On Turning 22

Today, on the 22nd of September, I officially turned 22. For 22 years I’ve been living in this world, gracing everybody with my wonderful existence. This birthday has been by far my loneliest and quietest birthday ever… the worst if you may. 

For a few days now, I’ve been planning things to do for this day. When I found out that I was given this day off work, I planned to watch the sunrise and go visit the Fort Edmonton Park. Maybe walk around my residence for a while and just enjoy the day alone. I would end the day with a nice dinner whilst overlooking the whole city. However, I did got up at 5 am (I slept at like 2) just so I can catch the wonderful sunrise. Lo and behold, it’s super gloomy and the sun wasn’t even out. It was rainy and cold. I was gonna just enjoy the walking trail but the signs pretty much saying ‘Keep out, the trails are eroding’ doesn’t sound super safe to me. So off I went back to the dorm and re-planned my day again.

Since I couldn’t go back to sleep anyways, my first meal of being 22 was rice with sunny side up! I wanted to have pancakes but I just got lazy to go to Denny’s (which is literally right across the street) and I didn’t want to order online and wait for 20 minutes. I just told myself that I would give myself a wonderful dinner. Looking out of my window, it’s still gloomy and rainy. I just threw the idea of going to the Fort Edmonton Park away and just got dressed for I have no idea what. I was gonna go to Michael’s so I can buy a Create 365 planner but I got lazy (again). I actually have a Create 365 planner which I barely used and still had September to December on it. I want to make a 365 days of writing special things that happened to me on that day onto a diary. However, I know that I suck at keeping a diary (blogging works better for me anyways) and all I need is a little bit of space to write a few sentences. The Create 365 planner is the perfect planner to use.
By 2pm, I didn’t know what to do anymore. I could have studied or read some books. But no… why would I wanna spend my birthday doing that? So I watched Rush Hour 2 and 3 and made myself happy. By 5pm, I was on UberEats and Skip the Dishes app trying to find some food that I want to eat. I can’t decide if I wanted some steak or fried chicken or poke or some Filipino stuff. In the end, after an hour, I settled on some ribs and chicken with rice from Swiss Chalet. I didn’t even have a birthday cake.


Overall, this day for me has been a meh. It’s definitely not how I want to celebrate my birthday. However, I am living alone in this big city with barely any friends. I feel better though when I talked on the phone with my family members. My parents of course called me as well as my aunt. My aunt gave me a gift that I didn’t expect, she’ll pay for my phone’s monthly bill! That’s already a very big help for me because that’s already a $100 less expense for me.

As for some FB greetings, it’s mostly some Canada friends that greeted me. There are some from the Philippines but I actually didn’t even expect some greetings from them. We don’t even talk anymore.

I’m 22, one year older but not wiser. Although I can say that I am more mature now and less vulnerable.

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Spotlight: Bart and Geo Kwan (JKFilms)

Bart and Geo Kwan are one of the Youtube couples that are for me #couplegoals. They’ve been together for a few years and just had their first non-fur baby! I first knew of them from Just Kidding News and since then, I’ve been faithfully watching their vlogs.

Why do I watch their vlogs?

First of all, I love watching vlogs. It’s one way for me to experience life without going out. Watching Bart and Geo’s life through the screen makes me feel like I’m also there with them. I’ve watched them vlog in their old house which they shared with Nadeem. I’ve watched them look for condos in downtown LA and ‘helped’ them choose the perfect one (and by help I mean offering my opinion on my laptop screen). I also got quite teary-eyed when they finally bought their first home where they get to build their ever-growing family. I got worried when Brigee got lost and all of the JK squad were out there on the lookout for her (they found her!).

Their vlogs shows the perfect couple (Bart says they’re not because they don’t show their fights and stuff) that they are who stuck with each other through their ups and down. They have been together since the early days of JKFilms where Bart said that Geo had to mostly support them financially so Bart could focus on growing the company with Joe. I’m amazed how amazing Geo is to step up and support Bart’s dreams wholeheartedly even though being a full time Youtuber at that time is probably a very risky move. Years later, they own their company/gym, Barbell Brigade, have three fur babies, Brigee, Meatloaf and Fawn, and a newborn, Taika Octavius Kwan.

OMG THEIR FAMILY IS GROWING!

