Mean what you say (or Matthew 5:37)

You might think nothing much has changed (haha), but I really had so much baby fats when I was in 6th grade, so I was a bully’s favorite. Every day I dreaded going to school, and not knowing how I was going to be bullied added up to the anxiety.

But today, I no longer remember the names they used to call me, or the insults they hurled at me. I only remember two things: that time when one of my best friends joined the rest of the class to laugh at me, and that other time a rumor went around about me faking the “religious” things I did – closing my eyes and raising my hands during worship – in a Christian school no less.

I got really angry when I heard the rumor, because it’s not true. The year 2003 was one of the most exciting years in my spiritual walk with the Lord because I was part of our music ministry, and we were preparing for this big concert that would not have been possible for a small church like ours had it not been for the grace of God.

At a young age of 12, I started learning the basics of Christianity beyond church-going: I read my Bible every day (because our music director was checking our notebooks…), prayed for my friends (and my bullies), and dedicated my time to ministry.

To be accused of faking my Christianity when I was starting to enjoy growing in the Lord felt awful.

Tonight, I’m pondering on where I am now in my relationship with the Lord more than 10 years after I was called a fake. No one would – or could, even if they try – bully me now about my “religion” (I’m always iffy calling it a religion, but that’s another story…), but I’m looking at the mirror instead.

Have I gone far in this walk, or have I only been taking baby steps all these years? Am I still a baby Christian, going to church for the sake of going there? The Bible said “by their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:16). What kind of fruit does my life bear, and am I witnessing to the world with my talents? Or am I using them only for my own gain?

Am I really in but not of this world?

I’m a very fickle person, which is why I need to remind myself all the time to mean what I say. I will read my Bible every day. I will pray for him and her. 

The Bible says it straight and simple:

But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. (Matthew 5:37)

Most of the time, we forget the simplest things, the basics. So tonight, because I remembered them again, I will try harder – lest I really become a fake.

Bonus: A photo of my 12-year-old self, in all my baby fats glory! Hahaha. This was during a shoot for the concert poster, and to my left was my childhood unrequited first love (oo may distinction haha)

A mixtape, please

After writing that previous blog about my first love, I finally decided to watch Once. I’m still watching it actually as of this typing, paused at that scene where the couple is seated by the doorsteps, with the girl listening to a CD compiled by a man she just met days ago.

(Tell me, movie universe, how do strangers meet just like that?!)

When I was nursing a broken heart, I ran to music. I listened to mostly Christian songs, but my search for peace of mind also led me to websites like New Slang and Maybe Very HappyThere, contributors sent in mixtapes, or playlists based on themes. Call it hipster, but that’s how I got by for months. I listened to new songs, songs of artists I’m not familiar with, songs that spoke to me then and there.

Once reminded me how nice it was listening to those mixtapes carefully woven together by strangers, for whichever purpose they may serve.

To me, they were like hugs that brought comfort, or a nod from a friend who, in silence, understands. The world is still kind, I thought back then; it’s still looking after me.

So, a proposition: I’m not big with gifts, but should there come a time that you have to give me a gift (and have is the operative word), please consider making a mixtape for me instead.

*ehem future boyfriend ehem*

Attention to details

My first love was a man who loved music. When we were dating, he wrote 3 short songs that I still have copies of to this day. Not all of them are love songs, they were not written for me, but knowing him (or what little I know of him now), I’m probably the only person who knows the songs exist.

We were that kind of couple: We’d send YouTube links of songs to each other through Yahoo! Messenger. Listen to this. Have you heard of that? Ganda! 

I kept some of the songs he sent tucked in a computer folder named ‘Usapang P’. Together with the 3 original songs, I have in that folder Hillsong’s Soon, John Waller’s While I’m Waiting, Skillet’s You Are My Hope, and Love Alone by Caedmon’s Call. 

I’ve probably listened to all the songs a hundred times already, but today in particular, I had the strange, out-of-the-blue urge to listen to Love Alone again.

I don’t remember anymore why he wanted me to listen to the song, but it took me all these years to realize that the song reflects both the kind of relationship we had then, and the one we were hoping and praying for together.

Only, we stopped hoping and praying for it.

I’m bad with the small details, the little hints, and meanings that are implied through words and actions. Friends always say I’m slow with jokes, but thank goodness they still crack jokes anyway when I’m around.

I don’t know when it started, or if I have always been this way, but I really like it when people tell me things directly instead of beating around the bush. It took months before I moved on from my first love precisely because he decided to beat around the bush instead of simply saying he doesn’t like me anymore. How hard is it to say you don’t feel the same way anymore, anyway?

But he was a complicated fellow, that man, and I always loved that about him ’til the very end.

There’s one song I associate with him the most: Falling Slowly. Unlike the other songs, I did not keep a copy of this one, because I avoided it at all cost after we parted ways.

Maybe the song meant something to him and he wanted me to find out, but I’ve always been the girl who takes life too literally. For me, Falling Slowly is just a song he really, really liked, and wanted to share with me.

I don’t want to read more into it, because I’m afraid to know what I could’ve missed out on.

Que Sera Sera

Drama Diary I

A new series, because sometimes I have too much feelings about my dramas.

You know you’ve been watching too many dramas when you recognize a drama’s director by the technique. I’m bad with Korean celebrity names, moreso directors, but I recognized Que Sera Sera’s director 23 minutes into the first episode.

(Disclaimer: I don’t know the film jargons, so bear with me hehe)

I had to pause and Google the director because the camera movement is so familiar, loosely following the character while walking along hallways.

Photo from dramabeans

First thing that came to mind was My Name Is Kim Sam Soon, and lo and behold, Kim Yoon-cheol did direct the hit Korean drama!

Photo from Dailymotion

As Barney puts it:

GIF from celebuzz.com

Yes, I just started with Que Sera Sera starring Shinhwa’s Eric and the ever lovely Jung Yu Mi. It’s a 2007 drama so I had to think twice before starting with episode 1, especially since javabeans said it’s “not for the casual watcher.”

While I’m up for a more casual watch right now, I really miss Jung Yu Mi a lot and felt like I needed the fix. Hey, if the drama gets too serious for my life, I can always rewatch random episodes of I Need Romance 2012.

It’s too early to judge Que Sera Sera but I can say I’m getting more curious by the minute. I actually paused watching to type this.

Just a quick rundown of other dramas I’m watching, and how much I’m enjoying them:

Kill Me, Heal Me spongebobpatrickspongebobpatrickspongebobpatrickspongebobpatrickspongebobpatrick

Someone Like You – spongebobpatrickspongebobpatrickspongebobpatrickPatrick Star NadaPatrick Star Nada

Ouroboros – spongebobpatrickspongebobpatrickspongebobpatrickPatrick Star NadaPatrick Star Nada

Come to think of it, I’m watching at least one drama per country (Korea, Taiwan, Japan)! They’re all currently airing too. Not on purpose, promise!

‘Til the next drama diary!

Word Vomit XI

To Jee, who needs to get her act together:

When it doesn’t come easy, you power through anyway.
That’s how you do life.
Because you may or may not give up – it doesn’t matter.
Life doesn’t stop for you.
So keep it together and carry on.