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Life Lately: Rambles and shambles





Think Like A Man


Lately, I’ve been learning that there is no substitute for family time – you have to plan it in order to have it.

The shape of stories
The shape of stories

I’ve rescheduled a lunch with my mom from last weekend to today, but I still haven’t got the chance to have that intimate dinner date with my dad when I suddenly got a really bad cold.

I see no point in saying out loud what I plan to do here, but what’s for sure is more time spent on relationships I value.

Until I really have done something, nothing is for sure. When it’s done, it’s then that I’m affirmed I’ve made or accomplished something. Until that happens, I feel it useless announcing anything that still rests as a figment of my current ebbing and flowing imagination.

Might as well having written none of the previous paragraphs.

I think that the writing process, which for me includes pre-writing, drafting, writing, revising, and a final revising, is like the CPU of all the new apps you downloaded into your reality, your life. Because this blog post is meant to be a stream-of-consciousness writing exercise, my brain is not primarily using logic to operate at the moment.

I know I’m just ruminating here. It’s just that today falls as a quadri-weekly Life Lately update on my calendar, which I’m thinking to discontinue immediately since you readers get nothing out of my roundabout rumination.

Gosh, I’m such a loser.

I can’t friggin’ think like a man because I know I have a flagging vajajay.


Act Like A Lady



Two years together and some more.

But sometimes, I really wish I can just disappear from the surface of the universe.

Sometimes, when I’m driving sleepy, I thought, if I get fatally hit by a car or a motor, will it still be my fault that I die? Because everything seems like I’m the one to blame. I blame myself for every friggin’ thing. It bugs me a lot that I can’t do something to change things.

When I told him that, he said, “You didn’t think of me? How do think I would feel if you’re not around?”

I’ve always assumed everyone would do fine, if not better, without me anyway. Does the existence of my physical self, through inhaling and exhaling, have to always provide value? What if sometimes I’m really a blank space? Or worse, a whole lotta mess?

If I have to choose to possess any one superpower ability, I’d choose the power to be invisible.

The only thing a woman can do while she’s alive on earth is to be the visionary, not a vision.

A woman may be subconsciously perceived as an object of male desire, but on the other hand, human beings are not made to be end-goals in the first place, but momentum-starters of myriad goals. There is no end to a living being because there are too much beginnings, too many possibilities to count. Perhaps all women should strive to have a strong will. Without her vision, men would be left without a purpose.

Then again if she does, she might at times feel she’s not worth achieving that valuable ideal. How do you esteem self-worth without feeding your ego? Is that why men tend to have bigger egos than women? So that we ladies can feed more than our own needs?

What if we are invisible? What if our caregiving deeds remain unnoticed? What if we remain quiet for the rest of our lives? What if we do the opposite and demand for attention instead? Do we automatically become labelled as an attention whore? At some point, are we ever going to get tired, so tired to care about our own selves, our own lives, and prefer to get hit by the car or the motor instead?

There is so much to care for.

Most of the time I am stoic in my present stance, but inside I’m a wreck composed of broken chords, mixed feelings, and tangled strands of thoughts all jumbled up into one rock-solid locked stance that once Stanley unlocks the key, every half-baked piece of shit will come out.

There must be some tall, invisible wall I’ve built up high and now stand so strongly, it feels real even though it’s imaginary. I’ve probably decorated its surroundings with flowers and vineyards so that, at least, this form of imprisonment is a prettier one than no adornments at all.

It’s times like these that I don’t know what’s real and what’s not.

Writing is real therapy.

But, as I said before, perhaps I’ll save Life Lately for my private diary from now on.


Look Like A Girl


Not doing so well, drastically lost most of my muscle mass.

I look like an old lady. Been eating a lot of crap lately. Not good.

Haven’t gone grocery shopping in ages. Haven’t cooked anything and it feels weird.

I smile less often than I used to.

I take myself too friggin’ seriously, that’s why this face is often frowning.

I need some makeup advice from nigahiga to get my blood pumping.


