Slices from Kuta, Bali

By July 16, 2014 Travel, Writing
surfer girl

Revisiting my photos, I remembered for this specific one was when I had a good 6 hours to kill before I needed to head to the airport. Instead of trying to squeeze some random activity, I decided to say goodbye to the sea. beach

Back in May, I had the great fortune of going to Bali for work…until I found out I was going to be holed up in a room for three days for a workshop (more on that later).

team red 2 team red1

Since I took almost a year to go Indonesia’s most famous destination, I decided to stay for a while and just look around.

nuts kuta gates Read More

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When liking what you see in the mirror is a Work in Progress

By July 11, 2014 Personal
photo

In which things you do as a kid/ acting like a kid kind of bites you in the ass in the most embarrassing way. (Cue MJ’s Man in the Mirror. Body image is a topic to tackle for another day.)

If you were walking past me at one point, you might catch me closing my eyes and shaking my head. Don’t worry, I am not nuts. I just reset my brain and thank heavens that my stupid shenanigans were rarely caught on tape or dug up.

Aside from an embarrassing photo of me crying with a mouthful of cheesy-orange popcorn when I was 6 that’s etched in my family’s mind, the rest of my GPOYs and selfies did not make it to the world wide web or general public knowledge. That would be the most common comparison but I had doozies.

Most of the time they come in quick flashes in my mind. I don’t know why this happens but it does.

To name a few:

  • I had this thing about baggy elephant pants.
  • An image of me flashing a toothy smile while I was 15, not caring that I have 4 huge gaps in my trap to make my bite smaller.
  • Crying because I didn’t get a laptop back before going to college. UGH. CRINGE.
  • Making decisions in high school that results to awkward situations 90% of the time.
  • Staying so much in my comfort zone in college.
  • My professor pointing out to the whole class that I did I forgot to spell a very common word in second year college.

Sigh. But I would just mentally kick myself and go on with my day.

Then there are some situations that aren’t from childhood but from child-like actions.

I’m afraid I’m not brave enough to post those but it would be along the lines of rookie mistakes and changing for external expectations rather than growing into my own self.

I look back from time to time and I wish there was a ‘I was stupid’ confession booth so that mistakes, especially fibs and truth withheld (who am I kidding – I mean LIES) would just do a rewind.

I do believe people do wake up and grow older.

Some reconcile with themselves, others still would pretend and there are few where it’s an in-between: an acknowledgement of what has happened but still lacking the grace from maturity to tell yourself to Grow Up.

There is much to say about the Thought Catalogs of the world (wide web) like anecdotal knowledge but one thing you can partially credit them for is a collective hyper awareness of a human being’s tendencies to be full of it. This would be post pre “top things to make someone like something” era of articles, of course.

So far, I’ve been calling my own bull for a while. I know it’s easier said than done but at one point I just decided that didn’t care much about other people’s opinions (it goes on and off) – also unless if it were loved ones calling me out on bull that I have not called out yet.

You see in my years of insecurity there was a lot of bull I surrounded and propped myself with. Some to shield me and some to make me seem taller. I am taking them down one by one, fully aware of the embarrassment and possible tension it brings.

If I’m lucky enough to have an open conversation, I swallow trough being mumbly-slouchy push on to admit and have an open conversation for the first time. For situations outside of that luck, I swallow a hard serving of humble pie and ride the shame wave.

I grew up with the fear of God but wasn’t really clear on the how to serve bit. I hope this sort of makes a dent in that.

#100DaysofReal

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The Road to Yoga

By July 4, 2014 Yoga
yoga

The first time I heard about yoga was through an Archie Comic strip. Ever since I was a kid I would pretend to do these weird contorted poses thinking that it wall all about that. When I finally joined the class that showed me what the practice was, I was already in my second year of work.

I turned to it when I had trouble with stress and was constantly getting sick. At that point I knew I was a sickly but there was something I could do about it.

I’ve taken classes in gyms but it was a different experience to practice in a dedicated studio. My first class in Bikram made we want to run out of that hot room and never come back but fortunately my teacher was kind and supportive. My love for yoga grew and became obsessed with it. I’d practice at home in the morning and if I can carve out a time, I would go after work. It gave me something to look forward to and eventually it did cross my mind to want to be more advanced and to want to teach.

