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Thirty Three

It’s officially been one full month since I’ve turned a year older. I always try my best to at least do a birthday blog no matter how bad I am with this so I can keep myself accountable of the progress (or lack thereof) I’ve made over the course of my life. So here goes..

The past year felt like a blur—a fast-paced cloudy struggle with lockdowns, quarantines, working from home, lots of transitions, anxiety inducing moments, and lots of mentally draining situations. But it has also been a year of persevering, of trying to look at the bright side, trying to keep a positive mind, and trying to always look for that light at the end of the tunnel even though the world seemed like it was falling apart; and I have to give myself a pat on the back for that. It’s been one heck of a year, but we’re still here.

Even though there are many times I feel like I’ve achieved nothing the past year, I think of all the moments where I felt alive, when the little happiness gave me hope, when it motivated me to get up and get at it. This might sound really cheesy but it does help. All the podcasts I’ve listened to, all the meditations I’ve done, all the hard work I’ve put into my jobs, and all the relationships I’ve nurtured whether offline or online have really contributed to my mental and emotional wellbeing. And I thank life for that.

Playing tennis has also been one of the factors of me releasing stress, and that has been such a great sport to go back to. Now that I play it so often, I’m kind of regretful that I stopped when I was in elementary school.. oh well, there’s a reason for everything.

As Gemini season comes to a close (yes, I went there), I’d like to end by writing down good memories I had over the past month. I celebrated my birthday with my closest friends and family, caught up with friends I’ve haven’t seen in a while, took mini staycations and trips that livened up my soul. I also had the chance to get my first dose of the vaccine just a few days before my birthday.. and that was one of my goals for this year. I am grateful to be healthy, happy, to be working, and surrounded by people I love. With that, a happy birthday to me.

No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

Maya Angelou

A Year Into

All we have are staycations.

It’s officially going to be a week until a whole year has passed since the country declared a lockdown due to the coronavirus. I thought I’d pop in here to write about what I’ve been up to since the year started.

Blogging hasn’t been on my mind for a while, thanks to my purchase of multiple Hobonichi planners and trying to do a good job of making sure I fill every page. It’s happened with my Hobonichi Weeks so far, and it’s nice to be able to spend at least a few minutes every day to jot down what’s going to happen soon or what’s happened in the past so I can look back on the year and feel like it’s been productive, despite all the shit we’re currently being dealt with, even until now.

International travel has of course, been nonexistent for a while and continues to be, and I’m not sure my anxious self even dreams of wanting travel until this is all over, or at least until I receive the vaccine which seems like long ways to go. The vaccines have just started arriving into the country and while I may be in one of the important groups to receive a shot (working in a school and everything), there’s not enough to supply to even cover the whole HCWs yet. I do hope I’ll be able to get it by at least the first half of this year, though.

Work and freelance still continues to be a huge part of my daily life, and it’s something I am extremely thankful for. It has its challenges, but to be able to make money and fill my day with productivity has been the best thing to combat my anxiety. I guess I’m a workaholic after all.. something my ex always complained about back then.

Another thing that’s really kept my anxiety at bay is of course, fangirling. Getting back into it full-time (almost) is filling my days with excitement and I look back 10 years ago when I first got into it due to a short funk after university feels like it’s come full circle or something. There are no K-pop concerts nowadays, but everything online is enough for me. The amount of K-dramas I’ve burned through the past year alone has already surpassed what I’ve watched before that. That’s quarantine time for you.

I’ve recently gotten back into tennis, after about 2 decades, lol. I used to play it as a kid back in Jakarta and since the year started, I’ve woken up at 5am most Sundays to go play with my mom and friend, with a coach. She’s maintained her “pro” status after all these years, and it’s so nice seeing her still active since she’s turning the big 6-0 this year. I’m thinking of doing something big for her birthday, and I hope by then the pandemic won’t be much of a hindrance. People are starting to celebrate their second quarantine birthdays, and it sucks to even think about it.

Guess what I’m saying is, despite how fast the year has passed and how each day feels like the uncertainty continues to kill us, I’m still glad I’m here. And there’s always tomorrow to look forward to. Cheers to a better 2021.

Friday’s 10 Happy Things, v16

I’ll always welcome a view like this.

It’s been a hot minute (almost 4 years to be exact!!!!) since I posted one of these things. With everything going on in the world right now, and my recent state the past few months of anxious highs and lows, I feel like I need to do one of these again.

1) Laughing so much from our cousin group chat. This afternoon my cousins got into a bit of a funny streak of roasting each other and they were just the funniest. I recorded some

2) Meeting deadlines. Can I get a fuck yeah?? This week is one of those crazy work weeks—both for my day job and side hustle—and work just kept pouring in. I only have a bit of stuff to do before the week ends but other than that, I’m good! On to next week’s grind.

3) Good food day. It’s the last day of my the monthly visitor and I’ve been eating up a storm the past 3 days. My coworker who is in charge of ordering lunch for us today made a really good choice

4) Nice weather. The rain has sort of been non-stop in Cebu for the last few weeks. Today was a nice welcome as it was sunny in the morning, and rained for a bit in the early afternoon, nothing too crazy, just the right amount. I hope my plants are happy.

