How To Survive The Age of Social Media

The thing is, it can be difficult to live in this modern world if you’re not strong enough. Wherever you look, there’s something or someone to remind you that you are not good enough; that where you are in life at the moment isn’t up to par compared to your peers; that you may be losing at life because your most recent photo in social media did not get at least 300 Likes; that you must be depressed or “anti-social” just because you don’t subscribe to celebrity news and gossip; that maybe you’re a failure because twelve months have already passed and you still haven’t traveled anywhere; that perhaps you’re disgustingly impoverished because the last photo of coffee you posted on your feed was already six weeks ago and it wasn’t even from Starbucks.

There are so many trivial things that somehow contribute to our anxiety and our feelings of defeat, disappointment, and guilt within ourselves. For a lot of people, living in this social-media-driven world can be so stressful that it literally puts them in a state of panic, sometimes without them really even noticing.

The unfortunate truth is, if you’re not a vlogger, a social media influencer, a celebrity, or somebody born rich, being on social media can give more stress than inspiration or recreation.

So how does one survive “the age of social media”? This goes not only to the older generations but also to the millennials themselves. So here it is:

You survive by looking at a former college classmate’s epic photo in Mykonos and reminding yourself that as much as sipping cocktails in Greece sounds like a lot of fun, you do not absolutely need to be there;

You survive by developing an attitude of being happy for someone else’s happiness and successes instead of being envious.

You survive by inspiring yourself, instead of comparing yourself.

You survive by skipping the Messenger chat and directly calling up a friend to invite him to lunch.

You survive by taking hundreds of photographs of you and your loved ones on a trip, and having those photos printed out to be filed in an album, even if you only do this once in a while.

You survive by putting down your phone when your parents are talking to you, and actually listening to them.

You survive by taking out the headphones on a solo trip and starting conversations with other travelers.

You survive by going to a concert, or a play, or a music festival, and actually living in the moment, hearing every word spoken or sung, seeing every movement, breathing in deeply and closing your eyes when a gust of wind comes.

You survive by being on the beach to watch the sunset and, even just for a moment, actually seeing it through your eyes and not through the lenses of your phone camera.

You survive by looking at someone straight in the eyes when they are talking to you.

You survive by going for a jog or a walk and actually being present in the moment; by allowing real thoughts and raw emotions come to you while you’re on the move.

You survive by spending less time looking down, and more time looking ahead, looking up, looking sidewards, backwards; just any direction other than down.

You survive by waking up every morning literally counting your blessings, out loud; by being grateful for what it is that you have, and who it is that you are.

You survive by acknowledging that you are the only person you should be comparing yourself to; that you must constantly seek ways to be not just better, but the best version of you.

You survive by giving yourself permission to breathe through the obstacles and breathe in the victories.

Speaking of victories, there are many tiny victories within your day, no matter how terribly you think your day is going — There is victory in you waking up, there is victory in you being able to taste and swallow your meal (and the mere fact that you even have a meal to taste and swallow), there is victory in you having limbs that allow you to walk and lungs that allow you to breathe. And there is victory in the fact that you are reading this right now, with your eyes, which allow you to see beautiful things, places and people.

And so you survive by reminding yourself that happiness isn’t just a destination but a journey; that success isn’t a race but a dance; that having money and fame doesn’t always equal having a good life.

You survive, quite simply, by being nothing and no one else but yourself.

That fabulous, alive, amazing self. 🍃

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Prisoner

As I was lying down on my bed, legs up against the headboard with my back flat on the mattress and my eyes glued to the ceiling, I remembered two things:

1. This position is good for my overall health. My mother told me this releases stress by immediately encouraging blood flow to my upper body and my brain. And if I have enough time or patience to stay in this position for 15 minutes or more, there’s even the chance that my anxious thoughts and negative emotions would entirely dissipate.

2. I am and have always been the only person who truly knows what it’s like to be me. From the earliest moment of consciousness one fateful day during my childhood, all the way up to this very nanosecond, I have been the only one who fully feels, thinks, and acts the way that I do. My voice is the only voice my vocal cords have ever known; my eyes are the only eyes through which I’ve ever seen; my mind is the only mind with which I’ve ever thought, analyzed, overthought; my skin is the only skin under which every single inch of me has ever existed.

And this scared me for a bit. The panic started to creep in. It’s scary to realize that I am literally stuck inside my own body, and that I have to live the rest of my life stuck with my own thoughts and emotions. Just mine and nobody else’s. Forever. I will never know what it’s truly like to be my sibling — what does he think of at night when he lies awake for hours, unable to sleep? Or my bestfriend — what does he see when he looks at himself in the mirror? Or my father — what thoughts does he have each time I talk or act a little too feminine for his liking? Or the barista at the local café across the street — how does she hear her own voice inside her head? Is it raspy? Does she think it’s way too high-pitched? Is she one of those people who hate listening to their own voices? Or Angelina Jolie — what ideas come to her while she’s sitting on the potty at 10AM?

