I just spent a good portion of my day watching Youtube videos of people giving expert advice as to how to get someone to be attracted to you. I was doing this because I wanted to find answers. Weeks ago, I met a guy that made my heart skip a beat. He was the person that I always said never existed: someone who could make me fall head over heels at the first meeting.
After pondering over these alien feelings, I realized that I had indeed fallen for this person who was essentially, still a stranger to me. I’ve barely skimmed the surface of what makes him a person and yet, he’s the only constant thought that I have every single day since that first encounter. I will even go as far as saying that I think I’m already in love with him.
How strange is it to feel this way about someone whom I barely know.
I didn’t know what to expect when I stepped on to the plane heading towards you back in October. I cried millions of tears from the Immigration counter to my seat on the airplane because finally, I was starting the long journey I had been dreaming of. The sheer amount of blog posts, testimonials, youtube videos, and guide books that I had read could not prepare me for what was in my future, when you and I would finally come face to face. Honestly, I still cannot describe how I feel about you despite having been with you, in you, for about a month and a half already.
I will try to illustrate my thoughts in bullet form for the time being.
Everyone was right about your temperament. In a single day alone, you would give me a bit of sunshine only to be followed by endless bouts of rain, scattered all throughout the day. I can’t tell when your tears will pour so I find myself staying in my waterproof boots and bright, yellow raincoat.
You are kind. I lost my wallet about a week ago and somehow, it found its way back to me. If that had happened anywhere else, I knew I would have had to kiss Chewy goodbye.
Nothing could have prepared me for the money situation. I was not previously informed that you promoted paperless transactions, so I was quite reliant on Anna ’til I was finally able to get a bank card of my own. This irked me for weeks even if I knew it would get better in the long run.
You have so much to offer. I could get lost in the mazes of your museums for days, maybe even weeks. Don’t even get me started on the houses! The streets are generally quiet but nothing short of interesting. I could stare at you and never get bored.
You are home now, but not really. I still feel like an outsider not because of the language barrier or my ethnicity. You are beautiful but a stopover, if that makes any sense. I was waiting for that feeling everyone talks about when you know you’ve found the one; that it’d be love at first sight and that I would settle here for the rest of my life. I honestly was hoping that from you, for us but sadly, it doesn’t appear to be so.
I hope you don’t mind these letters, Amsterdam. I feel like this is the first of many that I will write over the next year.
2016 has officially roundhouse-kicked my butt. You’d think things can’t get any worse than the recent Presidential elections, chaos in Syria, the whole Marcos debacle, losing a loved one… then comes life proving you wrong and reminding you that you are not never in control.
And even if I’m a pretty optimistic person (at least, I’d like to think so), this was a blow unlike other blows. When you separate from someone you’ve put alot of time and effort and love in to, the world becomes a glassy version of what reality is. It’s like stepping into that other world they keep talking about in Stranger Things, it’s familiar but not at the same time. That’s where I’ve been living for the past week, somewhere that looks like my day-to-day life minus all the colors.
I never talk about my day job; I guess I’m just a private-person like that. But since August 2015, I’ve been working at Vania Romoff Inc. which ended this week.
And before you ask: No, there is no vacancy at Vania Romoff Inc.! I already found and trained a perfectly capable replacement to take over my duties. But if you are interested in applying, you can send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org so that you can get an email if in case something opens up.
I know you hate selfies but as I was preparing this post, I thought that posting these old selfies you took 2 years ago would make it extra special. I know you hate them but remember when you thought that the lighting was perfect and the wind effect just made everything extra glorious that day? These photos sat quietly in your computer for 24 months; it’s time to share them with the world wide web.
Confession: This year, all my self esteem issues that I thought I conquered came back tsunami wave style.
I grew up a fat kid. In the 9th grade, I already weighed in at 130 pounds (59 kgs) and I was already wearing a size 36B bra. I was the biggest in my barkada and maybe even one of the biggest girls in my batch (MAYBE an exaggeration but it felt like it at the time). The self-hate started when my grandmother wouldn’t stop telling me how fat I was (4th grade) and that I needed to lose weight and be sexy like Wowowee girls (noontime show with dancers in pieces of fabric covering only their vital areas which they referred to as “costumes”). Over the years, my demons grew and grew. It took a backseat when I discovered that I was actually smart (just lazy) and kind of pretty (if I had just lost the baby fat). I didn’t begin to start shedding the pounds until my last year in high school but this was because of stress and skipping meals. I started losing more and more as the stress levels shot up because of college life and moving away from the comforts of home.
Finally in 2012, after three episodes of Gastroenteritis and being forced to adapt a real health-conscious lifestyle, I was just right. My body was toned and I exercised 4-5 times a week. I could wear pretty much whatever I want and I would get hit on very often. I mentioned getting hit on because it is/was (?) how I measured my attractiveness (something that I am forever ashamed of). It’s so conceited, I know. Believe me, I didn’t really realise that I was doing this until last week.
