04/01/2020: Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?
Hmm.. This is a tricky question. Growing up, we had like that old grandpa who made up nicknames for the youngsters. Now for me, I don’t remember the context or the back story as to why I have this nickname but I was called “Munting Atay” which is translated into “little liver.” Again, I don’t know the relevance to me being remotely close to a liver but I do know that I was very small, petite girl so the little part, I understand. Anyways, growing up in the Filipino community, I was known as Munting Atay. Currently, it’s joked that I’m called “Malaking Atay” which is “Big Liver.” Not my favorite but (shrugs).
Another nickname I remember in my childhood days was “George.” It was made from one of my classmate’s mom. I don’t know why but I remember I liked the nickname. My classmates and his mom were the only ones who called me that name though. I have a feeling… this is the inspiration.
04/02/2020: What one thing could you not go a day without?
I perhaps took this question a bit too literal. I would say food. I could not go a day without food. I would think that hydration is included in this category. I think food plays a big role in my life so having to go a day without it would make me very sad.
04/03/2020: What are the most important lessons you’ve learned from your romantic relationships?
Oh boy, this is a hard hitting question compared to yesterday’s question.
It does say lessons so I guess I will end up listing out a few things I have learned from previous relationships, both non-romantic and romantic, just because I don’t think it really differs from the two. I apologize in advance for the lengthy post. *covers eyes*
Be honest with yourself! People can change and that’s normal, but as long as you’re living an honest day with intention, you won’t have to second guess yourself in situations in life. You should know yourself best. Ask yourself questions and try to have an answer. “I don’t know” is a good indicator in starting to find an answer to a question. Knowing what makes you irk, or knowing your faults, admitting when you screw up.. It’s important that you practice your voice inside and outside. It helps convey what you want and can help you be successful in everyday life. Personally, I’ve been trying to take my time to find out those honest answers without rushing.
Love yourself. Stemming from being honest with yourself, I wanted to put this here because I think so many people may not always feel this way with themselves and unfortunately for some, it can really show. I’ve met people who can be honest with themselves but not love themselves and it can bring out a very interesting situation. I know from a personal experience how I wanted to befriend a person but they were so in their head, it was difficult to keep a conversation flowing and I remember it turning me off to even try.
It’s hard for others to want to approach “unloved” people because they have such a negative vibe around them. As much as people want to love you, you must love yourself. Don’t give that burden to another person. It is a selfish way to live and I don’t feel it’s fair to do that to your significant other. It will always be a challenge and some days will be harder than others but giving yourself that boost can make that much of a difference. Also, if that person who supposedly loves you, leaves you.. You’ll have to be the one to pick yourself up and go through that process again with another person and you’ve created a toxic cycle. So it’s imperative to love yourself, even if you feel unlovable. Learn to be responsible for yourself! Somehow it’s too easy to blame others for issues. Here, I encourage you to just find that one thing that you do love about yourself. Again, I believe there are people who want to love you but you have to love yourself first. Although “misery loves company,” personally being around positive people has made such a big difference in my life.
Side note, if learning to love yourself is too difficult to do on your own, might I suggest considering therapy?
Knowing that you always have a choice. I think this lesson was a different type of challenge for me. Haha, if you don’t mind a painful explanation, here I go. Sometimes we feel like there are only 2 choices in life. Yes or no. For me, I found out that there is another choice. I wasn’t aware of this choice until my recent relationship. I wanted to salvage the relationship and made the choice to find anyway to keep the relationship going. Finally, I confronted him about his choice about our relationship. So instead of being reactive or proactive, he decided to do absolutely nothing about our relationship. Was he going to try and fix anything? Nope. Was he going to blame or make excuses? Nope. So as long as he was physically there, in his mind, he was still trying. I finally found the reason to be honest with myself and made the choice to take the plunge and end it.
On the other hand, that choice to do nothing is not always necessarily a negative move, depending on the situation. Sometimes you need a little bit of time to make a decision. This type of choice is a lot of “left up to fate” attitude or maybe see what emotion is strongest. So there is a bit of a gamble here.
