The Anti-Hero Journey

Confident. Obedient. Paragon of Awesomeness. These adjectives are typically used to describe a hero. Heroes are typically the protagonist of every story and everyone wants to be like them! However, today, ladies and gentlemen, I am not here to talk about heroes. In fact, I am here to talk about the dark side. Yes! The dark side, not because Rogue One is about to premiere, but because I’m a rebel who enjoys shattering the norms.

We always look up to a hero as the epitome of what a human being should be. According to one of my favorite American Scholar, Joseph Campbell who wrote “Hero With A Thousand Faces”, a hero goes through several stages: First he is introduced in his ORDINARY WORLD where he receives the CALL TO ADVENTURE. He is then RELUCTANT at first to CROSS THE FIRST THRESHOLD where he eventually encounters TESTS, ALLIES and ENEMIES. He eventually reaches the INNERMOST CAVE where he endures the SUPREME ORDEAL. He SEIZES THE SWORD or the treasure and is pursued on the ROAD BACK to his world. He is RESURRECTED and transformed by his experience. Finally, he RETURNS to his ordinary world with a treasure, boon, or ELIXIR to benefit his world.

As much as I want to have my life story built according to this, it will never fit in this mold. My story begins with regression.  As a kid, I had a series of unfortunate life events from having a close encounter with death during the 1991 Ormoc Flood, discovering the lifeless body of my older sister who took her own life and witnessing domestic violence regularly. These life events, along with poverty, always made me feel inferior among friends. It led me to think that hiding all of these flaws and feelings would made them accept me. I created a world of self deceit and aloofness. I recall the teacher’s comment in my report card “She needs to be more sociable.”  As a weird kid in a Catholic school, I was alienated from the group and even bullied because of my eccentricities. This pushed me further into becoming bad. I fought back by throwing frogs at classmates. Perhaps the worst thing I have done was in Grade 5 when I kicked a boy in his crotch and called him stupid in front of everyone. The unceasing reminder of my uniqueness turned into an internal program for constantly highlighting weakness. When I was about to finish Elementary school, I developed lust for every material possession and description people attached to a rich and ideal kid. I started taking things from the lost and found section at school, even stealing a girl’s Barbie doll at her house. I turned into a living contradiction. One day good, next day evil. I felt compelled to control things and people. When they refused to follow I would resort to violence, pulling their hair, throwing things or pushing them off. I evolved into a tyrant, refusing to bow down to my parents and questioning all their tradition and beliefs. It died down until I started university. Despite my seemingly normal student life, I was slowly shutting down from my humanity. I took advantage of my parents’ generosity spent my allowance haphazardly; my compassion turned into hatred for the world and loathing for life. My daily wish would that it would be the last day of my life. Although living in paradise, I focused in the negative side. Creating  a living hell in my mind. I could talk endlessly about my life story but this is not an autobiographical movie with hours to spare.

Anti heroes create the problems that heroes have to solve. And without those problems, there would be no revelations concerning the basic struggle between good and evil. Stories would be plain and lifeless. Without the actions of these negative forces, there would even be little stories, and the forces that motivated Hitler and other dictators would be forever a mystery.

How did I escape my anti-hero journey? I haven’t! Every now and then my demons visit me and they try to pull me back into the pit. I will never be completely confident, despite my experience in pageants. I am less likely to turn fully obedient, my blood just screams nonconformity and even though some people think I am a paragon of awesomeness (sometimes I like to think it is true), I am just a human being with flaws.

Our anti-hero story continues daily. It gives us clues on what we must do to be saved. Knowing our anti-hero story is not as scary as it seems. Coming to terms with our anti hero story helps us to come to terms with the dark side in ourselves. After all, darkness must exist for light to flourish.

Why I Write?

I write because I have a lot of things of in my mind.

I write because written words are easy.

I write to free my mind, to connect with people and to find a common ground in this vast space.

I write to free people, to tell that impossible can be done and what is is not what should always be.

I write to have my thoughts travel from my mind to others, hoping that in some way, I am bridging the gap that I am unable to fill during my anti-social moments.

I write to bring people to places they have never been and to think of ideas they have never thought of.