5) The COVID situation in Cebu is sort of better, should I say? I don’t want to jinx it.. because while it hasn’t completely gone away, I can say that things are finally starting to normalize with the “new normal” and that’s due to the crazy strict protocols we’ve had for the most part of the year. People have been diligently wearing masks, face shields, and practicing rules that are working, and now the city is starting to open up.

6) Spotify’s Time Capsule. This was such a welcome playlist and the past 2 week’s rotation of songs have been such jams and take me back to simpler times.

7) Home hangs. In-person social life has sort of restarted for me and my friends here in Cebu, but we’ve mostly kept it in each others’ homes. It’s been so nice to finally be around my friends and reconnect with everyone without being it coming from a computer screen.

8) Tomorrow’s salon appointment. Technically it hasn’t happened yet, but I’m looking forward to finally step foot in one after a few months! My last one was quick because I needed to just chop off my long quarantine hair, but tomorrow is something to look forward to. The salon also made me feel a bit better by sending me a long list of safety guidelines.

9) Bills paid. Even though this has been stressing me out, I realize I have to turn it into something happy because it means I can actually pay bills, I have work, I can buy things I want, etc etc. I have to be grateful!!!!! Amen.

10) You know who you are. If you don’t (haha), just know I am grateful for you.

The Sunday Currently, v32

FEELING
A little bit all over the place. It’s nice to feel that my weekends are finally coming back: hanging out with my friends on a Saturday, and brunch out with my family today. We’re living a “new normal” world right now with all these safety precautions, the need for life in the outside world will always be there.

A friend brought up something very important last night where he said life can’t just stop for everyone. These 6 months have been hard on us to say the least, but it just can’t stop. Life has to keep going, and people need to keep on living. As real and obvious as that sounds, it just really hit me hard.

On another note, it’s been an emotionally exhausting week for me. Unseen evils can’t help creeping back in but the best thing I can do is to rise above it, as difficult as they are.

WATCHING
Just finished 8 episodes of Emily in Paris on Netflix. I love these kind of shows. An escape from life. I didn’t even try to finish it in one go coz I’m not going to have something to look forward to anymore. I’ve always been a fan of anything from Darren Star, from Sex and the City, to 90210, to Younger.. so I knew this was going to be my cup of tea.

LISTENING
I’ve been listening to a lot of pH-1 lately. I hope he releases more English tracks.

READING
When it comes to reading books, I haven’t been really active lately but I just got a copy of Jessica’s Shine so I’m probably planning to pick it up one of these days as a light read. I’m not really into YA anymore, but I’m definitely curious about the story of this book.

EATING
Not currently eating anything but I had a good food day today!

THINKING
In my previous TSC (a month ago?? holy shiz time flies) I wrote about how I was happy that I didn’t have any conflicting thoughts but it’s the complete 180 right now, there’s been this though that’s been bothering me for days and even making me cry. That’s life, I guess.

HOPING
With the way things have been going, I just hope this year ends on a good note. We all need it, the world needs it. It’s crazy how this year feels like it just started then boom, it’s now October and we only have a few months left until 2020 ends. I hope the year ends and we can start the new year on a much brighter note. It feels like a tall order with everything that’s happened but that’s why there’s hope, right?

The Sunday Currently, v31

FEELING
I’m now in my room now with A/C on full blast, but was feeling ridiculously annoyed a while ago because of tonight’s humidity. I have a feeling rain’s gonna just pour in a few hours hitting us hard. That feeling when you feel fresh after shower but start sweating as soon as your change into your new clothes? I hate it. The evening too!

WATCHING
I watched 2 no-brainer movies on Netflix today, both were meh really but still had enjoyable moments.

Love, Guaranteed (2020) - IMDb
Because you all know how much I’m a sucker for rom-coms. Also Rachael Leigh Cook, who’s 40 this year, and the princess of 90s romcoms, did great here despite the overall subpar quality of the movie.
The Sleepover - Wikipedia
This was stupidly fun, a good time passer.

LISTENING
I was reading about this old chat with a close friend from high school and came across this gem (LOOOOL) because he said it reminded him of me. I listen to this song about once a year and each time I still know the words to the song 1000000%. No shame.



READING
Life by Lu Yao. I’m not really sure how this ended up in my Kindle but I just started a few chapters this week after finishing Kevin Kwan’s Sex & Vanity (which wasn’t as great as the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, but still an enjoyable read). With this pandemic and having little agency of a social life, that means I can hopefully complete or even beat my Goodreads Reading Challenge this year.

Life by Lu Yao

EATING
Nothing right now, but for dinner my close friend who runs TheThursdayGrill delivered me some yummy bbq!

THINKING
It’s nice to write about not having any conflicting thoughts right now—at least not one that’s bothering me so much, but I have been thinking about this one person subconsciously, I don’t know how to explain it. The just-running-through-my-head kind of thoughts.

HOPING
For this pandemic to keep slowing down and hopefully eradicate itself from this world. We’re finally adjusting to the ~new normal~ of things, and it’s been feeling like a slow burn. I’m just looking forward to when we can finally freely travel and live life as we should.