Thursday, December 2, 2021

The ups and downs of my mental health (and my weight).

I'm not one to make excuses. When I gain weight, for example, I chalk it up to me eating a ton of cake. But that's not entirely true. It's just easier to say that than to admit that I'm on meds. It's even harder to admit that I'm on meds again after having so proudly written about being off meds in a blog post not too long ago.

But my recent weight gain came so incredibly quickly, I feel like it needs to be addressed. Especially since I had been posting about my weight loss journey every couple of weeks prior to this. "Weight loss journey pero ang taba naman niya," I heard someone say without them knowing I had heard them. So here is the part of my life you might not know about, dear judgmental creature...

After four whole years, my psychiatrist had recently weaned me off of Risdin, an anti-psychotic that I need to take to quiet down the voices in my head. Voices that tell me I'm not good enough. Voices that tell me to drink a little more alcohol than I should. Voices that tell me to hurt myself. Voices that tell me to hurt other people. Without Risdin, these voices get so loud, I can't hear or think about anything else but what they're telling me.

And the most common side effect of this drug that keeps the voices away? Weight gain. Weight gain that happens so quickly, you probably won't believe it's possible unless you had actually seen me a few weeks ago and then saw me again today.

On average, people who take Risdin gain about 12 pounds in two months. So, it might have come as a shocker for those who cheered me on during my short-lived weight loss journey to see me all blown up like a balloon again in such a short amount of time.

See, I had a mental health relapse recently. One that caused me to check myself into a hospital to stop myself from trying to take my life again. Yes, the voices were back with a vengeance. And so, Risdin is back in my life with a vengeance, as well. In less than three weeks, I had gone one size up and gained five whole kilos.

The only difference this time is that I no longer feel bad about the weight gain. I'm no longer ashamed of it. Well, maybe I am a little. I actually did Photoshop these photos to make the weight gain look less shocking, after all.

But I don't complain about the weight gain as much anymore. I kind of just live with it. And then I go home and Photoshop myself and remind myself that the body I currently live in isn't really mine. It's the body I have to live with in order to survive a little longer.

47 percent of schizophrenics usually take their own lives within a decade of being diagnosed and (right now, at least) I refuse to be part of that statistic. If being chubbier for a time is what it takes to heal and to keep on living, then I'll take this weight gain and wear it for as long as I need to.

I'm also telling this story to remind you that you don't know everything that is going on in a person's life so please don't be so quick to judge or make conclusions. This is my story. And it might sound like an excuse to you, but it is what it is.

At the end of the day, when my dose is lowered and I'm back on track with my workouts, I'll be able to shed this weight and look and feel better again. Can you say the same about you, dear judgmental creature? 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

3 Features that Raise a Home's Value

As you probably already know by now, I recently moved to a townhouse. And while I don't own it or anything, I did learn a few things along the way on my search for a place to live. I've noticed that there are several things I tend to look for in a home and realized that certain features really raise a home's value.

If you're worried about sprucing up your home because you think you might be wasting money on renovations that won't do anything for you in the long run, here are 3 features that can actually raise a home's value and help you sell it for more later on down the line.

Energy-Efficient Features

Today's generation is all about saving energy, more so than ever before. One look at millennials' paychecks and electricity bills, and you'll easily understand why.

Photo by Rodolfo Clix from Pexels

As such, if you plan on upgrading your home's appliances, be it your refrigerator or your furnace, try to look for energy-efficient equipment that could help lower the electricity bills. You might want to invest in a smart thermostat, as well; this could make a huge difference.

Upgrade Important Rooms

Some of the most important rooms in a home that homebuyers will look at are the kitchen and the bathrooms. Everything has to look absolutely perfect from the appliances to the decorations and the finishes. They don't just have to look great, though. Things have to be positioned well, and the features in it have to be both durable and useful.

Photo by Mark McCammon from Pexels

Because of this, it would be a good idea to ensure that the kitchen and bathrooms are visually appealing and useful as a whole. If you aren't sure which rooms to really spend your time and money on in terms of renovations and upgrades, these would be it.

Fresh Paint

Believe it or not, a fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference in how a home looks in the eyes of homebuyers. While the colors may play a part, the mere visual appeal of a newly painted home can make or break a person's decision.

