Sunday, April 4, 2021

2021 Influencer Marketing Trends You Should Know About

Influencer marketing keeps changing by the year. When I started on this journey more than a decade ago, blogs were all the rage. People went to blog sites to read the latest news, get to know their favorite personalities, and immerse themselves in the lives of those personalities.

When Instagram came to the forefront, fewer and fewer people visited blogs, having been given the chance to digest content in an easier and quicker way - perfect for the busy lifestyles of this generation.

Then came the videos, which provided ample entertainment and gave them a glimpse of what their favorite personalities are actually like in real life. With so many changes constantly happening, you might be wondering what's in store for influencer marketing in the years to come. Here are 3 key points that experts have made about 2021:

Authenticity is key.

With so many influencers becoming notorious for promoting brands they don't actually use in real life, sounding incredibly "sponsored" in their captions, or saying the wrong things to attract the ire of keyboard warriors; authenticity is now taking the forefront. Brands want to avoid trolls nowadays and are therefore more careful about their name possibly going viral for the wrong reasons

It's the micro-influencers' chance to shine.

Micro-influencers on Instagram are slowly starting to gain the spotlight. At lower price points, brands now have the opportunity to tap people with diverse personalities and fresh content without spending too much money. By using micro-influencers, brands can also spend more on boosting content to strategically reach their target audience.

TikTok is now a big part of the scene.

TikTok really took off last year, making it clear that people are searching for more ways to keep themselves entertained online, particularly during the current pandemic. Expect to see more brands tap influencers for TikTok videos to maximize their investment.

Have you been following the 3 trends of influencer marketing mentioned above? If you are already part of the equation, then you can look forward to a fun and amazing time ahead. If you aren't, then it's time to get to know more micro-influencers, familiarize yourself with TikTok, and above all things, just be real.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Condo, still a good investment amidst the pandemic

Condo living might be the life every millennials and yuppies have always dreamed of. For the young and restless, this is the lifestyle that perfectly fits them, which is why they want to have their own space in a condo.

However, with the coronavirus outbreak infecting nations all over the world, is it still wise to invest during an extraordinary time like this? There are uncertainty and instability, but experts in the industry believe that there are still advantages in making an investment today, especially in condominium units. Here are a few reasons why.


Most condominiums are built in strategic locations situated within business districts in the city, offering you the convenience of easy access to and from work or school. It saves you from the stress of commuting and being caught in the middle of heavy traffic. The malls and restaurants are nearby, too. A location that is accessible to hospitals, supermarkets, government offices, and other essentials is the best choice during a pandemic.


Most condos offer amenities for relaxation and entertainment such as a swimming pool, sports gym, health spa, bars, and caf├ęs. Having a gym or a swimming pool in a condo can be beneficial for those who want to stay healthy and in shape without going outside. An active lifestyle is not impossible inside a condo. A condo’s social amenities shared by the residents are designed to create a comfortable ambiance to accommodate gatherings of all shapes and sizes. It’s the perfect place to watch a big game, relax after a long day at the office, simply catch some rays, show off your women dresses, or dine under the stars. You can still enjoy life without leaving your home.


There is added layer of security in condo-living. Aside from the fact that the entry and exit points are heavily guarded, there are CCTVs installed in common areas, hallways, and even parking lots. This extra protection makes occupants feel more secure. They have peace of mind that even if they leave the house for a few days or even months, their property and belongings will be untouched.


A condo owner has the freedom to maintain the unit. If you’re living in a condo, you can say goodbye to shovels and the lawnmowers and spend your spare time on some me-time. Helpers and repairmen are just a phone call away in a condo, too. Not having to worry about housekeeping and unit maintenance is an enticing perk for baby boomers and busy people.

Cheaper Prices and Lower Interest Rates for Buyers

Many people are struggling with their finances right now and many are adjusting their lifestyles. Therefore, real estate developers are now selling their properties for much cheaper prices so more people can afford to buy or invest. Even banks and lenders have cut their interest rates to attract more customers.

For those who have enough resources, now is the right time to take advantage of the benefits of these low deal costs and low-risk investments in condominium units. If you’re keen on investing in a condo unit, but have no idea how much to prepare for it; use this handy online mortgage calculator to easily compute the interest and mortgage payments for a given loan term. It’s a free tool that you can always count on when searching for the best real estate deals in the market today.

