just cry

I don’t cry– other than when I watch tragic movies or plays, read engaging endings to books or hear moving music. Even during those times I don’t really cry, not that consuming, vulnerable, open kind of crying. That seldom happens, most my friends say that never happens.

Last summer something awful happened to me, one which I refuse to talk about mostly because I’m embarrassed for the person who caused me so much hurt and pain but also because I honestly don’t know how to put it into words anymore. I feel that my words are so limited to describe how piercing the anger and betrayal I felt, how vivid the images were in my head, how they still haunt me at night.

Crying got me through it. As plain and uninteresting as that may sound, it’s the truth. It really helped me. It was a release that allowed me to recognize that something happened and that it’s okay for me to feel bad about it. I can admit that, as strong and tough as I am, that really got to me. Had I not broken down, I probably will still be in denial. I’ll still be convincing myself none of it ever happened.

So cry… 

crying

If you feel like crying, just let it all out. Worry not about the stigma that comes with tears. This world should be far too busy solving its many problems to pick on you for trying to deal with your own.

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deleting comments

Posting online takes a lot of bravery.

Granted we are protected by a veil of anonymity and very few if not none will be able to tell who we really are when we decide to hide behind the masks of our online names but it doesn’t make us any less vulnerable to judgements  made by our fellow netizens. The pang of anger and hurt we feel when we read derogatory comments about our posts, what we stand for or, much worse, who we are as people is not diminished by the fact that they don’t personally know who we are and that they’re not saying it to our face. It’s equally painful.

Yesterday I was posing a question towards a stance a blogger had on gun control. It wasn’t anything personal nor argumentative. It was a simple query regarding the logic of his parallelism. He then responded with a full on tirade about how I must be black or an immigrant of some sort who wishes to reek hell on US. At first I thought he was joking. It really did not make much sense how he attacked my character and how he stereotyped non-white races as pro destruction or violence. Although I found it extremely offensive, I wasn’t going to let him turn me into some conflict crazy monster who argues with everyone who has a different view so I simply told him that there was no need to feel attacked but he just wouldn’t stop. He then deleted all my comments and the comments of those who also had a different view.

It’s a blogger’s right to moderate the comments on his page especially if it hampers the image or the goal of his site. However, I hope that we’re all responsible enough to understand that presenting our readers with a skewed version of the truth lessens our credibility as bloggers. Just because you quoted a Harvard Study out of context, it doesn’t mean you’re handed the authority bastardize the dignity of discourse. Disrespecting those who have different views or are of a different race or culture under the guise of a pen name or an online profile is barbaric. Let’s not make the web an avenue for bullying, promoting irrationality and creating racial divide.

And by the way dear Sir, erasing my comments and the comments of all those other people on your page only proves that you think they have merit and you’re a little scared your readers will think the same. Let’s be dignified netizens and respect the influence we’ve been awarded.

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why we all love reunions

At different points in our lives we decide that the best thing to do is move on and live our lives towards the path that would help us grow the most. That usually means leaving people we’ve met, ones who we used to spend every waking second with, while awkwardly meeting new ones. It’s never easy especially if you’re not the type to open up quickly.

The key for me is to know that moving forward and meeting new people doesn’t mean saying goodbye to them completely. Yes, the relationship will change but so do most other relationships that you will have. I may not spend every vacant period with my college friends anymore but we still enjoy trips together or the occasional coffee after work. I try my very best not to take them for granted and to recognize that they still are an important part of my life even if I don’t see them as often as I’d like.

with meh

an entire afternoon with my Remontados Debate Varsity family

That’s why moments like yesterday are ones I live for and always look forward to. Reunions with old friends who I feel most comfortable with, who ground me in the best possible way. We all love the chance to reunite with our friends because it reminds us of who were, what we used to love and what made us really happy once. Our relationship with them, their recollection of us also underlines how much we’ve grown and how far we’ve come.

because he’s doing a great job

A good compliment is hard to find these days and that’s just truly upsetting. There are days when I feel that the undertone of people’s conversations is always finding, scavenging even, for the minuscule mistake in the  greatest of actions.

Edited by K. Relloso

Nothing is ever good enough anymore. The singing was too raw or too practiced. The food is too homey and this one is just too innovative. She dresses with so much pastels. She’s so dull. That painting is too obvious. That literature is too intellectual. I see nothing wrong in seeking perfection, in demanding for something better but if that hinders us to from seeing beauty and sincerity then that’s just too much.

It doesn’t make you lesser of a person because you appreciate people and their efforts. It only you means care enough to notice. So today find it in yourself to tell your mom her scrambled eggs are amazing even if they’re not as fluffy as you like them. Tell the bus driver he’s doing a great job. Sing someone a praise every now and then. They deserve it. 

