Friday, May 26, 2017

Things I Need to Tell Myself

  1. Crying is okay. In your earlier years, you might've heard that it was an unnecessary act, but now, growing up, you'll find that crying is very much necessary.
  2. Both physical and mental healing take time.
  3. Try to avoid driving on days where you're struggling with some anxiety or low self-esteem. You just don't want to end up making bad decisions from behind the steering wheel.
  4. But if you do need to drive, do it with extra caution. You are safe, you are present, your life is valued. Repeat these things to yourself enough times for you to be calm.
  5. You are making progress everyday. Slow progress is still progress, and just because you're not moving as quickly as you'd expected yourself to, you are still moving.
  6. Drink water, drink water, drink water.
  7. The future is terrifying only if you convince yourself that it is.
  8. Eat food, Jo. Eat real food, eat wholesome food, eat good food, eat any food, eat the food you have been blessed with. But my God, stop fearing it so much.
  9. Many people are unaware of your struggles. When they make commentaries toward you that seem to pinpoint these battles you're fighting inside, battles they don't know of, learn to cope and receive it lightheartedly. It's not their fault, and it's not yours either.
  10. Embrace a broken heart. It'll make you create things you'll be proud of.
  11. There are going to be times where you feel like you're overreacting. Like you're just "overly sensitive" or "exaggerating". These voices will linger but let them be. Besides, how else are you going to find writing material?
  12. Breathe.
I'll write again soon.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Why I Stopped Pursuing Fashion

Before I continue, I should mention that this post isn't intended to fully discriminate against the people who work inside the fashion industry, nor is it intended as a "hate post" or an attack to the fashion business. I think it's a very dynamic, impactful industry, but this post is simply written to illuminate why I'd decided, about more than a year ago, to stop pursuing it as my ~*dream career*~. Because I'd realized that it wasn't.

1. The environmental and social impact
This post was actually heavily inspired by a specific documentary targeting the fashion industry, and all that unravels behind it. The film "The True Cost" points our eyes to much larger issues than just choosing the cutest sweater in that H&M sale.

You might've heard about it, or you might consider the possibility, but either way, we couldn't just neglect the negative impacts the fashion industry is putting onto the world, both environmentally and socially. Liquid waste from fabric factories that pollute a whole village's water supply, leaving them heavily disadvantaged (many born with disabilities and grow to become terminally ill). Not paying attention to their labourers, who are mostly, by the way, women in small third-world countries who are struggling to feed their children. The documentary sort of haunted me, and I'd decided I just didn't want to be a part of something like that. There has been factory fires, soil pollution, and many other cases that these high fashion brands aren't even taking a glance at. 

Sadly, that's what the whole world seems to be doing: neglecting. I hear you, environmentally sustainable fashion is both rare and expensive (hello, Stella McCartney), but it's crucial to take notice of these issues. It helps you consider that shopping haul, or think twice about buying ten different items just because of a sale. Out of this knowledge, I became so much more in love with Emma Watson than I already was, for her choice of only wearing sustainable, eco-friendly clothes to all her appearances and movie premieres. There are many fashion organisations and a handful of people in the industry who are working towards a better change, but that's a lot of ground to cover. Capitalism is real, but it works at the cost of many losses. It's important to be aware, and raise the big question: "How are my clothes made? Who makes them?"

2. A lack of morality
Let me just say that I'm not trying to call all fashion people "immoral" or "cruel" or "vain", as I'm sure many others have judged them to be. But I have found that a fast-paced industry like fashion would tend to prioritise product quality and successful marketing over anything else. What I'm saying is maybe sometimes, kindness comes second. Of course, this probably also applies to many other industries. In fact, I think most successful working adults would live by this concept. 

There's a reason why they have movies like The Devil Wears Prada. Whenever I take a glance at those sitting in the front rows of fashion shows (hello, high fashion executives and editors), it honestly wouldn't seem like they're angels in white dresses. The fashion industry holds explicably high standards. Isn't that what drives them into making those clothes that don't always fit the average American woman? Or why the models on those ads always have skin that is no less than perfect? Isn't that why there's usually very little diversity when it comes to the girls walking up and down the runways? Maybe that's also why so many women contort and alter their bodies and faces to exactly fit into that standard. That size, that face, that look. The "unrealistic beauty standards" we see today are almost entirely influenced by what the fashion industry presents to us.

And the truth is, the industry contributes in serving and encouraging a consumeristic and materialistic lifestyle and behaviour for society in general. Aside from that, I've also heard of so many horror stories from models who have been treated so unfairly with casting agents (circled in the places where they need to "lose fat", left waiting in line for hours on end with no water and food, and the list goes on.) I've seen fashion buyers who walk around with their chin up because of the belief that only their opinion matters (in some cases, they're right.) I've seen how designers work as if they don't need anyone else, and I've heard of my friends who are studying Fashion Design in how their teachers put a lot of pressure on terms of weight and body appearances. Sure, high fashion is great for a glowing career, but maybe not so much for making friends or gaining confidence in yourself. I just feel like it would destroy me mentally. And if the fashion industry is taking a significantly negative environmental or social impact, it seems like very few are taking action for better change. I'm sure there are many great personalities within fashion, and I'm also sure there are some brands or organisations who use fashion as a way to build a positive impact. But one of the reasons I've stopped my "dream in fashion" is because I just didn't want to pursue something and find myself, years later, somewhere shallow.

