Archive | Erwin’s Exploits RSS for this section

To myself a year from now

Note: This is my first blog post in 20 months, and so much has happened ever since. I started writing this piece on the evening of January 11, 2016 and came up with the final version four days later. Here’s to more blog entries this 2016!

Hello from the other side. It’s me, your 18-year-old self. How have you been? A year can do a lot to a person, and I’m hoping it has put you in a much better place than I am right now. (I was originally planning on writing a New Year’s resolution, but we both know it’ll just go to waste.) As I’m writing this, it’s a quarter before midnight, and by the time I get to the next paragraph, it will most likely be a new day. I just finished listening to Adele’s “Hello” which until this day many are still raving about. Today’s actually the first time I got to listen to the whole song. I gave it a try after reading an interesting article suggesting that the person to whom she’s addressing the song might not really be an ex-lover of hers, but her younger self. I admit that it kind of made me want to write something to my younger self too, but since I’m not very fond of the idea of communicating with someone from the past, I decided I’ll just write to someone else. Next thing I know, I’m writing you this.

I wonder where you are right now. Chances are you’re in a cold classroom either listening to your professor’s lecture or waiting for it to end. Maybe you’re in the MRT train on the way home, sandwiched between two equally-tired bodies. Or maybe you’re in a place you’ve never been before. You’re 19 now, and I’m really curious about how much you’ve changed. (Have you finally gotten laid?) I just turned 18 three weeks ago, and mind you, there’s a lot of pressure that comes with being this age. It’s like I’m drifting in some sort of limbo between childhood and adulthood, and the world is forcing me to get to the other side as soon as possible. When I will get out of this limbo I still don’t know. Perhaps you’ve gotten out of it at 19? I won’t get mad if you haven’t though. I hope you don’t rush things, especially becoming an adult. I hope you’re still clinging to that last shred of childhood remaining in you.

I hope you say yes more often now. I hope you say yes when a college friend asks you to come to a birthday party in a faraway province. Maybe that friend really thinks of you as a friend so much so that he or she mustered the courage to invite you to a place way beyond your familiar orbit.  I hope you say yes when you get asked to run for a position in whatever organization you’re currently in. Believe me when I say that though maintaining good grades is an indispensable part of staying in UP and in your degree program, grades are the last thing you’d want to take away from this whole experience. So be out there and participate. Make awesome memories. Say yes as long as it won’t put you behind bars.

I hope you don’t stop pursuing writing even though your head will be buried in thick accounting books in the years to come. I hope you don’t feel like a sellout anymore because of shifting from Journalism to your current degree program. I hope you’ve submitted your works to that literary contest you’ve been dreaming of joining since high school. You see, you don’t always have to wait for the perfect moment to start writing. Perfection is overrated. What you feel is good enough, and sometimes good enough is actually good enough.

I hope you realize that college is not a race to the finish line, and if people still tell you that it is, I hope you realize that it doesn’t matter if you fail to finish first. If ever that happens, the people who truly love you will not love you any less. I know that you’re still asking yourself, “Do I make my younger self proud?” And to that I say yes. You do. Every single day. So enjoy the journey while it lasts.

And lastly I hope you remember that I was here, alive not only in these words I once breathed life into but also in every space in between. I hope you remember that I once wrote you this in a strangeness of a night when the only logical thing I thought of doing was writing to someone I’ll never get an answer from.

Goodbye from the other side.

Even Iron Man Once Smoked Weed

“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” -George S. Patton

It is not a secret that the real man behind Iron Man’s suit of armor—Tony Stark Robert Downey Jr.—who is one of the most bankable and successful actors of his generation and who is arguably at the apogee of his career right now, had once hit rock bottom.

Not-so-invincible past of the man who played Tony Stark on the big screen

Not-so-invincible past of the man who played Tony Stark on the big screen

Long before fighting fierce duels  against a long list of supervillains on the big screen—which included Zeke Stane and Madame Masque to name a few—to save the human race, the man who gave life to Tony Stark  had to fight countless, lengthy battles against drug addiction and substance abuse first in real life.

