A Letter to the Filipinos from a member of the LGBTQ+ Community

Dear fellow Filipinos, 

Welcome to 2017!  Welcome to the generation where same sex marriage has been legalized and widely accepted on nearly half of the countries around the globe. Where homosexuality has been disregarded as a mental disorder for more than three decades. Where loving a person of the same sex is considered natural rather than something to be ashamed of. 

I know that reading this may all seem cringe-worthy for some of you. I couldn’t blame you. Being raised in a predominantly Roman Catholic country, I know how homosexuality has been engraved as a sin in our minds even before we have made our first steps in this world. I am fully aware of how our parents have clearly taught us that we are either a girl or a boy, nothing in between. I wouldn’t even try to argue with you on how our local media have continuously radicalized our society on not taking the gay community seriously by simply using us, the LGBTQ+ community, as a form of ridicule rather than individuals who deserve respect.

Reading headlines in the news about celebrities who recently came out or transitioned makes me proud about how our country is finally tackling this topic that was once considered taboo. However, reading the comments underneath breaks my heart; it reminds me that our country, despite being the most Westernised country in Asia, is still somewhat stuck in the Dark Ages. People’s comments about how they find the LGBT people to be “ridiculous”, “disgusting”, “sinful” and “immoral” makes me want to go into a rage. I know that this is a free country; we have a freedom of speech. It just breaks my heart on how narrow-minded some people could be. 

Our country is fighting a war on drugs. We should also start to fight a war against bigotry.

I am not here to preach. I am not here to change your opinion or belief, either. Most of all, I am not in any position to talk about religion. But please, do me a favor and reflect on what I am about to say.

Before you make any indecent comment about another person’s sexuality, can you imagine saying that to a member of your family? What if, while you’re making fun of that person for being a TOMBOY, there’s your daughter/sister/mother by your side, contemplating on ending her life due to the fear of being rejected and ashamed? Can you ever imagine holding hands with the person you love, being scrutinized and ridiculed while walking along the street? Do you see yourself, hiding the person you love from your friends and family, possibly for the rest of your life, simply because they’re too religious to accept your relationship?  Can you ever fathom the idea of not being able to marry the person you love because the whole society thinks it is immoral and against God’s will?

Lastly… Will you ever imagine yourself giving up your own happiness so other people will be happy to see you settling down with a person of the opposite sex, which you don’t even love, which you will be spending the rest of your life with?

The next time you comment on other people’s sexuality, please put yourself in their shoes and imagine how you’ll feel if you get treated differently.

Yours Sincerely,

Binibiningclara, the 21st Century Maria Clara that is searching for her Sisa (not Ibarra).

 

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I won’t beg you to choose me. You know that  I’m not that kind of girl.

I will not run after you and insist that you leave her for me. I will not tell her to stay away from you so I can have you all to myself. I will never go down to that level, baby. I know none of us planned this all out. Neither of us wanted this to turn out this way. The past month has been a roller coaster ride of emotions for both of us. If I wasn’t a fighter, I would have given up. I would’ve surrendered and left you with her so she can finally have her happily ever after. But you know, I am not a quitter. I don’t give up easily, especially on you.

However, I must admit, no matter how strong I appear to be. Even this lioness gets frightened by the idea that you have spent seven bloody years with her… 7 bloody years. How can I ever surpass that with my 7 months of existence in your life?

Honestly,  I do get disheartened at times. She knows you better than me. She knows your flaws and quirks whereas I only know those little things that secretly melted my heart whilst you were with me. I only know those stories that we’ve shared on those late night cuddles we’ve had whilst I was secretly assessing your heart rate as I laid my head on your chest. She knows how to deal with your tantrums; she knows what will make you happy. Whereas I only know how I could tell how genuine your happiness was when we’re driving those bump cars on our first out of town trip. On how determined you were on winning over that claw machine just so you can get that stuffed toy for me. I only know the sincerity behind those random forehead kisses that you’ve given me. I only know how my hands fit yours perfectly, no matter how small they appear to be, whenever I reach for you each time I get lost in the crowded streets. I only know how you secretly catch a glimpse of me whenever you wake up after those cuddles. I love how those short glimpses are always followed by an adorable smirk. I have tried my hardest on pretending that I was fast asleep, whilst it felt as if the butterflies in my stomach were in a rage. In tagalog, we call that kilig.