Worn paint will make your home look exactly that: worn. A new coat will make everything look brand new and make it more visually appealing. The best part is that paint jobs don't cost too much money, but could definitely give you a leg up in terms of real estate.

Whether you're looking for real estate for sale in Whistler or anywhere in your area, make sure to take note of the features mentioned above.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

FRESH TIME with BT21 is finally here.

Calling all fellow BT21 lovers! The go-signal is now green! Score this fresh and funky line made by FRESH Philippines to make your everyday skincare routine a lot quirkier.

With its special edition BT21 products and merch, and their new partnership with LINE FRIENDS; this new set of products is made with improved formulation and cute designs that will bring life to your usual skincare routine.

It’s a delightful skincare treat for every UNIVERSTAR BT21 lover in the Philippines. If you are very particular with the products that you use for your skin and body, FRESH Philippines delivers a premium and fun collaboration that will give you the best of what this new line has to offer and the opportunity to bring home cute and iconic collectibles featuring the adorable UNIVERSTAR BT21 characters.

For Smooth Like Butter Skin

FRESH Philippines offers their cult-favorite soothing gel lotions with their upbeat new designs and a ‘tiny’ surprise that everyone will love! If you’re looking for that FRESH start, then this is the perfect time to commence your skincare journey, especially with this BT21 new line!

Achieve that glass looking skin that you have been dreaming of for so long with FRESH with BT21 Tomato Glass Skin Soothing Gel Lotion. This soothing gel lotion exhibits a true tomato power and is crafted with TheraGlass Complex, a special formula that has Hyaluronic Acid and Arbutin that keeps your skin hydrated and healthy while giving that natural looking glass skin finish.

For even and soft skin, on the other hand, check out FRESH with BT21 Jeju Aloe Ice Soothing Gel Lotion. Each tub is infused with TheraCool Complex that gives twice the power of moisture for your face and body. This aloe vera-infused Soothing Gel Lotion is made with TheraCool Complex, a special cooling formula infused with Niacinamide and Centella Asiatica that restores your skin’s natural moisture while it lightens dark marks and evens out your skin tone. That’s twice the power, twice the confidence boost!

AThe FRESH Jeju Aloe Ice Soothing Gel Lotion and the FRESH with BT21 Glass Skin Soothing Gel Lotion 300mL design comes also with a mini version of 120mL sachets with BT21 designs. Now, you don’t have to worry about buying a whole new container as you can easily refill it with these sachets.

From the generous skin-pampering elements of Jeju aloe and tomato, FRESH PH introduces their other two skincare frontrunners that come in a handy 120mL sachets, the FRESH with BT21 Watermelon Youthful Bliss Soothing Gel Lotion and the FRESH with BT21 Green Tea & Cucumber Soothing Gel Lotion.

The watermelon-infused gel lotion has a gel-type formulation packed with vitamins and nutrients that help fight the early signs of skin aging. On the other hand, the green tea and cucumber soothing gel lotion is developed with acne care formula to keep your skin and body moisturized while reducing oil production and dark spots caused by pimple breakouts.

All these soothing gels are non-sticky, lightweight, and it feels so natural to the skin. You will surely radiate FRESHness all throughout the day!

A Scent of Security in a Bottle

Before starting your skincare, it’s always best to make sure that your hands are well-sanitized and clean. Sometimes, the alcohol and sanitizing sprays give us that strong stinging scent, and it’s understandable why some people dodge this part of their routine. If you are one of those people who tend to skip this part, then you can now leave your worries behind for FRESH Philippines came up with an out of this world scentsation in every FRESH with BT21 70% Ethyl Alcohol Solution Alcosprays.

It is the perfect mix of fragrance and disinfecting ingredients available in every click of your spray cap. It comes with four 100mL variants and two 500mL variants:

Cosmic Wonder (Purple) 100mL
Interstellar (Green) 100mL
Starburst (Red) 100mL
Supernova (Orange) 100mL
Interstellar (Apple Green) 500mL
Supernova (Blue) 500mL

Each variant ensures 99.9% germ- and bacteria-killing solution. Unlike any other alcosprays, FRESH PH added the soothing and moisturizing elements of aloe vera; making sure your hand feels soft, gentle-to-touch, and fresh every time you use it.