Now is the perfect timing to invest your hard-earned money or savings in real estate such as condominium units. Nowadays, borrowing money is cheap and that enables stronger buying power. The easing of loans gives more flexibility to your budget, which means you can easily go for that condo unit you have always dreamed of.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Handy tips to pay off your mortgage quickly

To enjoy the freedom and power of having your own space – your home –you might need to pay off your mortgage faster. Let’s admit, owing money causes stress, and paying off a mortgage early can bring peace of mind. A paid-off mortgage means more free cash flow from the fixed income, especially if nearing retirement and would want to stop working. It also saves you money on interest, potentially not just hundreds but thousands of dollars.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Paying off your mortgage early has a lot of benefits. Apart from saving extra money for repayment, here are more tips to help you achieve your goal.

Cut back on expenditure.

If you want to pay off your mortgage early, you might need to reduce or totally eliminate vices such as gambling, smoking, and drinking alcohol, if you have one. Also reduce expenditure on subscriptions and other habits that are not helping you with your financial goals. Redirect the money into your home loan instead. Eat out less often, think of ways how to save on energy at home and how to cut back on your transportation expenses, walk or ride the bike whenever possible. If you would log every saving in a journal, you would see that you could save enough amount of money to repay your monthly mortgage in advance.

Make use of Internet banking.

Internet banking offers you the most convenient and fastest way to arrange your finances. Most lenders nowadays accepts payment via online. This is a very efficient way of transaction with less hassle of having to line up to wait for your turn. Online payments also charge lower fees than other modes of payments and you can always make scheduled payments to make sure you pay on time and avoid penalties.

Pay off high-interest debt first.

Before paying off your mortgage early, settle first those high-interest debts like credit card, personal loans, and car loans which usually have have much higher interest rates than your mortgage. It would be wiser to get rid of debts other than mortgage first so you don’t end up behind.

Make extra repayments.

Every time you would earn more than the usual, make extra repayments earlier than the due date. It would mean more time and money saved. If you have started making extra repayments, make it more often to reduce the principal faster. Align your repayments with your income cycle for convenience. Think twice first before lowering your repayments when interest rates fall.

Use an online Mortgage Payoff Goal Calculator.

This online calculator will tell you how much extra you need to add to each monthly payment to pay off your loan in the number of years you specified. Here’s how the calculator works.

First, you have to know your current loan details. Fill in the calculator with the current remaining balance owed, then the annual interest rate and the current monthly payment amount. By providing these details, the calculator will automatically compute your original amortization schedule which includes the current monthly payments remaining and the years remaining to pay for your mortgage.

Then you have to provide your loan payoff goal which must be lower than the remaining number of years to pay your mortgage. For example, you have 12 years more remaining to pay off for your mortgage, so your payoff goal must be 10 years or less. The faster the payoff goal, the better.

When you click calculate, you will get the results showing the total interest savings, additional monthly payment required, and new monthly payment, which is the combination of your current monthly amortization plus the additional monthly payment required based on your goal. What’s so nice about this calculator is that it also shows how much interest you will save from paying off your mortgage early, and that savings is not just a few hundred dollars but thousands of dollars which you can enjoy or put into other investment for your other financial goals such as retirement.

Don’t wait for months or years to pay off your loan because being prompt will potentially save you a lot of money and will make your life a little more stress-free.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

'Love Alarm' Season 2 is (FINALLY!!!) Coming Soon

Finally!!! After more than a year of waiting, 'Love Alarm' Season 2 is coming to Netflix!

In 2019, 'Love Alarm' was the first Korean drama that I had watched that ended with a cliffhanger... and I completely hated that it did. Lol. I found myself extremely annoyed because I didn't know it would end with a cliffhanger but now that I've seen the first look stills, I am excited all over again, especially after watching Song Kang in 'Sweet Home'.

In case you haven't watched it yet (and you really should if you haven't yet - you have time before Season 2!!!), 'Love Alarm' is based on the popular webtoon of the same name. In the show, there is a mobile app that alerts people when someone within a 10-meter radius likes them... can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if that existed in real life? :p

Starring Kim So-hyun, Jung Ga-ram, and Song Kang, there’s no better time than now to watch (or re-watch) the first season as you wait for Season 2.