I will never truly know. And even if they all told me the answers to those questions, those are just answers that will be processed in my head by my own brain, through my own ears, taking into account my own experiences. I would still be the me that I’ve always been, regardless of how descriptive and in-depth their answers to my questions would be.

However, as I was capping off the yoga-ish position on my bed at exactly 15 minutes, I decided that I also find this truth comforting: I am trapped inside my own self, my own physical body. And I am also stuck inside my own head, only truly knowing what it’s like to have my own thoughts, desires and understanding. I figured, if my eternal biological prison was myself, that it would be best for me to try and make it the brightest, kindest, healthiest, most decorative prison my mind, heart, and body would ever know. I figured it isn’t too bad that I am stuck as me. This way, I get to choose what and whom I let in, what and whom I let out.

Roller Coasters VS. Ferris Wheels

My Symphony: Cartwheels / The Reindeer Section

I always preferred roller coasters to Ferris wheels.

I always thought it was better to go spiraling up and down at an irrational speed than to repetitively go around on a stabilized circular motion at an intermittent pace.

I always looked to roller coasters whenever I felt like life was boring me, or whenever I felt like people were boring me. I loved the feeling of an exciting danger and hated the idea of a stagnant safety.

I remember being in Enchanted Kingdom with my brothers and my cousins back in 2011. We went on the Ferris wheel, and there was a moment where we were stranded for about nine minutes at the top. It was hell for me. I felt so nauseous, and all I really wanted to do was get off. In fact, I was so nauseous that I almost vomited. But I was stronger than that, I thought, so I just closed my eyes, took a deep breath, swallowed my puke (yep), and promised myself never to go on the Ferris wheel ever again.

A huge part of my life had been spent obsessing over living on the edge at all times. Everyone who knows me can attest to this. I was not always this “chill”. In fact, I was the exact opposite of chill and everything else that “chill” entails. I was a daredevil, a relentless adrenaline junkie who couldn’t stop craving for adventure, even when it meant I had to look for it in all the wrong places.

And so I went on the roller coasters of life. I was way up, and then I was way down, all in a literal blink of an eye. I was screaming, and I was laughing, and I was cursing so loudly. And then in like five seconds, I was back to reality. I went from being on cloud nine to robotically forcing a can of Mountain Dew and a handful of cotton candy down my throat.

It was all amazing. It was all really, really exciting. I felt so daring, and so alive, and so invincible during all those years of my life – those roller coaster years. But it all changed. Not quickly. Not at all. It was such a gradual change of heart, that made me miss that Ferris wheel. I started to miss that feeling of starting and stopping, and then starting again, very slowly. And I started to miss being at the top for a moment, from where I could see all the lights before me, and from where I could hear the faint sound of the world around me. I missed how the Ferris wheel felt more like real life. I missed how it was slow and steady, but peaceful and romantic at the same time. It was like I just slowly stopped craving for danger and one morning I just woke up and I was okay with being still.

The meaningless acquaintances and the short-lived pleasures just didn’t satisfy me anymore. My skin somehow became numb and my soul started to take over. It wanted to be the one to feel this time. It wanted what I wasn’t giving it. It wanted authenticity, and calm, and a gentle yet powerful love. And then it hit me: the pain that comes with dangerous adventures just wasn’t worth it anymore. It hit me that excitement doesn’t have to be risky, and that stability doesn’t have to mean boredom.

I look at all the relationships I’ve had in my life – those that survived and those that didn’t – and I see a great connection to my musings; I see that in this life, you have to be able to have fun with the people you surround yourself with even in the absence of a daring adventure. Because adventure is easy. This is what I’ve come to realize. It’s super easy! All the resorts, and clubs, and destinations, and music festivals, and trains, and buses, and yachts, and everything else that involves noise, and music, and booze and fun… It’s all easy. And it’s all good. It’s all great, peachy stuff that give color to life.

But age is a very linear journey, and none of us is getting any younger. So eventually, the question shifts from “What gives life color?” to “What gives life substance?”. You eventually begin to assess your life and who’s all in it, and see who can stand you when you’re hungry and sleep-deprived. You eventually take a pause and see who makes you feel like you’re on cloud nine without even leaving your house, or your room. You begin to realize who’s there just for the party, and who’s there to stay until the morning after to help you clean up the mess. And you will finally understand, that the high you get from going on roller coaster rides is absolutely nothing compared to the high you get when you simply look into someone’s eyes and feel like you could get lost in them.

