Run the mile

schtudThere’s an impossible list of things to do before the paper of papers is due. If not for a fear of being intellectually inadequate as in not smart enough, it’s an even greater test of my discipline and ability to stay focused. I can submit a mediocre thing, but I’m not sure if I want to.

For the longest time I’ve been told and it’s occurred to me as well that I’m unfit and it’s often felt I wasn’t cut out for this. I may have taken a zillion detours to the many things I’ve wanted to do most in college and even in philosophy, but here I am and there’s an opportunity to make a little dent in our theories of thought. And maybe I’ll surprise myself.

You can go the distance,
you can run the mile,
you can walk straight through hell with a smile

Coming soon

*Been getting sick lately as I’ve been diverting my attention to my senior research which is due too soon, hence it’ll determine the rest of my year. I’m just gonna keep saying this to keep me going

Not long until I get to do the things I really want to do

The plight of the baby’s breath

*I tend to revisit photos I took from one of my favorite writing assignments for the school paper which was a Valentine’s Day feature a year ago. Wish I could revisit Dang Wa again but it’s gotten too hot so maybe on a cloudy cool day. I have a thing for wild looking flowers, as in roadside wildflowers haha

Florists have tucked stems of baby’s breath in and around larger centerpiece breeds for bouquets and flower arrangements for a long time now. They come a lot cheaper than the average showstopper rose and tulip. However as the wallflower of the flora world, in bundles especially, it has a standalone charm despite appearing precarious and delicate rendering it an extra on rotation in a commercial shop. Imagine being the decor for what’s already regarded as decor. But the baby’s breath’s hushed prettiness tugs at you in contrast along the dampened streets of a busy flower market against the medley of vendors trading in green for a sea of colors, a sight already typical in a place where bigger is usually better.

Tbh,

*Written, well tweeted lol, as I risked looking like an honest fool and this might be the only good thing that came out of it haha steps towards being less inhibited and hey maybe I’m back on the blog

There’s an honesty you owe others, yourself, and more importantly, the moments.

It gets tiring, having to tiptoe around a fear of being seen as weak, emotional, sentimental, soft, or sweet. It’s nice to be able to give people some kind of honesty that reveals parts of your most unapologetic self, along with your real thoughts and feelings. How else do we make more meaningful connections?

If something means what it does to you, let it be known, call, send an embarrassingly long message before things change and moments are gone.

I guess that’s how you do all that live and love thing a lot, and you owe it to yourself to do it ever so honestly and free of all your crippling fears.

We have no control of others’ choices but we can’t let that inhibit us from being ourselves. What they choose to do and how they react is a reflection of them and in no way related to what we truly think and feel about them, unconditionally and unafraid. It’s something to be able to look back with a smile about how we were fully there and alive, and human in our moments with others.

 

Eco-promise

*For my last general class which is also my last science class ever, I had to make a commitment to the environment. We were required to do one of those take a picture with a cardboard message thing, post it on social media, along with an explanation. Not a fan of that so I just kept it private on Facebook, haha then took a screenshot. To my surprise I ended up taking the project a little more seriously because this is one of the social/global issues/movements I feel more strongly about. (Thinking of making a separate post to share some of my favorite clips on the topic and another one to expound on this maybe) This was the rushed essay I typed on my phone so forgive the weird formal reflection tone and my philo professors had been talking bout Aristotle so much that day so he got squeezed into this.

Lately I’ve been realizing much of our crimes against the environment, big and small, as a group or even just as individuals, are done mostly out of bad habit. Aristotle did say that to know the good is to do the good and that’s how it is to be virtuous. It’s funny how we already know what’s good for the environment yet we still out of pure stubborn habit, continuously practice otherwise. Unlike responsibilities and obligations in school and work, correcting these bad environmental habits don’t necessarily have to mean boring scientific methods. Much of what I know about tiny concrete ways to save the environment today comes from social media actually. It’s taught me that a lot of the process has to do with small acts.

We don’t necessarily have to live in a bubble and produce 0 waste just to save the environment and reduce that size ozone layer carbon footprint. I think it’s all about continuously pursuing daily activities just with a few curves here and there in terms of our lifestyle. The way in which we go about things as normal as choosing what food to buy, what soap to use, where to throw the trash can make a great deal a difference if done in large and more regular quantities. Getting rid of bad environmental habits all boils down to daily choices.

If anything, so much of us are limited to old ways because we aren’t presented with choices or better alternatives. I’ve actually been pretty stoked about moving towards this direction. It’s a direction that lets me choose local, choose organic, choose homemade, and choose sustainable. I hope Manila becomes more and more open to these types of alternatives for the sake of everyone and everything. It’s a cycle after all.