3. It was just no longer my passion
The story with why I'd decided to pursue fashion design in the first place was because when I was little, I'd always loved to draw. It was all I ever did. I drew faces of girls, I drew their hair, I drew houses, and the one thing I never got tired of was drawing their clothes. In retrospect, I suppose being, well, nine would mean that it was perfectly normal for me to have a fascination towards clothes, style, and other "pretty things". So as I concluded that the things I loved the most in the world were these two: fashion and art, I said to myself, Yep! This means fashion design is the perfect path for me to take!

You can be very, very wrong when you're that young and you think you already have the rest of your life figured out.

As the years went by, I was so excited to start learning more about this ~*fashion*~ business so first, I took fashion design classes. They taught me to draw clothes and colour them, and I loved it to that point. And then they taught me to sew. And I hated it to my gut. Can't I just go back to drawing? I thought. Apparently, unbeknownst to me at that time, wanting to master fashion means you need to be capable of all aspect of fashion. This includes sewing, pattern-making, stitching, measurements, and way way more than just pencil-on-paper action.

At first, I told myself, Well okay, I can deal with that.

I couldn't deal with it.

Years pass by and soon enough I was about to enter high school. At that point, my illustration skills were at its peak, but my sewing knowledge was zero. Obtaining even more knowledge about the fashion world, I began questioning if it was really what I wanted. It was just kind of an epiphany, but instead of a groundbreaking revelation, it simply sounded more like, Wait... Why should clothes matter that much?

I half-forced myself to take sewing classes to sort of align myself with this path that I'd chosen for myself since the years before. I mean, hey, maybe you just have to learn to love it, right? That's when I realised that you can't force yourself to love something you clearly do not. You can't force yourself to be interested in something you're starting to want to avoid. "Passion" doesn't work that way.

So I made the decision. I stumbled upon graphic design, writing, photography, illustration, communication design, and all the things I'm in love with up to this day. And now, as a 17-year-old, I can say that I've truly, finally, figured out what my passion was. My passion was in stories. In people, in making art, in communicating a message, in capturing still images, in video-producing, and in a lot more other things. Now, fashion doesn't even come close. I wasn't as interested in the clothes as much as I was in the people wearing the clothes. I no longer idolize supermodels. I no longer worship high fashion brands or stand in awe of luxury items. They no longer appeal to me, but perhaps, they never really did.

But sure, I still draw.


Ooh boy, that was a long one! Anyhow, I hope you gained a little bit of understanding while reading this. Again, I am not trying to antagonize the industry. This is all just coming from my own personal thoughts and opinions and experiences, the points I made were mostly highly subjective. I just needed to write about it and get it out of my system. :-)

If you read it, leave a comment below! It'd be cool to hear your thoughts on the subject.

I'll see you around.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

BOOKS | "Milk and Honey" by Rupi Kaur

Poetry has always found a way to inspire me. I read it on social media, little book excerpts, framed quotations on walls. More often than not, poems are just one of the things that kind of lure me in. When I discovered Rupi Kaur on Instagram, I noticed that a) her feed was very pretty and b) she had a very fascinating style of writing that made me want to go deeper and deeper into the poems she wrote. So when I found out she actually had a book, I made a promise to myself to buy and read it.

Earlier this year, I finally got myself a copy, and I quickly finished reading all of it. For those of you who don't know, Milk and Honey is a collection of poems written by Rupi Kaur. The book's divided into four main chapters that will feel a lot like she's taking you through the different phases of her journey: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing.

I think it's important to note that this book covers a wide spectrum of emotion, from falling in love to heartbreak, but it also has a few notes on things like sexual assault and physical abuse. With that said, I should mention that this might become trigger warnings for some.

Before buying this, I'd never owned any poetry book, so when I first got this, I was actually pretty stoked. I think it's a very different approach to what is considered art as well, and I like that Rupi Kaur pours her heart and soul into her writing. You just kind of take it with you and feel it as you read the book. The art featured alongside some of the poems were quite fascinating as well.

However, I'll be honest, as much respect I have for Rupi Kaur and her poetry, at times, I did find the book a little cliché. I liked a lot of things about it, but I understand how some would bash on this book saying "it isn't poetry". Upon finishing it (perhaps a little too quickly), I'd already marked all the pages that I liked, but I just don't feel like it made an ~*iMpacT*~ on a deeper level for me personally, which was kind of a letdown. Some of the paragraphs or poems are very heartfelt and beautiful, so much so that it made me admire the book a lot more. But then you flip to the next page and you see that she'd basically taken up one whole page for a tiny poem consisting of three lines. I felt that these pages carried strong messages, sure, but writing down a quote (even if it's a lovely one) and then just breaking it down into three to four lines for the concept of being ~*aesthetic*~ isn't very ideal. For Tumblr, sure, but not for a published, bestselling book.