The new stills show Kim Jo-jo (Kim So-hyun) meeting Lee Hye-yeong (Jung Ga-ram) and Hwang Sun-oh (Song Kang) individually. While they have graduated from high school and have become adults, they still have unresolved worries and conflicts.

The second season takes place 4 years after the creation of the app which has recently released Love Alarm 2.0. The update comes with a new feature that shows users a list of people who are likely to like them in the future.

Kim Jo-jo, who still hides her feelings, will come across a variety of small and large changes in society influenced by the app. Most importantly, we'll get to see more tension between the main characters. Who are you rooting for?

You can watch the first season of 'Love Alarm' here. The second season will be released on March 12, 2021 - only on Netflix.

'Run On' Got Me to Start Running Again

I hate cardio. I say that in practically every fitness-related post that I publish. And I mean it. I hate cardio with a passion. While I did take part in several runs and even joined running events in the past few years, I really cannot say that I truly enjoyed any of them... because I really didn't. I always found myself on the way home thinking, "Why the eff do I keep going to these things?" I love running shoes. They're comfy as hell. But actually running in them? Nuh-uh. No, thank you.

Sure, there have been moments throughout my life where I thought, "I should really take running seriously", like when I binge-watched every single season of 'Alias' and found myself fascinated by the way that Jennifer Garner ran. More recently, however, I found myself interested in running because of the Korean drama 'Run On'.

In a nutshell, 'Run-On' is a love story between a completely naive runner (who plays his role so well, he really looks like he has no idea what is going on in the world) and a Korean-English translator (whose job is hella cool but who I hated with a passion).

To be honest, 'Run On' is the kind of Korean drama I love to hate because it mostly revolves around a love story... and I'm not really into that. If I'm being completely honest, however, I also hated it because I could completely relate to the lead who believes he is single because... he's boring. Lol. Story of my life. The font of the title is nice, though...?

Anyway, as with a lot of other KDramas that focuses on love stories, I was also more interested in the second leads' love story (the painter and the agency chick). Yeah, I didn't learn any of their names. That's how not-interested in the show I was.

It's a light watch, though, and entertaining in a way. However, I found myself especially interested in the running aspect. Weird, I know.

There's this scene in the series that doesn't really last more than 3 minutes. In fact, the runner's speech doesn't even last longer than 30 seconds; but within those 30 seconds, he tried "teaching" the translator how to run.

And you know what? I REALIZED THAT NOBODY EVER "TAUGHT" ME HOW TO RUN. All. My. Life. I just ran when people told me to run. At school. At fun runs. At actual runs. However, no one actually ever sat me down to teach me how to run properly. How your arms should move. How your shoulders should be relaxed. How you should breathe. Etcetera, etcetera.

And in those 30 seconds, I realized... maybe that's why I hate running. Maybe that's why I hate cardio: because I have been doing it wrong all this freaking time!

And so, the Monday before last, at 5AM - yes, 5AM in the morning, kids! - night owl-me went for a run the way that the runner dude in 'Run On' told translator chick to. And get this: I ENJOYED IT. OH. MY. GOD. I. ENJOYED. RUNNING. WHO. AM. I. I enjoyed it so much that I have been running three times a week now. Let that sink in.

So, really, what I'm saying is: you can learn a lot from KDramas. You should really give them a try. :p (I bet you thought I was gonna promote running here, but nopes.)

I don't necessarily recommend starting your KDrama marathon (see what I did there?) with 'Run On', though coz honestly, I wanted to bash that translator chick's head in every time she said she wasn't angry but actually was - LIKE, GIRL, COMMUNICATE! And the lead guy reminded me sooooo much of my worst ex even though they look nothing alike.. but do get into KDramas... please? :D

Sunday, February 7, 2021

'Space Sweepers' is Like... 'Monsters Inc.' Meets 'Star Wars'

If you're at a loss as to what to watch on Netflix right now, 'Space Sweepers' is it.

