Archives for category: Blogging

My room is filled with stacks of books where it probably should have other more generally accepted objects such as interesting memorabilia, photos, or  pretty furniture.  I am addicted to reading and since there is a lack of a good public library system here, I resort to scouring book retailers, Amazon.com, and second-hand bookshops for good reads to fill my appetite for reading something new.  I like reading non-fiction more than fiction now than when I was younger.

It is widely said that books provide a thriftier way to travel to another local or an easy way to encounter new experiences.  Given that I am now less of an extrovert and less inclined to be seeking actual adventures via travelling, I value the insights and the knowledge which books provide.  It goes without saying that not all books provide the same intellectually potent fare as others and we must exercise discernment with what we choose to expose our minds to.

Reading new books weekly requires a certain commitment since time and resources are involved with purchasing the book and physically sitting down and focusing on the words.  It is something that I gladly do since I sometimes find that a good book is better company than many other people.  I am not interested in idle gossip or superficial talk, and having selected books which I enjoy provides me an avenue of spending my time instead of seeking other distractions.

Perhaps I could be playing video games more often but nothing catches my interest more than a book.  Movies, music, and video games are also part of the activities which I enjoy but seeing the clutter in my room being book stacks in majority, it illustrates what is important to me.  It is not beyond me to use folded receipts as bookmarks when I jump from one book to another during the course of a week.  I had prepared some bookmarks but they don’t seem to be around when I start a new book–unless they are already in the other books which I’m concurrently reading.

I’m gradually warming up to the idea of electronic books but nothing beats the smell of a new book, and nothing beats the enjoyment of physically leafing through the pages of the book.  I do believe that in the interest of saving the planet and being eco-friendly, electronic books would be the way to go and it would be this way in the future.  However, I suppose I am still old-school when it comes to books in that I like feeling the paper and seeing the words on the printed page as I read.

I cannot imagine going through a day without reading something–anything, even a little bit.  It is almost like a ‘caffeine’ fix but instead it is a book fix.  I fell in love with books ever since I first learned to read at a young age and this obsession shows no signs of abating.  I suppose there are worst things that one can be addicted to.  As my shoe rack is already filled with books, I just need to have more bookshelves or convert my wardrobe into a bookshelf.

Books, books, and more books.  I love books.  I love reading. And I love writing.

(c) Niconica 2013

I’m not sure when I’ll ever be able to not care about what other people think but despite being affected by other’s opinions, I still proceed with pursuing my dreams. It is unfortunate when people whose opinions I care about are not pleased with me and there have been times when gaining their respect or approval was utmost on my mind and their criticism paralyzed me but I soon realized that their words were no better or significant than background noise, especially when it was merely destructive to my well-being and improvement.

We all wish for our kin’s approval and in an ideal world, it might happen, but we are all not that lucky. Without the appropriate encouragement and support, are we all to just fall behind on our own progress and let the lack of ideal circumstances get the better of us.

We must proceed on our path whether or not the people around us make way for it or cheer us on and let the naysayers’ babble simply be considered irrelevant background noise as we seek to progress and achieve our dream.

(c) Niconica 2013

I have been quite remiss with posting this past week or so owing to both expected and unexpected flurry of activity which have come my way.  Being busy has its perks because the active moving forward and social interaction with people hold their own rewards, however, it can wear thin when we crave the sensation of feeling centered within our own solitude and reverie and in not being able to examine my thoughts and digest my experiences through blogging, I have felt some unease.

It is important to be able to process our experiences as we go through them–it can be said that it is essential to our sanity to be able to do so. I admire people who go through life engaging in action after action without much introspection because it feels that they don’t have the limitations which I seem to have–which is, feeling affected and unhappy when I am not able to regularly write and share my thoughts and be able to organize them more or less coherently than they appear in my head.

A flurry of activity can be tolerable when they appear in short bursts, but I do value my routine and I generally prefer that my routine is not disturbed as much as possible.  Having alone time is important and no matter how busy we are, we would feel unsettled when we do not have certain down times where we get to rest, be quiet, and enjoy our own company and indulge in our flights of fancy.

