Excuse Me if I’m a Bit All Over the Place.

It’s mid-April and with a little bit less than a month left of school, I have succumbed to the stressors of the final stretch. With my second year at my small, private university coming to a close, the deadlines and things needing to be done are starting to dance around my head. Combined with my desire to go out to concerts and events, but my unfortunate circumstance of being a broke college student, I have definitely become more grumpy.

But what is all that without a bit of insecurity to be the perfect cherry on top?

With the spring semester being filled with more time-consuming events than fall, such as the rehearsals for a cultural showcase that took place multiple days of the week and endured for about 3 months, I gained weight and lost definition in the muscles that I had just barely gained back over winter break.

As I had to spend more and more time going into the lab for research, I found that I was having to spend more time by myself. I saw people for even shorter periods of time than I did during the previous semester. Some people had switched majors, dropped out of classes, or changed sections for classes we had together. And while I admit without shame that I thoroughly enjoy a full dose of “me time” as much as I can get it, sometimes I feel as if I’ve isolated myself so much that I just don’t fit in with places and people I was a part of.

To be quite frank, I never really fit in anyway.

One time in elementary school, every person in class had to give a presentation about a certain type of music. While most of my peers chose HipHop, R&B, and Pop, I chose to present on Italian Opera. And long before EDM became widely popular among my friends as it is now, when people asked me what my favorite song was in the 6th grade, I would reply, “He’s a Pirate (Tiesto Remix).”

And as far as looks go? Well, I’m no poster girl…

I can say I am grateful to be blessed with a skinny physique. Standing around 5’4 with slender arms and legs and my size 7 feet, people have often asked me if I am dancer because of my stature. Or maybe it’s the way I walk… Or how I sit? Or dance around? I don’t know. Anyway, to be honest it makes me smile when people think that, (1) because they think I have talent and (2) because I can appear fit without putting so much work into it. Don’t get me wrong, I DO dance; I just consider myself more at home on a dance floor doing my own random thing rather than performing choreography on a stage in front of a large crowd. Also, just because people think I look fit, that doesn’t mean I’m not unhappy with my body sometimes. Trust me. I still have to put in serious work at the gym.

But sometimes it’s hard to get my boyish figure to cooperate. For some odd reason, at one point in life I thought I had an hourglass figure.

HAH. I’M FREAKING HILARIOUS.

You stupid little high school girl..

I’ve come to realize that I pretty much have a straight figure. I’ve always been a late bloomer and can still recall being ridiculed for “having no butt.” It was the talk of the town about how I couldn’t really fit into a pair of pants just right without needing a belt and how my cousins’ butts were so big. WOW. BIG WHOOP-DEE-DOO, AUNTIES. So when I was able to slip on a size 24 of Forever 21 skinny jeans that hugged me perfectly, it was a very, very sweet victory. Thankfully, my bum has grown a lot since then, and no one has uttered a word about it. It’s not big, but its presence is slightly acknowledged, and I’m content with that. And it’s not knocking anything over, which is cool. However, being boyish in figure means not having boobs and that’s a little harder to embrace. I would like to wear strapless dresses or clothing with bold cuts more than I do and actually have something to show off. To make matters worse, it doesn’t exactly hide weight gain. Seems like the girls who have slightly bigger breasts than mine and can fill B cups and even some A cups can conceal their tummies better. As someone who’s trying to workout to look and feel better, I frown in envy at the bitches who eat all they can at restaurants all the damn time and still come out looking fabulous.

Then there’s my flat nose, with an almost nonexistent nose bridge. My chubby cheeks (a result of excessive sodium intake from a phase when I would snack on sunflower seed for hours in a day). My deep eye bags. My eyebrows that may or may not be visible in certain lighting.`And my scars, blemishes, and uneven skin color. You’re probably thinking, “Wow, Allex. That’s a lot of negative things you’re pointing out about yourself. Can’t you think of anything you like?” Of course I can. I like my big eyes My straight, pearly white teeth. And my lips (you can find me trying new shades of lipstick all the time). My legs, my feet, my fingers, and even my innie belly button. But these things to me have become so overwhelmed by the imperfections that it’s hard not to feel bad about them. I’ve grown up feeling a lot of pressure about my appearance. Filipino aunties can be blatantly brutal about your flaws and it’s unfortunate to say that it has affected me to such an extent. It doesn’t help when random cuties are flirting with your cousins or friends either. Guess who’s left in the corner on their own looking a loser? Oh, me. Again.

Didn’t mean to sit on the pity pot for too long, but I just needed to get that off my chest.