I write because I love words. Words that can change a person’s life. In this cruel world, words of hope are scarce. I want to bring across the small silver linings that go unnoticed and unappreciated.

I write because a lot of people speak daily and only a few are remembered days after.

I write to record my life and those moments that are vital to my existence.

I write just because the act is a form of contributing to what is and what is not.

I write because I think.

I write to challenge my mind and the other people’s mind.

I write because it is easier than speaking.

I write because I am open to judgement.

I write so I can see the journey that my mind has been going through.

I write so that I can remember those thought provoking moments.

I write so I can forget those repetitive mental reminders that disrupt my functioning.

I write because I want to be better at writing.

I write because I want to one day be good enough to publish a book.

I write because words last longer than me.

I write  to not be forgotten.

I write for the love of expression.

I write out of frustration.

I write because I am human enough to crave significance and needy enough to seek connections.

I write because I’m part introvert and sometimes what I think is easier to express through words than to speak out.

I write because it makes me happy.

I write because I can.

I write because I am a lover of words and thoughts.

I write because I am free to do so.

I write to rebel against monotony and predictability.

I write to be heard and to hear.

I write to see and be seen.

I write for the sake of expression and non conformity.

I write to continue the art of writing.

I write to improve my style.

I write to find new and alike minds.

I write to console the hurt.

 

 

3 Goals for Happinas

I have fallen once again into the pit of procrastination. I am now committing to achieve these three goals for the next three months.

  • Publish three times a week during the next two months.
  • Spend two hours each week visiting my followers’ blogs, reading, and commenting from now until the end of July.
  • Gain 20% more followers within three months.

When starting a new habit, it is such a struggle. Now I have to acquaint myself with the habit of publishing in my blog. How about you? What are your goals for your blog?

Wednesday Warriors: How to Start Project 333

Always shopping for clothes and never having enough in your closet? Life is easier with less. Ready for the challenge?

If you take a look at your closet now, how many pieces of clothing would you have in it? When was the last time you wore all of them? Can you live with only 33 items for 3 months?

Dressing dilemma.

Project 333 is a difficult one at least for the fashionistas who do not like to wear the same things. I, on the otherhand, was never a fan of owning to much clothes. That’s why I have a yearly check on all my clothes and donate the ones that I have not worn for more than 3 months. Wear ’em and throw ’em, most girls love this game. Buy clothes, wear them once or twice (some aren’t even worn at all) and them keep it inside the closet for ages. This project will make your wardrobe a lot less complicated. Life is easier with less. Ready for the challenge?

The Basics

When: Every three months
What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.
What not: these items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear, and workout clothing.
How: Choose your 33 items, box up the remainder of your fashion statement, seal it with tape and put it out of sight.
What else: Consider that you are creating a wardrobe that you can live, work and play in for three months. Remember that this is not a project in suffering. If your clothes don’t fit or are in poor condition, replace them.

Here is an inspiration for you:

15 Looks with 13 Items
15 Looks with 13 Items

Quick Start Guides For Project 333

First Timers

  1. Take inventory.
  2. Working with your “I Love” pile of clothing, start to build your wardrobe. It will help to make a list on paper.
  3. Consider signature items like a trench coat or pair of boots. Your signature item might be your sunglasses. You will find that having one well made version of something will be far better than 10 of the knock-off.
  4. Once you start dressing with less, pay less attention to what you are wearing, or not wearing and more attention to something more important.
  5. You are welcome to incorporate some of the bonus rules listed below.
  • Use the first week of each phase if you need it to finish your collection and donation process.
  • Choose three additional items and put them aside in your closet. You may rotate these items in during the next three months, but three other items have to rotated out, and donated.
  • You may swap clothing with others participating in Project333. Post items on the Facebook page and connect with like minded fashionistas living with less.

    6.  Get connected and ask questions.

Hopefully this challenge will let you enjoy the freedom that comes with minimalism. I will be posting my take on minimal wardrobe from my month long travel next Wednesday.

Warrior Wednesdays: Always Do Your Best

Be the best, this is a common line that we hear. Perfection is what we want from others, more than what we expect from ourselves. How many times do we notice our faults over the imperfections of others?

We like to troll all over the internet searching for people’s mistakes. From how they express themselves to how they look. We never fail in looking at what is wrong. But wait, how often do you look at your own reflection?

