Mi Hermano featuring Mario Rodríguez

This blog post is a writing collaboration with fellow writer, Mario Rodríguez.

Mi hermano,

I am writing you today with a head dense with burdensome thoughts. What has the world come to, I ponder? I have noticed that kindness, unfortunately, has become a sly scheme, and shyness is sympathized. Talk is easy, music is provocative, and men are vile. Is that what you observe from your bedroom window too? It’s as if decency and courtesy are a foreign concept, but when you do come across a decent person, you can feel it in your bones that their cordiality maneuvers in a path of ulterior motives.

 

Kardeşim,

It’s a scary world we live in, isn’t it? It’s too advanced for my old soul that wishes technology only came in gradual doses. But I know, we’ve got vinyl record stores and antique boutiques in every town; however, it’s not the same tranquility. Somehow, even the beaches aren’t the same with color-matching teens posing in piers, conversing about utter nonsense, when the shore is gushing placid waves, and it urges for our silent admirations.

 

Akhi,

Even love is becoming a cheap term in this era. And God forbid you chose not to be a part of it, and suddenly you’re singled out from your group. The concept of love makes every bit of me tingle, and I bet it does for you too; except, I only want to admire it from afar. It’s not for me, it’s not the perfect timing for it either. My detestation for men only grows deeper by the day, which I heard offends your kind. You know it’s only a generalization, right? But in any case, do you get bombarded by that topic too? It’s quite the burden!

 

If I am ever hopeful, it’s God reassuring me that this is all normal and expected. But hey, at least we’re here, and we’re alive.

 

 

Algo es algo; menos es nada.

 

Yours respectfully,

Sophie.

 

 

Minha Irmã,

I question the course of this world in its near future. If the wickedness witnessed today is as bad as we both experience, there is no telling what is to come except that it will be worse. People become ridiculed for being respectful towards others and to themselves. Women too have adjusted to the foul way by knowingly using their appearance as a lure to the innocent few left on my side. I have learned to not pay attention and openly ignore good and bad gestures.

 

Meine Schwester,

It is a frightening globe we live in! I love the concept of technological inventions; although, electronics are the particular culprit to the rapid decadence of this world. The only places in which I find a remote sense of refuge are in the forests. The lack of others’ presence satisfies the sense of silence needed from the spoken atrocities of which you speak. Sitting on the rock near the pond in the middle of the night is how to get away. This is my oasis.

 

Moya Sestra,

Every day, I am the center of attention on the topic of solitude when I am with my friends. The idea of love is not understood by me. I see what people mean, but I believe myself to be incapable of love other than being at most a brother. Even then, I still wish to get away. All these relationships I witness seem to be about women taking advantage of their resources. This I find to be what barricades me behind the barbed wire that would enable me to want someone should it be taken down. I do understand that it is a generalization, but it happens so often as well. As for being bombarded by this topic, yes. And burden should be an understatement.

 

If this is what is to be expected indeed, then God may keep all his creation and leave me as I am. I am in no need of any of them.

 

Besser allein als in schlechter Gesellshaft.

 

With heartfelt sincerity,

Mario.

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Ripples

Upon the dreary glooms of shame,

I’ve wandered around the shore,

The brisk ripples called his name,

And my fancy for him grew more.

My pale cheeks await lest he came,

His delicate hugs and kisses to pour,

The soft wave of blues cannot tame,

Wrecked pieces of him that I adore.

But alas, he was a figment of flame,

An imaginary figure to which I swore,

Currents of longing now not the same,

Since I am not the soul he yearns for.

24 made me softer?

If there’s anything I am an expert at in life, it’s definitely introspection. The calendar reads October 2nd, which means by the 5th, it’ll be half a year since I turned 24; evidently, my mind started its series of self-reflection, where I started asking myself: has 24 made me softer?

 

 

I’ve always despised gender-specific adjectives such as soft and delicate because they misrepresent my reality. It boxes me in a category I do not wish to be in. Growing up, I’ve always been viewed as this tiny, innocent human being merely because of my height. Then again, this is not the purpose of my pondering. Instead, I wonder, has I always been this soft and fragile, and somewhere in my mid-twenties, I became even softer?