Having space and solitude is essential for natural introverts to be able to cope with the extroverted world.  Being able to write daily is invaluable to a writer–most especially, an aspiring one such as myself.  To be able to escape into the comfort of my reverie in a starburst of words and sentences is bliss.  I will endeavour to make up my lacking posts somehow.

(c) Niconica 2013

The past decade of my life has been eventful, to say the least.  It is basically a constant refresher on the Buddha‘s teachings of impermanence.  It has not gone according to plan and it makes me realize that we can make plans and aspire all we want to certain things but there are things which are beyond the grasp of sheer will and hard work–while of course, there are certain things which are achievable through perseverance.  Yet, there is no assurance about the future outcome of events because the nature of reality is that it is unpredictable and sometimes, even appearing random, while having some strange thread flowing through them when we look back.

I’ve come to learn that there may be things which we would desire and which to come into fruition but sometimes, it is not within our control or for us to say.  And it seems that each year that we live on this earth, the ante goes up and we are given more and more challenges, and sometimes we feel that we might even reach our breaking point because everything seems to be going awry and when we look at our fellow human beings–it may seem that everything is going peachy for them while we stand in the rain looking at their blessings.  What we may not be aware of is that they may be thinking the same thing because we hardly get everything that we want and while one facet of our life may be going more smoothly and we may feel that we are gradually getting a grasp on how to handle it; there would be other facets of life which feels like Russian roulette and we’ll just have to deal with what we are given and see what happens.

It is the lack of control of the outcome which really gives us pain because the uncertainty is not pleasant to bear and we would then have to cultivate both patience and courage with dealing with all things which are out of our control.  It’s not comfortable to think that there are more things which are out of our control that is within our control, but yet within this limitation, we may begin to harness the strength that we have and work with it.  We are in control of our own body, speech, and mind–or so we should be.  I think that beyond thinking about making situations or people conform to our will, we must first look within ourselves and investigate the nature of our own thoughts and seriously learn to hone our own unruly thoughts so that we may not become our own worst enemies.

We must also learn to harness the power of our speech so that we may be able to promote goodwill amongst fellow human beings instead of creating strife and conflict–and these then lead towards the further step of doing good with our presence here on earth–which is just a meager few decades.  This realization should spur us to make the most out of our limited time on earth and allow us to be of benefit to our fellow inhabitants of the planet/cosmos/galaxy.  It is in this manner which we would be able to better ourselves, as well as others, and even though we might still not be able to surmise or fully control what the future holds, we will be planting positive seeds which would eventually yield pleasant experiences for us.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

If I remember correctly, the opening scenes of Gone With The Wind includes a shot of the text “Do not waste time for that is the stuff life is made of.” And it is not more true than it is now. Time is running out for all of us but we are not usually mindful of it until we have life experiences which jar us to our senses.

My dear friend’s condition is already pretty grave and it pains me to realise that each moment we share or each conversation we have might be our last. Even though my friend is still functional and does not appear to be dying, the results of the medical tests are not encouraging and I’m hoping against hope that some miracle would happen but I’m trying to be pragmatic with the facts and possibilities at hand.

I am not ready to let go of the friendship and relinquish the bond we have but the choice is not up to either of us when it would be terminated. This uncertainty manifests as an aching pain in my heart which accompanies me through the day and I am unable to share my concerns with others due to respect for my friend’s explicit request for privacy.

Each moment in which we can to interact even remotely through chat or SMS is priceless and there is no way to be fully prepared to lose someone we genuinely love but we must attempt to be prepared for the eventuality which may result from the seeming randomness of life.

It’s not an easy path or navigate and yet we must treasure each priceless moment and appreciate the poignancy of gradually being able to let go and say goodbye while making each moment count.

(c) Niconica 2013

I have not managed to write my regular daily posts but I will make up for it in the number of posts I write instead. I’m still reeling from the shock and the pain of my valued friend’s HIV diagnosis. It could just as easily have been another terminal illness such as Cancer, the anguish and the devastation would be the same.

It’s too late to point fingers now because it doesn’t change the facts which are quite bitter pills to swallow. The challenge is to be able to recover from the shock and be able to help my friend deal with his predicament and be able to maximize the cards he has been dealt with.

