This is what Twenty-two looks like.

Turning 22 in 2015 probably makes me one of those whom you would call a “millennial.” I can’t even  begin to understand what that word means, let alone describe it. I guess in the age of social media and advancing technology, my generation is, for lack of a better word, obsessed with trivial things such as telling the world what’s on our minds, or turning our faces into dogs.

We (yes, I am including myself) love the whole 140-character sentences, the flat-laying, and the follows and the likes. Weird, I know. The only thing that I probably still have issues about would be the whole taking-a-million-photos-of-food-before-eating, which my friends and sisters have done enough of when eating out with me.

Sometimes, it gets a little too overwhelming that you would just like to cut yourself away from everything and just be free from all of it.

I’ve had my fair share of disconnecting and just going places without the thought of having to post something for the benefit of my newsfeed. But honestly, documentation is not so bad, especially if the mere purpose of it is to just give yourself memories to look back on.

I got this idea from one of my good friends who took a video every single day for a year and showed it to me. Its a 365-second video of the most random things but I saw how much it meant to her to see her past year in a short presentation.

I wanted to do it too but I didn’t really know when to start, or what I wanted to do with it. Last year I downloaded the app called One-Second-Everyday and just completely fell in love with it. It’s a collection of videos, pictures, and memories if every single day ever since I turned 22. It probably won’t make sense to every single person, but it’s good to share it with people I’ve spent time with this past year.

I’m pretty sure I won’t ever do it again. It’s tedious, annoying and sometimes I forget to do it and just settle with a before to bed clip, but now that I’m done, it feels great looking back at every day that happened, and I had a lot of fun doing it!

22nd. from LAD Films on Vimeo.

Thank you to every single person who helped me fill this little project! Hello 23!!❤️
xx Gizel

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

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When I first encountered this question, it was from a book my aunt gave me as a graduation gift. I brought it with me the very first time I moved to a different city because I figured it would help me. The book is called “Who Moved My Cheese?” It was a sort of children’s story that you, as an adult could learn a lot from.

The question bothered me so much, because I can never seem to figure it out on my own. Usually, I would require third-party assistance in the form of “life advice” or just a plain nudge towards the right direction: the direction that would lead me to answers rather than more questions.

What would I do if I weren’t afraid? Honestly, I have no answer. I can’t even begin to imagine how infinite my choices would be if I was, in fact, fearless. I have excuses for every little thing that could even become a slight possibility. Maybe I’m just being an ass to myself, or maybe, I’m not doing much of a job to self-motivate.

Sometimes however, you have these moments of epiphany, where you realize that the outcomes of your actions are better than how you usually expect them to be. That the means to these “ends” weren’t exactly daunting, all you need to do is take the first step.

Like, why is it really so hard to apply for a job you know you will love and grow in? Why do we fear going up the stage and being in front of a bunch of people even if we know deep inside that we have talent? Why would we not step foot to a place we have never been in, or eat food we have never tasted or even trust people we have never known? Why won’t we allow ourselves to fall for the wrong guy?

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Fear is in our every being. They are those little devils on your shoulder that whisper in your ear to step back when you’re too high up, maybe literally, sometimes figuratively. But is it so bad to be on top? Is it so bad to be so high up on everything that you could see yourself in every possibility? So high up that you can see what you’ve become just because you chose to make the first step. You’re in that certain place where you realize that getting there wasn’t exactly so hard if only you stopped talking yourself down from the beginning of your journey.

Maybe the company will hire you because they see potential in you. Maybe the people will love you because you decided to share your talent. Maybe you’ll fall in love with a place, discover your favorite food, turn strangers into best friends, maybe he may not be the wrong guy after all.

I know these “maybe’s” are not certain, but so are the other hesitations you have that scare you into not doing what you want to do. Obviously, I’m not saying that you should just do these things to call yourself fearless. I simply meant the things you’ve always really wanted to do, but prevented yourself because of reasons you can’t even remember.

Of course there will always be risks, but the positive outcomes usually make you believe that the risks were worth it. If you think you can’t do it on your own, do it with someone who is just as scared. You’ll realize towards the end that you are both pushing yourself to do it, and at the same time gathering the courage from each other.

The best kinds of fears are the ones that you conquered. Some of these take a while, some, you would need a support group or person for. But definitely overcoming your fears slowly will make you realize how tiny your worries were in the first place. It will make you a happier person in general, and that kind of happiness extends to other people as well.

I’m going to start making a list, and I’ll slowly be crossing off things in this list. Maybe you should too…

xx Gizel

Falling in love is like watching a scary movie…

Lakeside Weddings & Events, Las Vegas

photo by: myself

Falling in love is like watching a really scary, well-written horror movie. You do it because it’s terrifying and exciting at the same time. The thrill is unlike any other. You start by fully guarding yourself, because you understand what you’ve gotten yourself into. You know the movie will be scary, it will make you scream and cry, it will make your heart jump out of your chest. The monsters will look real, the darkness will be suffocating. You will do anything you can to prevent yourself from making any sort of reaction. But at some point, you unknowingly let your guard down, and in that exact moment, it will let you do whatever it is you’ve been trying to avoid from the beginning. You will scream, you will cry, you will get your fragile little heart broken, and that’s when you realize, the monster is actually real.

I’ve realized that on most nights I can’t sleep, I would try to find a pen and paper and words would start spilling out. I decided to make a new category for my blog called “Words at Two in the Morning” because I’ve had pages of journals, diaries, old notebooks, and blog posts that come alive at this hour. After I’ve finished spilling my thoughts out, I would be able to sleep soundly. Is it just me?

xx Gizel

Relevant things my Thesis made me Realize.

It’s hard to ask people for money.

I made an event for my thesis to raise funds for housing projects in the organization I am a part of . Given my situation and my cause, you would have thought that people would go out of their way to spare a few amount of cash.