XOXO,
KENN

P.S. I’m definitely gonna re-read this write-up when I’m 55 and probably laugh at how serious I was. But it will be all good. 

Today, I Turn Twenty-four

My Symphonies: Home / Day Wave

Wasting Time / Day Wave

Semi-rocking the guybun in 2016 (*Not a recent photo, thank god!).

So today, I turn twenty-four. 

I remember typing out almost the exact same words back in May 2013, when I wrote Today, I Turn Twenty. This time is different, though. When I turned 20, I felt a lot of uncertainty and discomfort towards aging. In fact, I used to be a self-proclaimed ageist. The mere thought of being a year older always made me feel nauseous and quite anxious. Every year, when I “celebrated” my birthday, I would always try to hide how upset I was with the fact that humans have to naturally age. I hated the concept of getting old.

But this year is different. For the first time, I actually feel very at peace with turning a year older. And not just that; I also feel very at peace with the fact that every year, everything and everyone else turns a year older. It is finally safe to say that I have come to terms with the way the world works – Things and people age; there’s nothing we can do about it.

I am writing today not just because it’s my birthday, but also because I want to acknowledge change. Change, who comes when it’s time for it to come. Change, who is the master of beauty and tragedy. Change, who is the initiator of bliss and chaos. And Change, who so effortlessly comes with aging.

When I think of my life from the beginning leading up to this point, I see it in chapters. And what’s great about chapters is that they tell us that apart from the end and the beginning of every book, there are tiny little ends and beginnings in between. And these little ends and little beginnings create something beautiful – something worth reading, worth telling and worth living. This has been my life:

The Childhood Years, when I first learned to take life one step at a time (literally); when I played in playgrounds and scratched my knee like every kid did; when I looked at grown-ups around me and wondered if I, one day, was also gonna be as big and as complex and as successful as they were; when life was a never-ending cycle of naps, tantrums, school, lunch boxes and Cartoon Network…

The High School Years, when I tackled so many things for the first time without much knowledge about life and the world I lived in; when I fell in love for the first time, got my heart broken for the first time, failed an exam for the first time, topped the class in something for the first time, made great friends and mortal enemies for the first time, and played in the field of teenage angst, romance, betrayal and overall drama for the first time; The High School Years was that one chapter that gave the first definite shape of my personality…

The University of the Philippines Years, which gets a special chapter due to the silent but steady impact it had on me. This chapter was when I learned that I can handle change (a major change) for the first time. I learned that simplicity doesn’t have to mean boring, and that modesty doesn’t have to mean defeat. I learned to take matters into my own hands, stand up for myself and carry on through the tough days without having to cry for help. This chapter was when I started to really genuinely appreciate sunsets, deep meaningful conversations and the importance of getting to know people outside of my shiny little bubble…

The Great Move, the chapter that tells of my move to Canada with my family. This, more than anything by far, has been the greatest teacher. This chapter was when I found myself in a world so different from where I grew up in. I learned so many things about other cultures especially when I was in Vancouver Film School. I learned so much about the sad realities of life, and how we all have a choice to bounce back from them. This was the chapter when I went through depression triggered by an unrequited love, and later on realized it was all just a lack of love for myself. I would say that without this chapter, I wouldn’t have been able to handle the next…

The Dark Ages, was a chapter that started out so magnificent, and so daring, and so adventure-filled and exciting. But I give it its chapter title due to the overall draining energy that surrounded it from the beginning, and more so towards the end. I fell in love with a guy that was ready to give me the world, but wasn’t ready to love me for who I am. I experienced physical abuse, verbal violence and worst of all, emotional manipulation. I learned that love isn’t enough – a relationship has to have friendship, compromises, acceptance and most importantly, respect. I learned that I am resilient, and that no matter what life was gonna throw my way after this chapter, I can absolutely handle it…

The Renaissance, cheesy, I know, but whoever said “There is light at the end of the tunnel” is hands down a genius. It’s true! Now I find myself in a place happier and brighter than anywhere I have ever been. I can definitely say that I am right where I am supposed to be in life right now, feeling exactly what I am supposed to be feeling at the moment, and being with the people whom I am most precisely supposed to be with at this chapter in my life. I am grateful for the genuine love I’ve found, blissful for the friends and family I have been blessed with, and ecstatic to take on the coming months and years of this journey called life…

I look at where I am today, and I realize that I should be happy about turning a year older. Turning a year older means I am still alive right now. I can still do whatever I want to do with my life, and go places, see new things, meet new people. Turning a year older means I have survived all the years before this; that I have embraced change time and time again, and that I have triumphed over obstacles and challenges that went my way.