 Sure, he had lost a lot of movie and television roles because of legal battles, personal dramas and detention in treatment facilities, but Robert Downey Jr. was able to turn his life around, and his amazing Hollywood comeback still remains to be a class of its own—starring in an array of both critically acclaimed and box-office films while also collecting awards and recognitions along the way.

So what’s really my point here? Before I even allow you ponder that question, let me first give a warm and festive welcome to myself! It has been what, a long, lonely eight months—which had oftentimes felt like eternity—since my last blog post, and this one marks my first post for the year.

brad-pitt (1)

replygif.net

tumblr_ll4lb6vw1f1qk46kqo1_500

doctorwho.tumblr.com

There is a barrage of reasons which would explain my cold (and missed? 😎 ) absence in the blogosphere. First of course, is the ever-hectic and loaded schedule of a student who is about to finish high school in flying colors. (Hihi 😉 ) Then that was exacerbated by an attention span that is about as long as Kris Aquino’s new hair and a perfectionist attitude that is about as productive and responsive as the Philippine government during the wrath of typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).

Oh yes! After four years of joys, fun, learnings, uncertainties, blood, sweat and tears, I did finish high school—as our batch valedictorian! Thank you Lord! :-)

Oh yes! After four years of joys, fun, learnings, uncertainties, blood, sweat and tears, I did finish high school—as our batch valedictorian! Thank you Lord! 🙂

Anyway, enough of giving reasons—that’s for our beloved politicians and not for a sixteen-year-old to do—and please give me another chance to rebuild and get this blog back to its past form. Or better yet, please let me do the thing that I’m most passionate about again which is to write, share stories, and in the process inspire more people.

Okay, I am not by any means a weed smoker nor do I have plans of being one in the future yet. (I swear I didn’t mean to type that! It was my finger—oh wait that is again, for the evil Filipino politicians to do. 😉 )  Like Mr. Downey Jr., we too can turn our lives around and start anew—no matter if you are a philanderer, a drug addict, or a shameless, asshole Filipino politician. You just have to have faith, commitment and discipline to really change and wake up every day with that strong urge to do things differently and better this time around.

if-you-cant-fly-then-run

One of my favorite, life-defining quotes of all time says, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” This is what I exactly need right now because in the past months when I was not able to maintain this blog, I was too focused on taking the big steps; it was either a big step or none at all. What did not occur to me was that—just like what Martin Luther King Jr. said—it doesn’t matter if you walk or crawl or fly as long as you move forward.

And since the writer of this blog is an incoming freshman Journalism student at the University of the Philippines-Diliman this August, I vow to use the remaining three, long months of idleness into a worthy and fun-filled journey of fun and sensible randomness in my writings!

Here’s hoping that my comeback will be more of a Robert than a Lindsay! So yeah, I’d better hit the ground running! 😉

 

One of My Favorite Movies Ever: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Image

“How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d”

                    -Eloisa to Abelard by Alexander Pope

Oh yes. The film’s title is derived from Alexander Pope’s poem “Eloisa to Abelard” which is about the forbidden love between a student a teacher.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has managed to be one of my favorite films of all time for so many reasons, all of which I will tackle in this blog post. Not only does it have a unique and fresh theme, it also combines a comedic slash sci-fi approach on a love story gone wrong with egregious and ingeniously compelling performances from Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey.

I became aware of the film’s existence some four years ago while reading an almanac but I just dismissed it thinking it was just one of those artsy films of Kate Winslet that contain a lot of sex. See, I was completely wrong. I ate my words (or my thoughts to be exact) because this film is just so beautiful and sublime. It hit me straight in the heart and provoked a lot of emotions inside of me. If you think like I’m overrating it myself then go watch it. I’ve been a fan of movies with great and distinctive themes that stimulate my senses and psyche like Rosemary’s Baby, Black Swan and The Silence of the Lambs.

Image

So let’s get down to my blog post. But before that let me just say that I’m just fifteen years old with no prior experience in the film industry whatsoever so I apologize in advance if this blog post comes off as a little juvenile for your taste.

