rock bottom

Heto na nga yata yung panahon na nagsisimula na yung quarter life crisis. Ilang buwan na lang, 25 na ko. Napapaisip na ko sa kung ano na ba mga achievement ko sa buhay. Meron na nga ba akong maipagmamalaki? Masasabi ko ba na “I’m living the life!” ngayon? Kasi malayo talaga ‘to sa expectations ko.

Akala ko talaga dati madali lang. Noon, ‘pag nag-aaral ako para sa mga exam, gusto ko na mag-fast forward sa time na nagtatrabaho na ko at ‘di na kailangan mag-review. Pero nak ng kamote, sana pala mas ginalingan ko pa noon. Ang hirap pala maging adult. Siguro, the age of social media really affected me din. Kasi nakikita ko yung mga classmate ko noon na gumaganda na yung buhay nila. Don’t get me wrong, masaya ako para sa kanila. Pero ‘di mo lang din talaga maiwasan na ma-compare yung sarili mo sa kanila. Kasi naman, dati laging mas mataas yung quizzes at periodical exams ko sa kanya pero bakit sya ngayon, ganito na. Chos. Ang bitter ko yata sa part na yan. 

“Shet, ano ba talagang plano ko? Anong game plan ko?”, madalas kong tanong sa sarili ko, pero minsan, kahit alam ko na yung sagot, mas pinipili ko padin mag-overthink hanggang sa mag-hello na naman ang ating friend na si anxiety. Nakaka-dagdag pa sa iisipin ko yung expectations sayo ng ilang tao, na take note, sila sana yung umuunawa sayo. Alam kong hindi ako nag-iisa dito. Minsan, sa mga closest family at friends mo pa ikaw makakarinig ng mga salitang nakaka-baba talaga ng self-esteem. Hindi ko naman nilalahat, pero may ilan.

Sa ngayon, nandito ako sa pahina ng buhay ko na naghahanap parin ako ng sagot sa mga bakit at paano ko. Siguro nga, andito pa ako sa rock bottom, naghahanap ng liwanag, sagot sa katanungan, maayos na daan, kasi naniniwala naman ako na dadating din yung araw na babalikan ko ‘tong phase na ‘to ng buhay ko na mapapangiti ako at sasabihin na, “Biruin mo, nakaya mo ‘yun?”

 

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bb, bv, bc

you look at the stars

oh, how they shine

their glimmering wonder

just like your eyes

 

you sing praises, commend their beauty,

loving every glow.

but, how come not all people

look up and appreciate them all?

 

you, just like the stars

sparkles and radiates

not many can see

as they don’t look closely

 

but, dear

you don’t know

how much value you possess

a priceless gem, that’s what you are.

 

so, smile

spark the fire

lift your spirit to the sky

and to new wonders, say hi

 

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my lucky egg, my four-leaf clover, my sunshine, everything's going to be grand.

[ 1 ] mindful may | ten things

Ciao! It’s Chams. How are you? It’s been a while.

Yesterday, I wasted half of my day browsing through social media and going through different apps. It was exhausting. It felt like I wasted so much time and it didn’t increase my productivity. Also, I was feeling down because of everything that has been happening around me.

At around 9 in the evening, I put down my phone and I grabbed my journal. I was aware that it was the end of the month, and I needed to make a new spread for the month of May. While I was writing down my monthly spread, I instantly felt the calming effect of journaling. And I really missed it. You might think I’m exaggerating but it made me feel like human again, and not a bot who is just auto-scrolling for new updates on my feed. 

As I went along with writing, I decided to make a self-care routine schedule for me to follow. Some of it should be done daily, weekly and twice a month. One of the self-care routines that I decided to follow for this month is to go back to journaling, in the form of blogging, or just simply writing my thoughts down on paper.

This “mindful may” series is going to be my escape from the social media noise. 🙂


 

ten things that make me happy

 

 Listening to my favorite bands

  • Music has been my escape ever since. Whenever I feel down, empty or lost, I just listen to my favorite bands. It might be too shallow for some, but it really helped with my mental health as well. Knowing that these bands will make music for the years to come, I just feel excited.

