thoughts

all sentiment is right

There are things that come back to me, quick and unannounced, like jump cuts. Or perhaps I am the one thrown back. The scene cuts and I am thrown into the past, or into the world I’d rather be in. The gun gets shot prematurely. But as if in perfect, deliberate delay, I ricochet between these worlds. This right now, that right one. I am walking and there is a breeze. I know I am embraced by the acacia, I feel the unpaved road beneath my feet but now I am walking on cobblestone, and it is cool and the sun feels too gentle on my face. And chattering, in a language so foreign it is familiar, cocoons me. I am walking down this road and it leads to the wrong museum. The painting at the end is too dark, too dim. It is not that vibrant blue, the ocean that engulfed me, the white zipping through like that the hitch, that one beat resting in my throat right on the second you smiled at me for the first time. There, every curve was to a song I sang in my head, hummed with closed lips, the one that rested on my hips. but here–they are the last 100 meters in a kilometer I am always running.

And here the leaves rustle and branches shake when the wind blows. There it is clear blue, or clear grey, or just a pale sunlight. Where have I run off to now?

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entry from july 24, 2016 / 3:58AM

Flying over Dubai. I cannot believe time has flown by this quickly. It felt as if I was just on this same flight route but backwards only yesterday, but also I feel as if I’ve left a big part of myself already, somewhere in the canals of Amsterdam, the streets of Budapest, the far stretches of beyond in Switzerland. I have seen and felt it all and they have all been true. They have all been a part of me. I look out the window and the engines whir in whispers, as if to accompany me in some quiet sense that I have changed, that I am changing still; the world beneath my feet and in the palm of my hand. And I feel both distraught and relieved to be going back home–because what if you feel like home is already both Manila and in the company of some other? In a country that doesn’t speak your language, in a place where people will stare but forget who you are?

I want to yet again face the world with certainty. Oh God, let me find the courage and the strength to do so.

I have been so blessed and that is enough. Chili, may you remember that, always. You are blessed and that alone is enough to get you out there.

Forward, forward, forward. Onto other stories…

but i don’t want comfort

Holy cow. I haven’t posted a life update in ages! Is this a sign of me finally getting a life lol, just kidding. I feel the same–except now, less prone to troughs compared to when I started this thing. And for some reason, writing this particular post feels like I’m crossing a landmark in my life. I started this blog because I needed the introspection, and perhaps the reason why I stopped posting so often this year was because I was starting to get consumed by this exact need for clarity, for self-awareness. For the first time in my life I felt as if saying something (i.e. verbally manifesting my thoughts) would make it real–too real, enough for my worries and fears to crawl out and resurface. I just could not deal with that again. So I stopped. Thus this is sort of like a confession more than an update, but in reality this should’ve been an update but now I’m too tired to structure it as so, so yeah, take it or leave it hahaha anyway

So much has happened this past few months, and I’ve also got big things going for me, and well, I’m here, trying to articulate things to avoid doing the actual work I really should be doing hahahah (like you know, attempt to pass my fucking classes). So just really quick rundown:

  1. I’ve worked on something really big with a great team and in an environment I’ve never been in before. I guess you could say that tend to place myself in uncomfortable (in a good way) situations.
  2. I’ve started getting used to being alone. I prefer being with a small group of people though (like, people I like). This is actually the universe preparing me for the craziest thing I will ever do yet–going on exchange alone to the Netherlands next semester. Ohmygauze. I’ll reserve my thoughts on this for a later post.
  3. There is no shame in being true to yourself in front of others. In other words, more people are now privy to my shame and indecency loljk. People are a lot more accepting (tolerant) than I imagined though.
  4. Friends… people… relationships… still a vague blob for me. I’ll never fully get it. Thanks though, @universe, you’re really giving my ass a whopping. I’m really, really learning a lot.
  5. Tip to future self: swallow your fucking pride and drop the fucking class if you don’t understand shit! 19 units is basically signing up to drown in your tears.
  6. Also: do NOT binge-watch We Got Married. You’ll sink into a void of feelings and confusion with the cute injustice of it all. Song Jae Rim and Kim So Eun, you broke my shipper heart. #goals!
  7. Man, you should’ve slept earlier. Insomnia, you really are the only constant in my life. Fuck.
  8. Is it so jaded of me to be afraid of good things as they come my way? I feel like I’m living in constant anxiety because I’m suddenly so lucky and #blessed (semi-ironically used) and all I can think of is that acknowledging any of it will make it disappear or worse, somehow turn against me to destroy my life. HELP.