Aside from that, I think it's an interesting book. I mean, the poet has definitely come a long way throughout her life, and is very brave for opening up so vulnerably in this book. Although I probably was too excited at the thought of having my "first poetry book" that I might have overestimated this piece. I did hear that Rupi Kaur is working on a second book, so I just hope that it'll be in some ways better. Meaning that it'll have more words, and more meaning within these words, and less of a blank space. It's just sad because if you're already given such a platform and you're already a very talented, well-known writer, you should put in as much energy as you can into your art, and I think this book only showcased a fraction of what Rupi Kaur is capable of. I'm expecting a lot more from her.

By now, though, I've come across plenty of amazing writers and poets online, and I can't tell you guys how much I love keeping up with their writings. I've been delving deep into poetry slams (spoken word videos), and also into what I call "Instagram poets" like Nikita Gill and Beau Taplin. I also hope that the next poetry book I purchase will be a lot more satisfying. (I've come across a few recently in the book stores but most of them are very romance-themed, and I'm certainly not a big fan of love or romance books.)

And that is the end of my book review! It's been a while since my last book review so I truly hope this gave a bit more insight! Do you have a copy of Milk and Honey? What do you think of it?
Leave a comment below, let's talk about stuff. :)

Talk to you soon!

Friday, April 14, 2017

a word on anxiety

the golden hour light passes through your window blinds
and into your living room
you're sitting in your home,
and it's quiet and safe

someone's knocking on the door
first softly, then a little louder
and louder after that
you wonder who it is as you open the door
and the second you do,
anxiety is the friend that walks into the room
disrupting what was once your peaceful sanctuary
they sit with you at first and you talk and converse
they start giving you ideas
ones you never really thought of
but how strange, you start to think,
that even as they haven't been inside for longer than ten minutes
it's almost like they know exactly
where you keep your box of insecurities
almost like they know exactly
how to attack you
anxiety is the friend who sits leisurely on that sofa
legs on the coffee table
arms outstretched
a territory

anxiety is the friend who'll keep on talking
to you, about you, against you
their words keep spilling out of those lips
into the air of your home
slowly it suffocates you, but first you think,
nah, i'm just too sensitive
they sit and ramble on
even when you're no longer sitting there
and as they finally leave
you find them coming back the day after
and again the day after that
some days whenever you're gone,
you find them by the doorstep once you arrive home

anxiety becomes the friend who not only sits and talks
but looks around and silently judges
your taste in home decorating
they suddenly get on their feet and paces around your living room
they're the friend who starts flipping through your calendar
"all these things coming up," they scoff,
"how will you survive?"
your mouth stays shut and you just realize
you don't know how to answer that
they're the friend who looks at your framed photos
the ones you took before junior year,
then they glance at you, up and down,
the words come right out as you're forced to hear them,
"so are you sure you don't need to lose weight?"
they pick on your flaws and they tell you what you need fixed
"let's start with those teeth, those thighs,
that nose, those hips, that hair!"
your mouth stays shut because you secretly agree

anxiety is the friend who skims through your photo album,
they point to that photo you took with your friends,
"most of them only pretend to like you, why bother?"
they throw at you only the most bitter words
anxiety looks into your bank account papers
their fingers still flipping through,
"this is how much you make?"
anxiety's the friend who asks about your love life
and tells you they don't think it's going to work
"you're high-maintenance, you know,
i mean who wants to love a mess?"

one day you work up the courage to call someone else
tell them about the uninvited guest that keeps entering your life
you stutter when you say it because you feel like you're losing your mind
but the other end of the phone just pauses then says,
"maybe you're exaggerating."

anxiety is the friend who wreaks havoc in your bedroom
leaves trash on your couch
breaks a glass in the kitchen and calls it an 'accident'
they come and go as they please
anxiety makes you panic about small things
like leaving the car door unlocked
or big things, like seeing your parents die
they watch you fretfully reach for your keys,
they watch you sink into fear
whatever happens to you, at the end of it,
they just watch you and laugh

anxiety feeds you lies
they feed you lies so often, you start to believe them
when they're not there, their words still linger in the air around you
like they'd diffused poison into the oxygen
so much so, you have trouble breathing
sometimes you find yourself suffocating
the warmth of your home has turned ice cold
inside you're numb, and outside you're shaking
golden hour light no longer comes in
you got rid of those blinds, you boarded up the windows
because anxiety told you to
strange, your home is no longer normal
your peaceful sanctuary now feels as
what it truly is without them

you can never un-meet a person
you can't know their name and face, spend time with them,
then tell yourself you don't know them anymore
too late, you do.
meeting anxiety felt the same
see, they're the friend who makes a mess
they leave footprints in the form of fear and worries
when they come the next day, they add some more
after a while, though, you start to understand
the importance of not letting anxiety
become that friend who bullies you in your own safe zone
the importance of knowing which things were true, which things mattered,
which things can and might kill you
and which things that, honestly, won't.