When Bart and Geo got married, I immediately thought of how them having babies. When they announced that they’re pregnant, I cried. I was so happy for them and I remember hugging the heck out of my teddy bear because… bear… Beaws. Anyway, I feel like that’s the closest thing that I can hug that can be related to both of them. I watched all their hospital visit vlogs, got heartbroken when Geo couldn’t go to Tiff’s wedding because it’s too close to the due date and the things Geo and Bart did to make sure her and the baby is healthy.

I watched some recent JKNews and I’m like, wait, where’s Bart and Geo? I started looking through their IG and other members’ IG if they posted photos about her giving birth. Then a few days ago, Geo finally give birth! I was so excited to see their baby. I’ve been there through the room decoration, gender reveal and babyfying their life. Now, I can’t wait to see their vlog prior to the birth and after. I can’t wait to see them being parents and the baby interacting with his fur siblings.

I could go on and on about this couple but no words can express how happy I am to be atleast part of their lives even if they don’t know me. I’ve seen them grow from boyfriend/girlfriend to parents of their babies. I’m looking forward for more vlogs!

 

Follow them at:

Youtube: Bart and Geo

Instagram: Bart && Geo

 

On Moving Out and Living Alone

Finally! The day that I have been waiting for has finally arrived. I’ve always thought about this for years, even when I was still back in the Philippines. I’ve always wanted to be an independent lady who can live and survive alone in the big city. This is it, a step closer to my dream.

I have been living in a small city for four years. That city didn’t even have an escalator! Since I came from a big city, moving to a smaller one here in Canada was definitely a big thing for me. I was used to big malls, traffic and noise. In GP, it was definitely less noisy and less traffic. Also, there was only one mall that’s one level and closes at 6pm. Although I was happy living with my mom, I wasn’t contented in living in such a small place. I was born for the city. I’m a city girl after all. My mom, if she has the absolute say, would prefer for me to stay in GP. But me, with my adventurous and curious heart, don’t want to stay. I want to be in a big city.

I’m currently in Edmonton, about 4 hours from GP. It’s a fairly big city and houses the biggest mall in North America, the West Edmonton Mall. It also has a few more malls and little strip malls on the side. I’ve only been here for a week so I have a lot of exploring to do. I have to do it before winter though or else I wouldn’t enjoy the walks and driving so much.

I moved out of my mom’s house with barely any money in my pocket and a shit-ton of student loan on my back. She helped me buy my necessities and my dad supplies me monthly money (yaaaas!). But since I’m a strong, independent woman, I’m also on the hunt for a job. I’ve been working for over four years now and I’m used to it already. Not working makes me feel unenergetic and super lazy.

The thing about living alone in the big city is that it’s just me. I don’t have friends here… yet. I’m hoping to meet more people in the next few days so I wouldn’t feel alone. I’m an introvert but I’m also someone who likes some good conversations. I talk a lot and being cooped up in my room with my phone in front of me most of the time is not exactly healthy. I really need to get out more (or maybe open my bedroom door?).

It’s only been a week since I have moved out. Things will happen and I’ll probably meet a lot of new people. It’s not bad, it’s also not as exciting just yet.

I Say MAMAMOO, You Say Slay

I’ve been chosen as part of V-Friends Season 3. Yaaaas ❤️❤️ I legit forgot about this after I signed up for it and just remembered it after I got the e-mail that I got in. So for the next few weeks, I’m gonna post more about k-pop as I do the missions that we’re given. For this mission, I have to review an Idol channel. My first choice was Super Junior as they’re my ultimate group. However, they don’t have their own channel and only posts through SMTown’s channel.


My next choice is one of my fave girl group MAMAMOO!!


I first learned of Mamamoo through random Youtube videos that I’ve searched of with G-Friend. They’ve done a show before and I instantly fell in love with their quirkiness. I started listening to their songs and Um Oh Ah Yeh is now part of my top fave K-Songs.

Watching Mamamoo’s videos on V Live is so refreshing. It’s like watching my friends telling me a really cool story on facetime. I’m not there with them but I feel like I’m part of what they’re doing. I’ve always loved their impromptu harmonies and everytime they do it on any videos, I instantly melt. They have such beautiful voices and they all ooze with talent and beagleness.

Also, can we please just appreciate Solar? Look at this beautiful turtle. Her face is already painted weirdly but her smile still looks as pretty.


