“13 Questions,” 3 years later

Allo, faithful viewers, readers, wishers, prayers, dreamers and golly whoopers! Three years ago, towards the genesis of this fine little blog, I answered an amazing set of questions that helped me learn more about myself. It’s been so long since I’ve done one of these and I’m interested to see how my responses have changed. Click here to read my 13 Questions in 2011, when I was 13!

I hope you enjoy this little window into my life.

1. Three things you want to say to three different people.

Grandpa: I will always love you. A person doesn’t completely die until everyone has forgotten — and I’ll make sure you never will be.

Tim: With every person in my life, I imagine shadows signifying the depth of their person fanning out behind them. Yours is among the longest … and I’m so glad you’ve made mine a little longer, too.

Katie: Hey, I kind of really love you. Keep shining~

2. One of my insecurities.

Surprise, surprise — my worst insecurity is that I’m terrified of not contributing enough. What is contribution, really, when everyone does it? When every drop of ink spilled onto a page is considered “contribution,” and when every kid has to volunteer a certain number of hours just to graduate high school? Meaningful contribution is what I’m worried about not achieving. (See I am more than a student for more insecurities.)

3. What turns me on.

A mixture of intelligence, humbleness, and passion, a very rare yet special combination to find. So many wonderful qualities come with intelligence, like perspicacity, creativity, and vulnerability. When mixed with the gentleness of humility and love for life that comes with passion, the result is a full and beautiful relationship.

4. One of my bad habits.

:’) It’s the same thing … I can’t seem to finish what I start! What can I say? Half my mind churns out meaty dreams and the other half is vegetarian.

5. Who I wish I could be.

I look in the mirror and I’m content with what I see. I like who I am, who I’ve become. Wouldn’t wish for anything more or less. I often think about the future me, but I don’t wish to be that person. I trust myself enough to accept what the future holds.

6. Where  I want to be right now.

With someone I love, doing something we both love.

Oops! Where?

New York. Always New York. I wouldn’t mind being a struggling, debt-owing student in you, my sweet apple ;)

7. The last thing I ate.

A Chick-Fil-A sandwich, no pickles! It made me feel sick. Haven’t had such a greasy sandwich in a while, but the peach milkshake made up for it. It was sweet with little peach chunks that just made my day ^_^ I recommend it to anyone who wants to taste some summer!

8. Sexiest person that comes to mind. 

Tim and his mesmerizing eyes.

9. What song I’m currently listening to.

Laughed out loud to this question! Guess it’s time you all know that alternative, indie-loving me also loves rap music. Here’s what I’m listening to — Warning, Mr. Gambino has a chronic case of sailor’s mouth.

(See music I normally listen to and if you can’t get enough, here‘s some more)

10. Last time I cried and why.

A couple of days ago .. See question pt I, question 1.

11. Something I’m excited about.

My mom’s coming home from the Philippines sometimes next week! It’s been almost two weeks and I miss her so much.

12. Best things about my life.

The best things about my life are the people in it. I have so much love for everyone who’s supported me, gotten to know me, and cheered me on these past couple of years. I am forever grateful for the opportunities I’ve been presented with, and I plan to make the most of them!

I’m also blessed to have good health so I can let this wandering spirit roam.

13. Three things I want right now.

There’s an almond milk chocolate bar downstairs right now.

But I don’t what that .. oh no, not at all…

 1) I want to throw myself into an unfamiliar country, forget about unimportant things, become immersed in their culture and never vacation as a tourist, ever.

2) I want that chocolate bar. I’ve always wanted to learn ASL. How rewarding would that be? As an aspiring speech pathologist, it’d probably be wise to take some classes.

3) I want to be out and about, shooting guns at the range, horseback riding on a remote beach, cooking soup with a friend… I’ll take experiences over objects any day.

YES! Completion! If I were to answer these questions every 3 years, the next time you’d see this is when I’m a freshman in college.. oh my.

Thank you so much for reading! If you have any additional questions, feel free to pelt me with them via the contact form or below. Love you all and warmest wishes!

PS: Would anyone be interested in poetry? I’d be happy to share a few of my better pieces.

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I am more than a student.

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Five days out of the week, I wake up, go to school, come home, do homework, and collapse on the bed with weary eyes that have absorbed too much.

