Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CRUSH Material

What are the things we see in men that make us go crazy over them?

A lot, actually. And, if I had to make a list of all of them, it'd take me forever. But, here's a quick run down of the top 10 from some female friends. (The arrangement was all me, though. Because, you know, I'm awesome. XD )

10. Good-Looking
Because women can be superficial, too. But, really, who can judge us when the easiest thing to recognize is aesthetics?? We look at guys and the first thing we see is his face. Now, if only the handsome pips could stop turning out to be shorter than us.

9. Fit
We're not talking about bulging muscles and all that because, frankly, they're a turn off. We mean fit as in physically fit (Yeah, I'm not sure I'm making sense either). The thing is, we want guys who are huggable and not rail thin. It'd be a bonus if he danced, or played sports like basketball.

8. Captivating Eyes
They say eyes are the windows to the soul. I'm not sure about seeing a person's soul through his eyes but there are eyes that just draw you in and threaten to drown you in their depths. Eyes that make you fall.

7. Musically-Inclined
This can range from simply loving listening to music to actually having the ability to create music. While the idea of serenade is dated, the thought of someone wooing you with well-thought out lyrics and notes can be quite appealing. So much so that we would even be willing to forgive tone deaf singers.

6. Thoughtful
What does being thoughtful mean? Well, it's quite simple. We want guys who can read our minds so he can come up with all the right things to do at the right time. Well, not really. Or, yeah. A bit. Really, it's all about the small gestures.

5. Respectful
There are two sides to guys- the one they allow us to see and the one they wear with their guy friends. We want guys who will respect us behind our backs. Those who won't let other guys talk crap about us. Because we deserve that.

4. Sense of Humor
It is as they say, if you want someone to fall for you, make her laugh. It's the fastest way to have us let our guard down. Just a quick reminder, though. While there are some of us who can tolerate and even appreciate guy humor, we'd prefer clean, harmless jokes.

3. Family-Oriented
You know how a guy will treat you by the way he treats his mother and his female siblings.

2. Intelligent
Because, what use is a great face without the brains to keep it interesting? Besides, smart people always make for great conversationalists. Although, I should probably clarify that I'm talking about smart people and not know-it-alls. Because nobody likes talking to know-it-alls.

1. God-Fearing
This is perhaps one of the hardest thing to find in men. The real ones, at least. I mean, just how many guys are there who aren't so easily taunted into doing things that are- for lack of better words- worldly?


Stephanie gaped at me. "That's a long list, Jo."

"I know."

She shook her head. "You realize he can't be all that, right? He'd have to be perfect."

"But, he is," I insisted. "He has to be. He's my crush."

My best friend just laughed at me. "Oh, I'd love to see your face when you get to know him and realize how far off you are."

Scrunching my eyebrows, I answered her. "But I won't get to know him. I'm not supposed to. He's my crush."

She gave me a weird look but I just stared back. It took her a minute before her face cleared up and she gasped with realization. "Poor, Nate."

"What?" I hated it when she does that- say things unsequentially. I'm never sure whether she's the problem or I am.

She smirked at me before uttering a word that confounded me even more. "Crush-zoned."

Yup. It's definitely her.

That small bit was an excerpt from Crush-Zoned! I've decided to join NaNoWriMo again this year. I'm not yet sure how I'm going to pull that off but I'm taking up the challenge. Am hoping for your support. :)

Oh, and I need a cover photo for this. Any takers?

Eyes Wide Open

The danger of open-mindedness is that you're opening yourself up to temptations. The price of having eyes with a panoramic view is a thinner skin- a weaker barrier against influence, a vulnerability to things that would have otherwise been unknown to you. Sooner or later, you realize that the nature that allowed you to be open-minded in the first place has amplified the whispers of darkness in your ears. And, it will be that very nature that will push you further into the arms of that darkness.

Why am I being so sinister? I suppose I'm still reeling from the realization of just how far I've allowed myself to go. It was not unlike getting a bucket of ice water dumped over my head. I've always prided myself for the ability to put myself out there while maintaining my hold on my self, my beliefs and my principles. It had taken me a long time to realize my situation. Or perhaps I knew it as soon as I stepped over the line, I was just in denial.

Let me start at the beginning. There are two types of people. The first one includes those who are so set in their ways that they can't see anything past what they already know. They are those who close themselves off to other possibilities, other realities and other truths. They are those who don't bother to look at or even acknowledge the existence of other ways different from their own. And, this close-mindedness keeps them from seeing the whole picture. They simply believe that their way of life, their understanding of life is the right one. This goes against the scientist in me. After all, scientists are supposed to consider all the possibilities in an objective and unbiased perspective. Which is why I chose to be of the second type.

Open-mindedness is the ability to see every side to a situation. It doesn't mean that you have to agree with everything and everyone. It is more the willingness to understand every possible aspect before coming to a decision on what you stand by. It is in essence an exploration of all the cultures, a head dive into a sea of knowledge. And, it can be very fun and liberating. That is, for so long as you don't lose yourself in the currents. Because losing sight of who you are can be as easy as deciding to just go along for the ride into the unknown.

