Word of the Year: FINIFUGAL – 2014 Year Ender :)

Another year done! I was looking for one word that would summarize 2014 for me. I dabbled with ‘fear,’ ‘indecision,’ ‘bad luck,’ etcetera, etcetera, but nothing clicked right. Until I saw this word: FINIFUGAL (thank you, other-wordly.tumblr.com.).

2014 year end blog


That was the best definition of this year. I think being finifugal relates to being scared of starting over, of new things, of changes (drastic ones, to be exact). A quick check of my year-ender the past years led me to one conclusion: I was, kind of, reliving my 2012 all over again, because the same quotes that I quoted still applied, the same complaints, the same worries, and a heartbreak (thankfully, a different guy this time, but jeeeez I never learn, do I?).

I would quote the same John Green quote in 2012:

“You spend your whole life stuck in a labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” 

–John Green, Looking for Alaska


Let’s kick off this 2014 recap, shall we?

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Life is a rollercoaster, just gotta ride it: Year-Ender Part 2

Like I said in the part 1 of my year-ender, 2012 was a rollercoaster ride for me. My favorite moments and lessons / realizations learned and had are what made it a crazy ride.

I’ll do this list in the best way I know how: in song lyrics, titles, or book quotes. Ready? Let’s dig into my 2012 “recap” of sorts, in which—if you personally know me—you try to figure out which 2012 events do I pertain to:

  1. More than This (One Direction) >> If I ever get a tattoo (which I really plan to do in 2013, let’s see if I have the guts to push through with it), one of my options would be these three words. I think if anything, 2012 taught me to be more than THIS, with ‘this’ being a number of things, to wit: insecurities, problems, issues. Plow through the problems and challenges. Face them head on. Do things that you don’t like because you’re probably still going to end up doing it in the future anyway (haha). Be more than your fears because you’ll never know when there could be an adventure. Be more than your insecurities because you have to start loving yourself more. Be more than your pride, because sometimes you also have to be humble and learn from your mistakes. Be more than your paranoia because worrying just kills the fun of things. Be more than all things negative, take them and twist it to make it positive. Be more than THIS.
  2. Live While We’re Young + Don’t overthink, just let it go (One Direction) >> I think in 2012 I did this less: live. But I made do with how I lived: bought and read a lot of books, watched tons of movies (I wish there are loyalty cards to cinemas too), watched concerts (David Cook and Maroon 5—jeez, they’re all I could remember), thoroughly got mesmerized by The Phantom of the Opera, and became a kid again by enjoying Disney on Ice: Princesses and Heroes. I fangirled like hell, with standout portions in my year when I did it on the Philippine Volcanoes. I met new friends. In 2013, I promise to live more (I didn’t just quote a brand’s tagline, did I?). Travel more (Ilocos and Batanes, I’m going to see you soon). Meet new people. LIVE.
  3. You spend your whole life stuck in a labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” –John Green, Looking for Alaska >> I will leave this realization be, because I think the quote pretty much explains it.
  4. “We accept the love we think we deserve.” –Stephen Chbosky, Perks of Being a Wallflower >> All-encompassing, really. It applies to my “love life,” to whatever I was referring to in #3 and to dealing with “difficult” people. If you can get out of a bad “relationship,” then do so. If you can’t, then suck it in. Stop gloating. We all have options—we just need to see them, and we just need to take that leap of faith. In terms of the difficult people part—well, same thing: if you can’t get out of it, suck it in. Be more than them and use them to sharpen your personality instead.
  5. “She has been hanging on to the hope of him for so long that she doesn’t realize there isn’t anything left to hope for.” –David Levithan, Every Day >> Well, I finally woke up. I was done hoping and pining for you, because—stemming from #4—whatever love you are offering is not what I deserve. I deserve better than you.
  6. “The world is not a wish-granting factory.” –John Green, The Fault in Our Stars >> I wanted to be published, and I am still not doing enough to get there. The world doesn’t grant wishes; we have to work hard for what we want.
  7.  [I can’t find a quote, a lyric, or a song title for this one, so I’m just going to flat out say it here.] UNEXPECTED THINGS. >> These are the best in the world. If 2012 was a rollercoaster ride, I’d say that December 2012 was the relief and satisfaction at the end of the ride—it packed some pretty nice things in this last month. I guess it’s true what they say: it does come when you least expect it (and I am not actually referring to love for this one).
  8. “Dear whoever you might be | I’m still waiting patiently.” –The Civil Wars, To Whom It May Concern >> Yup, I’m waiting. Hoping with all my heart that 2013 is finally the year that I’ll love and be loved in return. :)

So there. Thanks to everyone whom I have spent and shared 2012 with and to friends all and new. I am giddily excited for 2013. I know it’s going to be another tough year, but I can be more than you, 2013.


