Depression

Hangdog

When I have particularly bad days and the dementors are more eager to feed off of me more than usual, negative thoughts and words sink in and go up, up, up towards my storm clouded mind, until I start believing in them, overruling what I know in my mind to be true.

Sometimes, there is an attempt to vent these feelings to other people, but I try to exercise caution when doing so, because I know I will only be told to get my head out of my ass, and that there are people having worse problems. And I know there are. Oh, yes, do I know. And it is unfair that I am being compared to them because I certainly do not hold a candle to what these people are going through. That, however, does not make my feelings irrelevant. While I do have people (sometimes in the form of childhood friends, sometimes in the form of internet strangers) willing to listen, at the back of my mind, I think that I am bothering them with my inane problems, adding it to the daily stresses they have to deal with, hence, I just mostly keep myself to myself.

I suck at endings. I’ll leave it here until the next entry, which I hope will be eons happier than this one. You win tonight, dementors.

 

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Books

Gone Girl

Gone Girl

One thing you need to know is this is a spoiler-free review/reflection of sorts for Gone Girl. I’ve been spoiled by reading the comments on the trailer for the upcoming movie on YouTube and I felt awful about it. It hardly dented my experience, but I feel I would have enjoyed it more had I not obsessively looked for anything Gone Girl-related while in the middle of reading it. The second (and the last) thing is I expect you to indulge me on a lot of gushing and praise for this compelling psychological thriller.

I haven’t been this blown away by a book in AGES, and I read a lot! I am just over the moon that it was as amazing as I expected it to be, because I sought after this book for months in the Philippines. I remember scouring bookstores, only to leave disappointed as it was always sold out. I’ve been planning to purchase it to devour over a tedious eight hour flight to Dubai (for the holidays, 2013), but to no avail. Although by a weird stroke of luck, I was able to buy a copy at the duty free store in Dubai International Airport just before we left.

Then life kept me busy, and I was not able to devote any reading time until August.

I was completely hooked after reading the first few chapters. I brought it everywhere, from paying taxes, doctors’ clinics, emergency rooms, malls, even to a taping for a reality television singing competition! In hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have done that, because I tend to get expressive as the plot twists or thickens, and I’m sure my flabbergasted facial expressions and “Oh, my gods” received a few strange, ‘What is wrong with her?’ stares, especially in that blasted bank where I pay the taxes.

You’ll understand how I feel if you read it. In fact, if you haven’t yet, and you somehow happen to stumble upon this entry for God knows why, I strongly suggest you read it, and get back to me, because I’ve been dying to discuss it with someone, because believe me, I have a lot to say about it.

I can’t really comment on how it altered my point of view on romantic relationships, as I often tend to lean towards the negative aspects of it anyway, with a few exceptions (my relationship goals with whoever is courageous enough to take on the storm that is my psyche). I will, however, comment on the part that struck me the most, one I consider as one of the major themes of the book: expectations on how other people should behave and how you should behave around other people.

In my opinion, it is a given that people will have a perceived notion of you, and it is up to you to either play it up because you see that this persona greatly pleases them, or decide to shatter that illusion at once and show what you’re really made of. As much as this generation claims to be ‘real’, I know that, one way or another, we’ve all been victims of adopting a persona just to be appreciated.

Sometimes, it works out for the best, as some people become a better version of themselves and successfully integrate their actual personalities while maintaining this mask, until both are meshed into a unique brand that is solely them. Sometimes, it doesn’t work out and they get so fed up of keeping up with this caricature they’ve created of themselves, they resent the ones they think made them do it in the first place. This is how seemingly smooth relationships become volatile.

Gone Girl explains its benefits and consequences in detail, mixing it with a mystery that should have been a cliche, but will have you turning the pages and losing sleep over obsessing about the latest development on the case of Amy Elliott Dunne.

Or maybe that’s just me.

 

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Self-esteem

I’m Afraid She’s Rather Odd

There is a certain stigma that comes with being a bookworm. In fact, I’ve experienced being shunned because of it, up to the point that I was seriously contemplating on changing my whole personality. I wanted to let go of my favorite hobbies just to be accepted. Note that I was in my preteen years at the time, and with that age bracket comes the emerging desire to belong.

Unfortunately, for my preteen self at least, I cannot find it in me to give it up. It is probably my inert stubbornness that refuses to give up something that is not wrong in the first place. My interests do not harm other people. I contribute to society by not belonging to the constantly growing population of ignoramuses whose life motto is “YOLO”, a term I highly dislike because it is being used as a rationale for irresponsible life choices. Furthermore, reading broadens my horizons and has taught me to accept and respect different beliefs and opinions, something a lot of people astonishingly find difficult to do.

A decade later, I am still a bookworm. The flack I got for it stopped, eventually. Or maybe it didn’t, but I have since learned not to care. I am glad my preteen self decided not to give in to peer pressure. I decided to have other interests as well. Now, all my interests go hand in hand with each other.

My life may not be a montage of wild parties, outings and all the “fun” stuff, I may be considered plain and boring, I’ve been told countless of times that I read too much and that I don’t have a social life (some photos on my Instagram account beg to differ, au contraire), but I am happy.

I don’t have to sacrifice my happiness for superficial expectations.

 

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Writing

Relaunch

Today marks the end of my long(ish)-term hiatus from writing/blogging, after suffering from chronic writer’s block. As I am just trying to get back into shape, forgive me if my writing comes off as rusty and riddled with grammatical errors. I do try to proofread, but sometimes a nasty grammatical error still manages to sneak itself in, and when I realize it, it’s too late and I just inwardly gasp in horror. Then I try to reassure myself that these things happen even to the most prolific of writers.

Not that I am a writer. It is actually quite strange for me to acknowledge and say that. I have always identified myself as a writer ever since I wrote and illustrated a series of fairy tales when I was six (published by my own publishing house, Crown Tales, and printed in Manila, 1998. Yes, my ‘books’ had a proper copyright page and everything). Now, after coming back from a dry spell where I can’t seem to squeeze fresh ideas out of my cerebrum or, worse, find myself unable to perfectly weave the right words to what could have been a brilliant piece, I am not so sure I deserve the title anymore.

Perhaps I am just overthinking (as usual) things. I mean, it’s not like other writers haven’t experienced the same problem. I think it is actually a pretty common occurrence. It can also be because a part of me still wants to do this (writing) for a living but, knowing how hard it is to make it as a writer and how there are a shit ton of better writers out there, I try to distance myself from it so I don’t get too disappointed at my lack of belief in my abilities. Even if I know I am really just being honest. Despite my overactive imagination, I am pretty pragmatic when it comes to the future, especially my future.

So I guess I am just doing this for documentation purposes, venting, and as practice to steady the ebb and flow of my writing until it becomes something I will actually enjoy going back to without cringing.

I just hope I remember to update as much as possible, as my worst sin is I am rubbish at maintaining blogs. Trivia: I have around 70+. I’ve been blogging since 2001, if that helps. And don’t get me started on the scattered pieces of notebooks, diaries and scraps of paper lying around, containing at least a decade and a half’s worth of memories.

 

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