Two days out of the week I volunteer, take Sunday classes, go to mass, and prepare my mind for the next five days of brain-busting.

The vicious cycle repeats again and again. It’s a perpetual, taxing lemniscate of robotic actions and little creativity, only made bearable by the loneliness of humans who bear an identical cross.

I feel we all slightly lose ourselves in this lethargic daze of student life, yet we find ourselves there, too. We learn how we learn, how to learn. Through trial and error, we discover who we are, who we’re not, and what it’s going to take to be who we want to be. Slowly, the things that are important to us become buoyant while everything else drowns or drifts away, like sleeping otters who’ve unconsciously unclasped the hand of their partner.

 

But sometimes this frenzy of thought, this befuddling bubble of people pushing us in the direction they think we want to go in makes us believe we actually want to go there when our heart screams otherwise.

Sometimes I feel like life’s a hallway and our true selves are at the end of it, though we must go against the grain, swim against the rapid current of people and fight to not lose the ghost of ourselves in the crowd. We musn’t be distracted by the colorful doors or else we’d find a twisted version of ourselves and stamp our foreheads with “HAPPY” when we hesitantly embrace it.

This is, at least, what life feels like for me at the moment. This is probably an echo of what other students feel, though the fright of vulnerability has maybe replaced it with a more subdued version, a beach without waves.

Maybe it’s the time school occupies that makes us question its worth, or maybe it’s the forehead-creasing bafflement that forces devoted students to invest in grades, or maybe they’re both contributors to the depreciation of our true identity.

We lose ourselves in ranks, GPAs, or honor rolls, and forget that we are more than a number. We forget that grades do not define us. We forget that school is not a competition, but a vivacious opportunity to learn and grow.

We forget we are more than students.

As for me, I’ll try not to forget. I’ll write it in the condensation on mirrors from hot showers, I’ll spell it out in alphabet soup, I’ll even ink it in red on homework — but I won’t sacrifice my student days trying to outdo or prevent being outdone. Instead, I’ll devour knowledge until it devours me, until it blossoms into an earnest love for learning. I’ll create and fulfill my own definition of success. I’ll fight for the girl at the end of the hallway; she sees the my transparent ghost struggling and smiles at the thought of infusing it with color once it reaches her.

I  am more than a student, and the day I give up what I love to participate in this worldly race for “intelligence” will be the day I’ve lost.

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How I Began to Love Writing ~

Good DAY, detectives!

Once again, this blog has been as lonesome as those sorry little tumbleweeds in western movies for the past . . . couple of months?! I apologize – my schoolwork has swept me off my feet and dumped my free time into, well, a bottomless abyss.

[Now for a rather watery-eyed confession from me, Kezi, but if you love to write, you’re going to read this because you’re curious. Like all writers, you’re curious as to how other crazy people like you started out.]

THE BIG BANG – The website that started it all

Today, I decided to explore my thoughts and interests, because, guess what? I’ve had this blog for almost two years!

As a refresher – this blog was an alternative, a blog just for me, after my trials and errors with a cutesy writing website. I made it when I was 11 or 12.

I, surprisingly, learned so much about people in general and about the responsibility of pleasing my viewers. I think that website, where I showcased my writings, however childish they may seem now, had finally clicked for me. Creating morningblossominc.webs.com unknowingly changed my life. It was something I never told my parents about. Or all of my friends, despite its rising popularity. I wanted to be completely independent and learn things myself.

And I did! Not only did I explore and pave my path to finding my voice while writing, (which has always been important to me) I actually WROTE. Almost every day. I kept editing and I spent countless hours in front of the computer revising and revising and revising because I had an active audience who expected great things from me.

With motivation, I could transform from an awkward, shy girl into something like a superhero.

I learned how to manipulate photos and use photo editors, and just more about technology in general.

Those were the days! That website really affected me, and I am just realizing this now as I am typing. It was permission to give some of myself to the world, and I received positive reactions, not flying fruits! It was glorious. That is what inspired me to pursue a career in communications, or more specifically, journalism or creative writing.