Collect, Select, and Trade!

Grab these BT21 Photocards for every minimum purchase of Php499. Complete the seven pieces, and even make friends with these dashing and delightfully designed BT21 Photocard sets. You can also cop your Fresh PH products for a bang-for-buck deal up to 50% off! Promo only lasts until November 21, 2021, though! You can also skip the lines and have yours delivered from Watsons store to your door when you place your orders in all Watsons platforms.

There's a lot in-store for everyone as FRESH PH confirmed that they will be releasing more BT21 merch and skincare products. Here’s a sneak peek:

The FRESH with BT21 Eco Bag Purple and Mask Case perfectly interweave style and utility featuring the designs of the UNIVERSTAR BT21 characters, #KOYA #RJ #SHOOKY #MANG #CHIMMY #TATA #COOKY #VAN. The compact design makes sure that you can secure it easily anywhere, even in your purse.

To stay in the loop with the latest promos, deals, and products, don’t forget to follow FRESH PH’s official accounts on Facebook and Instagram, and check out their official e-commerce site here.  Indeed, BT21 lovers will have something to look forward to in the coming days, so stay tuned!

Monday, October 25, 2021

So this is what feelings feel like.

The littlest things have been triggering me lately. But I’d like to think it’s just a side effect of getting off meds completely (yes, even my trusted baby Benadryls). I’d also like to take it as a good sign.

It’s been a while since I’ve felt things so deeply, after all. My meds had the tendency to push emotions back so that I wouldn’t react to them without thinking. There were even days when I wasn’t sure if I was actually angry or annoyed or if I just told myself that I was because I believed that was the right emotion I was supposed to feel at the time.

So when I feel things now, it’s like a whole new experience and I let myself dwell in them - even the negative ones - maybe a little more than I should. When I cry because of movies or series, it’s like a waterfall that I can’t fathom. And I pause whatever I’m watching because I don’t know if it’s normal. “Is this what sadness feels like?” “How can something so simple ignite so much pain in my heart?”

When someone shows appreciation for my actions or my existence, I can almost literally feel my heart doing cartwheels and when I smile, I really smile. I don’t even notice it until someone points it out and then I have to go off-cam and look in the mirror. “What are you smiling about?” “How can such simple words feel so good?”

And then there are the unexpected triggers. A scene in How to Get Away with Murder recently sent me down a spiral so deep, I thought it wouldn’t get out of it. I ended up not finishing the series.

An episode in Hometown Chachacha made me so sad, I got flashbacks of the death fantasies I used to have. And when I cut my hair, I’d catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and hear all of the negative comments old flames in my life used to throw at me. And I’d burn a little every time.

But this was all to be expected. Although I came off my meds as slowly as humanly possible, I knew this would happen. I’m not as prepared for it as I told myself I was, but I also know that a few months of struggling is nothing compared to how much I’ve struggled before then. And my mind is now decent enough to tell me how to deal with everything else.

I’ve channeled the hyperkinesia into work. I’ve channeled the anger into working out. I’ve got a more than solid social support system. I’ve learned to distance myself from people when I feel suffocated. I’ve learned to power through the muscle pain and the headaches. And I have the most understanding, loving, and caring daughter by my side.

I know a lot of people are against taking meds to heal. In fact, I was one of them. But coming out at this end, I can honestly say that it was worth it, as expensive as it was. If I hadn’t, I honestly don’t think I’d still be here today.

P.S. If you ever need anyone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Where to Play Quick and Fun Games Online

Some of you may know me as a gamer, but this month has been hell at work so far. I have had zero time for myself and zero time to play any kind of games. It has taken quite a toll on my mental health, to be honest, so I decided to look for some quick games I can play that won't take up too much of my time during a workday but will still give me some sort of satisfaction.

While looking for games, I tried to look back at my younger years and the simple things that gave me joy. And that's when Solitaire popped into my head. A simple and mindless game, sure, but one that I truly enjoyed when I was younger.

It's nice to just mindlessly move cards around and go back to the simplicity of those days. Hahaha. I sound so old. But it's true. If you miss Solitaire, too, then you can play a quick game (or ten lol) on your browser without having to download anything.

