. But I feel it. It crawls in my gut and it takes and takes and I’m not sure if it leaves anything behind. If it does I don’t feel it. If it does I can’t feel it. It’s not odd, I’m not sick, I know, but there’s gotta be something different with me now, because not feeling anything is different from feeling nothing, right? The worry and smoke dissipates now, that’s how I know they’re still there. They’re still there.

I googled it and it says that if you dream about holes in your body it means you’re feeling empty and weak. I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean but in any case I don’t think emptiness is weakness. It just means there’s nothing there. If less is more, then nothing is everything. I’m letting it pass. The holes are growing but I’m letting them pass. They’re still there but they’ll be gone soon. They’ll pass through the holes they made; they’ll jump in and go to where everything else goes. I wish it could be sooner.