Confusion Amidst Chaos

I’m pretty sure all of us know how bad things are getting. The world is mourning two men whose unjust deaths have restarted the #BLACKLIVESMATTER hashtag. Yes, I am talking about Alton Sterling and Philado Castile. Alton was a husband and father, and Philado was a well loved man who worked in a school cafeteria. These men were murdered by the police within 24 hours of each other’s deaths. Alton was shot at point blank, for doing nothing wrong. The man didn’t have a gun on him like the police claimed. He was in red and holding CDs – these were the only grounds that the police had to shoot him. They hadn’t even confirmed that he was the reported man with a gun. They just told him to get on the ground and within minutes he was dead. A family lost its pillar because by the time Alton was on the ground, the cops couldn’t admit that he wasn’t the reported man. So what did they do? They shot him at point blank. Philado Castile on the other hand, was pulled over because of a broken because of a broken tail light, which is understandable. However, what is completely unacceptable is that as he was reaching for his gun license and ID, he was shot in the chest by the officer. Note that he declared his actions. He told the cop that he was reaching into his back pocket for his license and ID card, and yet the officer still shot him. He was shot in the chest in the passenger seat, all while his girlfriend pleads in the drivers seat and his girlfriend’s daughter sees the gore unfold before her in the back seat. These men were taken away from their families, because of what? Because the officers felt threatened by someone because they didn’t look like them? Because melanin made them uncomfortable? Because they didn’t have blond hair and blue eyes? It is so sickening that the prejudice these officers held onto outweighed the lives of these two men and the people who love them.

It’s bad enough that these men were killed unjustly, but what makes everything so so so much worse is that the only reason people are actually making waves about this is because both murders were caught on video. There are so many others like these men who have gone unacknowledged because their deaths weren’t exposed to the media. An insane number of lives stolen by prejudice and racism. So many people taken from their families. These police shootings have to stop. The people in the position to protect are those bringing lives to an end the same way the criminals they catch do. There’s so much wrong in the situation – so many people gone but not forgotten and so many more lives taken like this.

This confuses me so much because I don’t understand why these lives should be lost. What is there to gain where people lose the ones they love? Why is racism such a big thing when it is completely possible to live with each other in peace? Why do things like this have to be caught on camera for there to be action taken? Why does prejudice outweigh the lives of these men? When will the world realize that we are meant to push forward as one humanity? When will a person of color know that the pigmentation of their skin is not a target for bullets? When will these people be able to simply be? When will they feel safe in their own skin? These people’s children do not deserve to lose parts of their families. These people’s children shouldn’t have to learn that when a cop walks by, their hands have to be in the air so the cop wont shoot. These people deserve to be protected. We need to protect them. We need to change the system. We need to teach the generations ahead not to make the same mistakes as those before us. We need to be the change.

Times like this are those wherein I am so glad I have the opportunity to fight for these people.I’ve never been one to take inequality nicely an #BlackLivesMatter may not be my battle, but I still offer my full support to this community. I will fight for and with them to my fullest capability. I will not be silenced.

Sincerely,

Nikki

The Problem With Filipinos — Thought Catalog

The problem with Filipinos is we get a boner for anything Pinoy. Filipino contestant in X talent show abroad? Yes! Hollywood celebrity with .000018% Filipino ethnicity? Double yes! We’ll sniff out the tiniest drop of Filipino blood, but only, only if you get recognized internationally. “Filipinos mixed with another race always gives a good result!” As if…

via The Problem With Filipinos — Thought Catalog

Senior Year

Oh my god I feel so old. Classes have been resumed in my school for about a week now, and last Tuesday was my last first day of high school. That hasn’t fully sunk in, but it has brought on a wave of mixed emotions. I think many people would agree with me when I say that high school is pretty bittersweet. You’re happy to finally leave the oppressive space, but at the same time saddened by realizing you’re leaving so many things behind.

High school is the time of self-discovery. It happens after all your morals and ethics are formed in elementary. It’s when you find permanent friends you won’t fight over crayons with. It’s when you ultimately learn how to work with others because it’s when personalities are formed and solidified. You learn a lot in high school because it’s where making mistakes is totally okay and understandable.

