#HappyPrideMonth

It’s time to strip and don the colors of the rainbow, people. It’s Pride Month! 

Every single one of my avid readers already knows that I’m a massive supporter of anything LGBT. I’ve talked about it on previous posts, written literature about it, even put up photos that signify my support for it (links below). If I could, I would wear a shirt that says ‘LGBT rights is human rights’ everywhere I went, but I don’t think my clients would appreciate me walking up a business meeting in a graphic tee.

BYE OUT THERE

But I do wanna celebrate this amazingly colorful month with you guys so I decided that I’m declaring this blogging month as an ‘All Pride Month’. It simply means daily posts (yes, yes it’s a huge responsibility) about anything pride-related – pictures, twitter trends, Youtuber features, movie recommendations, readings lists (paperback and Wattpad) and my usual opinions entries.

I want to make this as interactive as possible, so if there’s anything you want me want me to feature in the coming days, you can comment below or email them to me. Oh, and if you wanna show your support as well, feel free to make my rainbow header yours too.

That’s all for today, guys. Happy Pride Month!

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Graphics by: Rye Lee

Links (previous entries on LGBT): 

united colors of bullies

It’s been awhile since I last put up an entry and before I start sobbing and saying sorry for leaving you guys hanging, let me just say that I had a tough month writing 15 chapters of a book I’m hoping to publish. So please please put down the pitch forks, I’m not one to make excuses but my brain was fried (figuratively of course).

Today I thought it would be fun to write about a topic that inspired one of my book concepts and that is bullies– in all their colors and varieties. We already know about the obvious ones, which mind you are a scary lot but there are more subtle versions. They hide under the covers labeling themselves something more beautiful and attractive. The magpie in us grovel for the promise that it oh so boldly declares then we realize later on that the shine it has is all that it is, shine.

The inspiration came from a nostalgic evening of coffee with 2 of my best friends- after they convinced me to keep writing on this blog because THEY ACTUALLY READ IT AND LIKE IT. Imagine my surprise when they started talking about entries I wrote, I mean these are my overly critical, highly intellectual and difficult to please best friends we’re talking about. My self loathing subconscious found that difficult to believe and quite frankly, I was speechless for a few moments.

On the same night, we realized a lot about the path we took together in college. We gave up so much to be that image of an over achieving student whose main goal is to get the best grades, manage as many  extra curriculars and maintain as few creative, non logical pursuits as we can. Labels and expectations- the box they made for us- those were our bullies. 

photo from caity-bullying.blogspot.com

I’ve finally learned that bullies don’t just come in different kinds of people, they come in every shape, size or form. I may not have been shoved around or locked in a janitor’s closet by some teen fiction stereotype queen bee but I’ve been confined in a society where there’s a predetermined standard of beauty- one which some may claim I don’t fit. That norm, that belief, that is my own brand of bully. It follows me around, taunting me to cinch around my curves and smoothen my edges to fit this overused mold already made for me.

When I  found enough courage and fought back, told society to shove its size zero, fair-skinned, blonde perfection up their bums, another bully manifested from the shadows- one far stronger and more paralyzing than its predecessor. The firm grip of its manacle, over sized hands smother me with ridicule of how success has and will continue to elude me because the career I chose to love and devote my life to will not earn me millions, buy me a mansion or a jet-setting lifestyle

Your bullies may be far more frightening or life threatening than mine. I can’t be the judge of that and I won’t try to. If there’s one thing I took away from dealing with bully after bully, people and circumstances alike, they’re never as easy to deal with as they they seem on the outside. It’s a bully for a reason. They know your weakness and capitalize on it as much as they can so you’re hurt in the worst possible way. They planned the perfect, most gruesome way to twist and turn the knife they stuck to your heart so you’re left clutching at it, trying to rip it off and stop the bleeding.

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But if you don’t know already, let me be the first to tell you, you’re far stronger than any of your bullies. You have the ability heal and those battle scars will remind you every day of how you fought and how you deserve to be happy- HOW YOU’RE WORTH A LIFE YOU CHOSE TO LIVE and not one chosen by some thug or an unfortunate circumstance for you. 