Chapters. That word is subtly synonymous to “hope”, to “life”, to “change”. And today, I would like to celebrate turning a year older by thanking everyone in my life (literally EVERYONE, including those who are no longer a part of it in the present) for making me who and what I am today.

Because, girl, I’m slaying. ❤ ❤ ❤

The Effervescent Flair Of My Peter Pan Love Affair

My Symphony: Magic / Colbie Caillat 

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Sometimes, life gets too hectic that I forget how quickly things can change at any given moment. One minute you are so deeply in love with someone with everything that your heart could possibly give, and the next, you are broken up with that person. Your eyes are red and puffy from crying yourself to sleep three nights in a row, and all you really want to do is disappear for a solid month or so just to give yourself ample amount of time to heal.

But when it gets really interesting is not in the beginning nor the end. Just like with all of this world’s greatest stories, the juiciest part is in the details – in the middle of everything. When it gets really amazing and worthwhile is in the little moments that make up this large, exhilarating mental collage of love, life and everything in between.

I am at the point in my life where I am no longer a kid, but also very far from being an adult. I am in this blank emotional space that puts me in a tight spot between wanting to settle down with someone, and wanting to explore the world around me. Given my restlessness, my occasional histrionic antics and my constant indecision, being in this space hasn’t been easy. I have to admit I have always felt like I am on the edge of a precipice, just letting the wind cradle me back and forth, waiting for life to happen.

And then, out of nowhere, I find myself in a completely different place. Quite magical, very surreal, somehow scary but nonetheless invigorating. What do I mean by this? Well, you know that feeling when you were a kid and your parents brought you to the candy store? That has been me lately. I feel like a little kid in a candy store just completely overjoyed upon the sight and the scent of sweet treats right in front of me.

In this case, though (partly because I am 23, and partly because I have outgrown candies), my source of joy has been a boy – a boy who has gotten me on a sugar rush that never ends, inside a candy store that sells no candies.

I honestly never thought that love could be this simple. I guess maybe that’s why young love is so special. Unlike mature love (a.k.a. the rational type of love), young love is straightforward. It is fearless, it is bold, and it is so many kinds of wrong in all the right ways. And if it were up to me, I would continue giving my heart to people as if I had never gotten my heart broken before.

With you, I feel like my young self again. You make me fall without fearing getting hurt in the process (because it is inevitable, anyways). You make me want to take miscalculated risks, because we know those are the only risks we’re not going to regret having had taken by the time we get older.

Instead of settling down with you, I want to take it off with you. I want to go places, see other cultures, learn languages and embrace every single living thing a little tighter than I already do. You inspire me to grow, but not necessarily grow up. And it’s a good thing. It means that you keep me centered, but just enough so the tip of my toes can still reach out to the sides and feel the edges. You make me fearless, and you ground me just enough so I can eventually be catapulted into action.

Whenever you kiss me, I do not feel owned; I just feel loved. I do not think about the logical side to kissing whenever our lips meet. In fact, whenever our lips meet, I do not think at all. I do not have to worry about the next move, or how I am going to slide my lower lip and press it against the tip of your chin after I bite your tongue casually. I just let go.

Even hugging you is playful in the most romantic way. The second our bodies meet, I melt into yours and you melt into mine. There is nothing complicated about it. Just two bodies with like-minded souls coming in contact. I think it’s beautiful.

When we talk, we do not have to compete or make the effort to sound smarter than the other, because being smart or not is not the point. Conversations in this young love are filled with ideas, unfiltered thoughts and realities, and the sheer pleasure of learning more about each other, one verbal paragraph at a time.

At night, when I go to bed, I feel like I am sleeping right next to my bestfriend. There is no heavy emotional stuff to discuss before bedtime, so we talk aimlessly and then we laugh. And then we laugh a little more until we find our eyelids getting heavier with exhaustion. And then we fall into slumber. That simple.

I hear your name and butterflies fill my stomach. I see you and I instantly become giddy. It is love we have, but it never has to be overly complex and dramatic. It is love, but I still have a crush on you. It is love, but you still somehow make me speechless and occasionally stumble on my words. It is love, but you give me momentary speech impediments.

We are young, and what we have is definitely young love. And I like that.

I like that our normal is other people’s crazy. I like that we have allowed ourselves to fall for each other without thinking of any consequences. I like that we get to be lovers and friends at the same time and build each other up without even trying. And I like that, even just for now, I get to spend my life with someone so alive, so pure, so amazing. Someone who definitely makes any ride worthwhile.

We are young, and we have so much more to learn. But, boy, I have decided. You are one of the rare ones. And I am keeping you in my life forever, no matter where this zigzagging road called life will take us.