Thinking about it, I realize that there’s definitely a lot of things I’ll miss. Pancake day, the cute little telecom outside the faculty, the view of the sunset from the driveway, the cheers – maybe even the long morning assemblies. Because all things I’ve gone through the past three years – both good and bad, have served as stepping stones to the person I am today. All the sleepless nights and busy days have made me determined, efficient, organized and tactical. The rejections have made me humble, polite and careful. The wins have made me gracious, respectable, and inclusive. The last three years have given me my character and have shaped me to be the person I am proud to be. Like, who would have thought I would survive a week without sleep, a terror prof, 6 papers to write, 4 tests, and an oral defense.

I will make my last year count. Especially because all my friends who have graduated told me that it all whizzes past you before you even realize it. I’ll work harder than I ever have and do more in order to accomplish everything I have to do – because there’s quite a lot. I have my comms and orgs, choir, volleyball, academics, and college entrance tests. It doesn’t sound like much, but believe me, when you have 3 hour meetings, 2 hour trainings, 3 hour practices and college reviews (that could literally go on forever) on top of a 9 hour school day, you HAVE to do more so you don’t fall behind. Because of this I have to ask you guys to be a liiittle more patient with how frequent I talk to you. I know it’s barely a weekly thing like I promised, but I really am trying. I hope you guys understand. I’m not leaving like last year. Some things are just going to be posted later because while it’s easy to draft something on my laptop, it’s not exactly the easiest to post as soon as I get home. Because when I get home from a total 12 hours in school, I still have homework so sometimes I don’t even get to open my laptop. Don’t worry though, there are accumulated posts stocked up in my laptop so I just need to find the time to start posting the ones I’ve already written

I love you guys. Thanks for sticking around!

Sincerely,

Nikki

Facing My Body Issues

Yesterday my mom took me out to shop because I only have 2 pairs of jeans that I haven’t grown out of over the years, because before recently, I would never buy anything straight out of a store unless I really needed it. And this time I really needed it. My blue jeans ripped because they snagged somewhere and ripped. Normally, I wouldn’t mind the rip – ripped jeans are in trend now after all. BUT THE RIP WAS IN THE BACK RIGHT BELOW MY BUTT. Oh my goodness. So right now it is getting fixed, but my mother insisted on getting new jeans yesterday and off we went. We commuted to the mall and we went to a store that sold mostly jeans.

Okay, before I continue, I’m going to tell narrate why I only had 2 pairs of jeans. It’s not that I hated going to the mall or anything like that – I love going out, it’s my body that I hate. I love the idea of going shopping and getting myself new clothes but I hate the crippling anxiety that hits me as soon as I see myself in the mirror inside the dressing room. I hate my body so much and I am so frustrated with the way it is. I have a pooch on my lower belly, my stomach is otherwise pretty flat, my thighs are huge. Like I struggle to find bottoms that fit right. My ass is way bigger than I’d like it to be. My feet are a size 9 – which is pretty fucking big for an Asian. To be honest, I’m way too fucking big for an Asian. Asians are petite. I am everything but that. And it makes me feel like shit because I know I can do way better. I can look way better, feel way better but I am so crippled by myself hate that not a lot has been happening. Okay to give you guys an idea – by American standards I am a medium at most, but here in Asia, I’m a large or extra-large. This bothers me so much. I’m not obese, not even close, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be unhappy.

I was actually okay for a while, I started doing Pilates on my own via the Blogilates beginners workout calendar. It was going wonderful until I did a workout that wasn’t in my regimen. I injured my calves and wasn’t able to get around for some days. I couldn’t work out – I had to wait for my recovery just as I was seeing some major results and it frustrated me so much. At the same time, we were going on a trip that same week to go finish some business out of town and see some relatives. I don’t know. They joke about my thighs and butt and my body image in general. It makes me feel so insecure because hello, it’s not my fault my build is big. My bone structure is big.

That was a week or so ago and I’ve not been able to work out as much since. I’ve been way too busy to keep to my daily regimen and have been trying so hard to make up for the days I’ve lost.

Back to the story: I was basically sent into an anxiety attack in the dressing room. And that sent me into a body hating frenzy once again. I just hated my size and the way I looked so much. Everyone my age seemed to dress better and look better and feel better and look smaller and I just couldn’t take it. I cried myself to sleep last night.