Call me hopeless romantic; she knows you better than me, but I’ve seen how your soul has been genuinely happy with me. I don’t know if I should call it love, especially this soon. But no matter what it is, that should be enough reason for me to not give up on you. To not give up on us, or whatever this is that we have.

I do get frightened by the idea that I could lose you any day from now. That we could go back to being strangers anytime you wish. I am scared. Petrified is the right word, actually.  You’re like the Halley’s Comet of my life – you are an extremely rare phenomena in my lifetime. Hence, I don’t want you to slip away that easily. Perhaps, our timing isn’t right. This could be a taste of destiny’s typical mockery. Whatever this is, be rest assured that I am not giving up.

I don’t care how difficult this gets. I won’t go anywhere. As long as I know that you still want me. As long as I can see how truly happy you are whilst I am around. I will stay. Just give me one simple favour, for whichever decision you make, please follow your heart… Follow your happiness. I don’t really care whether you choose me, or her. As long as you’re happy, even if that doesn’t include me, I will always respect and support your decision, baby.

For the meantime, I am still looking forward to spending endless adventures with you. We’ll jump and conquer the clouds whenever you are ready.

Space

Dear You,

 

I know you hate it whenever I use this phrase, but still, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for becoming a nuisance lately.

For demanding too much of your time

and attention that

I may have already come off as too clingy and needy.

 

I’m sorry.

 

I know this ain’t like me,

even I was surprised with how I was acting lately

that I feel overwhelmed with myself already.

It’s just that

I can see you slowly lose interest in me.

Those infrequent texts

and calls

seem to be so foreign to me.

I miss how you’ve always wanted to speak with me.

 

Probably we’ve gone passed the honeymoon stage already.

It’s probably because you’re too busy.

I know you have a life to deal with

and it shouldn’t always be about me.

Perhaps, I’ve become too attached

that I need to give us both some space to breathe.

 

I’m sorry.

 

It’s just that the thought of losing you scares the hell out of me.

I’ve seen this scenario a thousand of times before.

I’ve watched people leave

while I didn’t do anything.

I don’t want that to happen again

Not with you

and me.

Hence why I have been grasping so tightly

that I may have smothered you too much

and you may have been suffocated by me.

 

I’m sorry.

 

Here I am,

spontaneously not letting my presence be felt…

Not because I don’t love you anymore,

Not because I’m tired,

Not because I’ve found someone else.

 

We both know that ain’t happening,

those words ain’t in my vocabulary.

 

I just thought we both needed this space.

Space.

For us to breathe.

Space for you to hopefully miss me,

to prioritise and sort out everything you need.

Space

to spare myself some respect and dignity.

So I can clearly differentiate between

what  I want

and what  I deserve.

 

Yours truly,

 

Your baby.

An Open Letter to the Person who Loves Me Next

I don’t know if we have already met. Perhaps our paths have crossed, but we’ve taken each other for granted and I’ve let you go. Maybe we’ve already known each other for quite a while and we’re still in the process of writing our own love story. Probably, I’m not going to meet you until I’m thirty. There’s a lot of uncertainties on how this will unfold. Hence, I’m writing you this letter right now, to warn you on what you are about to sign up for.

As cliche as it sounds, I am not the easiest person to love. I have had my heart broken for countless times that I have eventually lost touch of that romantic side of me. I won’t always surprise you with grandiose presents, flowers, chocolates or sticky notes everytime we meet. Not because I don’t love you; it’s because I’m saving those little things for random special moments. For moments that will be too difficult to forget. I am not really the gift-giving type of person. I value adventures, memories, and stories. So I will constantly ask you to go to places with me. I will take you to museums, art galleries, beaches, food markets… I will take you to places you have never been. I’d rather spend time with you than spend thousands of pounds on a single gift which can easily be lost and forgotten. Witnessing people fight to buy more time for their life has taught me this. Because if, hopefully, you grow old with me, I don’t want you to remember that expensive watch that I gave. Instead, I want you to remember that day where we walked and watched the sunset by the beach.