this time, as they knock on your door
you don't let them in
their presence you no longer welcome
you've cleaned up their mess, you finally opened the windows,
it is air that you now welcome, and finally, you breathe

but the truth is, there'll be times where they highly insist
be prepared for the days where they'll just let themselves in
because you see, anxiety isn't a friend you can un-meet.
so honey, here's what i did
i let them in
and as they start to say a few words
i stand in their way before they get to that couch
i grabbed them by the hand, so hard that i didn't care if it hurt
i took them inside and i didn't listen when they said they hated the windows
i found a rope and tied their wrist to my washing machine
you might be asking, why the washing machine?
the reason is because
nobody casually walks into a laundry room
i simply thought it'd be best to place them in the room least frequently used
i closed the door, locked them in, and i walked away
they're still in my house, i acknowledged the fact
but only in the smallest, most insignificant part of it
my days went by and the home was still mine
i stayed far from the laundry room, so i didn't have to hear them
i knew they were there, but i didn't have to look at them

but honey, one day, the day they've had enough
they'll scream.
when they scream, anxiety is the friend
who'll scream so loud you'll feel it sting
anxiety is the friend who will keep banging on that door
they'll even shout your name, they'll tell you they were always right
it was just you who couldn't handle the truth
you stand outside that laundry room, you hear their voice
their words were loud and clear, but from behind that closed door,
the poison doesn't get to you anymore

anxiety is the friend who never stops talking
so i hope as you finally open that laundry room door,
you don't offer them anything but a glance
you look at their powerless pride, straight in the eye, as you finally say,
"you were never my friend."

Monday, April 10, 2017

Over the past few months, I've grown to learn a thing or two about heartbreak. Without diving into the details of it, the war between what you think and what you feel is something we're all familiar with. It's messy and irrational and most times, it makes you feel like you're losing your mind.

At first, I wanted to name this "The Science of Heartbreak". As a logic-based thinker, I thought that perhaps there's a way to navigate around it, a way in which I'd be able to talk about. Like how to find your way through a forest, or how to get your feet out of quicksand. But frankly, you can't offer roadmaps when you're lost. You can't offer solutions when you're sinking.

There is no science to heartbreak. You feel, and think, then feel, and feel some more, and that's all there is. Some people grow numb, others turn to rage, while some shatter to pieces. It's different for everyone. My experience with it has sort of placed me into the "emotionally unavailable" category. Yes, that exists. Don't laugh.

What it means, for me, is that it translates into how I roll my eyes at love songs. (Unless they're Disney songs. Nothing will make me turn away from Disney songs.) and how I grow sick at the thought of relationships. When my friends and I slowly approach the topic of love and "future goals" or their "ideal marriage" (Yes, we have these conversations. Again, don't laugh.), I find myself uttering,
"Yeah, I don't know if that's for me."
I could feel it then. Their eyes were on me, subtly thinking that I've definitely, officially lost my mind. My mind's been in a storm, sure, but I definitely haven't lost it. In fact, I think it's taking charge. Soon enough, the conversation proceeds, I assure them that I don't "mean it", and we laugh some more. They brush it off, and so do I. But it doesn't change what my little heart whispers: You've lost all faith in me.


Love is simple, but people are the most complicated beings on earth. Humans are so complex. We're made of sparks in tiny neurones, abstract codes too strenuous to decipher, a mass bundle of joy and pain and past and present and highs and lows. We're impossible creatures.

My impossibility was made known to me at a time where I found myself making a decision I knew was going to break me. See, the things we choose don't necessarily make us happy, even though they're for the best of us and those around us. And the truth is, you won't always like yourself for it. But I knew well enough to not let anything get in the way. You shouldn't play with other people's feelings just because you're unsure of your own. So when I decided to hit the reset button on everything in that moment, much like pushing everything off of your bed before going to sleep, I knew what was coming.


I have stopped fearing
the breaking of hearts
of homes
of dreams
for when they're broken
something utterly,
completely, hauntingly
can be built
from their pieces
-Noor Unnahar


Selfish acts can sometimes save your life. After momentarily ending an emotionally demanding relationship, and after the strong surge of sadness that crashed into my window sills like a tsunami wave, I finally could breathe. Of course, by ending something tough, I had to go through something equally as tough. But when you allow yourself to be dragged through some stages of hell, at least you come out strong. I may be unsteady, and often times confused, but now, I'm no longer soft, and I don't consider myself fragile. I'm still not sure about whether or not that's a good thing, but we can't apologize forever.

You might see me writing more of these long, full-rant, thoughts-and-feelings, brain-dumping, not-to-be-read-in-the-first-place posts. I'm not trying to share anything. I'm solely writing for my own personal therapy. It's easier when I see my own words.

So at the time being, I'm okay. I'm genuinely okay. I've learned and relearned my tiny bits of lessons, and as with all wounds, it's healing, and as with all things, life still goes on afterwards. My heart might be a little stone cold, but well,

at least stones don't break.