Not really having an answer (to me) used to be this passive response as a “Maybe… but at the same time not really.” It used to irritate me. (Sometimes, still does. Heh.) Most of the time I feel that the majority of people I’ve encountered have used it in a passive-aggressive answer of a no BUT a small opportunity for a yes, depending on certain factors. (Yes, I’m still learning too!) It’s those answers that can be a wild card. Depending on what kind of environment or pressure or influence is surrounding a person can swing a decision. On the other hand, sometimes giving something or someone to breath and letting time run its course, the outcome can be surprising. With that said, one can never really know what a person can be thinking or what opportunities could happen in the meantime…
So I think it’s very important to practice that freedom of choice because there are some people who either do not have that choice or have relinquished that power to make one. Overall, I think it’s polite to make a yes or a no decision rather than not make a choice at all but I have been trying to practice that “do nothing” choice when the situation allows it. Haha! Any hoo.. That was tiring.
Take your time. Fudddge. I wish I knew this sooner than later but experience is a tough teacher. Along with trying to make sure you found a person you are accepting to have in your life, taking the time to get to know a person can be time consuming. I think sometimes most people want to rush into any type of relationship because of how great it feels to be in one. (Yep, felt that one.) You’re laughing, enjoying each other’s company and such. (Oh, what rose-colored glasses can do a person! Love makes us do crazy things!) But what happens when you kind of get sick of each other? Emotions get really high and words are thrown around and no one has time for each other anymore!
I still get annoyed when I see cheesy quotes such as “marry your best friend.” (Haha, perhaps I get bitter sometimes. :P) At the same time, I understand what that means. A best friend has seen the worst and the best of a person and yet still chooses to be with that person. When a person takes the time to get to know another person, they find the little details of why or how a person became who they are. They become understanding of the past and empathize with the person because essentially they are slowly becoming invested in the person they think or trying to care for. All in all, Genuine emotions generally take time to grow. Just make sure it’s with a person you want it to be with. Love = time. When you love something/someone, you spend all your time with it. It’s just a fact!
If a situation feels difficult, that’s because it has importance to you. A mentor of mine told me that there are variations of emotions but 2 of which means you care a lot, such as happy and mad. Otherwise, the most dangerous emotion towards someone is indifference. With that said, learning that has made it easier to detect what was important to me despite how I was feeling in the moment. I’ve helped several people out when it comes to talking through difficult situations because it’s the emotion that is hard to control when something is important to us. As for me, this is a lesson that was difficult for me to comprehend. Especially with relationships, being vulnerable and being stuck in a difficult situation has a tendency to show a different side of a person but we should keep in mind that when a person is showing raw emotions, it’s a big indicator that it’s important to them. Be considerate!
Your feelings matter and it’s okay to feel confused. There we go again. Emotions. Feelings. There are few people in this world who are in tune with their feelings. Feelings and emotions play such a big role in a person’s life. To deny it or to give in to it is a foolish thing. If you’re mad, upset and being negative, let it come through you but don’t let it sit with you. Same goes with happiness. Enjoy the good moments but let go of the bad/sad ones. Emotions are temporary. They come and go, as they should! When it comes to those hard emotions, dwelling in the past feelings and letting it brew allows more chaos, resentment, and stress that could have passed through and moved on. A tip I’ve learned was writing down my feelings. By doing this, it has helped me grow as a person and aided in understanding myself more.
State your expectations/boundaries beforehand or let people be aware of what makes you uncomfortable and such. And if you aren’t sure about what those expectations of your friend or significant others are, ask questions! Assuming and being passive aggressive is a selfish and immature way to communicate. Curiously asking questions, especially in the beginning, is an easy way to get to know someone without feeling interrogated. Of course, you want to make sure that they consent to answer your questions. I think timing a question should be minded here as well. For example, asking what a person’s future looks like to them is a better approach rather than asking directly how many kids they would like.
Bottom line is too many times have there been situations of miscommunication and bad endings all because no one had expressed their expectations or boundaries that were crossed.
