[Day 30] What is Happiness? (Are you happy with your life right now?)

I still can’t believe that I am down to the last day of the challenge. Did that really happen? I’m not hallucinating right? This is it, the last day, the last challenge and all I can say is that this is the most trickiest question among the bunch, one that I haven’t been asked by anyone ever, except myself.

The last challenge/question is am I happy with my life right now. How should I answer that? I know it’s supposed to be a simple yes or no thing but I feel it is something more, something I haven’t answered no matter how many times I asked myself. Am I happy with my life right now?

I read somewhere that happiness is a state of mind, it is what you make it. One could have all the misfortunes in the world and still could say that they are happy because they know that no matter how unfortunate they are as of the moment, the time would come that everything would turn out for the best, I can’t really tell though. Am I happy?

This question makes me really look at my current situation, my now, and delve deeply on what’s happening to my life. Currently I am employed, earning less that $1000 dollars a month without tax. I am a thousand miles away from my homeland, from my family and from a few close friends. I live with people that mostly do not understand what I feel and the way I think. So, am I happy? What is happiness? It’s a word with a meaning that I somehow can’t fully grasp; sometimes it’s a mystery.

When I was younger and life is way simpler than now, I could be happy with just the thought of not having classes every Saturday and Sunday. I smile brightly and sometimes jump up and down whenever my mother would tell me that I’ll be spending my summer or Christmas vacation with my grandfather and grandmother from my mother’s side. Going to the farm makes me giddy, even if I have to walk a long way just to reach there. Those days, being happy is as easy as being given a piece of candy. Those were the days.

At this point, I’m going to give my answer to the challenge, to completely nail it. At the moment, I am somewhat happy because despite what I have mentioned about my current situation, I am still alive and has the chance to turn everything around any time I deem to. I’m contented with what I have because I have enough. I am doing what I can under the circumstances that I know is almost at its end; just the thought makes me smile already. I have my family even if they are far away, I have a brother who has my back, who understand all my twisted reasoning. I have a few close friends who doesn’t judge me and whom I know will never get tired of hearing me whine every once in a while. I have Anne and Maan whom I can talk to whenever I want decent, meaningful conversation. I have dramas to fill all my nights (and early mornings.) Thus, I say that I am happy right now.

This concludes the challenge, my 30 day blog challenge. It’s amazing how I stuck with it and didn’t give in to my lazy self, that’s something. And knowing that I can do something like this makes me confident that I can challenge myself some more and I am gonna do so, at my own phase and time.

[Day 29] I’m Super! (If you could have one super power, what would it be?)

When I was younger and so much into those Japanese Super Sentai shows, I always wanted to have super powers. We were fascinated big time, by we I mean my brothers and I and we would play make-believe games pretending we are the heroes of the Super Sentai shows that we are watching. Oh by Super Sentai I mean those series by the Toei Company of Japan: Bioman, Flashman, Maskman, Turboranger and so on. And of course other than that we watched Batman, Spiderman, Superman and those addictive animes. Those were the days.

The challenge/question today is if I could have one super power, what would it be. The keyword is one, why does it have to be just one? I want more (am so greedy, heh) much more. Well since the offer is just one I would have to make do (I talk like it’s really going to happen, LOL!) Right, so super power, which one is cool?

If I am to have a super power then it’s going to be the power to read minds. 😀 Sure it has it’s downside but how cool would it be to know what people thinks. It’s like reading a thousand book all at once, and I love reading books. It’s also handy because if you can read someone’s mind, say example a dear friend who doesn’t want you to know that they are in pain, having trouble or something, you’ll be able to act appropriately and do more, give more. It can also helps develop my personality for the better because I’ll be way more perceptive than I already am.

That’s the super power that I want to have, how about you?

[Day 28] Winner! (If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?)

I think the challenge today lack some details, making it a bit difficult to give a direct answer. What’s the amount? LOL! Kinda reminds me of that scene in Queen In Hyun’s Man when Boong-do was asking Soo-kyung for some help/idea regarding what Hee-jin needs/wants the most. What’s the budget is her question of course while mine is something like how much is the prize?

The challenge/question is if I won the lottery, what would I do with the money, no specific prize, just a mention of winning the lottery. What if it was just 2nd or 3rd place that’s also considered winning the lottery right? Didn’t really thought it through did they? 😀  Well enough of me being all philosophical or whatnot, here’s what I’m going to do with the money if ever I won the lottery in order:

1. Buy my own house and lot – that’s the first thing that I’m gonna spend the money on. Nothing extravagant; but it has to be two bedrooms with balcony and toilet and bath, good kitchen area, mini bar, library and living room.

