relevant

YOUR WHOLE LIFE IS A PREPARATION FOR SOMETHING ELSE, AND WHY I THINK THIS IS COMPLETELY STUPID

There is nothing like seeing your mom disappointed. Because of you. Specifically, your lack of a boyfriend. At the age of 17. Surely, there must be a god-fearing, decent enough man out there to recognize that you are girl of ripe age, bourgeois upbringing and good education, a man that will one day save you from your single, dumb freedom and provide you your maternal purpose. Surely, you will meet a boy that will gain the approval of your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends of cousins, cousins and second-cousins, maids, your parents’ Facebook friends, parish priests and your drunk, gossiping neighbors. The man is perfect as long as he’s (1) devoutly Catholic, (2) not black, Indian, Arab, and/or pure-Asian, (3) dripping with masculine charm and homophobic vitriol, (4) rich, (5) not bald, (6) emotionally distant except at the sight of failure, femininity and your future children, (7) well-mannered until provoked, (8) a ladies-man as long as he goes home every night and never goes too far, and most importantly, (9) willing to marry you and plant his seed in you before your biological clock stops ticking. Surely, there are still ‘real men’ out there for you (albeit rare like unicorns) but in the meantime, let’s build your dowry under the disguise of your once-braced teeth, your long, jet-black hair, your not-too-brown exotic skin, your shaved everything, made-up everything, your curves in the right places, your legs crossed in right position, your hymen intact, your skirt in between asking-for-it and prudish, your button nose burrowed in a book everyone reads, your hands holding some flowers or a spatula, your feet in the perfect ballerina turn out, your voice in the right decibel, laughter in the right timbre, your mood always cheery never bitchy (unless you’re on your period, but of course that’s a different matter), your head to the sky but nowhere too far, you in your right place. Beside a man. 

Because no matter how you frame it, your life as a woman is in preparation for something else. Marriage. Children. Everything you do now leads up to that walk down the aisle, to meet the perfect man for your perfect life, because you’re a girl, and you aren’t yours, even your name isn’t yours until someone lends his to you. But don’t think about it now. Don’t look depressed, stop frowning, no one likes a girl that’s angry, a girl who fights. Stay silent, stay the right things, don’t try to argue, pray to God and the ultimate He will offer you the world if you ask for it kindly through His virgin mother. Don’t think about it now. Study hard, but not too much that you won’t be open to meeting boys, be kind to all of them no matter what because you’re a girl and you’re supposed to, let some of them break your heart but never take it seriously, because we’ll send you abroad to meet a white French man who will sweep you off your feet in his chalet in the mountains so you can drink wine and have beautiful children, far more beautiful than the ones your friends will have in the future. Or if you don’t meet one, go back as quickly as possible so you can get a job in a beauty company here, build your resume up and work hard until you meet a nice man here, but make sure to seal the deal before you turn 30, or else you’re in danger of our pity. You can be single but looking, or single but devoted to God, or single but chaste.

Never single and free, don’t say that, don’t even think about that, that’s just sad. Because sweetheart, you’re not free until you meet the man of your dreams. Because that’s all you dream about, right? Meeting the man of your dreams. Study all you want but not if you don’t meet someone. Talk all you want until he starts talking. Travel and search the world to find him. Study to find him. Talk to find him. Work to find him. Pray to find him. Exist to find him. Because that’s all you dream about, right?

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on friendship and actual human connection

I’m starting to have trouble connecting with people.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, honestly. It’s very disconcerting because I’ve always /sort of/ identified myself as an extrovert (at least to some extent), so I’ve never actually had any major problems with “socializing” per se. I actually sometimes enjoy the small talk with random people, but nowadays I just kind of… shut down. I don’t know what changed in me– maybe it’s just the perfunctory awkward freshman phase or just a self-preservation thing because of the major changes in my life. With college and 2013 shit, basically.

I feel as if I’m tethered to a kite that is slowly flying farther away from reality and genuine connections. I used to pride myself in having the flexibility to be able to talk to all sorts of people, but now, everything just seems so dishonest or forced. It’s like I stopped believing in making new friends because I got so used to the same people for more than a decade. I might be too young to be this disillusioned but I’m just… so sick of having to deal with fake things, fake people. Having a shitload of acquaintances or strangers as Facebook friends. I can’t have ‘friendships’ that revolve around meaningless jokes or awkward, superficial small talk– I have too many of that already.I crave real, human connection. I long for conversation– not just exchanges on twitter, an online chatbox or text talks. I want to be able to have coffee with an actual human being without the veil of virtual reality. I want to eat dinner with someone who has the decency to turn off their phone for an hour at least. I want to know people, truly, their stances on issues, their ruminations and experiences, their questions in life. I want dynamism. I want to be uncomfortable, I want to be conflicted. At this point I would take anything over a teasing one-liner or worse, a damn Facebook group for a gossip clique that is the modern day friendship.

