New Year’s Resolutions

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There’s nothing too earth-shattering about my new year’s resolutions, to be honest. They’re pretty much a continuation of stuff I resolved to do last year. I made headway in some things, but not in others, bah.

1. Get rid of the horrible Lobster font on my blog.
I don’t mind the simplicity of my blog format, but seriously, this header font has got to go.

2. Keep in better touch with my friends and family.
Filipinos in general are bad at keeping in touch with people, methinks. I refer to “keeping in touch” in the more meaningful sense, and not the usual social media poking/tweeting/liking/commenting that seems to pass for communication nowadays. I’ve been making more calls using Skype and Viber lately, and I’m planning to make it a regular thing. :)

3. Learn to cook more recipes. Especially veggie ones.
Now that I have my own place, I can experiment as much as I want! I usually make simple meals I hack together with whatever ingredients are left in the fridge and pantry. I want to start actually planning my meals so I end up with something that wasn’t hastily put together.

I was successful with eating more veggies last year. Now, I want to learn how to really cook them! A big chunk of the veggies I had were microwaveable frozen veggies, spinach/garlic/onions/corn that I would chuck into a soup or stir-fry, or veggie dishes from restaurants. I need to learn how to prepare more fresh veg dishes.

4. Get really fit.
I mentioned watching “Totem” in my last post… gotta admit, that was my inspiration for getting super fit this year! Haha. I keep myself relatively active — I do a lot of incidental exercise (maybe 30 min a day of brisk walking as part of my daily commute, 6 flights of stairs up and down, plus general moving around), do weights at home, go hiking and paddling when I can, go dancing. While that sounds like a lot, I have to admit I wasn’t as active as I hoped last year. There were a lot of times where I would slack off, especially with my weights. I resolve to up my fitness ante this year, and while the physique of a Cirque du Soleil acrobat would be impossible for me, there’s a lot for me to do!

5. Be more mindful.
Meditate more. Not to surf mindlessly on the Internet. Check my digital devices less. Get more sleep.

6. Write more.
These past few blog entries have been painful to write, and, I’m sure, painful to read as well. My writing is rusty. Gotta change that! I read one of my old blogs all the way to 2008. I had a good laugh about the person I was… :P I miss writing the way I did, and I realized I also missed having that record to look back on.

Wish me luck!

Hello 2015

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Oops, it’s been over 3 months since my last post. In my defense, though, I had a pretty busy 3 months (and a half!)

October. I finally moved into my own place. I’d been flat-sharing ever since I moved out in 2008, and I felt it was time that I had my own space! Because I was only flat-sharing, I didn’t have a lot of stuff outside of my bedroom — heck, I didn’t even have cutlery to begin with. I had to buy a lot of things. I also had to assemble all my furniture! It’s been tiring, and expensive, but all things considered it’s been fulfilling. I’m proud of myself for getting all this together.

November. I went on vacation, my first vacation-just-for-the-heck-of-it in a while. We went to Melbourne, then Tasmania. I’d been to Melbourne a few times last year, but for work… The last time I went there as a tourist was years ago, and I don’t remember much of it, so it was good to go and explore “properly,” at least for a few days.

Tasmania was beautiful. I’d never been to Tasmania before, and it was so different compared to Sydney and Melbourne! I can see myself staying in Hobart when I’m retired, haha. We rented a car and drove around to the different spots. I’d love to go back and hike the tracks properly and spend more time communing with nature.

I became Australian this month, too. :P

December. The official start of summer! Also, ho-ho-holidays! Lots of Christmas parties and meetups with people before they went overseas for their vacations. My parents came over to spend the first holiday season at my new apartment. We spent Christmas in Canberra with my brother and New Year in Sydney. Also, tried a turducken.

January. My parents flew overseas a week ago, so the first part of this month was still spent taking them around. Since they’ve left, though, highlights include watching Cirque du Soleil’s “Totem” show (SO AMAZING), going stand up paddleboarding, and spending quality time with my friends at the beach. :) (Not bad, considering it’s only been 7 days…)

I’m planning to get my bearings together this January. It’s so easy to get caught up in the everyday routine of things, I need to reassess my life and make sure I’m still headed in the right direction! :)

“Tears stream down your face \ I promise you I will learn from my mistakes…”

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I’ve written in the past about how much the Coldplay song, “Fix you,” means so much to me. I was going through a rough patch last month and I put it on repeat. I’ve realized that me losing myself in that music is not just about listening to it, but also playing it on my piano, or dancing to it.

I watch this video over and over again, especially the intro of why it was choreographed, to remind me of how something so beautiful can come out of a place of hurt.

Since that dance snippet is pretty short (less than 2 minutes), I was looking around for a longer solo choreography. This one just blew me away:

Maybe one day, I’ll be able to dance like that! :P

Back to dancing with a vengeance

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I didn’t dance much in the past few months. I was using up a yoga voucher I’d bought the year ago, so I’d only do ballet each week.

But in the spirit of getting back into exercise and getting back into the things I love, I went back to it with a vengeance this month. In addition to ballet, I’ve been doing lyrical and jazz/funk/hiphop. My body’s not used to it anymore — I used to do 4.5 hours of dance straight, but I don’t think I can do that yet.

But you know what? When I’m dancing, I have the absolute biggest, goofiest, smile on my face. It brings me so much joy, to be able to express myself this way. And while I am so far from doing the kind of dancing I aspire to, and I can tell I’m not as good as I was before I went on a semi-hiatus, a li’l part of me is thinking, hey, I’m not totally useless at this! Haha.

Of longstanding thorns in your sides

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Giving advice to a friend about his situation this week made me realize how immature I’d acted in the past. (Funny, but it’s true what they say — friends are the mirror by which we see ourselves.) I thought I’d put those episodes behind me, and accepted that they were over, but I realized this: it is never too late to apologize to the people you care about.

So I wrote letters, letters to people I’d never speak to again. I apologized for the things I did and was totally, completely honest. I’d apologized to one of them in the past, but it had been a shallow kind of apology — one where I’d just said I was sorry for hurting him, but still glossed over the fact that I acknowledged what I did.

But not this time. Another lesson I learned this week: that when apologizing, you have to come clean about what you did, even if it means exposing the worst of who you are. Being on both on the giving and receiving end of that kind of situation, I can wholeheartedly recommend to be honest and admit to your faults. It benefits both sides.

When I wrote those letters, I wasn’t expecting anything in reply. I wasn’t expecting anything back, really.

This exchange with one of my favorite guy friends made me feel warm and fuzzy inside:

M: HEY
M: IM SO PROUD OF YOU
M: Hindi ako shrink di ako expert sa ganyan, pero I think napakagandang closure yan for you kasi di din natin alam baka dun din naipon yung mga nararamdaman mo
M: And that masaya ako nabunutan ka ng tinik
M: Na matagal na palang nakabaon, di lang natin alam
M: Diba?

It was a cathartic experience. And my friend was right. I think I’d been carrying that baggage for the longest time. I do feel relieved now, and I’m happy I did what I did. It’s funny though — one week ago and I was going about my merry way, then last week all these emotions and internal conflicts surfaced. And I felt like a learned a lot, emotionally, from the past few days. But can I have an emotionally soothing next week, please? Thanks, universe.