The trick is not to mind it.

My new guru.
Who, when holding his hand
over a lit candle, said,
“The trick is not to mind it,”

I don’t mind
each morning I get up
I feel like I want to vomit.

I don’t mind that
the teenage suicide rate
is soaring
like Halley’s comet.

The boy in school
that I loved the most
died last year of an overdose.
But I don’t mind it.

I have set as my goal
to get so strong
I could peel onions
all day long
and never shed one tear–

I want my skin to thicken
so if I am panic-stricken
when post-nuke day gets here
I won’t even feel the fear
as I watch me and the world disappear.

The trick is not to mind it–
if you’re looking for peace
this is where you’ll find it.

Gordon Liddy showed me the way;
I have been on
heavy metaphor maintenance
all day.

For life
is like that candle flame
and we
are like Gordon Liddy’s hand
over it.

And it hurts
like hell,

but the trick

is not

to mind it.

– The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, Jane Wagner

Defeat the Blerch!

Last night, I had a mature and eye-opening conversation with my dear old friend, distant wingman, and true bro, Ramon. Just like the old times in the Philippines, we had this late night talk about our debaucheries, embarrassing moments, the sexes, and philosophies in life. I am happy that I have a friend like that. Someone who can just get on my level in the conversation — be random, be serious, be black (whutt), and be plain straight and real. It helps that his body clock is in shambles and mine too that the different time zones is not even an issue.

Last night we were talking about how we were changing… in terms of alcohol consumption. He was three weeks sober (quite shocking!) and I on the other hand haven’t had alcohol in two months. My dad bought a pack of non-alcoholic Beck’s last week and tried to shove a bottle down my throat. Believe me, it was a travesty! Hell no am I drinking that. Give me real beer or give me nothing at all. I can’t believe this, but I am actually yearning for the taste of alcohol in my mouth. After my trip to Europe, I just can’t get enough of it. I miss it. My body even seeks the comfort of my old confidante, Jose Cuervo. I told Rum that I couldn’t believe everything changed so fast. After all the RAM parties, chill beer sessions, and Halloween drunkathons, what could possibly lead to this moment? We used to be better when we’re half-drunk. More fun and more free. I don’t mean the crawling-to-bed pissed drunk, but the still-conscious-but-fearless half-drunk. What happened to us?

He started running the past month, a really big change in his passive lifestyle. He decided to cut down on his carbs, something the man finds hard to give up, and I asked him Why? Why do it now? Why all this change? He just gave me a short and simple answer. “To defeat my past self”.

Sometimes, when we begin to gain this consciousness of who we are, we forget that who we are is not permanent. That we can change. That we can change who we are and how we think about ourselves.  All my life I was fat. All my life I was weak and a pushover. I was born stupid. I can never be athletic. Oh, I can never be good at anything. Just look at the past eighteen years of my life, I am a failure. We think we completely know ourselves and we think we cannot do anything about it, when all we actually need is a new pair of lenses. A different way to look at things. A chance to see ourselves in a different light. We all have potential to do better or to be more than what we think we are. We just need the big push, the inspiration, the slither of hope.

My friend’s motivation inspired me to defeat my past self. I don’t want to sulk anymore. I’m tired of feeling pathetic and as if there is no way out to my misery. I want to stop being that girl who is always worried about the future, always worried about what could and what could not happen. I want to defeat my past self.

I decided to run again. It was my slither of hope back in December and it will be again now. Aside from clearing my head, running taught me how to push myself, to take that extra breath to reach another mile, and to take charge. I want that empowering feeling again.

The link to the six-part comics below was Rum’s motivation when he started running. It is the reason that I am back on my feet, too. Check it out, it’s quite incredible. It’s called the terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distances by The Oatmeal.

Start reading Part II: The Feeding here. >>>

Embrace the suck.

This is episode 1 of Lauren, a web series about a woman who was raped while serving in the army.

I think that is enough for me to persuade you to watch it. It’s also 10 minutes tops for every episode, so you’ll be done with Season 1 after half an hour. Try hard not to be emotional especially when you see Troian Bellisario being so good in the character of Lauren Weil. Not even 3 minutes in this video and I’m already crying.

I don’t know. There is something about rape that makes it difficult for a woman not to empathize with the victim. Whenever I hear a story of rape, I am enraged. It never fails to strike a nerve. I suddenly begin to hate men. Men who are pigs. Men who are controlled by what dangles between their legs.

Embrace the suck? God damn, you’re right. Because at the end of the day, it’s still a man’s world and women will always be at fault for “leading” men on, for being powerless at the face of an assault, or for NOT ACTING LIKE A VICTIM GOOD ENOUGH. Fuck that.

I am all about women empowerment and I admire the work of WIGS (Where It Gets Sisterly) and their various YouTube series that showcase different stories of courage in women. Purely original and all-starring female leads. If you don’t see for yourself, you’re missing out.