Thursday, October 20, 2016

K-DRAMA: It's Okay, That's Love


Credits to owner. The photo shown above is not mine.





20 OCT 2016
     I just got done with episode 4, and to be honest, I was confused in the first two episodes. I didn't know the characters' relationships until I got to the end of the second episode and so forth. I figured this might throw some viewers off, and I can understand if you discontinue watching this by the end of the first episode (beats me, I remember my attempt watching this drama in the past and closing the tab a few minutes in). Now, I am coming to like this more and more. I wouldn't say that it has had an impact on me yet. I like the fact that this is about mental health. The mental cases used as examples so far (Tourette's Syndrome, Brief Psychotic Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Depression, Gender Identity Disorder, OCD, and such) are common and profound ones, which is both a good thing and a bad thing for me. I like to know about the more complex mental illnesses other than those. I sure do hope that there are a lot more coming my way as I finish the other episodes.
     I like the fact that Hye Soo was able to figure out that Jae Yeol has OCD just by looking at the pattern and colors of his room. Hell, how the drama showed Jae Yeol's OCD was impeccable. It was subtle in the first few episodes (how it was delivered), but the latter episodes showed Jae Yeol checking the towel cabinet twice, him fixing the plate, and if you even pay attention to the background, you will see that some of the things in his bathroom are arranged in a weirdly organized way (toilet paper rolls on the shelf).
     Is it just me who got the feeling that something weird was going on with Jae Yeol and Kang Woo (Kyungsoo)? I kinda figured out that Kang Woo was imaginary. I am not certain, though, if Kang Woo is Jae Yeol's past self, figure of the past, imaginary friend, or whatever. I knew something was up between those two.
    Other than being puzzled about everyone's relationship with each other, I like the drama so far. I get the feeling it has mind blowing twists in the end, though, but nothing I feel I can't catch up to.

21 OCT 2016
     I just got done with episode 7. Dear Lord, the drama is a bit confusing to me. I mean, it's not that I don't know what's happening rather because I just don't like the supporting character's stories. So Nyeo and Soo Kwang's story isn't being elaborated that well. Soo Kwang likes her, but she has a boyfriend? The drama seemed to end it there. No progress for their story so far. As for Dong Min and Young Jin, I just don't get why these two were even a couple in the first place. I don't see chemistry in them. They always fight, and they seem like they both don't mix well. Don't get me started on Hye Soo's mom. What's the deal with her? She still contacts that President Kim, but there isn't even information on who he is. I feel like the characters' stories are independent of each other, but their stories individually don't have complexity nor a proper flow. Their stories appear to just be fillers stitched together to make the drama. It's the 7th episode, and I feel like I am only in this for bubbly background soundtracks, mental cases, and Jae Yeol's and Hye Soo's love story. Nothing more. Yes, the comedy, too. Also, how they treat their patients is just like giving them medications and advice. Like for real? You just tell a patient to "have the will" and then they expect them to get better. I did learn about "Amytal Sodium" aka amobarbital. Apparently, it's a sedative-hypnotic drug, which I thought was pretty cool!
     They do not even have any remarkable quotations that stand out. I do like Jae Bum and Jae Yeol's relationship. I like how Jae Yeol treats Jae Bum right despite their past (and their present). The character I like the most in this drama is Jae Yeol. I like his OCD and past very much. I like the character he plays.
     Hopefully, in the next episodes... I get to see some more complexity in this drama. I would still finish it, and I hope I do end up liking it the way I like Angel Eyes, I Hear Your Voice, and Descendants of the Sun.

24 OCT 2016
     I am typing this reaction on the 25th, but I actually finished the drama on the evening of the 24th. 9 episodes later and I can say that this drama is not as bad as I thought it was. I was still confused a lot and was left with questions episode after episode that all the questions just piled up until I no longer can recall any of them. I will say that, above all, Jang Jae Yeol made this drama. I am pretty sure most of the people who watched this will agree with me. His character, his struggles, his imperfections, they all made the drama more meaningful and lively. I feel like it's a little too late to react now, and having said that I finished 9 episodes in one sitting, I can barely remember what to say about each episode. I will be throwing in my two cents in the in-depth review below.


