weight for me

Get it? Weight? Forgive me, my very patient readers, I feel unusually punny this morning.

I was still young when I first discovered the social standards of what’s an “acceptable body type”. Even then, it perplexed me. How can there be a standard for bodies when there are at least 7 billion people in the world, with obviously very different frames and figures? What’s even more confusing is the decreasing number on the scale that’s religiously celebrated by TV ads, magazines and fashion shows—soon enough in the streets of cities and the hide outs of far flung towns too.

Body image is both a personal and a social concept. Much of how we objectify beauty  is caused by the culture we live in. Beauty in an African town, not yet reached by the claws of New York runways, may be an exquisite, dark-skinned lady with a short, curly hair and hefty womb, ideal for child-rearing. In Japan, it could be captivating doll eyes and a petite frame, emphasized by a bright eye make-up and pastel, baby doll dresses. In fashion week, it’s a size zero, thigh-gapped, perfectly-sculpted, 5’7 and above model walking down the runway for some of the biggest names in the industry.

What’s my point there? That even in a very superficial and judgmental society,  beauty is and always will be relative.

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This isn’t the part where I say, well be unhealthy and and raise you middle finger in mock salute to those who eat greens. That’s not my intention.

If the world gets to set standards on beauty, so can you. Make it personal; make it about you. Embrace your curves, your slim figure, your bum, your muscles—everything about you. If you still wanna lose some weight, fine. Go for it! Before you do that though, make sure you love yourself first because if you’re counting on loving yourself when you’ve lost all the weight, it might not work. Often, body image issues aren’t even physical. It’s what you see, not what really is.

girl

I want you to look in the mirror and see someone beautiful.

I hope you’ll step on that scale and love yourself whatever number it shows.

I beg that you walk in any store and ask for your size confidently, not caring if it’s in one or two digits.

I pray that you’ll be happy with who you are, proud that you’re beautiful in every single way.

 

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i’m just not into him (the guy best friend stereotype)

Dedicated to every girl and guy who were ever told they’re more than friends

Okay so most people in my family (and some from my peer group too) think I was in a relationship with this guy- an old friend. I used to be okay with the taunting and the teasing- when we were friends at least- but lately it seems it’s all they ever string my life with. It just comes across as juvenile to me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m okay with a good love story. In fact, I look forward to it during family sit downs because that’s probably the only part of my life I don’t consider a damn priority. Hearing it from other people makes me feel normal.

What is it that truly gets to me?

Clearly it’s not just the matter of getting paired up with a guy I was once friends with. That’s just the symptom. The disease is the overwhelming feeling that my own family (some of them) might know very little about me if they do at all. Don’t they get it yet?

I HATE BEING PAIRED UP WITH GUYS ESPECIALLY MY FRIENDS.  I cringe a little each time they do  (not because my friends aren’t attractive- they are). If I am casually seeing someone, dating or in a relationship, I’d downright say it. They don’t have to wring it out of me. To me it seems that they’re saying I’m incapable of keeping strictly platonic relationships with guys which is sad because I don’t have many female friends.

There are things only a your guy friend can do and everyday I’m thankful I have a few. 🙂 (photo from http://www.pinterest.com)

I love my guys. I DO

BUT…

that doesn’t mean I picture a romantic future with them if I even want that at all (another issue all together). Except for my few good moments, I’m mostly a cynic for relationships and marriage and fairy tale endings. Shouldn’t that be red flag enough?

I’m not sure if it’s projection or tradition but the way they see all male friends I talk about or hang out with, it’s as if they’re all relationship material. My best friend for instance is one attractive man and I’ve known him forever which means we’re super comfy around each other. Their thought process is he’s a guy. She’s a girl. They’re always together. They must be a couple. Let’s tease her and find out. When did that stereotype start and who suggested it? I’m gonna go and hunt him down because I wanna be able to spend one day, share one experience I had with him and not have it be turned into some dramatic romcom.

photo from diaryofthebrokenhearted1220.wordpress.com

photo from diaryofthebrokenhearted1220.wordpress.com

Maybe most their guy friends (or girl friends for the men) courted them or if they didn’t it’s because they’re shy or whatever lame excuse they have for not dating someone they like. I’M NOT IN THAT SITUATION AT ALL. If I like a guy and want to be relationship with him (which is not very often), I’d tell him. I won’t stay on the friendzone. Anybody who truly understands me knows that.