I'll start by saying that I am not a fan of Song Joong-ki so this is a completely unbiased opinion. I didn't really like 'Descendants of the Sun' (don't hate me!) and I didn't even want to watch this to begin with. But when Joong-ki compared the experience of filming 'Space Sweepers' to 'The Goonies', it piqued my interest and I simply had to watch it. Add to that the fact that one of my friends compared it to 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and I put it on top of my must-watch list this weekend. It was not like 'GotG' or 'The Goonies' at all, though. But it was still good.

I'd even go so far as to say that I liked it better than 'GotG'. Ooooo big words! However, as I have mentioned in a previous post, I like things that make me cry. So yes, expect a few tears when watching 'Space Sweepers'.

I'll try not to give too much away; but in a nutshell, 'Space Sweepers' revolves around a group of Korean misfits who have to find ways to survive in the new world in space that people are living in.

Set in the future, 'Space Sweepers' is more sci-fi than fantasy (as I had originally expected it to be). Don't expect any weird aliens in this or even weird languages. No, in the future in 'Space Sweepers', everybody is speaking in the language that they are comfortable in - a beautiful world that my multi-lingual self had only once imagined in her dreams - and everyone has a translator earbud thing to translate whatever is being said by others. I loved that concept of the movie. LOVED. IT.

Anyway, the misfits come across a child who is allegedly an android, and mildly comedic things ensure reminiscent of Sulley and Mike in 'Monsters, Inc.' The vibes were almost exactly the same with a mix of a bit of 'E.T.' and the same awesome action as 'Star Wars'. There is a sidekick robot in it, too, but without the annoyingness of C3PO. In fact, Bubs' face is kinda like Baymax's face, so it's hard not to like him/her. The misfits also have an old hardly-keeping-it-together spaceship ala Millennium Falcon. The Star Wars feels were real!

I'm going to admit that the movie wasn't perfect. I was a little annoyed by the ending because (SPOILERS AHEAD!!! highlight to read) I thought the misfits had sacrificed themselves to save Earth and I LOVED THAT PART (this is why 'Rogue One' is my favorite 'Star Wars' movie) and I WAS ALREADY BAWLING MY EYES OUT and then surprise, they were saved. I got a bit annoyed by that.

HOWEVER, when I got to the real ending, I realized that I liked their ending better. I didn't know that I needed that closure for Joong-ki nor did I know that I wanted to see what happened to Bubs until I actually got there.

I also have to say that I am very impressed with Joong-ki after watching this movie. It was nice to see him in a semi-gusgusin role that didn't involve any love interests. He really showed me how versatile he is as an actor and I might actually try watching 'Arthdal Chronicles' soon. I will also definitely watching 'Vincenzo' when it comes out (where he plays an Italian mafia dude!).

Overall, I'd highly recommend watching this movie. The action scenes and space battles in themselves are well worth it. I am always immensely impressed by Koreans and their ability to put together such amazing series and movies. I honestly thought I wouldn't like this one and yet here I am, actually writing about it.

If you love space flicks or are simply looking for something entertaining to pass the time, put 'Space Sweepers' on your list. And then message me to let me know what you thought of it. :) I'm always happy to geek out with fellow movie buffs!

Saturday, February 6, 2021

'18 Again' Review: I cried in every single episode.

It's no secret that I'm a bit of a crybaby. In fact, I habitually and purposefully search for movies, series, songs, and books that make me cry because it's one of the only ways that I can confirm that I still have a heart. Lelz.

What I didn't expect, however, was that I was going to cry in every. single. episode of '18 Again'. Now, I'm not gonna lie: the only reason why I watched it in the first place was because I saw that Lee Do-hyun was the lead in it. See, I had developed an unhealthy obsession with him after watching 'Sweet Home' and although I hated the Zac Efron movie '17 Again', I decided to give this a try for him. AND I HAVE NO REGRETS.

In case you aren't familiar with the premise, '18 Again' is about a man who, seemingly unhappy with the life he has led thus far, gets his "wish" of becoming young again.

Basically, he ends up looking like his 18-year-old self but with all of the knowledge of his 36-year-old self and in the world that his 36-year-old self was living in: complete with his two kids and his ex-wife. It sounds fun and fantastical; but for single mom-me, it was a nostalgic trip into all of the heartaches and pain of my past.