We’re gonna party like… well, it was 2012: Year-Ender Part 1

I skipped this out last year because it was a bit of hell. And it was just a strange year for me that I couldn’t think of how to sum up 2011. But this year, I’d say if I were to describe it in a word, it’ll be this: ROLLERCOASTER.

You know how when you get on a rollercoaster, it starts off real slowly as you climb all the way to the top, and then it drops you, and you scream and you raise your hands up to the sky to release all your emotions. Your heart is racing in your chest, and just before you catch your breath, you’re taken into another loop, another drop, another twist and turn, tugged in all directions—some of which you see and some of which you don’t. And then the ride slows and stops. At the end of it, you feel that satisfaction and relief—satisfaction that you survived such a tough ride and the relief that it was over. Those two emotions are almost immediately followed by excitement: when can I do it again?

That’s how 2012 was for me.

Since at the end of the year, there are tons of lists that come out (e.g., Best of, Worst of, etc…) and I love them, I’m making this year-ender entry of some sorts by lists. Please note that this will split my year-ender into two parts, because I’d like to save my favorite moments and my top lessons learned in 2012 in another entry.

FAVORITE ALBUMS: Order would be probably how they appeared in my iTunes or how I remember them. I will mark some of the albums as “2011” if they’re released last year, but I’ve gotten a hold of the album only this year or I’ve just learned to love it just this year.

  1. 21 by Adele (2011)
  2. Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars
  3. Overexposed by Maroon 5
  4. Unorthodox Jukebox by Bruno Mars
  5. The Lumineers by The Lumineers
  6. + by Ed Sheeran (2011)
  7. Red by Dia Frampton (2011)
  8. Pitch Perfect (Movie Soundtrack) by various artists (I really do suggest that you watch the movie too!)
  9. Scars & Stories by The Fray
  10. Some Nights by fun.
  11. Take Me Home by One Direction
  12. Up All Night by One Direction (2011)
  13. The Truth About Love by Pink
  14. Once Upon Another Time (EP) by Sara Bareilles
  15. Red by Taylor Swift

I wouldn’t go into favorite songs because I think I pretty much gushed about them here or on Twitter, or used them in my stories (check playlists in the Little Things fanfic). But I would add some notable artists that you may want to touch up on: MidWest Kings, To Have Heroes, Lykke Li, and Florence + the Machine. And oh, yup… check out Augustana too.

FAVORITE BOOKS: Tough. Asking a booklover to pick her favorite book is like asking a parent to pick his/her favorite child. Almost unfair but necessary. Below are my favorite reads this year:

  1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Now, who doesn’t have this in their list, please tell me. I can lend you my book.)
  2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (TWISTED. LOVED IT.)
  3. Every Day by David Levithan
  4. The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan (2011) [LOVE this book. Easy to re-read too, and it’s got some sort of continuity because of the Twitter account.]
  5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (1999) [Please do watch the movie too. Absolutely frigging loved Logan Lerman there.]
  6. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (2011)
  7. Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth (2011, 2012) [This landed a movie deal. SO EXCITED!]
  8. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (2011)

Notables: The Serpent’s Shadow, the last book in The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan, and The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore. For the rest of the books that I’ve finished this year, click here.

FAVORITE MOVIES: Gah, they’re too many! I think I may just be listing movies that have stuck in my head or I have watched fairly recently. To my movie buddies, please remind me if I forget a movie that we liked and I didn’t list here.

  1. The Rise of the Guardians
  2. The Avengers
  3. The Amazing Spiderman
  4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  5. Hunger Games
  6. Ruby Sparks
  7. Pitch Perfect

And for the record: I really, really think that Anna Kendrick is an underrated actress.

