Sunday, January 27, 2013

Thinking Out Loud in My Boudoir: Ladies' Excitement

Thinking Out Loud in my Boudoir is a column for some of my random thoughts that, perhaps, other ladies my age are also experiencing or thinking of—whether from same vantage point or another. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s just my own voice reverberating in my own world. I will do my best to discriminate my reason in this column, and just write spontaneously the first things and thoughts that a normal lady could think of. Just writing as I think...

To kick things off... here's my very first TOL :-)

I’m just so excited about certain things right now…and one of them is having this column, so ta-dah!

As I now immediately act upon my excitement that just sprang forth five minutes ago, I am all together amazed (and puzzled by the way) of us ladies’ “excitement” for the things we want.

When we want something, we sometimes tend to get so giddy about it, and usually we want it like NOW, have it now.

I am guilty of this crime, and sometimes even fall victim of my own crime. That’s why I am so cautious and deliberate when it comes to the more serious stuff (heck yes, this rationalization has no space in here *winks*).

But yes, it’s also fun when things get complicated and chaotic, because from there we learn and become wiser and life gets more colorful.  OR, is it just another lie we tell ourselves to assuage our guilt or the pain or for us not to see ourselves stupid?

Whatever. The ladies that we are… We sometimes just want to have fun :-)

That’s one of the privileges of being a “she”. I mean, it’s okay for us to be openly vulnerable, to fall, to commit mistakes, to cry…and just brush things aside and laugh things off or cry things away with our girlfriends.

But I guess the most important part to remember about our being passionate is that we shouldn't make ourselves overly passionate. Yes passion, excitement, zeal, desire—whatever and however you call it—they’re all good, but not when too much.

I'm in my 20s right now and there’s a big and wonderful life  ahead of me. I’m passionate about my law studies, about my dream of becoming a diplomat or working for an NGO, having a wonderful family, and the list goes on. Shoot girlfriend you also have a long list of the things you want to have and want to be.

We are excited about love, first kiss, new place to visit, new book, even first love making… but we don’t usually think of failing, betrayal, falling apart, etc; maybe because they block off our excitement, which is a very good feeling, right?

“This is what I want. I’ll get it. I want it now.”

So to get it, we sometimes think it’s better to lie or fake even just once; then another one; and another one.

But punkin, our actions have consequences… Of course, we all know that.

So whatever way it is we choose to take in order to get what we want, have fun but be responsible.

I’m not saying we do this or that. Different strokes for different folks, right? And I respect your choices. What I am just saying is we better get them with openness reflecting who we really are and with honesty about what we really want, and always always always take accountability.

So yes, girls, we want to have fun—and thrill.
And yes, ladies, we also want to have fun—and sophistication.
And yes, women, we also want to have fun—and dignity.

Oh right, our fun comes in different phases and degrees.

Just in case we stumble in excitement, just get up with some booty-tooching and flip-and-wave.

You’ll get what’s best for you…

Go girl! Don’t think like them, think like you… because there’s nothing much more liberating and empowering than to be who you really are, a lady who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to get what she wants. :-)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Death That Brings Many Good Things to Life

Truly God's unconditional love, grace, and mercy are best reflected to us through our parents :-)

Papa must be very happy in heaven celebrating his 16th year today of being a citizen up there :-)

I thank God for lending us one of His greatest creations to touch our lives, inspire us, and teach us many useful and significant lessons in life that we can use, especially when he had to leave and upgrade his citizenship and leave for heaven :-) Because of papa I strive to become an imperfect yet doing my best to become better person so when people see me they will think how good the tree that bore me...

Exactly 16 years ago, I cried so hard because I lost the man I loved most... Now, I smile peacefully and with a very grateful heart for the love and all the good things that I receive through that loss.

Like a seed that needs to die in order to make way for a beautiful fruit-bearing tree is the love and presence of papa that needed to physically go to make way for the lasting good fruits in my life, including mama's and bros'.

More than papa's inspiring love, mama's unwavering and unconditional love as a mama-and-papa-in-one for makes me feel truly blessed and truly loved :-)

So to my angel up there, happy birthday in heaven Pa!
To my wingless angel with me here, thank you very much Ma!
Truly God's unconditional love, grace, and mercy are best reflected to us through our parents :-)

(...2009 letter to the greatest man in my life. )

Monday, January 21, 2013

President Barack Obama's 2nd Inaugural Address

President Barack Obama's second inaugural address  delivered Monday, January 21, 2013, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.:

"We have always understood that when times change, so must we." ~ President Obama

Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens: 

Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution.  We affirm the promise of our democracy.  We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names.  What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” 

Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time.  For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth.  The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob.  They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed. 