I know society is partly responsible for it too. At some point we’re painted a picture where guys and girls cannot be friends without developing deep-seated romantic feelings for one another (total bullshit if you ask me) so most adults and even some youngsters too expect that to be the norm.You have to understand though that new norms are created everyday especially in areas of human life as subjective as friendship.

Don’t expect every person to fit the stereotype because there are always deviances like me. I have a bunch of male friends and if society never labeled it weird, I wouldn’t even be writing this article.

It feels normal to me.

The bottom line is I love my friends- guys, girls and all in between- regardless of how people perceive our relationship to be. It just gets exhausting explaining myself sometimes. Any suggestions on what I should do?

proof that nothing ‘productive’ happens after 2 AM

*nervous laughter*

photo from parisapartment.wordpress.com –

To the MAN of my dreams (literally),

Often I wonder why I can see you better with my eyes closed, when sandman’s dust has me under its spell. Does it mean I’m incapable of welcoming you- any semblance of you- into my days as much as my nights? Maybe I have- once- but you never came or worse, you did but decided to break my heart.

Truly I was never romantic. Just the mere suggestion of the word makes me cringe but some part of me, most likely the part I suppressed so purposefully that it can only haunt me in my slumber, still believes you too are somewhere wondering where I am.

When (or if) our paths finally cross, know that I’m not expecting a walking checklist or somebody’s reinterpretation of perfect. I’m a rebel that way.

I don’t have many delusions of love or relationships or forever because some time ago my dad sat me down and told me how loving someone is messy and consuming and scary and … real. There won’t be a fairy godmother to ward off  vile creatures (you know what I mean- the slutty kind) or a magic wand to make the other eternally agreeable to my every whim. It will take work. Trust me, I get that.

If I may, I ask that you be patient with me. I’ve been hurt a lot you see- mostly by people I trusted blindly. I may ignore you, only take a second to look at you or push you away completely but if you see a future with me, hang in there. I assure you I ALWAYS notice. Soon enough  you’ll win me over if you haven’t already.

When I close my eyes, I imagine waking up to a faint burnt smell from the kitchen where you tried to cook us breakfast. Teasing you about your little mishap and you feigning hurt will be our morning’s humor. I’ll laugh at ALL your jokes and be your biggest cheerleader on every game even if you don’t ever leave the bench. You’ll indulge my reading habits and my obsessive need to collect comic books. You even find my inability to ride a bike or serve a volleyball charming.

We’d spend lazy afternoons in our sweats watching a movie or playing Call of Duty. Together we’d pursue our passions and be happy for each other’s every accomplishment. We’ll never forget to say sorry or leave a fight unresolved. I’ll learn to give you space when you ask for it but never be too far for when you need a hug or a kiss or just someone to assure you it’s all gonna be okay. Other people’s opinions about us won’t matter because I care more about you than them anyway. We’ll be each other’s best friend and we’ll grow up, be silly, see the world and be happy together.

I don’t expect our relationship to be perfect like the fairy tales I used to read or like the romcoms my sister quotes all the time. I’d rather have one that’s real and yes, messy and imperfect and at times, difficult but it will be ours and that’s so much better. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be waiting. I just know you’re worth it. For now, I’ll see you in my dreams.

Still metaphorically sleeping,

Yours

man of my dreams

or should I say MEN of my dreams?

The past few months I decided to rekindle my passion for chronicling my dreams (and I mean real dreams, ones you have when you’re sleeping) on a dream journal. So far I have 3 dreams vivid and interesting enough to be entries. Too bad I haven’t gotten around to buying a journal. For now, I write them down on the nearest piece of paper I could grab and if there’s not one in sight, I type it down relentlessly on my phone.

Then I thought, why not blog about it instead?

The first part of the dream was a mad dash from one place to another. I don’t remember why I was such in a hurry but it must have been really important because I was almost out of breath the whole time. All I remember is sitting with people I don’t know striking up a conversation, asking them what they thought about some pictures. It was dare, one I always do with my friends (when I’m awake obviously). Everything else was a blur until…

I walk into another dream. It was in a huge, modern hall. It reminds me of a school gym only brighter and with better air conditioning. It seems that I was one of the organizers of the event because I was running around, trying to deal with everything. I remember walking up to a friend and discussing some things when someone approached me.

HIM: Hi, I’m Ryan!

ME: Hey, we met right?

HIM: Yup! Last night, you sat with us.

