Monday, October 20, 2014

The Death of Cool Girl

Men always say that as the defining compliment: the Cool Girl. She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means that I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl. 
Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see these men—friends, coworkers, strangers—giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chilli dogs that much—no one loves chilli dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version—maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves Seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: ‘I like strong women.’ If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because ‘I like strong women’ is code for ‘I hate strong women.’) 
I waited patiently—years—for the pendulum to swing the other way, for men to start reading Jane Austen, learn how to knit, pretend to like cosmos, organize scrapbook parties, and make out with each other while we leer. And then we’d say, yeah, he’s a Cool Guy. But it never happened. Instead, women across the nation colluded in our degradation! Pretty soon Cool Girl became the standard girl. Men believed she existed—she wasn’t just a dream-girl-one-in-a-million. Every girl was supposed to be this girl, and if you weren’t, then there was something wrong with you.

 —Amy Elliott Dunne (Gone Girl, 2014)


I used to be Cool Girl.

I didn't mind being the only one making all the effort to see him so we can be together.

I totally understood that he didn't have a source of stable income. I would provide for us when I needed to.

I'd nod in agreement to every word he said. I always viewed things from his perspective so I could understand him and the way he thinks. I laughed at his jokes.

Every time I'd invite him to dinners so he can finally meet my friends, he'd get sick at the last minute. Or he'd still have work to finish. Or something just comes up.

No matter where, no matter when—I'm always there to support his career. But every time I'd ask him to come with me to one of my gigs (shoots or guestings), he'd get sick too, or would just have something else better to do.

When he likes to watch porn, I'd watch porn with him.

He wanted to watch porn while having sex, I said sure. Even if it made me feel a bit less than human as his eyes kept glued to the screen as we did.

He was insinuating a threesome, I told him I'm game for that too (although it never materialized).

Any time he's in the mood to get intimate, I'd get naked that same minute and make sure he is pleased. If I was in the mood and he's not up for it, I get called a nymphomaniac.

As much as I could, I avoided asking his help for anything.

Cool Girls are independent women who can look after themselves.

Through the course of the relationship, I only complained twice, if not thrice. I became an expert in hiding my feelings and tucking my issues under the rug. Cool Girl didn't want to be called Drama Queen, no matter how valid my complaints were.

The first was hard to take seriously (for the both of us) because I was high on shrooms (hallucinogen). The others were towards the end of our time together.

I can brag on and on and on about how cool I was.

I was that girlfriend.

The Cool Girl.

But no matter how much he may have loved and enjoyed being in a relationship with Cool Girl, truth of the matter is, I resented her.

Cool Girl always put a hand over my mouth when I had something crucial to say.

Shush. Complaining isn't a very cool thing to do. It's the opposite. You don't wanna be "uncool" now, do you?

Nobody likes a fussy girl. He's just being a guy. It's all good.

You're being too dramatic. Let it go.


You're overreacting. He probably meant it as a joke.

Suck it up. Just shut up. Now smile, and say everything is fine.

She did this for months.

I remodelled everything that made up who I am—my values, my beliefs, my perspective, my words, my behavior—to perfectly fit Cool Girl, by his definition.

To him everything was fine, but to me who had to portray the character, well, life was miserable, and I didn't know who I was anymore.

All for being the Cool Girl.

His Cool Girl.

If I'm going to be brutally honest, I can't even say it was love that made me conform.

It was lust. Just lust. Purely carnal.

It's insane how I managed to turn my back on who I was to be Cool Girl just so I could get along with a man like him.

More than how crazy this all sounds, it's petrifying if you come to think of it.

I was that enslaved to drugs and lust that I lost myself—to the point of becoming somebody I didn't know, someone I never wanted to become.

Enslavement means dissatisfaction no matter how much you get. And this strong, insatiable hunger—towards any feeling, any person, any pleasure, or anything of this world—is usually what most monsters are made of.

I created my own monster.

And not only that—I embodied it.

Thankfully, before I even got any closer to reaching Amy Elliott Dunne's first level of psycho (I think it's safe to assume she's got a lot), Jesus entered the picture and woke me up from the nightmare I forced myself into.

I could have projected all my negative feelings of anger and resentment towards the man I chose to be in relationship with...but why would I do that?

He was already who he was when I met him. It was subtly laid down from the beginning that I either accept him for what he is, or I don't. (He wouldn't mind either way.)

And so I became the ultimate compromiser—cutting corners and filling out edges—like jamming some sort of puzzle piece to perfectly match his, even if it's quite obvious that the two just don't fit.