What I love about the site is the fact that they don't just offer Solitaire to revive all of the nostalgia in my system. They also have other classic games, like Candy Crush-type games, hidden object games, word games like crosswords, and get this: PacMan-inspired games.

And that's not all! Hehehe. You all know that pre-pandemic, I was a frequent visitor of City of Dreams and Resorts World Manila because I loved losing myself in games of Blackjack. THEY HAVE BLACKJACK, TOO. In their version, you play five levels of Blackjack and try to score as close to 21 as possible on five separate hands.

Another great thing about their website is that they have complete, easy-to-understand instructions on how to play each game so you'll get it right away and will never feel frustrated or lost. Definitely one of the websites that can help you get through a work funk like me. Check out their full list of games here.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Find your happiness.

The pandemic continues to be a constant struggle for my little family. It's part of the reason why I have so many side jobs aside from my two main ones. I need to keep busy. I need to keep busy to avoid overthinking, to avoid over-reacting, to avoid panicking. What I once thought would only last a few months has turned into an actual lifestyle. A new normal. One that I currently still see no end to.

And I find myself thinking back at how life used to be. Syrena, for one, always found joy in staying late after school to play with her friends. She found joy in hitting up playgrounds and going out to eat at her favorite places. I found joy in cold coffee shops with my nose buried in a book. I found joy in heading to the beach on work trips and soaking up the sun. I found joy in being outside - period.

Most days, I drown myself in work to keep busy. But ever since I promised to give myself full weekends - ones where I'm not allowed to open my laptop unless it's to watch Netflix (Syrena is my work police - she has permission to slap me if I work when I shouldn't) - I've found myself missing how life used to be.

But if there's one thing I've learned during this never-ending pandemic, it's that we don't have control over it. No matter how much we follow the rules and stay safe at home, there are still people who will do whatever the fuck they want because they don't seem to understand how this works. They don't want to do their part. "If this is the life I'm dealt, I might as well make the most of it," I've heard them say. "At least I didn't rot away at home like you," they retort when I speak up.

And so we stay stuck. And so we hope for better days. And so, for now, we find ways.

I've given Syrena a laptop so she can interact with her friends. I've introduced her to Discord and Twitch and live streams and video games. I've welcomed her to the world of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and Twilight. I've taught her the joys of cooking, too, but I leave her be a lot of the time. Our lives suck as it is, so she might as well get to do what she wants to do at home without me breathing down her neck.

And she leaves me be, too. When I need a day locked in my room in utter silence, she leaves me be. When I spend my weekend repotting plants or rearranging furniture, she doesn't bother me. When I play BTS on full blast while dancing in my underwear, she doesn't complain. When I go through spurts of obsessive cleaning and nagging, she just takes it all in.

In lieu of Mommy Mondays (which is what Sy used to call our girls' days out... even if it wasn't a Monday lelz), we plan out Netflix nights. We order in. We take turns choosing what to watch. And we eat cake out of the can. We leave the dishes undone sometimes and we don't make our beds in the morning, but that's okay. Because we're okay.

We've established a kind of care and understanding that I had never experienced with my family (or in any of my relationships, for that matter) before. We talk every single thing through. We check in on each other randomly during the day just to see if the other is okay. We have what she calls "huggie time" - a random tight bear hug during the day. We've found a sort of quiet happiness and peace amidst all of the chaos, and built a home together that feels safe.

I don't know what your life currently looks like or what your current mindset is, but I encourage you to find it. Find it in the smallest of things. It may not look like what it once used to, but I guarantee you can find a version of it if you change your mindset a little. And please... do your part. Let's stop hoping and start acting. For a better future.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Kick-Ass's Mark Millar is Getting an Anime on Netflix - Check Out "Super Crooks"

I still remember when Kick-Ass first came out in cinemas. I had just given birth and was going through some shit (what's new? lol) when I watched the movie. A movie about a nerd (like me) who wanted to become a superhero in real life (like me) despite knowing that he didn't have any superpowers.

I remember I was the only one in my barkada who actually liked the movie. And I could not stop thinking about it. I proceeded to watch it three more times in the cinema and it became a huge part of my life.