For more than two hundred years, we have. 

Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free.  We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together. 

Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.

Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play. 

Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.

Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone.  Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.

But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.  For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias.  No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores.  Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people. 

This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience.  A decade of war is now ending.  An economic recovery has begun.  America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands:  youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention.   My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together. 

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.  We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class.  We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship.  We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own. 

We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time.  We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher.  But while the means will change, our purpose endures:  a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American.  That is what this moment requires.  That is what will give real meaning to our creed.  

We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity.  We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.  But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.  For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn.  We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few.  We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us.  They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great. 

We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity.  We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.  Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.  The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult.  But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it.  We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise.  That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks.  That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.  That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.

We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.  Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage.  Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. 
The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm.  But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.
We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law.  We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear.  America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation.  We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom.  And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes:  tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice. 

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth. 

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began.  For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.  Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.  Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.  Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.  Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm. 

That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American.  Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness.  Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time. 

For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay.  We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.  We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect.  We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.

My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service.  But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. 

My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride. 

They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope. 

You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course. 

You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals. 

Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright.  With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom. 

Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Photo by: Christina Steihl, Hollywood Life

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sunrise: New Day, New Life

When a dream slips out, you can always make another one, a better one. When your drive withers, you can always take a break...but never stop progressing! Or sometimes on the way to your dream you get lost... just keep moving forward, you'll find a better one. Keep on keeping on! There is joy and wisdom in waiting and working.

Rise and shine!

New year, new life, new learnings, new opportunities, and new goals are here!

The holiday has just ended... Christmas, our time for loving, giving, and reconciliation. New year, our time to start anew and set our goals for the year and years ahead.

Some of us started the year right. Others did not.

The good news is, it’s okay! Whether it was because of our own choices and actions that we started the year right or not, the important thing is we sustain our desire to become better, wiser, and live a more joyful life.

Christmas, the time for loving, and New Year, the time to change, are NOW! Every day is a day to love and to become better.

Focus on your goals! Pray for them. Write them down. Read them everyday. Act upon them.

Better than new year is NEW DAY every single day.

You can always decide to transform and elevate your life every single day.

Everyday we have to test ourselves and do something for ourselves… if not, it would be a wasted unrecyclable, unreusable day that is supposed to be a priceless resource.

If some things get in your way as early as now, don’t be disheartened. Just keep on moving forward and upward. Dedicate yourself to your goals and remember your feelings and thoughts when you decided to make them your goals.

When a dream slips out, you can always make another one, a better one. When your drive withers, you can always take a break...but never stop progressing! Or sometimes on the way to your dream you get lost... just keep moving forward, you'll find a better one. Keep on keeping on!

There is joy and wisdom in waiting and working.
Don’t be fixated on the problems, trials, roadblocks, and vampires… focus on your PURPOSE. What are your goals? Why are they your goals?

Be patient.

When things don’t always turn out the way you plan them to be, it’s alright. God is not in a hurry anyway… Besides, impatience never works. Press on!

You cannot right a wrong with another wrong (impatience). Never operate out of ego, selfishness, envy, nor impatience.

If some people, things, or circumstances beyond your control try to dishearten you or pull you down, let them do their thing but you… you keep on moving like a snowball—getting bigger and better and rolling towards your goal.

Pray for your goals. Focus on them. Always do something about them everyday—no matter how small or simple—because God wants you to be involved and part of the solution and your improvement.

Don’t be concerned on how fast you get them, focus on how good you get them and how long will you be able to sustain them once you get them.

Focus more on your journey than on your destination. It is always better to get there equipped and deserving, than get there quickly and pass out or unhappy or could not enjoy things for long.

If along the way you lose something important… move forward focusing your time, resources, and energy to the new things you may receive, learn, and get hold of.

Keep on rolling! Be patient. God has a wonderful future for you… enjoy each step every single day.

Live out your PURPOSE! If you focus on the purpose, the problems and losses become irrelevant. Aspire and achieve!

Enjoy every sunrise! Hope and give hope. Be blessed and be a blessing.

Live each day a happy life… Decide uprightly and maturely. Like a piece of clay that we mold into whatever we want, our decisions are what form our future.

Rise. Shine. Give light to others.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” ~ Isaiah 43: 18-19

PS: Joyful, meaningful, and blessed 2013! May you start the year with thanksgiving for the year that was, and with stronger faith, refreshed spirit, renewed ways, and transformed heart. More than relying on gems and charms, utilize and let shine your inner gem—loving, generous, cheerful, grateful, and faithful heart. Let prayer and faith in God be your shield and strength. Have a blessed and meaningful 2013! Pray. Work. Bless.