Journalling a habit

Book with the phrase It's about to get nostalgic in here
Keeping track of what’s happened to me is the current reason why I am journalling

Notables:

  • Got reassured by my boss that she loves the work I am putting out
    • Could be a bit more meticulous but part of it is the insane workload we all have – understanding boss is really awesome
  • Ontama curry from Hanamaru is delicious and cheap
  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MANMARU CLOSED DOWN
  • Epic failing at writing my journal reflection this morning
  • Took a nap that almost lasted three hours

~~~~~

Ever since I started my new job, I have started listening to a lot more podcasts. As it is I am completely up to date with Welcome to Nightvale (CARLOS X CECIL 4EVA and knowing that Carlos’ actor Dylan Marron is also gay and a POC who IS as sweet outside of Nightvale as Carlos is a life goal), Our Fair City (OMG it has an end date but why), discovered the Orbiting Human Circus (Julian why you so adorbs) and have recently started listening to Productivity Alchemy and I already love it (thank you tenta!).

The Podcast habit was easy to start, because the new car has auto Bluetooth connection, so I just start it up when I get into the car. I have never been more glad to dump radio, and even if I have to drive my mom to church I now put on Spotify’s Top 40 list instead of Mix FM.

There have been other habits that I have tried and not quite succeeded though. Writing daily journal entries is one of them. This post is an example of how I’m structuring it.

The Notable section is a way for me to gather my thoughts and reflect on what has happened between the last time I wrote an entry and now. I have a tendency to oversleep, which cuts into the morning session, and by the evening I’m usually too exhausted.

I’m compensating by writing when I need some space to think at work, and by continuing the weekly habit I already had before this. It’s been almost two months since I started this journey, and while it is on its way to becoming a permanent habit, there are still enough times where I feel like I’m failing.

I can’t remember where I began the thought dump process, but I know that it required me to get over my tendency to listen to others and really just start examining my own habits. I needed to convince myself that it was alright to take 10 minutes to simply write whatever that came to mind, that it was fine to thought dump and not censor myself.

The hardest part has been to write to be forgotten, because I don’t want anyone else to read it. A pen and paper notebook, while romantic, is also impractical for this. I would rather write on the computer with the ability to edit; my fingers can keep up with the speed of my thoughts.

So what I have learnt?

I need a little structure

I was talking to Tenta about journalling and I realised that what put me off bullet journalling was the whole “oh you need to structure your day HERE IS LIMITED SPACE TO MAKE IT LOOK PRETTY WHILE GETTING SHIT DONE” and the whole productivity thing was not something I like.

The format of writing what was notable in the past few hours however, worked well to remind me of things that are memorable. They didn’t need to be things that are good, though I always want to start with that; I want to remember the happier moments and wins instead of the negative bits.

I also got myself a paper journal (thanks Rin!) that was more for those moments I didn’t want to whip out the Bluetooth keyboard and yet wanted to write. It has since been turned into an ideas book, with little snippets and practising of my penmanship.

Journalling is therapeutic

There’s plenty enough said online and in studies that highlight the benefits of journalling, but I would like to confess something it has made me realise; journalling allows me to put into words insights and ideas I have had for the longest time, but lacked the courage to say or admit. It is brutally honest, but only if I am with myself.

Writing, to me, is half an art, half a science. Perhaps the hardest part is to be gentle to yourself, especially when dealing with emotions.

Self-care is not selfish, and if it means you need to take time out to go pay your bills, have a mini mental vacation or treat yourself to a good meal, it will allow you to go back to work or whatever it is you need to do.

My habits have noticeable dip and high tendencies

Probably not going to happen to everyone, but I noticed this about myself. Journalling allowed me to record and somewhat track this. More importantly, it gave me the space to process the emotions that led or did not lead to the decision.

Another side benefit of journalling on the PC or via a service like Google Docs; it makes looking up more of the same that much easier.

Journalling has made me more empathic?

Still not too sure about this, but journalling has made me more sensitive to others. I’m learning to read between the lines with a finer sift, and there is less hesitation when it comes to reaching out. However all this extra writing on top of my current job writing has led to an unexpected (though unsurprising outcome):

I find it harder to craft stories

My brain can think up scenarios but rarely pursue it to fruition. I can attribute this somewhat to having just come out of an environment where EVERY MOMENT OF YOUR TIME MUST BE PRODUCTIVE AND YOU ARE COSTING US HOURS AND MINUTES but that is not the whole of it. The drive has been lost, and I want to find it again.

So… how was YOUR day?

[Ramblings] Thoughts on Wonder Woman

I have complicated feelings about Wonder Woman. (Also SPOILERS AHEAD).

There are many, many, and I want to stress, many beautiful moments of enjoyment to be found in this movie. Taken separately and savoured, they are delightful pieces, delightful scenes that make you reach for more.