The film’s opening scene begins as Joel (played amazingly by Jim Carrey) wakes up on a lonely Valentine’s Day. Instead of going to work and doing his usual routine, he deliberately rides a train in Montauk to stroll in a beach because he just felt the need to. We get to hear his inner thoughts like how he abhors Valentine’s Day which he sarcastically calls a “holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap.” Joel is a loner, a pessimist who thinks that sand is overrated because they’re just “tiny little rocks.” He’s not one of those guys who are loud and jerky. I can actually relate myself to Joel because we’re more reserved and yes, a little apprehensive. We both have sound and strong minds and we both tend to overthink a lot. Sometimes I tend to think of everything as overrated, especially when I’m sad. When I listen to songs and I’m not in the mood, I tend to think songs are overrated because they end.

Image

Back in the train, Joel meets Clementine (Kate Winslet) who is his total opposite. Clem is wild, unfiltered and has a high energy. Her mood, as what she claims, is as erratic as her hair color which she loves to change when she feels like she should since she “applies her personality in a paste.”

Image

In fact, she tells Joel that her current blue hair is called “Blue Ruin”. Joel is so introverted that Clem is the one who approached him and made the first move. Clem gleefully pleads Joel not to make jokes out of her name to which Joel replies that he doesn’t know any. She then sings Huckleberry Hound’s song entitled “Oh My Darling Clementine.”

Oh my darling, Oh my darling,
Oh my darling Clementine,
You are lost and gone forever,
Dreadful sorry Clementine.

Well as the movie progresses, we will realize how prophetic this song is.

Since their meeting in the train, Clem and Joel became closer to each other. One cold morning, while they’re inside Joel’s car, Clem asks Joel if she can sleep at Joel’s house. So Joel agrees, and they stop at Clem’s house where she gets her toothbrush.

When Clem was out, an awkward scene between Joel and a stranger occurs while the former is still inside his car.

Image

Then the screen darkens. Music starts to play. Initial credits start to appear.

We then see Joel crying inside his car while a sad song is playing. It appears that Clem broke up with her.

Wait. We now realize that this movie has a non-linear narrative. We still don’t know if the scenes I described before the initial credits appeared, (train scenes where they meet each other) are really the first one that happened. We will be enlightened later.

So back to the movie. Apparently, the reason why Joel is depressed is because Clem decided to erase the memories of him and their relationship in Lacuna, a clinic that has the technology of deleting a person’s memories of someone or traumatic experiences.

Out of retaliation and yes, frustration, Joel also decides to erase his memories of Clem. He goes to Dr. Mierzwiak and they then make an appointment.

In order to make the deleting process successful, Joel also needs to get rid of all the stuffs, memorabilia and all the things that are associated or will remind him of Clem. The “operation” is performed in Joel’s house by Stan and Patrick (the guy who out of nowhere offered Joel help in the first scene of the movie). Joel, in his mind, will have to revisit his memories of Clem in reverse.

We see his last memory of her, a horrid conversation of the two of them when Clem, who is drunk, comes home late at night, which was also the cause of their break-up.

Image

We also see other problems that hounded of their doomed relationship like Joel’s lack of openness to Clem because of his natural introversion.

Image

Apparently, Patrick, one of Lacuna’s workers, is trying to woo the present Clem who had her memories of Joel deleted already, by copying certain facets of her former relationship with Joel. Patrick uses the dialogues and style of Joel to impress Clem. He also uses the the memorabilia of Joel and Clem like Joel’s diary notes or even the necklace that he gave to Clem before, to impress Clem.

As Joel travels back to his memories of Clem, he starts to fall in love with Clem all over again and begs Dr. Mierzwiak to keep a certain memory like a tearful bed conversation wherein Clem talks about her insecurities and woes as a child or their ice skating memory together.

The movie then takes a fresh and unconventional approach from here on. As Joel tries to evade the process of the deletion of the memories, he convinces Clem that they are just a memory and they’re in danger of being deleted so the two of them constantly run away and hide in a memory wherein Clem doesn’t exist like Joel’s childhood memories.