The amazing mastermind behind it was none other than Mark Millar, a genius whose ideas never fail to amaze me. One of his comic books, Super Crooks, takes another idea that he says he believes "has never been done before". In it, supervillains come together for one last heist and it is currently being turned into an anime on Netflix!

During the exciting TUDUM event, we were able to get a glimpse of what Super Crooks has to offer, and I can't wait to watch it when it premieres on November 25. Check out the teaser trailer here:

Super Crooks is set to release 13 30-minute episodes lushly produced by bones. Will you be adding this to your watch list, too? :)

Saturday, September 25, 2021

I lost 1.5kg in 5 days with this meal plan.

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don't, I'm at @lilmisswonderwoman hihi), you'll know that I've recently started a meal plan with Eat's Life Manila.

While I've finally found a good groove in terms of fitness - one that I can actually maintain while having fun and not feeling like it's a chore - I realized that I wouldn't really reach my goals if I didn't change my eating habits. Although I have been eating healthily for the most part (protein shakes in the morning and lots of protein and veggies throughout the day), I wasn't really paying much heed to how many calories I was consuming. And when I felt the need to have something sweet, I'd just go for it. But you know what they say: if you want to reach your goals, you gotta commit. So a meal plan sounded about right.

Now, y'all know this isn't my first meal plan rodeo. In fact, this is my fourth. Lol. The reason why the others didn't work out for me was pretty simple: I love food with a passion and they simply weren't delicious. While they'd have a good meal in there every now and then, they were never consistently good. And as a certified food lover, that was an important factor for me. Eat's Life Manila has consistently good food. As in every meal is actually delicious and doesn't feel like I'm eating "diet food" at all. I especially love that they have sweet and yummy snacks to curb my cravings for cake and chocolate.

Of course, it took some getting used to. When I eat, I really eat, after all. So the smaller portions definitely weren't enough to fill me up on the first two days. I could literally hear my tummy complaining about the smaller food portions I was suddenly feeding it. And by Day 3, when a friend sent me my favorite food in the world, I didn't even think twice and just ate it. I'm proud to say that was my only moment of weakness during this first week of diet food-ing, though. :)

I am currently on Day 6 of my diet and have treated myself to a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, as well. But I do work out every single day - walang mintis! - and as per my weigh-in, which I decided to do today para may real basis yung review ko, I'm proud (and honestly surprised) to announce that I've already lost 1.5kg. That's for this week of dieting alone.

I was honestly very skeptical when I started this diet. I also told people that I'd test it out for two weeks first to see if their meals are actually good and if I can survive on them. It has only been roughly a week so far, but I'm confident in saying that it's totally doable. While it isn't something I can do every single week because my job entails reviewing a lot of food, it's definitely something I will be signing up for whenever I have weeks of zero food reviews lined up.

The food is delicious. It is actually effective for my goals (which is currently weight loss), and it eliminates the stress of wondering what to cook every single meal. You just need to pop their meals in the microwave for a couple of minutes and they're good to go! Plus, they have meals that I don't know how to cook yet, like kare-kare and lasagna. Definitely well worth it for me!

Even if weight loss isn't your current goal, they've got meal plans for practically any goals you have, as well as special meal plans for those with diet restrictions. Check out their full range of meal plans here. You may also use my discount code EATSANJ300 to get 300 pesos off! :)

Thursday, September 23, 2021

I want a boyfriend like Hong Du-sik.

Before Hometown Cha Cha Cha started streaming on Netflix, I got to attend a press con with the cast - yes, including our resident Good Boy and now Chief Hong, Kim Seon-ho. I hadn't watched the show yet when the press con happened but one thing that really stuck to me was when Seon-ho said, "I think it would be really nice if women who watch the drama think that it would be nice to have a boyfriend like Du-sik." I didn't understand what he meant at the time; but eight episodes in and I am utterly and crazily in love with his character. I WANT A DU-SIK. Here's why.

He has the perfect work-life balance.