Work Like a Horse


I wish to work for my own boss, and I’m planning a specific set of workflow to compromise with her unwillingness to cooperate. Even though she’s vicious, unpredictable, shameless, perfectionistic, and tired all the time, she’s me.

A name-analysis service my mother ordered for when I was a little kid. Neither of us remember who the company was.
A name-analysis service my mother ordered for when I was a little kid. Neither of us remember who the company was.

You are what you think about. You are what you think about. You are what you think about. You are what you think about. You are what you think about. You are what you think about. You are what you think about. I’m muttering the words by heart. I think the words have sunk in.

I think about how money doesn’t determine the worth and value of a person. A person’s worth is determined by the person’s character.

I want peace and equality for everyone. I think I can change something but I can’t change anyone else but myself and my attitude first.

OK. ‘Nuff said. I’m rambling too much. NATO (No Action, Talk Only).




– Image courtesy of Alltop

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Life Lately: Plan, plan, plan.



First of all, you might have noticed that I’m missing out on a couple of regulars this week.

I’m basically a hermit right now. I have been ill since last weekend.


A Life Lately post is supposed to be published yesterday, but I prioritize my deadlines for my job ahead of this blog, which have and always been created for the sole purpose of self-expression and a go-to therapy for all the many forms of self-inflicted agonies I’m sure every writer experience at some point in their career. As Maya Angelou once said, there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you, or, in this case, multiple drafts that hold potential to become great stories, thus deserving tremendous attention and care.

Thing is, they all depend on my dedication as a lifelong writer.


Think Like A Man


I learned that time flies, that no matter how hard you try to plan everything and optimize accordingly, you will never catch up.

I’m the youngest in the family, and day by day it’s getting easier for me to see that my mom, dad, and brothers are aging quickly.

Before I know it, a wrinkle or scar that’s never there before suddenly appears and stays where it appeared permanently. Days to the grave are counting and eventually you remember that your own life is bound to end someday.

The thought digs the deepest holes in my heart, which is too deep to be conceived by anyone beyond my closest relations and particularly because I’ve thought too much about death at one point in the past and filled those months of considerable length on suicidal thoughts.

Although these past few months I’ve met a couple of girls whom I’ve never imagined in my life would have thought the same way, or overthink that much. Which I feel blessed about. You know who you are.

But time is so limited in our fast-paced lives, and the guilt I’ve been holding back neglecting my most important ones just keeps building up towards the Mount Everest’s summit, or some high-rise Dubai skyscraper, or perhaps something even higher.

It hurts.

Midway this week when I took a day off from work my dad came home early, which rarely happens, to check up on me and found out I didn’t take my antibiotics.

The funny thing is, I haven’t been ill for the longest time I can remember. Even if I catch the common cold, it’ll probably only last, at most, for about 4 days.

So that’s a clear sign that something’s wrong, right?

It’s soon that I realized, even though I’m deeply committed to a thriving career in writing, I don’t want to compromise every fiber of my self and every nanosecond of my life throwing myself into the art. Yes, art only thrives within the confinements of daily routine, but let me tell you a secret about the life of a reporter: I cannot promise anything. My days are unpredictable, and I am forced to have no routine …

Unless I establish one.

Suddenly every tiny little detail you tend to sweat about doesn’t seem to matter anymore. My biggest mistake is to neglect my most important ones, the ones that are going to be there for the rest of my life, out of the picture until I finish my responsibilities … which is a never-ending process anyway.

Unless I fit family time into my planner, I will never have the time to be with them.

In the end, to be with those I love is enough. Far more than enough.

Plus I don’t have to feel guilty for not taking my antibiotics.


Act Like A Lady


That snippet of wisdom also applies to my love life.

Since Stanley’s still in Europe, I’ve got the opportunity to gain some perspective.