As Joel’s memories are being deleted, the people, structures and everything around him magically disappears too which adds to the visual effulgence to the film.

Image

When Stan finds out that Joel disappears from the “radar”, a precarious situation since it might jeopardize the deletion process, he calls Dr. Mierzwiak to come over and help him. When Mierzwiak arrives, a drunken Mary Svevo, Lacuna’s receptionist who was also present in the operation, becomes smitten over the married doctor.

This is the time when Mary recites the lines from the poem by Alexander Pope (whom she wrongly calls Pope Alexander before being corrected by Mierzwiak)

They both share a passionate kiss, which Mierzwiak’s wife, who unexpectedly followed her husband, caught.

Image

Mierzwiak’s wife angrily confronts his husband and when Mary meddles with the fight in an attempt to pacify the wife’s ire, it is revealed that Mary and Mierzwiak already had an affair many years ago and that Mary decided to delete that memory through the process that Lacuna offers.

Meanwhile, the deletion of Joel’s memories becomes inevitable as Mierzwiak was successful in “recapturing” Joel and taking him back to the radar.

When it was down to the last memory to finalize the deletion process, Joel and Clem’s first memory together was revealed, and ironically it was not the first scene of the movie where they met in a train. It was instead a time when Joel together with his family members decided to go to a beach and that’s where he meets Clem. Their first conversation was similar to their train conversation in the first scene of the movie where Clem asks Joel not to joke about her name. The only difference though is that Joel joked about her name and even sang “Oh My Darling Clementine.”

When Joel realizes that it was already their last memory and the deletion would be inescapable, he cries and pleads that he would have stayed in their relationship if he had the chance.

Image

Ironically, it was Clem who said that they should just enjoy their last memory together. Before she finally disappears and the process comes to a conclusion, Clem whispers, “Meet me in Montauk”.

So the splendid visuals then take over the film as scenes are fast-forwarded.

It is revealed that Mary quits her job, decides to steal the Lacuna records and distribute it to all their clients, including Joel and Clem.

We are now back to the present (the scenes before the scene where Joel cries in a car). It is revealed that the initial scenes of the film from the beginning to the scene where Patrick offers help to Joel all happened after the memory deletion processes of both Clem and Joel.

It means that when Clem and Joel met in the train, they didn’t really know each other because they already had their memories of each other deleted. What they don’t realize is that they are a former couple and they used to love each other.

So we’re back to the scene where Clem gets her toothbrush at her house and she finds their Lacuna records. Back in the car, she plays the record and they both realize that they were a former couple and all their memories start to sink in them.

At first, they react with bafflement and shock. In the end, after a tearful conversation they decide to rekindle their relationship although they know that they will still commit the same mistakes again and again.

Image

Well, I know the film is much better than how I described it so go watch it. (Yeah, after I gave you the whole plot. 🙂 )

One of the practical lesson I learned from this movie is to make sound and profound decisions. Sometimes, we tend to use our heart more than our head. We tend to make decisions based on what we feel (which are always temporary) rather than what we think. We tend to make permanent decisions on temporary feelings and most of the time, we regret those decisions. Like what Clem and Joel did, they made a decision that they regret although they were lucky that they still got the chance to still know each other in a twist of fate. In real life, we don’t always get that twist of fate wherein our decisions can be reversed so it is always important that we always think deeply and reasonably every time we make decisions because sometimes, their effects will remain for a lifetime and hence, unalterable.

Another thing I realized is that deleting bad memories or something distasteful in the past wouldn’t really do one favor. For example, we all have that embarrassing experiences or heartbreaks or traumatic experiences in the past that we want to forget. Will deleting those experiences make someone happier or more fulfilled as a person or would it just deprive that person of lessons and life-learning experiences that he or she may use to be a stronger and more resilient person than yesterday?

