I’ve been “out of it” for a long time now. I’m sure people have noticed. I haven’t been able to get back into the swing of things. I mean, I can function, sure, but the only regularity in my life (that have nothing to do with personal relationships) has been my beauty blog. It’s strange, but I find it a bit harder to update this guy right here. It probably has to do with the kind of content these two blogs have. I find it a little bit easier to update a niche blog, than a personal one, but that’s just based on my personal experience.
Anyway. Let’s get the ball rolling.
- Clean and organize room.
I’ve actually started on this “goal.” Mainly, I cleared out my desk drawers, some book shelves (another book sale soon?) and sorted out some papers. I’ve still got a fairly long way to go. I’m eyeing my closet for a bit of cleaning, but that will probably my April or May goal instead.
- Clean and organize work space.
I have (thankfully) a small studio space at home. Let me clarify that—I have an un-utilized studio space at home. I think that because I haven’t incorporated it into my workflow, I don’t use it. So, this month, I will attempt to make it everything I need it to be.
- Make a budget and stick to it.
Pretty standard, pretty obvious. I experienced a bit of “financial freedom” and went a bit overboard. If you haven’t read my post on my own personal materialistic realization, you can do so here.
- Edit Europe Vlogs.
Ah, surprised you right there, didn’t I? I shot a lot of clips in Europe, particularly in Paris (then I just kinda got lazy), so I’m doing some travel vlogs soon. I’ve been writing “scripts” and fine-tuning everything, but I never thought it would take so much time and effort to sort through random clips and try to make sense of it all. So, by the end of March, I would like to have uploaded at least the Paris video.
- Update Nothing Spaces more often.
Again, obvious reasons. I’ve been thinking off collating all the great things I find during the week and posting them here every once in a while. I do find a lot of things I want to share, but I can’t seem to de-laze myself and so here we are. In any case, I feel like the intent and the want matters, so I just need to follow through.
I painted some parts of some pieces for Art Fair Philippines, and people really liked it, so I want to “get better” at it. Sometimes, the only way to get better at something and to actually accomplish things is when you just do it and not make excuses.
- A pep talk from my dad today: “Sometimes you just have to force yourself to do something you need to do, even when you don’t feel like it.”
- Chuck Close favorite: “The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”
Chuck Close said it, so it must be true.”
- Put portfolio back up.
Long story short: I got hacked, my back-up files are in an unreadable (useless) external hard drive, and I have been quite the lazy bugger. This month, I will worry about putting the website back up and then we can talk about scoring more clients.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I don’t want to bog myself down with “you have to do this”es and end up
curling up and dying not doing anything at all. Wish me luck and share some goals you have, if you’ve committed to any. :)
I don’t know why I stopped listening to new music, but I’ve settled into my favorite bands and favorite songs. I’m not that updated on new releases, I just keep using the same old songs in my mixes… which is probably why I don’t even make them anymore.
The meager collection of music I have now still bring me some sort of comfort, which is what I sought after when I was much younger and looking for new music to accompany the weird new feelings that made me sadder than I probably ought to have been. Today, I wrap myself up in the old, familiar songs and try to will myself to feel better.
Opening Acts: Outerhope, Ciudad, and them together!
One of the bands I grew close to by listening to their songs was Stars. I don’t listen to them nearly as much as I used to, so when I learned of their Manila show date, I was pleased and wanted to go. But I wasn’t as excited as I would have been five or six years ago—the peak of my Stars listening. Still, I wasn’t going to miss it for the world.
The show was cathartic and emotional; I was filled with a surge of both joy and release. First of all, it was unreal to see them live. I never, ever thought they would consider going to Manila, because people rarely ever do, and yet there they were. And they were singing songs that were so special to me.
I remembered exactly what the songs meant to me, recalled every single little feeling attached to them, relived how much it hurt or how good it felt, whatever it was. I forgot how much meaning and feelings I tethered to songs, and in a way, it was liberating to discover that it really does get better. Perhaps not in the way that we hope or prefer, but better nonetheless.
I gotta say, I’m enjoying these stripped down, “full band” sets. Completely swept away by this performance and The National’s “Vanderlyle Crybaby” in Singapore.
There are a lot of things I can say about the whole experience, but I don’t think I really have to because I know that whoever watched the same show with me knows exactly what I’m feeling and exactly what I mean. Besides, I don’t think I would ever do it justice. It was a fun, wildly emotional night, punctuated by a ton of funny moments, and I’m so glad I didn’t miss out on it. Although I think I may have, in a way, “outgrown” some of their newer stuff (if that makes sense), it was still a special night. Because Stars taught me to deal with my feelings in a way that was honest. It hurt, sure, but it was the truth.
This afternoon, I decided to clean and organize some of my belongings. I bought some organizational cubbies for my makeup the night before and once I had finished fixing makeup-related items, I moved on to my desk. The top drawer of my desk was filled to the brim and I was excavating everything only to arrive at the horrifying realization that most of it was just accumulated receipts. What’s wrong with that?, you might ask.