Afterall, little boys can never be sad inside a candy store. 🙂

What It’s Like To Be Inside Looking Out

My Symphony: “Always” / Panama 

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If this was high school, I’d be the perkiest, coolest, most popular kid to ever grace the corridors and hallways of my Alma Mater.

But nope.

This ain’t high school. This is the real world. I am 22 years old, and the only thing I am gracing isn’t the hallways of a school but the streets of this small town, as I try to look for a job that will support me and my lifestyle choices.

At this point, it is safe to say that I am not living the dream. In fact, I feel like I am living the nightmare. My very own version of nightmare. You might say that I am being a little too dramatic about this, but I am not. This is actually the bold, bulging truth. I am happy, yes. But I am not living. 

You see, my whole life, I’ve never been the type who conforms to what anyone else tells me to do. I’ve never been fond of career goals, business plans, 401K’s or the idea of spending close-to-a-decade amount of time in Med school. To state the obvious, I’ve never really been a follower of the whole “Right Path To Success” platform. That’s not to say I am a dreamless bastard, though. In fact, I have this huge dream, this glittery, flowy, almost ethereal dream that has perpetuated within me for many years. And this is the purpose of my writing here today. I need to get this one out, because when the American poet Maya Angelou said that there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”, she probably wasn’t fucking around.

So here I go…

People usually wonder what it’s like to be “in”. It’s just how it typically goes. Ever since we were  little kids, we were being unconsciously bombarded with elements and factors that contribute to the whole obsession with fitting in, with getting there, with making it. We were encouraged to excel at school, to make as many friends as we could, or to be a part of as many activities and clubs as possible. Not everyone will admit this, but once upon a time in Kindergarten World, we had wished we had the same lunchbox as our seatmate Elizabeth, or that we owned a pair of shoes that looked exactly like what our super gross rich classmate Harry Campbell wore. Sometimes, being seven and clueless, we would take an accidental glance at the neighbor’s kid named Sarah McDowell and wonder (very deliberately) why she always carried with her a cute little shiny handbag while all we had was the same old backpack that aunt Debrah bought us for our third birthday.

It was stressful.

And then we grow up thinking that it will get better, but it doesn’t. Sometimes it does, for sure. But most of the time, it actually gets worse.

We are faced with expectations (lots of them, especially when you are in your 20’s). There are college applications and then, right after you’re done with college, you are faced with career expectations. Inject throughout both those scenarios the cruelty of relationship expectations and you have yourself the perfect recipe for a 20-something’s psychological and spiritual downfall.

Unfortunately for us, we do live in a material world. Most of us don’t mind it, because most of us don’t even notice it, but it’s true: all that surrounds us (and I’m talking about people who live in the city in particular) is an insistent visual reminder of what we should be doing. Every way we turn and every sight we see, we are being reminded that if we do not accomplish this or that by the time we turn x years old, we will be deemed failures. Society and that Pumpkin Spice Latte drinking office girl sitting in the corner of Starbucks will frown at us and maybe even choke upon the sight of us.

So, yes. It is stressful, I figure. But you know what else is stressful? Wanting the exact opposite. 

My whole life, I didn’t feel like someone on the outside looking in. I’ve been the exact opposite. I’ve been  inside looking out

I have always had inside of me this incompressible yearning to be elsewhere. Just… elsewhere. Anywhere but here. Something like that.

I’ve always had in me this powerful longing to escape, to break through walls, smash through roofs and fly over mountains. It’s this sort of constant itching to go on the wildest adventure of my life, of dropping everything and just going somewhere nice. Somewhere warmer, open-er, livelier. Maybe even somewhere nobody else has been. And I don’t know what exactly this inside-looking-out personality of mine has coagulated from, but I know that this has been me for the longest time that I can remember. It’s usually more difficult for most people, but determining whether or not a life of conformity was for me has been very easy. I just had to ask myself these ten super simple questions:

  1. Do I really have to have a six-digit income, compromising my time for money?
  2. Do I really need to have a triumphant coming out as the Entrepreneur magazine’s youngest tycoon in year 2018?
  3. Do I really want whatever materialistic things everyone else has?
  4. Am I gonna die if I do not marry and have kids at 25?
  5. Will it hurt my soul so bad if I decided to buy a one-way ticket to Indonesia or Thailand instead of buying the newest iPhone and the newest Jeep?
  6. Say I decided to work as a cashier at Walmart; will that really mean I have failed as a human being because I do not sit for 8-9 hours a day behind a mahogany desk on the 36th floor of Manhattan’s busiest commercial building?
  7. Would I really be happier if I owned more? If I had more? If had earned more?
  8. Does being alive mean making ends meet and making sure I pay all my bills?
  9. Do I really have the capacity to envision myself working for a corporation for the rest of my life?
  10. And, most importantly, will I ever be ready to trade all of my time and my energy for a dream that, somewhere down the road, may turn out to be not mine but someone else’s?