Intellectually knowing the facts does not take away the gnawing pain inside my heart–I feel that it is breaking. Last year has been an unfortunate year of medical emergencies and losses, and this year, this situation is something new to struggle with. Undoubtedly this would be an opportunity for growth because if we do not adjust and evolve, we will not be able to survive unwanted changes, and yet an understanding of these facts do not take away the dull ache in my chest.

On one hand, I want to cheer up my friend and try to pretend that the situation is non-existent or not as serious but on the other hand, the alarming and severe symptoms exhibited does not allow me to escape from the thought that the remaining time from now are fraught with gravity of saying goodbye in not so many words but in actions and interactions which are so poignant because they might be the last few memories we have before time runs out because having a compromised immune system is nothing to joke a about–anything can come in and screw up the precarious equilibrium.

I have written a about preparing for death in one of my past posts but it was in the context of my grandparent who is already an octogenarian and has advanced stages of a degenerative at the twilight of a very long and full life or a relative who is already a senior citizen who suffered a debilitating illness. In both cases, it can be said that death can more easily be viewed as a more acceptable eventuality because they have managed to live long and full lives free from disease until these years.

It is an altogether different matter to be faced with the possible demise of someone yet in the prime of their life and the ticking clock announces the pressure of cramming as many meaningful moments into the limited time remaining. The ghosts of what could have been will haunt us while we attempt to enjoy the company of the ill person and we cannot help but feel anguish at that tragic turn of events.

I am unsure how I will be able to negotiate this new jagged emotional terrain. It is definitely a work in progress where we just have to do the best that we can to prevail despite discouraging and painful circumstances because no matter how badly we feel, we must not fail to appreciate that the person who is in the predicament would likely be feeling infinitely worse and our own selfish concerns and worries pale in comparison to theirs. We must then set aside our own misery, and attend to them while we have the opportunity to do so. There will be enough time to grieve and deal with our own pain in the future. Meanwhile, the present time should be devoted to them.

(c) Niconica 2013

Just like that, everything can change in an instant when we find out that a cherished friend has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. There’s a sense of disbelief that all this is actually occurring and there is a resistance to the events unfolding…

It’s a sobering wake up call that we never really have full control over our lives and we must do the best with the cards we are dealt with. Our lives are all finite and yet we live as through we are indestructible and being diagnosed with a terminal illness simply reminds us of the fact that we will all die.

It is not apt to assume that a terminally ill person will surely die before people who are not terminally ill since the causes for an abbreviated life can come in many forms for so-called healthy individuals. Yet we must be aware that the diagnosis signifies that there is no more time to waste and we must cherish the present moments with the person and make the most out of it.

Having death looming at the door is sobering and yet there is a clarity that dawns upon those he awaits–about which things really matter the most and which things are merely peripheral and it is with this perspective that a dying person manages to squeeze the most out of life–choosing not to waste any moment. This is what we can and should all learn, because in one sense, we are all dying as each day, month, and year heralds advancing age and eventual deteriorating health.

Having our lives prematurely cut when we are not ready is not a welcome circumstance by any chance, and yet when the situation is already existing, we must endeavor to be pragmatic and endeavor to live each day to the fullest because we don’t know which breath may be our last–and this advice would hold true for every human being.

(c) Niconica 2013

I have not been able to post for the past two days but I’ll strive to make up for it. One of the most painful truths which the Buddha has taught is the everything is impermanent and subject to change. We are aware on it on an intellectual and theoretical level but the reality is harder to grasp because we are creatures of habit and change is difficult to accept especially when it catches us by surprise.

It is then when we must remind ourselves that life is unpredictable and everything is impermanent and any attempt to hold onto something or someone is likely to eventually lead to sorrow or disappointment not because it is wrong to be attached to certain things or people but merely because the inherent nature of anything which exists is that it is subject to change at any time and for any reason possible.

We must overcome our grasping at permanence because we don’t know when the changes will come and we must not erroneously assume that anything will last forever just simply because we desire it to be so. We must learn to detach and go through the changes and learn to adapt, because as Charles Darwin has observed, those who do not adapt, perish.