They say the people you are meant to meet will gravitate towards you in one way or another. You’ll know your friends when you meet them. But I think there’s more to it– I’ve also forgotten how to nurture a friendship. Maybe I’m having such a hard time because I’m looking at it wrong. Or maybe I’m searching too hard, or too far, or searching for the wrong things. There must be something wrong with me if the last time I had a ‘friend crush’ (a strong urge to be friends with someone) was months ago. I don’t know how to make friends and I’m stuck in between wanting everything and expecting nothing. It sucks. It sucks to see naturally likeable people instantly connecting with others and you know you want that for yourself too.

There’s so much more to this, I think. I’ve gotten used to a shit kind of laziness that it bleeds to my current friendships. I see myself blending into the past, or blurred at the edges. Sometimes when you have something you forget that it can leave you at any time. You wake up one day and it’s gone without a trace. I’ve gotten used to getting things instantly, and now I’m trying to slow it down but then I see everybody else racing away as I attempt to chase after lost things. It’s selfish, I guess. I often forget that friendship is not one person– it is compromise, it is selflessness. I have yet to master this.

I have no excuse for myself. I’m probably the shittiest friend in the world but I think I subconsciously feel entitled to the best of people. Once again, pride leaves me safe in a cocoon but more alone than ever. This is pure fear. Fear of inadequacy, fear of missing out, fear of opportunities and fear of denying opportunities, fear of forgetting, fear of being forgotten, fear of boredom, fear of challenge, fear of meaning, fear of meaninglessness.This dualism leaves me undone. I am at a crossroad and I choose all and none. I have no one to blame but myself. But I try. My God, do I try.

on diversity, and feminism

To many people who know me personally, I am a feminist. I am not afraid of the label. I wear it proudly because if there is one thing I am sure about myself, it is this– there is nothing I deem wrong about fighting for gender equality. In a still horrifically patriarchal world, there are more women than men but there is always less room for us– encompassing glass ceilings, burqas and bikinis, MRT cars and Indian buses, etc, etc. I believe in equality; I believe in freedom; I believe in respect. 

I almost got into a fight last Friday. It turns out that even in probably the most liberal school in the country, I can still find misogynists and bigots in abundance. It was an English class, and my professor previously told us to write about a moral code we felt strongly about, so I wrote about rape culture. (I’ll post it if my prof returns it.) So on Friday, she picked two papers to share to the class– one being my feminist piece, and the other the total opposite of mine. We had a discussion about it right after. 

I get it. In a fairly conservative country, my more radical beliefs are considered to be extreme. Fine. But the fact that more than THREE PEOPLE (women and men) said very sexist and harmful things was beyond any of my expectations about my own university. I embrace the diversity in the people but I never realized that there was actually room for sexism in such a forward university. I was more than shocked– I was disgusted even, not only by their opinions but also by their frankness and certainty, as if saying that “women should know their place” was something completely ordinary to say out loud. By the middle of it, I wanted to strangle people. 

I’d rather not share any other comment made then because that would just make my blood boil again. I really just wanted to write about what I felt after arguing with so many misogynists– that the fight is still so alive, so vicious. At this point, I don’t think I can befriend any misogynist. Hearing all that patriarchal bullshit and first generation excuses (fucking larger hypothalamus my ass) made me want to shoot myself in the head, while fueling my motivation to fight stronger. 

This is a pledge to fight against bigotry and misogyny for the rest of my consciousness. Fuck the patriarchy.  

the profundity of thinking small

“But what is ‘saved’ time spent for? To earn more money so one can purchase more goodies– to be kept cold in a second refrigerator. Our lives are sad and empty because we are not like that ‘saved’ time. Time is not to be saved, for essentially there is no way of keeping it. There are no deposits for time.

One should not bother with it, then. There are no ‘time’ banks the way that there are banks in which money and jewelry can be deposited. Think small of time. Denigrate it till it is no longer a factor in our lives. There is only this day. There are only three meals. There is only this amount of money. Those are the givens in which I exist. I must master these givens. Yielding is a step towards ennui.”

Edilberto M. Alegre

things i would like to change about myself this year aka SLIGHTLY MORE REALISTIC REVAMP 2014

    1. Find right fitness program, and maintain it. Meaning lose weight and not gain it back, you fat ass.
    2. Slightly higher grades! Slightly higher grades! Through legitimate study habits!
    3. Be a better friend. Attempt to connect with people.
    4. Beat 2013 movie record. With the grace and elegance of MOVIE HULK.
    5. Have actual savings to put in savings account.
    6. Spring cleaning. This includes organizing your room, desk, and consequently, life.
    7. No vices. Except for maybe a little alcohol.
    8. WRITE ACTUAL SHIT, BITCH!
    9. Books, books, books. At least 25 this year. Art, philosophy, cultures.
    10. Find, buy, and use idea and planner notebook!
    11. Have faith. In anything, at this point.
    12. Lessen social media interaction. You are not virtual.
    13. Muse, motivation, raison d’être.
    14. Learn to accept my emptiness as an inherent part of me that I will just have to live with.

cheesy ass new year’s post, as per usual

It is 3:47 am on January 2, 2014. I have nothing else to do except brainfart my way into my first blog post for the new year (besides trying not to vomit because of fanfiction-induced feelings and pre-Sherlock season 3 anticipation). So out of my current state of boredom, here is my attempt at a ~nostalgic~ trip down the shithole that was 2013.

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i have found it

I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet, 1903