I am not initially that cuddly. I value my personal space. If you’re reading this while we’re still dating, it will take a while for me to initiate those hugs and kisses; to reach out for your hand while we’re in public. Please don’t get it the wrong way. It’s just that I get attached too easily in the past and I don’t wanna scare you off for getting so clingy this soon. I will not bombard you with loads of text messages especially when it’s been a while since you last texted me. In order to divert my attention, I will be trying to keep myself busy. However, I will admit that I will be checking my phone in between, just to see if you’ve already remembered me. But I will not be a drama queen. I hate dramas in relationships. So I will just silently wonder if you’ve already forgotten me. So please, reassure me. I need to be reminded that you’re still there. Being ghosted for so many times have done this to me. You can never imagine how my heart melts whenever you tell me that you miss me.

I occasionally have trust issues. Having been cheated on a gazillion time, I learned to raise my guard up, so high, that only the strong and brave will be allowed to cross. Sometimes I overthink and wonder if you have any bitches on the side. I will secretly stalk your accounts and will make a mental note of all the girls that could possibly be on the “side bitch list”. Then I will investigate intensively. You see. I’m the jealous type, but you will not notice this unless I drop some hints.  I won’t ask questions like: “Who the fuck is this bitch?”. I will conduct this investigation neatly and discretely. Then I will stop… I will realise my worth and will stop comparing myself to every single woman on that list. I am territorial. But I won’t beg you to stop flirting with those hoes. I know what I deserve, and you should know how I deserve to be loved and treated.

I don’t say the L-word too soon. In fact, it takes forever for me to say that word. It’s not because I have commitment issues. I know what I want. But because I have used that word frequently and improperly in the past, I have become so cautious on using it now. So, please be careful on using that word too. I may appear sceptical about love at times. But once you’ve spoken of that word-that-should-not-be-named, I’ll latch on to that for a long time. Don’t use that word unless you’re genuine. I don’t like wasting my time.

In contrary, I also don’t jump on relationships that quickly. I like taking things slowly. I don’t wanna hear how you’re going to love me for who I am or how you will never hurt me. I have heard that shit before, thousands of variations of it actually. I wanna know you better. Tell me about your secrets, your flaws, your problems. I wanna hear random stories about your childhood and your past. In that way, I will see the real you. I wanna hear your jokes, no matter how corny they get. In that way, I can justify if you’re worth the risk. Let’s be casual. Laugh with me. Drive me wild. Then that relationship stuff will come naturally.

There are times where I prefer to be alone. I am an introvert. I tend to crave for that alone time. Since I’ve been dealing with people at work every day, I get tired of talking easily. So please don’t misinterpret my silence. It’s not that I don’t wanna talk to you, I just need to recharge so I can be sane enough to deal with humanity. By the way, you must have learned, I have a passion for chocolates, spicy foods, ube and hot drinks. Give me either one of these while I am silent and you will melt my heart, secretly.

Second chances are not my cup of tea. I have given so many chances to my previous lovers that I have lost my faith in giving another shot. You make your own choices, we’re both adults, so you should know the difference between right and wrong. However, there’s also exceptions to the rule. If I happen to give you a second chance, then you should feel privileged enough. That means I have felt or seen something special about you. Please don’t screw it up again. Prove me that you’re worth it because this second chance could be the last. Treat me right or you will lose me.

All of these seem to be a lot to take in. I hope I have not scared you off (yet?). The fact that you’re still reading this until this point sounds reassuring, right? As I’ve said, I am not easy to love. But if you ever manage to put up with all those that I have mentioned above, I promise you, I will make it all worth it. I am not going to shower you with all those cheesy lines that ordinary couples say. I like to keep some mystery. But one thing is for sure, I will make you feel loved in a way that you have never felt before.

So, to you, whoever you are that is reading this. I can’t wait to go on endless adventures with you.

Road to a Sexier Me: 4 weeks

Week 4. 21/10/16. (Week 3 is missing coz I was bloody busy on that week, sorry).

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Achievements so far:

  • Lost 3 kgs.Down to 57 kg.
  • Gym: At least 2 hrs 3x a week.
  • Healthier diet: more veg and fruits. Less rice and other carbs.

Needs improvement:

  • Swimming technique.
  • Belly fat and face fat are still evident.
  • Control on coffee intake.
  • Implement more weight exercises.

I know this is a rough summary of my previous 2 weeks. Have been rushing this at midnight since I’ve realised that I haven’t updated my fitness blog.