Over the years, I have been practicing on and off with the thought that I could eventually sign up for teacher training especially when I moved to Jakarta. But while I was finding ways to be a teacher I drained out all of my energy for that rather than devoting it to as practice when I was starting out as a student.

The realization hit me hard t day since I am still trying to get over a 3 week-long battle with the flu and asthma. And I felt extra bad since it’ll be two years from the time I said I would commit to this practice. Remembering the times I chose to watch TV than practice makes me want to kick myself.

Not that I was trying to look for revelations almost anywhere but while I was taking an online class in Cody, Kino the Yoga teacher said two things that got to me:

kino2

kino1

 

So I’m taking a load off and keeping my goals small. For one thing, doing yoga at home or at the studio for 30 days straight is already a challenge for me. Here goes nothing, Ashtma -lungs!

Hopefully I can do an update with pictures soon (just for the motivation of shame). But I did learn what works is that I focus on the task first and publish later.

Cheers!

Running Low

By May 31, 2014 Personal, Sometimes I Draw

When I was a kid I really wanted to be an artist (a cartoonist at one point) but somehow all the decisions I made in life have always made me more distant from that dream.

I’ve been doodling a lot. Usually just random squiggles and sometimes accurate reflections of my life. I thought I’d share them with you, people of the universe. Pretty sure I’m no Adrian Tomine but he did show his early stuff and it progressed. I doubt I’d pick up the pace for my stuff but here’s to being brave and putting something out there.

Some pages below are just some things I’ve been trying to understand about myself.

 

Sometimes I wake up in the morning very sad. Like I’m consumed by this overcast, a dull ache at the pit of my stomach.

Sometimes I think I’m like a defective battery.

No matter how I charge, I still get drained faster than most people.

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Beats me. 20140531-230011-82811223.jpg

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Golden Mornings

By May 7, 2014 Inpiration, Writing
golden mornings

You have probably heard the phrase, “The early bird gets the worm.” Well ever since forever, I have said ‘No, thank you.’ to worms and have hoarded on sleep like I was a drug addict.

Living alone and heading to the office with a colleague changed all that and made me experience the ‘Golden Mornings’. I call them that because I usually sit and have a soft boiled or yellow corn flakes for breakfast and drink the morning in.

I actually had an alarm system timed from the moment I wake up and alarms to eating, cooking my lunch, and taking a shower. Crazy I know but I had to make sure I did not space out for too long.

The whole thing started when I got afraid of sneaking in 5 more minutes and waking up later than I should in a new work environment. Because it has happened on very important times in my life, like a very important flight home and even my plane ride to move to Jakarta.

Anyway, my body eventually got used to a routine where I sleep and wake up at a specific time – up until recently. I’m trying to get my Golden Mornings back on track and I thought I’d list out the benefits.

a. More energy

Basic science tells us our bodies heal during sleep. And it’s said that the optimum time to be in REM (deep sleep state) should be before 10pm to get the maximum benefits of your circadian rhythm.

b. Maintain weight

Waking up early and eating breakfast sitting down made all the difference. Not snorting my food as I went and actually enjoying it left  me full and not prone to snacking. I ate three square meals a day with room for rice and sweets and actually lost weight. I didn’t cut anything out but ate in specific times of the day so my body could have time to digest properly.

c. Finding more time in the day

Getting an earlier morning just lets you map out your day. You suddenly find yourself proactive. Stress levels can stay down with exercise, a proper diet and enough sleep. (As any Women’s Health magazine will tell you. HEH.) And it starts with something as simple as making a list and sticking to it and apparently works well for these folks too.

d. Percolate

Some people call it meditating. By mapping out your day your brain has more space to process the unexpected. You are more open to handling your day better than how you normally would.

*I was looking for this old Cartoon Network bumper called Animate Your World. My favorite one was ‘Put your brain on Percolate.’ I did find some other great videos from the series. Ah. My cartoons were good cartoons. Enjoy!

I wonder what else is there to do that gives you a mental and physical boost. Thoughts?

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Are the avocadoes ripe?

By May 5, 2014 Writing
Fresh avocado isolated on white background

Filed under :”Questions that will eventually be answered by my talking to myself or through the kindness of a stranger.”

