ARIA’S ROOM

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This photo is from my first night in my new room. Same house, just a bigger room. I’ve settled in quite well and it took a while because I did a huge closet purge. I sized down my closet by more or less 50%. It broke my heart to let go of the archival American Apparel pieces that I valued so much but I don’t miss them because of all the space I have now.

I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that I’m serious about fashion. I used to just brush it off thinking it’s just a side thing but all my life I’ve paid so much attention to it. My love for clothes started out as a shopping addiction until I learned about the ethics and the history and how it intersects with so many things. I want to share this love with anyone who would care to listen. This love is what I want my content to manifest one day. I’ve been racking my brain lately thinking about what type of videos I want to create for my YouTube channel. When you’re a fashion youtuber, are lookbooks and favorites videos all there is? Sadly that’s become very boring to me. I want to do fashion/art/culture commentary but I’m not confident that I will be able to relay my thoughts properly. I worry about the validity of my thoughts too much.

Every day, I wake up thinking, “This is it. I’ll make a video/post today. I’ll do it,” but I never do. It’s been 5 months since my last vlog. It’s been 5 months of endless changes in my life. New job. New passion. New ideas. New room. New haircut. If I wait for my life to settle down before I post again, then I might never post again. I’ve accepted the fact that my twenties will be a period of constant changes and that the challenge is to document it as it happens rather than to wait it out.

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PS. I was interviewed by Reina Bambao for The Manila Times’ Lookbook section. You can read the article here: part 1, part 2.

PPS. I really want you to watch RIAN PHIN youtube videos!

HAMARTIA

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striped shirt from urban outfitters

I often forget that blogging means documenting and sharing what your life looks like at the moment. I fall victim to my own crippling perfectionism time and time again. It goes like this: I take photos and videos for the purpose of doing a blog post, list down so many content ideas but I never end up executing them or posting them. I sometimes mistake it as laziness, and maybe it is… but the fact is, I’m afraid of creating something I would hate. I’m afraid that my ideas would look mediocre once executed, either because of my lack of skill or because it wasn’t that great of an idea, to begin with. I delay and delay and delay until it’s too late to post. I had so many things on queue: my New York trip, my skincare journey, weight gain and weight loss, countless hauls and favorites, playlists I wanted to share, my journey to self-love and recovery, etc. I can’t count how many times I’ve started over with my blog and my youtube channel. I have four different versions of this comeback blog post that I’ve attempted to write in a span of 2 years. It seems as if I’ve been writing this forever.

That being said, I’ve been trying to put a little more structure to my workflow as of late. Purely winging it just isn’t working out for me anymore. I’m trying to find a balance between being a control freak and posting whatever I feel whenever I feel like it. One solution I came up with to combat this problem is to make smaller blog posts. Little tiny bite-sized posts every week. I don’t know when I started to police myself with the types of posts I could make. I often look to my old blog for inspiration not because my old content was great, (most of the time, I cringe and hold back the urge to delete that blog permanently…) but the consistency of posting and the way that I always found something to post about no matter how random it is, never fail to impress me. I didn’t care if the photos were pixelated, most of my photos had ugly filters on them but nothing ever stopped me from posting. I was often jealous of my past self because everything seemed to be so easy for her but when I actually look back… she was just less cautious than I am right now. I didn’t lose my talent for writing (news flash: my old writing was shit), I just have more inhibitions now. Simple things like not being able to think up a good blog title or Instagram caption would set me off and exhaust me mentally and then I’ll end up giving up on a post just like that.

I’m constantly in awe because no matter how seldom I post now, I still have loyal readers and followers on social media. I feel truly humbled whenever I receive warm messages from followers who have stayed with me through the years. I really feel as though we’ve all grown up together. Who knew that little old me would be able to inspire other people to be more confident in their bodies? Who knew that little old me would inspire people to start vlogging? Who knew that little old me would inspire people to start playing the ukulele? I am forever grateful for all the support I have received and I will never stop trying to do better. Thank you for letting me be myself, for not pressuring me to be a role model, and for sticking with me through the countless of phases I went through. Here’s to going through more phases together!

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PS: I’m working on launching a monthly newsletter!