Sadly, I faded out of this phase voluntarily because I spotted that those who loved and enjoyed my site were escaping the whole “pretty-graphics-on-a-webpage” phase as well. After many years, I decided I only had two choices:

1) Never update my website & slowly fade out of existence

2) Close it down with a proper good-bye and explanation, & give my viewers a substantial reason

So I chose option 2.

Rather than continually chugging out stories and writing tips for people who knew more about writing than I did, I decided to feed and cultivate the love I had for writing even more by exploring my “talents.”

This, TA-DA! Was my product. I’m quite satisfied.

I’ve looked back at my old website I put so much effort into, and I remembered making people so happy. When I closed it down, 14 people (hey, 14 is better than none) told me they were inspired to write more because of the dedication I put into my stories. I discovered I even had a secret fan club with an intimate 5 members who visited and raved over my stories every day. I realized I CAN do it. I can probably make it in the writing business – if I can attract a couple of hard-core fans without realizing it, I could probably attract more down the road if I worked hard.

I’ll tell you a secret – that was the best feeling in the world. To know that I had made a difference by simply having an enthusiasm for something that I already had a deep-rooted love for. Although sometimes I look back at my silly and frilly pink website with a cartoon elephant saying, “Welcome” on the home page, it really meant a lot to me, and it STILL means a lot to me. And that’s saying something, since I was only 11 or 12 when I made it, and I’m just a silly teenager who’s about to be 15 right now.

Many things  have changed. If you look back to some of my previous entries on this site, which stretch back to July 2011, you’ll see that I become increasingly sarcastic over the years! I’ve unconsciously stopped using an abundance of smiley faces, and my writing has become more formal. I’ve also written about more mature subjects. For example – this is the opening of a blog I wrote in August, 2011.

Hey guys! Wow, today was such a great day! Our grade had a retreat, all day, (no classes) at the gym of the neighboring church. My goodness, it was really fun & inspiring. We made play-doh monsters, skits, lectures, FREE FOOD, piggy-back races, races with the interns & basically, when we weren’t in the middle of an activity or lecture, we were partying :) Everyone was running around, dancing on chairs & spinning around & getting dizzy. (that’s what I did ^_^)

Ahh, how refreshing is that sweet child-like innocence?! I’m still a child, of course, but I’m just a little more sure of myself now and it’s pertinent.

The early years, and the scary books I wrote that freak me out now.

I started like any other person who love to write – by reading! My favorite book in Pre-K was Hippopotamus Wants to Take a Bath  and in Kindergarten, it was The Dying Cactus. Now that I think of it, I have no idea why a 4/5 year old was so intrigued by dying plants . . . but perhaps this inspired me to create my first “serious” – and rather morbid – story in 2nd grade.

But before that, my first story ever was called Flora Buttercup, a girl who lived in the Philippines. Yup. That’s it. (Don’t blame me, I was 6 when I wrote those 2 pages!)

My next one was when I was 7 – 9 years old, but I mostly remember 2nd grade. It was called The Deals and Julia. This is why it was morbid –

-Julia and her family go on a kayaking trip down a river

-What they don’t know is that river extended into a humongous waterfall

-The water fall was about 30 feet high.

-Julia, her parents, her little sister, and her baby brother fall down the waterfall.

-Her parents died because they didn’t know how to swim. I gave the reader false hope and I gave the parents a log to float on but then I made a wave, which washed it away, and therefore they drowned

-Her baby brother drowned

-Her sister hit her head on a rock on the way down, Julia saved her. But then the sister got bit by a poisonous banana spider, turned purple, and fell into the water, drowning.

. . . I don’t know about you, but I think that is pretty morbid for someone who’s hasn’t lost all their teeth yet.

My point has been made – I’ve never been afraid to push boundaries and limit myself to what is “normal” and “acceptable” writing. In fact, I find writing about twisted murders, shady characters, and post-apocalyptic worlds  highly amusing. On the other hand, sometimes I write about sappy things, like teenage love stories because, I hate to admit it, I’m a romantic.

Over the course of the years I made more stories, and I won’t get into that because there are too many to count!

Something else, other than the website that really made me love writing even more (and more cocky that I already was) was winning gold at a district competition for Ready Writing. They give you a topic and you write as much or as little as you want about it, and it’s judged subjectively by a panel of 3 judges. There were 50 kids my age and a year older then me in the competition.