Friday, March 31, 2017

A Letter for a Soulmate


I don't know if I've already met you, or if I have yet to meet you someday, at a time and place unknown to both of us. I don't know where you are now, but I'm guessing at one point, our paths will cross, perhaps a bit inconveniently.
But now, while we're still on a journey of becoming ourselves, and embarking on the path life has set for us prior to our meeting, here's what I have to say to you.

I'll sound arrogant for saying this, but I'll be nicer than you think. I'm not always a nice person, but I'm saying I'm nicer than how I look, and sometimes faces can be... misleading. Don't worry, my mother raised me well enough.
I'm also notoriously sarcastic. Watch me as I tell you how "funny" your bad jokes are, or how "great" your hair looks once you get out of bed.
I can't help with being frank about my thoughts. And when it comes to thoughts, I always have plenty. So don't be angered when I tell you I don't actually like your new shoes, or that new movie you loved but I hated. However, remember that my remarks don't necessarily mean my affections for you become anything less.

Speaking of affection, you should know that I have this strong lack of faith in love.
I'm one of those girls you approach with great caution. 
I don't trust people easily. Sometimes ever, at all. 
Because when it comes to people, every time a bond of trust leads to disappointment, I slowly inch away from what once deceived me. My heart goes back to being hollow. Numb, even neglected. I could turn somewhat colder than I used to be. (And that's really saying something).
I guess you'd know by this point in the letter that I'm not exactly what they call "emotional".
I do not swim in feelings, or drown in heartbreak. I'm not heartless, even if I may seem like it at times. My brain simply holds my heart at a strong leash. There's a difference.
So yes, I'm a human of logic. I like to convince myself that all the great minds of the world are like so as well. Except I still think a good heart is exceedingly more important.

On a lighter note, I like to create and write and take pictures at any given opportunity. Don't be surprised at my tendency to over-share in words what I could never utter in real life. That's just how I am. 
I'm well-traveled, but I also find that nothing else on Earth can give me peace like solitude and the comfort of simply being home. 
I spend far too much time in art museums. If you wish to wait, don't expect me to take a "minute". I'll take such a long time that your legs will go numb. That's because while others simply walk past the sculptures and framed paintings, you'll see me stand quite still. You'll see me staring at whatever peculiar thing is there in front of me. It's okay to leave me be, because most times, I don't mind being left alone.
Anyone who lives with me can expect to hear random bursts of renditions of the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack, or anything alike. See, I immerse myself in Disney songs and good music that brings my heart joy. I silently hope we share the same taste.
If you're ever confused on what to get me, a book will do. A very very good book, because I believe any book that's lesser than good, sir, is just a waste of my time. Buy me one for every Christmas, buy me one for every birthday. I wouldn't mind. Some need shoes or bags and those sound great too, but soon enough you'll realize that all I need can be found within the pages. The pages of a very very good book.
So perhaps, I'm not a person you have to know. But I'm a person you'll have to learn.

I don't necessarily enjoy talking about marriage or kids, so there's no reason for me to do so in this letter. I simply do not see my life heading specifically in that direction, unless the future speaks otherwise. You may not agree with my way of thinking, but it's fair to say that I think that will only be one of the many disagreements we'll have later on. And that's okay because we'll pull through anyway. We'll tackle whatever the universe decides to throw at us, and we'll sail the ship through the hailing winds together.
A lot more can be said about me, sir, but I'd rather not say. Not now, at least, or ever.
Because I do think that at one point, our paths will cross, perhaps a bit inconveniently.
And whatever I failed to mention in this letter, well, you'll be welcome to find out for yourself, 
after that someday comes.
And when that someday comes,
I hope you wear a little blue.
No reason, none at all.
It just might make me like you a bit already.

All yours,


Q: What are some things you'd want your soulmate to know?
I hope you guys enjoyed reading this, as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please don't ask me about my random bursts of sentimentality. They just happen!
A book review is coming up soon, so I hope you stay tuned.

Have a good weekend!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

MOVIES | Beauty and the Beast

For a much-talked-about, increasingly controversial, yet highly anticipated Disney movie, I'd feel like I'm cheating on it if I didn't write a review. So here it is, the famous Beauty and the Beast, an enchanting tale remade into a beautiful modern-Disney-movie production. Here's what I have to say.

I completely,



lost my chill.

To start, I should mention that the original movie (animated version) of this story was what made my childhood. Belle had always been my favourite Disney princess. This gorgeous country girl who walks around reading her book, shows no interest for the village's Most Handsome Hero, has brown hair, and wears a lot of blue. Obviously, I adore her. And yes, I think Emma was brilliant.