Miranda Kerr walks the runway during the David Jones Autumn/Winter  2013 fashion launch held at the David Jones Elizabeth St store in Sydney
Supermodel, spokesmodel, businesswoman, author, and lady Miranda Kerr, who never fails to respond to all sorts of reporters with a mindful answer. Advice for keeping a man, which she passes down from her Nana, instructs women to always make an effort to dress up, even if it’s just a dab of makeup or a nice little underwear beneath that calm exterior.

I’ve always followed the feministic principle that if a couple desires to grow together in the long run, each individual has to grow individually.

The growing-individually part is the problem.

Even though now I’ve improved so much since the early days of our relationship, I still have that tendency to assume that everything that happens to me and in my life is within my responsibility, including the negative ones that he and I may share with each other so that we can lessen each others’ burden.

I always feel guilty for two things: a) I know I can control how I respond to every situation, but when I go on autopilot, i.e. negative response, I punish myself, and b) Even if I don’t respond negatively, I perceive negative things and I bottle it all up with a happy package, then I would release it all to Stanley if the subject comes up. Or, when I did went on autopilot and after I punished myself, I push him away because I don’t feel deserving.

Oh, what a shitload amount of self-pity there, right?

So imagine how a full week of being sick and not eating my meds on time has caused the disconnect between us. I feel guilty for every effin’ thing and I just want to continue being a hermit.

He has no idea how much dreams I’ve bottled up as much as the garbage I’ve loaded up either until I realize them through my actions, which is as of right now inaction because I have no time for everything …

Or a limited perception that she has no time for everything because she doesn’t give herself a chance to step back and look at the big picture.

Which is what she’s doing right now, monthly, on Life Lately.

I’ll allow The Princeton Review to do the explanation for what a day in the life of a reporter looks like.


Look Like A Girl



Recently, I learned that the skin renews itself every 28 days, and we are epidermal-wise all new every 7 years.

Looking at an ageless skin from this angle, it’s safe to say that you can technically change yourself.

With the increasing interest in neuroplasticity, I’ve been loading up an ample depth of optimism to change for the better.

Everything is dedicated to my loved ones and to make them proud for having me.


Work Like a Horse


Before I go on, let’s take a look at where my spirit has led me, as I’m making my miles, for the past 8 weeks:








CPE-01 CPE2-01

Actually, I kind of knew part of the reason why I got sick was because I loaded myself with chocolates and crackers to sustain me through finishing off each piece some weeks ago.

I know, I know, it’s unhealthy.

But I slept for about three to four hours on those weeknights, and my amygdala was doubly craving the extra doses of comfort food.

Two weeks later and I’m facing my consequences. The crazy amount of processed foods, in addition to steady streams of stress, overthinking, and anxiety, did me harm.

In all my efforts to catch up with Father Time, the white rabbit inside me always sacrifices those precious hours of a full night’s sleep, as well as the missing menstrual periods again.

Meaning I have too much testosterone and cortisol in my bloodstream.

So it’s been great to chill down a bit at work this week (even though I’m still crafting my pieces at home), stop thinking and planning about everything, and gain some perspective on my long-term vision, just to determine what are my real priorities … for fear that if tomorrow I suddenly turn 40, I don’t have the good-quality fruits I wish to reap, which can only come if I did with all my diligence to sow quality seeds today, while I’m still in my 20s.

I realize this is my formative years, and I’ve still got time to clarify my life plan before the phase of consolidation arrives in my thriving 30s.

This is the time to create assets, not time-wasters.

Let’s hope I get well real soon.



Image courtesies of Simply Positive quotes via Pinterest / babbleFood Matters via Facebook

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Life Lately: The man, the lady-girl, and the horse



Most of the time, what drives me is the modern women’s adage that instructs them to think like a man, but act like a lady; look like a girl, but work like a horse.

In other words, my eagle-eye is focused on attaining perfection. Which is disastrous.


Before I knew it, I’ve applied each clause of the instruction for directing the respective aspects of my life (below).


– Image courtesy of Santa Barbara Chic


Four weeks earlier, my assertion declares that life is no piece of cake, which, we all know, is truer than true. Lately, though, it’s turning into a kind of casserole, or crème brûlée, or some twice-baked recipe that’s way too difficult for an amateur to whip up.