I believe that everything happens for a reason, no matter how clichéd it may sound. Yes, everyone will definitely have a bad moment or bad experience but it depends on that person how he or she will use it. Will he or she use it as a tool to further improve or better oneself or will he or she just dwell on that atrocious experiences to be depressed and never find real happiness and peace of mind in life?

And I believe it is what the film tries to teach its viewers inartificially. You may forget the memories but you won’t forget the emotions and the impulse. For example, Mary may have had her memories of her affair with Mierzwiak deleted but it did not guarantee them of making the same mistake again. You may have forgotten those inconceivable and harrowing memories of the past, but it wouldn’t be a guarantee that it wouldn’t happen to you again ergo it is not an assurance of a gratified life.

The “memory deletion process” that Lacuna offers represents humans’ perilous desire and ambition to use the ever-advancing technology to further dismantle the original and natural cycle of human life in an attempt to make it easier, more bearable and livable for everyone or provide selfish and parsimonious material things to further spoil those who can afford it. It makes sense especially right now that our generation especially mine is very accustomed to everything fast and instant, like instant coffee, noodles and wifi. It is alarming how more and more people especially children are having shorter attention spans. You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if one day, people will invent a gadget that enables one to instantly kill a person that annoy him or her or a device that will permit one to erase the processes of pooping and peeing as it may be viewed as annoying and time-consuming in the next generations. You see, technology is being abused and made to break things that shouldn’t be touched just to satiate one’s appetite for a comfortable and hassle-free life. Modern technology rips the word “sacrifice” into tiny bits of pieces and into oblivion.

But above all these, what makes me glued to this movie is the organic, vulnerable and fascinating powerhouse performances of both Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey. Kate’s Oscar nom for this role is definitely deserved and thank God she won five years later.

I am confident to say that I won’t forget the impulses and emotions that I felt when I watched this film if ever I will decide to delete my memories in the future.

Songs I Listen to at the Moment

you are what you listen to

Just like any other teenager, listening to songs has been a necessity for me just like food and water instead of a luxury. Music gives me solace and comfort during a bad day, provides me inspiration to keep going amid all obstacles and bestows me a profuse sense of freedom and self-appreciation when I start doubting myself.

My taste for music depends on my erratic mood. Most of the songs on my phone are either songs I heard while on a bus or jeepney or songs performed in the t.v. shows that I love to watch. I don’t care if a song is old or new or if it’s sung by a famous or unpopular artist. (I loved listening to “Yesterday” by The Beatles after being performed by Angie Miller on American Idol.)  As long as it passes my weird taste then I give it a spot in my playlist.

Here are the new songs that I love listening to as of the moment. Originally, this post was supposed to be “Ten Hottest Songs at the Moment” but I’m too lazy to make ten! Oversleeping sucks.

1.) Stay- Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko

Barbadian superstar Rihanna proves that she can not only dance, flaunt her sexy body or  make headlines because of her turbid personal life; she can also sing her ass off. At this point of her career, it seems like everything she touches turns to gold. Unlike worldwide chart topping singles “We Found Love” and “Diamonds” among others, Rihanna brings one of her most subtle and passionate vocals in “Stay” featuring newcomer Mikky Ekko (who also co-wrote the song).

Oohh the reason I hold on

Oohh cause I need this hole gone

Funny you’re the broken one but I’m the only one who needed saving

Cause when you never see the light it’s hard to know which one of us is caving

The song explores the subject of a relationship on the verge of breaking up. Rihanna begs her lover to stay (the word is used as a chorus filler), even though she knows that it will not do any of them favor as she herself is not sure if she still loves him or she just feels the need of having him in her life just to get shun the feeling of isolation. It is also about the confusion and turmoil one undergoes in deciding whether it is time to let go of a relationship where you’re not happy anymore but still the guilt of wasting a relationship where you invested emotions, time and even money holds you back.   Sounds like her relationship with Chris Brown, doesn’t it?

I love the slow tempo of the song because it complements my “emo” mood while listening to it.