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the little things

After my uncle’s wedding, servers started handing out gift bags. Everyone was running around, picking up their things, fixing their hair, getting ready to leave that very few peeked to see what was in it. My 4-year old cousin, being very curious, started opening her gift bag in the middle if the dance floor. We didn’t really mind her until we realized that half the gift bags on our table was opened, very carefully ripped up top and clumsily reattached to appear sealed. There was only one thing missing.

I came up to her and asked, ‘Sam, where are the cupcakes?’

She slowly looked up and said, 

cupcake monster

 

It made us all laugh so hard we forgot about cleaning up, fixing our dress, finding our missing room key and just focus on what’s left of the night. Every time I look at this picture it reminds me of that night, of that feeling- one of carefree bliss.

We have to enjoy the little things, those unexpected moments in life that make us happy. It doesn’t always have to be grand and big. We don’t always have to rush. If we do, we’ll let moments like this pass us by and that’s honestly too bad.

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inspired to cook

The past few days have been hectic- an understatement if you ask me. This morning I decided I needed to relax and forget about all the unchecked items on my list, the one I’ve been carrying around like a newborn the past days, so decided I’m cooking pasta. Don’t give me that look. I know what you’re thinking. Why not go to a spa and get a massage instead? Well I’ll still be hungry afterwards besides I’m too lazy to drive all the way to the nearest spa.

I’ve always associated cooking with happy thoughts. It might be because I never saw anyone in my family cook with a frown. It’s always a happy, boisterous family occasion that everyone enjoys. I guess I carried that attitude even when I cook alone. I can still feel everyone dancing around, telling jokes, tasting each other’s dishes. Just thinking about makes me smile.

Mushroom Carbonara- I used chicken stalk as base and smothered it with Parmesan and Mozarella. YUM.

Mushroom Carbonara- I used chicken stalk as base and smothered it with Parmesan and Mozarella. YUM.

I still have a ton of things to do but at least I now feel re-energized and ready to face another long day of doing what I’m supposed to do. Take some time off your busy days to pamper yourself. It will do wonders not only to how you feel but also how well you perform at work.

Mr. Chivalry and Ms. Gender Equality

How many of us women expect a guy to open the door for us, pay for dinner, offer to carry the bags or take our puppies for walks? And yet, we also expect to be treated equally and with as much independence as anyone is allowed.

I know, I know guys. It sounds ultra confusing and it just underlines the prehistoric argument that women are fickle and are from a different planet. Bear with me as I give a you peek into our allegedly differently wired brains.

loveit

Patriarchal paradigms took decades to destroy and to this day there are still semblances of that kind of discrimination so forgive us, male species, if we feel apprehensive whenever you selflessly offer us a hand. Like most people, there are days when we feel we have to stand up for ourselves even in the smallest of threatening circumstances- carrying our luggage, opening the door or calling a cab home. I’m sure this also happens when we take care of you too much like bringing you cookies during boys night out or making you wear knitted pink cardigans. Emasculating right? Well, deviating from the take-care-of-us habit makes us feel we can take care of ourselves, we’re our own people- which is true of course. It doesn’t mean we do not appreciate your instinct to help out when you see fit. Accept that there times when we don’t want to be helped.

Then there’s also the argument that different women have different tolerances to chivalry. I, for instance, thank men who offer me a seat during the long commute because I’m usually wearing 5 inch pumps but I don’t believe men should always pay when going on dates. You’re not a credit card. I can’t just charge all of our outings on your wad because I ate and had fun too. Don’t blame the entire female population for your thinning wallet because not every one is after free dinners and your shiny card. And yes, there will be women who will not tolerate any man doing anything for them period. There are also those who are traditional and would demand that you do everything for them.  Those extremes exist and if you land one of those girls, it’s up to you to figure out her individual tolerance. Most of us on the other hand want a perfect balance of independence and gentlemanly encounters. It’s not the confusing, right?

Intent is also an important ingredient when performing acts of chivalry. A gentlemen opens a door for a girl not because he thinks she’s a lesser being, weaker and easily manipulated by men, but because he respects her enough and wishes to show simple acts of admiration by making her life a little easier. You see, intent may not be said but it is felt. Woman or not, a person knows when someone is doing an act good out of good or out of sheer arrogance.

The goal of feminism or gender quality is not to destroy moments of interaction between men and women.

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Empowering ourselves, knowing that we are treated as equals in all media does not reduce our clamor for romance and simple, random acts of admiration. Feminism means listen to us. Understand our needs and make us a part of your decisions. Often the best forms of chivalry respond to that need when used at the right time with the right women.