2. Donate to charity – specifically the orphanage near our family’s house in the Philippines.

3. Emergency fund for loved ones – I’m going to keep aside some amount to support my brother’s last year in college as well as expenses of my parents.

4. Go to places – please refer here to know where.

5. Put up my own business – something that has to do with food and computers. Food because my roommate said that I am a good cook and because I’m confident it’s going to be a hit; computers because I love everything about computers, the things you can do is endless.

That’s the gist of what I’m going to do with the money if say I do win the lottery, I just hope the winnings is enough for me to be able to do each and everything that I listed.

[Day 27] Palate Satisfaction and Beyond (List your favorite food.)

“Food glorious food… we’re anxious to try it! Three banquets a day, our favorite diet!” Yup, after watching Ice Age: The Meltdown I always sing this in my head every time I think of food. I love food! I wish I don’t because it’s not good for me, I’m a little on the heavy side and my metabolism is as fast as a snail trying to cross the high way, the snail is pretty brave right although completely irrelevant; ah brave snail and I think you get the point how my metabolism is.

The challenge today is to list my favorite food oh the food. Just thinking about it makes my mouth waters. I’m hopeless. Anyways, let’s get this over and done with so I can rush to the kitchen and have a feast afterwards. I’m going with five (5) of my favorite food also warning: I won’t give it justice if I describe how it taste so I’m just gonna show how it looks like. Credits to the sites I took the images from. Here’s the list of my favorite food in no particular order:

kfc

Now that’s gorgeous!

~ Korean Fried Chicken – or Yangnyeomtongdak as the Koreans calls it. Me, I call it the chicken that made me forget my name with one bite.

congee-salted-pork-b

In sickness and in health, I’ll savor you…

~ Congee – I love eating this whenever I am sick or pretending to be sick.

lechon-manok

Roasted to perfection!

~Lechon Manok (Pinoy Roast Chicken) – it’s one of the popular street food in the Philippines. I used to eat this a lot when I was in college mostly because I am lazy to cook for myself. It’s all about the sauce. Yum!

daing_na_bangus

Crunchy, flavorful!

~Daing na Bangus (Milkfish Marinated in Vinegar & Garlic) – I love to eat this for breakfast, with garlic fried rice and egg and tomato and coffee and I am getting hungrier and hungrier…

pork_adobo_marinated_2

More rice please!

~Pork Adobo – the name may be Spanish but it is 100% Filipino and a dish that almost every Filipino I know loves. The main ingredients are Soy Sauce, Vinegar and Garlic.

And that my dear is 5 of my favorite food. I’m off to the kitchen now to binge, I don’t know about you but I’m hungry, really hungry.

[Day 25] Am I an Achiever? (What are some of your greatest accomplishments?)

My reaction to the challenge today can be described with one word: WOW, (not on the positive though) yet I do not have any idea how to clarify, I am lost for words. Seriously, I never think of what I have accomplished great, not to that extent. They are accomplishments yes but it is mostly ordinary, not even several steps near great.

Thus, with that said, I am just going to list some of my unforgettable accomplishments instead of my greatest which is the challenge today. My unforgettable accomplishments are as follows:

~ I received a Best in Computer Award – i received it on my High School graduation. It’s unforgettable because I was a transfer student and the school that I came from didn’t have a computer facility and as early as elementary grade they (my classmates) have been taught about computer uses, hardware and software. Imagine my surprise; well I still can’t believe it until now.

~ I got to experience working in a Call Center – are you wondering why this is an unforgettable accomplishment? Well, when I graduated from college, the Call Center industry boomed in the Philippines. I remember I even had a roommate that was working at Accenture, and that time I badly wanted to experience the life of a call center agent. I was so curious what it was like, why are there so many of my classmates back then that works as agents, what’s the difference with working on a graveyard shift and normal shift. So I did my best to get that job, went on interviews after the other and I kind of got accepted to one but I couldn’t pursue it, even if I wanted to because I had to go abroad to the UAE to be exact and that is when I gave up on being a call center agent not knowing that I’ll be experiencing it after five (5) years.

After the experience all I got to say is that it was fun. Talking to strangers over the phone is fun, I enjoyed it and if the pay was not so bad, I would have stayed longer.