If there’s a Top 5 most adorable face an idol have made, wouldn’t this face make it?


Look at that adorable pout of Whee In. She was recreating a childhood photo and her face on this is just as much cute as the original one. Actually, if I don’t know any better, I would think that she’s the maknae of the group. But nope, here’s Hwasa, the real maknae, recreating hers.


Can we also please just give Moonbyul a big round of applause just for existing? Like look at face. Our rapper is on fire on stage and a playful character off stage.


If there’s one thing that I especially love about this group is their stage presence. Their photos and stage performances overflow with charisma and confidence. Their debut stage didn’t scream rookies, it screamed talent and success. Watching bts from their concerts kept me at awe on how these four quirky ladies can have such randomn personalities off stage. ❤️❤️ I guess that’s what makes them the beagles that they are.


I really enjoy watching their V-live videos. Their personalities shine through each and every video that gets uploaded. I love the fun energy that they give off and the genuine interaction that they have with each other. These are girls who are real friends on and off camera.

All photos are captured from Mamamoo and SMTown’s V Live channels. 

Seeking Help: One of the Bravest Things I’ve Done

I remember that one morning, I woke up uneasy. I sat on my bed and bad, suicidal thoughts clouded my mind. My heart felt heavy and my head was messing with me. I remember being emotional and irrational. The thought of jumping off a bridge or driving my car through a cliff kept on replaying in my head, over and over again. I was a mess. I was crying, I was in pain. I remember deciding not to to get out of the my room on that day because I was scared of actually harming myself. The sight of the scissors made my skin crawl as I imagined it piercing through my skin. I winced at the thought but it did give me comfort. Thoughts of hurting myself always gives me comfort as well as uneasiness.

I couldn’t take it anymore. The emotions were taking over and I knew that I had to help myself before I lose myself. I searched the suicide hotline and called them. It rang and I had the strongest urge to cut the call off but I knew that I had to push through. A lady answered, she said she was a registered nurse and she could help me for the time being. I was crying but she was calm. She talked me through and helped me find the nearest help center. She asked me if I feel safe from myself, I said “Yes” even though I wasn’t too sure myself. She directed me to the center and a few hours later, I was calm enough to drive and started my baby steps towards a better mental health.

I remember sitting on that chair with the lady across me. She was asking me questions, questions a counselor from two years ago have asked me too. In my head, I thought she would be the same as that counselor, with fake empathy and note-taking BS. I hated that counselor. I only had one session with her and never came back because I felt too embarrassed pouring out myself to a stranger which obviously showed me fake empathy. But this new lady is different. One of the first things she told me was, “You are very brave in coming here“. Brave is one word that I would describe myself when it comes to tackling many life challenges but I never thought that asking for help is considered a brave move. But this lady just called me brave because I finally sought help to better my mental health.

I was eventually placed as urgent in the list for day therapy sessions. I got a single-session therapy with this male therapist (probably a psychologist?) who told me that I didn’t have depression, but I already know that. What I didn’t know was that I had Childhood Trauma. No one has beaten me to a pulp nor sexually harassed me. But the way I was brought up definitely affected how my brain works. It affected my personality, my emotions and how I breath. I didn’t know that I breath differently from a normal person. Apparently, regular people breath mainly using their stomach. I, on the other had, breath mainly using my chest. When this therapist asked me try and breath using my stomach, I had a hard time doing it and I still have trouble doing it right now. He said that my way of breathing shows that I’m always on the end, that my brain is rarely relaxed which explains why my anxiety is always at the background. Also, he showed me a diagram relating to childhood trauma. It wasn’t just anxiety or depression, it’s a combination of different things but never the whole thing. I didn’t have depression just because I still have appetite with food and pleasure. However, I still showed the other signs and symptoms for it. In short, he said that I have GAD, a bit of depression, a bit of OCD and a bit of some more other things that I wish I remember because I was an idiot and didn’t just took a photo of it.

I have finally started my therapy sessions. These are free so it definitely helps me a lot. I’m looking forward in finding more about myself and actually experience emotions that I have probably deprived myself in a long time. I’m also considering taking some medicines so I’m just gonna have to wait until I meet with my family doctor.

