Losing the Passion?

Reading might be one of the most cliched things to write on “What is your hobby?”. I mean, that’s what a lot of people would right in order to look more intelligent than they actually are. Writing, though, is something that you don’t see a lot as answer to that question. What kind of writing? Scribbling? News Writing? The Onion-style writing? People can get confuse and be like, “So… like calligraphy?” and you’re stuck shaking and scratching your head.

Growing up, I’ve always loved reading. Stories, poems, ads… you name it, I would read it. I was always scolded for reading while walking because apparently that messes up with your sight or reading in the dark. I don’t actually remember when I learned how to read. All I know was that I used to stand beside my grandma while she teaches her students how to read then I started helping her teach them how to read. Reading has given me a good way to exercise my imagination as well as broaden my vocabulary. I’ve always aced spelling exams as I knew a lot of words that were probably seen as way beyond my age. My family and friends have always encourage me to read more. My dad and his siblings had lots of books and comics collections which I was free to use (as long as I take care of them). My grandma gave me a list called “Basic Sight Words” which I had to read everyday to enhance my vocabulary.

As I grew older, reading still made me happy and then I found about writing. Or more specifically, journalism. I was in Grade 5 when I was invited to train to be part of the journalism team of my school. I enjoyed it a lot and could see myself doing this for a long time. I didn’t end up being part of the team of that year because my teacher legit sabotaged me (but I’m over it… I guess). The next year, I was chosen to be trained again to be part of the journalism team. This time, I made it. I was preparing to be a feature writer but ended up as the editorial writer.

Every time we would have some writing practices during the training, I was always told that my features were more editorial. I would always have some piece of my opinion injected onto them instead of featuring the topic. In the end, I was chosen as part of the school paper. On the paper, I was credited as a feature writer but I was the one who wrote the editorial. The editor-in-chief was the one who wrote the feature. After the weeklong initial training, we stayed later in the school to start preparing for the city-wide journalism competition. We were competing with most of the schools in the country. I didn’t win and that broke my heart. I took me back to when I was little and also failed to win at a reading contest. Two of my biggest passions and I failed at being the top bitch. Anyways, most of my teammates won the top prizes and our school won the over-all top prize for journalism in English (there was another one for Filipino).

When I entered high school, I was motivated to be part of the school paper. I applied and submitted some of my writings, old and new, to them. I’ve never heard from them that year and when the school paper came out, it was obvious that I didn’t make it. The next year, I applied again. But this time, I was less naive and more aware. I knew the type of people that they’ve accepted and I wasn’t part of that cut. However, I still applied half-knowing that I wouldn’t get into the club anyways. I told myself at that time that if I don’t get in, I would stop trying. I did not get in and I stopped trying.

That same year, I won the Tanaga poster making competition. I’ve beaten the writers from that club and I’ve never been happier. It was an unexpected win as I thought that I wouldn’t have a chance with it because I didn’t make up my mind on what to write until the last 20 minutes of my time. I walked up to my stage and picked up my medal.

A year later, a competition was sponsored by the alumni of our school. It was a writing competition and only the honors and semi-honors students were invited to join. Everyone else were cut off from joining and we had no idea that this existed until the winner was announced on a Monday morning. My friends and I looked at each other, aghast at this inequality. Up there is a guy reading his winning piece while majority of the school body had no idea about this competition. I was pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who felt betrayed and annoyed. Then, another competition sponsored by the same people was announced and this time, it was for everybody. My friends and I decided to join the preliminary part. About a week later, we were called to the Principal’s office to be personally congratulated as we were able to move on to the second and final round of the competition.

On the final round, our Principal gave this long pep talk which I missed most of it as I was late. However, I got to catch the last bit of it. I can never forget his words that up until now I still think about whenever I write something, “Don’t write about what they want to read, write about what you want to say”. With those words in my mind, I wrote what I thought was the most controversial piece of that competition. The topic was ‘I Beliefve…’ and it took me forever to think of what to finish this with. I wish for a better future? I wish to be rich? Then I thought, for all these year, I’ve seen intelligent and talented people in general sections not being given their limelight because the spotlight is always given to the honors’ and semi-honors’ sections. So the essence of my piece was that I believe that the school should not have any sections named as Semi, honors and General Section. As I looked around the room, I see members of the school journalism team and I thought, yikes, with this piece and these trained people, will I get a chance to win?

I won. Second place. Super unexpected and I didn’t exactly know how to react. Here’s a piece that I wrote on behalf of my general section friends. Here’s a piece that I thought they would just put on the side because of how it can be seen as an attack towards treatment of students by the school. As I walked across the stage, in front of the very people who rejected me into the school paper in favour of their peers, I felt a surge of pride. I still had it. I can still write and that rekindled my passion for writing. I knew that this was one path that I would want to walk on and pursue. But my parents had other plans.

I was going to be a nurse, like my mom. I cried and begged them no, but it was nursing or no school. I had no money and was dependent on my parents so I conceded. I took nursing for two miserable years. I can see myself becoming a nurse but I can also see myself not being happy. As years goes by, writing didn’t become my priority anymore and I’ve been abandoning my blog, one of my last connections towards my journalism dream.

As I look at this blog and my other blog (which I had when I was in high school), I could totally see when I started to lose the passion. When I started focusing more on my life and not on myself. Blogging and writing had always been my getaway. As I look at my drafts, I could see half-finished pieces, stories, how-to and memories. It saddens me that there was a time when idea just flow right through me and drafts were merely a way for me to save my progress so that I can finish a blog in a few hours. Now, the draft box has become a graveyard of my non-continuous ideas, writer’s block and loss of hope.

I don’t know if I’m still as passionate in writing as I was before. But writing has already been engraved in me and I couldn’t imagine losing the chance and the ability to write, to be able to convey my feelings. I think the one reason why interest in writing hasn’t been up there lately but because I haven’t been writing. I mean, some people would say that one of the easiest ways to rekindle a relationship is to bond with them again, right? I guess that’s what I have to do. To write more, blog more. Anything under the sun.

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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.

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

 

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.