However, when I saw the trailers, the news and all the hype prior to the release of this movie, I wasn't that excited. Even though this was my favourite, I was still doubtful about this remake. Perhaps I just knew that I would be expecting quite a lot from it, and usually when that happens, the standards aren't necessarily met. I love Emma, and the story, but the trailer just didn't sell to me. What if it's dull? We had that whole Cinderella phase last year. It's starting to get old, isn't it? But upon watching this movie, oh boy, honestly speaking, the expectations aren't only met, but also exceeded. (Trust me, I'm totally dying from how much love I have for this film. I'm just trying hard to sound more composed and put-together for this blog post. Inside, I'm still screeching.) So here's my review.
  1. Before I gush over how obsessed I am with it now, I'll point out the few things I didn't quite approve of. And no, I'm not referring to LeFou's taste in men. It didn't concern me, in fact, it was kind of hilarious! There were some things in the movie which I found disappointing. They might be minor things but they matteredFirstly, I simply don't understand their choice of giving Beast those massive horns. Yes, he had those in the original movie, but not as large. This has to be the single most disappointing thing about this movie for me. It's a shame because they're the first thing you see when looking at the Beast. And for what reason?? If only they'd made it shorter and less significant, it would've been perfect. But now, it just looks bizarre. Let's not mistake his ideal look for Maleficent's, eh?
  2. Also, Belle's house is placed in a very, very strange setting. I vividly remember her home as being in the countryside, a little outside the village, with this small bridge in front of her garden. I wish they'd made it like that in this remake as well. Instead, her house has appeared much smaller, and apparently it's inside the village, but right in the middle??? Of a fork road??? And she's growing plants and has got a place for the horse and chickens but it's literally just in the middle of a village intersection, it seems??? On stone-cobbled streets??? I don't know, I hope I'm not the only one, but it was odd for me.
  3. A couple other incidents I wasn't fond of was when Maurice was in that prison cell saying goodbye to Belle, and all that time he showed very little signs of struggle. Not even that much begging for his sake! And then he just starts saying his farewell to Belle as if he's fully accepted his defeat, without looking like he's in despair, which I think he kind of should be. The other thing is how they erased Chip's line ("it tickles!") when Belle drank from him. I just expected it to still be there.
  4. Now, let the fangirl in me speak. Never have I ever sat in a modern-day Disney movie and experienced such a roller-coaster of emotions. All of which resulted in me a) feeling like I'm about to cry or b) actually crying. It's difficult to find movies that make me cry, but watching this was such an emotionally overwhelming experience for me. For most of the movie, I had goosebumps and was holding back tears. It was what I loved in my childhood, brought to life, in this visually astounding, unbelievably magical piece of work. I loved it all: The village, Belle, a perfect depiction of the real storyline (without some crazy twist or plot modification). I ended up crying multiple times throughout the movie. I knew all the words to "Be Our Guest", and mentally sung along to "Belle" as it was being played. That and seeing the characters brought to life, and how they match what I remembered of them so perfectly (like how similar Gaston is to the animation, and how he had the exact same voice), it shook me to the core.

  5. Allow me to push all the haters aside and proclaim that Emma Watson is a perfect, perfect Belle and her singing was beautiful and she is beautiful and nothing, nothing hurts. Nothing. Sure, physically, her resemblance to Belle can be questioned, but I am not complaining one bit. She's an amazing actress who's already very much like Belle in her real life and work. She's smart and well-mannered and I'd just hate for the role of Belle to fall to any other actress.
  6. I cannot emphasize enough on how majestic and brilliant the music is. Just extraordinary. Everything! Every single song, arrangement, all of them I'm so utterly in love with. I'm in awe of the vocals (the chorus singing was out of this world) and the instrumental art behind every single piece, they leave me speechless. Disney's done it again. But really, from a musical point of view, hands down, this movie wins.
  7. The camerawork is great too, but obviously I didn't expect any less from Disney. I'll just mention that one shot of Philippe, alone, running through an open field. Extraordinary.
  8. So finally, I'd just like to applaud the producers for creating this beautiful masterpiece. I couldn't have asked for a better remake of my most favourite story. Different from any other Disney movie, this one impacted me in a way I couldn't even begin to describe. Watching this, I was completely entranced. Still, to this minute, blown away by what this movie turned out to be. Which I must have made clear with this lengthy review. Well. Done.
Have you watched the movie? Did you enjoy it? 
I'd love to know what you think about it, so leave a comment! Also, don't hesitate to follow me on any social media (links below). Let's stay in touch! 

I'll write again soon.

PS: Plumette? Gor-geous.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Why I Loved Going Barefaced

"If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty which is, who cares?"
-Tina Fey

Today was the second day of me going to school with something I hadn't thought I'd leave the house with ever; a face with no makeup on.

Before someone reads that sentence and goes all judgemental on me, I'd just like to give a few disclaimers before going into this post any further. 1) By no means am I trying to place myself in a level higher above anyone who does wear makeup, nor am I trying to "humble-brag" about choosing to go barefaced. This is just me speaking about something I tried doing, and ended up loving. 2) I still very much enjoy makeup, and don't plan on totally turning away from it obviously.

The story starts on Wednesday. I'm in my exam week, during which my school would start at 10 AM instead of 8. This gives me more time to amp up my studying with the few extra hours in the morning. Normally I'd have breakfast, study, shower, then study some more until about 15 minutes before I had to leave. Then, I'd use those 15 minutes to do my face. (Not that I normally go to school with a face full of makeup, but I do draw my brows in and still use concealer and powder most of the time.)