Today, I felt the same, until I fully committed to my regimen again. I figured nothing would change if I just got depressed over it so I worked my ass off. Now, as I type, I’m feeling way better and learned a few things.

  • Self-love is not a steady thing. Some days it’s gonna be way harder. You have to find something that makes you feel better. For me it’s working out. The endorphins just have a way of washing away bad vibes. Find your happy place somewhere, in something or someone.
  • Anxiety is ugly, but it doesn’t mean I’m ugly. Quite frankly, I’m beautiful. I’m working to be the best version of myself and am nowhere near ugly. Neither are you
  • You don’t have to be that standard. Bodies are different, and definitions of beauty are infinite. Be your own definition, set your own standards. Put your happiness first – because it’s way more important than being a size zero. But if being a size zero is what will make you happy; by all means, go for it – just don’t risk your health.

 

Also, Blogilates has been really helping me get over my body issues a lot lately. Cassey is such a sweet person and really makes you feel good when you work out. She’s a ray of sunshine and if any of you are having any body issues like me, her workouts definitely help put you in a good mood and leave you feeling a good kind of sore!

 

Blogilates.com

Youtube.com/blogilates

 

Please don’t be as hard on yourselves as I was/can be. And if you are, please let me know and we’ll get through it the best we can, together.

 

Sincerely,

Nikki

 

Ps.

I was actually planning on posting something like this for a while but every time I would try, I’d end up crying so I’m really super happy to finally get this all off my chest

Politics Through a Teen’s Eyes

Last Monday (May 9, 2016), my country had its elections. That means what felt like ages of political jingles and catch phrases blasting from every possible form of a square – be it a TV, computer, phone, poster, billboard, etc, came to a halt.

Though I am not a legal voter, I was constantly praying for one candidate to win. She was the vote of the youth. She was excellent. She passed the most bills, fought for Human Rights, and took no bullshit from anyone. She fought for what was right and has a sparkling clean record – which is extremely rare especially when working in the senate (especially in a government like ours, which is extremely corrupt). She had finished top of her class for law in the best university in the country, then she proceeded to add to her academic prestige. She took on schools like Harvard, Stanford, Oxford and UCLA with flying colors. And yet, she didn’t stand a chance in the presidentials.

Why? Why wouldn’t someone so excellent stand a chance against the other candidates, whose track records were nowhere near as brilliant?

Because she had cancer, which was being treated vigorously. She spent a big chunk of the campaign period being treated abroad because she so badly wanted make the country rise. But the majority of voters didn’t see how much she could do. All they could see was her sickness. It was so unfortunate. All the greatness she could’ve brought. She was so fair and so just.

However, just because I was rooting for someone else doesn’t mean I’m not happy with the current standing. The mayor of the most peaceful country won the presidentials – which was pretty much expected. Especially because a lot of the voters wanted him to lower the crime rates in the country like he did for his city. It was one of his promises. He’s very much like the candidate I was rooting. He’s just a little rougher. And that makes all the difference. He is unapologetic, rough, and ruthless. But so far, he’s handling the position way better than I expected him to. He’s really cleaning out the system.

I know this post was probably super boring for you guys, I’m sorry. I just needed somewhere to put my thoughts, because a minor speaking politics out loud isn’t very welcome here HAHA

Sincerely,

Nikki

Funk and Prescription

Okay, so I’m having a really difficult time tracking time the last couple of days and weeks so I haven’t been able to set aside time to write *apologetic bow*

I am so excited to write this post cause I’ve been extremely excited about the topic for a few weeks now. I’ve been spending loads of time doing research on it and trying to figure out a way to tweak it to my preferences – but, I’ll leave this mystery topic to hang in the air for a little while (ooh mystery) because as Newton states for every reaction, there is an equal reaction. Bluntly speaking, there has to be a cause for my excitement.