Trust is not to be tested with. I’m not a big fan of situations where I was “tested” to see where my loyalty lies or to see what my intentions are. I remember distinctly one occasion where this had happened to me and it created animosity and resentment with a really close friend of mine. Fortunately, we were able to talk about it and move past it. At the same time, I knew from that experience that took it very personally that it was either you trust me or not. I used to have the mindset where I trust you until you give me a reason to not trust you. Maybe it’s because as I’ve aged, I’ve come to a point where you just need to earn my trust.
Your actions will reveal your intentions. Forgiveness is a necessity in any relationship but I also learned that if you say sorry, your actions should speak louder than the apology.
Here, since earning trust can be a difficult task, as long as one is learning from the mistake, the trust is never entirely broken. Even with the closest of friends, there will be various forms of broken trust. We will make mistakes and it’s okay. Personally, I see trust in people like plants. We may have different plants so some need more maintenance than others. Some are okay to be left alone for a week. Some need room to breath and grow. Some don’t like to be handled. Some grow back when you cut it or some just die. *shrugs* Know and understand your “plants.” Talk to them. They most likely will come back to.
I was taught at a young age that your word is your bond. Maybe I learned it from tv? I don’t know, but I admit there have been times where I have fucked up royally with this. But honestly.. if I said that I won’t tell anyone.. I won’t. It won’t go anywhere. Why? Because sometimes my brain will just forget. >.<
Mistakes will happen. How we decide to handle it will have a big impact for the outcome. Just a quick recap from the previous lesson.. It’s said, if you take care of something, it will last longer. This is also true with people. Mistakes happen and we must do better at understanding each other in those aspects. It’s sooooooooo important we handle situations better!
Love is a choice, not a feeling. Ah, back to choices. Maybe I’ve been too black and white about this. Most people I’ve asked this question to have told me that that love is a feeling or a mix of both. I’m not against the latter. I do believe it’s a good balance of both yet experience has taught me that Love is not enough for someone to want to be with you. Hear me out. You can still love someone and choose not to be with them because they simply aren’t good for you.
Some of the scariest part of being in any relationship is that we choose the people we want by our sides, even if they don’t choose us in the end. Unfortunately, that’s a difficult lesson some have to learn the hardest way. Also, make note that I, perhaps, find this most important in a more committed relationship (e.g marriage) Everyday, you make that choice to want to be with that person. You say vows to each other to be there for whatever reasons (you know, the good stuff people say in vows…better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and health..that stuff!) That’s why I believe it’s a choice. So whenever I think of couples who go through these dry spells where the feelings “fizzle out” due to not filling up the emotional bank, it hurts to see that love feeling isn’t enough to keep a marriage going. What’s worse is going through the toil of losing that reason to want to be with someone, and realizing that reason was not enough to choose that person in the end. Feelings are fleeting and when times are tough, and your choices turn into action. In the end, it will show how you really feel. Knowing is a choice. Choosing to be ignorant or choosing to be informed. You pick.
Everyone has a past/insecurity/inner demon they are fighting with. This lesson can be difficult but I can sum it up into that we need to be kind. Kinder to ourselves and kinder to others. If you really pay attention, everyone is somehow telling their hurts in a discreet way. Dude, I can still tell you that I’m still learning to find the best way to exercise kindness without going overboard. It’s the little things that count. We hear that all the time but we need to remember that we are our own worst enemy and hearing things that bring out the past/insecurity/inner demon is not good for our mental health.
In the end, people will do what they want to do and you cannot force your opinion on anyone to think or do anything they do not want to do. No matter how hard you push, yell, or cry about what you feel/think and how they need to follow you, take your advice, or heed your warning, if they don’t share similar values, or don’t feel that it will benefit their life, they won’t care. My past relationships have taught me that. You can love a person to death and want the best for them but if they don’t want that for themselves, you’ll just end up wasting a lot of energy. Pour that shit into yourself!