I lost myself. I didn't get into drugs or anything illegal, but still. Your very identity is structured around your morals, principles and beliefs. When you start acting against these, you chip away at yourself. And, just how much of yourself do you have to lose before realizing that something's wrong? Not too much, I hope. Because then, I wouldn't know what to do with myself.

The world is a beautiful place that should be seen without prejudiced staining. Just remember that all things beautiful have thorns.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I am Good Enough

What is the one thing that could hurt you the most? It's that one thing that people throw around like they have the right to do so. That one thing that could make a vulnerable soul crumble. Expectation. I can almost hear the boos and disgruntlement over this. And, I'm certain many would argue that love is a far more hurtful thing. Perhaps those people are right. Or perhaps they just don't realize how badly expectations can damage us. How deeply they can reach into our psyche.

I can no longer count the number of times I had nearly pushed myself over the edge for what someone else wanted me to be. It is almost humiliating to think of the amount of tears I once shed over something as silly as trying to uphold someone else's notion of who I am. You see, expectations are tricky little things. They have a way of snaking doubt into our minds and planting seeds of desperation and fear into our hearts. They make us doubt our own abilities, our own skills, our own identity. They make us desperate to reach for goals that are more often not our own. They make us fear failure and what others would think of us. They make us fear other people's opinion of us- their thoughts, their judgment, their disappointment.

Disappointment is born out of failed expectations. Expectations are nothing more than a person's unattainable dreams being projected onto others. It's nothing more than their way of trying to live life through another person. Expectations are images born out of someone's misguided interpretation of who a person is and who he/she can be. These are lethal poisons thrown around through off-handed comments, jokes, teasing threats and the like. It's almost too casually done for the kind of damage it deals to the unprepared.

It's sad how easily people discard who they are for the sake of trying to be someone they're not. Sadder, still, when they don't realize how doing so only detract from who they are. With every expectation made is bound to be a disappointment. And, with every disappointment, we allow someone else to take a part of us away. Why do we beat ourselves up over someone else's expectations of us? Worse yet, why allow ourselves to suffer by our own expectations of ourselves?

I doubt there's a way to eliminate expectations in the world. We can hardly eliminate poverty, how much better would we fare at phasing out unwarranted thoughts from naturally nosy beings? In the end, it's not other people we need to change but ourselves. We need to decide just how far we're going to let other people dictate how we live our own lives. We need to choose whose opinion matters and whose don't. We need to regain our self-confidence and believe in who we are.

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." -Psalm 139:14

We are wonderful, beautiful creatures yet we keep trying to change ourselves because we don't - can't see ourselves in our entirety. And, maybe we do try to look at who we are but we look at mirrors that have been distorted by society's skewed standards and convince ourselves that something's lacking in us. You're wrong. It's just as Tohru Honda of Fruits Basket said,

"If you think of someone's good qualities as the umeboshi in an onigiri, it's as if their qualities are stuck to their back! People around the world are like onigiri. Everyone has an umeboshi with a different shape and color and flavor. But because it's stuck on their back, they might not be able to see their umeboshi."

This is for all the souls out there who feel that they aren't good enough, for all the spirits that have been beaten down, for all the hearts heavy with disappointment. I may not know your personal situation, but I do know this as a fact. You are an amazing, beautiful, wonderful creature with talents and strengths unique to you alone. And, no matter what the world's defective system of putting value to human beings says, you are invaluable. You are good enough, strong enough, beautiful enough, skilled enough.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

[NAME] was Here

Do you fear death? If you were to die this instance, would you be okay with it? Or would you beg for your life-for more time?

I watch a lot of action movies and one of the most recurring scenes is that of someone, despite their burly appearance, begging for their lives when placed at gunpoint. What is it that brings brave gang men to tears when placed in the brink of death? I used to think that it was due to cowardice and that I was better than them because I wouldn't beg. I would accept the fate given me.

I never understood it- the fear of death. Why be afraid of the inevitable? Why postpone something that would eventually have to pass? We would all have to die. It's the cycle of life. I understood and accepted this truth. But a few years into my life has made me realize that perhaps the act of begging for one's life isn't simply from cowardice or from want to continue living. It is from a sudden realization that comes only when faced with death. The realization that you're not yet ready.

I'm not talking about having unfinished business because we'll always have those. I'm not talking about having regrets because I've long realized the frailty of human life and have learned to live with as little regrets as possible. No, I'm talking about our need to feel eternal. And, before you say something, this isn't some misguided crusade for the search for the fountain of youth in an effort to evade death. I believe that eternal life is achieved only in the afterlife.

Legacy. That's the only way to put it in one word. Our complicated need to leave a mark on this world. A reassurance that we ever existed. Something that would continue to exist long after our body turns back to dust. We fear death because we realize that we haven't left a legacy yet. What is there to say that you were once alive in this world and you lived a true and meaningful life?

I often find myself staring into space and thinking of all the things I've done in my life. It is a short list for I have yet to truly live. But, it scares me to think that it seems as though I have yet to do anything that could build towards something worth being remembered for.

How about you? How have you fared so far?