~ I got to go to five (5) different countries although one of them is just inside the airport that counts still.

~I got to have good friends, even if they’re only a few. Now you may think that that is not an accomplishment but to me, it is and will always be because I know how difficult of a person I am, I’m very difficult to understand and get used to. And having those few friends who stuck with me despite of everything is an accomplishment, priceless and unforgettable.

Those are my accomplishments, they’re not great but they’re unforgettable.

[Day 24] What’s in a Name? (What’s the meaning behind your blog name?)

I can’t believe I’m getting this question asked in this challenge, bizarre. I didn’t think it would be asked ever, because my blog name is pretty spot on, it’s not mysterious. Since it’s asked let’s deliver. Once I nail this day down, there would be just six days left, and I’m eager to wrap this up.The challenge/question: what’s the meaning behind your blog name and as I said, my blog name is pretty spot on, at least my blog name now.

When I decided I wanted to blog again, I just jumped into it, without even really thinking of what the blog would be about. I just wanted to write again mainly because I wanted to preserve my recently saved grammar (I worked as a call center agent in the Philippines for almost a year and the accounts I was assigned is both US based) before it’s too late, before I lose it again because of the rarity of use.

Back then, I wanted the name “A Beautiful Mess” inspired by the song A Beautiful Mess by Jason Mraz, sadly that blog name has been taken a very long time ago so I sort of modified it a bit to “a not so beautiful mess.” Everything started there. As I write one post after the other I started to think and see the lack of connection between the name and the content which got me to the decision of changing the blog name and this time around I was thinking clearly and I realized I am never going to be able to write about just a single topic for a very long time. My interest varies; I’m sort of a Jane of all trades, master of none; in short it’s anything goes with me, no particular theme, no particular focus, just a huge collage of things that I am interested in.

After marinating that thought for almost an hour, I decided to chose the blog name “a mix of anything and everything” basing on the fact that I write about the different things that I am into: food, TV shows (Korean Dramas,) music, poetry, and any other random stuff that present itself to my ever scattered brain. As the name says, it’s a mix of anything and everything, it’s about me, my interest, what inspires me, the things I love to do and more.

And that is the meaning behind my blog name. How about you, what’s the meaning behind your blog name?

[Day 23] All in a Day’s Surf (List 5 of your favorite website.)

This is a tough one, I blinked a couple of times and squint through the screen to make sure it’s a five and unfortunately it is; it definitely is. At this point I started asking why just 5, WHY?! Well, as I don’t have any choice and it is the challenge, so be it!

Below is five of my favorite website currently:

1. Beyond Kimchee – this is one of the first sites that I got Korean recipes from. The steps are easy to follow, detailed procedure with very good photos plus the way Holly writes is completely entertaining. My all time favorite among the recipes posted on her site is Korean Fried Chicken.

2. Aeri’s Kitchen – another site for Korean recipes, complete with easy to follow videos as well as photographs. My favorite recipe is heart shaped rolled egg.

3. Couch-Kimchi – they binge on Asian Drama and I binge with them, especially with post about the latest in the Korean Drama scene.

4. Scattered Joonni – Fastest recapper ever! I’m very thankful to her site most especially because she recapped The Heirs, my drama crack of the year.

5. The Problematic of the Unproblematic – I swear, there never is a time that I check this site that I don’t crack up, as in literally laughing out loud because of their squeecap and witty articles. One of the most entertaining sites I’ve seen in years.

Of course you don’t see Google and Wikipedia in there but I don’t consider that as a favorite, these sites are necessity!

Those are my 5 favorite websites currently, how about you; can you list 5 of your favorite website?

[Day 22] Status, What Status? (What is your current relationship status?)

Ahmm, today’s challenge is a bit too personal, way too personal that is. I kind of want to skip this altogether or give an incredibly out of line answer regarding my relationship status, something that goes like I’m in a relationship with my laptop and iPhone and it’s complicated. 😀 Too out of line? That’s what I thought. Anyways, since it is part of the challenge and I have just a few days left before I can finally shake my own hand for sticking with this 30 days blog challenge so what the heck, let’s go with it.