And I found myself crying in every. single. episode. That is not an exaggeration. I literally did. I couldn't shut up about it as I was watching it, either. It had actually been a while since I last binge-watched a Korean drama in just one day (at least one that didn't involve zombies or monsters).

It has been more than a decade now since I embarked on my life as a single mom and I am so proud to say that I overcame all of the struggles that came with it: living alone, having very little to eat, and raising a baby with zero knowledge on how to raise one in the first place. I had no one to guide me and no one to turn to, and I locked myself in the bathroom more times than I'd like to admit to cry my heart out. All of these feelings came back when I watched '18 Again' and it was just as painful as actually living it.

Major props to how the actors in this cry, by the way. One of my pet peeves in KDramas is when they're ugly cryers (Lee Min-ho) or OA cryers (Nam Joo-hyuk). These guys actually made me cry when they cried instead of rolling my eyes or looking at invisible people next to me to roll my eyes with.

Will you enjoy the series if you can't relate to being a young single parent? Honestly, I think you might actually enjoy it more than I did because you won't have your heart wrenched out of your body in every single episode. Lol. Beyond the young single parent stuff, there is a lot to be taken away from this show.

'18 Again' reminds us to take a step back and breathe and look at all of the good things in our lives instead of constantly complaining about things or looking back in regret. One question I've been getting a lot recently is whether I regret becoming a mom and whether I ever wonder what life would have been like if I had chosen a different path.

I did when I was much younger, but I was lucky enough to eventually move past that mentality. (Pretty proud to say that I moved past it all on my own, too!) I chose not to dwell on my mistakes and my hardships, instead looking back fondly at how I overcame all of the shit in my life. But I'll get to my shitty life of a decade ago in another post.

'18 Again' also touches on bullying (at school and for being a geek), prejudice at work (for those who didn't graduate, mothers, divorced women, older women, and women in general), and bribery.

'18 Again' reminds us not to take anything or anyone for granted and not to assume that we know what is going on in people's lives (even those we are close to). It reminds us to be kind at all times, to be understanding, and above all, to communicate better.

It reminds us how important it is not just to listen, but also to speak up about things that are bothering us. How can you fix anything if you never tell people how you feel? How can you move forward if you keep pretending everything is fine and dandy? How can you expect things to be better if you never say what's on your mind? How can you be happy if you never speak up?

'18 Again' is a gem of a KDrama that I am surprised nobody on my feed is talking about. It is a beautiful series, whether you have kids or not, and I highly recommend watching it. And did I mention that Lee Do-hyun is in this?!?? (Or am I the only one absolutely obsessed with him?) Hwang In-yeop is in it, too, in case you want to see more of him after watching 'True Beauty'.

If you've seen it, let me know your thoughts!

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Looking back on 2020

 I've been wanting to write this post for weeks now. You know those beautiful essays that people write to end their year? I wanted to do that. I really did. However, towards the end of 2020, some of my "friends" had "shamed" me for my productivity and accomplishments of the crazy year that was; and for a while, I no longer felt proud of everything that I had done during the pandemic.

I am in a different mindset today. I've gone through heartbreak after heartbreak and through failure after failure this month that I really just need to write about something positive for a change.

For all I care, those "friends" can go rot in their hate. I am here to announce - loud and proud - that 2020, the year that everyone has come to hate for many reasons, was the year that I got my shit together and did everything I had once only dreamed and talked about doing. This is my blog post on what some people might call yabang. Deal with it.

To start, I need to say that I started 2020 with a bang. I got a new side job as a writer for two websites in Singapore. I was dating someone I really liked at the time. I squeezed in three beach trips in two months. I made a ton of amazing new friends. We had a WIM party to thank all of our supporters. And I was over the moon.

I told myself it would be my "year of travel" - that I would go to all of the places I had always said I would go to but never did: Japan so I could see sakura on my birthday, Bangkok so I could see all of my friends there after a decade of staying away, Korea to search for my favorite KDrama locations, the US to see my sisters, and Davao to see my brother and new nephew. None of that happened.