Listening and respecting each other’s opinion. How people feel at the end should feel reciprocated. I know it sounds contradicting because most of the lessons have been about working on self. But listen. Here, you want to implement what you’ve been working on with others. Treat others how you want to be treated and I feel that we all want to be heard and respected. It’s difficult to live or have someone in your life if you don’t respect them and/or vice versa. Otherwise, animosity, resentment build up and it ends up being very messy at the end. Which brings us to the next lesson..
“Honesty is the best policy.” Pharrell once said “The truth will set you free, but first it’ll piss you off.” It’s challenging to be honest and addressing the hard conversation can mostly be cumbersome. What’s worse is trying to bring up a situation that makes us feel uncomfortable and having them realize that what is being said makes us feel vulnerable and exposed, even if it means getting that icky feeling off your chest. For me, it’s better to express how you feel than not have said anything at all.
Communication AND comprehending what was communicated. This lesson is probably my biggest test yet. In all my relationships, I believe it was doing both. Maybe it was my ego that told me that I did everything I could do to make it work. I felt that I was communicating and understanding the situation but really, I wasn’t accepting that comprehension. When a person is saying they care and then later on, ignores you when you ask for their time, that is a miscommunication. The two must sync together. Action speaks louder than words. (Preach!) So in this case, we MUST be responsible for ourselves when it comes to communicating and understanding what is being said. Like I said in the beginning, we have to learn to be responsible for our own actions. We all don’t think the same and I’m sure the attention span has gotten shorter as we get older so it is super imperative that we comprehend what is being communicated.
Last but not least, have fun in your relationships. I think personally, my relationships have a good foundation of having fun and I appreciate all of them teaching me this. Of course, not all relationships are going to be fun 100% of the time, but if overall you and your partner can have fun, you’ve got a good chance of nourishing a healthy relationship. Laughing helps get all the yucky feeling away and knowing when to use laughter as a tool to help your relationship grow it all the better.
Mental health is just as important as your physical health. Ask for help when you need it. As a Filipino-American, mental health wasn’t discussed ever. There’s a stigma as far as our mental health. Also the fact that I grew up in a religious house-hold, it felt as if praying was the only solution to this. After feeling isolated from my thoughts and such, I wanted to be able to take action in my own life. Again, it’s our responsibility to own our lives.
Anyways, I tried my best to put a lot of thoughts into my answers without going overboard with them. Somehow they sort of tie into each other.. I think? What do you think?
04/04/2020: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? How did that desire change, lessen, or grow? Growing up was a constant change for me. One day I would want to be an artist and then next week I wanted to be an inventor. I didn’t actually have one thing I wanted to be. I just knew I had to do something active and or something creative. I wish I had kept that drive. Growing up, I remember thinking I wanted to be in the computer scene since it was fairly new then and we were almost constantly on the computer all the time. I also had a point-and-shoot camera back then so I always had a camera with me. I felt like photography was my scene to be in.
I don’t think that desire really left. I have several cameras but unfortunately I don’t have the inspiration and motivation I used to have back then. I was surrounded with all my classmates and people all the time. Events happened on the daily. Then when it came to going to college, I never pursued photography because I wanted to explore other art scenes. Anyways, my current job is a form of photography so it still satisfies that feeling of creativeness. I think I just had a different idea of what I would be doing. Currently, I’m slowly opening up to opportunities to learn about the things I’m interested in, at least in a curiosity aspect.
04/05/2020: What traditions have been passed down in your family? How do you feel about them?
This question really got me thinking about my childhood because I couldn’t quite figure out what exactly traditions my family and I practice. My family is a bit unique in the aspect that we don’t practice Catholicism, which is traditionally what the majority of Filipino’s practice. So I looked it up on Google, because duh.
A tradition is a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes, but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings.
Taking that for a background reference, I do recall my father raising a strong sense of respect for your elders. (Please read HERE for a deeper understanding of what respect means in the Filipino way.) Respect for one’s elders is traditional in the Philippines. Typically this happens with children meeting an older family member. Growing up, we greeted our elders with a “blessing” or mano po by taking an elder’s hand and placing it on your own forehead and they reply with “God bless you.” This is to express profound respect for the elder.