  1. I‘ve managed to maintain my weight below 60 kgs! I have also gone down from a UK size 12 to a size 8-10! wohoo! Image result for weight loss tumblr gifWell… I know I should be aiming for more than that but this is an achievement already as I’ve weighed 60 kgs or more for 6months+ . My original aim is to go down to 50 kgs so just 7 kgs to shed off until I reach that goal!  I also need to fit into a proper size 8 in a month’s time!
  2. Gym had become my second home already. Image result for gym tumblr gifMy body had been craving for that urge to sweat all those fat out. Whenever I dont attend the gym, I find myself walking around the house as if my body’s looking for that euphoric feeling of sweating away all my problems and worries. I can still remember my very first day in the gym. I was so nervous! But now, I’ve realised that there’s nothing to worry about. Everybody’s too preoccupied with themselves anyway.
  3. I’ve finally trained myself to eat more greens and more fruits.Image result for diet tumblr gif Although I must admit, there were times where I submitted myself to sweets and cake temptations. I quickly managed to resort to my original plan of shedding all those fats.Buying more fruits than junk foods have been a great help. Whenever I feel like going for snacks, I just quickly grab one pear or apple from the table instead of reaching for a bag of chips.
  4. As I’ve mentioned on my previous blog, I’ve finally learnt how to swim! Image result for swimming tumblr gifHowever, the right technique is still a work in progress. I can get from A to B. But like what my swimming instructor told me, my technique wont save me if I suddenly found myself in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. So… Work harder Claire!
  5. Belly and face fat are still evident. Image result for belly fat  tumblr gifTherefore, I’m still not satisfied with my progress. A month already passed. It’s been so quick. I know. But that means I need to work harder. I will be starting my first full time job as  a Nurse next month. It will be stressful. I will definitely be tempted to resort back to my unhealthy lifestyle. But I won’t. I need to lose weight. I will lose more.
  6. I’m a Coffeeholic. Image result for coffee tumblr gifI can drink 3-4 cups of coffee each day without any problems. I have already managed to introduce Green Tea to my hot beverage addiction.  However, whenever I get a taste of the good ol’ Coffee… I tend to choose it more often until I go back to my Coffeeholic self. If you read the labels… A Grande Caffe Latte in Starbucks contains roughly 400  Calories. That’s already worth a whole meal with drinks and a fruit if you translate in into a healthier lifestyle.In other words, I need to avoid Coffee.
  7. So my personal trainer introduced me to weight and abs exercises last week.Image result for gym tumblr gif I have enjoyed it a lot but it’s way harder than cardio. But since I like challenging myself… I need to add this to my daily exercise routine. I’ve got 2 dumbbells at home. Will consider doing arm exercises while prepping for work and abs exercises before I go to sleep. Will tell you more about my progress next week.

 

So yeah… I know this is slightly more boring than my previous blogs. I just need to update myself about my current fitness progress. What I’ve learnt from these past 2 weeks is that it’s easy to fall out from the fitness routine once you’ve seen you’re making progress. Don’t fall into that trap like what I’ve done last weekend. Instead…. Focus on that goal! You want to be fit right? You dont wanna hear more fat jokes from your titos and titas right? You just want to be more satisfied with the person you see in the mirror every morning right? So stick on to that plan and keep on striving to reach that goal! I know I can do it. I will. Image result for gym tumblr gif

A Letter for my 13 Year-old Self

Dear 13 year-old Me,

Hey! It’s your 23 year-old self! It’s 2016 from where I am. I’ve got so much to tell you, so you better get yourself a seat and a cup of iced coffee since we have a lot  to talk about.

SPOILER ALERT!!! Guess what! While I’m writing this letter, you’ve just recently finished your Nursing Degree at a University in London, England. I know you’ve never imagined this happening since mom is just about to fly to London next month. In fact, you never wanted to go abroad and you’ve always hated the thought of being a Nurse.

Listen, lots of things will happen after she departs, Claire. I’m not gonna spoil everything for you since that will ruin everyone’s individual timeline, but I want you to listen to some words of wisdom that will hopefully get you to where I am (and you will be) right now.