Don’t mistake me for a girl who is rushing to get into a relationship, because it’s actually quite the opposite. I’m guilty of being a bit overenthusiastic when I meet someone new or when things start to get serious, but for now, as I mentioned earlier, I’d rather spoil myself. I like this freedom that I have. And while I am aware that one day, I will be able to dance around without a care and have someone by my side that will accept my craziness and probably dance alongside me in the goofiest way possible, today is not that day. I’ve had a scary close encounter, but I have not yet met my match and that’s fine by me. I don’t want anyone holding me down and I don’t want to hold anyone else down. I just don’t feel as if I’m ready for a relationship yet. Simple as that. I still carry a lot of baggage and a lot of it I feel is stuff I need to learn to take care of on my own. I want to be the best I can be when entering a relationship (even if I’m still far from perfect) and I definitely know that I have to really, truly love myself first. I could have the whole world telling me to stop putting myself down and that I’m beautiful, but it all doesn’t matter unless I believe it myself. But just for shits and giggles, I like to think that, because I don’t really possess the stereotypical type of cute girl looks that guys covet, it just means that there’s an extraordinarily atypical cutie out there for me that’s waiting to be found.

I’m definitely a work in progress. Looking back though, there is significant growth from this exact point in my life last year. I’ve learned to love, forgive, and let go, and for those who’ve known me since at least high school can definitely attest to my issues in doing so. These first four months of the year have already brought events to test how much I’ve grown, but for the most part, I can say I’ve combatted then pretty successfully. Clearly, some tweaking needs to be done, but it’s a lot better than it was. The struggles live on, but God knows I’m happier.

As for the relationships in my life, I know I should break out of my shell even more than I have. I’m beyond thankful for the new friends I made in such a short amount of time and have taken me in like family nonetheless. I’m thankful for the friendships I’ve strengthened. I’m thankful for having a few people out there that I can always fall back on no matter what, even if distance separates us and we don’t get to talk that often. You know who you are. 🙂 I’m also thankful for realizing that there were some people in my life that are really not even relevant and that I shouldn’t give two shits about. You’ve given me some valuable lessons and it’s nice to take a break from worrying so much. There are still kinks: people I hope to reconnect with, people I hope to get to know more, just some things that are up in the air, but I hope the upcoming months will help lay that down for me.

As I’m writing this, it’s just about to hit 5:30am and I’m going to get up in a few hours because I’m supposed to be productive and grind down on these last few weeks of school. This is what I get for napping at 7:30pm and drinking caffeinated tea at 11pm… Shout out to all the insomniacs!

So I’m a bit all over the place.

My life is a state of chaos. I don’t quite know where I’m going anymore and it’s scary, but I’m also okay with it. I have my share of bad days like today, but I have never loved my life more. I’ve discovered just how passionate I can be and reignited my desire to travel, so God willing, when I have some idea of what I want to do, I’ll be able to take my passion and go great places, literally and figuratively.

In a sense, I’ll always be “all over the place.” Whether it be with the internal struggles in my head right now, or traveling around the country and eventually the world with friends and family, there’s just something fantastic about this whimsy. I once wanted to be an ornithologist. For those who don’t know what an ornithologist is, it is someone who studies birds. And here is yet another atypical thing about me because, let’s be real, how many people have said, “I want to study birds for a living!!”? I say this because admire the freedom of birds. There is good deal of sadness in a caged bird that is never let out, but a bird in the open air, able to express its full potential in flight, is a sight that enraptures me, reason being I can relate to this perfectly. I’d consider myself a baby bird, given that I’m still trying to get used to this and I’m not as independent as I wish.

But I’m still a free bird.

So I will sing. At 6:15am.

And probably make a mess.

But you’ll have to excuse me.

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Little Spark of Madness: A Manifesto & Tribute to Robin Williams.

As of late, I have been meaning to post something new to my blog. Many nights, I sat staring at the WordPress app on my iPhone, hoping to find some inspiration for my thoughts. Most of those nights, I simply put my phone down on my dresser and turned around to get my shut eye.

Well around 10 this morning, I was reading through my Twitter feed when I came across WordPress’s Weekly Writing Challenge, which was to write a manifesto. Ecstatic that I could possibly have something to write about, I clicked the link and read all about it.

“A declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer,” huh?

Despite the ideas given in this post, I could not rack my brain for anything that I could really write about.

I said to myself, “I have passion. I care about things. But what are those things? There has to be SOMETHING I can write about.”

Disappointed, I saved the link in my bookmarks in hopes that I could return to it later.