When we choose local and organic, it becomes an act of support. There’s usually a group of people behind these, which we end up supporting, hence sustainability. We support the brilliant risk-takers that invested in the non mainstream for the bigger picture. We support indigenous tribes, we support jobs and similar environmentally aligned projects. We support an old culture and perhaps even this new one—of sustainable living.

I’m happy to have learned online that there are a lot of communities around the world with people who in their own creative and very personal ways have gone back to the land. Whatever that means. Whether it’s manually brewing locally grown coffee beans at home instead of drinking out of that plastic or paper take-out cup or going off the grid like Alexander Supertramp, living off flowers and poisonous plants, this lifestyle is open to everyone. We all use each others’ help, and so can the Earth.

Some celebrities like Jared Leto and thousands of photographers in Northern America and Europe travel on foot or bus to capture the beauty of natural parks and wildlife. I love people like Mark Ruffalo for other reasons including how he uses his influence and milks amount of celebrity to spread the word about the things he believes in. This promotes the beauty that might motivate others to maintain all these wonders or to even do as they have and see it for themselves. I’d like to see for myself. It’s a collective, beautiful effort to make these alternatives and opportunities available to everyone. I’m beginning to see it as less of an obligation to the Earth. I think there might be no better way to live than by being one with majestic city skycrapers in urban jungles and the unrivaled magic and mystery of mountains, and maybe the wolf pack howl from a safe distance.

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don’t mind the blurry camera, awful lighting, and the I’ve been awake for 48 hours-look haha I was rushing to finish this before Friday and it was a long two days

We ought to know where we stand… In a pretty blue green, getting real old kinda world. So heal. Make. Save. And when what’s already perfect in itself is standing right in front of you, take a pretty picture and leave it for someone else to discover. Do the good. ✌🏻

Mary Lou “Lion Heart” Retton

*Since it’s Olympic season, although it’s barely televised over here, I just wanted to share a wonderful moment that happened to me in the sea of Simone Biles news.

This is Mary Lou Retton. She’s an Olympic gold medalist in artistic gymnastics. 🏅 She’s an icon. My uncle says she was America’s darling. She changed the face of gymnastics becoming the first American woman to win individual gold, beating the Romanians, who together with the Soviets, had dominated the sport for decades back then. Moreover, I just think she has this bubbly, energetic personality that made everything she did absolutely captivating. It translated on the floor.

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Two nights ago I tweeted that 1984 was a golden year. And part of the reason I love 1984 so much is Mary Lou. Just look at her fire. 🔥 And to my amazement, she acknowledged the tweet! Her verified account. Just to make sure, I checked her likes and it’s not like she’s the type that goes around liking fan tweets, she mostly likes sports related announcements. Boy was I happy. I freaked out for a good 20 minutes. I really appreciate famous people that still acknowledge fans. It’s just a tiny effort on their part but it sure does brighten any fan’s day

I get so teary-eyed every time I watch this. Just listen to Bella Carolli energetically narrate history.

If it isn’t obvious, aside from tennis, artistic gymnastics is my favorite Olympic sport. Every four years, I look forward to seeing people achieve what looks like the impossible and I wish my folks enrolled me in gymnastics classes growing up. Hooray for small, strong people.

But there’s just something about gymnastics back in the day. It was a lot more about form, artistry, creativity, and grace. Today the athletes are inarguably pushed to physical limits, but it’s because the sport has centered on stunts and the difficulty of extreme flips and tricks. Props to Simone Biles for quite literally defying gravity and challenging physics. But I miss the performers. I think Mary Lou was one of the best performers out there and her perfect 10 athleticism that was no accident either. It was also just part of the technique that made up the rest of her show.

She’s such a hero not just because of her gold or perfect 10s but because of her fighting spirit. I just really look up to her flame. You can see it in her eyes and her candidness gives away her passion. Most of all you can see it in her smile.

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Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.

—Mary Lou Retton

Monday done light

Start of the week errands with some shopping in a virtually empty mall at opening hour with Mom. Feels a lot like the Ayala I grew up in. It’s been a hectic, fun week of family, food, and friends, and the next will be another.

A light drizzle, a light breeze, the windows are open in between school work and online hunting for craft beer. A light cup of Bataan brew that I finally got right without tearing the filter paper for the improvised, almost pour over. A lightly thawed slice of Purple Oven’s chocolate campfire cake leftover from my brother’s birthday celebration. Then some heavy reading for class, then some light yoga in my room, and sneaking in cable in the background.

This is how to like a Monday, and perhaps the rest of the busy week.