I too am guilty at times of judging others. I always had a comment about things and how everything is going wrong. Eventually I realised that it as counterproductive. My life is not getting any better with it. I knew how to spot imperfections but refused to see my own. Now, I would rather spend the time trying to always be the better version from who I was. It is the only way to live. If you only give half of what you can, the universe will pay you back in half. Doubts will slowly creep in and plague your thoughts.

“If only I have given it my all.”

Do not give yourself the chance to suffer from this. Put 100% into everything you do. It is the only way for you to live life to the fullest. Dare to reach your maximum capacity. Be relentless in bringing out the best version of you. If you succeed in this then the thoughts of self-doubt will never haunt you.

Do your best and you will live your life more intensely. This will push you to take action. If you take action just for the sake of doing it, without expecting a reward, you will find that you enjoy every action you do. Rewards will come, but you are not attached to the reward. Only with this can you really enjoy life.

“Just do your best — in any circumstance in your life. It doesn’t matter if you are sick or tired, if you always do your best there is no way you can judge yourself. And if you don’t judge yourself there is no way you are going to suffer from guilt, blame, and self-punishment. By always doing your best, you will break a big spell that you have been under.”
― Miguel Ruiz

As what Steve Jobs said, “Do not settle…Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

Warrior Wednesdays: Do Not Assume

How many times do you judge people in a day? I admit enjoy observing people and assuming things. I am not certain if it is really part of human instinct to judge people. We have created stereotypes and used cues to formulate conclusions without clarifying it to the person involved. We hate being judged and yet we like to judge.

Assume Nothing
Steer clear from prejudice.

When I was a kid, I used to judge the candidates of Binibining Pilipinas a lot. I would assume that they do not have much besides their physical beauty and that what they did was easy. Things changed when I decided to see things from their perspective. After joining several competitions, I had to get used to the label “beauty queen” among my friends. There was one incident where I was talking to a woman and she bluntly told me, ” I did not expect to have a good conversation with you. I thought most beauty queens did not have substance”. I felt insulted and wished that I had my academic records so I could show it to her face that I knew more things beyond looking beautiful. It then hit me on how similar I was to her.

Everyday we seek an audience, we want people to understand us. We assume too much and understand too little. We think we know everything and we categorize it according to how we think. How often do you get hurt and hurt others from assuming things? Avoiding conflict, keeping things to ourselves always ends in conflict.

You Know Nothing.
Be like Snow.

Always bear in mind this famous line from the Game of Thrones series, this is how you should program your mind daily. Try to see things like it is your first encounter, Just as how a newborn sees the world. Do not convince yourself that your guesses are fact, they probably are not. We think too much, and thinking leads to assumptions. Assumptions lead to nothing but disappointments. Follow Don Miguel Ruiz’s advice:

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Warrior Wednesdays: Don’t Take Anything Personally

You will only need to trust yourself to make responsible choices. You are never responsible for the actions of others; you are only responsible for you.

“You are charming but you do not have the face to make it to a beauty pageant.”

“You look like a maid and you should not be part of Bb. Pilipinas.”

“You are damaged, no one will ever love you.”

Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in.

I will never forget these exact words. Even if I wanted to forget them, these have left a mark on me.

How did you do last week? Was the first agreement easy? Here is the next challenge from Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements: Don’t Take Anything Personally.

Everyday we receive judgements from people who would rather seek perfection than kindness. Damaging words, yes, but only if you allow it.

As an awkward middle child, I always felt uncomfortable being in the spotlight because I knew that I would be vulnerable to others judgement and I admittedly allowed them to limit me. Despite my mother’s constant encouragement, others made me feel insecure and uncomfortable in my skin. I would avoid wearing clothes that I liked just because I felt that I had fat limbs (when in reality, I was underweight).

When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.

I tried to break free from it and prove others wrong by joining my first pageant 6 years ago. Admittedly joining a pageant in the Philippines when you are 22 is quite late. Most of the girls start really early! This country takes beauty pageant seriously. Some girls go as far as giving up a year of study to prepare for a national pageant!

not listening photo tumblr_m57t1xMTJn1rnvlqy.gif

Even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally…

After my transition from a normal tomboy to a beauty queen, I became more vulnerable to judgement and criticisms. I can’t even begin to list all the harsh comments I got the minute I made it through the final screening in Bb. Pilipinas. From my teeth to my overall look, everyone had a lot to say. My primary purpose for joining pageants was to go against ideals of perfection.

