Studying Japanese

I have been on and off studying Japanese since college. I took actual lessons once (~2011) at Nihongo Foundation (Elem 3), but stopped attending because work was hectic back then. After that, I only picked up further knowledge from watching anime and Jdrama. I mentally matched the words and grammar structure to the subtitles I am seeing on screen. It’s not the perfect way to learn, I know, but it kept me immersed.

Fast forward to more than 10 years later, my Japanese is not significantly better than it was maybe 3 years ago. I have forgotten all of the Kanji I learned in preparation for N4 back then.  So I decided to try pushing for N4 again this July and will do my best to learn enough within the next 4 months.

If I’m really serious about Japan, I will aim to make it to N3 within this year.  I hate myself for not putting in enough effort in the past years but there’s no use regretting over what was. I just need to move forward this time around.

I’ll try to share some of my resources, some tips or even some lessons in future posts. We’ll see how it goes!


Roses are red, horses are too…

Valentines Day. The day when a clear line is drawn between people who are single and those who are taken.  Social media is infested with photos of flowers, chocolates and dinner dates. But, that’s not the only way to celebrate Valentines. While some of us have dates, some of us get drunk.

After 6 1-liter bottles of Red Horse, we were wiped. Wasted. We tortured ourselves by watching romance happen in Terrace House: Boys and Girls in the City.  And when they failed, we sighed, but deep inside we celebrated. It’s not because we’re bitter, but because we found ourselves a comrade. When Misaki and Byrnes got together though, I was happy for Misaki. One shouldn’t suffer for too long. And I wish for that kind of relationship, built on total acceptance of each other’s flaws.

Roses are red, horses are too. I don’t give a f***, so f*** you.

Anyhow, it was a fun night. By 4AM, we were having breakfast at Rufo’s (with another bucket of Red Horse), and speaking in broken Japanese.

Who says Valentines are only for couples?

Ohayou to you, Oyasumi to me

Ohayou in Japanese means Good Morning, while Oyasumi means Good Night. This is my tagline because my body clock is so messed up that I go to sleep when most people are already getting up from their beds. The word play just fits!

I wish I could do something about my body clock. I don’t want to rely on sleeping pills to get me to sleep – but I’ve tried several things like:

  • Keeping my phone away when I’m about to sleep
  • Turning off all of the lights
  • Diffusing essential oils, paired with spa music to relax my brain
  • Drinking a glass of warm milk
  • Drinking enough alcohol to put me to sleep

These worked for a while, but my body clock just resets itself eventually. This is particularly hard for me because I do work a morning shift. If my company didn’t have flexible time, I don’t know how I would manage.

Looking deeper into this, this could stem from anxiety. I’m not clinically diagnosed, but I know anxiety keeps me up at night. The moment I lie in bed, my brain revs up its engine and conjures up a million thoughts – and they’re not happy ones. I go over my frustrations – career, personal goals, failed relationships and disappointments – and panic and worry about the future.

It’s not a windmill, but a ferris wheel in my mind. Taken at SM MOA.

I have to get out of bed to stop these thoughts from making me go crazy. So I waste my time watching anime, or other people’s lives through YouTube, read a book, or do the laundry (yes, at 3 in the morning).

Maybe I should see a therapist, but I’m scared of opening up to someone. I’m the type to deal with my problems by myself. These aren’t really problems to begin with – but it does keep me up at night and affects my day.  I am hoping that doing this daily blog will help me out somehow. Having a venue to pour my thoughts into can take some of the load off my brain for a night. If this still doesn’t work, then I’ll seek professional help.

Until then, it’s Ohayou to You, and Oyasumi to Me! Time check – 3:33 AM.

Get me out of this slump

I know, I am here again, trying to start something I probably won’t finish. I have been blogging on and off (but it’s really more off than on) the past few years and I’ve only been good at the start.  

I’ve always had problems with blogging consistently and these are my major challenges:

  • I’m always tired.  I know I have enough time, but I never have enough energy to do something productive.
  • There’s too many things I want to write about. And because there’s too many of them, just thinking about it makes me want to just sleep instead.
  • Life has been boring. I wake up, go to work, come back home, watch a few anime or some YouTube videos, then go back to sleep. Repeat.

I know I have to push myself harder. If there’s nothing interesting, I’ll make an effort to try something new, or go somewhere – just find something that I can write about. I had a hard time defining the purpose of this blog so I’m making it a daily blog. This makes it easier for me to talk about anything and everything, without feeling restricted by categories.  Hopefully, this will get me out of this slump, not just with blogging, but with life in general.

Hoping for better things. Taken at Ayala Triangle Lights Show (December 2016)

This blog will also be a journey to finding what I really want to accomplish in life.  I ask myself, if someone mentions my name – what would people associate it with? What would they remember first? I want to look for that which makes me me.  I don’t want to be just an average person anymore. This will become the fuel to my dying fire!

That’s all for now! Please help get me out of this slump by leaving your comments – knowing that there are people reading this will add that pressure to keep posting daily. It’s not easy, but I’ll give it my best this time around.