That’s my writing history, because quite frankly, I haven’t been alive for too long.

Why writing is an escape for me

I’ve always thought of writing as an escape. I’ve learned that words are malleable and can be manipulated to form the most beautiful and interesting passages, and I fell in love with that. Writing is a form of self-expression that tears down barriers in my mind and leaves a gateway into creativity and beauty! It’s so spectacular how amazing good writing can make me feel  – because of the many talented writers out there, I’ve been able to explore in a completely new way. I get chills when I read good books, I become so enveloped in the story and the characters that I want to create something that will make other people feel that way, as well.

I fell in love with those moments where a word just FITS so perfectly to convey my thoughts – at those moments, I am reminded of how words can be so incredibly powerful. I love how I can be completely stuck on what I’m writing and suddenly, images and words string themselves together to help me create a perfect affirmation of  what I’m writing. It’s a beautiful and mysterious thing that I can’t seem to shake off.

As much as I’ve been told I’m a good writer, I’ve had more times where people tell me there is no career in it. Some people don’t seem to take me seriously when I tell them, because later on, they either question it or they ask me again what I want to do. My answer will not waver. 

I’ve realized over the years that writing is something I’ve always considered and never negated. Although other careers like being a sociologist or teacher have been possibilities for me, nothing can beat the elation I feel when I write. It’s tough and sometimes drives me crazy, but perhaps that’s the “consequence” of becoming more accomplished and creating something I am proud of. I also love to write because it often comes out as wild and unpredictable, and free. The freedom is so sweet.

 

Although I don’t write as much as I used to,  I still feel the same raw and pure joy I feel when I put something together. I also can’t go a day without reading. And when I read, I dissect the words, I dissect the characters. I dissect the meanings of the book and how the writer used certain words to produce a certain effect. For some reason, I can’t just enjoy the story, I have to understand how the writer came to carry it out. I think that means something.

Call me cocky or inexperienced, or call me an inefficient girl who wants to make a name for herself one day, but doesn’t have the natural talent to. Or, tell me that I’m still a sapling in comparison to the greats and I have a lot to learn. I agree, I need to experience more things to truly be labeled a “writer,” because technically, I’m not one.

But I’ll tell you this – I do have a burning passion for writing, and people always tell me if you love what you do, keep doing it.

That awkward time when..

That awkward time when…

– This girl and I, the same height, were walking towards the same thing and collided heads and collapsed to the floor.

-I went to an outlet mall for the whole day, and then when I got home, I realized there was a rip in the back of my pants.

– I tried to kill a spider with a knife

– a snake almost slithered into my shoe

– I accidentally put on the wrong pair a shoes that weren’t mine. It was a boy’s.

– I almost beat up my poor stuffed panda because I thought it was a murderer in my room at night

– I opened the car door, and then it hit my shin. Then I opened the other car door, which hit the other shin

– I almost gave myself a black eye by trying the get the handle unstuck from my rolling backpack a couple of years ago

– We were talking about the officers of NJHS/NHS and listing the officers. I said “Presbyterian” instead of “Parliamentarian.”

– I forgot how to write the number 7.

– I scored a point for my volleyball team when the ball bounced off my forehead and over the net again, leaving the other team surprised

– I said the wrong responsorial psalm at mass, and the priest came to confront me afterwards

– I dropped the holy Eucharist and tried to ask the priest for another one (i didn’t know that I could’ve just picked it up and eat it..)

– I wrote a story about a girl who went with her family on a trip. Then they fell down a waterfall and got killed. Only her and her sister survived, but then a banana spider bit her and she died. The main character then stuffed herself in a crate of oranges (which her family took canoeing, just in case they wanted an extra snack) and sailed the seas until she washed up on the beach, on an mystic island called Saybing and a family who sold cupcakes in a cup adopted her when she knocked on their door. I wrote this when I turned 8 :)

– My friends parents walked in and thought we were drinking alcohol (it was cream soda)

– My friend whom I call “Milk Moose” believed me when I told her a bought a male dog named Victoria and announced it to the whole class.