There's no doubt about it: Hong Du-sik is a workaholic. And he can do everything! Naglabas pa siya ng licenses for proof. Haha. So whether you need home renovations, a cook, a barista, a real estate agent, or someone to just carry your heavy stuff (or even carry you hehe), Du-sik can get it done. And he'll do it with a smile on his face so you'll never feel like a burden. uwu

HOWEVER, he also knows when to step his foot down. On his days off, there's no way you can get him to do anything for you. He'll spend that time doing the things he loves, whether it's surfing, fishing, or defending your friend from sexual predators. double uwu

He is respectful and kind to people from all walks of life.

If there's one thing I can't tolerate, it's rudeness and disrespect. And we see this a lot in Hometown Cha Cha Cha from the chismosang kapitbahays to Hye-jin herself. But not from Du-sik. Du-sik respects everyone from the kids to the oldies, and he even calls out people to school them when he feels the need to. In fact, he shares a ton of words of wisdom in the show that many viewers will get to benefit from.

He goes the extra mile.

Not gonna lie: I cried at one point while watching
HomeCha because I wanted a Du-sik in my life so badly. :p I was also PMS-ing and I actually blame my PMS for that moment of weakness. But the thing is: Du-sik isn't just helpful and kind. He actually goes the extra mile. When he found that shoe in the water, he could've just returned it; but no. This man Googled how to restore it to its former glory. And then a few episodes later, when Hye-jin told him about her herniated disc, he went and chopped up all of that whatever-that-was so she would have a remedy for it. Did he have to? No. But did he do it? Yes. I stan a man who makes an effort just because he wants to. :( GIVE ME A DU-SIK, LORD, PLEASE!

He isn't afraid to make a fool of himself.

Another thing I love about Du-sik is that he isn't afraid to make a fool of himself and have fun in the process. Remember that cute dentist song for the kids? And the talent show? He might not be the best dancer, but I love that he put himself out there anyway. And besides, his singing skills totally make up for it.


I mean..... COME ONNNNN.

Now, I'm gonna be honest. Hometown Cha Cha Cha isn't my usual kind of Korean drama. However, Kim Seon-ho was my wallpaper for a good year after Start-Up and I have been dying to see him in something again. It's a light, warm, and nakakakilig KDrama that will help you forget all of the crap we live with day to day - and if you love Seon-ho as much as I do, it's well worth it for him alone.

Have you seen it? What do you think of the KDrama so far? Do you think Du-sik will get the girl in the end? Please pray with me. :p

Monday, September 20, 2021

BTS Gives Us Hope Amidst the Pandemic

BTS has done it again.

For the past x years, many of my friends have asked me why I am obsessed with love BTS so much, but I've come to realize I can't really put it into words. It's something you need to experience in order to understand.

Many of my friends think I like BTS because of their good looks. While it may be true that they are drop-dead gorgeous and their songs are hella catchy, it's their lyrics that first got to me. The more I learned about them, though, the harder I fell in love with them. I love their fierce support for the causes that they believe in, their undying passion for their craft, their intense motivation and dedication to their art, and their ability to use their humongous reach to empower people and give them hope. And that's exactly what they did at the United Nations last night.

This isn't BTS' first visit to the UN, but it is one that matters a lot right now. At least for me. I don't know about you, but I've begun to sadly accept that this is the world we now live in - that nothing is going to change, that we'll all die in our homes as the pandemic rampages around our country - and trust me: seeing, hearing, and experiencing how people I know deal with COVID-19... it's just... it has sucked out all of the hope in me. But BTS rekindled that hope last night.

If you're not a fan, you probably didn't watch, but here are some of the best quotes from their speech that really hit a chord in my being:

"We needed time to mourn for the things that we lost to COVID-19, and time to discover how precious the moments that we took for granted were," Suga said as they talked about the youth who were robbed of graduation ceremonies and other important celebrations in life.

And as if speaking directly to how I was feeling and hoping to cheer me up, V said, "I hope we don’t consider the future as nothing but darkness. We have people who are concerned for the world and are searching for the answers. There are still many pages left in the story about us, so I hope we don’t just talk about it like the ending is already written."

Jungkook added, "Sometimes the world seems stopped in place even if we’re ready to go. Sometimes it feels like you’ve lost your way. There were times when we felt the same way."

RM also brought up how the youth is currently being called the "COVID lost generation" because of their missed opportunities and their many challenges along the way. And then he reminds us, like the great leader that he is, that "just because adults cannot see the road for themselves, it doesn't mean they've lost their way."