And the answer to all of these questions is a big, fat, poutine-devouring, cholesterol-obsessing, obese-looking NO.

At the end of the day, I refuse to obsess over society-dictated goals because I have my own mind, my own will and my own person. I do not have to trace out the edges of my life against some carefully carved out model designed by someone else. If you come to think of it, almost everyone is on to some grand master plan for the future – go to school, get a job, pay the bills, find the man, have kids (make them go through the same cycle), be happy. It is this vicious cycle where your freedom and right to a life of your own are being taken away from you without you even knowing it.

There has got to be something bigger than just schooling, or working, or buying a house and making money. There has got to be something more to life than just surviving, or financially thriving. Sometimes, I even ask myself the question, “Would I rather be rich and die not knowing who I really am, or would I rather be so-so (meaning roof on top of my head, food in my mouth three times a day, clean water in my stomach and a few good real friends and family), and die not only knowing who I am, but also die knowing that I have gotten to know the world that I once lived in, that I once breathed in?” 

This has been said before (a billion times) but I will say it again: life is fucking short. We are all here right now, but a time will come when we won’t be. We won’t be here anymore. Hell, even our planet Earth will one day collapse! The sun will explode and everything that we know right now will be non-existent. Where will your riches take you? How will your 13-million dollar condo unit in LA save you from feeling already dead even minutes before you actually die? Will you be laying in your death bed remembering all the hours you worked in the office? Or will you be laying there remembering the few moments in which you truly felt alive?

I personally would rather invest in actual life experiences rather than tangible materialistic possessions because at the end of the day, I have been through enough in life to realize that things are just things. Money is just money. When it comes down to it, life is meant to be lived and experienced (not owned and achieved). It is already there! Our lives, in front of us. This is it. The clock is ticking and we only get this one run to experience love, laughter, friendship and even crazy-ass adventures that will always keep us human.

There is a reason we do not have wires attached to us. We are not electric appliances or robots that were made to conform and follow a specific program. We are allowed to make our own goals, our own plans. There is so much out there to see, so many people to meet, so many highs and lows to go through, and so many oceans to swim in!

So, I guess, it really is time for me to act on this. It’s been 22 years. If I do not start working on my dreams now, when will I?

I am determined to live. 

The Most Phenomenal Fact

My Symphonies: 

  • Chandelier / Sia
  • Collapse / Vancouver Sleep Clinic
  • Flaws / Vancouver Sleep Clinic
  • Poison&Wine / The Civil Wars
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Kenn Edward Tenorio. 22 and notoriously crazy.

You know what the most phenomenal fact is? The most phenomenal fact in my life and in the world that I live in? The most phenomenal fact about everything and everyone that I have ever crossed paths with?

The most phenomenal fact, ladies and gentlemen, is that I am right now sitting here and  writing to you with the knowledge that when it comes down to it, this life is my own and that there’s no one else to be thanked or blamed. It is the knowledge that time is ticking away like a madman with every breath that I take; the knowledge that I am tiny and enormous at the same time, because of how the universe and this planet came to be billions of years ago. It is the knowledge that a day will come when none of this will really matter. Do you know how depressing and brilliantly liberating that is? To know that you can write and express your raw thoughts and articulate your raw emotions to a blank space without having to worry about the great future significance of whatever the hell it is that you are writing? Let me tell you: it’s motherfucking great.

You know how in movies the main character starts narrating his story through a voice-over while the opening credits are being flashed on the screen? That’s kind of how I feel right now. I feel like my life is on its opening credits, and here I am talking to an inanimate object so that people will later on hear what I have to say. I think it’s one part of being a writer. A lot of great writers in the history of literature didn’t get to see their work earn millions of dollars and millions of readers because they passed away before that happened. It’s depressing and also wonderful, I think. And I’m not saying that I am the next Sylvia Plath or Ernest Hemingway, I’m just saying that I am a fucking boy living in this sort of fucked-up but somehow amazing planet, and I am feeling somewhere in between alive and dying at the moment.