*** Overview ***
     Jang Jae Yeol (Jo In-Sung) is a novelist slash radio talk show host slash rich and handsome bloke who suffers from a variety of mental illnesses such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and, spoiler alert, Schizophrenia. He is very confident to the point of arrogance, but he is surprisingly kind-hearted and loving, especially towards his mother. Ji Hae Soo (Gong Hyo-Jin) is a Psychiatrist who suffers from a sex and physical contact phobia that was a result of witnessing her mother's infidelity. She has a nasty temper, is very frugal, but nevertheless hopeful. The two meet at a talk show where they both headbutted each other in a debate in which the more knowledgeable and witty Hae Soo wins. After seeing that side of her, Jae Yeol then gets intrigued by her and takes any chance to be in contact with her. Jae Yeol meets her again as a roommate and shares space with two others, Jo Dong Min, a Psychiatrist and Hae Soo's senior, and Park Soo Kwang (Lee Kwang Soo), a guy with Tourette's Syndrome. Jae Yeol is haunted by a rather complicated and dark past that still eats him subconsciously through guilt, strong enough to acquire Schizophrenia. With Han Kang Woo (Do Kyungsoo) in the picture, Jae Yeol spends a good amount of time with this high-schooler who is a mental and visual manifestation of his own guilt and young self. The guilt that he has kept inside for the past 3 years is from throwing his own brother, Jang Jae Bum, into prison for a crime that their own mother has done. Jae Yeol and Hae Soo's story unfolds as they both go through a rough journey of getting over mental illnesses together, moving on from the past, distinguishing reality from illusion, and sharing a love that overlooks flaws and imperfections.

*** Thumbs Up! ***

  • Jang Jae Yeol
     I really liked Jang Jae Yeol as a character. I believe he was the one who made the drama, and that if it weren't for him, this show would be dull and boring. I like his quirks and flaws. The fact that he as OCD and that it can be seen in his dorm room and in the way he dresses are what really makes him a fun character! Him only being able to sleep in the bathroom is kind of weird but endearing. It shows how vulnerable and affected he is by the past, and that alone is enough to portray a strong link between his past and present self. His childhood story and trauma are heart-breaking to an uncomfortable degree. It is almost so unheard of and gruesome that you can't help but feel sympathy towards him.
     How he overcame his mental illness, resolved his past, and made peace with his guilty self are delivered impeccably by him. Props to Jo In-Sung's acting! He really nailed this one! Even his lovey-dovey moments with Hae Soo were carried out perfectly that I found myself squealing whenever they were intimate.

  • Jang Jae Bum
     If there's a character that I resonate with the most, it would be Jang Jae Bum. I feel like he's the one who determined the dynamic of the whole drama. From willingly taking blame for Jae Yeol as a child, stabbing Jae Yeol with a fork, causing a scene by beating his brother up, being injected with the Amytal Sodium, being the deliverer of truth in the drama, being unjustly imprisoned, to forgiving everyone... I think Jae Bum wins the award for being the most dynamic character in the drama. I just can't help but love this guy. I would choose his character over Jae Yeol's, but it will be a close fight!

  • Tae Yong
     He's probably the underdog of the drama. He did betray Jae Yeol at first, but if it weren't for Tae Yong running and helping around, they probably wouldn't have achieved anything. I feel like he was the one who constantly managed and figured out the situation. Although I disliked him strongly in the beginning, I found his sincerity and brotherly love towards Jae Yeol and Jae Bum, and his gratitude towards their mother (he is an orphan) to be a redeeming moment for him. He is like the invisible 3rd brother!

  • Ji Hae Soo
     I didn't love her character as much as I thought I would. I usually dislike female leads because they tend to be annoying in many flavors, but I don't dislike her as much, so I guess that means I like her eh? I like her as a partner to Jae Yeol. That's about it. I think she is the perfect fit for him, too! Have you seen her outfits? And her body!? I feel like every time I see her, I would secretly envy her body. I like how Hae Soo is not conventionally pretty. I like how she's beautiful and unique in her own way. Not to mention, she was not as annoying as the other female leads I know.

  • Park Soo Kwang
     Kwang Soo is a very great actor. My heart would sink a bit whenever Soo Kwang has his Tourette episodes, but I can't help but admire Lee Kwang Soo's acting skills. It's just so believable! As a character, I didn't like the fact that Soo Kwang was always hunting for a girl. It just irked me to no end. I loved how he cared for Hae Soo, though. There was a brother-sister love happening between them where they bicker but look after each other. I like it whenever he would look up to Jae Yeol as his older brother (hyung), and even taking care of Jae Yeol when he found out he was schizo.