Fast forward to the present: I am now close to 160 pounds (73 kgs) and extremely unhappy. I started gaining weight when I stopped exercising and focused on my Graduation collection. This was exactly one year ago, September 2014. Since then, I have graduated, finished internship, joined a couple of classes unrelated to fashion and got my first real job. All with no exercise and ALOT of fast food. And because Manila is so shitty, I decided to stop commuting as well because I simply cannot endure the long lines and terrible service any longer. If Ralf couldn’t drive for me, I would book a very expensive Grabcar which pretty much sucks my wallet dry. There was no time, money and willpower to get back to my fit lifestyle.
Since I cut my hair early this year, I lost that girlish charm that brought the boys to the yard and because I’ve gained so much weight, my figure is now lost in a sea of body fat. All year, I’ve had breakdowns because of the weight and eventually, became depressed. All I wanted to do was stay home and ignore all the signs that I needed to do something about my situation. I dug a deep hole and wallowed in self pity. It is not my proudest moment, considering that I was/am (?) an advocate of body love and loving yourself unconditionally.
So why am I talking about this? What was the point of this post again?
I’ve known for a while that it was time for me to pick myself back up. I started going back to the gym and yoga last August but my routine is still inconsistent. I’m still trying to find the balance between work and working out. Not to mention that I’ve been working on something BIG with my folks this past 3 weeks and it’s been taking a lot of time and money.
I promise I’m not making any excuses. I promise that I’m really really REALLY trying. <- this is me making excuses again.
I was talking to Ralf about how I felt today. About where I am and how I’ve been handling my insecurities lately. He told me that I was on the right track and I should stop being so hard on myself. I have to stop torturing myself with all these thoughts but I can’t stop. But saying out loud how I felt made me feel a lot better and it made me realise things. Things that I feel are important enough for me to share because maybe somewhere out there someone is feeling the same way too.
2015 is my ugliest year. I made a conscious decision to focus on my career and not my physical appearance. I worked hard and set my goals and took the necessary steps to make my dreams into a reality. I spent a lot of time, effort, tears, and money on my future. I’ve read enough books, articles and essays from strong, inspiring women that have convinced me to set the standards for myself high because I deserve more. I will work and work and work on my passion and eventually it will see me through. I just need to endure the hardships now because no successful person got to where they are now without struggles.
Because I chose my career, me finding time to exercise took the backseat. This made me severely depressed but today will be different. Today I am reminding myself where I am headed and what I need to do. And that it’s okay to be insecure; that one day, I will wake up and finally make peace with my issues. This is all part of a bigger plan.
I promise to not make excuses anymore. I promise that I will be fit again by my next birthday (February next year). I promise to keep my head in the game and stay focused on making things happen. I promise to love my body no matter how much weight I gain and not subject it to any more fast food meals, fad diets and dietary supplements. I promise to work hard on it like how I work hard on my [future] career. I promise to try to see myself through the eyes of the people who love me; a strong and beautiful person no matter what the scale says.
I hope that if you’ve made it this far, you’ve come to realise that you’re not the only one going through this. Even the best of us have bad days and it’s okay. It could be the curse of being a millenial or it could just be because I’m a girl with some deep-rooted self-esteem issues. Who knows. For now though, I’m glad we had this talk and that you’ve decided to stay for the end of this post. I am forever grateful.
I’ll be ending this post with an excerpt from Amy Poehler’s book “Yes, Please” which honestly, hit the nail on the head right down to the last word.
Hopefully as you get older, you start to learn how to live with your demon. It’s hard at first. Some people give their demon so much room that there is no space in their head or bed for love. They feed their demon and it gets really strong and then it makes them stay in abusive relationships or starve their beautiful bodies. But sometimes, you get a little older and get a little bored of the demon. Through good therapy and friends and self-love you can practice treating your demon like a hack, annoying cousin. Maybe a day even comes when you are getting dressed for a fancy event and it whispers, “You aren’t pretty,” and then you go, “I know, I know, now let me find my earrings.” Sometimes you say, “Demon, I promise you I will let you remind me of my ugliness, but right now I am having hot sex so I will check in later.”
Other times I take a more direct approach. When the demon starts to slither my way and say bad shit about me I turn around and say “Hey. Cool it. Amy is my friend. Don’t talk about her like that.” Sticking up for ourselves is the same way we would on of our friends is a hard but satisfying thing to do. Sometimes it works. Even demons gotta sleep.
Going to the Global Mala Project has been a mini tradition for me and my best friend, Angel. Our first year was back in 2013, months after we started learning yoga together back in Bacolod (see here). We were so excited and I made sure that we stuck to our agreed schedule of classes. This year, we decided to return to the Global Mala Project as volunteers. We got to meet and talk to other volunteers/yogis as well as attend classes FOR FREE (which by the way was the best part). Angela and I took the morning shift so by 1pm, we were already on our mats.