Alright, so here’s my answer to the question what is my current relationship status:

I’m currently single and loving it; well at least as of the very moment I am. There was once a time that I was extremely afraid to be alone that I was sort of deluding myself and I get into futile relationship just because of that. But looking back, it was more of my being in love with the concept of being in love that I was even trying to salvage something not worth salvaging. I’ve been in a one sided relationship after the other; it was tiring. The other party has the right to ask me where I was, what I was doing, who I was with but I was not allowed to ask the same. At first it was fine, I was passive about it but as days pass by I got sick and tired of it. I’d rather be alone.

Overtime, I woke up to the reality that it is not bad to be single or alone. I can do whatever I want to, go wherever my feet takes me, be with friends and be at ease because of the fact that nobody would ask me these questions: Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? It’s liberating and it gives me more time to concentrate on myself and plan whatever it is that I want to do with my life after I settle the things that I have to settle.

Maybe you’ll ask: Aren’t you thinking of settling down at your age? The answer would be not right now though I haven’t closed my door to that completely. For now I just want to enjoy my life as it is, without complications. If somewhere along the way that person comes along, surely I’ll take notice, but for now, I’m staying single and love and savor every moment of it.

That’s my status. How about you, what is your current relationship status?

[Days 20 & 21]Strengths Vs. Weaknesses (Describe 5 strengths you have. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.)

I decided to put together these two challenges because it’s fitting; a human being is composed of strengths and weaknesses. If you’re not, I think that would be a problem as per my opinion.

The challenges for days 20 & 21 are to describe 5 strengths and weaknesses that I have, in that order. Five (5) each, that’s not too much for the weaknesses at least, I can’t really think of my strengths correctly but here is the list of my strength and weaknesses:

Five (5) Strengths

1. I love to learn – for me, knowledge is infinite and age shouldn’t stop you to move forward, it’s always fun to learn new things, to be exposed to things out of your norm. The world is for us to explore and to learn from.

2. I listen, more than I speak – it’s a strength that comes really handy whenever my friends has some problem, the ability to listen and weigh the situation plus not to make any judgment.

3. My being protective – especially with my family and close friends. They can lean on me, I’m just here.

4.My being observant – it’s better to asses the situation first before you make a jump into things or something.

5. My being somewhat patient – although not that much, I could be very patient if needs be.

Five (5) Weaknesses

1. I can be too proud at times – it’s a weakness because nothing good comes out with being overly proud and I know that but it’s something that can’t be helped at times.

2. I’m too emotional – I wear it in my sleeves, making me too easy to read.

3. I’m always curious – and curiosity killed the cat.

4. I’m a bit paranoid – I can be really assumptive that people are talking nasty about me, it was worst when I was younger, but now, I shake it off as much as I can.

5. I have this inferiority complex – self-doubt is the worst thing that I have, and no matter what I do, I can’t seem to get rid of it.

So there you go, I kinda bear myself here. I’m going to hide in my closet for a few moments. How about you, what’s your strength and weaknesses?

[Day 19] I Had a Dream (What is your dream job and why?)

I feel like singing with the title but I can’t think of anything else (translation, I’m lazy to come up with something) so let it be. The challenge for today is somewhat in between a “beauty pageant” question and a question that’s been asked since elementary grade to college: what is your dream job and why? I think I wrote an essay about this in elementary grade and high school, of course there were different answers, the reason I’m not completely sure or maybe because I’m really fickle, go figure.

Thinking about it now, I think the essay that I wrote back in high school is my real dream job, although I chose a very different path from it. Thus we arrive to my answer:

My dream job is to become a journalist, somehow it was inspired by my little writing stint for the school newsletter and my being captivated by writing (I’ve regarded paper and pen as my best friends, silent witnesses of the turmoil happening from within a teenager transitioning into adulthood.) I was so fixated that I was always watching the news back then, even reading out loud just so I get my pronunciation polished. It was carved on the deep crevices of my mind that I am going to be a journalist and I gave my mother various reasons as to why:

1. It’s a passionate way to display patriotism, as the tag line of one of the most know TV Network in my country goes: In the service of the Filipinos; gets to me all the time.

2. Travel opportunities all over the country or maybe abroad if there’s an interesting piece to cover.

3. It’s a field where learning is infinite (at least that is how I see it.)

Sadly, in the end as I mentioned, I chose a different path, mostly because I got scared and my mother deeply opposed it stating the hazard of being a journalist in our country and I believed her, because I’ve seen it, it’s all over the news. If you look it up, the Philippines is listed as one of the “ten deadliest countries” for journalist (source: Wikipedia) and that is indeed saying a whole lot.

That is my dream job, how about you? What is your dream job and why?