Yesterday I was sitting with my textbook and when my alarm came on, (signalling it was time to get up, do my makeup, and leave), I glanced at myself in the mirror and started to despise the fact that I had to do it.

Technically, I only had to be in school for the two-hour exam then go back home, so I simply thought a significant effort of properly retouching my face to look good that day wasn't worth it. I continued to examine my face and a thought hit me; something I didn't think I'd ever consider.

Maybe I should just leave it this way, and by "it" I meant my face.

Good Lord, did I just think that? Why would I do that? Walking towards the dressing table, then again looking at my face, this time closer, I suddenly realised that it wasn't such a bad idea. Why not do that? So that was it. Long story short, I moisturised, grabbed my backpack, and left the house. Naked face and all.

My exam-week-stress-induced acne was showing, my dark circles were legit, all my blemishes were on full display. I'd opted for contacts instead of glasses, my face looked a little more tired than usual, so basically I wasn't looking my best. And I loved every minute of it.

Surely enough, my friends did seem quite surprised, and some asked me why the sudden change in my look. That was a good question, though. Why the change?
  1. It was, in fact, better for my skin. Many articles tell you that going barefaced can allow your skin to "breathe", and at first I thought they were exaggerating but now it makes a lot of sense. I was giving room for my skin to just glow and be ~*refreshed*~. Such an ~*awakeNing~*. ~Namaste~.
  2. Going #NoMakeup this week was the most freeing decision I've ever made. It was that feeling of not worrying about what was on your face. Yeah, I didn't look great, but I was fine with it. No more making sure to not rub my eyes too hard, no more going to the bathroom to check if my concealer left any lines. I, literally, had nothing to hide.
  3. It felt like a huge leap forward in terms of my self esteem, and confidence in how I look. I'd grown so accustomed to always leaving the house with some makeup on (a little "retouching" done) that I'd completely forgotten how to feel okay without it. I remember looking at myself in the face that morning, and starting to question why I ever felt like it was something I had to alter on a daily basis, just so I can feel better about myself. This was the first time I'd gone to school barefaced since the beginning of when I learned how to do my own makeup, and it resulted in this crazy thought process. As if my friends would alienate me if I looked a bit under-maintenance one day. That didn't happen, but I'm pretty sure they thought I looked ridiculous. I still don't care.

All in all, I'm glad I decided to go barefaced this week. In all seriousness, I managed to tackle the small fear I had of leaving the house looking like how I do with no makeup. Makeup was kind of this shield I'd applied daily in order to feel good about myself, so it felt extremely liberating to feel good without it. As women, in a society that's constantly trying to turn you into dolls, it's cool to kind of break that status quo that you've set for yourself and decide to be authentic instead. Give the concealer a day off, and yourself a little love. I totally encourage you to try this if you haven't already.

Partly, I'd also like to acknowledge the whole #NoMakeup movement in the internet, which I think have started escalating around the time Alicia Keys started doing it. Mind you, I may not have the stunning facial features of one Alicia Keys, but I do feel that this has taught me a lot to embrace whatever flaw I have, and to be genuinely comfortable in my own skin.

Thus ends the lengthy post I have for you today. I'm happy I wrote this and hope it inspired you in a way or two. What do you think about going makeup-free? Have you done it before? Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

As always, do feel free to follow me on Bloglovin or Instagram  or share this post if you gained some valuable insight. Thanks for reading.

From a girl learning to accept her flaws,

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

4:58 PM

"This afternoon, I passed through a hospital on my way across town.

There was a car parked on the side of the road, and from the passenger seat, an old lady came out. Her driver already standing by with her crutches, I'd noticed her back was hunched over. Her whole body was bent severely, and I watched as she struggled to grip her walking aid. She slowly started walking to the front door of the clinic, with the driver still by her side, holding her arm as she tries with great difficulty to take each step forward.

It got me thinking about how devastating it is, that our world, and everyone else's world, seems to be doing "just fine". But look closer into other people's lives and you'll find so many who struggle everyday. Physically, mentally, financially, there are many battles many people are constantly going through. So many lives nowhere near as fortunate as some others are. Suddenly, our problems don't even look like problems. We say we feel sorry for them but we only half-heartedly put effort into appreciating the life we have now. Why is that?

I understand that that's just how it is. That humanity isn't immune to various forms of pain and suffering. But when I grow up, I guess what I'm trying to remind myself is:

I don't want to be selfish.

I don't want to be someone who keeps digging out of life like I'm entitled to it. I don't want to ever find myself sitting in a private jet, or owning a million-dollar house. I don't want a lavish car or piles of jewellery that spell my name in diamonds.

Sure, I'll take my blessings as they're given, and I'll stay grateful for the life I've been privileged enough to have. But I don't want to live a life I don't need. I don't want to keep taking. I don't want to suck every drop of what the world offers. Because I think if you shift your perspective and try to look into what the world needs, and what other people are currently facing, no amount of gold will give you true satisfaction. The "high life" no longer seems appealing.