I didn't give myself the right to attempted homicide. I didn't want to.

It was clear what I needed to do to end my misery and give myself a chance to start all over again.

Bring Cool Girl to her demise.

After all, she's the one responsible for my wretchedness.

For impulsively saying I love you back when he first said it, just so the night won't end with an awkward situation and a dented ego.

For pretending not to mind when he doesn't appreciate the little things I keep doing for his convenience.

For saying it's fine, I understand when he said he just wasn't ready to introduce me to his parents (after months of being together) yet, after his mom asked him when they could meet me.

For having my mouth kept shut when I should've been expressing in the early stages of the relationship that I honestly think the direction we were both headed to was destruction.

I blame Cool Girl. This is all on her.

I hated how pompous she was. I loathed at how excellent she got at pretending.

I had to get rid of her so I can have room to live. She had to vanish.

I've been told that the best way to kill a monster is to starve it.

By choosing Him and the life I genuinely wanted for myself, I finally put an end to Cool Girl.

I no longer wanted to be her. Or at least, his version of her. She wasn't me. It was exhausting trying to keep up with her ever-expanding web of lies and pretences.

Doing the right thing isn't always easy—sometimes it's even the hardest to bear. But I'd rather endure the consequences that followed Cool Girl's death than suffer my own.

Isn't that the worst thing that could happen to any human being? When you're merely alive, not living?

A year has gone by.

Cool Girl has resurrected.

No longer as his Cool Girl, but His.

I AM Cool Girl. And this time, I can feel how real it is. To the core of my soul. There is nothing fake about her.

I'm His Cool Girl now. 

Everything that I am working hard for, every decision I make, is geared towards fulfilling His definition of Cool Girl—God-fearing, honest, joyful, compassionate, genuine, excellent, and loves herself first so she can mirror the same love to others.

I don't have to act it out. I don't have to try so hard to be Cool Girl. All I do is fix my eyes upon Him, the One who turned my world up side down, the One who died so I can have life.
We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and He is the One who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But He accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy He could see waiting for Him. And now He is sitting at the right side of God’s throne (Hebrews 12:2).

I will always be grateful to Christ's overwhelming faithfulness. Jesus never fails to show me my worth through His eyes, specially when I need it the most. Being in a relationship with Him, being guided by Him, being loved by Him—these fulfill the deepest desires of my soul that no one can ever take away.

He makes me beautiful. He perfects my soul. He makes me the Cool Girl I've always wanted to be.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).

I'm sure a lot of other women have gone through what I've been through. Laughing at what he said when in reality you wanted to call him out for it, justifying his behavior in your head so it doesn't sting so bad, convincing yourself that everything's okay when none of it is. You're basically killing your own spirit as you continue undermining your entire worth as a woman.

You don't have to be a watered-down, insecure version of THE Legitimate Cool Girl, all for the sake of some guy you're not even sure you want to be with for the rest of your life.

Do you want to live a lie pretending to be somebody's Cool Girl?

Or do you want to live in His Truth and be transformed to His real definition of Cool Girl?

You can choose. It's never too late to decide.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

60 Signs Your Party Girl Life is Ending

Saw this post originally on elitedaily.com written by Laura Argintar, and it's too relatable not to share!

I bolded the ones I completely agree with, and edited some statements to make them my own.

Enjoy girls! We have finally graduated from the party scene, and we're on to more meaningful and fulfilling life adventures!

WOOT WOOT! B)


1. You don’t have any recently tagged Facebook pictures.

2. You feel weird when your dress is too short.

3. You only go out when there’s a birthday or special occasion… not just because it’s Friday.

4. You can no longer take a shot without a chaser.

5. You’re sick of not remembering everything.

6. Your voice is permanently raspy, and you’ve had enough calling home and your sister greeting you with, “Hey, Dad!”

7. You go to clubs and complain about how many people are there.

8. You’re tired of waiting for new credit cards in the mail.

9. You don’t consider “dancing like no one’s watching” a real form of exercise anymore.

10. You’ve succumbed to the fact that you can’t walk in heels, and this doesn’t upset you as much as you thought it would two years ago.

11. You’re productive during the weekends.

12. You’ve gone more than three months without breaking your phone.

13. You forgot how to twerk. (Psh, girlfriend. NEVAAAA!)

14. You only want to go out to places where you can wear your pajamas.

15. You are now retelling your old stories from The Archives because you have no new ones.

16. You get drunk off two drinks now! For the girl who used to wear green pants and flash everyone from five-story rooftops, whoever thought this day would come?