  1. Relationships fall apart, that’s inevitable.  Sooner or later, you will realise what I mean about this. Couples will break up. You will experience multiple heartbreaks. In fact, by the time you get to my age, you’ll probably lose faith on that most overused word called L-O-V-E. You can’t stop people from separating ways, no matter how hard you try. So don’t act like Supermam trying to fix everything on your own. It’ll all depend on those two people involved if they still wanna reconcile to work it all out. 
  2. Never force yourself to become someone you are not. Yup, you know what I’m thinking, right? Show your true colours, mate. I know you just don’t wanna have gossips spreading around the neighbourhood about your sexuality. But the longer you keep it to yourself, the longer you’re stopping yourself from being happy! Just tell her you have a massive crush on her, Claire! Man up!
  3. Play with your brothers more often. I’m not saying that I regret not doing this a lot when I was your age. It’s just that, I know you will get too busy dealing with your own conflicts in life. That’s just normal. But don’t forget to chill out and play like normal teenagers do. Stop being so serious. Your brothers won’t be that playful and cuddly after 10 years. You’ll always see them as your baby bros but they won’t stay cute and cheerful throughout their whole life. Make the most of the time playing with them while you can. You’ll miss it a lot, I swear.
  4. Respect your parents but learn to speak up when you think you have a point to make. I know you were raised as an obedient and warm-hearted little girl. But you will come to a point in your life where you have to learn to speak up and justify your own opinion. You will grow into an adult, with possible opposing individual beliefs. That is just normal. You need to give yourself a pat in the back as that means you’re becoming mature! You just need to have the courage to voice it out. Otherwise, you’ll be fighting thousands of battles inside your head. Which leads me to my 5th advice…
  5. Stay strong. No matter what happens, just stay strong and aim to become stronger as the years go by. You’ll be facing thousands of hardships, obstacles and challenges beyond the depth of your imagination. But don’t be disheartened. You’ll be crying buckets of tears and you’ll be conquering your greatest fears. Yet, you’ll come out stronger, Claire. I can assure you. Just stay strong and you’ll be fine.
  6. Crying is not a sign of weakness. I know you too well. You will do your best not to shed a drop of tear. You’ll keep your problems to yourself for as long as you can since you think that will make you look braver and stronger. But no… Take my advice. Cry whenever you want. Whether it be before mom departs towards England or when your pet dog dies. Just cry. It’ll be good for you mental health. You’ll be thanking me eventually.
  7. Learn how to manage your finances effectively. I’m telling you this since you’ll be starting to work at an early age. It’s not because mom and dad asked you. It’s because of your ego trying to prove them that you can start adult-ing already. You’ll be struggling with finances, like how normal people do. But if you start to learn how to manage your money at an early stage, you won’t be struggling too hard.
  8. Write your goals. No matter how big or small they are. Doesn’t matter whether  they are short term or for the long run. Just write them down. Otherwise, they will stay as dreams and you will eventually forget them.
  9. Don’t love too hard. Learn to love yourself first. This might surprise you, but you’ll go through dozens of relationships until you get to my age. Some will be serious while some will just be flings. Some will be with boys while some will be with girls. One thing is for sure, you’ll get your heart broken for multiple times. Yet you’ll still continue on fighting and finding your person. You’ll give more than what you can give. Hence why nothing’s left when they leave. Listen, Claire. Know your worth first before you value other people. Otherwise, we’ll just be running through a vicious cycle of chasing love and happiness.
  10. Lastly… You won’t figure everything out by now, and that is okay. You had high hopes when you’re 12 about you having everything figured out by 23. You thought you’ll have a settled job, you’ve moved out and already have a stable relationship. You thought you’ll just be travelling and enjoying your life by now. I hate to break it out but you won’t be. Instead, you’ll be sitting on your parents’ couch in the middle of the night, writing this blog using a touch screen phone (which only seems to be possible from a Science Fiction at 2006). Wondering what the heck you’ve been doing with your life. Currently waiting for your nursing job as the HR department is taking so much time to process your recruitment. Still thinking if you still wanna be a nurse.

You’ll be somewhat messed up at this age, 13-year old Claire. You’ll be messed up, but that is okay! That means you have to find yourself again. You have to solve little puzzles and problems again. It’s like going back to our 1 year-old self where we learnt how to walk. Instead, right now, you’ll be learning how to stand up and walk with your chin up, while striding across the reality of life. You’ll be lost. You’ll be heartless yet madly inlove from a distance. You’ll be broke. You’ll seem emotionless yet you’re literally crying yourself out inside. You’ll be fucked up when you get to my age, 13 year-old self. But that is alright. You’ve got 10 years to build yourself. Make those 10 years worthwhile so I can work my way towards our successful 33 year-old self.

