COFFEE HOUSE

in my life

 

It’s one of life’s comfort; there are times when I find myself sitting there, looking around, and feeling that sometimes this is a better refuge than our own home.

My last year in high school taught me how to drink coffee, but it was four years spent in college that made me love this drink. It became a need for a sleepy head like me to the point that I can now classify 3-in-1 coffees based on its caffeine effect. It might be such a nerdy claim but my body was able to memorize the kind of coffee it needs to pull out an all-nighter, or last until my twelve noon classes, or even survive for another 24 hours.  It even became a substitute for water during the last stretch of our thesis (yes, coffee dependent at its best). It became a constant companion until now that I am working.

With the rise of third wave coffee, there’s just a lot of places to drink, to visit, and to hang out in every corner. Back then we had to wait to be seated on a jam packed place. Can I just say that student nowadays have more choices when it comes to coffee shops? It’s everywhere in the metro and my list of must-go places keeps on getting longer. For a coffee lover, this is such a treat.

I try to tick one coffee shop each month, whether it be with friends or for some quiet time alone. Sometimes I come for the coffee, sometimes I come in because of the place. No matter, the warmth it offers me never changes. It’s a place to be — somewhere you’ll need not an excuse to be alone.

IN MY OWN WORDS

blogging, in my life

Words.

I can’t pinpoint when I started to become drawn to them, but I know that these things we call nouns, verbs, adjectives and more — I’ve truly learn to love them. Maybe it’s because of my exposure to poems, or reading posts from newly discovered bloggers, or the simple act of practicing the old art of calligraphy and lettering has made them more special.

I’ve been on a reading spree lately; from blogs, newspapers, magazine, and books. I must say that if we are what we eat, we also become what we read. So I devoured each page, as if eating every word can make me good in letting the ink rush through paper. I can’t help but admire people whose words seamlessly form into something wonderful. The gift of expressing myself through the written language can be quite evasive.

I stalled writing this entry because facing the blank page has become a bit more difficult for me. I am overcome with this thinking that everything will come sounding like a news report or a research paper. But I still want to improve. To break free from my mold. Not out of insecurity, but out of the desire to write something worth reading. And with that thought sprout another desire — to find my own voice. To not be a mere echo of someone else. To have my own words instead of borrowed ones.

It might seem like a blabber for now, but I am hoping that in time these words of mine will solidify itself on these blank pages.

THE 100 DAY PROJECT: DEVO X TYPO

artsy fartsy, in my life, stories of faith

“A hundred days! I can recall the questions that raced through my mind before I decided to jump in: can I handle it? Will I push through when my schedule is jammed? Will I show up everyday, even when it hurts? – especially when it hurts?”
-Elle Luna

These exact thoughts were running in my mind as I joined the challenge. It was a last minute decision mixed with excitement, fear, doubt, and a whole lot of mixed emotions. Knowing myself, I am aware that I tend to lose my sense of excitement in doing creative things or maybe anything in particular that requires my attention everyday. It makes me think if it will make me a slacker artist in the future. But this weakness was actually the reason why I jumped into the challenge – to develop discipline in handling my creativity. Art takes time and practice and patience. Excitement may die but I hope that my desire to improve in this craft won’t.

Deep breaths, inhale, exhale, and I finally committed myself to create 100 typography works out of my devotions. There were a lot of thing that ran through my mind before I chose this theme. A lot of ideas presented themselves to me, but this one tugged at my heart strings – it became a personal conviction. To tell you truth, I was even trying to work my way around it; thinking of reasons why I should choose another theme for this project, and it all boiled down to the fact that I am scared.

When it comes to sharing His word, there were a lot of times that I hesitated before I post a Bible verse or any realizations online. I was afraid of being judged, being labeled as a religious nut, or worst: not being able to apply this in my life offline. The challenge for creativity began to challenge my faith as well. As much as I tried to resist it these verses kept echoing through my mind (and totally nailed it):

“Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” -Luke 9:26

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of God.” -Galatians 1:10

Now that may sound a bit too preachy, but in simple terms this is a way for me to stand up for my faith. I no longer want to feel ashamed when it comes to sharing His word. I may not be a perfect epitome of a Christian but this is my baby steps toward maturity and growth. I will push through knowing that this would help in changing me from the inside out. It is a way of saying “Work in me, as I work with the talent that you have given me.” It’s a personal conviction to dedicate this to Him as early as now. For me to be reminded that the talent came from Him and He is the reason why I keep on keeping on.