I must admit that I got a little sleepy when Rihanna performed this song in the Grammys some months ago so I quickly switched the channel. 🙂 But my continuous listening to it every night before I go to sleep made me appreciate it more. I think these “serious” songs that Rihanna sing more than her party hits which are merely sexual innuendos like S&M and Rude Boy.

I’m sure many people can relate to this “conversation type” of song where two muddled lovers answer each one’s complains and contemplate on whether their relationship is still worth fighting for.

I have this feeling most people will get bored when they listen to the song for the first time so I recommend you to listen to the song when you’re having some random heavy feelings about someone or when you’re intending to move on with a broken relationship or when you’re thinking of someone you know you can’t be with.

2.) Mirrors- Justin Timberlake

Most of Justin’s songs are like diaries or journals about the things that he feels for someone or something. Unlike his 2002 hit “Cry Me a River” which is widely believed as his response to her ex-girlfriend Britney Spears’ infidelity that cost their relationship, “Mirrors” is actually a happy song about his magnanimous relationship with his wife Jessica Biel.

And I’ll tell you baby, it was easy
Comin’ back into you once I figured it out
You were right here all along
It’s like you’re my mirror
My mirror staring back at me
I couldn’t get any bigger
With anyone else beside of me

I love the infectious hook of this song. It almost has that sensuality and allure of “What Goes Around…Comes Around” and “Sexy Back” although “Mirrors” maintains that wholesomeness in it. It is one of those songs that will keep you humming and singing in your mind even though you don’t know the lyrics so you have to improvise words to keep the song running.

Justin Timberlake has maintained his popularity and success not just as a musician but also as a bankable movie star. He’s far better than the other Justin who is so troubled nowadays.

3.) Done- The Band Perry

I learned about this song when it was performed by The Band Perry together with Janelle Arthur during the finale of American Idol Season 12 last week. I was pleasantly surprised by the rocker vibe that band emitted because I was still reminiscing their sweet country “If I Die Young” days.

Mama always told me that I should play nice
She didn’t know you when she gave me that advice
I’m through, with you
You’re one bridge I’d like to burn
Scatter the ashes, smash the urn

Just like Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” or Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable”, “Done” is also a song about dealing with a break up. But this song is different. It’s about handling a break up with a bang and a revengeful sense of inner strength.

Kimberly Perry’s, the band’s vocalist, vocals are so strong and snazzy. She’s one great country singer. I liked their first song “ If I Die Young” but I definitely like this song more. You should listen to this song when you feel like your ex sucks or when you feel like you still haven’t moved on.

4.) When I Was Your Man- Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars is one of the best and coolest musicians ever. He is capable of playing different instruments, writing epic songs not to mention that he has one of the dopest voices ever. He is my favorite male singer of all time. I mean, this man right here co-wrote and sang some of my favorite songs such as “Grenade”, “It Will Rain” and “Locked Out of Heaven”. His newest song is not an exception.

When I first listened to this song, it immediately captured me. I felt the repentance, regret and remorse that the singer is feeling as he sings those heartbreaking lyrics about how he wants to bring back time so he can change the things that he did wrong during his relationship with this girl. I always imagine singing this song while playing the piano even though I can’t play the piano. Lol 🙂

Too young, too dumb to realize
That I should have bought you flowers and held your hand
Should have gave all my hours when I had the chance
Take you to every party cause all you wanted to do was dance
Now my baby is dancing, but she’s dancing with another man.

This song is so powerful and relatable. You can almost grasp the complicated emotions of sadness and sorrow just by listening to it. Bruno Mars’ songwriting, although nothing compared to The Beatles’ or Stevie Wonder’s, still appeals to my generation. When a Bruno Mars song comes out, you know it must be great.

5.) Highway Don’t Care- Tim McGraw featuring Taylor Swift and Keith Urban

I love country songs too and I love listening to Shania Twain’s and Taylor Swift’s songs every once in a while.

“Highway Don’t Care” is a song that brings together three country music legends Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban into one palatable, syrupy and heartfelt song.