17. You’ve recently found this thing called “good judgment.”

18. You never coat check because you know you aren’t staying that long.

19. When people ask you if you smoke cigarettes, you say you don’t instead of “only when I’m drunk.”

20. Your clothes are ruined from being spilled on, including the ones you wear to work.

21. Your taste in music has gotten significantly better. (AKA outside of electronic super galactic martian music.)

22. You can’t afford to lose your wallet anymore.

23. The thought of waking up in a stranger’s bed doesn’t excite you anymore… it scares you.

24. There is no more room on your legs for new bruises.

25. Insurance has asked you to stop drinking.

26. You’d rather be besties with your coworkers than the bouncers.

27. You’ve recently scaled back on your eyeshadow game.

28. You say things like, “I cant go out tonight. I need to catch up on my sleep.”

29. You can’t relate to drunk anxiety anymore.

30. You no longer need a pregame to feel OK about drinking a lot. You’re perfectly comfortable checking out with a bottle of wine all by yourself.

31. You started going home and seeing your parents again. 

32. You’ve stopped living like a vampire.

33. You’re debating issues dealing with Syria, not what to wear that weekend.

34. You purchased a white couch.

35. The only man you wait around for is your delivery guy.

36. You bought your last shirt-as-a-dress ensemble from Forever 21.

37. You’d rather sleep in your own bed than someone else’s.

38. You’re insecure about your dance moves.

39. You actually care about and take notice of the price of drinks. 

40. You never go a night without removing your makeup.

41. You are wearing tights again. 

42. You actually have to go out and buy alcohol for when your friends come over. There’s no longer a constant supply in your freezer. Ditto for beer.

43. Coming home blacked out isn’t funny anymore, it’s exhausting.

44. You can’t even stay up to eat late night.

45. After years of deteriorating your brain cells and forgetting 89 percent of your nights out, you start more phrases with “When did that happen?” than “Remember when?”

46. You can’t stay up past 10pm on a school night.

47. When you go to drunk text your go-tos, they know by now not to respond. You’ve pretty much exhausted your list of booty calls.

48. Shopping for cute little party dresses has been replaced by shopping for cute tailored work pants.

49. Gold eye glitter doesn’t excite you like it used to… Sigh.

50. You don’t know the names of the new cool clubs. But you don’t actually care.

51. You’ve finally washed the hot, cess-pooly, retired alcoholic stripper stench from your hair.

52. You’ve started buying more “practical” shoes.

53. You forgot to buy red cups at the grocery store.  You actually have time to do groceries.

54. You’ve realized you won’t find someone who is “husband material” at the places you frequent.

55. When you see your drug dealer, he asks how you’ve been since the last time he saw you with your underwear tucked into your skirt holding a handle of Tito’s.  Seeing your drug dealer doesn't excite you anymore. It makes you feel awkward.

56. You’ve consecutively made it to work on-time every Friday morning.

57. Your hearing in your left ear could use some improvement from too many nights getting low near the bass.

58. You have time to do your chores.

59. You can't remember what the inside of the bar looks like.

60. You’re reading this post and thinking, “Yep, that’s me.”

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Forgiveness

"I forgive you."

Three words. Not difficult to verbalize once you've made up your mind about it, but not so easy to permanently own up to the decision.

If there's one thing I'm learning now, it's learning how to genuinely forgive, and not just for lip service. I am being taught about forgiveness in its purest form.

I've always thought that forgiving someone happens when the rage you've felt from being offended begins to calm down—when finally the dust from a chaotic and stressful situation has settled. No more haze of anger. Everything is just finally clear.

I've always assumed that once you feel that you're ready to let go of all the pain, then you can say you've forgiven, and that's the end of it. All is over, and you peacefully move on to a new chapter of your life, taking all the lessons you've learned the hard way with you to be your guiding light to the new path you've decided to embark on.

This is how I've always thought of forgiveness—that once you've acknowledged the damage that has been done and you realize that you're finally, TRULY, over it, you exit the old and start rebuilding something new.

To my surprise, life's telling me I got it all wrong.

No one really told me that every once in a while—even more times than I'd like—my brain would remind me of things I would rather forget. Memories that evoke such real and strong feelings, shaking all the nasty dust that's been already sitting quietly at the bottom of my heart, and creating a tornado of negativity and hate inside me. It's moments like those that make me question myself and the decision I've made to pardon. I thought you said you've forgiven them? What are all these resentful thoughts you're having? Why are you angry again?

What's with the bitterness?