This may not be relative to all Filipinos but afterwards, they give you a kiss by “sniffing” you. They don’t actually place their lips on you. The “sniff kiss,” as I would call it.
I think after some time, when my Lolo (grandpa) and Lola (grandma) passed away, it kind of felt like a majority of the tradition died with them. There are still some older folks from my father’s hometown whom I still greet in this traditional way, but it does make me feel sad that it’s not openly practiced as much anymore, especially here in the States. Whenever I can practice this, I do it and most of the older generation are always surprised see this very traditional gesture. Of course, at the time I did not care for it but now I feel like it played a very big part of my upbringing and I hope to continue that tradition.
04/06/2020: What do you think about politics?
I think the idea of politics was supposed to be a tool to help mend ideas together for groups who may have opposite opinions come together. The word politics currently has a negative connotation, at least whenever I hear it. I think because of how politics has developed over the years, trying to maintain the true purpose of its meaning is almost non-existent.
04/07/2020: If you could live in a home from the movies, tv, or a book, What home would it be?
Why are these questions so difficult to answer?! Haha, I mean.. how could you just choose one! But for me, I’m a Miyazaki fan. So he fits the category of movie and book! Howl’s Moving Castle would sound like a crazy home to live in!
04/08/2020: Who is the funniest person you know? What do you like about their humor?
So, I wanted to retaliate and say “No! How dare you make me choose!”
I think my Uncle Tuyes is the funniest person I know. Yes, he is THAT Uncle that makes a joke almost all the time but legit is always laughing. The best part about his humor is his delivery, his expressions and it’s mostly based on true experiences. Sure, some of the jokes may be a little colored it a bit but he always gets a good laugh from the audience.
04/09/2020: What is your favorite dessert? What do you like about it?
Looking back at my food photo stash, desserts are either a hit or a miss with me. But as I went through the photos, I remembered how Lady M’s cakes just always bring a simple joy whenever I have their cake. Of course, it’s a dessert business so $8 a slice is going to happen. That’s why you bring friends or family to eat with you!!
Anyways, either the Green Tea Mille Cake or I think they have a Tiramisu Mille Cake called out to me. What I like about it is.. honestly, it’s a simple looking cake that looks and tastes good! It has a texture that is pleasing to me.
04/10/2020: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
Don’t let your emotions take over you. Think before you speak. As a kid, I ran on my feelings. I had a hard time separating my emotions from facts. I didn’t like how my emotions got me in trouble too. So learning to keep my emotions in check helped ground me as a person. I needed to learn this growing up because I would tire myself out physically and mentally. I don’t know if this is THEE best but I think as a personal advice, it’s the best one I like to keep. Also, it correlates with Bruce Lee’s quote:
“Emotion can be the enemy, if you give into your emotion, you lose yourself. You must be at one with your emotions, because the body always follows the mind.”
We should check up on ourselves emotionally.
04/11/2020: What’s your main complaint about your job?
AITA if i don’t have a real complaint about my job? But to make it super perfect.. I suppose having at least an update of our equipment would be a real main complaint but it’s really nothing I have control over. Personally, I would like an earlier work schedule (like a 7 am- 7pm) but I also hate driving in traffic and I have to leave an hour before I’m scheduled. I suppose I could work elsewhere but I really like my team and my boss so it’s a difficult position to give up.
04/12/2020: Karaoke – like it or not? What song would you choose to sing?
I like karaoke, as long as it’s good fun. Have a few drinks, loosen those vocal chords, sing to the best of your ability. I don’t mind karaoke. I guess my go to song would be “To Make You Feel My Love” by Adele.
04/13/2020: If you could hire someone to do one thing for you every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If I could hire someone to do one thing for me, I think that would be driving. I would want to be driven around. Bougie? Yes. But I think that is one thing I would LOVE to be done for me for the rest of my life. Please make that happen for me.
04/14/2020: What’s your favorite way to travel? What’s your least favorite?
My favorite way to travel would probably be flying. As long as it’s no longer than 8 hours. Then it’s not my favorite. My least favorite would be by boat.