Lately, I’ve been needing to do a lot of things, but because I feel like I have the never ending nebula of summer, I don’t get to it much later (if I’m lucky. And if I’m not, I never get to it at all). I just seem to always get distracted. I was stuck in a procrastinating funk. Like recently, I finished the first book of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (SUPER GOOD I WILL WRITE A REVIEW SOON) and immediately jumped to thee second book – this burned a whole 4 days out of my supposed, nonexistent mess of a schedule. Second, I’ve been buried in YouTube watercolor tutorials because I found an antique Windsor & Newton palette that used to be my grandfather’s and a set of tube water colors given to me when I was 8 or so and I’ve been dabbling with a water brush for a few months, but it got lost and I realized I needed to do some research. So I did and I realized I was doing so many things wrong so I start finding all these Paint With Me videos and practicing and it’s been going really well. Other than those two, I’ve really been into my college entrance test reviews. I don’t really know if it’s a thing in other places as well but here it’s really important to have that edge combined with a background of a good school cause the competition is tough. Imagine all the students in the country trying to get into around only 8 schools in the capital. This is because of the sad truth that the quality of some schools are simply not up to par with international standards – which is unattractive when it’s the culture here to want to work abroad.

While buried in the spectrum of YouTube tutorials, I found myself coming across the bullet journal. It’s like a planner you get to decorate yourself and stuff. You journal, but in a much more precise and straight to the point manner. I’m finally trying it out myself after about a month’s worth of research and I’m so excited cause it a) Gives me artistic freedom I cant have in normal planners, and b) Gives me a system (that works) to follow! I’m so excited I’m using it along with my planner for the rest of the year to see which system I like better. I feel like I’m finally getting myself productive and together and I cant wait for tomorrow!! (May 1) I AM SO SO SO READY TO  GET OUT OF THIS FUNK AND BE FREEEE! Hopefully a BuJo is just what the doctor ordered

If you guys are interested you can check out https://www.bulletjournal.com/ or check out Boho Berry on YouTube if you want a more artsy approach to it like me J

Much much muuuuch love,

Nikki

Why I Won’t Shut Up

Anyone who follows me on Twitter would immediately know that I am an avid supporter of equal rights – a feminist, basically. I grew up very sheltered, therefore social injustices weren’t something i was aware of til much later in my life. I didn’t know what stereotypes were until I became a teenager and we learned about them in class. Suddenly my eyes weren’t seeing the things I used to see. The world isn’t a fair place, and a lot of people weren’t being treated the way they’re supposed to be. Injustice was everywhere and I didn’t like it one bit. I grew up watching shows like That’s So Raven, Totally Spies, and Kim Possible. Where girls were praised for being badass, where the color of your skin had nothing to do with your capability, where your opinion still mattered whether you were male or female, where mostly, only your contribution to society mattered.

I was so saddened when I found out that this wasn’t true in most places. So of course, being the opinionated person I am, I spoke my thoughts on the matter in all ways and on all platforms I possibly could. I was retweeting feminist tweets from feminist accounts like wildfire. I was bringing it up with my friends and they all felt strongly about it as well. However, when I started bringing it up with my parents, they were a little indifferent. This got me really concerned because why wouldn’t they strive as hard as I was to help build a better world for my generation. They found it somewhat silly that I was going against the norm. (A little background: the Chinese culture values men over women because them men keep the last name from dying when they get married) They told me I was being too outspoken for a girl. Naturally, this would throw me into a feminist retweeting rage. R A G E.

After the flames were doused by cute puppy pictures, a realization hit me: they didn’t know any better. They didn’t think of the dilemma as a dilemma because they weren’t raised to see it as one. To them, it was a global culture – which is honestly really sad, but it’s not necessarily their fault as to why they see it that way. From this, I realized that their normal is different from my normal. Being in an all girl’s school really gave me a sense of awareness towards this issue because in that environment, we’ve been taught that girls and boys are partners, period. They give and take. However, I learned through social media that this isn’t how everyone sees it. Which is why the fight still goes on. Women and men, hand in hand, are fighting against this global culture. And I am amongst those who fight everyday.

I will continue to fight for feminism. No girl deserves to be slut shamed, and no boy deserves to be told to man up. I will never be okay with someone being told that any part of them is invalid because it is not the way society likes it. I will be the parent who would let my son wear tiaras, and will let my daughter play with cars. I won’t ever tell them that this specific thing is what they are supposed to be. I will be the one happy for those who have found love – regardless of what the circumstances are. May we be the generation to change the world.