And this is what I'm learning now.


Forgiveness is not something that happens overnight. Saying you forgive someone will not make the bad memories and the pain go away. You can forgive, but sometimes, you just cannot forget. But that doesn't give you the right to bring back the past and use it against whoever hurt you when a certain argument or situation calls for it, because true forgiveness takes commitment. Saying you forgive someone isn't some sort of sorcery that would take all the pain to magically disappear and make everything go back to normal. It's also definitely not a one time thing. It takes a lot of guts to muster courage and whole-heartedly say you forgive someone, and once you do this, you are declaring that you will no longer entertain bitter thoughts towards who hurt you by reminding yourself of your commitment to excuse their wrong doings, in your mind, heart, and soul.

Forgiveness doesn't necessarily equate to restored relationships, and honestly I think that is okay. Sometimes, people just have to enter our lives to make an impact and leave a great lesson for us to learn from. Though undoubtedly forgiving others could also mend any form of relationship and make both parties restore something that has crumbled to shambles, I think the main purpose why it is essential to forgive above all is to heal yourself. 

I have met a bunch of people who have so much unresolved issues, that a mere mention of a name can get them all riled up, not being able to control their anger that it overflows to how they speak of the person, no matter the number of years it has been since the rift. I don't want to be like that. I don't want to be the type of person who, 10 years later, is still ranting about the same people who have hurt me, who have taken advantage of what I had given in the relationship, who have exhausted my entire being.

Now that I come to think of it, I now see that the key to having genuine peace is just pressing on with the process of forgiving myself first and foremost. 

It is easy to play the blame game and throw the hate at someone else, specially if you've been hurt tremendously. But in my case and looking back at my past year, I've been given red flags to protect me from nurturing a relationship that will not bear any good fruit in my life—warning signs to keep my heart from being crushed and destroyed to pieces. But being the selfish, have-it-my-way girl that I am was, I chose to ignore and pretend to be blind from all the red flags, no matter how many were being already waved at my face.

The feelings of pain I'm talking about are all in general, from family, to friends, to colleagues, to exes. I know that nobody's perfect and people can disappoint us, but the most difficult part for me to accept was already knowing the people who can (and who will), and still choosing to leave the doors of my heart wide open for them. But slowly and surely, I'm getting there—to forgiving myself and making me whole again. The more I continue casting down regretful thoughts of matalino ka naman ah, bakit hinayaan mong mangyari 'yun?!, the more I feel my heart being healed and my soul being replenished with genuine love and acceptance for everything that I have become.

Though I must admit that it is still a very hard lesson for me to take in, I'm glad God has schooled me on this whole forgiving-others-thing quite early, being I am only 23. Instead of feeling bad about myself and lamenting my past reckless decisions, I am choosing to see all these lessons I've learned the hard way as me being ahead in the University of Life. Although my experiences have brought about consequences that I still deal with up to this day, no matter how clich├ęd this sounds, I somewhat feel stronger and wiser.

It may take me years (or even a lifetime) to fully heal and forgive every person who has wronged me—including myself—but this is something worth committing to. I will get to the point that I know deep in my soul I no longer have any ill-feelings against those who have offended me, as long as I do not give up. Someone dear to me told me that the enemy wants us to have an offended heart, and it makes sense because we all know that hurt people hurt people. But I won't let these demons get the best of me. Sure, sometimes it feels good to just simmer in our hatred towards someone, specially if we know the person deserves it, but in the end, we're still the ones being burned from our own anger, bitterness, and negativity. 

We can make excuses all we want, but truth is, an unwillingness to forgive is like chugging down poison and expecting the person who have hurt you to die. 

In life, it is essential to learn how to forgive others, because people will disappoint us, whether they know it or not, whether intentionally or unintentionally. And since our Father can forgive us from all our shortcomings, no matter how many times we hurt Him, we can do the same by His grace. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything...You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much.

And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a cocky, scared shitless kid."

(Good Will Hunting, 1997)

Friday, August 1, 2014

You Found Me


I came across this beautiful deep house track by London-based electro-gospel duo of Eikon, Dave Pilcher and Dave Hendra.

Listen.





I found You but first You found me
I know You now but first You knew me
I call Your name but first You chose me
I see King now but first You saw me

I found You but first You found me
I know You now but first You knew me
I run to You but first You ran to me 
Before I called You have answered me

Oh Sweet Savior, You bled and You died for me
Oh Sweet Savior, You bled and You died for me
You bled and You died for me
You bled and You died for me

So You can take me Home.