“To Be Human is to Discuss”

What is the meaning of discussion? It originates from the Latin verb discutere, meaning to dash into pieces. Discussion is a word we’ve been hearing since we started going to school, yet do we really know the true process of discussion?

A lot of people are suffering from different forms of stress and anxiety. I’ve read and watched a lot of books and films that focuses on these mental issues; one of the things that I’ve noticed in every book and every film is that the person suffering from these issues find it hard to discuss their issues with other people — sometimes even with their therapists.

Being someone who overthinks a lot and easily gets stressed out, I know how hard it is to speak out one’s thoughts and tell people what’s really going on inside one’s head. Personally, one of the reasons why I find it hard to speak my mind is that I don’t want to be labeled as crazy or toxic. So I resorted to just keeping myself preoccupied with other things so I wouldn’t have to be alone with my own thoughts and deal with my anxiety.

So why are we so afraid of discussions, they say? Because the problem with a lot of people is that when someone opens a topic or tries to discuss something, most often than not, the discussion ends up in a full-blown argument. It’s mentally and physically draining, sometimes it even causes more stress, that’s why some of us just choose to keep our mouths shut.

For me, another is reason is that I’m the type of person who overthinks everything, sometimes I go back to a specific conversation or argument and end up spending all afternoon thinking that I should have said this or this instead of that. So to avoid having to spend countless hours dwelling on what I should have said or done, I just let all my feelings and thoughts bottle up inside me. 

During the past couple of months spent in the safety of my home, I’ve had a lot of time to rethink things and to try and give things a different perspective, I realized that to discuss has a deeper meaning into it. It’s something that is very crucial in our daily lives — it’s something we need to learn the process of doing, because without discussion, everything is in chaos.

The Social Media Effect

A decade ago, who would have thought that social media would take over our lives the way it does today?

It’s funny how we eat Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To be honest, for me, scrolling through my social media feeds used to be some kind of break from studying or working. “Used to” because recently, social media has been causing me stress and anxiety (and I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this).

Which brings me to my next observation: I’ve seen discussions and arguments going around, saying how social media is such an evil invention. This got me thinking, “Is it really that bad?”

Personally, even though it has been causing me quite a lot of stress and anxiety, I still don’t think of social media as an “evil invention.” When social media was first introduced to us, its main purpose was to give us the opportunity to connect with relatives and friends who live quite a distance away.

What really makes social media platforms “evil” are its users — Us. As the years go by and as each social media platform improves, its users have also changes with it. In my observation, discussions turned into arguments, being friendly was confused as flirting, and sharing or posting achievements was misunderstood as boasting. So unfortunately, these changes are bad rather than good.

My point being is that no matter how many times Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter improves or changes their policies, if the users continue being as toxic as they are today, I do not see social media being a better place anytime soon.

Eureka! Moment #6: Backdrops

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Hello, blogosphere! It’s that time of the month again where I feature something that I have discovered and have totally enjoyed using from the previous month. For July, I will be talking about backdrops!

As you all know, I love taking photos of food, places, my books, and basically anything I can think of. Going into quarantine, I don’t have a lot of food and places to take pictures of. So I am left with my books for my Instagram content and it has been a struggle for me to look for an IG-worthy space in our house that fits my aesthetic. So I have been using my white pillow case as background for my photos:

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Using my pillow case was totally okay, but it’s already starting to wear out and needed cleaning, and I don’t have an alternate pillow case (or any other cloth, for that matter) to use. So I decided to look for other materials that I can use for my photos’ backgrounds and have found out about these backdrops and it totally up-ed my game in flatlay photos.

This backdrop that I found in Lazada is reversible and has two designs which are both white. I also bought an orange cloth backdrop which I also sometimes use when I get tired of the white background. I am absolutely in love with both products that I am planning on buying another color for each; I’m planning on getting a darker shade for the base backdrops and a lighter one for the cloth backdrops.

Here are some sample photos where I’ve used them:

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Amazing, right? I think there are a lot of other shops selling these kind of backdrops. You can look it up in both Lazada and Shopee so you can choose you preferred color and style.

Eureka! Moment #5: BeautyMNL

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Hey, everyone! It’s that time of the month again where I feature some of the things that I discovered in the past month that I totally loved or that made my life a bit easier. So for this month, I’ll be talking about the beauty of shopping at BeautyMNL.

Since the quarantine started, it’s been really hard to buy some of the stuff that I need, especially some of my favorite skincare products. So after a while, once couriers were allowed to operate again, I started installing applications where I can buy the products that I use and BeautyMNL is one of them. What’s great is that some of the products that they are selling are discounted!

After a month of not being able to go outside, the stocks that I have of my favorite skincare products have ran really low. Here is my latest beauty haul:

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I restocked my ultimate favorites:

  1. Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Cleansing Foam
  2. Nature Republic Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel

And bought some products that I’ve been seeing in the internet that looks so good:

  1. Mads Essentials Coffee Scrub
  2. RiRe All Kill Blackhead Remover Stick
  3. Skin Potions Watermelon Shocker

It’s my first time trying the last three products on my list and I am so in love with Mads Essential’s coffee scrub and RiRe’s All Kill Blackhead Remover Stick. The coffee scrub smells so good, like a combination of coffee and chocolate! The All-Kill Blackhead Remover Stick, on the other hand, is really effective. I’ve been using it for over three weeks now, and my blackheads are almost non-visible. As for the Watermelon Shocker, I personally think it’s pricey for its size. It smells really good, though.

Anyway, BeautyMNL offers a lot of other items, too. Like vitamins, organic food, etc. If you’re planning on purchasing from BeautyMNL any time soon, please be reminded that most of their products easily run out of stocks as a lot of people are buying from them, too. You can add the products on in your wishlist and wait for a notification that it has been restocked and make sure to check your notification regularly!

Are you familiar with the products that I’ve mentioned? How did it go for you? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Our Common Ground: Hope

It is in situations like this that we find beauty in the things that we used to take for granted — in things that were once present and constant. The irony of it all is that we, human beings, become so used to our surroundings that we tend to fail at appreciating the beauty that behold us. This pandemic is a huge reminder that we should give importance to the little things in our life because everything could be taken away from us in one fell swoop.

This situation made me realize how much I miss Makati; its streets that are usually packed with cars, the sidewalks that are filled with people rushing to work, the coffee shops that have long lines, the malls that I was so used to roam around during lunch breaks with my boyfriend and a lot more.

But amidst this pandemic, I know that there is hope. A desperate feeling within our hearts — our hearts that are eager to do something, to go places, and to start anew. An invisible contract within our souls to start living a better life because it is never too late to start over.