I’m pretty much a broken record on how it’s different when you’re living in a foreign country so let’s just chuck that assumption on the top of my forehead and move on.

Every since I acquainted myself where the proper groceries are and with the help of Rishi, where the markets are, I’ve gone to be more proactive in the food selection. One thing that stumps me is how to tell if some produce are ripe or good for consumption.

My main problem is telling whether avocadoes are ripe or not. Apparently Indonesia has McArthur avocadoes which is very different from the Shepard avocadoes in the Philippines. For one thing, they rarely change color and texture when they’re ripe. And the whole yellow and brown button doesn’t apply in the three times I’ve tried. Have no fear, stubborn is here. Will try until I get the bugger right.

READ: BRAIN FART

I am truly sad about the inactivity of this blog. Especially because I have so much to share and they’re just in different drives, files, laptops and all. So here’s me trying to break that streak. Even if does mean showing you how kookoo my mind can go.

 

It’s only Monday and I’m already thinking of Sunday Brunch. (Check recipe here.)

-S

 

Image Source 1, 2

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Ma-archoo!

By March 13, 2014 Personal, Tips
March

Get it? Get it? Heh. I think the decline of my immune systems includes my stronghold for weird jokes and bad puns.

Anyway, it’s almost the half of the month and I have honestly stayed in bed or on autopilot for the first half of March. (Well, maybe except for that one Saturday night.) If ‘sick as a dog’ meant a mountain of tissue and not all cute as this fellow below, that would pretty much sum up a picture of my current state. Only upside would be now that I started wearing an anti-bacterial mask my nose isn’t as reactive and moments of facial weirdness aren’t as easily seen.

[Image from Dog Tipper]

Being sick tends to make me have no discipline whatsoever. Medicine intake aside, I eat only whenever I have the strength and the chores and tasks are just pushed to a time slot called, “later”.  As a 25 year-old living by herself I’d rather ‘let go’ while eating a bag of Cheetos than just lose all sense of time. To balance that out, I am going to write and schedule more posts so that this awesome online space will not suffer.

Recapping February’s list:

  • Watch my posture – Keep A given.
  • Communicate with Family often - Doing it but Keep A given. 
  • Write at least four entries a week  - Bit late but done! Moving it down to 2 since I want time to make my pictures (since examples below) Oops.
  • Explore more of Indonesia and the culture every day – Went to Yogyakarta, will share soon! Already in the line up!
  • Read two books and write about what I thought - Read 2, need to write Uhm, yeah. Getting on that. Hooray for online book clubs.
  • Paint one piece to hang on my wall - I hung a piece on my wall but I didn’t paint it Man, going through this list just shows how much I didn’t do. 
  • Do cardio - Now to do it regularly. I went to a yoga workshop-that counts!

On the bright side, the Savings Bill and Self-Imposed Sin Tax is totally working. Although my spending ATM looks so sad right now, I know that I have savings and it’s steadily growing. So chalk it up – one point for me!

Going back to March, here’s the list I need to tackle in a couple of weeks:

  • Schedule post drafts and finish all the stories from 2013
  • Continue reading ‘Looking for Alaska’ and look for one more book
  • DIY one decor to update the apartment
  • Practice yoga regularly
  • Bill Feb Self-Imposed Sin Tax

There! Looking to be more productive than punny for the second half of the month.

SIDEBAR

 

I wanted to share a cool design web-based application called, Canva.

If you’re like me who learning actually gets in the way of doing, this app is perfect for making daily blog headers. That way you can concentrate on writing and learning Adobe to make something that deserves more time. I’ve actually used it for a couple of posts already.

The site offers free graphics and existing templates and also has linked images to stock photo libraries if you want to add photos and can pay for premium assets. Have fun! (If you need an invite, feel free to message me.)

 

 

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I AM #BBBY

By March 6, 2014 Writing
I AM (2)

Before the last week of February ends I wanted to finish this month’s Bold. Brilliant. Beautiful. You. statement – but this post has been sitting in my drafts for much longer than that! One good thing that came out of my tardiness is that this “I AM” statement became like a mantra for me this whole month. It was in the back of my head not only as a pending blog post but as a thought to mull over.

