words & photos from the next big adventure

Eating my words

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Sparkling water wasn’t a thing when I was growing up. Which is why I was surprised that it existed. I mean, seriously. Fizzy water? Who the hell drinks that?! Around 3 years ago, when a colleague of mine ordered it at a work function, I thought it was the most pretentious thing ever.

Now, I’m a huge fan and drink one bottle a day as a treat, when I happen to buy a pack at Costco. (I’m also seriously thinking of getting a Sodastream so I can make it at home.)

I also remember scoffing at my parents asked if I’d ever thought about working at a management consulting company like my friend K. I remember thinking, “what on earth would I do there? That is seriously one industry I have no interest in getting into. Even if it pays well.” (K’s company paid him pretty well.)

Fast forward 5 years. I now work for a management consulting company. Funny how things turn out.


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Too much information, a term usually reserved for over-sharing of personal (sometimes disgusting) information.

Too much information, a term I’ve applied to the endless stream of social media updates. Stuff that isn’t necessarily too personal or cringe-worthy when read, but not really relevant, at least to me. Maybe there’s someone out there who cares exactly what you ate for breakfast, or your random brain farts, but unless we’re BFFs (which we’re not), I don’t really care (sorry!).

Too much information, the stream of fluffy articles online masquerading as actual content. Human interest stories that don’t really matter. Case in point: in today’s online version of the Sydney Morning Herald, the articles above the fold:

  • Can you reset your metabolism? Is your “slow metabolism” ruining your chances of losing weight? You need to read this.
  • $105,000 tweet: ‘I’m no troll’ Andrew Farley felt “depressed” after being ordered to pay $105,000 for defaming teacher.
  • More ratings blues for Ten Puberty Blues suffered its worst-ever result on its return last night.

I’m on a content purge. I don’t use social media much (ex. I do have a Facebook account, but I don’t use it, and I don’t check Twitter — the only one I do use regularly is Instagram) so that’s a great start. I’ve unsubscribed from a lot of newsletters, because most of them regurgitated articles (like health and beauty tips) from unsubstantiated information around the web (seriously — there’s always some article on increasing your metabolism or the new superfood).

It’s so easy to get caught up in the endless stream of information, so now I’m making a conscious choice to not fill my time with all the information available. Like I said, too much information.

Over my head

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D’you ever wake up and have a song going through your head already?

This was mine:

The Fray – Over My Head

Everyone knows I’m in
Over my head (2x)
With eight seconds left in overtime
She’s on your mind (2x)

Let’s rearrange
I wish you were a stranger I could disengage
Just say that we agree and then never change
Soften a bit until we all just get along
But that’s disregard
Find another friend and you discard
As you lose the argument in a cable car
Hanging above as the canyon comes between…

Wondering if I should add this song to my to-play list… my sheet music binder is getting fat. But OMG listen to that piano!

Edit: I ended up buying the sheet music a few days after writing this post (wrote it a few weeks ago). Happily playing the song now :)

The negative friend


Every now and then, I read articles saying about how important it is to let go of friends. I’m no stranger to this — in fact, I’m a strong advocate of it. This isn’t just about drifting apart from friends, which is a pretty commonplace occurrence… it’s also making a conscious decision with some people to halt a friendship. I’ve done this a few times — I realized that some people who I thought were friends, well, weren’t. :P

S’anyway, a lot of these “should you let your friendship go?” articles have lists on spotting these problem friends. They’re usually pretty reasonable, but there’s one line I always disagree with: you should break up with your friend if she’s too negative.

If that were true, I wouldn’t have any friends right now. I’ve gone through some rough times, and if my friends stopped talking to me because I wasn’t positive enough, then I’d be in trouble. I’m grateful that I do have good friends, who have listened to me in my darkest hours, no matter how angry and sad and miserable I got.

At the same time, I don’t expect my friends to be positive all the time. Life has its ups and downs, and I hope my friends can realize that I’ll be there for them, both in good times and bad. They don’t have to censor themselves when their hearts are breaking, when they feel like life is hopeless, or when they’re angry with the world. In fact, I think we’re better friends if we talk about the bad things… because there is trust, and we know that our friendship doesn’t hinge on being positive and being fun to be around all the time.

(On a side note, I find people who are unrealistically positive impossible to deal with. I find the pollyanna way of thinking dismissive and insensitive at times. Give me someone who is real and feels the entire set of human emotions, not someone who tries to project an always happy, exciting, and positive life.)

Sometimes I wonder — did I go through my dark times, relatively earlier than my peers — because it would teach me to be a better friend? I used to be one of those “always be happy” kind of people… and I think that if one of my friends needed help, real help, I might’ve been one of those people who bailed because they were “too negative.” Now, I know not to be dismissive of other people’s problems, and to listen, and to continue to stay, even though things aren’t all sunshine and rainbows.

Mini digital detox

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I’ve struggled with becoming disconnected for quite some time now. One of my pet peeves is hanging out with people, and them using their smartphones the entire time.

I know I’m not as bad as other people. I don’t have a problem when I’m out with others — my problem is when I’m by myself. I don’t use social media much, which is good, but I’m always checking my e-mail, Whatsapp, or Viber. It’s especially challenging because most of my friends and family are overseas, and I use technology to get in touch.

I’m also pretty curious, so I can spend a lot of time researching random stuff. Case in point: I remember reading that Maroon 5 lead singer, Adam Levine, was engaged to Behati Prinsloo. I started wondering where her last name came from, so I found out where she was from (Namibia). Prinsloo is an Afrikaans surname, and while I knew Afrikaans was spoken in South Africa, I didn’t realize it was spoken in Namibia as well… turns out Namibia used to be under South African rule. Obviously, Behati is of European descent, so I also began studying European migration patterns in Southwest Africa.

You get the idea.

This is why I can spend a lot of time online. I don’t watch TV, but I do spend a lot of time online.

So my mini-trip back to Manila was a godsend. Although I was there for only 10 days, it was a good time to disconnect. I never bring my laptop on trips, so I only borrow people’s laptops if I want to check my mail. And since my smartphone conked out, I didn’t have ready access to the Internet at all times.

And yes, I know it’s only been two months since my last vacation/digital detox. But since things were super busy last January and February, I ended up using my smartphone a wee bit more than usual to de-stress, so exploring other non-digital ways to detox was definitely welcome.

Here I go!