Seeking help for your mental health is not a bad idea. It’s gotta be one of the best things you can do for yourself. You get to stop asking “What is wrong with me?” to start asking “How can I help myself?”. It can be scary at first, but it can definitely help you in the long run.

 

Dear Parents: If You’re Child Says They Have Mental Health Issues, Please Believe Them

If they tell you they have depression, please don’t ask what kind of big problem they have and that you have  bigger problems. They’ll gonna need you when they’re at their lowest and it’s difficult to rise up. Understand them if they don’t want to go to school because their brain is forcing the body to just lie there and think of unpleasant things. On the days that they are happy and lively, please don’t say they don’t have depression because they’re happy again. This is the time when you have to watch out for them more, because they have the energy again. When they’re at their lowest point, they don’t have much energy to move but the thoughts of suicide can be running through their minds. When they slowly get out of that state and get their energy back, they still have those suicidal thoughts and now have the energy to go through killing themselves.

If they say they have anxiety (no more how minor it is), please don’t ask them what they’re so scared of. Most of the time, anxious people doesn’t know why they’re nervous. They could just be simply standing in line but that stupid gut feeling would just start creeping up on them and their hearts would start racing and some bad thoughts would start going through their minds. Some people have minor anxiety, where they don’t experience all that time, but it’s disconcerting nonetheless. It can throw the person off guard and make that person fidgety and uncomfortable. Some people have really bad anxiety, where they experience it every day. Every day they have to find something to alleviate the anxiousness that they’re feeling. Sometimes, the anxious feeling is too much for the person that they would have a panic attack where you’re emotions take over and you feel like you can’t breath and when it’s over, the energy is gone but the emotions are still there, just waiting to tip over again.

If they say they have OCD, please don’t tell them that they don’t have it because their room is messy. Having OCD doesn’t just mean making sure the lines are straight or that the room has to be sparkling clean. It means being obsessive about something and have some compulsions on doing something. A person can have obsessive thoughts about the door being open and robbers coming in at night even though they checked it 10 times already that it keeps them awake the whole time. They can compulsive actions that they have to do or else it’s gonna make them very uncomfortable and uneasy the whole time. Some people can have obsessive thoughts about killing themselves and be compelled to push that scissor on their skin.

When they tell you they have some mental health problems, please just hug them and tell them you’re there for them. Please make sure that you can be their pillar, a person they can rely on. Please be the person that will hold together when they feel like falling apart because their mental health is already too much to handle.

It’s okay to be skeptical at first. You raised this kid, maybe gave them love and everything they need. But you don’t know that many things that have occurred in their childhood could have affected their mental health. Work with them, understand them and make sure they keep themselves safe.

On Traveling for the First Time Alone

This past January, I finally decided to make an appointment to renew my passport. Since I get to have a week off from school because of Reading Week, I planned to make my trip on that week. It was supposed to be just a two-day-one-night trip but since this is the first time that I get to travel alone, I might as well make the most out of it. In the end, I went away from three days and two nights.

Because this is a solo trip, I also get to book my own flights and hotel. I used my Air Miles and More Rewards points to help me save money. It took me hours to choose which flights to go and hotel to stay at. I wanted to arrive in Vancouver as early as I can and leave as late as I can just so I have lots of time to explore the city. The hotel that I wanted has to not need lots of Air Miles and should be in or near Canada Place. Finally, I settled with an early morning flight (5:20 am) so I get to arrive in Vancouver at around 9 am and a later returning flight at 5:30 pm. The hotel that I got was in downtown Granville and was just steps away from the shopping and food places as well as just minutes away from Canada Place.

On the days leading through my flight, I would check and double check my flight and hotel just to make sure that I have it all prepared. I would read tips on travelling alone as well as packing tips. The night before my flight, I was still packing up stuff on to my carry-on. I was torn between carrying my whole wardrobe or just bring a change of four outfits plus sleep wear. In the end, I just picked whatever I liked to bring and since I was going to a big city anyway, I can just always buy whatever I would need.

On the day of my flight, I almost missed the checking in at 4:50 am because I reached the airport at around 4:55 am. Thank goodness for online check-in. Phew. Anyways, I booked a Plus Seat for that flight and it was ah-mazing. Actually, all of my flights were awesome. In 3.5 out of 4 flights that I had, I was seated next to no one. The 0.5 was my flight from Vancouver to Kelowna where I was seated next to this girl then Kelowna to Calgary where I was seated next to no one.