Au naturale!

I got sucked in and began to care so much about how I looked and what I wore. It got crazy that I would feel incomplete if I did not have my eyebrows done! Unconsciously, I was follwing the pattern, the stereotypical Filipina lady. I felt uneasy and ugly without make-up and had to be refined with my actions. I did not let the words affect me directly, it got under my skin slowly as I allowed myself to swim into the pool of expectations. I decided to break free.

It became easier when Bb. Pilipinas ended, I can leave the room without wearing make-up and be back to my boyish ways. I also become lenient with people that I do not expect much from them.

You will only need to trust yourself to make responsible choices. You are never responsible for the actions of others; you are only responsible for you.

When I went to Malaysia, I was relieved to know that the Ms. SCUBA International organisers preferred the girls wearing less of the chemicals. They preferred a more natural look (one reason why I think it is probably one of the better pageants that exist to date) focusing more on the cause.

I started feeling a huge amount of freedom once I started not taking anything personally. Those comments that used to stop me lost its power.

I am not completely free from it though, there are still times when I become upset over a lie, a gossip or a label but I am getting better at it. Once I understood, and refused to take things personally, I can’t hardly be hurt by the careless comments or actions of others. It does take a lot of strength to brush things off specially with social media has these days. A little mistake or imperfection could spur a major lashout from online trolls. All you need to do is to practice it daily, it becomes easier with each day.

You are a superstar.
Remind yourself this.

 The whole world can gossip about you, and if you don’t take it personally you are immune.

I admire people in the fashion and entertainment industry who can put up with such, my non-conforming nature will never be able to survive. I am in awe of how they are able to go through it daily. The media is unforgiving most of the time.

This is why I will never be a mainstream beauty queen, it takes a lot to be able to put up with such tall order and I would prefer to use my time to do other things ( having perfect hair and make-up not being part of it).

Words cannot express how much I don't care.
Care more about people.

If you keep this agreement, you can travel around the world with your heart completely open and no one can hurt you. You can say, “I love you,” without fear of being ridiculed or rejected. You can ask for what you need.

I am in a much happier and carefree state now. I have learned to stick to what is good and not to spread poison. I find it a bit easier to be vulnerable now (though there are still moments that the manhater in me is revived). I have less fears. More open to love people and embrace their imperfections. I dare you now to start the habit of not taking anything personally.

Happy
Who cares if I am a bit fluffy as long as I am happy!

P.S. I will be adding more challenges for next week asides from the agreements, I assure you that it will be good for your physical health and the environment.

Wednesday Warriors: Be Impeccable with Your Word

How far we can go with our freedom of speech? With the social media built into our everyday routine, it is a daily struggle to find boundaries on what is acceptable and what is not. Exposed to a massive influx of internet trolls, our tolerance for bullying and written hatred has grown. So I challenge you to go against this, for this week, make it a point to think before you speak.

Be Impeccable with your word.
First Agreement

This challenge is the first our of the four agreements from Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. In the book, he wrote, “Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use your power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”

We should be more responsible with what we say to others because they can damage. Let us stop spreading the poison of negativity. Being impeccable never hurt anyone.

Warrior Wednesdays: Take Sides and Voice It Out

How many times have you wanted to take a stand on something and never mustered enough courage to do so? I admit it is easy to just stay silent among the crowd. It takes courage to say to everyone what is on your mind.

Dare to challenge!
Dare to challenge!

How long have you been keeping opinions to yourself in fear that people will ostracise you? Did your silence make you happy?

Truth is keeping silent is tolerating the current status. History has shown us repeatedly that speaking up can change the world. Can you imagine how life would be today if great leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Aung San Suu Kyi or Mahatma Gandhi  never bothered to speak their minds about the inequalities and oppression?  We would still be living in the same condition they did.

Today is the day to dare. Choose a side and voice it out!

Be heard.
Be heard.

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – Elie Wiesel