I’m counting on you.
Lots of love,

23 year-old You

Week 2: Road to a better version of me

Week 2.

Weight: 59 kg. 1 kg lost since day 1.

Can’t believe I survived 2 weeks of working hard to live a healthy lifestyle. It seemed impossible in the beginning, but hey, nothing’s impossible, right? Thanks to my personal trainer/swimming instructor @griintravellah for pushing me to my limits and nagging me when I make millions of excuses. I know I can be very hard headed at times but thanks for not giving up on me. 🙂

So… Shall we discuss my current progress?

  1. I’ve finally learnt how to swim!!!!!! Image result for swimming gif tumblrWell… sort off. I don’t wanna brag about it as I’m still not a pro but at least I can somehow transport myself from A to B without drowning. I still need to work on doing everything coordinately but I have now conquered my fear of drowning. I must admit, it has been tough. Getting used to the water took some time as I’ve always been scared of drowning myself to death. But slowly, I managed to overcome that. Learning the right swimming technique is still a challenge for me though. There were times where I had been so close to tears while practicing my strokes. Luckily, tears are not noticeable when you’re soaking wet in the pool, lol.
  2. Jogging has become more of a habit than a chore.Image result for jogging gif tumblr So on the days where I don’t get the time to go to the gym (e.g. I have work), I pushed myself to go for a jog around the park near our house. I’ve structured a few tricks to motivate myself to come out of my cage and run. Firstly, I go out at the same time every day. I have afternoon shifts which start at 2PM. In order for me to complete an hr and a half jog, I have to begin at 1030 so I have sufficient time to get ready for work. After every jog, I drop by the bookshop that is a few blocks away from my house just to refresh my mind for a bit. I’m a huge bookworm as you can see. I have also installed an app called MapMyRun which allows me to monitor my pace, the distance I’ve achieved and the calories I’ve burnt. It’s a great substitute for a treadmill especially if you’ve got a lovely weather outside. Also challenges me to run further and faster than my previous ones.
  3. Calorie counting has been part of my routine.Image result for diet gif tumblrSince eating well balanced meals is on the top of my initial goal list, I tried to find a way to make this achievable. Thankfully I’ve found this app  called My Fitnesspal App which allows me to monitor my calorie intake, exercise and water intake. Personally, it helped me a lot as it gives me the cue to slow down on my food intake. It opened my eyes on how much calories every single food contains. Made me think about budgeting my calorie intake which totally taught me how to watch what I eat. Can be very time consuming as you have to type in everything you eat and drink, but it’s worth it, trust me. Just be cautious on calorie counting though, some foods have very low calorie count but contains too much sugar/ saturated fat/ salt OR they don’t contain any nutrients at all. Let’s take Coke Zero, for instance. A 12 ounce of Coke Zero contains 0 Calories, however, when you look at the labels, it contains no nutrients apart from 40 mg of Sodium. Although this 0 calories looks good on your calorie counter,  it doesn’t do any good on your body as you don’t gain any nutrients from it. Therefore, you’re eating junk. So REMEMBER: READ THE LABEL my friend.
  4. Cardio exercises are the way to go. Image result for jogging gif tumblrLike what my personal trainer advised me, cardio exercises are the primary key to shedding all those weight. I’ve told you before that I’ve joined a gym right? So I’ve tried most of the exciting gym equipment and I have managed to use 4 vital machines.  That is, the Treadmill, the Elliptical Machine, the Rowing Machine and the Stationary Bike. Overall, I enjoy using them all. I’m still having difficulties with the elliptical and rowing machine but eventually I’ll get the gist.

This is a slightly shorter blog than the previous one. Have been writing this at the end of two 12-hr shifts, still got one left tomorrow. It’s tough balancing work and fitness goals but it’s still manageable. Dedication is vital at this point. I cant believe it’s October already. 6 more weeks til my deadline. The results are still not that noticeable. I feel lighter, but I dont really wanna point it out myself. Like what my personal trainer always say, ‘Let others point it out. They see it better than you coz you see what you wanna see.’ Anyway, need to head to bed now. Will be facing another week of working for a better version of me.

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I know I can do this. I will.