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This was the best part of my flight to Calgary. ❤

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Since this is a trip to a big city, I decided to eat at places that I wouldn’t get at GP. So it took me over 30 minutes to find places that I would love to try. There were tons of pizza and sushi places and I could always get that here. In the end, I got to eat in Nando’s (a Portuguese-style restaurant), Guu Garden (Japanese restaurant), Congee Noodle Delight (Chinese restaurant) and Cafe Crepe (crepe place). I made sure to order foods that I couldn’t get here for me to atleast get a unique food experience.

The highlight of this trip would be my dinner at the Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant. This was an experience that I loved and would love to do again. It might have been hella expensive but it was worth the price. I wish I could have stayed longer in that restaurant (I was there over an hour) because the view was just to pretty to pass.

My trip involved a lot of walking. I walked to Chinatown, World of Science and all around the Granville area. I was able to sit by a window and just observe people go by their daily lives. I was able to, in a really short while, experience what it’s like to live in this big city. This trip has enabled me to realize how I much I actually love travelling to new places. I’ve always known that I would love to travel at some point, but now that I’ve finally done it alone, I would love to do it again. This trip has helped become less anxious as I was finally able to get a rest from many stressors in this place and have a getaway to another place.

This trip has helped me relax, even for just a bit. This is what I needed and would need again. Here’s to me going to another new place alone again.*cheers*

On Losing My Safe Place

My car died Monday morning. I still don’t know what was wrong with it but we tried whatever home solutions we could think of. We jump start, changed the battery and added something to the fuel. I was told that I have to wait until the weather becomes warmer to try and start it again because it was just probably too cold for my car to start.

It might be weird for a lot of people for me to say this but this really increases my anxiety level. The thing is that my car is my safe place. I’ve had this car since September and have never been apart from it until last Monday. I remember being so happy when I finally got my license because I can now drive this car wherever I go. I really enjoy driving and driving is one of the things that calms me down. I would sometimes take long and unnecessary routes home just so I can drive longer.

Many people can tell me to just suck it up and wait for my car to get fixed. The thing is that losing my car, even for just a few days, is already affecting my mental health. I would wake up and my thoughts would go directly to my car and my anxiety would start. All throughout the day, I would worry about the car and would wonder how much longer would I wait to get my safe place back. The best thing that I’ve realized when I had this car was that if ever an anxiety attack creeping up on me, I could just easily slip into my car and pour my heart out. I’ve done this a couple of times and it brought me so much comfort that I don’t have to hold the attack much longer until I can get home.

I’d probably get my car fixed by Saturday. I just want my safe place back.

Today, I Had the Worst Anxiety Attack

Today was such a stressful day for me. I woke up uneasy. I woke up early, reviewed for my midterm then finalized my powerpoint for my report. As soon as I woke up, there was already the silent buzz of butterflies in my stomach. I knew that I was just a bit nervous for my report. I read and reread my scientific journal. I double checked my powerpoint, making sure that I have all the important points in there. I practiced my presentation a lot of time, even the ‘punchlines’ that I would add and some ‘adlibs’ that I was planning to say. I was all set.

I prepared to go to school. I knew that I would already skip my first class because it was just a lecture and I needed all the time in the world to prepare for my presentation and midterm. Suddenly, the buzzing in my stomach became more intense and I tried my hardest to ignore it. I started my car and started gathering my school stuff so I can leave. I bade my mom goodbye then went to my car when I realized that it wasn’t running anymore. My car typically stop running if I don’t use it after over 10 minutes so I thought it was just done running. But my windshield was not defrosted and the inside of the car was too cold. I knew at that moment that I was screwed and needed someone to jump my car. My stomach turned into a knot and I had to stop myself from crying because I didn’t want my mom to see me break down. Neither of us knew how to boost a car so I had to call a taxi to help me boost my car.

I sat in the living room while waiting for the taxi. I watched Running Man videos to distract myself but I noise of the heater bothered me and my head was aching. The butterflies in my stomach was having party. It was past 11:30 already and I knew that I’m screwed, I missed my midterm. I texted my friend an hour before that I’m dropping Socio as a ‘prank’ but I guess that’s what I’ll have to do because I just missed 30% of my grade. I texted my Genetics teacher that I’ll be late for class and will have to miss the quiz (although she’ll let me do it another time). The taxi arrived but we weren’t able to boost my car so I had to take the same taxi to school.