HOWEVER.

When taken as a whole, there’s this feeling of dissonance. Like something doesn’t quite make sense, or doesn’t taste quite as good as you wish it could be. Something something different flavours that are great on their own, but mixed together, tastes really off.

I think this could be due to the way they played out Wonder Woman’s origins. I feel she’s naive, yes, but foolishly so. Is it due to the way her overprotective mother raised her? Is she at odds with the bloodthirstiness of Antiope? Or is it just this very teenage “I will make everything right by doing this ONE THING that only I can do” kind of aura?

Partially, but I think it also comes down to the reason why, she said, at the end of the movie, that she is motivated by “Love.”

I think for me, that was what disappointed me the most. Wonder Woman is this person who is the very epitome of justice. She is fair. She is honest, loyal perhaps to a fault to her ideals. But above all, she is compassionate.

I will admit that a large part of why I feel that dissonance is also because the word “Love” in movies are usually attached to romantic love, and to be honest, I like how Diana’s first romance is not at the forefront. In fact, it’s something that is “Sure, why not” and then “let’s get on with the mission” in the sense, it doesn’t consume her life.

Having her talk about Love instead of Compassion made me feel like it was both a missed opportunity and a devaluing of what Diana stands for, because her compassion was what drove her to run across No Man’s Land. And the setup for that scene, for the way she flew across the battlefield, did not back down and holy f the smackdown that was laid right after that.

She began to move because her heart and compassion was moved and it was glorious.

Using the word “Love” instead of compassion made me cry slightly inside.

I have another confession to make about the movie.

It is womanly.

While I may disagree with the casting of Gadot and how the story played out, I ADORE the unapologetic, badassery that Diana displayed. “I am no man’s props” nor “I am simply a man who happens to be in a female body” are two tropes that this could have easily fallen into, and they did not.

It’s not that kind of female hero movie where she’s seen to be “assisting” men with their “important” tasks. Working in the sidelines and all that. No, this is NOT that kind of movie.

It is not that kind of female superhero movie where her “feminine wiles” are what gets her ahead. No, if anything, Diana is anything but feminine (and I love that scene where they call her out for wearing glasses, as though it would hide her identity squee).

It’s a “kick ass, fuck you, take no names” individualistic kind of feminine strength. A third kind of on-screen feminine badassery. We are so overdue for this kind of non-masculine feminine strength. There are plenty of feminine role models out there in the real world, and I would love to see more of these. Diana, and more importantly, her Amazonian aunts and friends, are great examples.

Talking about this also brings to mind the fantastic masculinity of Newt Scamander. I loved how his character was played, and it wasn’t until I saw this video essay that I realised it resonated because it was a different version of masculinity than I had ever experienced in movies, and it is glorious.

So yes, despite my misgivings, I love Wonder Woman and I would like to see more movies like these please kthxbai.

Maybelline Loaded Bolds are here!

Maybelline Loaded Bolds Shelf

The Maybelline Loaded Bolds Lipsticks have finally landed in Malaysia! I saw the empty shelf while I was in Guardian, which usually means it will arrive in less than a month to stores, depending on which store orders how much. This excited me so much I was squeeing over Instagram.

You see, I’m the kind of girl who prefers strong colours when it comes to my lipsticks. While going pink or natural is nice, I love strong colours, like this gorgeous Trinity shade by Black Moon Cosmetics.

Most Asians don’t go for strong lip colours, so I was really surprised to see the Loaded Bolds on the shelf. However, I didn’t expect them to see them in stores until after Raya (think 20 June onwards) because usually these things are put up two weeks in advance.

Lo and behold, Watsons has them! And surprisingly, for a new Maybelline there were testers all ready for you to swatch (usually these don’t come out until after a month or so, which makes me very annoyed). The price was also cheaper than expected; it’s at RM26.91 for now instead of the recommended RM29.

I swatched the more unusual colours because let’s face it – if you want a really strong red colour payoff, there are plenty of lipsticks, lip gloss, lip tints, what have you on the market. Purples? Also getting more common. But black, white, blue and the rare brown? How could I say no?

Maybelline Loaded Bolds swatches

Initial impressions of these colours? Damn they go on so easy! The white was the only one I had issues with; as you can tell from all the others, a single swipe is all you need for that gorgeous matte lipstick look. They didn’t feel as drying as I thought they might be, considering the payoff, but they transfer really easily. I discovered this while I was walking about in Sephora and ran my hands against each other. Sigh.

Still, the colours are bold enough (as their namesake), and it is really nice to have lip options that aren’t liquid lipsticks. It is a creamy finish, and this is a nice alternative to the current matte lipstick trend we’ve been seeing for the past few years.

So, should you get the Loaded Bolds? Not right now, I’ll say. I think it’s a Watsons exclusive for now, so give it a month or so before it hits Guardian. In case you’re wondering, this is the reason why I’m discouraging people from getting anything at Watsons.