Even worse when the amateur is highly ambitious and chronically sets herself up to unrealistic endeavors, which nobody expects out of her in the first place. Let me elaborate.


Think Like A Man

I rarely see my parents, even though we’re all living under the same roof. Both my dad and my mom are busy with their own lives, and I with my own work.

My dad’s an investor and holds an import-export business he built from scratch. He’s busy everyday, hates seeing me tired like him everyday, and relieves his stress by being a pro golfer who plays at every break of Saturday dawn.

My eldest brother is still the States. My second brother may stay permanently in Japan. And as you already know, my mother has recently became a restaurant shareholder.

There is no other way than for me to maintain my self-sufficiency, but sometimes, I just wish I can hit the pause button for a moment and actually stop all these busyness in my household.

Thinking like a man who mends matters of a family, 24/7, tires me out sometimes. Now that I have a career, it’s even harder to do anything to gather them all in one place at one time. I’m usually the one who cooks something up so that I can have a reason to bring all my family members together.

I admit being the de facto physically weaker sex. It’s why I capitalize on making miles and adopt my parents’ good habits. But thank God we have domestic helpers in the house, because, well, you can’t possibly do everything alone. That I finally admit.

So thinking like a man helps a heap. For everything at home and life at large, plan ahead, make decisions, execute, and follow through. The challenge is to accept that you’re not perfect. You’re not God, and that you can never please everyone around you.


Act Like A Lady

Luckily I get to see my beau every weekend. Luckily I have a beau. Weekdays are no longer free for us to run to each others’ arms, but I take comfort in the thought that we are fighting together even though we’re always apart.

Like I said, whenever my stress tolerance runs out of energy, I tend to steam off. It’s a negative habit I’ve had since I was a kid, and I’m still working on stripping that habit away completely.

Throughout our relationship, I seldom let him know the truth. I’m always conscious in hiding my vulnerability from him, because no one likes a needy, wimpy girl.

But no one likes an angry girl either. I mentioned a couple of times before that during the first months Stanley and I started dating, he asked me, “Why do you always frown?”

23 months later, here I am, always smiling.

So despite all the s&*!!y words I let out without conscious effort to hold back the other day, I soon gave up because these days, I’m just too tired to hold up high walls around my psyche to pretend like I’m Xena or some other warrior princess. I admit I’m a woman, and a woman can only allow herself to breathe a huge sigh of relief when she knows that before her stands a man in whom she can rely on to mend everything.

“I’m so tired, bla bla bla, I can’t satisfy you, bla bla bla, I’m not good enough, I have no time, I don’t need another person to please, I am just one person, not two, not three, bla bla bla” soon became “I hate that I need you and I miss you all the time. I hate that when I need you most I can’t be with you. I just want to be with you,” and with all that drama he just replied with a smiley face and said, “That’s my baby.”


Look Like A Girl


– Image courtesy of Baby Fashionably

I run slower than I usually do. I sleep less, sleep worse, and go to bed later than I tend to. That’s just bad because I’m only 23 and my under-eye bags are looking like they belong to a grandma.

I’ve recently delved into the subject of blood type diet, a lifestyle design outlined by Dr. D’Adamo that boasts A-list followers such as Kora Organics director Miranda Kerr, US X Factor’s sweetheart Cheryl Cole, as well as local SK-II ambassador Susan Bachtiar, mainly because I’m interested in blood type personalities and their differences, which is a prevalent concept throughout the Asian culture.

I’m usually skeptical about the popular literature on diets. I’m not looking to lose any amount of weight, and I don’t follow any particular dietary guideline other than eating whatever I want (and I’m a creature of habit so thanks to my mother, who conditioned me to eat a boiled egg, an apple, and some greens every single day of my life, my personal tastebuds lean more toward what people usually dub as “boring foods”). But I believe food is a large determinant of our biological structure, and that means the way we function and behave everyday are made up from the building blocks itself – the calories, water, and the macro- and micro-nutrients from food. Because the blood type diet wasn’t backed by sufficient scientific evidence, at least within the medical community, I’ve always remained skeptical about it … until recently.