  • Jang Jae Yeol's OCD
     In my opinion, Jae Yeol's OCD is what made him the character that he is. It wasn't the main issue of the drama or a serious concern for that matter. It was more like an accessory mental illness that Jae Yeol carried with him. I like the fact that it didn't hinder him from functioning as a normal human being besides the fact that he sleeps in the bathroom and even I found that quite fun and different. His OCD was portrayed so subtly throughout the drama that I was vigilantly on the look out on how this oddity of his manifested. To point out some instances, he had toilet paper rolls aligned on top of an open shelf, red, blue, yellow towels piled evenly in his cabinets, and even a peculiar geometrical design going for his room and bookshelves. Not to mention, his room follows a color scheme of red, blue, and yellow, too. Of course, dare he jump out of that theme when it comes to fashion? He wears red, blue, yellow polo shirts with the occasional black, gray, and white shirts because come on, how can you live without black and white shirts?

  • Jang Jae Yeol's Schizophrenia
     Even from the very beginning, I already knew he was too perfect to be normal. Whenever he was with Kang Woo, I get this strange eerie vibe from their relationship. Jang Jae Yeol (Jo In Sung) and Han Kang Woo (Do Kyungsoo) have this uncanny and strange resemblance when together. They both smile the same way, and their stories have similarities, which pretty much gave it away. Knowing guilt was the reason for his mental condition, we can learn a thing or two from this. Guilt is an ugly monster to play with. No wonder he turned schizo. Nevertheless, I like the fact that although Jae Yeol was the victim of his own mind and faults, he really isn't the bad guy. He's a complicated character with flaws, and I really like that about him.

  • Jae Bum and Jae Yeol's Brotherhood
     Now, at first, I thought Jae Bum and Jae Yeol were enemies. Well, they were until the last few episodes. The two of them have this invisible bond that people may overlook and find hard to understand but exists and is unique to only the two of them. Everyone saw Jae Bum as some evil psychotic man, but Jae Yeol, knowing what his brother has done for him and their mother, understood why Jae Bum was the way he is. Jae Bum, although completely hateful of Jae Yeol, is actually very caring and loving. He just doesn't like to show it.

  • Deception of Characters' Roles
     One of the main points of the story, I believe, is character role deception. To explain further and simply, Jae Yeol, being locked up in prison for 14 years despite being innocent, looks psychotic and mentally unstable but is actually the sane one. On the contrary, Jae Yeol, roaming freely and having framed his brother of a crime that their mother had done, looks normal and poise, when in reality, is the guilt-driven schizophrenic one. I am impressed by the simple logic here that was played out impeccably and flawlessly through the contrast of the two brothers. The lesson to be taken away here is that the internal and mental imprisonment controlled by self-condemnation and guilt cause greater damage overall than the incarceration of the innocent behind cold bars. To make it simpler, the truth will set you free. 

  • Han Kang Woo as a Fantasy
     There were a handful of scenes that gave me the hibbly jibblies. Most of them are that of the progressive revelation of Kang Woo as a figment of Jae Yeol's imagination. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

DIARY: Life To-Do List

     As you all know, I hit rock bottom lately. Couldn't even eat or sleep. It has been what? Just 3 days? I have to make this to-do list to remind myself of the things I have to do. No biggy. I have so many things I want and should do, but I am just all over the place. Let's get to organizing! Oh, and enjoy this soundtrack from Sassy! Go Go! while you are reading! This actually keeps my head on the game for some reason. Maybe it's the title "Hold on [Hang in] There." :)

Hold on There (Sassy! Go Go! soundtrack)

  • Submit UTA application
  • Send official transcripts
  • Activate student account
  • INS I-485 Receipt Notice
  • Meningitis documentation
  • Ask for transferable courses
  • Attend Spring orientation
  • Meet with advisor
  • Schedule classes
  • Get physical ID
  • Inquire about summer classes and housing at PCT
  • Revamp blog
  • Upcoming blog entries to post**
  • Finish watching dramas in my queue
  • Fix blog ads
  • Complete piano cover of Pachelbel's Canon in D
  • Complete untitled piano piece by ear
  • Complete piano cover of Yiruma's River Flows in You
  • Black Friday shopping
  • Forever 21 haul
  • Sungha Jung's concert
  • Medical City Volunteering
  • K-Drama queue
  • K-Drama OST's I like so far
  • Next Forever 21 clothes haul
  • My makeup essentials
  • Diary: Our New Home
  • Diary: KCON + NJ&NY Trip
  • Diary: Missing New Jersey
  • Diary: Vegas Trip

     Alright, I have all of those organized. I might edit this list if something comes up. And for the blog entries, I might post entries here and there that are random, so it's not really limited to those in that list. I am still feeling blue. I feel another diary entry coming!