Being someone who relied on trips, sexual escapades, gym sessions, and nights drinking and playing beer pong for sanity; you can imagine how much of a lifestyle change I went through during the beginning of quarantine. It was terrible. I found myself going through a downward spiral of binge-eating and felt my obese college self coming back to the forefront. I also felt my social skills deteriorating week by week. And I found myself staring at the ceiling at night wondering if I would survive being stuck in this toxic household day in and day out.

And then one day, the guy who I was (very proudly, I might add) dating at the time told me it was up to me to make a change. Although things didn't work out between us, I am still thankful to him for sitting me down and giving me that much-needed conversation at the time. Because of him, I got up off my sad ass and stopped feeling sorry for myself. And thus started my productive 2020.

I joined a voice acting workshop.

Although I had done a few voice-related projects in the past, 2020 was the year I decided to take things a little more seriously. I joined a voice acting workshop and became a certified voice artist. I started auditioning more aggressively. And I ended up doing a bunch of fun projects that helped me grow as a voice artist.

I stopped drinking (and having casual sex).

Are you giggling or laughing? Lol. I don't blame you. But trust me: these were two of my worst "vices" pre-pandemic. And once the pandemic set in, I realized I don't actually need alcohol (or even sex) to function as a normal human being. I also learned that I don't actually enjoy beer. I really just drank it for beer pong. Go figure.

I learned who my true friends are.

Being stuck at home without going out, I really learned who my true friends are. When things went to shit, I realized who was actually willing to be there for me and I cut my friends' circle by about 90% this way. Don't get me wrong. I'm still friends with most of the people I was friends with pre-pandemic, but I learned who I can really trust and who was just there for fun and games.

I started learning a new language.

Okay. I'm not entirely sure if I should be proud of this, but I started learning Korean. The reason why I'm not proud is the reason behind it. See, I started learning Japanese first... but failed miserably that I decided to try another language in its stead. I'm proud to say that I am progressing in learning Korean, though. And I can't wait for the day when I can finally watch KDramas while working because I no longer have to read subtitles. Maybe I'll find an oppa in the process, too. Char.

I got a job at Newsweek.

You all know how much I love my job at When in Manila. However, having so much free time in my hands, I figured I'd try my hand at applying for another job since the opportunity was there. Imagine my surprise when I got hired almost instantly and now, I am in love with my job at Newsweek, too. I'm so blessed to be able to do what I love to do for work, as stressful as it might be sometimes.

I became a certified tarot reader.

Voice acting aside, I also tried my hand at tarot reading. After all, I spent the past six years talking about it and relying on it for advice. (Check out my tarot card reader, Robert Rubin, by the way. He is THE BEST!) I also made some great friends at the workshop and by reading for people. Hands down the best workshop I took last year! Unfortunately, my tarot account has been hacked for the second time this month so I can't promote it here. Lelz. Not sure why that has been happening, to be honest.

I joined a bunch of other workshops.

The aforementioned workshops aside, I also took a bunch of other workshops for personal development, including but not limited to crystal healing and social media management. I have also read more books in 2020 than I had in the past five years combined.

I am currently at my strongest.

I also started working out more aggressively to release all of my pent-up stress, anger, and frustration. (Trust me: it helps!) Although I am probably at my fattest and heaviest than I have been in the past five years, I am also at my strongest. And that has really been my goal since the pandemic started, really. With no men in the household, there's no one to do the heavy lifting but me. I figured I can at least contribute that at the very least. Some may not agree that this is the best physique, but it is the proudest I have been of my body in my life.

None of my loved ones died from COVID-19.

Naturally, this is the most important part of 2020. Although I have had a handful of loved ones who got infected by the coronavirus, they have all survived it - and I shall forever be thankful for that.

2021 hasn't been off to a good start for me, but I'd like to think that January is just a mad blip in my year that will be. I am trying to stay as positive as the cynical me can possibly be; but with the supportive people at my side, I am hopeful to make it through as I always have.

How has your 2021 been so far?

Friday, January 29, 2021

Mommy Breakdowns

I hadn't had a major mommy breakdown in years now. I have been blessed to have a daughter who is sweet and malambing and caring and who keeps me sane more than anyone else in the world (in short: a daughter who isn't anything like I was as a child). But I had one today anyway. A major mommy breakdown.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was 21 years old - practically a baby myself when I look back on it. And the first thing I told myself was that I would never be like my own mother. I would never make my daughter feel like less than she was. I would never belittle her. I would never say harsh words to her. I would be there for her through every heartbreak and every tear, and I would be a friend to her. I would be the mother I had always dreamed of having: someone who understands, someone who always has her back, and someone who never makes sumbat or makes her feel bad.