We attended a total of 3 classes and 1 talk. My favorite class would have to be Gateway to Freedom: Core Awakening Flow Yoga by Christi Christensen. Not only was her personality infectious but what she was teaching us was exactly what I needed. To be honest, when she was repeating over and over again that we should let go and love ourselves, I started to tear up. I had a hard time blinking back the tears; good thing that I was sweating so much so nobody could tell if they were actual tears or my sweat.
These photos are not arranged in order of events and are a mix of when I was volunteering and photos I took before and after classes begun. Excuse the selfies, most of those were Angela’s idea.
I know I mentioned somewhere that I haven’t had a proper workout since the start of my graduation collection. That’s roughly a year of being stressed/busy/lazy bum. I enrolled in a gym last August to help get myself back in shape. I have a personal trainer named Spike who bugs me almost everyday to work out so that’s really been helping me out. I have gained a total of 30 pounds since I stopped working out. So you can just imagine the struggle of taking classes one after another during Global Mala. Honestly, I had only taken two Flow classes (after x number of months) the week prior to GMP so my body was DEFINITELY not prepared for the physical strain.
This year, I had a lot of time to reflect on my current situation and how bottled up I’ve become. I am honestly not the type to keep things to myself but during Christi’s class, I couldn’t help but feel lousy. It was like she knew what I was unconsciously going through and her energy just woke up something inside of me. I still can’t explain what exactly happened in that flow class but from it, I know that I have to cut myself some slack and relearn everything all over again.
So since GMP, I’ve slowly shifted to a Pescatarian diet, gone to yoga more than once this week and work out at least once a week. I’m trying to not harbor a lot of negativity during the day and I am slowly letting go of my worries and fears for the future. I try as much as possible to journal everyday too, a habit that I’ve let go off because of an insecurity.
I still have a long way to go but this has been the most peaceful my mind has been for months now. I’m just trying to go back to going with the flow.
Weeks ago, I made a blog post about how I was experiencing a rut in my life. I can’t begin to explain how things definitely took a turn for the better after that post. I really felt the power of sending out thoughts into the universe and I don’t know where to begin! I will attempt to briefly explain some of the events that took place over the last 5 days with matching visual aids (of course).
I received an email last Thursday (July 30) from a styling assistant from _________ Magazine, asking me if I was interested in doing a look for one of their October editorials. What great timing this was because prior to receiving the email, I was just saying that I needed to get more features/exposure for my portfolio. Even though Preview only gave me a week to make the outfit, I still said yes. You can see my design journey for this project and more here. Won’t go into details about the photo (except for the fact that the quilt was a BITCH to make!) since it pretty much speaks for itself. 🙂 Last Tuesday, I headed over to San Juan for an internship/future job interview with an Art Gallery called Secret Fresh. I won’t expound on this but I did get to hang out at Starbucks Tomas Morato before my interview and to my surprise, a barista who I used to be close to (Hi Treb!) was at that branch! We caught up for a bit before I left for the interview.
After the interview with Secret Fresh, I went next door to Lunch Box where I had a hearty lunch. I couldn’t help but snap some photos of this place because it is goals and I was alone (lol).
What I had for lunch: Roast Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Veggies. YUM YUM YUM!
Really nice set up. Check out the handwritten menus!
The current book I’m reading. I’m a real sucker for Self-Help books and books that are just P-R-E-T-T-Y so when I stumbled upon this beauty, I just HAD to have it! I bought a copy for myself and for Sandi (birthday gift). I got to read the introduction while I was queuing to pay and it sounds really promising. What better way to get out of a rut, am I right?
I’m currently 1/4 through this book and so far so good. It’s visually pleasing and the text is straight to the point. I always find that the best Self-help books are the ones that tell you the honest truth in the most direct way possible. The reality checks they give are eye-openers and usually inspire me to act straight away.
I still have a TON of unused squares left so I made a laptop sleeve for Annie and a book cover for myself. I noticed that my copy of “Show Your Work” was a bit damaged whilst it was in my everyday bag and I certainly didn’t want a repeat of that with my new pretty book. I really liked how these DIY projects turned out. It was actually pretty easy to make since the operations are just sewing straight lines and matching edges. Let me know if you want me to do a detailed post about how to make these though. 🙂
I went to another job interview this week! Never did I think that I would have the opportunity to have options. But more on this another day though but the future is definitely bright!
Furry hood. The fur is faux though so nothing to worry about; no animals were harmed. This is a sneak peek of my look for ________! Can you guess what my inspiration/s is/are? HEH HEH.
Man, after all those weeks… months.. of waiting and waiting and waiting for something to happen, all the opportunities come knocking during the same week. August is definitely looking up for me and I really hope that this good luck streak lasts for as long as possible.