A few hours passed and still, nothing. So I decided to take a nap on my couch.

At about 4 in the afternoon, I finally got up and I refreshed my Twitter feed again, this time, only to find #RIPRobinWilliams on my timeline.

I was devastated.

There was no way in Heaven or Hell that this could be true.

Robin Williams, one of the greatest names known to man, found dead in his home in Tiburon in Marin County at the age of 63.

Cause of death:possible suicide by asphyxia (a condition arising when the body is deprived of oxygen, causing unconsciousness or death; suffocation).

Suicide.

Though it is still unsure that this is the reason for his passing (and I pray that it not be the case), it is a scary, and sad, irony to think about.

A man who dedicated himself to making people laugh, who seemed so happy and filled with fun, had depression and ended his own life.

Damn.

How cruel this world can be.

Celebrities, YouTubers, and common people alike tweeted about how Williams was a beautiful person, and how they would never forget their encounters with him, or the impact he made on their lives.

Lindsay Lohan: “Mr. Williams visited me the first day of filming The Parent Trap. I will never forget his kindness. What an enormous loss. My condolences.”

Tyler Oakley: “Very sad to hear about Robin Williams. From Jumanji to Aladdin, and Mrs. Doubtfire to Hook, he was a staple of my childhood. RIP.”

Even one of my colleagues from my university, who works for an Apple store in Marin, posted about meeting Williams 3 weeks ago at work. That day, she told me, he brought flowers to his wife.

Along with simple gestures like that, Robin Williams was clearly involved in charity. He founded the Windfall Foundation, supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and donated his proceeds from “Weapons of Self Destruction” when an earthquake hit Canterbury in 2010.

Robin Williams was loved by all on television. He always seemed to play a character that was motivational, uplifting, and just down-to-earth. He could reach out to children and adults alike, either as Genie from Aladdin or as John Keating in Dead Poets Society (one of my personal favorites). I actually put in my DVD of Hook tonight as I was eating dinner, and I admit that there were multiple times that I teared up, just by some of his William’s facial expressions and the things he said.

The man was truly a gift.

He had his share of personal struggles with drugs and alcohol, which caused him to go to rehab at some point in his life. In March 2009, he underwent heart surgery. And from most recent news, studies say he was battling depression the last few months of his life. Yet, this did not stop him from giving. He did not cease to bring joy to others, to the point of death, and he could not save himself. But he was selfless, and the world needs more people like Robin Williams.

So as I continued to see dedications to Mr. Williams on all sorts of social media, I came across this particular quote that stood out to me:

“You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”

And then it hit me.

There it was; my manifesto.

I can say that I’ve been at war with myself for a while now. And while I can’t say I have severe depression or something close to it, I have had my late night breakdowns here and there. And I’ve been trying to look past it, because I know that I have many wonderful things in my life.

And today, Robin Williams made me realize that.

I may not be rich and famous. I may not think I’m the best-looking person, but I have my attributes and I should learn to embrace those, along with my flaws. And with all that has been given to me, I should live to better myself.

I am crossing my fingers that I will never reach the point where I feel as if I am so lost that the only solution is death. And my heart goes out to anyone that is battling depression right now, because it is a horrible mental illness that is often overlooked. And the fact that some people brush it off as nothing just makes me sick. Even to those who may have hurt me, I would never want to learn that they suffered from depression and ended up taking their own lives.

With that in mind, I hope I can make some kind of a turn in my life. With a new school year coming up, I know I will be faced with a lot of new experiences, from fun times to hard times. So I hope I can follow through with all the goals I place in front of me.

1. Be more kind.

I can be a bitch. I won’t lie. It’s second nature for me to be sarcastic, even if I’m purely joking, but I know some people take it seriously. Although it kind of pains me to “deal with stupidity,” I am not the only one with insecurities and I know by experience that words really can hurt. It’s good to push the pride away too.

2. Have more patience!

Ooh. This is a BIG one. I hate waiting. Lately, I feel like I deserve to have so much more than I have been receiving. Like, I’ve done volunteer work. I get good grades. I don’t get into trouble. So, why can’t I have my car? Why couldn’t I get an apartment instead of on-campus housing? Why can’t I have a significant other that loves me above all else? Why, why, why? It’s not fair. This sucks. Blah, blah, blah.

I need to realize that God has His plans for me. He is only waiting for the right moment to give me all that I need and deserve. And hey, maybe I’m not ready for all the things I want right now and He’s still fixing me up before he gives me that. Looking back, He protected me from so many occasions that could have gone wrong, and it seems like that’s what he’s still doing. So it seems that I’ll have to play the waiting game a little longer. Which kind of sucks. But thanks for being a homie, God.