I am not naive, and I am not dumb. Well, sometimes I act like I am. Well, most of the time, actually. It’s actually like a form of self-entertainment for me. But I’m not naive or dumb. I know that I am often lost, and people always feel the need to put some sense into my head. You know what, let me tell you something rather explosive:

I am notoriously crazy, in the fiercest sense of the word. I am a lot of things, and people know that. For starters, I hate society. I’ve always been a nonconformist, but it’s not because I wanna stand out. In fact, the major reason why I hate society is that I know that it doesn’t exist. Society is a state of mind. It’s not like someone just woke up one day and decided he was gonna invent society and then Hello, bitches! Here I am! Yours Truly, Society xoxoxo! No. Nobody just simply got bored one morning and thought of ways to create society. Society is really all in the mind, and I am aware that as long as I hate society, I am self-injecting its existence into my life. It’s almost like acknowledging the fact that it is still somehow stronger than I am.

So in a way, going against “society” is like battling my own demons inside of me. It’s like telling that part of your thoughts that you don’t enjoy to get the hell out and go fuck itself. And I’m telling you, it’s not easy.

It’s not easy to have to walk along the streets and exchange hi’s and hello’s with people who may or may not be aware of the same things that you are aware of. I mean, I am not judging anyone. We are all different because had we all been similar to each other, the world wouldn’t be as alive and interesting as it is right now. We all make up this kaleidoscopic world, where each of us plays his or her role in the affairs of the universe. So it’s not that I want people to think the way I do, it’s simply that I wanna be heard. Sometimes. Like today.

All I’m saying is, there are so many facets to me that not a lot of people understand.

I am the friend they love to hate. Because I am so unapologetically expressive, and I am loud, and I am outgoing, and I am unpredictable, and I am hyperactive and sometimes unreasonably enthusiastic. And I do things that they take as an insult simply because we do not all share the same values and priorities. Sometimes I do things that I believe are fun but are already grave and derogatory for some people.

I am the whiny misunderstood bitch who’s lazy and erratic like hell. Because that’s just how I am. I am honestly either the best or the worst companion. I don’t do anything half-ass, and I think that I have established that. I like extremes, and I really just live in the moment. I am ill. I can be vindictive and irrational. I can be very over-the-top with anything that I do. I piss people off, and it’s usually the people I am truly close with. Because when I am really close with someone, I tend to show them all parts of me. I don’t spare them the gory details. Why should I? Do you have any idea how rare it is to find real friends nowadays? Real lovers? even understanding family members? Let me tell you, it’s effing hard. So when you know for a fact that this or that person gets you, and you feel like you’ve both connected to that point where you can share anything with them, even your deepest darkest secrets? You let loose. You let go, and then you explode. You let them watch your lava pouring and skyrocketing all over the place. I don’t know about you, but I like to think of every day as the last day I get. That’s why I love the extremes. I always try my hardest to live on the edge because really, there’s no other place I’d rather live but on the highway and the fast lanes of my own little world. People always say things like, oh my gosh I can’t wait for my bucket list to get crossed out entirely. Or Someday, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna fuck this shit and live the life that I want to live. Or Someday, my life will be great. Not today, nope. But someday, I am gonna be fucking rich/famous/significant. Someday I’m gonna change the world. Someday I am gonna meet the man of my dreams and I am gonna marry the fuck out of him. Because someday I am so gonna be in love that none of the gods can do anything about it. Someday I am gonna be happy. Someday I am gonna get a dog and walk him in the park where I can say that hey, I have a stable 9-5 job and I have a 6-digit income, so look at me being so fly at the park walking my super expensive dog along with the other stable people here. Like, one day, I am gonna be living my dream. I am gonna be an inspiration to others one day. Maybe next year, I’ll go on a trip to Rio where I can finally go crazy and be myself without being judged like I do in my tiny little hometown. Maybe next month, I can finally do this and that. And maybe, in the next decade or so, I can finally go on a hot-air balloon ride in light of my Bucket List Crossing Out Event.

Fuck.

It’s always Someday. That Someday, I tell you. Damn. It’s your worst enemy. Does anyone else out there wonder deeply about this sick obsession of people about the future?

Look at your friends. Look at your lovers. Your family. Your brothers, sisters, your batchmates in high school, in elementary, your workmates, your boss. Your community leaders. Et freaking cetera…. Everyone is so attached to this idea that someday, life will be good. The idea that someday, all of the hardwork and the sacrifices and the endless burning of the midnight oil will finally pay off. A bright motherfucking future. That’ what everyone cares about these days.

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In beauty pageants, one question that never goes out of style is this:

If there is one thing you could change about the world, what would it be and why?