It has been hard to be that kind of mother. Because no matter how much I feel like I am raising her right - to be independent, strong, and above all things, loving and kind - the fact of the matter is that I had to move back in with my parents many years ago: into the toxic environment that I had left when I was in college because I wanted to save myself.

There are moments when I look at Syrena and feel a sense of pride, but then my mother says something that immediately makes me feel like I'm an awful parent. According to my mother, I don't give my daughter enough attention. I don't feed her enough. I don't care about her. The list goes on. Almost every day, there is something to be said about what a failure of a parent I am mixed with complaints about having to take care of her granddaughter because I'm too busy working. And take note that my mother very well knows that I have a mental health issue. That doesn't seem to have any bearing in anything at all. LOL.

I lived with this kind of mentality and heard these kinds of words for decades but I am still not used to it. My dad repeatedly tells me to just shut out her noise; but even if I shut it out, I still hear it, you know? And so I am still stuck here in a toxic household, unhappy and dying inside.

Why don't I just leave? That's another story, but trust me when I say that there are things in play that prevent me from doing so. Back to the matter at hand: as mentioned, Syrena is amazing. A lot of people ask me whether I regret becoming a mother - whether I ever wish that I had taken the other route. And I always say no in a heartbeat. Always.

I don't regret having Syrena. I really don't. I don't regret becoming a mother earlier than I was prepared for it. But today, Syrena did something that was so like her father, I couldn't take it.

I have to admit that this isn't the first time Syrena has reminded me of her father. In fact, she looks exactly like him and I am reminded of him every day because of that. She even has his mannerisms and his brain, which surprises me to no end because he literally hasn't been in her life for almost a decade... but she lied about something today. Something that Henry had lied to me about in the past. And she did it so casually - in the exact same manner that her dad used to. And I just lost it.

I found myself saying things that I had said to Henry so many years ago. I found myself feeling the exact kind of anger and frustration I had felt towards him - a feeling I had promised myself never to feel towards my daughter. And once again, I had felt like I had failed as a mother.

I don't think people truly understand how hard it is to live with a mental condition. How you literally have to force yourself not to feel things because you're unsure whether the feelings stem from your mental condition or because you're actually rightfully feeling them. 

I broke down out of frustration and anger and resentment and all of these feelings that I've been bottling up day in and day out while pretending I am okay. If you're a mom - especially a single mom - you should understand. You want to be perfect. You want to put up a happy facade. You want the world to think you've got it together.

But I don't have it together. I've reached my breaking point. And I am oh-so-tired.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Can I keep you?

And just like that, another week is over.

And I'm left with another uncertain span of time of loneliness and nothingness.

Whenever I see you, I feel like nothing has changed. We still share the same cynicism, bond over the same interests, reflect on the world we've been thrown into, and marvel over how well we work together.

And yet, everything has changed. We're six years older now. The pressure is building in my head. The loneliness is becoming harder for me to bear. And I find myself longing for consistency and loyalty and love.

If we're being honest, though, I know this is as far as we can go: stolen nights riddled with alcohol, silliness, and pure chemistry.

Because at the end of the day, our hearts are too guarded. Our lives are too far apart. And our trust has been torn into pieces by past loves and past pains. There is no space in your heart for me to sneak into, and no space in my life for real commitment.

They say "maybe it's not the right time" but we've already had so much time pass us by. Maybe "the right time" is intentionally avoiding us because this is all we were ever meant to be: a whirlwind of unforgettable memories inserted randomly into time, filled with passion and fleeting happiness.

Maybe one day, I'll regret not doing anything about us. Maybe one day, I'll regret not speaking up and asking for more. Maybe one day, I'll wake up and find out that you finally found someone who was worthy enough to be let into your heart and into your life. Or maybe one day, I'll wake up and decide once again to just settle for mediocrity over this stage of emptiness and loneliness like I have been doing for years.