– I was called up to the board at Social Studies to draw trade routes and I drew a line around a country in Europe instead of Madagascar

– I thought that Alaska was below the United States, because that’s where it usually was on the map

– Everyone started to crowd around me at the school dance because I apparently was rolling on the floor crying because my favorite band (Allstar) was playing

– My math teacher punched me in the face (it was an accident, she was showing off her water aerobic moves)

– I was at my friend’s house and we were playing a Mario game, one that involved Peach getting saved by Donkey Kong (I think) and them kissing.  My friend told me, “That’s what we should be doing right now.”

– Someone flipped me off because I was dancing badly while holding up a Sonic sign for a fundraiser for the school

 

As you can see, I’ve been through a lot of time that were very embarrassing  awkward.  Are there any equally awkward times for you? haha

ANYWAYS! I can’t seem to get off this subject! I was thinking of re-doing this blog, because I’ve had this theme for nearly 6 months, and I’m getting bored looking at it. I wish I could use some of the themes I found online, not just the ones from the wordpress catalog. If anyone knows of any way I can do that, please tell me! :)

PS – I was going to do a song of the day, but to stick with the whole awkward theme, here’s a video of the King of Sassy and the God of Awkward.

Cute, isn’t he?? He also happens to be my crush.. 

Why I want to live in Neverland..

Hi everyone! First off, happy new year :) I’ve just composed a super long, serious rant, but I thought I’d just start off the new year with a still long, but not as serious lecture. (sigh…) Anyways, the title of this post is “Why I want to live in Neverland” and this is just the beginning of me complaining about how ridiculous people are these days.  Hope you’re in the mood.

 

I think our perception of happiness in this world is twisted. Really. Read these situations, and if you’re not nodding your head in agreement about how   wrong these things are, then I don’t know what will..

I read this ridiculous article about a women giving her little 7 year old daughter a certificate she can use when she’s 16 – one that entitles her to  -ahem – enhancement of certain body parts.. and liposuction. (well, this is awkward.) The girl says, “I can’t wait to look pretty like mommy!” You should really read this article. The mom also teaches that little girl how to .. let’s just say exotic dance. Just type in “Human Barbie” in a search bar, and that’s the 1st thing that pops up. 

I also hate how girls my age are piling on makeup, just caking it on their face until they look like a witch. I understand a bit of makeup (though I don’t wear it) but covering up every single imperfection is a bit much. And if those girls are just worried about what other people will think of them, then there’s really something wrong with the world.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a hater. I’ve felt the same way many times in my life, and stolen things from my mom and older sister because – yes, I thought beauty in a bottle would actually make me look better. Um, heck no. I then realized we can’t look perfect all the time, and to just get over it. 

I think that sometimes people are really afraid to just be themselves. They’d be scrutinized. I went to the mall the other day, and practically every teenage girl looked the same. Long silky straightened hair. A sweatshirt from whatever sport they like, or team they like, those stupid Nike shorts with built in underwear, and UGG boots. (Boots and shorts doesn’t even make sense. It’s either one or the other. It’s winter, not summer.) If someone was the first person to wear stuff like that, then kudos to them. But if they’re just doing it because everyone else is, then that girl is crazy in the head. Girls today look like clones. I thought I kept seeing the same girls over and over again, but it they all just looked alike. It’s scary. I rarely see people now that act the way they want to, even with my classmates. I’ve known some of mine for 10 years now, and they all used to be their own person. Now it’s all about hair flipping, being sarcastic to impress everyone, and talking behind people’s backs. That stuff is not cool at all. That’s why when I see someone that’s their own person, I befriend them.

So some advice – don’t be sucked into reality. Create your own reality and live it like there’s no tomorrow. You are who you meet, and I honestly don’t want to be sucked into a mass of barbie dolls.

Now I’m really getting to the point of this whole article – (sorry!) don’t try to grow up too fast. That’s my goal in life, to cherish everything, to enjoy being a kid. Because I already know it’s going to get much harder later, and who wants to add extra drama to their life and speed up the inevitable? 

I have my whole life ahead of me – plenty of time to settle down, and wear expensive clothes, and walk in four inch long heels – but for right now, I just want to be a kid. One who’s aware that ignorance is bliss, one who isn’t embarrassed  by watching movies suited to younger kids, and one who isn’t afraid to run through the mall, arm in arm with their best friend, singing songs from the Wizard of Oz. One who wants their mind to stay in a place like Neverland for as long as possible.