Jimin then pointed out how the youth still continued to meet their friends online, learn new things, and have tried to live more healthy lives. "Rather than looking lost, they've found new courage and are taking on new challenges," he said, focusing more on the positive side of the pandemic than on the depressing parts of it.

Jin then spoke up to urge people to call the youth the "welcome generation" rather than the "lost generation" because "instead of being afraid of change, this generation says 'welcome' as they walk forward into the future." RM added, "If we continue to believe in possibility and hope, we will not lose our way but discover new ones." Suga also chimed in: "We will not always make perfect choices, but that will not mean that there is nothing we can do."

And they didn't stop there, ladies and gentlemen! They also talked about vaccination! J-Hope stated, "What's important are the choices we make when faced with change" before taking the opportunity to announce that all seven BTS members are, in fact, vaccinated. He also points out that this was their ticket to meet ARMYs and to stand at the UN last night. What's better than BTS? Fully vaccinated BTS! :p

V continued to try to instill more hope into the masses by reminding us that people are still continuing to make move this new reality forward. "I believe the day that we can meet face-to-face is not far away," he said. "I hope that until that day comes, we can continue to fill each day with positive energy." AMEN!

RM adds, "We thought that the world had stopped, but it continues to move forward. I believe that each choice is the beginning of change, not the end. I hope that in this new world, we can all say to each other, 'Welcome'."

This is just one thing I love about BTS: them talking about relevant issues and saying the right things to make us feel better. If you know me at all, you'll know how important it is for me to surround myself with the right people: people who know what to say when I'm at my lowest, people who know how to lift me up when it matters the most. And I guess that's why I love BTS. Even though I don't know them personally, they are able to do these things with their words, their lyrics, and their music.

And they don't just say the right things, either. They let us know that they are going through the same things, that it's okay to feel a certain way sometimes, and that we aren't alone in those bad days. They remind us of how amazing we are, how strong we are, and commend us for things that some of us only wish people in our lives would actually commend us for.

BTS has honestly saved me in more ways than one, and I hope that one day, they'll be able to do the same for you.

It's okay not to be kind all the time.

I’m a kind person. Or at least, I’d like to think that I am. Granted, I haven’t always been kind, but I have grown and learned from past mistakes through the years and have gone to great lengths to change.

At the very least, I’m always there for people I care for when they need me. I stop working, reading, or playing games to reply when there’s a crisis. I drop everything when a friend says they need me. And people have even called me out for having a superhero complex.

When someone needs help at work or something needs to get done, I always, ALWAYS volunteer to help. Maybe it’s this strange desire to be a real-life superhero. Or maybe it’s because I know what it feels like to not have anyone.

Either way, it’s a “sickness” I’ve been trying to kick for a while now. And with all of the bad luck happening in my life lately, I’ve been taking things up a notch by stopping with the crazy amounts of kindness.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s okay to be kind. It’s okay to be there for people and to help them in their hour of need. But it’s also important to know your limits and set your boundaries. If people disrespect your requests, step over your boundaries, and keep taking and taking without giving or listening; it’s okay to put your foot down. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to put up a final wall. It’s okay to stop being kind.

It’s okay to admit that you were blinded by loneliness and false pretenses. We all get duped sometimes. But I’m here to remind you that kindness isn’t always a good thing because the world isn’t full of good people.

There are people who will take advantage of your kindness and if you don’t open your eyes and do something about it, you’ll end up exactly like me: emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually drained. And with zero trust issues.

I’ve gone through a lot this past month. I’ve overworked myself yet still lost an important job. I’ve held in my anger and contempt yet still ended up with ruined belongings. I’ve let people into my cold and hard heart yet still ended up getting used.

And I’m tired of it. So this is me putting my foot down. This is me removing my cape. This is me throwing my superhero suit in the trash. Put it on the front page if you want. “Angel is a villain.” “Angel is a bitch.” “Angel is the user, not me.” Say what you want. Believe whatever you need to believe to make yourself feel better. 

But at least now, I get to sleep in peace and quiet, knowing that you’re out of my life and are no longer my burden to bear.

Photos by Gizelle Caoile.