Playing with my dogs

  • Dogs are the greatest companions, not gunna lie. They are great listeners and they really give me an extra boost whenever I play with them.

Baking

  • Baking makes me feel relaxed and I get to be creative as well. Plus, I get to try everything that I make. Baking was my outlet and stress-reliever when I was in college. When I started working, I got detached to the kitchen and thought I never I had the time to bake again. Maybe I should get back to it some time!

Making my students laugh and learn

  • Being a preschool teacher is hard. One thing I learned is that make them laugh first to get their attention, then make a good segue and teach what they need to know. But the moment they laugh at my corny stunts while they learn is a joyous moment for me as their teacher.

Cleaning my room

  • The clean and crisp sheets, the smell of fresh linens and room spray, a tidy desk and a lighted scented candle makes my day. I like cleaning my room, and making it a relaxing place.

Scoring good finds at the thrift store

  • I love going to thrift stores! I am basically a cheapskate and I don’t usually buy branded clothes just because they’re too expensive, unless they are really made of high quality materials. Sometimes, I even score branded items at the thrift stores, so it’s a win for me!

Traveling with the whole family

  • Of course, traveling alone can make me happy as well. But the fact that we are all together in the journey makes it all better. I won’t have to think about them constantly and say, “I wish they were here so they can try this food with me!”

Watching my fave TV shows

  • Ugh, nothing beats a chill day while watching FRIENDS. I also like watching Brooklyn Nine Nine and Saturday Night Live (the ones with Kristen Wiig). It’ll make any bad day into a good one. Trust me!

Going to the mass

  • Ever since my Catholic faith was renewed, going to the mass was not an obligation anymore. Going to the church became my peace. It was like a refuge. It was like going home. I hope everyone gets to experience it as well.

Spending time with my loved ones

  • Be it a babysitting session for my little niece, a chill chat with my sisters, watching TV with my dad, cooking with my mom, coffee with friends or a spontaneous date with my boyfriend– I really appreciate every single moment of it. I realized that spending time with my loved ones are the things that really make me happy. Not expensive possessions that will soon be replaced with new ones.

 

How about you? What are the things that make you happy?

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living with less iii | the zero waste lifestyle

It has been a while since I last made an entry from this series and I’m really excited to be finally sharing the zero waste lifestyle with you. I have mentioned in my previous minimalism blog about zero-waste and I thought, what better way to carry on with this series but to post about my take on this.

I have been following the zero-waste lifestyle for over a year now. I started learning about it around 2017 when I saw a video of Lauren Singer aka Trash is for Tossers on YouTube, about her trash jar that carried her entire waste for four years. I was amazed by her commitment and how she actually managed to live her life without making any waste. Upon reading and watching videos about this lifestyle, I slowly started transitioning to zero waste, though I wasn’t fully committed. However, I made sure that I was mindful of my environmental footprint and tried to lessen my waste as much as I can.

 

what exactly is zero waste?

I will just put this one out simply.

  1. There should be no waste going to the landfill, in the ocean, or on the streets. 

Very straightforward.

People who practice zero waste follow these 5 principles to achieve their goal of producing no waste at all.

refuse

– Refusing to things that you don’t need and didn’t ask for. For an instance, a brochure or pamphlet that a salesperson handed you. Or even the extra plastic bag from the groceries when you can just put the items you bought straight to your bag.

reduce

– Reducing your consumption to save resources. For example, buying in bulk rather than buying items in small quantities. Also, buying good quality materials that can last you a long time rather than repetitively buying an item that you will eventually replace after a month or so.

reuse (or repair)

– Reusing items that are still in good condition, or repairing them instead of buying a new one. This one’s pretty self-explanatory, no doubt about it.

recycle

– Recycling is when we convert waste to a reusable item. Sometimes it can be called repurposing as well.

rot (or compost)

– Composting your kitchen scraps is better than taking them out in the general waste bin. Biodegradable items, combined with other wastes in the landfill can be more hazardous to human health.