 

And the next question that haunts me as I am typing this is: why do I detest this word so much, and I’d circumnavigate various other labels just to find a macho alternative?

 

Who said soft was coined to represent females only? Hasn’t I always raved about soft gentlemen? So when it comes to me, I cannot use that term because a “softie” is seen as weak?

 

Coming out of the very bitter 23, April embraced me so softly and I saw my pieces melt so gracefully. I’d say it’s understandable because my 23 took place in the also bitter 2016, so my sourness surfaced correspondingly.

 

What I am certain of, however, is that 24 was solely my production. There were no outsiders breathing down my neck, urging me to be more social, less shy, more daring, less anxious. I just lounged and let anxiety take its course, knowing that this is all normal.

 

Last week, I took notice of my anxiety, and I chose to do something in the span of four days instead of two, just to keep my nervousness at bay. I wasted my time, indeed, but I picked my mental and physical health for once. I was aware for once.

 

In that age as well, I saw myself accepting people back into my life. I’m talking about strangers I’ve blocked or unfollowed who chose to follow me again, and instead of being bitter, I hailed them. I have no hate toward virtual strangers I’ve never met, but I am being exceptionally kinder to them now.

 

I love skipping around, blushing behind my phone screen, and buying myself fresh flowers once a month. Is that bad?

 

Today, I got a flashback of when I was younger: I recall when I saw my cousin bleeding from an injury, instead of him crying, I was the one shaking and sobbing. He had to come to my room, with a Band-Aid on his wound, to tell me: “Hey Sophie, look! I am fine! Don’t worry.” He had to console me!?

 

So I’d say I was always tender, but 24 made me more sensitive. Is that good or bad? Let me know in the comments x

I like men that

I found myself on Thought Catalogue earlier, and while navigating the blog, I scrolled to the search bar and typed: chivalry. I don’t know why I had this urge to read about that topic, and to my surprise, I found manifold posts under this tag.

 

Skimming through the texts, I felt my mind reverberating and my heart fluttering, and it pulled me to write about it too.

 

 

I like gentlemen that actually prove that they deserve the adjective “gentle,” that comes before their noun. When they’re quixotic in their speech or behavior, it’s so admirable and charming.

 

I like men that are gentle with any woman they encounter, not because dealing with a lady requires gentlemanliness, but because it’s such a precious trait to have.

 

Any man that exudes any form of gallantry is instantly thought highly of, that he was raised well and probably treats his mother right.

 

I like men who use refined words with females, those who know exactly what to say without breaching boundaries or coming off as creepy. I like those that can articulate a compliment without sounding shameless or too casual.

 

I like men that are comfortable to be around, those that treat you as a sister, and who would urge to walk you home even when you’re independent and strong enough to tread those streets alone. It’s a very heart-warming gesture.

 

I appreciate men that wish you well or offer help before you even utter a word. To be noble and compassionate enough to aid someone that’s too timid to ask is what the world needs more of (regardless of gender.)

 

I like men that choose to discuss topics instead of people, and when they talk about others, it’s only to praise or lift them up. I love men that still hold on to the old traits, so please hold the door for me. I am pretty capable of doing that myself, but my heart soars to that gesture every time.

 

I like gentlemen that reply to your “men are trash,” rants with “I know, right?” knowing that this general statement stems from actual frustration, and it was not coined to hurt any man’s ego. And it’s even better when you get a “I’m sorry that that has happened to you,” as if to apologize in men’s behalf, which comes off very noble, it almost washes off your rage and calms you.

 

I like men that ends off a conversation with “take care,” or “be safe.” It’s highly unlikely that something will happen to you, and you’re almost always in a safe context but that phrase is reassuring sometimes.

 

I wouldn’t say such righteous manners are gone with the wind, but if a reminder helps rebirthing kindness and compassion in men, then I am here to remind you that these traits are beautiful and vital.

Child of spring

Atop a hill, my wildflower lies,

Bees on his dainty petals kiss,

A child of spring, and I his lass,

Timid my envy, don’t take amiss.

 

Sugar surges to the stream of lust,

And I wilt evergreen with jealousy,

Shielding of pollen blown in gust,

Dandled they his skin, so velvety.

