New Year, New Me?

On the final month of 2016, I thought about the year that had passed and was hoping for some kind of revelation. I was hoping to finally update this thing with lessons I’ve learned or even join in on all the public declarations of what 2017 will be. But as the days went by, I kept waiting for enlightenment but all that came to me was anxiety. So when the time came for my family’s yearly tradition of sharing our resolutions at New Year’s Eve dinner, I had nothing. Not that I hadn’t thought about it; I just couldn’t seem to crystalize what I had planned for myself into a clean list of resolutions. I spewed whatever I could think of in the moment and proceeded to fidget in my seat feeling a little embarrassed.

2016 was the year I made big decisions. I let go of many things and people in my life. I said goodbye to old friends, a career, and even to a certain degree, my financial independence. I knew all these choices were made in preparation for something bigger–a “new and better Me.” Sure, letting go can feel cathartic. But when that initial high begins to dissipate, you’re left with the much scarier question: What now? Continue reading “New Year, New Me?”

Where have all my friends gone?

It’s a Sunday night and you’re curled up on the couch with your cat. The dog is nowhere in sight until you realize she’s found her way into your closet again; suddenly you’re chasing her around the apartment with your bra in her mouth. You look back at your closet and realize the last thing you pulled out of it was that ratty old shirt and your favorite pair of granny panties that you save for “me time.”

Then it hits you: another weekend has passed without you in it.

You vaguely recall an event you were supposed to check out, but you were too busy finishing the last season of that show you swore you’d never watch. You did plan on texting someone for plans but figured, “Nah, I’m sure she’s got better things to do.” Then while making yourself a peanut butter sandwich at 3 AM you think how fun it was to eat with company at this hour. Usually it was greasy Chinese food. It’s hard to remember a decent conversation–with blurred memories of slurring and constant follow-ups for “house tea”– yet you let out a heavy sigh. Not entirely sure if it’s from sadness or a sense of relief.

Amazing how your life can change in a couple of years. Weekends used to elicit excitement; you’d always look forward to who you were going to see. Now all that excites you is the prospect of getting either a lot or absolutely nothing done on your own. And well, including anyone pretty much screws up your brilliant plan. You like being alone. You’re used to it.

What the hell happened?

Continue reading “Where have all my friends gone?”

Girl Fight

They aren’t listening. They don’t treat you with respect. Look, they’re snickering as you struggle to park your car. They say you’re too “hostile” in the workplace. You should really just CALM. DOWN. All this time you’re thinking to yourself, OH IT’S BECAUSE I’M A WOMAN.

It’s hard not to be defensive. To be honest, it’s a daily battle–snapping at Titos who’ve chosen misogyny as pulutan to pair with their whiskey; darting an evil eye at catcallers; questioning the success of men in the workplace because I simply attribute it to their male privilege. One time I couldn’t properly back up into a parking space and a guard offered to help–to whom I responded, OO KAYA KO! SA TINGIN MO BA DI KO KAYA?? IKAW KAYA TRY MO! And lord knows what kind of invectives I’ve hurled from hearing the phrase “kasi babae ka.” 

And all that time it’s been clear who my enemy is: THE MAN. And rightly so! They were born into privilege and we have to fight everyday for ours. Respect is their birth right as it was stamped onto their penises! Continue reading “Girl Fight”

How To Lose Weight Overnight

Admit it. You’ve googled this at least once in your life, otherwise you wouldn’t have fallen for the shameful clickbait above. Now I’m sure you’re disappointed. Well that’s exactly how I feel with every failed attempt to find an instant solution.

Now you’re probably thinking, why the hell am I reading this shit then? You’re just a nobody with no BEACH body! Well, SIR, in lieu of a success story, I offer you stories that may offer comfort; allow me to regale you with the goals I’ve set and how I’ve failed miserably at each one of them. Continue reading “How To Lose Weight Overnight”

Break up, breakdown 

I’ve made several attempts to write about breakups and never managed to complete one. Though to be fair, I think I’ve made a bit of progress. Still can’t get through one without crying but at least the intervals between sniffles has gotten longer. I cry because it always hurts to lose someone. You have enough broken relationships–whether romantic or platonic–and you start to realize that with every person lost in your life, a chunk of you is lost as well; it’s that delicate part of you that allowed you to care, to really give to someone else. And it doesn’t matter if it was your first breakup or your 10th, it still. fucking. hurts. Continue reading “Break up, breakdown “

Why are you so angry?

WELL I DON’T KNOW OKAY?

I’ve always had a temper. And not just your average “oh she’s just in a bad mood” kind of temper, but a raging and very unforgiving one. From the 4th grade to my 4th year in high school, my mother grew tired of receiving calls from my teachers. For whatever reason, I snapped again. My religion teacher claimed that theologians have actually “seen” purgatory and I called her out on her stupidity. Or I don’t know, someone in my class breathed weirdly and weird breathing just happens to bring out the Joe Pesci in me. And every time this happened, I hoped my mother would rush to my defense but instead she’d apologize in my behalf. Back then, you’d think it was merely an “act of rebellion” or an aversion to authority, as what’s expected from most teenagers. Yet here I am in my late 20s, fairly independent, still no reason to rebel, and I am still SO. ANGRY.

Though on occasion, I’ve learned to somehow pacify this anger with a good sense of humor. Is there such a thing as devouring wit? Each and every stressful encounter with a douchebag, bitchy Tita, or rude parking attendant is chronicled through a joke or oftentimes an all-caps heavy FACEBOOK STATUS. I have an immediate need to rant and the sooner it’s all out, the sooner I feel better.

But as these blowups become more frequent, I find myself at an impasse: what if the joke isn’t funny anymore? Where do I draw the line between entertaining and just plain offensive? The scariest thing about this method is sometimes I don’t even have time to apply a “funny filter” anymore. I feel the anger rising, I explode, and I just become MEAN. Continue reading “Why are you so angry?”

No need 

You have to grow up, they’d say. So you’d age yourself, as if anything like a bottle of wine could immediately mature or a piece of fruit could ripen overnight. You grew out your hips to make you feel more like a woman. You kept your hair long and luscious because that’s how he liked it–even if it meant carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. Kept your brave face on because she probably wouldn’t cry. They’d tell you to ask for only what you deserve. Yet you’d still get down on your knees and plead, just asking for a little more. That’s all I can give you, he’d say. To which you respond, well then okay.

Ask and you shall receive, they’d say. But really, the best things come when you don’t ask at all. Someone else comes along and tells you there’s no need to beg, to grovel; no need to make desperate attempts to be heard & understood. He tells you, you don’t have to try so hard; no need to stretch yourself until you eventually rip apart. There’s no rush; take your time, fuck up if you have to. But you’re nuts and you inevitably drive him away like you always do. He’ll leave like they always do. Yet you try your luck, ready to get down on your knees and plead–please stay? You don’t even have to ask, he says. To which you respond, well then, okay.