Well, it just left a bad taste in my mouth because these receipts signify all of the things I bought and acquired. And I couldn’t believe that I had been spending so much money.
I don’t know. I think I just couldn’t believe that it had come to that terrible point where I feel like I lost sight of the value of money. This past month, I was not very conscious of my spending habits. I can’t bring myself to budget and track my expenses (my receipts are all here anyway) because I know that my heart would just feel crushed by the knowledge that I bought all those things with nary a care in the world.
I mean, I like nice things, but I would like to be a better person as well. I don’t want to be the kind of person who just buys things on a whim. I always reason out that I educate myself when it comes to making purchases. But you know, just because it’s a neat product, it doesn’t mean I have to have it.
So, that’s why I’m imposing a Spending Ban for myself, until my planned Japan trip (still need to get a visa!) in April. I can only spend on a) food, b) transportation, c) storage things (I’m fixing up my room), and d) gifts.
And, you know, I’m not about to give money to charity just to alleviate myself of the “guilt” of spending too much. If I give my money to charity, it’s because I want to and not because I feel like I should, since I spend so much on other things. It’s not like it crosses out what I have already bought. And, the truth is that I don’t feel guilty. Not really. I don’t feel like I need to feel guilty, because it is money I earned, after all. I feel like this drawer digging just pushed me to be more conscious of accumulation, materialism, and consumerism. Dun dun dun!
Do I really need these things? Hell, no. And it’s not bad to want things and to acquire them, but it really just reaches a point where YOU HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF. I don’t think this is an issue of guilt, necessarily. I think it’s really just some sort of inclination to pause and keep one’s self in check. Like, now that I can physically see, through the accumulation of boxes and receipts, just how much I’d been spending, I feel like that’s a signal for me to stop for now. A really, really loud and blaring signal.
If you read my last post, you will be familiar with what I have come with as a “motto” for 2013, which is Pay attention. Generally, I don’t have mottos in life or anything, and I don’t come up with a special one each year. However, this one just seems to be fitting, especially after everything happened last year.
Aside from occasional coasting, I’ve also neglected to be financially responsible last year. Mind you, I don’t spend over my means (which only means that I don’t live in debt). I don’t buy things that I know I can’t pay for. I do have a habit of accumulating material things and impulse buying, especially online. I suppose it’s only a matter of time, since I’m quite accustomed to clicking around the Internet.
The thing is, I know I can pay for what I buy, so I know I won’t reach that point of desperation where I have to sell one of my kidneys just to sate my taste for the material world. It’s just that I know that some of the things I buy, I don’t really need. It’s not bad to have nice things, but sometimes, it’s wiser to scale back on some things. Especially when it just feeds the hungry consumer who is, in reality, already full.
Often, things feel like one big blur to me and everything just becomes a vague compound of emotions and memories, save for a handful of stark and special instances and experiences. That’s partly why it’s helpful, keeping a blog. Many times I get swept away by the want of more hits that the pressure to create “good content” becomes paralyzing, resulting in no content at all. But then, I remember that I do this for myself anyway, and anybody can choose to read it or not read it. And then the mysterious weight is lifted and I can post freely again.
(Of course, there is still some semblance of censorship, which is something that I want to get rid of especially when I see how I used to post with no cares in the world. So, I don’t know, I guess I’ll have to work on that.)
Anyway. 2012 was an interesting year. It started off quite busy for me and I got to focus on more of my art-related pursuits early on. I got sidetracked by big-ish design projects and I was plagued by the thought of being stuck in a rut… which made me feel like 2012 was a colossal waste. I hate being proven wrong, but in this case, I was glad for proof of the opposite of waste.
In January, I dreamt that I wanted to be a Hobbit when I went to Mayoyao, Ifugao, and lived in the mountains for three days. You can read more about Mayoyao by clicking here. Truthfully, you haven’t really lived until you watch a sunrise from a great height.
Photo by Gracie
It’s been a whole long while since I last wrote here, and it was about food! It doesn’t seem like I was gone for a long time, though, since I’d been primarily active on my beauty blog. This has occupied most of my online writing time, and I don’t know if that is unfortunate, or sad, or anything else to you, but I think that it’s just an inevitable turn since I have acquired this weird, nerdy obsession with cosmetics.
I haven’t stopped taking pictures, though.
These are from about ten days ago, when we went to karaoke after an awesome dinner at El Cirkulo. Typing these words out, I wonder if there is a point to taking pictures of these silly moments, or if I should just let them run their course in my head. This hazy picture is what memories often end up looking like, anyway.
Deep down, I think I like memorializing things, though. Even if it’s in the form of hastily-written blog posts or pictures that don’t have anything to do with one another. Even if it’s about a tiny karaoke night at a place where the videos don’t even have words you can sing along to.
On another note, this is only funny in a you-had-to-be-there kind of way, but me with two of my “team mates” for The Manila Review, which is now online!