Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Imperfect Constellations

This is my favorite quote among all the other worthy quotes from John Green's novel, "The Fault in Our Stars". It may be another typical sad romance novel, kind of reminds me of Eric Segall's "Love Story". But despite its sad undertones, I still ended up reading it for two reasons: most of my schoolmates were reading it or have already read it before news of the movie adaptation came to light, and second, I want to know why it was called "The Fault in Our Stars".

Looking at the love story of Hazel Grace and Gus, the kind of life lived matters more than how long you lived. How you love makes an impact despite the uncertainties of life and the end that awaits us all.

We've all been handled with trials and some of these may have hurt us. Like what Gus said in his letter to the jaded writer Peter Van Houten, a person still has a choice of how to respond to hurtful things that's a part of life; you either grow bitter or you choose to be better despite what happens to you.

I understood now why it's called "The Fault in Our Stars". Stars in the universe are doomed to die out sooner or later. It's the same with us who's living. But despite the fault that is present, despite the imperfections, shining as bright as you can be and being a light to others will always leave an indelible mark.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


What does it mean to be simple?

"Simple" is such a simple word itself, but with many different meanings attached to it. It depends on the how the person understood what simple means to him/her.

What is simple for me?

Simple is when you live a life that is free from too many wants that can't be attained. Of course, who doesn't want to be rich? I do want to be rich. But in reality, I learned to see that rich isn't limited to having lots of money. Rich can also mean having good friends, happiness, and being thankful for what you have. You can have everything in this world and still not be happy, while those who may not have much can be happy as a rich man. There are times we do get envious, but always remember that getting what you want means hard work. Being envious too much means that you don't know how to make yourself happy and you take blessings for granted.

Sometimes, people complicate things for themselves. I learned while growing up that you can learn to accept the things you can't change and you have it in you to change things that you can. This is why the Serenity Prayer is my favorite prayer. I learned that you can change your life even if you can't change the entire world to a world you want. That's how it goes.

These thoughts simplified my own life. Sometimes, it's still complicated. But I just take a deep breath and tell myself that I can face things and get through.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Student Writer

Random fact about me: I used to write for our high school publication. While I never reached the rank of being an Editor-In-Chief or one of the student heads of that publication, I did learned a lot about writing, time management, and getting along with others. I'm glad I joined the staff of our paper, even though at first, I was hesitant to do so.

I always loved writing, but I only kept it to myself. Until one day, I joined a writing contest and I unexpectedly won. Then the head of the school paper, my English teacher, convinced me to join the publication staff, since they were on the look out for student writers. I submitted another piece (a news one), and I got in.

It felt good for me to be able to write and be seen through the class paper, but at the same time, I felt intimidated being with the student staffers. Most of them were really intelligent, in the honors' list, debaters, and also joined inter-state writing competitions. During meetings, I would quietly sit in a corner and just agree to what everyone else was saying. I was that mousy then. My life as a student writer at first was: write something, submit to the EIC, proofread if needed, and then submit again. I never really do a lot of talking with my fellow staffers.

I'm glad it changed when I bumped into my EIC at the local diner one summer break, and we talked over bowls of ice cream sundae and cheesy fries. She was fun to be with, and though she seemed intimidating at first, I learned that she was open-minded, smart, and friendly. She told me that I've been doing well in the school publication, and she encouraged me to hone my writing skills. The next academic year, I learned to become more open with the other students in the staff. Soon, I got invited to parties and out-of-town trips.

Being a school publication writer probably influenced my decision to choose my college degree. I'm glad that I wasn't that doe-eyed anymore when I took up Lit for my major. I am still open to learning about writing, as you always have to grow and improve. Joining the student publication and writing for it enriched me in ways I never expected.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pages of An Old Diary

I remembered keeping diaries as a grader. I think I had about 3 diaries written in-between Grades 3 to 5. I saw it again inside my bedside drawer when I went home for spring break. All three of them had locks, and I while I couldn't open the other two (because I lost the keys), I managed to unlock the other diary, written when I was in fourth grade.

I laughed at the entries I wrote in there; about my terror teacher, the girl I didn't liked in class, and the boys who used to tease me. There were also some poems and short stories in there. One was about my terror teacher in Math (again) and a short story about girls and cooties.