The timing is perfect because as much as January is the resolution-a-thon, February (at least to me) is where I kind of do a personal inventory.  It starts with a lot of I am not’s versus I am’s and at the start of February, I was made more aware of my insecurities and how it affects my perspective of everything. From gratitude, positivity and the lost art of receiving love.

So even before anything else, I will start with this: “I am deserving.”

As opposed to saying “I’m worth it” I believe I needed to craft a more personally active stance on intercepting the good things that are coming my way. Cue fairy dust and harp strings – I am more able to send as much good energy as I am willing to receive!

Sidebar: I recently signed up for the #100 Happy Days challenge to practice gratitude and I have to be honest, I am struggling to keep at it. Maybe again, because I don’t see myself a cheerleader and maybe because happy isn’t energetic all the time? Again, Racquel makes her argument beautifully with her #100DaysofReal

I think it’s a common ailment for most people to not know how to take a compliment and are more versed in the language or self-depreciation. There’s even this photo of positive intention going around the Internet and shows the physical effects of negativity through an experiment. Imagine if your own body turns out like that!

So this month, I was able to stop the depreciation at times and it felt…okay. It felt better when I wrote it down, though. Here’s to celebrating who were in the different ways we know how.

I AM (1)

 

About the Bold. Brilliant. Beautiful. You. project*:

Throughout the year, I’m joining forces with some of my blogging friends to motivate and encourage ourselves and others to be bold and step out from behind the lens, the projects, and the page to show ourselves. That’s right, we’re doing something just for us.

And we’re inviting you to join us! Each of us has something bold, brilliant and beautiful inside—whether it’s a dream to get the job you want, wear those sparkly shoes in the back of our closet, or start a non-profit. The #BBByou project is a support group for all of us seeking to be real and vulnerable. No judging, no questions, just support and words of encouragement.

Be a part of the project by using #BBByou on Instagram and Twitter to find other women like you, who are looking to make 2014 their best, most authentic year yet!

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February: Money, Honey!

By February 10, 2014 Tips
Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 9.50.06 PM

I know it’s technically the second week of February but hey hey – better late than never!

I thought I’d recap my January list to see where I am at the moment.

  • Watch my posture – Keep
  • Communicate with Family often - Doing it but Keep
  • Write at least four entries a week  - Bit late but done! Moving it down to 2 since I want time to make my pictures (since examples below)
  • Explore more of Indonesia and the culture every day – Went to Yogyakarta, will share soon!
  • Read two books and write about what I thought - Read 2, need to write
  • Paint one piece to hang on my wall - I hung a piece on my wall but I didn’t paint it
  • Do cardio - Now to do it regularly

So far, I’m on the right track in terms still doing most of these. What I wanted to add for this February is a more conscious effort to save for myself. After I send money and pay bills it seems there’s not a lot except for groceries and a few dinners out here and there. I get a bit anxious that I don’t have an emergency fund big enough so I had to think of a way to save.

Where I’m coming from when I thought about this was that even if I am left with a little, I  wouldn’t be as antsy knowing I have money in the bank that I won’t touch. I opened a separate account and locked up the ATM to be sure of it. Plus on top of the 52 week money challenge, I’ve started a Self Imposed Sin Tax and a Savings Bill at the start of the month.

I thought I’d share it here so you can try to save money for yourself – more details after the jump.

Read More

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Bold. Brilliant. Beautiful. You! (Me too!)

By February 10, 2014 Inpiration, Writing
ROXY surfing

I feel that I’m pretty much a walking contradiction.

I’m say I am bitten by wanderlust, wanting to chase my dreams and ­­­yet I want to set up a stable financial net. I want to be photographed and photograph other people but I am too shy to pose or impose. I want to meet new people but I love the comfort of my home. I want to be giving but I feel I need to be selfish. I simply cannot find my center.

It’s the funny-in-the-tummy you get when you’re waiting for a train or you’re late to arrive in the pre-departure area. Did I miss my chance? What if I went another way? A human dilemma, in a constant state of agitation from the push and pull of different possibilities– that’s me.

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I found about Bold. Brilliant. Beautiful. You. from my friend Racquel’s blog. She talked about being unapologetic of who she was and I thought that it was a nice and strong message and it was something she did for herself. It inspired me to write about taking a bold step for me too.

Read More

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