P.S I have a private diary blog that I will link to this public blog. I might ask Kurt to put a password system for that button under the tag "DIARY." I don't know if that is possible, but we shall see!

Monday, October 17, 2016

K-DRAMA: List of Watched Dramas

     I wanted to make a list of all the dramas I have watched here on my blog. I just thought it's a nice way to keep track of them, and it kinda motivates me to add more to it! Let me know if you have watched some of them and what you think of them! Also, I might do reviews on some of these dramas. Not sure yet since I have been watching Korean dramas for years now (started in 2010), and I can't remember some of the plots well. We'll see how that turns out!





















DIARY: To Love Thyself

     It seems like the hardest thing to do for me so far is not to fall in love again, nor to get over a love that's dead, but to love myself as much as my own self loves me. It sounds crazy, does it? It is true that our selves love us, and that, it is us who find it hard to love ourselves. I have been in this constant battle for a year now. I can't believe that even a confident and prideful woman like me... would fall victim to this ugly monster. I am a hypocrite when I write this entry with such righteousness but will lie in bed later tonight hating every inch of myself more than anyone who has ever hated me.
     It's a journey, I believe. A journey of convincing myself to love my self. A constant debate between my emotional mind and my sane being. This is the result of many friendships broken and a love I could not save. There must be some kind of explanation for this, mustn't there? But I really don't have any. I don't even know what questions need answers let alone the questions to ask.
     All I know, though, is that my self loves me. All that is biological and spiritual about me... loves me. Being a health science major, I am very thankful to have studied the human body. I understand the physicality that makes us mortal. The anatomy and physiology... all of that. When I fracture a bone, it heals the injured area by filling itself with blood. The healing process goes from there. The amazing thing about a bone healing is that it forms a callous. The area grows a tad bit thicker than your bones. This is so you don't break in that same area ever again, and you won't. It gains resistance and strength... all because it was injured. When I go to the gym and beat myself up working out and lifting weights, isn't it a universal and well-known fact that when I tear a muscle it grows stronger and bigger? It is my body responding to pain and injury. When I hurt my body that way, my body combats that by strengthening itself more than it ever has before. When I bleed from a cut, my blood helps by clotting it. It stops my body from losing more blood. When I am sick, my immune system helps fight off whatever that's causing me ill. My body is constantly keeping me alive. It's constantly healing me. It's constantly making me better. So why is it that I forget about these things in the face of someone who looks better than me? Whose eye, lip, and nose placement is just a bit different than mine? Whose body just do not have enough adipose tissue (fat) than I do? Whose eye, hair, and skin color, are just a different shade of melanin? Why do those matter when, in an anatomical and physiological level, we are just the same? It's because it is all about acceptance and understanding of one's self. You will meet groups of people who look different from one another... but accept and understand themselves differently. It is all about that. And when you understand that your body, or anyone's body for that matter, loves the soul that lives in it... I hope that the soul it has welcomed since the day it was out of its mother's womb... will come to love its body, its home, just as much.

     Did I just write that? I feel better. I think my soul is coming to love its home, too. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

K-DRAMA: The Hours of My Life


Credits to owner. The photo shown above is not mine.




16 OCT 2016
     Okay, so I know it is a sin to binge watch more than one drama in one week. Well, for me, it is because I believe you got to give time for the past drama to sink in to you and turn to life through you. But I guess, I am sinning my hardest by watching this! LOL! Also, I am fully aware that this is a Japanese drama and not a K-DRAMA. I will make a tag for J-dramas, but all of the dramas and whatnot I will be watching will be under the button K-DRAMA. Just letting you guys now! :)

     Like I promised, I will be reacting, reviewing, and recapping dramas episode by episode! (I might do that to Angel Eyes, too, if I do find the time!)

     Okay, so far, I like the characters. I like the fact that Megumi is not "goddess" pretty. She is just your average-looking-but-with-a-special-charm kind of girl, which I think is a really nice thing! I like the fact that I can relate to her, and I am sure many viewers can, too. Takuto, though, is really handsome. He has a very interesting personality, too, because he plays a lot of what he calls "characters." The thing that bothers me is that the story doesn't start off "smart" if that makes sense. Like, how Takuto and Megumi developed a bond was just too... common. Nothing special. They see each other and grow fond of each other. So my question is, Takuto, what did you see in Megumi? That question was left unanswered in this episode. Other than that, the drama is really interesting so far. I just hope it is not as predictable as it seems.