It’s a breeze listening to the three of them together in a song as they have that “country connection” that is unparalleled. I even read some reviews from critics saying that the collaboration of Swift and McGraw is one of the decade’s best. Do you know that the first Taylor Swift single is entitled “Tim McGraw?”

I can’t live without you, I can’t live without you baby
I can’t live without you, I can’t live without you baby, baby
The highway won’t hold you tonight
The highway don’t know you’re alive
The highway don’t care if you’re all alone
But I do, I do.

This song is like a song within a song. Mcgraw who drives in a highway sings about what he thinks his girlfriend, Swift, is thinking and doing while the two of them is separated as they’re driving in the highway. A song is then played on the radio (the part sung by Swift) which perfectly describes what Mcgraw feels.

Mcgraw’s voice is full of flying colors. It’s also a delight listening to the soothing voice of Swift. It’s one of those songs that you’d like to listen while you’re travelling or when you’re just missing someone.

6.) Just Give Me A Reason- Pink featuring Nate Ruess

Well for me, this has got to be one of the best collaborations ever! I mean, you’ve got the underrated but superior performer  Pink who sang some of the coolest songs ever such as “So What”, “Sober” and “F*ckin’ Perfect” and Nate Ruess who is the lead singer of the band Fun which popularized the smashing hits “We Are Young” and “Some Nights”.

I’m sure this song touches everyone who hears it. It’s a power anthem (well at least for me) but still remains as sensitive and affecting as ever. Just like “When I Was Your Man”, I also imagine myself singing this song while playing the piano even though I can’t play the piano. 🙂

Just give me a reason

Just a little bit’s enough

Just a second we’re not broken just bent

And we can learn to love again

The song, according to Pink, is about holding on to a relationship even when it appears to be breaking down. How the hell did Britney Spears, who doesn’t even write her own songs became more successful than this powerful singer right here?

It is no surprise that a bunch of singers tried to sing it on TV like Amber Holcomb who was my favorite contestant in American Idol Season 12 and Michelle Chamuel in The Voice US Season 4, but both failed to deliver the emotions and supremacy that Pink has.

This is currently my favorite song and I love singing it even though my voice miserably breaks down in the process.

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” –Bob Marley

The Constant Search for Peace of Mind

Image

Peace of mind is an indispensable thing that everyone must strive to acquire just like food, clothing and shelter. Your school achievements, fat bank accounts or even luxurious items like cars and jewelry wouldn’t really matter if you can’t sleep at peace every night or maintain a healthy relationship with the people around you.

macbeth

Take Macbeth for example. He gloriously usurped to the king’s throne after murdering the crowned head but did he have a happy life after that? Sure, he got the unyielding power and influence but the psychological stain that his heinous crime brought to him and his wife just deprived the both of them their sanity, peace of mind and eventually their own lives.

So now you’re aware of the adverse effects that the absence of peace of mind can bring. (It can kill you like Macbeth! 🙂 ) Here are some steps that may guide all of us in pursuing peace and harmony in our everyday lives.

1.)  Appreciate yourself and the things that you’ve done. Never ever underestimate yourself because how would everyone else appreciate you if you yourself cannot? Sometimes we tend be self-depreciating when problems and trials come our way.

value

“Always accept and feel comfortable with your flaws, that way no one can ever use them against you.” –  Unknown

Slow down. Take a sit, close your eyes and relax yourself. Remember all the good things that you’ve done in the past. Take yourself back to the time when you got a good score in an exam or helped a friend in his/her problem or did a really great job in a report. 

2.) Never ever ever envy others. Well, I must admit that this one’s really difficult. Envy is something that’s already imprinted in our human nature since Cain killed his own brother Abel. As humans, it’s natural for us to feel a little jealous when someone got a higher score than you in a test or a when somebody’s earning more than you do or when someone flaunts his girlfriend or boyfriend in social networking sites while there you are in front of your pc, feeling forever alone. Yes, it does suck especially when you really know that you deserve it more than they do.

envy

Just think that it’s not yet your time. Imagine yourself as a caterpillar and the people you envy as butterflies. Of course you’d think that they’re more beautiful and loved than you are, but just when you thought that it’s the end of the world, BOOM. You transformed into a more elegant, striking and enormous butterfly than any butterfly in the world.