Turns out that as a blood type B, my response to stress is pretty much similar to how the blood type As react do: chronically producing high cortisol levels in the body. While the As are suggested to deal with cortisol by light exercises such as pilates and yoga, Bs fare much better when they balance between moderate-intensity exercises with the lighter counterparts.

Even though the book says that Bs function their best with sturdy meats such as venison, mutton, and lamb chops, in truth, eating those meats can make me wake up with sore throat the next morning. The takeaway is a confirmation that blood type Bs are the only dairy eaters from the ABO family, as well as the fact that Bs thrive on seafoods.

Too many people say these are foods high in saturated fats and induces high cholesterol levels, which are true, but here I am enjoying these “forbidden” foods to the fullest while still functioning optimally.

Yet like everyone else, nightly restful sleep is still part of the equation that I have not fulfilled, so as to keep my cortisol levels at its lowest and that I will always be as energetic as a running little girl.


Work Like A Horse

My boss: This post should’ve been posted 3 days ago. You’re more than late, you idiot. 

The employee: Sorry … but I’ve got a real job to prioritize my time and energy for. 

My boss: You have time at night when you get back home, don’t you.

The employee: Yes, but I’ve been sacrificing hours of sleep for some time now. I can’t think. I’m sure your readers will understand that you’re human.

My boss: No they won’t. They’re consumers when they buy your ideas, not human beings. They have consistent expectations out of you, and it’s your job to keep them up.

The employee: I’m trying my best, ma’am, but the problem lies at the first line of our conflict – I’m a human being. If I can’t function properly, I can’t think. If I can’t think, I can’t write anything!

My boss: You stupid horse.


Yeap, that’s my boss. She’s vicious, selfish, and possibly a member of some cult. But she’s like that all the time, which explains for the high cortisol levels.

The comforting fact is that I know deep down she loves my results. Deep down I also know she’s only human. She’s just doing her job.

“Time is the capital that God has given us to invest,” Billy Graham once said. “People are stocks in which we are to invest our time, whether they’re blue chips or penny stocks or even junk bonds.”

With that in mind, I want to conclude what I believe every modern women, as nurturing as they were wonderfully made, are facing everyday to change the world:


We have bigger houses but smaller families;
more conveniences, but less time;

We have more degrees, but less sense;
more knowledge, but less judgement;

more experts, but more problems;
more medicines, but less healthiness;

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble crossing the street to meet
the new neighbor.

We build more computers to hold more
information to produce more copies then ever,
but have less communication;

We have become long on quantity,
but short on quality.

These are times of fast foods
but slow digestion;

Tall men but short character;
Steep profits but shallow relationships.

It’s a time when there is much in the window,
but nothing in the room.

– The 14th Dalai Lama


According to Inc columnist Geoffrey James, there are two things you’re better off aiming than perfection: 1) Good enough, and 2) Outstanding (i.e. standing out from the pack).

Of course, as a loyal reader you might’ve already guessed it right, that when it comes to the big picture, my boss will always choose the latter.

I hope she understands that that would mean many, many bouts of good-enoughs to make one whole, much-processed, well-rounded big-picture. It’s a process, not a one-time thing.

Either way, James’ insight provides me with no more room for perfectionism but to put my attention to detail for better use. In everything that I do, I don’t have all the time in the world, nor do I have an unlimited energy reserve. Even though I am given 24 hours a day everyday, my time is limited.

No one on earth can do everything. Every one is made to do one thing at one place at one time. The only place you live in is your body, so if you don’t take good care of it, you won’t know how to optimize your energy levels in order to live out your best potential.

So take a break, woman, take a break. [My boss has just pulled out the string of her blinds. That means she will kill you if you knock on her door, i.e. disturb her].