As for TV series, I think Once Upon a Time needs to work a bit harder (I’m still watching it because of Rumple and Captain Hook, but otherwise, it’s a bit tempting to drop it). Arrow’s a good watch, while The Vampire Diaries may bore you a bit in the first few eps, but it picks up the pace. Criminal Minds and Bones are still so fun to watch. Grey’s Anatomy is CRAZY! And Hawaii Five-0 is getting kind of good too. And yes, I need to get back to watching Glee.

Now, that’s with the first part of this year-ender. Tomorrow’s list will be made up of my favorite moments in 2012, and the top lessons / realizations I’ve had this year.

What were your favorite albums, songs, books, and movies in 2012? :)

Little Things #27

playlist (h - come back)

FROM: h____s___@o___.com

TO: k____t__@u_____.com

SENT: January 31, 2011 02:11

SUBJECT: Mixtape

Dear K,

I got your mixtape. And as per tradition, I’m giving one back. I don’t know where you are, so I don’t know how to send it to you. Since we’re in the digital age, the download link is emailed to you separately. I do hope you get to listen to them.

Did you go home? Part of me wishes you did, just so you can address whatever it was that you needed to deal with. Part of me hopes you didn’t—it’s a bit more comforting to know that you’re still here, in the same continent as I am. That you didn’t go back to him. And let’s face it—you’re easier to find if you’re just in the same city as I am (most of the time, at least).

I miss you, K. It’s been two weeks, and it’s hell. I told you before—you don’t need to run away. This love shouldn’t scare you, because it’s supposed to be good. I’m scared too, and now I could say that I’m hurt, because you’re not here and you left me.

Remember that night in Paris? That bridge with our lock. While I know all I wrote there was about fresh starts, it still had our names on it. You and me. H + K. That lock is our forever. Or if you’re not a believer in that—our lifetime together.

Come back.

Love, H

P.S. I got your David Levithan quotes too. Returning the favor.

lover, n.

…I have never wanted a lover. In order to have a lover, I must go back to the root of the word. For I have never wanted a lover, but I have always wanted to love, and to be loved.

There is no word for the recipient of love. There is only a word for the giver. There is an assumption that lovers come in pairs.

When I say, BE MY LOVER, I don’t mean, Let’s have an affair.

I don’t mean, Sleep with me. I don’t mean, Be my secret.

I want us to go back down to that root.

I want you to be the one who loves me.

I want to be the one who loves you.

Lover’s Dictionary, David Levithan

FROM: h____s___@o___.com

TO: k____t__@u_____.com

SENT: February 1, 2011 07:15

SUBJECT: (null)

You promised me the best birthday ever. Or did you forget?

Just like you forgot when you promised me that you will never leave. That if you feel that urge again to run away, you will tell me and we will do something about it. Because I think I deserve that much, K. A proper goodbye or a send-off at best. Not just a mixtape and some quotes from a Twitter account.

You’re not here, K. And it kills.

FROM: h____s___@o___.com

TO: k____t__@u_____.com

SENT: February 1, 2011 07:18

SUBJECT: Re: (null)

I just want you back. I love you.

FROM: h____s___@o___.com

TO: k____t__@u_____.com

SENT: February 1, 2011 07:20

SUBJECT: Re: (null)

I just realized how pathetic my emails are sounding already. You know this is not me. What are you doing to me, K?

Come home.

FROM: k____t__@u_____.com

TO: h____s___@o___.com

SENT: February 1, 2011 11:58

SUBJECT: Re: (null)

I lost my keys. If you’re still up, I’m at the porch.

Little Things #26

playlist (k - leaving)


Was it a Michelle Branch song that said: And it hurts to want everything and nothing at the same time?

Because that’s why I left H. I wanted everything he has to offer—the love, the goodness, the promise of a new start… everything. But I was scared as shit, and his life isn’t the normal kind of life. No matter how many times he says he is still a normal guy, at the end of the day, the reality will sink in that he isn’t one.

Because the truth is H is a 19-year-old member of a billion-dollar boyband who has broken music records all over the world, selling millions of records and selling out more than 150 concerts in a year. The truth is I am a 24-year-old lost woman who had just recovered from an abusive relationship and a love that I ‘nurtured’ for close to twelve years, and who has yet to earn my first hundred thousand dollars.

The truth is he’s been this guy who made me see how the world can be so beautiful. How I can be myself again after letting myself be suppressed by someone whom I thought loved me. How I can be whole again after being broken for a long time.