So maybe we don't need to get caught up in any of it. Maybe we weren't made and put on this Earth to "have a nice life". Rather, maybe we were made to give life to others. And maybe, just maybe, it's up to us to make the world a little better for the ones out there.

What I say next won't make much sense, but I dream of a world with less fast cars, and more helping hands. Less "rich kids", and more compassion. Less vanity, and more humanity. A girl can dream."

Taken from my phone's notes app, written on January 31st 2017, 4:58 PM

Sorry for this small rant, but I wanted to share this because I'd written it a while ago but realised I never shared these thoughts with anybody. I'm just rambling, but I wanted to let you in on it. I can't wait to really start blogging again once I'm done with my exams. So for now, this'll have to do. Have a good week!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Art of Embracing Defeat

Could I have chosen a better title? Perhaps, perhaps.

I'm starting to learn that as you grow up, it's not that you become better at winning. (Let's face it, in the world today, it doesn't seem like anybody's winning.) You're not always going to be harvesting luck or constantly succeeding. You don't "finally win", but rather, you simply become better at accepting defeat.

One and a half months into 2017, and it's felt like a couple of the most difficult months of my life. I'm not gonna go into an "I'm a mess and my whole life is feeling like a sinking disaster" type of rant but I will say that over the course of only several weeks, I've fallen far too many times without even having the time to properly get back up. And maybe this has happened to some of you too.

See, one failure is normal. It's hard, sure, but by now, everyone knows about the "sometimes you gotta fall first to get back up" speech. But there comes a season where you don't fall once, or twice. You fall perhaps, sixteen different times. In the span of three weeks. Or you find yourself in a chain of waist-deep, bad-luck, why-is-this-my-life situations from the moment you wake up to the minute you fall asleep.

There's no reason for these phases; they just happen. Even to the best of us.

When asked about what my New Year's resolution was a few months ago, my answer was simple:
And boy, was I correct.

The truth is, and it hurts a little to say this, my year so far has consisted of more failures than successes. More setbacks than leaps forward, more mental breakdowns than spiritual awakenings, and more heartbreaks than parties. A fitting metaphor for how my life feels like right now would be a beat-up truck driving through a muddy road of unpleasantries. It's not apocalyptic. Despite spending many afternoons in bed crying or being depressed over countless things, I know that this is just the "ashes" part of my life that I will rise from.

But how do you cope?
  1. Allow yourself to feel. - Your emotions are valid in this process. A lot of people tend to say "Aw, don't be sad," when trying to console a friend and frankly, it's not a sentence I like to say anymore, both to myself or other people. It's better for me to just admit that yes, I'm feeling sad this afternoon, and that's that. I'm feeling angry or anxious or immensely tired, or maybe all of these things combined, and that's that. I don't suppress my feelings hoping to maintain composure throughout my life because in reality, life isn't linear. It's not a line that steadily goes upward. Sometimes it goes downward and sometimes the line turns into curves and even makes circles. One of the hard things I've also recently learned is that my friends aren't always going to be there for me, and that's just something I have to live with. So in times like so, the least I can do is be there for myself. And through all of this, I've learned that allowing myself to at least have feelings is just one of the signs of accepting, and honouring, myself. Let yourself breathe and give yourself room to be human.
  2. You should laugh it off if you can. - It might suck if you constantly fail in biology or you broke your car one too many times or you find yourself having these setbacks in multiple aspects of your life but come on, guys, it's a little funny. As a person, I like to use dry humour to conceal my real feelings or emotions. Not in a cynical way, I'm just that type of person. But when life starts to suck, turning it into something to laugh about could be the ray of optimism your soul desperately needs. Honestly, "hahaha I can't believe how crazy/stressful my life is right now" sounds a lot better and healthier than "I want to kill myself because I hate everything that is happening." No problem is eternal. It's 2017, everyone has solutions to everything, and deep down, we all know that. So for the time being, if you can, just laugh and acknowledge the mess that is your life right now.
  3. You move forward. - If your life also feels like a beat-up truck driving through a muddy road of unpleasantries, stopping the engine won't move the truck to a better location. What do you do to get out of the road? You keep going until the road ends and leads somewhere else. In such a difficult time, maybe you'll spend weeks crying about it, maybe you'll find a way to laugh about it, or maybe you'll just have to work your way through it. But whatever storm you're facing currently, someday you'll look back and see how it shaped you. This final step takes a little bit of forcing yourself, but hey, sometimes you need some tough love to be able to keep going. 

Because I haven't written in a while, I do hope my post today makes at least a little bit of sense to you. This isn't coming from any research or profound knowledge whatsoever, of course. I'm speaking purely from my experiences, and what my heart is telling me this afternoon.

So friends, my hopes for you is that you hang on. I also pray that you could come out from a season of trials a little braver, and a little tougher, because that's what the world needs right now. Brave and tough people, who don't give up easily. And lastly, I hope you look within your heart, and you finally hear that tiny voice, relentlessly whispering to remind you, "It's not the end of the world."