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I am very thankful for those people who DID support the cause and gave financial help. They made me restore my faith in humanity. I can’t thank them enough for their generosity.

 

People WILL let you down.

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People will disappoint you, lie to you, take advantage of you. It’s what they do. People hurt people. And yet you are led to believe that you can find the good in them. It’s okay. Keep trying. No matter how many times you were let down, don’t give up on these people. Keep pushing for the good in them to come out. It’s worth it.

 

Don’t take everything too seriously.

Many times during the course of my project, I began thinking too deep. And deep overthinking of things that didn’t really matter in the bigger picture got me in trouble. I was lost, I was depressed, I was tired. I felt like a zombie walking around the city, sometimes not having a clue how I got to certain places simply because my mind was too focused on the negatives of my work. I took everything too seriously and it stopped me from being able to think clearly and pause.

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Walking is therapeutic.

For some reason I have gotten accustomed to walking. Maybe I thought I was in New York despite the heat and the dirty streets, but I’ve found a certain calm in walking. Because I thought too much about a lot of things, I tended to zone out, and zoning out while on a public vehicle usually got me farther than where I was supposed to be. So I decided to just WALK. No matter how far I had to go to; this past month, I had been walking to wherever I needed to be. Walking made me think better, it didn’t tire me because it made me appreciate the small things around me, and it somehow got me able to  know routes in my city that you never go through when you’re in a car or a jeepney. There’s a certain sense of isolation you get from walking alone, and it makes you feel calm, and relaxed, and free.

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Hugs are important.

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All throughout the depression and the disappointments, I’ve found hugs to be helpful. There’s actually a scientific study about hugs being able to relieve stress, and now I’m a believer of that statement. I have officially become a hugger. Thanks to the people who shared their hugs! 🙂

 

Smile at everybody.

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There was this one time when I was just walking, and all I could think of were my problems in my project that I didn’t realize my eyebrows were furrowed and my lips were pursed a little too far, until I passed by this old man who was just sweeping the ground outside his house waiting for me to respond to him. He said “Good Morning” with the most genuine and innocent smile that I felt all the muscles in my face rearrange into a smile that mirrors his. I greeted him back, and that smile got me through the rest of the day. Smile at strangers, you don’t know how much it could help them.

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I have the best grandmother in the world.

Because of the stress of last week and everything that had to be done,it’s explainable if I become disoriented, unrelaxed and downright hard to talk to. So on the final day when I had to pass all of my requirements and forget the one very important folder that has everything, there would be no question. Despite my stupidity, my superwoman grandmother went all the way from our house to my university just so I could pass it on time. Thanks lola!

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xx Gizel

2013 in a tiny Box.

Who knew events of the year could fit in a tiny, old DKNY watch box?

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I got the concept from tumblr exactly a year ago. It was New Year’s Eve, and I saw this picture of a glass with what seemed like letters inside it. The idea was to write out things that made you happy in the course of the year in small pieces of paper, and store them in a jar, and then read everything you wrote by the end of the year.

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When I opened my tiny “Best of 2013” box, I felt excited. I haven’t opened any of these small pieces of paper ever since I started writing them. One by one I slowly opened, and read these happy moments that I wrote

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They made me remember the moments and made me feel all sorts of things: happiness, nostalgia, and sometimes, regret, for missed opportunities, plans that didn’t pull through, things that don’t happen, and people that I don’t see anymore.

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But here I am, on my first day of 2014, reading memories about life, love, friends, and family that made me happy throughout 2013. I giggled at some, and cried happy tears in the others.

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They made me realize that what makes me happy the most are simple things, like having random sleepovers with my friends, coffee dates, roadtrips, and the beach. I wrote about the most random and small things that made me appreciate my days, some as simple as “waking up to a good hair day” or something big like “seeing a falling star for the first time.”

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I’m pretty sure I wasn’t able to write about every happy memory that happened to me in the year, but it’s okay. I had a tiny box, that was filled with love letters to myself. It’s proof that, despite the lows that I’ve experienced, a lot of good things happened to me in 2013, and I’m thankful for that.

xx Gizel

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Photos by: Me

New things for the New Year.

As the days of the year 2013 are starting to wane, the anticipation of new things are coming in.

New people, new habits, new happenings, New Year.

It’s time to let go of the things that hurt us from the past, and accept new opportunities that present themselves for our future.

Yes, this blog post is about hair, my hair.

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As unrelated, or insignificant as it may seem, cutting your hair is just like a metaphor of your life.

You want change, you need change; and you have to let go of things that are weighing you down, and things that are making your life harder and even more complicated. Yes, things like that are scary. I mean I know how long you’ve nurtured your hair for it to grow and look good, it’s hard to let go. But, it’s a new year.

…and it’s just HAIR.

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xx Gizel

Changes

What would be a good New Year’s Resolution?

Considering when this blog post got published and how far apart it was from my last, you can tell that I’m the kind of person who doesn’t really stick to whatever it is that I planned.

Yes, I failed NaBloPoMo.

…I think I have the beach to blame for that.

But really, the beach was such a beautiful place to get lost in and it felt safe to forget about everything else left in civilization. And considering I missed 4 days of posting, I decided to not continue on with it.

I don’t feel THAT bad. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do the whole month, but it felt great to at least try.

And since then, a lot of things already happened.

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Time flies. But what’s important is, you get to live each second of it. 2014 is coming, and I am so stoked! I’m probably not gonna make New Year’s Resolutions, and things like that because I know they’re bound to be broken anyway. Not because, I’m not disciplined enough to follow new rules that I set for myself, but because I tend to change my mind a lot.

Whatever is gonna happen though, I’m going to be ready for it!
WELCOME 2014!

xx Gizel