ME: Sorry, sorry, sorry. That was a dare.

I could feel my cheeks turning bright red as I try to stumble the words out of my lips. He’s one of the guys from the table I randomly talked to. UGH! This is embarrassing.

HIM: No, no! Don’t be. It was…uhm…interesting.

ME: Sorry what’s your name again?

HIM: Munchkin.

He smiles and winks. Did I call him that before? I don’t remember but it sounded cute so I let it slide. He reaches out for my hand and shakes it.

HIM: Really nice meeting you.

I’m sure I’ve never met him outside my dream. Does that mean anything? I already forget most of his features but I remember his bright smile and chinky eyes. I don’t even remember why he seems to think we call each other munchkin. Why on earth would I call someone a munchkin? I eat munchkins not use it to call a guy as a term of endearment. Weird, weird but really sweet. 

Then another guy walks up to me and smiles. I remember him from my other dream. He’s friend with the Ryan. He stands right beside me and puts his arm around my shoulders. I tried to stare at him as he rested his head on mine.

ME: Who are we doing this for?

I asked him as I tried to look around the room. I guess I was looking for a jealous ex or a girl he’s currently courting.

HIM: Nobody.

ME: HA-HA! Funny. Joking right?

HIM: No, I just really like you.

I feel flutters in my tummy, ones which feel really tingly but so good at the same time. We stayed that way for some time until a woman called our attention to the stage and asked us to put our heads down and pray.

Pray, really? I thought I was in some conference. I guess dreams don’t always make sense. More importantly, who was that guy? I don’t think I’ve met him before but strangely, he feels familiar like I’ve known him for a long time. He’s really cute and sweet, the guy- next-door type who’s sporting a really short brown hair and sporty yellow shirt. 

I keep wondering what the dream meant. Was it a deep-seated desire, a bleak memory, a peek into the future or just another happy story? I guess I might never know. If ever meet them though, then we’ll have one hell of an intro.

‘Hey! I met you in my dream.’ (Then he’ll say, “Me too.”)

new wish on a star: a romantic meet cute

Just walkin’ around the alley
to see all the beauty around me.
I’ve been to many places
to find me some solace.
Then I took one glance.
It stopped me and caught my attention
and then you looked at me
I felt my knees weaken.

(lyrics from MYMP’s So Perfect)

When I was a senior in high school that song became so popular with our batch. I remember humming to it as I commute to school every morning. It vividly describes every teen’s (often adults too) ideal meet cute, bees knees, love at first sight romance. It’s that moment when you sit by yourself at a coffee shop and someone asks to sit with you as there are no more tables or that day in the library when your books are stacked way over your head and you bump into that perfect guy. *cue the awwwws here*

I’m not one who advocates for it but I’d like to think I’m romantic enough to experience that at least once in my life. Is that too much to ask? Arrows of Cupid, this rational, driven, often too obsessive compulsive girl wants your potion just this once.

Love is without guarantees

Love is without guarantees.

They say that love is one of the many endeavors of man which isn’t calculated or rationalized. It’s more than a feeling; it’s an iniative fuelled by human will. Because it isn’t with reason that we love, we cannot justify why we have it or why we’ve lost it. It simply happens and when it does we say that it was never guaranteed to work or last anyway.

But then I ask, “What guarantee are you looking for anyway?”  

The security that he will not find another

A vow that you will live in eternal bliss

A promise that you’ll wake up everyday knowing it will never end

If that is what you believe guarantees in love are then you are right, there are none.

As for me, I find love provides a different guarantee, one which is more personal- more for the self than for the partner or your relationship with him. Love warrants humanity, that moment of absolute vulnerability you are willing to take to be with another. It assures you of an experience that transforms you or at the very least, reveals to you your deeper, more unguarded self.

When you are in the a happier stages of a relationship, one depicted in romcoms and chick flicks, you realize you can be happy and that you deserve it. Even when you lose him, you continue to find happiness for yourself because you’ve discovered how uplifting and empowering it is.

In the darker pre and post break up stages, you feel pain and learn to deal with it. It does not matter how, through beer, parties, writing, painting, eating or ranting, as long as you acquire that resilience we all need to get ahead in life.

You’ve won, not that it ever was a competition.

Love may not last. It may not be entirely of bliss or with one guy but it comes with a guarantee. You will learn and you will grow and you will have at least loved. Isn’t that takeaway enough?