This semester is one whirlwind of a semester. I’ve never been so comfortable and at peace with myself and this little reality since I entered university until this year. But I’ve also never felt more stressed out and thoroughly whipped by the passage of time and events. Time really does speed up as you get older. So many things are happening in such a condensed amount of time, and everything and anything can change in an instant. Honestly beautiful and terrifying, but it is what it is. I’m just trying to take it all in–is this life as it happens?

Lastly, I remember one conversation with an upperclassman back in freshman year. She told me that I shouldn’t be afraid to put myself out there, and that it’ll be worth it. I never really understood it then, but now–I think I do. So thank you, kind senior, for your words. They have given me much courage.

Yeah, so that was me and my messy post. Maybe I’ll make a better one in the future. In the meantime, please pray for my sanity as I try to pass all my fucking classes l a w d. ‘Til then, [Shia LaBeouf voice] just! do! it!

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 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.

phantom

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.

the girl who wanted to be God

Planet Terror-31

“I am afraid of getting older. I am afraid of getting married. Spare me from cooking three meals a day—spare me from the relentless cage of routine and rote. I want to be free. (…) I want, I think, to be omniscient… I think I would like to call myself “The girl who wanted to be God.” Yet if I were not in this body, where would I be—perhaps I am destined to be classified and qualified. But, oh, I cry out against it. I am I—I am powerful—but to what extent? I am I.” Sylvia Plath, Letters Home

Hey. This isn’t really anything. I just wanted to talk. To write. To quote that Plath quote I really like, and to post that rad mega-cool ultra-hip photo of me as Simone de Beauvoir (that’s Anton behind me as Jean-Paul Sartre lol) last Halloween for Planet Terror (thanks Jude!). I just wanted to let you know, whoever you are (if you really are there), that I’m still alive. I’m having a pretty shit time at uni right now. Not because of any drama but you know, the usual hell sem worries, except now it’s overblown and shit’s hit the fan and wow, I can’t believe I’m still awake at 3:18 am when I’ve been sleep-deprived for the past 5 months. Speaking of no sleep. My insomnia’s been worsening. I have acne and I haven’t smoked in a fortnight and I think I not-slept my way to a hemorrhoid but yeah. I’m doing the usual shit. Otherwise I’m doing a bit okay. I think I’m in a better place, or maybe it’s just the stress taking too much of my time and thoughts. Anyway. That’s a good thing, right?

I also watched a couple of movies recently. I really liked Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story. I like how it doesn’t judge anyone. It’s human condition, to forget that we should love people in the right way. We’re too busy trying to be understood that we forget to be understanding. I get it. How do we reconcile that though? How do we find the balance of selfish and selfless? Or do we have to tip it to one side?

Moving on. This is the trippiest video I’ve ever seen in my life. Chamber of Reflections is my favorite track on Salad Days though. Mac DeMarco is a revelation. Jumping to Korea. Taemin and Kai’s collab Pretty Boy made me survive my EL50 paper. I finally understand why some people don’t like K-Pop. I think it’s a cultural thing. Westerners favor more “authentic” music, so they dislike musicians that have curated images (e.g. Lana Del Rey vs. Taylor Swift). K-Pop, however, works exactly because they change images very easily and rapidly. Each song or album is a new concept. It’s like experimentation and art and culture on steroids. I fucking love that. There’s always something new in Korea.

Moving on. Over the past fortnight, while I was supposedly studying for my Econ majors (TANGENT: I got a perfect score on my liquor market analysis from Prof. Ho. I literally cried. I was failing that class and I had to rewrite that paper 8 hours before passing it because Word crashed. Point is, let me feel proud about that. Yay for validation, I’m on the right track.)– I made a long-ass, super detailed itinerary for my week long trip to Japan next April. Sorta went crazy writing it. 2 days in Osaka, 2 days in Kyoto, 2-3 in Tokyo. I am fucking excited. Literally everything I’m planning, from second sem schedule to fitness goals, are hinged on this Japan trip. Fucking. Excited. I feel bad that I don’t have enough time to visit my host family in Kumamoto though. Hopefully I can go back there if ever I get accepted for that exchange program next year. About that. I applied (for the lulz) for an exchange program to the Netherlands or to Japan. Aiming for Utrecht or Osaka/Kyushu Uni next fall. Not sure if I want to continue with it though, but anyway there’s still an interview.

Meanwhile. My sem’s not yet over (since I still have my stat finals on Monday) but I’m finally tasting freedom. Because of said freedom, I’ve booked a spa date with my friend Alysson and I’m watching Ravel and Debussy played by the Manila Orchestra on Friday with Fatemeh. I’m starting to get a hang of 1-1 hangouts. Usually I’m very awkward being alone with someone else but ever since UP I’m starting to like being alone-ish. Good thing too I guess. I’m also really, really excited about my best friend Nicole’s debut on January, we’re headed to my favorite place on Earth El Nido for a 4-day trip. Really. Really. Excited. So I got that going for me. I’m finally going to be able to go to a beach with my main gal pals to unwind and have fun and have all the pina coladas I want.

