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.

Getting back into the (exercise) groove

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I’ve always been into sports. I played on a lot of teams when I was younger, and I’m not even going to bother enumerating them here. Thing is, other than when I was serious about track and field in high school, I was never a gym person. Exercise, for me, wasn’t only about being able to do more reps or lift more or getting more mileage on the treadmill. It was about running in the outdoors, swimming to calm my mind, and playing sports with my friends.

It was normal for me to be active, and moving to Australia didn’t change anything — it just shifted my activities slightly. Bushwalking. Kayaking. Stand up paddling. Getting back into dancing, trying a new form of yoga. Things like that.

Then somehow, things changed a few months ago. I didn’t spend as much time dancing. I only went to yoga sporadically. I was exhausted when I got home at night after work, so I didn’t bother doing weights. I still tried to walk at least 10,000 steps a day, but I hovered around the 7,000 mark, and it wasn’t “active” walking. I lost a little bit of weight… which I know is probably due to of loss of muscle, unfortunately.

I was telling a friend of mine over dinner last week that I was feeling tired — a lot more tired than usual. I knew I was doing something wrong, and attributed it to not getting enough sleep and wasting too much online, when she suggested getting back into exercise.

Sound advice. And that’s exactly what I’m trying to do. I’m actually out of town for work in a few days and it’ll be hard to squeeze it in… but I did weights again today, with the thought that even though I may not be able to sustain it over the next two weeks, every little bit helps. My arms are a little sore, but it’s all good. Here’s to getting the strong me back!

The Basics – With This Ship

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I was obsessed with this song a couple of years ago… Heard it again after not listening to it in years. Trippy video, too.

“I fly this flag forever but you don’t wanna see it
The way it was is how it is for you and you can’t leave it
We’re only treading water, but slowly sinking deeper
And I don’t wanna go down with this ship…”

I think it’s about a relationship that’s on the rocks, but one person can’t accept it.

Why do I write?

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I honestly don’t know.

For the people who actually read this blog (all two of you), you know I’ve kinda been going through an existential crisis for this. Sometimes, I post my thoughts. Maybe photos. The occasional interesting Youtube video. Sometimes I’ll post stuff every few days. Other times (like now) I’ll go for weeks without.

I remember I used to write about my life. Things I did, where I ate. But then I’ve stopped doing that. I felt like I had to craft my life for an audience, and subconsciously, it was making me live for an audience. I’d always have this thought at the back of my mind… “how am I going to write about this? How am I going to illustrate it through my photos?”

I still write restaurant reviews. A few weeks ago, someone nicely complimented me on Yelp, saying they enjoyed reading my reviews and wouldn’t I want to start a food blog? They’d read it. What a nice thing to say! :)

I dismissed the idea, though. I did that before — painstakingly take photos every time I went out, write a review. But y’know what? I’m not a food critic. I can’t really talk like my more eloquent peers about the intricacies of flavors and palates. I can, however, talk about what I like, and quite simply how I like it, and how my night went. And that’s what I do, to practice writing, and because I want to build this city, somehow.

So why do I write?

I don’t know. That’s what this blog is for, I suppose… to discover what I want to write about. And maybe to discover a little bit about me.

My veggie story

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Can I just say, I’m super proud of my blossoming relationship with vegetables?!

I distinctly remember when I first started really eating veggies. It was 2008, and I’d moved to the US. For the first time in my life, I was living by myself. It struck me that I had a really crappy diet up to that point. Before then, I thought nothing of eating unhealthy food every day. Hey, I was young! I had a fast metabolism! I still looked good! So why worry?

But yeah, 2008 was the turning point. (Not because I realized I was no longer young, or had a fast metabolism or looked good – I like to delude myself that I’m still all of those things, hehe.) I resolved to eat more vegetables, so I devised a strategy. I ordered a Subway sandwich semi-regularly, and each time I got one I added one more kind of veggie. First lettuce. Then tomatoes. Then onions. And so on, and so forth… until I had the whole shebang of veggies on my sandwich each time.

Except onions. If I was going to talk to people afterwards, I’d lay off the onions.

Our relationship has pretty much strengthened still then. Yes, I will now go out of my way to order veggie dishes at restaurants. There are times when I actually crave for them, and my meal will feel incomplete if I don’t have any. I add them as much as I can to my home-cooked meals. Frozen veggies have become a quick and easy lunchtime regular.

It’s amazing.