You get one shot at life my friend, don’t let some bully take that away from you. 

my little secret

For some time I’ve been deliberating whether I should show my sketches and graffiti to other people, my friends especially. It was never a big secret that I love being creative– that when words fail me, I fall to drawings, doodles and caricature art. Back in primary school, everyone knew I drew but it was not exactly a big deal because most my friends are as artistic if not more artistic than I am.

photo from lastcanned.tumblr.com

As I grew older and labels started to get thrown around, most people forgot or never got to know that my creative side is an important part of me- that I love drawing (not saying I’m amazing though) as much as I love writing or speaking for causes. If they ask, I’d probably mention it in passing but often they don’t really wanna go into those things. It wasn’t in the usual run of our conversations.

True to my overly critical self, I became less and less confident about my works so it wasn’t now just an issue of no one asking. It became more of a constant need to hide it, suppress or deny it. I stopped drawing for awhile but I find myself going back to it when confronted with extreme emotions. Sometimes it will be as simple as doodles on my journal. Other times it will be as elaborate as painting my shirts or posters on my wall. If I could have gotten away with painting my room, I probably would.

I realized that my subconscious is telling me something very important. Drawing, painting, doodling, they’re not just an escape; they’re a part of who I am. Suppressing them because I think my abilities are inadequate won’t make me feel better about  them nor would it improve my ability to actually perform them. If I feel insecure about something as important to me as they are then I must work harder at them until I feel confident enough to share them or at least talk about them.

So here I am, trying to push myself to talk about it and share it to people who care enough to read my entries because I think it’s an important part of me and maybe also to inspire others that there’s nothing to be ashamed of about loving something so much even if you’re not exponentially good at it.

I’m not at a point where I can go around saying that I’m good at drawing or painting because I don’t think I am (YET). This girl is still hard at work improving herself. When I feel I’m ready, I’ll show it some more but at this moment I don’t feel embarrassed saying that I draw. I don’t have to downplay what it truly means to me and how much it has helped me. Plus, I thought you should know that I found that courage to ask a really good friend if he wanted to see some of my works. It was scary (and will probably sting a little if he hates them) but that’s all just part of it. I’m glad I did it because I know I eventually should trust the people that matter to me to love every part of me- no matter how imperfect, quirky or strange it is.

i think therefore

I AM?

This morning, as I was checking my blog, my cousin mentioned she was contemplating on starting her own but was a bit apprehensive and slightly unsure of her writing capabilities. She says her voice, her writing style may be too loud, not loud enough, boring, too eccentric, annoying or just plain offensive.

Have there been times when you wanted to do something so much but you were scared you’ll be really bad at it? I did; I still do sometimes. When that happens, I make sure I really want to do it first, that I can commit to it and that I’m really passionate about it. If I can tick every single one of those off the list then…

I take a deep breath and just do it.

If something (doesn’t matter how difficult, embarrassing or terrifying) is truly worth doing, it’s worth a try. Sometimes it might not work out and that’s just life but when it does work out, then it’s one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. So get over that fear and trust yourself. Think you’re capable because if you aren’t already, you will be.

*PS And Shane, this post is for you. Get that blog up. I know you want to. LOL. 🙂

time for tough love

For the most part I prefer to let people around me take their time and figure out how to do things on their own. I take a step back and watch as they try to learn, using their own pace, through their own mistakes. I grew up with an intense amount of pressure to perform and there are days when I wish I could just shut down for awhile. I didn’t want to be that kind of pressure on others so I make a conscious effort not to burden them with expectations and scare them with punishments.

I do realize however that there are days when it’s the only option that could deliver results. When I started debating, I hated those 7 minutes that I had to talk about some country a thousand miles away from me about some issue I’ve never heard of. I’d stand up there like a moron, babbling for three minutes then I’d run back to my chair. I remember our coach asking me to do it over and over and over again until I got to seven minutes. It was the most excruciating and embarrassing 2 hours of my life.  I thought, at that time, it was harsh. I was just starting and he already expected me to compete like a pro. How is that gonna happen? That’s not fair right? But it was, I can’t flake just because I’m new. It’s not a justification.

Sounds like him alright…

I’m happy he was so tough on me. If he wasn’t I would have found one excuse after another not to perform as well as everyone else. I owe him every single award, praise and opportunity I got after that.

I wish more people had the courage to do what he did. These days most mentors I meet care more about being liked by those they’re mentoring than actually making an impact no matter what it costs. Tough love isn’t always the solution but when it is, do it. It’s for their good more than it is for yours. What’s the point of being the NICE mentor/ coach/ trainer if they don’t grow and live up to their best ability because you didn’t push them enough?

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For Daddy Tords, just because.

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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.