Envy wouldn’t do you any favor, aside from the fact that it’s included in the seven deadly sins. It will just leave you a heavy and miserable feeling every now and then because you keep on comparing yourself to others. It will just make you look at your friends and people of potential help and companionship as vicious competitors and adversaries. It will just leave you with a lonely and never-satisfied disposition in life. You will never appreciate the works of others and you will never appreciate your own self as envy leaves you without any satisfaction, security and happiness.

Realize that your worth is not based on how you fare in comparison to others because you are unique and special in your own little ways.

“The flower which is single need not envy the thorns that are numerous.”Rabindranath Tagore

3.)  Be responsible for your actions.

By being responsible, it means that you are the one who is accountable and liable for the things that you do.

It is not your mother, your dog or your favorite tv show that makes your personal decisions in life. It is you, first and foremost. By taking responsibility for your life, you would not find the need to blame others for the outcome of the things that you do.

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”Abraham Lincoln

For example, you planned to do your assignment at 8pm. Incidentally, you found out that your favorite show, let’s say “Juan Dela Cruz”, also airs at the same time so you chose to leave your assignment behind to make room for your favorite show. Suddenly, your mother arrived home and found you slouching in the sofa while your assignment is languishing in the table. You then blame your favorite tv show for your irresponsibility. Sounds illogical, doesn’t it?

You have to accept that you are the captain of your own ship. You are the one who makes your own destiny, your own monsters and your own heroes. Yes, there are a lot of distractions everywhere in different forms but letting them affect you is a choice. You may not be able to control the things around you but you can control your actions.

4.) Strive for contentment.

Being content doesn’t mean that you have to settle for less. It also doesn’t mean that we stop seeking ways to make ourselves better, striving to have a better life or having ambitions and goals.

As we grow older, we let go of the things that we enjoy as children. We see things as possible opportunities to make money and make our lives better or merely instruments of survival in this fast-changing world instead of things that should be cherished or enjoyed. As our innocence begins to wear off, we forget to enjoy the journey of life as we become more concerned about the destination.

dalailama

By being content, we practice the art of acknowledgement. We acknowledge the blessings that we have instead of dwelling in the things that we lack. We enjoy the small things that happen every day. We do random acts of charity. We do not envy others. We value the things that are essential in our life such as love, friendships and relationship with our family more than worldly and temporal things.

“One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

We should be aware that contentment is not a permanent destination. It is a life-long process that involves hard work, commitment and positivity. Sometimes, the search for contentment is more important than contentment itself.

5.) Maintain an open communication with your parents.

Your parents, just like your best friends also have the right to know what is happening in your life right now. As teenagers, we find it hard to open up to our parents about sensitive issues such as love and the like.

Our parents also went through that stage in their lives so they can also relate to our own problems and situations. We should not be strangers to our own parents. For example, if you are bullied in school, it is just right for your parents to know about it so necessary steps would be taken.

parents

“My heroes are and were my parents. I can’t see having anyone else as my heroes.”Michael Jordan

6.) Use the internet to your own advantage.

The fact that you’re reading this just means one thing. You have internet access. Instead of using the internet to satiate your sexual desires, why not use it as a source of information to improve our lives?

The internet is never short of blog articles about strengthening oneself, overcoming low self-esteem, dealing with bullies and pursuing peace of mind. The internet contains everything you need (of course virtually).

In spare time, you can read quotes about responsibility, love, hope and contentment. Quotes of Mother Teresa, Maya Angelou, Dalai Lama, Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi are of great help in those subjects. Try to watch Youtube videos of motivational speakers.

                               I don’t know if you’d consider Lloyd Cadena’s videos as inspirational but it’s so damn funny and it’s motivational for me! 🙂


Do listen to motivational songs that can keep you going. Music is a powerful platform to spread messages of love, empowerment and acceptance. It doesn’t just relax; it also gives you that drive to keep going and to stay strong and resilient.