It also made me realize that I have a tendency to be proud of my achievements, and I guess it’s time to lose that sense of entitlement. No more time to be preoccupied with the thoughts of being criticized by others or perfection, because my focus should be in Him. If I can’t give glory to Him when it comes to simple things, then how much more if bigger things are to come my way? Glory be to God all the way. And so we begin with the end goal in mind: To be disciplined both in reading His word and practicing the skills He has given me.

STORIES, FOR THE TIME BEING

blogging, in my life

I finally got around the task of cleaning my first Tumblr blog and was successfully able to move in another address. It was an exhausting thing to do, even if there were only 500+ posts, hiding them one by one took its toll in my eyes. I was thisclose to deleting them all just so I can make the process quicker, but of course some of them are precious memories of my college life that I can’t bear to part with. Blame it on my sentimentality, but I just had to keep them even if they are now for my eyes only.

Looking back, I realized how much I struggled back then. It was only a personal blog filled with day to day events of a normal college girl, but at the back of my mind I wanted so much more. Most of the people I followed were cool “It” girls (if you’ve been in Tumblr for so long you know what I mean, and you know who they are), and some dashing dudes who seem to have it all; Name it: followers, sponsors, free passes to events, and free travel! Wow, who wouldn’t want that? Because I must admit that I really did.  So I tried to achieve this same kind of status that they have and made sure that every post is well thought-of, a quote that every one can relate to, artistically curated photoset, and everything else in between. I wanted traffic, I wanted followers, I wanted to be recognized for whatever I put out there.

Only now did I realize that I wanted my blog to click so much, for that little space in the world wide web to matter, without knowing that I wasn’t creating the sound that I want, but I have become a mere noise. Seriously, I didn’t know that I was so frustrated for that kind of blogging career. It was like that moment when Ariel exchanged her voice for a pair of feet. Apologies for going on sappy Disney mode here, but there’s no denying that I wanted to be a part of that “cool” blogging world. But three paragraphs after, and more than four years of staying in Tumblr that didn’t happen.

So what’s the point? Haha! I guess being inactive from that platform for almost a year did me good. I was truly reminded this time of why I started to blog, why I want to put my thoughts out there, why I want to post pictures or create typography, why I want to improve my writing skills — and that is to share stories. To not desire too much superficial things but to actually connect with people, to read their blogs, to find a common ground, and eventually make one less stranger out of them. For years I’ve been trying so hard without knowing that the only thing I need is to share my story, to go down deeper in my heart and have the guts to actually put it out for other people to see.

After testing the waters for so long, this is the first time that I’ve felt excited that I have little space for my thoughts once again. I finally understood what take it slowly and be yourself truly means. I don’t know how long I will continue blogging or how long I can keep this active; new questions will present itself as the days progress, but for now all we have are stories for the time being.

LIFE ON LISTS: 15 THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY

in my life
Three months running and most of my blog posts seem to be stacked in the drafts corner. Going back to the groove of blogging after a long time of not being able to write can be quite a challenge. I’m measuring up the capacity of my schedule, the tone and the voice of this little space. For now, let me share to you the 15 things that can lighten up my mood (thanks for tagging me Arli!). After all, lists can never go wrong.

1. Reading books, blogs, and magazines (nowadays, I prefer the not so glossy ones though).

2. Drinking coffee – a great companion from college days until the daily hustle at work.

3. Doing artsy fartsy stuff; drawing, sketching, calligraphy, and D.I.Y. decors are my favorite.

4. Watching movies.

5. Spending quality time with family and friends.

6. Discovering hole-in-the-wall cafes and restaurants.

7. Eating breakfast food.

8. Watching the sunrise (which is actually quite ironic because I’m not a morning person).

9. Receiving and sending snail mail or handwritten letters.

10. Taking long walks when I’m stressed out.

11. Flowers — especially the sunny kind.

12. Poetry (but then sometimes it can be heartbreaking too). #somuchfeels

13. Being able to put my thoughts in paper.

14. Traveling and adventures in different places.

15. Encouraging and connecting with other people.