     I honestly don't know why, sometimes, Megumi's behavior annoys me. Female leads usually do. I keep on falling for Takuto's character. He's so positive and optimistic. He hides his troubles by always smiling, and he doesn't hurt people back. It's really amazing if a guy is like this in real life. I kind of felt bad for him, too. I guess, he isn't that head smart? But I really feel bad whenever people think he's useless. That's why when Megumi said that the full-time employee she was training was causing more work than help, it felt like it was directed to Takuto since one of his coworkers did tell him something similar. I also don't like Takuto's brother. He reminds me so much of my brother. Anyways, Takuto and Megumi had sex, too. Made me think for a bit. So far, the drama as a whole is predictable. Nothing special plot wise. I do get the feeling that this is a tearjerker and will definitely make me cry and question my love life choices for the next month. LOL!

     Now this drama's starting to live up to its genre. Seriously, this episode is so depressing to me for some reason. I applaud Haruma Miura for his acting by the end when he was eating. The tears and expression were superb. He went to see the neurologist again, and he even expected that he was misdiagnosed with ALS. If I remember correctly, he even went to the neurology ward before all this and saw a man who could not speak and was living off of a ventilator. He was scared to death. Actually, that scene was kinda creepy because the bed-ridden man looked at him as Takuto was peeping at the door. That scene gave me goosebumps. It broke my heart when, at the end of the episode, Takuto kept saying "save me." Poor guy. Looking forward to the next episode.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

DIARY: A Very Stubborn Heart

     Why does my heart keep on holding on? Why does it ache still? Love is something funny, really. It has been something that I have taken seriously and good care of, and it still has left me dumb-founded every time. It drives me nuts to the point that I just find it laughable now. And although I have a distorted and abstract concept of what love is and all its forms, I still can't seem to understand it very well. It's like an elusive thing that the more you try to understand it, the more complex it gets. Like F. Scott Fitzgerald's saying goes: there are many kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice. Never the same love twice, yes, but similar? I would say yeah. I feel like I am rambling now.
     If only he knew how much I loved him. I feared for my life in the face of any risk of losing him. It drove me nuts. I got better at coping, though. I was able to let it slide. I was able to let him free on his own. We did fight, still, but it has diminished. The problem is we now can't bring back what was lively and hopeful. I don't know where it went wrong. If it was the constant fighting, then why can't I bring it back now that I have dealt with it... it still does not make sense to me. He tells me that we don't fit, and that we should reconsider. At first, I refused. I rejected the thought. I was hopeful about us still. But he said it enough to condition the human in me into thinking that maybe he was right. I still do not know what to do. When I first met this person, I had so many reasons why I loved him, but even when we hit rock bottom, and there was no more reason to love him... I still did. Is this a bad thing? My constant stubbornness has caused us this... I just do not know when to give up... I keep thinking of this person... in his bed... holding my hand... asking me to let go. Do I let go? Do I let go of this hand who wants to be free and is hurting? Or do I keep holding onto this hand? Keep worrying about this person... and now I am left thinking that hope can be a bad thing. Am I... doing something wrong? Hope and stubbornness... and eagerness and enthusiasm... optimism... all those things that are supposed to be good and wonderful... are causing him pain... I really do not know what's right anymore...
     If I stay... he hurts... and when I leave... it doesn't... do I just let this person go...? I am selfish, aren't I? For holding him back because I simply am hopeful. It is not right, is it? Maybe love also means letting go... "there are many kinds of love in this world..."
     But do I really give up on someone I love? Is that the right thing to do? When you love someone... shouldn't giving up be the last thing you both do? Isn't stubbornness needed in marriage? A heart that never gives up on love... isn't that what marriage is about? Isn't that what true love is? "Never the same love twice." When I hold on... it is me holding onto a love that is special to only us...
     I rambled again, didn't I? I should probably stop. I am not making anymore sense.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


I am Czarina. If you have followed me since I started, you probably know that for 19 years, I have aimed to become a lawyer someday. Well, I changed my mind one night. I figured that I now want to become a doctor. It's such a scary thing for me to say out loud. I want to say that I want to become a surgeon, but I am not sure yet. Phew! Now that I cleared that up, let's jump right into the fun part!

I like cats. I used to be a dog person, but after spending time with feral kittens, I instantly fell in love with them. The rest is history!

I am in college. I went to Pennsylvania College of Technology and took Occupational Therapy Assistant there. Stayed for only three semester because we had to move to Texas. *sobs*

I really love KPop and KDramas! I can read, write, and speak (pedestrian level) Korean. I am fluent in both English and Tagalog.