But what I do know right now, in this particular moment in time, is that I would be willing to make changes. For you, I would be willing to try. I would be willing to shove things aside to make more space for you in my life. If that means talking to you more, seeing you more often, and ensuring I never see you in anyone else's arms; I would definitely be willing to do that.

I've been thinking about this more than I should. And I know it's selfish and it's stupid and it's unwarranted. But through the years, no one has even come close to what I desire and need and long for.

I've been resting easy telling myself that this is for the better - that when you learn all of the deep recesses of my mind, when you discover me crying in front of my laptop in the middle of the night, when you witness me beating myself up over the littlest things, when you hear me rage at my Switch screen or shout at a stupid character in a book, and when you discover how self-destructive I can become when faced with booze and parties; you'd probably be put off and I'd lose you forever.

I would rather take all of the mini moments that we share and stuff them in a little treasure box in my heart - never to be forgotten and never to be lost - than tell you this in person and scare you away.

I don't know if you still visit this little virtual space of mine like you used to, but the title of this post is where my heart stands and the content is where my mind is at.

A part of me wants to jump off of the edge of this cliff on which I stand, but crippling fear is holding my legs in place. And as I blindly search for a saw to chop my legs off to free myself from my myself - yes, that is the metaphor I am going for - I just hope against hope that no one dives in to stealthily steal that saw away or take that place in your heart that I've been dreaming of squeezing into.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Take the leap.

It's strange how the simplest things can trigger so many emotions in a person. To people who aren't well-versed in Korean dramas, this showbiz news will mean absolutely nothing, but the stars of 'Crash Landing on You', Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin, announced today that they are in a relationship. And this, of course, brought back all of my CLOY feelings once again.

When I started watching CLOY, I really didn't understand the hype. Hyun Bin isn't my kind of oppa and the story was super farfetched. I found myself rolling my eyes a lot of the time, too. But if I'm being completely honest, I also cried. A lot. To the point where my pillow was you-can-wring-the-tears-out-of-it wet. I even wrote a blog post about Captain Ri after watching it.

See, while I'd like people to believe that I'm a heartless, emotionless, careless bitch; the truth is that I'm a softie and a hopeless romantic at heart. I pretend to be Little Miss Strong and Independent, but the truth is I dream of having an "oppa" of my own. Someone who will be there for me, no matter what. Someone who accepts that I have a strong facade but who will let me melt into his arms and cry on his shoulder on bad days. Someone who knows that I spend 80% of my time working and doing things for myself but who will spend the other 20% being silly and being lazy with me. Someone I can drink on a beach with as we watch the sunset and talk about the most random things. Someone who doesn't need me to constantly post stuff about him, but whose existence is known. Someone who accepts that I'm a geek, a nerd, a workaholic, and above all things, a mother - and who won't judge me or make me feel bad for being all of those things.

The thing is: I know who this person is. I have a clear vision of him in my head. I know who I want this to be. He just doesn't see me in the same way. Which brings me to why CLOY had such an impact on me. There were so many quotes in it that resonated with my pretend-ice-cold heart: from Se-ri wondering if Captain Ri is pining for her the way she is pining for him to Se-ri realizing that even if she had to go back a hundred times, she would still choose to meet Captain Ri despite everything.

The characters' emotions in the show were real and relatable even though the storyline as a whole wasn't (lol), and I think I repeatedly said I hated the show because they were able to do things that I couldn't: take risks in love and jump headfirst into situations - screw the consequences.

There's one line in particular that haunts me to this day. (Naks. "Haunts" talaga?!??) In Episode 14, Captain Ri says, "Even if I have to worry about losing you every day, I want to have you in my life. Even if it breaks my heart because it's a dream that can't come true, I'd like to sincerely dream of the future." Despite knowing that there was no chance for them to be together, he still put his heart on the line. And I feel like this is something I need to learn to do in order to be happy. I constantly find myself holding back from saying things I want to because I don't want to "ruin the friendship" or "lose someone important in my life", but I am also realizing that this mentality isn't getting me anywhere.

This 2021, I hope for the courage not to be afraid to take a leap and for the strength to tell you how I feel. After all, life's too short to worry about things not going as planned. In other words... mahalin mo na ako, please. :p