I really had a ball laughing at my childish diary entries. I did outgrew some of my childish ways. I learned to deal with different kinds of people and get along with the boys. I did ended up being "one of the boys" who can play ball and climb trees with them. And that girl I didn't liked in school became my life saver in sixth grade, when she resuscitated me from drowning in the town river during summer break (many thanks to Hilary because of this). In short, life gives you unexpected things. It may be good or bad, but the best thing is, you do some growing up after experience.

I did outgrew my diary writing ways. I'm glad and still mortified that I kept them. I think this is a reminder of how far I've gone, and the childhood days when I was carefree and naive.

Reading my old diary did made me smile.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Alone But Not Quite

There are times that I do feel alone. Times that I feel wherein I have to exert more effort in reaching out to others. It's not that I'm totally crippled when it comes to making friends; it's always been natural for me ever since I was a child. But as time passed by, I found out that it's more of trying to fit in and blend with the crowd. Being self-conscious made me this way, aside from the fact that I experienced a mild case of bullying during senior year.

Yes, I was bullied. But it's more of snide comments and being talked about in the ladies' room. I'm glad someone helped me out and defended me from the mean girls, because I was too helpless back then to fight for myself. I didn't know what I did to get them worked up on me. Maybe it's because I was on the honors' list. That friend surely helped me out and told me that I don't have to be ashamed of being "nerdy". That got me through the healing process.

And I realized that I don't have to change just to feel accepted and get into a crowd.

Well, I'm glad I'm over it now. One of the bullies actually apologized to me during our high school grad day, and I'm thankful for that. Being angry can be tiring. I focus instead on what I have now. My friends may be a handful, but they're good to me. And I'm bound to meet other friends later on.

I accept the fact that I'm introverted. Even if I like being alone, I still like having friends. I attract the good people, and I'm lucky in the field of friendship.

I don't feel so alone anymore.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Confessions of a Fan Fiction Writer

I have a tiny confession to make:

I used to write fan fiction.

Yes, you've read it right, fan fiction. Back in my junior high to high school days, I would waste hours in front of my desktop computer in my bedroom, craft plots about my favorite "fandoms" (Harry Potter and some TV shows/novels), read other fanfics, and have a ball with my fellow fans who are so into the fandom as much as I do. The rush you get when people like your fanfiction is indescribable. It makes you feel that you're not alone in this craziness, and there are a lot of unseen online people who share it with you. Getting lost in the world of fan fiction writing is so addicting and fun.

But some things must come to an end. Along with my going away for college, I had to let go of some of my fangirl ways. I missed it for a while, but along with that, my mind cleared up and had lots of realizations. Not just with my fandom world, but with writing and life in general.

Here are some of them:

1. Good writing is always a must.

Whether you're writing your class essay or your fluffy fanfic about Harry and Ginny, good writing with clean format and right grammar is always appreciated. A lot of kids these days don't really pay attention to the technicalities of writing such as these, and yet, these are a reflection of your writing skills. Whatever you write about, make it right and easy to read. This will garner you more views for your fanfic/story and help you out in your future writing endeavors.

2. Give and take relationships.

What I learned from fanfic writing is not to let it revolve around only yourself. Read other works and give good feedback. Most likely, they will come to your page and check out your stories as well.

This is applicable with your high school friends as well. Learn to have a two-way communication of giving and taking, and these can make your friendships a success. It's more about bonding and showing compassion, more than what you can get from each other.

3.Once in a while, go out.

There's more to life than getting caught up in the world of fandoms and fanfic writing. It doesn't hurt to log out of the computer and go out. Make time with friends, do something else, or take a walk. This prevented me from getting too obsessive with my interests, as it made me realize that I don't want to be that kind of girl who doesn't have a life of her own.

Sometimes, you do fangirl because you feel bad or sad about something in real life. Fangirl for a while, but find ways to deal with your problems in a healthy way.

So there you have it, some basic realizations and things that fan fic writing have taught me. Everything in moderation, as with anything else. The important thing is, you're having fun in a good and clean way while learning.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Why I Read

My peers used to say that being seen with a pile of books beside you makes you a nerdy bookworm.