I also have the time to read books over the break. Eyeing Pessl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics (found it in a booksale for 200Php!),Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century (finally!) and Murakami’s 1Q84. Feeling quite bummed about the fact that I don’t think I can reach my movie target this year (120’s a bit of a long shot at this time) but at least there’s still next year.

Overall I feel generally okay right now. I need to work on my friendship skillz though. I’ve been a shit friend to a lot of people. Also my writing habits. As you can see I’m really in a funk right now, I’ve only been writing to churn out academic papers and I haven’t written a poem in months. But now I’m just really tired and burned out. I really need a break. I guess I have Christmas to do it. Also, note to self: you want an external hard-drive for Christmas. And retail therapy (records and clothes. And make-up).

Only thing that’s been really bothering me lately is my discontent. I feel myself wanting more, not really from anyone else but from myself. It’s always good to improve yourself but it seems that I always want to be everyone and anyone and do everything and anything and yeah, I want to think and feel everything and I want to reach that point. I want to be God. Such hubris. Should I stop myself? Should I take the leap of faith? Whatever I believe in, my actions will operate on and perhaps I’ll be closer to the truth. Will I create truth? Do I dare, disturb the universe? It always goes back to this.

an indifference, a numbness

“I am a millennial. Generation Y, born between the birth of AIDS and 9/11, give or take. They call us the global generation. We are known for our entitlement and narcissism. Some say it’s because we’re the first generation where every kid gets a trophy just for showing up. Others think it’s because social media allows us to post every time we fart or have a sandwich, for all the world to see. But it seems that our one defining trait is a numbness to the world, an indifference to suffering. I know I did anything I could to not feel; sex, drugs, booze. Just take away the pain, take away my mother and my ass hole father, and the press, and all the boys I loved who wouldn’t love me back. Hell, I was gang raped and two days later, I was back in class like nothing happened. I mean, that must’ve hurt like hell, right? Most people never get over stuff like that, and I was like, ‘Let’s go for Jamba Juice!’. I would give everything I have or will ever have just to feel pain again. To hurt. Thank God for minor-league Fiona and her herb garden. One advantage of being kind of dead is that you don’t have to sweat warning labels. There was this one brown liquid that I thought made my nipples tingle for a second, but I think it was psychosomatic because I polished off the rest of it and didn’t feel shit. I tried every ‘eye of newt’ and ‘wing of fly’ until I found something that made me not look like Marilyn Manson anymore. And that’s the rub of all this, isn’t it? I can’t feel shit. I can’t feel anything. We think that pain is the worst feeling. It isn’t. How can anything be worse than this eternal silence inside of me? I used to not eat for days or eat like crazy and then stick my fingers down my throat. Now, no matter how much I binge, I can’t fill this hole inside me. I can’t take it any more. I think I’m going bat shit. I need to do something.” –Madison Montgomery, American Horror Story: Coven

emotional illiterates, and a note to myself

“I’ll tell you something banal. We’re emotional illiterates. And not only you and I — practically everybody, that’s the depressing thing. We’re taught everything about the body and about agriculture in Madagascar and about the square root of pi, or whatever the hell it’s called, but not a word about the soul. We’re abysmally ignorant, about both ourselves and others. There’s a lot of loose talk nowadays to the effect that children should be brought up to know all about brotherhood and understanding and coexistence and equality and everything else that’s all the rage just now. But it doesn’t dawn on anyone that we must first learn something about ourselves and our own feelings. Our own fear and loneliness and anger. We’re left without a chance, ignorant and remorseful among the ruins of our ambitions. To make a child aware of it’s soul is something almost indecent […] How can you understand other people if you don’t know anything about yourself?”

– Ingmar Bergman

This really gets to me. I find myself looking at people and not seeing people anymore. I’m ashamed because I look at them like their only purpose is to be useful. I hate that. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to measure people by how much they can give me, by how much I can take from them. I hate it. I’m ashamed. Is it because of the constant drilling of my econ classes to view people as mere input choices? Something that can be easily substituted, viewed as objects to ‘optimize’? Is it because of my lack of emotional literacy? Is it because of the premium on productivity we so value now? Because I can’t. I can’t handle it anymore. I’m ashamed, ashamed, ashamed. Chili, learn to put others before yourself. But putting them before you means to open yourself up to understand them. And if you open yourself too much you won’t know what’s coming in and out. So try to know yourself. Look inside, so you can give.