Basically, these are the things to keep in mind and take heart when doing the zero waste lifestyle. Remember that the goal is to send little to no waste to the landfill.

 

minimalism and zero waste

It goes hand in hand.

While I was learning more about minimalism, it came to me that being a minimalist is parallel to the principles of zero-waste. It is mindful consumerism that binds the two together. However, zero waste is more on the environmental aspect while minimalism is looking at the essentials.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this one, and also hoping that you learned something from this and somehow inspired you to learn more about zero waste. 😉

‘Til next!

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my film photography journey

Ciao! It’s Chams. It’s been a while since I last blabbered about photography, and I’m really excited to tell you about my film photography journey.

Photography is definitely a new thing for me but since I’m a bibo kid and likes to try new things every now and then, I decided to try film photography as well. A little backstory, I have been doing digital photography (mostly portraits) since 2016. But, around that time, I also started to introduce myself to the magical world of film photography. Shooting film is definitely not new to us, all of us 90s kids had a couple of photo albums full of pictures captured in film. But since the age of digital cameras, we slowly drifted away from film photography.

My family is basically obsessed with cameras, and we have 9 different cameras lurking around the house (be it action cams, DSLRs, digital cameras, and analogue cameras). Every once in a while, when we clean the house, I find my dad’s old cameras from our drawers and play around with them. It was 2017, around June, when I came across Nate Punzalan, a Filipino YouTuber who shoots film. I was in awe with his passion for shooting film and also amazed with his shots. I then remembered that my dad owned a vintage rangefinder and now, I’m using it to take film photography.

the journey

Now that my camera is ready, I just needed a film to begin with. My first roll was an expired Kodak Ultima 100 that I bought from AnalogiquePH.

Sadly, it took me two years to finish the roll with 36 shots because the excitement sort of died down when I got really into portrait photography using my DSLR. I finished my first roll last December, because I finally have a film bud to shoot film photography with! He’s new into film photography like me, but he takes great photos, I swear! If you want to see his awesome works, go check out Kervs!

Since Kervs is an amazing human, he took my film and brought it to Sunny16 Lab with me to have it developed and scanned there. Here are some of the photos from my first roll that I want to share with you all. Hope you enjoy!

 

film3

film4

film2

film5

film6

My shots looked like they came from the 60s but nah, the expired film made it look like this. And maybe the light settings hehe basically I don’t know what I’m doing.

I just finished my second roll of film and I’m excited to share with you all the results. But that’s for next time. If you’re interested with film photography and want to learn more about it, go check out Nate’s video on how he shoots film. He explained it very well along with the technicalities and whatnot.

 

Do you still remember the last time you shot with film cameras? 🙂

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what the past has brought me (3/3)

three of three

People come and go. It happens. But I hope this one stays.

 

(3) two. one. two.

 

I got hints, but never did I imagine that the breaking point will be that year. Funny, because I was holding on to something that wasn’t even strong enough to begin with. It was suicide.

Nine years ago I met someone funny, smart and outspoken. He’s really far from my ideal guy, but strange things happen. I fell for the person. I was fifteen back then, and was really stupid for not listening to my mom and my sisters when they told me, “Tigilan mo ‘yan.” 

I was in love, for sure. I thought I was doing something right, and I kept fighting for it even if the whole thing was a mess. Then, one day the guy wanted to break ties. That time, I was too tired to give a damn of everything, so I let him. It was easy. /how i felt/

Being with someone for eight years is no joke, though we weren’t really physically present for the whole duration of the relationship, it was still mind-blowing how we got that far. Well, he was a good man, he took care of me and he treated me right as much as he can. When he left, I thought I won’t be able to find a man who will treat me the same.

BUT BOY, I WAS WRONG. 

I was doing the laundry when a famous quote from a book popped into my mind.