3. Seize the day!

Now this seems a little counterintuitive to my last goal, but the phrase, “seize the day” or “Carpe diem” was stated by Robin William’s character, John Keating, in DPS. Additionally, Williams starred in a film called Seize the Day.

Life needs its balance. And while we must have patience for some things, we can’t just sit on our asses and expect it all to fall into place. No. If you want to go that music festival, get a job and start saving money. If you want to start a hobby, look at guides or tutorials on whatever it is you want to do, whether it be painting or rock collecting.

“Seize the day. Because, believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold and die.” ~ John Keating

4. Smile more and don’t be afraid to make new friends.

Yes, I love to laugh. I love to flash my pearly whites. Who doesn’t? But I’ve also been told that I look very stern when people first meet me because I’m quiet. I have no intention of looking unapproachable; I guess it’s just my initial demeanor because I don’t want people to think I’m too weird and totally reject my personality. But in this past year, it has become pretty clear that like attracts like and the friends I’ve made are just as weird as I am. And that’s pretty cool. Plus, smiling can be contagious.

5. Find reasons to love myself.

I struggle with self-image. People look at me and see a skinny, proportional girl with a nice tan, and I see a mess. I’m insecure about my acne. My eye bags. My small boobs, which can’t hide my tummy when I’m bloated. My thinnish hair. My round, flat nose. My annoying laugh. The list is endless.

But I guess I have a nice butt. And legs. And my eyes are pretty big. And my lips are full and my teeth are straight. And I don’t sunburn. This list is also endless.

I’m not trying to be narcissistic, oh no. But I can’t keep bashing on myself and hope that someone will accept me when I can’t accept myself. Cliché. But it’s true. And it’s not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. Because really, when you’re beautiful within, it’ll show on the outside.

6. Don’t ever let drugs become a vital source of comfort or happiness.

Just another point I never hope to get to. I pity the people who can’t go out sober. It’s sad to think that some people get drunk just to go watch a movie. Like, what?

I know people that drink daily and come up with the most profound theses on life, but most times, alcohol ends up in crying and rants and puddles of vomit.

Drugs are only a temporary source of pleasure that mess with the chemicals in your brain and the other organs in the body. How many celebrity deaths occurred because the person overdosed on pills? Or got alcohol poisoning? A lot.

And the drug culture is expanding. And not slowly, as a matter of fact.

Drugs and alcohol are “social substances” so to speak, and although I strongly believe in “living life while I’m still young,” a bottle for a few hours of fun? Shrooms? Worth it? Mmm…perhaps not.

7. Surround myself with good people.

Everyone needs friends that they can fall back on. It’s as simple as that. I’m not talking about people who are down to hang out all the time (that’s nice too), but the people who know you inside and out and are your real support system. I think it’s important to have that good balance of people who are blunt with you, but are willing to stick with you and help you through your troubles.

8. Stop living in fear.

Last one!

This sounds repetitive and can be classified in the same boat as “Carpe diem,” but everything here has to tie together at some point, so why not here?

I need to stop being scared of failure. Of rejection. Of falling for people that maybe “I shouldn’t be falling for.”

Because it’s bound to happen. I’m bound to get hurt. I’m bound to get my heart broken. Things won’t always go my way. I’ve already told myself that countless times. It would be more detrimental to let events go past me and wish that I experienced them. And after all, if I trip, I’m going to get up eventually.

I wouldn’t let myself do otherwise.

Now I’m not saying that when I wake up in the morning, I will be totally changed and on the right track (what right track, really?) of my young life. That is pretty impossible. I’m pretty sure I’ll still write some angsty blogs, but it’s a process. And the most important thing is that I WANT to do this.

I want to fulfill this manifesto.

And with that, I leave with three final quotes from the man himself:

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”

“You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”

“There is still a lot to learn and there is always great stuff out there. Even mistakes can be wonderful.”

Thank you, Robin Williams for inspiring me and so many other people around the world. Thank you for being a wonderful person, despite your trials. Rest in peace. Hope you’re having fun in Neverland.

Bangarang.

July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014.

“Have you ever felt a potential love for someone? Like, you don’t actually love them and you know you don’t, but you know you could. You realise that you could easily fall in love with them. It’s almost like the bud of a flower, ready to blossom but it’s just not quite there yet. And you like them a lot, you really do. You think about them often, but you don’t love them. You could, though. You know you could.”

~ Warona J.