I’m telling you, one day I’m gonna join the fucking Miss Universe just so I get the chance to be asked that question and I will say (and no I won’t be giving any amount of fucks about the time limit or how the crowd’s gonna react or if they shut the cameras down, coz I’m just gonna explode):

Thank you for that wonderful question, Ms. Someone Who Is Supposed to be Worldly Significant Enough For Me To Shake Out of Nervousness Because It’s Supposed to be a Big Deal. 🙂 (of course, I’ll be smiling the entire time because that’s how a Miss Universe contestant should act, right? They should always be skinny and smiling, as if representing the universe is all about that.) If there is one thing that I could change about the world, it would be the way humanity worships the future. Like honestly, that’s the only thing I would like to change about this world. I just wish we could all give less of a damn about what the eff will happen next month, next year, or 5 years later. Why is it always about the future? You always hear “Someday, I will be happy” but you never really hear someone saying “Right now, I am happy. This is great. This is amazing. I feel alive”. Tell me you hear or read that across social media sites on a daily basis and I’ll be the first bitch to axe-kick you across the face to wake you the fuck up. Because nobody says that. Nobody believes in the present anymore, when it’s technically the ONLY thing that we are certain about. Why can’t the HERE and NOW be amazing? Why does it always have to be a trip around the world  or a job promotion or money that will make you happy? And why does it always have to be SOMEDAY? I’m sick of that word, actually. Someday is the worst scammer you will ever encounter in your life. Sure, you can choose to believe so tightly in the future, but what if none of what is on your bucket list happens? What? You’re never gonna be happy then? That you’re gonna die sad and miserable because you didn’t get to do all those fancy things that you were once so sure were gonna happen? I mean seriously, ladies and gents. Look around you. You are all breathing and you all have a reason to believe that right now is the best time to live, because this is the current time that we are in. For a change, try focusing on the now. I don’t know about you, but now is lovely. Now is beautiful. Now is birds chirping, now is oceans running deep, now is breathing and caring and dancing and loving. Now is friendships that are flourishing, now is rivers rushing. Now is fireworks and parachutes and gummy bears and pugs. Someday isn’t the time. NOW is the time. Now is literally the only time that you are alive. Okay? And yes, three servings of STL for me at the backstage after this please, thankyouverymuch!

And you know what else? 

The most phenomenal fact is that I get to live these days with you even when I know that we aren’t meant to be together. Look at me. And then look at you. We are two different people with ideals sitting on the opposite ends of the spectrum.

I am happy, though. You know I always am when I am with you. It’s kind of hard to rationalize what we have because everyone knows that what we have is anything but rational. But you know what? I am fucking grateful. Being with you has taught me a great deal about myself and about love. Being with you has made me look at the tiniest of things and feel like I can still hold on to them. Being with you has proven that even air and water can make a wonderful harmony at one point… even just at one point. Remember that night I told you that this is the kind of love that can kill us? The kind of love that can bleed and maybe never heal? I meant that. I realize that in this crazy world, it is possible for two people to have a connection so strong and so real that no amount of hardcore differences and hardcore battles can make them let go so easily. When two people have a really strong bond, it takes more than just a heated argument or a Bible-thick list of differences to make them realize that they should let go. And that’s what it’s like with you…

We make hurricanes, thunders, lightnings and earthquakes, but I love that.

I love that for now, I get to kiss you good-night and see your lazy face in the mornings. I love that for now, when I look into your eyes, I still see the you I fell in love with. I love that for now, I get to hug you and smell your natural scent right down your neck. I love that I get to laugh with you, and smile with you over the stupidest things. I love that I still get to reach for your hand in the dark and feel them open up, like a flower in the dawn of Spring. And I love that for now, you are mine and I am yours, and in this little tiny world of Here and Now that I built inside my head, we are forever. I know that forever doesn’t exist in the long run, but it does exist in the present. That’s how I feel, and that’s how I have been feeling with you… Call me crazy, but I am glad I am. Because if I weren’t, I wouldn’t be here… I wouldn’t  be here breathing the same air as you. And I probably wouldn’t be the one you gave your heart to at this point in your life.

Your mouth is the mouth that says the harshest things to me, and the same mouth that kisses me.

Your eyes are the eyes that look down on me, and the same eyes that say how much I’m loved.

Your hands are the hands that brutally give me bruises, and the same hands that delicately hold mine.

Your arms are the arms that push me away, and the same arms that keep me close to your chest at night.

Your mind is the mind that doubts me, that hates me, that kills me. And the same mind that believes in me, that loves me, that thinks I’m alive.

And if that Someday will come when you think you’ve had enough of this plethora of mess that is myself, and you decide to let go, know that I truly do love you. You know how I know that? Because I’ve always known this was irrational, but it never mattered. I genuinely didn’t give a single heck about how messy, and how irrational, and how crazy this was because for once, I wanted to experience how it really is to FALL. How it really is to love someone not for the good times, but for the whole package – the good, the bad, the ugly and the brutally grotesque.

I know we do not have a tomorrow, but today is still here. And I am here while it lasts, my love.

The most phenomenal fact is that I don’t love you, but I always will…………………