I play the piano, read books, and write in my spare time.

I love Naruto. I watch anime but not as much anymore. I still do once in a blue moon!

I also travel with my family a lot. I really should get in the habit of writing travel entries.

I know. This is boring compared to my last ABOUT ME post. I'll try to make it more fun next time! :)

ㅡ czarinabear

K-DRAMA: Angel Eyes


Credits to owner. The photo shown above is not mine.




13 OCT 2016
     I have started watching this drama yesterday, and all I can say is I am hooked! Now, this is not one of those dramas where you fall in love with a few episodes in. No. You will fall in love with this drama on the first episode. I am still in the process of finishing this. I am currently on episode 6. So far, the first 6 episodes have been full of twists! I am quite impressed at how entangled Dong Joo and Soo Wan's fates are. How the drama played their parents and their roles is really impressive. I like how there are no holes to fill here. I still haven't figured out who was the guy who injected the lethal solution into Jung Hwa's (Dong Joo's mom) tube. Well, I do know that Soo Wan's father obstructed in the salvation of Jung Hwa's life, but I am really curious if he is related to the guy who injected the solution. I like the fact that Soo Wan's surgeon dad (Mr. Yoon) was caught in between two roles: a surgeon who saves lives and a father who wants his daughter to see again. I think it was wrong of him to let Jung Hwa die just so he could get an eye donor for Soo Wan. Like, man! Can you not just wait? And I am also angered that even after knowing the fact that Dong Joo's mom was the eye donor, he manipulated Dong Joo further to his advantage. So not only did he let Jung Hwa die, he also got in the way of Dong Joo and Soo Wan's love, and managed to deceive Dong Joo! Not to mention that it was Dong Joo's father who gave his life up trying to save your wife (but failed). Mr. Yoon, you got a storm coming for you!

15 OCT 2016
     I actually finished the last episode today, but did most of the binge watching yesterday. Should I do an episode by episode reaction? UGH! I should have done that instead. Anyways, I am in love with this drama. Everything was knitted perfectly. Nothing was left out. I really fell in love with Park Dong Joo. Where can I buy one Dong Joo? And about Soo Wan's dad, the Chief surgeon, I think I can forgive what he did. It is really surprising what a parent can do for a child. We do stupid things out of love, what more if that love is that of a parent's? Right? It's not like he knew it was Dong Joo's mom! The murderer, though, was Ji Woon's mom. She was the one who injected the lethal tetrodotoxin into Jung Hwa's cannula tubing. She killed Jung Hwa because it was Ji Woon who hit her with his car that day. And being the obsessive mother that she is, she didn't want any stains on his name. She even deceived Ji Woon! She is the true murderer. The drama still gives me feels up until now. I might try to do an episode by episode reaction next time. It's a really good drama! Soo Wan's attitude and behavior did annoy me in the end. She was really inconsistent and indecisive. Nevertheless, it's an A+ for me! :)

DIARY: One of My All-Time Lows

     I know that this blog is starting to become more of a diary instead of a blog, but I guess, I will write about whatever I want to without any restrictions.
     I have to admit that, ever since I stepped foot here in the States, my self-esteem has plummeted down significantly. In my first two years, it did not change dramatically whatsoever; however, ever since I started college, all the insecurities I never knew I had... began to appear. Not only that, but ever since I started dating again... all my insecurities have solidified until I no longer see myself as the same ol' confident Czarina that I was back in the Philippines. I am being serious here. The people, environment, and culture here in the US are strikingly different from those in Asia. It is just too image-based here. And I am not just referring to the media, but also most of the people I have ever been a someone to. Especially, a significant other. I do not want to dig deeper into this. I just want to write this off as my journey from being super confident and secured to having low self-esteem. Of course, the road does not end there. I am very hopeful that someday, everything that does not make sense now... will be crystal clear. And maybe this is just a phase. Maybe a product of what I have been through and who I have met. I can change that.  I can control that. And I will.
     The thing I am most insecure about is how I look. It is probably common, but I have to admit that I am really struggling with this one. I am in between excessively loving myself and constantly pitying myself. I am sure that is normal, too. I also know that my environment and the people I talk to play a vital part in nourishing that insecurity. And although I am too young and scared to do something about those now, I am certain that with a little more time, I will be able to get rid of those in the blink of an eye.
     So dear self as of now, be strong. You are used to telling yourself that you are strong. And you have proven this over and over again. You know what you are doing. Time heals wounds. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and don't you think that as a beholder yourself, this is fairly accurate? Remember that when you have given your all, loved wholly, and showed your bare true self, and you're still not the best let alone enough for one person, do not worry: you will be to another. And the person who loses you? Who could compare you to anyone else? Who always assumed that there will always be someone better than you? Do not believe him. You have seen and loved him as the best, so it is not you who will be losing who's best, rather he will be losing someone who he was best to. And if you have a hard time finding someone who finds you as the best, remember that it is harder to lose a person who thinks you're the best rather than losing someone who you think was the best. You are brave. You are an individual living one life just like everybody else. This life is yours to write. Do not end it as a tragedy. You are probably just in the first quarter of the whole book. You have a thousand more pages to write, so write well. And live well.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