I arrived in school, late and anxiety-driven. Teacher said that it was my time to present so I went up. At this point, I was still able to hold onto the intense feeling building up within me when on my first slide, I felt disoriented and everything became louder and brighter. I had take a deep breath and hoped that everyone in the class thought that I was just being overly nervous. I had to rush through my report, stumble over my words and not say whatever additional details I would have wanted to add and say. As soon as I was done, I ran out of the classroom and went to the women’s washroom. I stayed in the cubicle for over 30 minutes. The whole time was a battle between trying to stay calm and letting my emotions burst out. I would calm down then a random thought would pop out of my head and I would cry again. I had two girls ask me if I was okay and I told them I was. I mean, I was … I guess. I eventually calmed down and went back to the classroom to grab my things. I knew that my eyes were puffy although less red. It was obvious that I was crying but I didn’t give a shit at that point. I was still emotionally vulnerable and if I care enough about what they think, I could easily have another meltdown in the corridor.

This whole day was my most feared day ever since I was told that I am an anxious person. This is the reason why I have to plan everything that I do and condition myself. I did not plan, I did not condition myself. This was a scary feeling, a scary memory. Today may be bad, but tomorrow is another day. It’s gonna be a good day, it has to be.

What It’s Like Living with Anxiety

I’ve lived with anxiety for years now and I didn’t even know about it. I though that it’s normal for a person to feel scared for no reason once in a while. I thought that it was just part of survival, to be on the edge all the time. However, in 2014, I went to the doctor because I had trouble breathing and had really bad headache. He assessed me, asked if I was stress and ask me some questions about my health. He looked at me and said, “You appear to have mild anxiety. I would suggest that you talk to the counselor that we have”. I went to that counselor and talked to her. I remember crying and pouring out my heart to her and it made me feel better. However, I felt pity on myself after that session because I pretty much became vulnerable to stranger who doesn’t care about me nor truly empathize with what I was going through. That was my first and last time with a counselor.

Over the years, I read more about anxiety and that’s when I realized that it’s more than just being nervous. It’s something that I have to live with everyday and just attacks me at random moments. It’s more than just being nervous or stressed out for an exam. It’s about sitting in class then suddenly feeling nervous for no unknown reason. It’s about trying hard not to breakdown in public because I just heard a loud noise. It’s about not crying at work because I had to deal with a lot of mean customers than normal. It’s about having an anxiety attack while driving to work because I was not sure if I turned off the stove just because I didn’t triple check everything before I left. It’s about having to tell work that I’m gonna late because my car wouldn’t start instead of I was having an anxiety attack because most people doesn’t understand how bad an anxiety attack is. It’s about getting shitty grades because the stress gets to me and my anxiety levels is so up there that I can’t focus on anything and the only way to evade the scary feeling is to sleep.

There are a lot of things that I want to do: skyjumping, cliff diving, skiing. However, just thinking about these already send my heart racing. I have to take a lot of baby steps in order for me to stay calm and avoid getting those dreaded attacks. I have to keep on telling myself that I am okay and there’s no reason to cry. I had to learn how to keep living normally while the feeling of dread is always there. I have to strategically plan everything that will stress me out or elevate my anxiety levels just to avoid getting anxiety attacks (mostly doesn’t work but it’s worth the shot). I still have my McDonald’s Crew Trainer workbook with me, something that I finished doing two weeks ago. I’ve been putting off submitting it because I was scared that on the day I would get verified, I would breakdown. This is one of the many things that I have to hold back in order to keep myself together.

The thing about anxiety is that it’s not something that comes up one day and scared me shitless. It was something that I have always experienced ever since I was younger. I looked back to the many times that I have felt nervous for no reason and those times that I just cried because of the build up stress and emotions. At that time, I thought I was just being silly and a cry baby.

Day by day, I’m moving forward. My stress levels right now are up there, so is my anxiety level. The littlest, stupidest shit can set me off. I almost had a breakdown at work today, but I held it in until I went home. The thing that almost set me off was a customer shouting at his son, not me. But guess what? I’m functioning. I think I’m doing a great job in pretending to live normally.