I say otherwise, because reading can help you grow and fill up your mind. It doesn't make you a nerd at all (whoever said it is so shallow-minded). Rather, reading gives you a pleasant respite from the doldrums of daily life as you escape and enter a magical world. In this world, you can be anything you want to be, and experience beauty, suffering, and success along with your favorite character/s.

I read to escape for a while. But I also read to help me deal with the realities of life.

I read for the purpose of exploration without having to leave my room.

I read not just to update myself with popular literature-turned-movies, but to see what the buzz is all about and what I can pick up from there.

I read to inspire myself in writing about my own worlds. Creative writing doesn't only end with fan fiction. Write your own story, and see how far you can take it from there.

Most of all, I read just for the sake of enjoyment.

I read because of endless reasons. But most of all, I read because I love to.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Spring In My Step

I can't wait for Spring to happen! I'll be saying goodbye to the wintry cold and look forward to the magnificence that is Spring: warmth, rebirth, colors, and stepping out into the sun.

I remember my spring rituals as a child. I may be a little grown-up now, but this doesn't mean I can't enjoy the spring season, but in a rather different way now. Here are some scenes from my childhood during spring season:

1. Easter get-away

Whenever it's the week forward to Easter Sunday, my family and I would pack our bags and head off to our grandparents' farm. There are a lot of things I did there, like riding horses, churning corn, running around the farm, and baking with my grandma. I spent a great deal of time there in the farm every year, until I reached high school. My grandma may have passed on, but we still make it a point to visit our farm with my grandpa, uncle, aunt, and cousins. I just like the fresh air and the laid-back atmosphere.

2. Sun dresses

I would always have a hand-sewn sundress every spring, courtesy of my aunt (who also lives in the farm!). My favorite was a mint green sleeveless dress, which I like to pair with strappy sandals and a straw hat with an orange sash around the brim. I got the dress as a 13-year old and wore it a lot during spring. Until now, the dress is still with me, but it feels a little tighter now (no thank you, college-related pounds!).

3. Nature in bloom

I love the colors of spring. Pink, yellow, white, blue, and most especially, green. It's a far cry from the wintry cold, and a delight for the eyes, whenever you see spring in full bloom.

Now that I'm a little older, this list had additions:

4. Spring-themed nail polishes

I'm planning to get something this year in a happy shade of peach. Even if I just color my nails sans the nail art, a pop of color will make my hands prettier.

5. Spring fashion

This Spring Break, my friend and I plan to go thrift shopping and get some nice clothes without breaking our bank. You can dress up in the moods of spring minus splurging on pricey clothes.

6. Spring break!

Last year, we went to a music festival. This year, another cheaper music festival, but with a roadtrip and staying over at my friend's farm. We plan to ride horses, roast smores around a campfire, and tell stories. Girl bonding at its finest.

Here are some of my favorite spring activities. Spring really makes me happy and upbeat!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Book Hoarder

I have to admit, I'm a book hoarder.

A pile of books lay atop on my bedside table. It grew in number, until there are also books stacked underneath that table too. I acquired those books in many ways, like borrowed from friends, purchased from book fairs, and found unexpectedly in thrift bookstores. It's either I want to read those books for so long, or the title and cover just caught my eye.

So far, I only finished a few of them:

1. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

2. 1984 by George Orwell

3. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (a re-read)

4. The Witches by Roald Dahl

5. Carrie by Stephen King

Even if there are unfinished books waiting to be read in my room, I still want to acquire some more. I want to get my hands badly on Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

I've always been a reader. But I only found myself being a book hoarder as a college student. Thank you to my dorm group for influencing me to read a lot.

Oh well, I promise to finish my reading list.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Lazy Post (a.k.a. How Not To Be Lazy)

I admit it: I'm a lazy person.

All people are, except in varying degrees of laziness. Most college students are. We can all be lazy most of the time, like watch Netflix instead of study our lessons, or do something else before we research for that academic paper. Being lazy is the easy way out, because it's so easy to do nothing than start it at all.

Well, I've cleaned up my act now and decided not to be lazy. It's only now that I get to experience the benefits of not being lazy, whether it be for school or doing your weekly laundry.

Here are five ways to help combat laziness:

1. Start on it right now. Better to start something right now, put it off for later, and finish it afterwards. It gives you the thought of having to finish something later on. It works well for me. Starting early also motivates me to do it and play afterwards.