DIARY: Life Update

     I was gone for 1 year and 9 months. Isn't that crazy? A lot has happened. I was 18 years old when you last heard from me. I am 20 years old now, and in the time I was gone, I made a lot of decisions. Big decisions. Not to mention walking in different directions and making huge turns. From taking a detour to getting completely lost. Life is fun. And by fun, I mean very eventful and full of surprises.
     Okay, so I am gonna go by months while updating everything. I figured it's easier that way.
     JANUARY 2015
     I went to college. I was supposed to attend in the Fall of 2014, which was around September of 2014, but it didn't really work out. I took 2 classes if I remember correctly, and it was just to get my feet wet and get acclimated. Around this time was when I started noticing this one guy from my English class. Who knew I'd end up dating him?
     FEBRUARY-MAY 2015
     Well, I didn't make a lot of friends in my first semester. I think I only made 3 friends at the college, which wasn't so bad. I was alone most of the time, but heck, I got good grades. Easy peasy because I only took 2 courses. LOL! But the fun part this semester was I got to stalk my crush. Stalking is kind of a scary word. I would rather say "admired from afar." Better. Just your typical girl, I guess? I emailed him from time to time, asking how to do this and that. It was school-related. At the end though, I asked him his number, and we just texted throughout the summer break. Sorta. We texted once every two weeks. Not so bad. Also, my grandparents (stepdad's side), visited us again! It was nice seeing them! Oh, and we also went to Kurt's birthday party. Had fun with his family!
     JUNE 2015
     We went to visit my family in Texas. We stayed at their house in Grand Prairie and just went to some places in Dallas after. It was really fun hanging out with my cousins especially when our Uncle Jun was around. He was always the butt of jokes! LOL! We went to the AT&T stadium and attended Dustin's (my cousin) graduation party. Congrats to him! Not only that, my parents went out a lot to go house hunting. They had plans to move to Texas, but I didn't really expect it would be too soon...
     JULY 2015
     We went fishing at Cowanesque Lake! Got tanned! Most of the days, I just stayed home and babysat Parker. I was totally drained doing so because he's so energetic. Now that I look back, although he was a handful, the kid actually made my bland summer days a bit interesting and fun. And I miss him, too. A lot.
     AUGUST 2015
     Okay, so my August of 2015 was hella busy! On the first week, Kuya Rav, Andy, Dominic, my brother, and I went to Knoebels! Andy and Dominic were a bit withdrawn from getting on the rides, but that didn't stop me from getting on the roller coasters with Cyril and Kuya Rav! I think we got on the 2 roller coaster twice each! I wanted to beat my record of 13 times with Katherine, but I really didn't want to make Andy and Dominic wait. Well, they really couldn't be egged on to ride it. I think even Andy got annoyed that I was insisting they go. I did manage to get both of them to ride the boat thingy, which, I think, caused Dominic to react weird physically. Guilty me! Other than that, it was fun!
     After a few days, it was time to go to New Jersey to attend KCON with Helena, my friend from Indiana. The trip didn't go as planned though. I was at fault here. We didn't get a good hotel room. It was a bit too late when we booked one because we weren't sure if Helena was still up for the KCON. The time was too short, and New York traffic is hell, I tell ya! My mom was even inconsiderate enough to pick Helena up at the airport 5? 7 hours late. Shame. Nevertheless, we did go to places. We've ate at Jollibee, gone to the beach, amusement park, KCON, concert, and the Statue of Liberty at Staten Island. We were a bit late to KCON, so we didn't get to enjoy the full experience. Thanks NY traffic! We went to the beach, and we just kinda went for a dip. There were a lot of people. We got on the scary ferris wheel. We got on the roller coaster twice, too! Now that was fun! The Statue of Liberty was awesome, too! Definitely a memorable experience.
     Another thing that happened this month was Kurt's flight back to the Philippines. It was saddening. He got back safe, so that's all that matters. He went back to go to college and pursue Computer Engineering. And I don't know if he did it because I jokingly said some time in the past that I wouldn't marry an engineer, but either way, I know he's gonna do well. He is, after, our batch's "Emperor of Logarithm." LOL!!!