(c) Niconica 2013

I’ve been a bit remiss with posting during the previous year owing to various personal events which I’ve had to attend to immediately. I can say it has been a year of challenges last year and the year could not have ended soon enough.

A relative passed away and another two relatives fell seriously ill within the span of a few months and it has been rather overwhelming and I have not been able to write as much as I wanted.

I realise now that perhaps if I did write blog posts daily then it might have helped me process all the experiences or express them in some way so that the pain does not eat them inside.

For me, blogging is not a literal personal diary which chronicles events during the day without editing but it is a process of digesting and processing key experiences and deriving some sort of insight or learning from it.

I’ve chosen to learn to focus my experiences and thoughts in several articles and compose them on my iPhone and schedule the publishing.

I didn’t write much before either because I was too preoccupied with daily activities or I was not sure what to write because the experiences felt too raw and I was not in the mind state to process them as I do now and articulate them on my blog.

I believe that being able to sift through the experiences and express them in a coherent manner is beneficial for blogging because in this manner, it has some sort of composition and point to each musing so that every topic shared would be digestible and hopefully, comprehensible.

I have a liking for very long rambling sentences which might not pass the muster of the grammar police but I feel that it relays my thoughts more effectively because life is not concise and straight to the point as we might hope it to be and I like that my sentences reflect how thoughts swim through our heads in a circular fashion or concurrently meet at the intersection of our mind and get linked together with each other to form what appears to be a whole.

Robin McKinley is my favourite fantasy fiction writer and I love how she writes incredibly long and flowing sentences which seem to flow from the mind straight to the page in a delightful and complex stream.

My daily blogging is essential to my mental health too because it allows me to express my innermost thoughts and opinions and make sense of daily occurrences. I am not given the opportunity to philosophise and verbally process the insights I derive and bring able to express it through writing feels fulfilling.

As an aspiring writer, I also get to practice stringing words together and enjoying how they come together beautifully and sometimes awkwardly. I have always been partial to the children and young adult fiction fantasy genre but my experience of sharing my thoughts daily has given me an appreciation for non-fiction.

Who knows what lies ahead? Meanwhile, I write, write, and write.

Writing in itself is a rewarding experience and I would continue to write even if no one gets to read what I write however, having readers appreciate and enjoy my writing is definitely more heartening and encouraging.

I would like to sincerely thank my readers and subscribers for allowing my words to grace their eyes, and hopefully and eventually their minds and hearts.

(c) Niconica 2013

In lieu of a daily journal, I blog daily. I think writing a daily diary is a very therapeutic process and I won’t take it out of the options in self-expression and daily reflection. It just so happens that as of late, I’m more drawn to blogging daily rather than scribbling into a diary though there are other times when I enjoy the unedited thoughts which flow when we scribble into our journals.

My blog is in a sense a more disciplined form of daily reflection since I would usually choose a topic to blog about and focus on it when I write. It is a pleasant process to be able to write about random topics, and it requires discipline to be able to focus on the discussion at hand.

In the course of blogging, I’ve learned to express myself more and share my thoughts on a variety of topics and explore and share one’s musings and experiences. It happens that my articles lean towards psychology and it is something of a pleasant surprise to me because as I continue the process of writing and blogging, I discover the topics which I am drawn to just as the topics discover me and it is a very interesting and organic process.

I had wanted to be a writer for a long time and I’ve been seeking to write fantasy fiction in the children and young adult genre and I thought that during the course of my blogging I would be able to practice and reveal my fiction writing however in the course of blogging, my choice of topics seem to have chosen me just as I seem to have chosen them and I find that I seem to enjoy writing non-fiction articles which tend towards psychology and spirituality.

It is an enjoyable experience to be able to write non-fiction as well and be able to delve into the quirks and nuances of human behavior and experience. It is also comforting to be able to reflect on different subjects daily and share my thoughts and feelings on them.

Being able to write daily is a wonderful pairing with my penchant for copious amounts of reading and this creates a discourse and organic interaction among what I experience, what I read, and what I write. As such, this blog witnesses the result of my inner discourses, constant learning, and ongoing experiences. I’m looking forward to see where it goes.

Thank you for reading my blog entries and sharing the experience with me.

(c) Niconica 2013