2. Have your own reward system, like a granola bar for finishing your draft or a short nap after studying intensively.

3. If you want to relax first, time yourself, like 15-minute Internet surfing. Then do the work you must do, as in, right now.

4. Make a checklist of the things you need to do, and thoroughly follow-up on it. Feel the rush of having to tick a box next to the finished item, more so with finishing all the items needed to be checked on the list. Sometimes, writing it down can be a great visual reminder.

5. Have in-between breaks for your tasks needed to accomplish. Just make sure you don't over-break.

It's no feat to combat laziness. But getting your mind to work and making sure you finish is one way to get less lazier.

After all, you can have the license to be lazy after working hard. Balance everything out, k?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Healthy Eating List

Gee, I wish I could eat this healthy and buy all the things on this grocery list.

When it comes to eating habits, I'm in-between being a junk food hoarder and trying to eat healthy. I really do my best to keep myself healthy in college, because no one here will tell me to "Eat your beans, Sasha!". So I learned what to eat and what not to eat. I almost got stomach ulcer from downing too much soda. No, I won't let that happen again.

So far, I still have a long way to go when it comes to proper eating habits. I'm still into junk sometimes, but I'm learning to make healthier meals for myself and looking for the best food around. Best food, but healthy, I may say.

Don't sacrifice healthy for cheap eating, okay?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Grow Up!

Grow up!

I've heard this phrase repeated way too often to us youngsters. Being young, wild, and free, adults would frown at our careless devil-may-care ways. People may think that all we ever do is have fun. But the truth is, we do care about our lives as well as the world around us.

I may be the typical college girl who parties and dates and hops on weekend road trips, but beyond that exterior lies someone who is serious about her future. I know that things won't be perfect, but at least, I'm doing something about it right now. Studying seriously and learning new things are two of the ways that's helping me do some "growing up".

Having to grow up doesn't mean that you just start acting serious and square all of a sudden. For me, growing up means:

-Taking yourself less seriously. We all had those moments wherein we felt so self-conscious about everything we do and say. We need to stop being so self-centered and worry that people are looking at us all the time. So let out that hearty laugh if the situation calls for it! Don't be so self-conscious, and just be yourself instead.

-Accepting responsibility for your mistakes. Mistakes are part of growing up. If you made a mistake, admit it to yourself and say sorry. Then don't do it again. A mistake committed more than thrice is already something you chose to do unconsciously.

-Thinking over the consequences. Before you say or do something, think of the consequences. If you want to rant online, think before it becomes viral. That's what I mean by thinking it over, and it doesn't only apply to the Internet.

-Being respectful. I know, there's just some people we really don't like for some reason. Treating them kindly isn't being two-faced, but rather, showing basic human kindness and respect. That will go a long way beyond your university life.

-Acting your age. This doesn't mean being serious! When you act and behave according to expectations, this means you don't stay stuck in being a whiny brat. You can be young, have fun, and still be responsible and mature. Like, you choose to study for exams week instead of partying beforehand.

Acts of maturity isn't always easy to do, but when you do get used to it, that helps you grow up a little.

Growing old is permanent, yet there are people who stay stuck forever in their childish ways. Make sure you grow old and grow up gracefully!

Stay smiling always, sweeties!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Scary Things

I was never a scaredy-cat. Growing up, I don't usually fear the things that other kids would be scared of, like the dark, imaginary monsters under the bed, being left at preschool by myself, and climbing a tree. I don't know if I was born this brave, or I just happened to grow up in a home wherein I was taught to face my fears and not to be scared of things.  Later on, as time passed and I grew up, I learned that grown-ups get scared also. Not of the usual childish things, but of things that can't be seen all the time.

Now I realized that there are also things that I fear. Like being rejected, confessing my feelings, opening up to people, losing something or someone, and the future that lies ahead. The older you grow, the more scared you become. These things can be worse than the usual fictitious monster lurking underneath your bed. These unseen scary things can strike without warning, and when you're facing this kind of enemy, you wouldn't really know what to do. For once, I got really scared at the thought of graduating and yet having no life stability. The news of fresh graduates not really getting the careers they want and having their dreams shattered was enough to scare me. But, I learned to push my worries aside and learn to do my best in the present.