     By the second week, I already started my classes for the Fall semester of 2015. This semester, though, was really fun! I made a lot of friends! And this was when I met my best friend, Thu! I also met a very close friend, Mong! The three of us would hang out together occasionally. It was really fun being with them. We shared stories and laughed loudly in public! And we even ate lunch together. I also met a lot of people who shared the same interests. We talked a lot during classes! One thing that I find funny up to this day is the fact that Nathan's, aka the guy I admired from afar, classroom was just next to mine. I actually thought I would never see him again, but there he was, first day of school!
     SEPTEMBER 2015
     September went by fast. It was just one of the months I barely have memories of. I did start to love all of my classes. Especially my Anatomy and Physiology class. I always sucked at science, and I have always wanted to pursue Law; however, after falling in love with A&P, I decided to take the health science path. And as the months went by, I found out I excelled at it, and it's quite fun.
     OCTOBER 2015
     Got asked by Nathan to go to the homecoming carnival our college hosts every year! Made me jump like a madwoman! Well, the rest is history. It was a night of bittersweet memories. Looking back, although it wasn't what I expected, it was really a good memory that Nathan and I now just laugh about. I still tease him about it, too! It was his first time on the ferris wheel, considering that he's afraid of heights; and it was my first time on the spinny thingy (I still don't know what that ride is called, considering I have vertigo. I guess you can say we had our "first" on a ride together. Thu went with me to the carnival before I met up with Nathan, and Thu and I acted like children. It was hilarious!!! We were literally laughing a lot, and I even forced her to go on the carousel! What a kid!
     By the end of October, we went to Albany, New York, to visit my mom's friend, Tita Liza. We went sight seeing. Went downtown and in one of the museums. Would wanna go back!
     NOVEMBER 2015
     This month was when Nathan told me he liked me. It was on the 11th of November... we both knew that 11:11 has always been special to us. We used to do it a lot.
     DECEMBER 2015-JANUARY 2016
     New Year's eve was fun like always. Filipinos gather together and celebrate it at Tita Cora's house.
     Second week of January, it was the first day of the Spring semester. Nathan and I have been talking over the Christmas break, and when we first saw each other, we hugged. It was nice to see him again! He also made me a small teddy bear figurine made out of polymer clay! It was nicely done, and it was literally the cutest! I also attended Hanan's, one of my closest friends at Penn College, graduation! So proud of that girl! Sadly, she moved back to Saudi Arabia a few days after I last seen her. We still contact each other from time to time on Snapchat.
     FEBRUARY 2016
     Valentine's Day was super memorable this year! Nathan made me a rose from white paper and gave me a box of chocolates! He left it in my locker, which was super nice of him. It's like high school musical except it's college musical? LOL! And a week after that, he bought me gold cross necklace. He warmed up to me really fast, and we talked a lot, too! Kurt sent me a bouquet of flowers, too, for VDay, which was really nice of him.
     MARCH-MAY 2016
     The past few months have been rocky for Nathan and I. Well, through text, at the very least. It's something we both don't like to talk about a lot, too. We both did do everything we could, and we are still doing it. In between the horrible texting experiences, we did hang out a lot. We held hands, hugged, and kissed. It was really nice to be with him. It was like a Romeo and Juliet kinda thing, too, since my parents don't approve things like this while I am studying. All I know was I was in love, and it was bittersweet, but that was okay. By April, I went to an All-American Rejects concert with Stephanie! It was lit!
     JUNE 2016
     Met with Nathan one last time... before we moved to Texas... it was one of the most painful experiences... we decided to push through it despite the distance... and make it last however we can. You can only do so much for someone you love. I can truly say that I love him beyond what I thought was my limit... and I try to love him even more than what I can every time. Also, around the second week, I found out we had a family of kitties living in our backyard! I kittynap the kittens from time to time, We fed them, though, and I returned them to their mom home at the end of the day.
     JULY 2016
     We drove from Pennsylvania to Texas a day after my birthday. My, how I hate road trips! I mean, I don't mind traveling, but to sit my ass in the car for 10 hours a day is not so fun. We stayed at hotels twice I think? Just for the nights we needed rest. I texted Nathan throughout. And I started missing him terribly ever since.
    A bit... sad. That is all I can say.