The truth is he taught me how to love… unconditionally, even without saying those three words.

The truth is I found a love that’s so great and so grand and it’s right here, in front of me, and I want it… I want it so bad because I know after what I’ve been through, I deserve it.  I deserve him.

But does he deserve me?

context, n.: I have never been in love like this before. I never allowed myself to want it. Because I never thought I would get here.

collateral, n.: You get the firsthand effects of all my secondhand damage.

contradictory, adj.: I didn’t know how to explain to you that I loved you so much that I wanted to run away from it.  

David Levithan (@loversdiction)

Used to it, but not enough to stop wanting the alternative

A couple of nights ago, my cousin asked me if I was going home to the province and I said yes. This was how our conversation went:

Cuz: Uuwi ka this weekend?

Me: Most likely yes.

Cuz: Uwi ka ng uwi!

Me: Habang may chance no! Wala naman akong gagawin dito sa Manila.

Cuz: Edi hanap ka ng lovelife haha

Me: Sus. Haha. Itutulog ko nalang! Haha!

Yes, friends, I value sleep more, mostly because I haven’t been getting much the past months. Plus, I don’t want to stress myself out into thinking “where can I find a love life?”

And then the next morning, on the way to work, I spotted this couple in front of 7/11 near the office, locked in this very tight hug. They were whispering into each other’s ears, but what struck me was the way they were holding each other. Like they don’t want to let each other go. Like parting is such heartbreak. Like they could stay that way, if they can, forever.

And then a thought tugged at me, nagging: I want to be hugged that way too.

You know that sinking feeling you get when you just want something, so bad, but you know it’s not easy to get? That it’s not just up to you, but a factor of a lot of things? That if it’s just about you, you would have done it?

To add salt to whatever this was, while writing in my quote notebook, I encountered this quote from Every Me, Every You by David Levithan:

I had gotten so used to being alone, but never entirely used to it. Never used to it enough to stop wanting the alternative.

It’ll be nice to feel loved by someone (again), to look forward to someone’s text message or call before you fall asleep, to know that someone is just plainly there for you no matter what. That kilig, those tight hugs, those kisses.

So 2013, please be way nicer on my love life than the previous years. Pretty please, because I want the alternative.

Little Things #11

I couldn’t recall what we had fought about the night before, or if we ever did make up before either of us fell asleep. I think it was a combination of everything—how he kept on leaving the toothpaste cap off, or how his boxers are just plainly everywhere whenever he’s at my place, or how after we had taken cooking classes together (me needing it more than he did) I still haven’t cooked anything yet for him, not even to surprise him after a break from his tour. I think it was also because he was suddenly too busy to not reply to me, or that I wouldn’t reply to him whenever he makes a valid point in any argument. Or that even if I would trust him with my life, there was this tiny, tiny twinge of jealousy each time I see pictures of him online with a girl even if I know it’s just a fan.

It was every single not addressed issue that led to this: another breaking point. This was different than the first.

I was scared we were already slipping away—and that I was losing myself as I am losing him.

I woke up and he was still sleeping, but when I turned at the nightstand, there was a post-it atop my phone, sticking on its screen. I recognized the Twitter account where he took it from because I was the one who made him follow it.

I sighed, shaking my head. I wanted to tell him that I feel the same way, but I know it wasn’t the response that he wanted. I turned the post-it over, grabbed my phone, and scanned through the Twitter feed, trying to find that one apt tweet for him and for us.

Underneath it, I wrote: Let’s discuss and not argue. Let’s talk and listen. I love you. And I don’t want to lose this and I don’t want to lose you again. 

I walked over to the other side of the room and stuck the post-it on his phone, just like what he did.

When I got out of the bathroom, he was already awake, seated on the edge of the bed. When he looked up at me, those eyes pained and hurt, like a child that lost his favorite toy. I could see him break; I could feel him break. I was breaking too.

He held out his hand, and on his palm:

I nodded, sitting next to him. He took my hand in his and he gave it a light squeeze, and after three breaths, I spoke first.

“I’m sorry.” 

Our eyes met, and he took a deep breath himself before speaking. “So…” he began, and then he talked and I listened. When he was through, he stopped, leaned over to kiss me on the forehead, before hearing my side.

In the end, I knew we weren’t okay. We weren’t fine yet. Not yet.

But we’ll get there.

He and I always do.