 

But winds that dare to startle him,

At their breach, I fumed and cursed,

Desert my tenderfoot without grim,

My delicate flower is not well versed.

 

Had the clime to my control attuned,

To a heyday of springtime rosary,

I’d implant nectar to your wounds,

And may our leaves bathe in poetry.

Went to an interview to talk about myself, only for the interviewer to talk about me

I was called in for an interview by a well-known private company recently. I was sent a list of possible questions that I was expected to answer; I read them and didn’t rehearse any answers. I don’t like perfect, staged answers. I’d rather stutter to answer than be perfectly unauthentic, if that makes any sense?

 

So I hop in the elevator with my access card, and I hit the 18th floor button. I’m feeling that normal surge of nervousness with a dash of excitement. Getting the job or not was not the reason for that feeling; I just adored the idea of being in a professional setting, treading hallways independently, with dreams buzzing in my head.

 

I had waited a good 50 minutes before I was called in, and I was already holding their tardiness against them, until the interviewers charmingly said: sorry we kept you waiting. Dang it, I’m a sucker for politeness. You’re excused!

 

I sit facing a gentleman and a woman, who seem to be of the same origin. Their smiles lessened my nervousness, and then came that plot twist that astounded me.

 

As the blog title said it: I came in to talk about myself, only for the interviewer to talk about …… me? Wait what? He was sitting right across from me, and I am pretty sure I had my mouth open throughout the entire time he spoke. I didn’t understand it….

 

It was 10 minutes of him praising me, and from what I learned, he actually asked the staff in my work placement about me. It was a praise after the other, from what he read on my CV to my “true calling” and my area of expertise. I almost didn’t know if I should nod and hear him out, or interrupt him with thank-yous.

 

What was happening? I was truly taken aback in the happiest sense. It was one of the BEST interviews I’ve ever had, and I barely had to put myself out there. He did all the talking?

 

Kindness was emitting from his speech, and I am not saying that because he praised me in that interview. He was a true gentleman; he even held the door for me as I was exiting the meeting room.

 

“You seem like the kind of person who’d have 60k followers on Instagram.”

“Marketing is your thing. It’s obvious.”

“You’re focused. You’re driven.”

“You know what you want.”

“I can see you as a content writer.”

“You’ve done an amazing job at your internship.”

“The people at ______ said great things about you.”

 

And those are only some of the lines that I recall. The interview took place a few weeks ago.

 

I left the place with a heart bursting with happiness, after I’ve had one of the worst months of my entire life. I didn’t care for what happens next, nor am I the person who fuels on compliments (but when is that a bad thing, really), but that man saw things in me that I didn’t see in myself.

 

I am so hypercritical toward myself, and I feel that I haven’t achieved much in life. But to be viewed from his highly-optimistic, lifting-others-up aspect was so heart warming that to this day, I smile to that memory.

 

The denouement of this story? No, I didn’t get the job. I actually didn’t get a yes or a no, but I considered that a silent “no.” Did it matter? Absolutely not! That day was so crucial to my health and wellbeing, and it was easily one of my favorite memories of 2017.

 

As egotistical as it may sound, I highly needed to hear all of that because let’s be real, those words were not going to come from my mouth.

Currently//

September started off colorfully; it almost felt like spring was hiding in the bushes. My springtime routine found its way back to my life, and I was flipping through poetry books, taking photos, and treading the pathways of a plants nursery. A few days in, I found myself too weary, avoiding both my desk and my reading nook. I just wanted to be in bed, watching whatever pops up on my social feed. I am, however, trying to reinvigorate myself.

Drinking cappuccino

Listening to I Like Me Better by Lauv + Havadan Sudan by Ebru Yaşar

Eating potatoes

Reevaluating old friendships and reminiscing over their termination

Hiding behind locked blog posts

Reading here and there and everywhere

Crushing on Bri Guy from Youtube

Wearing a maroon dress

Experiencing A LOT of “fail” days

Feeling exceptionally frustrated over the situation of our job market

Also feeling nostalgic

Fangirling over the pink hues in the skies

Loving the gradual drop of weather

Fearing making any decisions

Eagerly waiting for fall