You have to learn to face some fears whether you like it or not. It's part of improving yourself and learning to make your own life better. If we keep running away, then what will happen to our lives? Whether it's biking for the first time or having to admit the truth to yourself, facing your fears can strengthen you and make you wiser.

I still get scared sometimes, but I learned that if something's not scary, then it's not worth it. Especially with making your own life choices and pursuing your dreams.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Loving The Cold

Not everyone likes winter. It can get cold and freezing, and you wouldn't want to get out of bed on a wintry morning! But in spite of the painful cold, I look at the bright side of having a bleak winter. It's not everyday you get to experience the cold weather, and summer can get pretty sweltering. So since we're talking about the positive sides of winter, here are the things I love about winter season:

1. Cardigan weather. Winter is the perfect time to bring out my quirky sweaters and pretty cardigans. I like dressing up in this winter fashion: a long-sleeved top, cardigan, jacket, pants, and booties. The winter season can really test out your fashion quotient. You can look posh while walking along a snowy path without having to break the bank. Most winter clothes I've got were bought during the summer at selected thrift shops. And they're in mint condition!

2. Hot chocolate and warm drinks. My friends said that I make really good hot chocolate! I've made so many cups already in our dorm, that I lost count. That kept us awake during our exam reviews in the midst of the biting cold that we can feel from the outside. And it's not just hot chocolate. We've also downed some warm apple cider, tea, and all the warm drink mixtures we could think of.

3. Ice skating. We've been through the ice skating rink lately and it was fun to skate around. Bonus points if you're wearing a skater skirt. Winter season forces me to move around. It's not just ice skating, but also doing some cardio exercises.

4. White everywhere. The white surroundings are so lovely, that I'm this close to belting out "Let It Go" from "Frozen" and sashaying around like Queen Elsa. There's just something soothing with seeing white everywhere.

5. Cuddle weather. Oh my, I know what you're thinking! Cuddling with someone, eh? So far, the only cuddle sesh I experienced lately are with my dorm friends, while holding a movie marathon (because it was too cold to go outside). Nothing beats a good hug during the cold, plus the feeling of together-ness you guys experience.

Here are my reasons for loving the winter cold. Though I also look forward to summer, I do my best to enjoy the winter season. The cold won't be coming back again until later on, so make the most out of it.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sorry For Hibernating!

My golly, time flies by so fast and I can't believe it's 2014 already! It's the 9th day of the year, and yet, it feels like as if I'm expecting so much from it. Well, it's still starting, so this month, I'm giving myself loads of time to daydream, and come February, it's time for action!

Oh no wait, I have to take action now with regards to my academics. No, I didn't flunk any course lately, but there's this major assignment that I'm still working on since Christmas break. Imagine having to research on December 25th! But then, it didn't dampened my holiday spirit. Christmas and New Year was fun! I got to go home to my state and spend Christmas with my family and childhood friends. We spend some time catching up with each other in regards to college life and possible romances. It was fun talking again like the old times while munching on cheese fries and drinking shakes from the good old neighborhood diner. Ah, the old times.

Connecting with the past while nurturing present relations sure is a good thing to do for the new year. Aside from that, these are the things I don't promise doing, but will make a resolve to really accomplish something:

1. Learn a new language. German, French, or Spanish? The choices are endless. Having a second tongue will prove to be beneficial in the long run, with regards to travel and career plans.

2. Travel somewhere else. 2013 is my year of travel, with my Thailand trip being the highlight of it all. I hope I'll be given another chance to travel without school bogging me down.

3. Improve my culinary skills. I'm learning to cook lately. So far, it's only pancakes and homemade mac and cheese (not the boxed ones!). Soon, I'll move on to cooking meat dishes. Thankfully, my grandma taught me some dish over the holidays.

4. Write more often. Yeah, I know, I took my blog for granted, but now, let me start again with a bang!

5. Read more books. I want to start reading the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. Hearing that it's being made into a movie, I want to know the hype behind it. Of course, I won't forget the literary classics as well.

I hope these plans of mine will be something I'll really do. For now, let me rest as I plan my course for this year 2014. Wishing you all a rockin' year ahead!