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” – Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I read that book when I was in college, and that line was indeed famous. But to be honest, I didn’t get it. It was just a “relate-able quote” for some, but I never really understood it. Until that afternoon when I was doing my laundry. It was like an “AHA!” moment when I recalled that line and finally understood what it means.

Indeed, I accepted the love I thought I deserved. Even if it caused me pain, and even cost me my relationship with my family. I thought everything will be worth it. And I thought everything that you fought for will reward you victory in the end. I was wrong. Looking back at how stupid I was in making decisions, I realized how naive and blinded I was in love. I kept on justifying everything, even if it wasn’t right and probably against God’s will for me.

God must have been looking at me like, “My poor child, you deserve better.” And I don’t know what kind of power He used on me that I didn’t feel any pain through the separation process. He helped me pick up myself again, and fortified me with His grace and love. I had everything I need, but still, He gave me more.

 

and then, October 15 happened. 

 

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what the past has brought me (2/3)

two of three

 

To new experiences;

(2) running after passion and some mishaps

If you have been following me for quite some time now, you’d probably know that I am a Nutritionist-Dietitian. My love for food made me become one. I vividly recall how my Professor asked me when he interviewed me for admissions:

“Why Nutrition and Dietetics?” he said, as he leaned back on his swivel chair.

“I like food and I like to cook, Sir.” I said. A bit disappointed with my answer because it was too shallow. “I want to know the right food to eat if you have this certain illness.” I added, just so it becomes a bit more acceptable.

Fortunately, I got accepted in the program. Got a tres during the first semester. Got a singko during my sophomore year. Became a Dean’s Lister on my third year. And passed my thesis on my fourth year. My life during college was pretty chill. I was an average student. No expectations from parents, and no expectations from anyone. I graduated on time. And passed the licensure exam the same year.

To me, Nutrition and Dietetics is my first love. And I even told myself, I cannot see myself in any other field but this.

But boy, I was wrong. 

Back when I was still in the Uni, I really admired my Professors. While everyone else were ranting about how complicated students’ lives were, I was there, thinking about how Professors were having a much more difficult time. Standing in front of the students for three straight hours, discussing, coaching, mentoring, going home with lots of paper works– I mean? These people are awesome! (except my Physics Prof who failed 80% of my class)

When I finally got hold of my Nutritionist-Dietitian license, I was offered with a job from a non-government organization who partners with different Universities for their Nutrition Practicum. I was a Community Nutrition Supervisor for graduating students of Nutrition and Dietetics. We were assigned to immerse in a small barangay in Bataan. For a month. Fun. We were living together in the same house. Fun. It was like babysitting, but instead, they gave me adults to look after, and some of them were even older than me! Aside from babysitting, I had to make sure that they learn and teach them how to expose their selves in the community. Give interventions, and help the community with the projects they thought of.

Of course, it was difficult. Grown ups were harder to control. They were resilient. And sometimes, they weren’t open for new information, just because “Eto ‘yung tinuro samin sa *insert prestigious school*.”

I thought I was going to fail as an educator.

But, I stood firm. Sought advice from my mentor and went on with it. At the end of my students’ practicum, they all made me a letter of appreciation (without me asking them ha, lmao). Seriously, they all made me cry of happiness when they told me how grateful they were that I was their supervisor.

And, it was then that I knew how much I wanted to be an educator.

A few months later, I was like a proud Mum when they passed their board exams. One of my students even landed a place on the Top 10! I was actually surprised when one of them messaged me, and thanking me for inspiring her to choose the field of Community Nutrition. She told me that she was bummed when their Community Nutrition Practicum was approaching because she hated it so much. But after our immersion, she fell in love with it and eventually landed a job as a Community Nutritionist. It was the best thing ever.

It was 2017 when I drifted apart with my first love, Nutrition and Dietetics. I thought I needed a break, and I remembered how much I wanted to become an educator. I wanted to be a Professor but I haven’t taken any units for Post-Graduate studies, and that is the minimum requirement to be one. If I can’t be a Professor yet, maybe there’s another way to become an educator.

So I became a Pre-School Teacher.

[ more of that on my next blog ]

 

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