life lately #11

life lately |
Figured now would be a good time as any to let everyone know that I'm still alive. Hello! 👋🏻

life lately |
Life in the time of COVID-19
First of all, a little life update. For those not in the Philippines, you might not know this, but the country has been in lockdown (or as the PH government calls it, Extended Community Quarantine) since March 16th. Initially it was supposed to be for one month, but they extended it until the 30th of April, and just yesterday, extended it until the 15th of May. There's still no sign of lockdown being lifted anytime though, because the government's doing a really shitty job of handling everything: not imposing travel ban immediately, no mass testing, depending on private sectors for donations despite having a P275B budget, the list goes on. I'm not even going to touch on what the president's been doing (or hasn't been doing, whatever). People are saying that lockdown might continue until June or even way past that, and, well. You can probably imagine how I'm feeling right now because of it.

My mental health hasn't been great this year and this pandemic is just making things exponentially worse. And it's not the lockdown itself that's causing it. Before that even happened I was already a homebody, and would only go out maybe once or twice a month. Truthfully, it's not the act of going out itself that I miss. It's just that I really fucking miss my friends. I want to go out! Hang out with my friends in a cafe! Journal together! Hold their hands! Hugs and cuddles! I talk to them everyday, but it's not the same. (My love language is physical touch—I'm very touchy with my friends.) It's so frustrating. The one or two days in a month that I had reserved for my closest friends, I can't even have anymore. What's even more frustrating is that there seems to be no end in sight.

But life goes on. In that way, I'm privileged, because I know it's not the same for everyone else. (Which only adds to my feelings of dread/frustration/helplessness, but I'll save that for another day. Maybe.) So all I can do is stay indoors to not endanger the people around me, keep myself busy, and try to hang on until this seemingly never-ending quarantine finally gets lifted.

life lately |
The things that have been helping curb anxiety are—not surprisingly—journaling and fangirling. Over the course of this quarantine period I've caught up on journaling backlog (the spread above is from December 2018), organized my washi tape collection, made inserts for my TN, tried my hand at this new K-pop trend of decorating photocards, and re-decorated the back of my phone, among other things. I find that I need to keep not only my mind busy, but also my hands, or else I'll suddenly find myself picking at my face again. I've also been consuming a lot of k-pop related content, as usual. Almost every day we're flooded with content from X1 members (who have gone their separate ways, as you may already know), and it gets a little overwhelming trying to keep up with everyone, but it helps keep my mind off of things.

To be honest I haven't been reading much these days. Like I said my current mental state hasn't been the best, and so I've become a little uninterested in a lot of things I used to find joy in doing, including reading manga. It's a little sad, but I feel like this is just a passing thing and I'll go back to devouring manga again eventually. For now, I've only been reading short fics and social media AUs. I guess it's because of the way socmed AUs are designed⁠—they're like fics, but in a more easily digestible form. I like that there are a lot of Taglish socmed AUs, too. I honestly enjoy those a lot more because the language is a lot less formal, making things feels more relatable. Plus I feel like the jokes seem to become a lot funnier, too.

life lately |
As for TV, I've only been watching shows that don't have a lot of subs or don't require me to read a lot. (BRAIN HURTY!!!) So these days it's mostly just feel-good shows like Hyori's Bed & Breakfast. I'm finally on the 2nd season! I kept putting off watching it because I wanted to save it for a later time, but with the whole quarantine situation I realized there's no better time than now. For this season they have the B&B open for winter, and everything is so different from the first season. Jeju is still very beautiful, but seeing what it looks like during winter made me realize that I really am a spring/summer girl at heart, haha. They have Yoona this season, too! I loved IU in S1 but Yoona has a completely different brand of charming that's impossible not to love. (I was one episode in and she managed to convince me to buy a waffle maker after the quarantine is over, lol.) I'm still only at episode 4, so I'm excited to see what happens next!

On days I don't feel like using my brain at all, I choose a random episode from one of these three shows: Going Seventeen, Victon's Born Identity, Johnny's Communication Center. The first two are my favorites because Seventeen and Victon are two of my ult groups, and watching them brings me a lot of joy, but it's hard to watch more than one full episode at a time because they're SO CHAOTIC. One time I laughed so hard at one episode of Victon's Born that I got an asthma attack, LOL. JCC is a lot more chill, but it's pretty entertaining, too. I only recently got into NCT 127, and JCC helped me remember the members' names and faces. My favorite episodes are the ones with him and Mark, because they're super funny together!

life lately |
There's a lot of new music coming out recently, but as a Taurus moon I find comfort in only listening to the same songs and playlists over and over. Right now that is: IZ*ONE's BLOOM*IZ (Fiesta and Dreamlike are my favorites!), Spotify's This Is NIKI playlist, and Seventeen's Falling Flower. (And if you're wondering: no, I didn't plan for the covers to be color-coordinated, haha.)

On particularly bad days though, I put an Ode To You in Seoul playlist on to remind me of when I went to see Seventeen with my favorite people in February, and I start to feel just a little bit better.

I'm still very much into Korean aesthetic slow-living vlogs on Youtube, and sometimes I jump from one channel to another for inspiration. While doing so I found this cute mori girl channel. Her channel name is "nyangsoop" which translates to 'Nyan Forest'. So cute. In one of her videos she talks about moving to her home province from Seoul, building a house in the forest with her parents, and finally settling down there. While her whole setup does look pretty cute, I love that she talks about the realistic side of things too like, how there are a lot of bugs and how it gets really dark at night. Either way, it's fascinating. The mori girl life of my dreams. Thinking about it now though, I feel like I wouldn't like living in a forest that much. I would probably be better off living near the ocean, since I love being near the water.

life lately |
Looking forward to
This sounds really sad as I'm typing it out, but truthfully, I don't know what to look forward to anymore. Most of the events for the year have been cancelled. Before everything blew up there were rumors of some of my favorite k-pop groups coming to Manila, but I don't think that'll be happening anytime soon. At this point, summer in the Philippines might as well be cancelled, since nobody's going to be allowed to go out until May or June. Even the JLPT exam in July is cancelled, which means I'll have to take the one in December. Not that that in itself is a bad thing—because honestly I lost all my drive to study once the lockdowns happened—but it feels like I hit yet another road block in life and I can't move forward. So right now, all I've been doing is drifting aimlessly from one day to another. I'm trying my best to keep myself together. It's a little harder on some days, admittedly, but I'm trying. Having 8 cats helps a lot.

I really do miss my friends though. We're planning to hold a joint birthday party for everyone since 4 out of 7 of us had/have to spend their birthdays in lockdown. So there's that, at least :)

Oof, this turned out longer than I expected! I didn't mean for this to go past a thousand words, but it ended up growing into a monster of a post, haha. If you read this until the end, thanks for sticking around ♥

What have you been up to lately? Hope everyone's keeping safe and staying healthy!