04/15/2020: What’s your favorite sport? Do you prefer to play or watch or both?
Volleyball would be my favorite sport. It used to be basketball but I realized how much I’ve lost my skill in it. I prefer to play versus watch but if it’s a good team, I will be more than happy to watch.
04/16/2020: What is your favorite kind of material? What do you like about it?
Silk. Real silk is to die for. I hadn’t realized how satisfying it feels on the skin. What I like about it is the cool feeling when it comes into contact with your skin. It’s also soft to the touch. How could you not appreciate it!
04/17/2020: How do you like your hair, your clothes and your body to look?
Hair – medium length.. Probably an ash grey-brown color.
04/18/2020: What is your favorite book from childhood? What memories do you have of it?
Calvin and Hobbes. It reminds me of my cousins reading it. Had absolutely no understanding of it then. Now, it’s much more enjoyable!
04/19/2020: Do you like communicating by phone, letter, email or social media? Which is your favorite? Least favorite?
I like all versions of communication listed. My favorite would probably be in letter form though. There is something very nostalgic and pure about writing letters. Then my least favorite would be email. Blegh.
04/20/2020: If you were a carpenter, what item would you most like to build?
If I had the skills, anything honestly. Anything useful to a house, really. Hell, why can’t I just build my own house?
04/21/2020: If you had to create a mantra to say to yourself every day, what would it be?
Your actions express your priorities.
04/22/2020: Who are 3 people you have lost touch with who you wish you were still connected to?
This is a difficult question for me to answer literally because I could or can still get in touch with them but I suppose the situation is a smidge different. Uh, I think I miss a group of people versus just 3 individual people.. But let’s see..
I would say my small little Cang Tong crew. We used to have fun, hot pot, go one these random get togethers. It was good times.
Another would be my high school mates.
And I think I miss the childhood “gang” when we would hang out on the weekends, watch movies, play video games and just chill the whole weekend. Those were the good days..
04/23/2020: What’s your favorite meal of the day? Why?
Lunch. Because you can have brunch, if you choose so OR have whatever the hell you want. No one cares. I think I can have either my heaviest or lightest meal during this time.
04/24/2020: Have you ever been badly hurt? Physically? What happened?
I suppose so. Not in the way that I feel most people would imagine. I had a knee injury about 10+ years ago and that hurt very badly. I had to get surgery on it. What had happen was I was in a basketball team and I hurt my knee to the point where it was difficult for me to walk. Went back home, rested and it “healed” up. Wrong. It did not heal. I was playing on broken ligaments for a few years and then *SNAP* I fell. Couldn’t explain why but I would fall randomly and it would be difficult for me to stand up on my own.
04/25/2020: If you had two hours to spend with a friend, who would it be and what would you do?
Why does this feel like I have to choose a friend that isn’t currently alive?
04/26/2020: If you knew you had just one year to live, what would you want to get done?
Ah, the one year deadline. I think I would want to spend as much time with the people I love. Maybe take a month to schedule dates with them, and then I would have a big party! The rest of the year, probably travel, do things that I probably would have never imagined doing. Do things that I won’t regret doing.
04/27/2020: What are you most proud of so far this year?
I think moving on from all the toxic culture, mindset I had accumulated from all of my years. To me, it is a big accomplishment because I can be a better example to others who are still under that toxic spell.
04/28/2020: Who do you love most in the world?
Shit. My family. My cats! But specifically, my parents. I’m a shit kid sometimes, and they (used to) sometimes make me do things I hate, but they really are the best parents.
04/29/2020: What traditions would you like to pass down to your descendants?
I think I would like to continue having family reunions. I don’t know if that’s a tradition per se, but I like the idea of keeping the family acquainted with each other.
04/30/2020:What do you like to do for fun?
It varies from time to time. Anything creative or expressive. Painting, drawing, singing, playing music instruments, cooking. Depending on my mood, I’ll sit down and play some video games, but never competitively. Or rarely, I will read a book! I do like to be outdoors as well, be active.. Play sports, go hiking.. Just as long as it’s at a leisurely pace.