Are You A Brave Girl?

You may never have to battle the undead, but you might have to argue with a pretty scary boss, boyfriend, or brother. Do you have enough might to fight?by Sarai Walker
For the third year in a row, you've been dragged in your family's trip to Magic Kingdom. The only thing worst than standing in line for 90 minutes to ride the Pirates of Caribbean is knowing that at the same time, your boyfriend will be at his ex-girlfriend's fourth of July BBQ. You
Trust in him not to do anything foolish while you're gone. It's not like you're going to be hooking up with some guy in Fantasyland.
Send him a Polaroid of you and Goofy standing in front of the It's A Small World ride with a note that says NOTHING COMAPARES TO YOU.
Spend one miserable week in the "happiest place on earth" imagining your boyfriend's ex grilling the perfect burger.
You're at a friend's house, playing Nintendo with her brother. He's cute but you ended up beating him at Zelda three games to one. When he looks at you say
"How about a rematch?"
"You'll have to try harder than if you want to beat me."
"I'm usually not this good at video games; I guess I just got lucky."
Buster, your hand-me-down Honda, is behaving badly. Sometimes it doesn't start, and when it does, it sort of sputters down the road instead of cruising. You know this probably means
c) You should save the money you'd be spending on gas for a bus pass for the rest of the summer.
You'll have to ask your dad if you can borrow his car so that he can take yours to the mechanic.
Something is wrong with the carburetor, the fuel filter or the distributor cap.
It's another slow day at the beach (read: no guys in sight). Suddenly two well-toned vacationers from Australia came up and ask if you and your friends want to play beach volleyball. In your head, you start calculating: You plus a volleyball equals unintended hilarity. You
Jump right in—you you're no Gabrielle Reece, but those Aussies look pretty easy to beat.
Cheer your friends on from the sidelines—you don't want the boys thinking that Filipinos are uncoordinated.
Sit the first few points out, then decide to play—you're much better at the S-sports (softball and surfing), but maybe your skills will transfer.
Your brother is driving you and your cousin to the public pool when a woman in a minivan cuts him off. He honks the horn and screams, "Women drivers!" You
Unleash your own brand of road rage by telling him off and asking if he has other caveman insights he'd like to share.
Say nothing, but later that day you run through an entire list of clever comebacks.
Inform him that, actually, the most recent statistics show that male drivers account for 60.8 percent of all police reported crashes, according to the Department of Transportation.
The director of the summer theater program is no joke. She critiques your recitation of a Shakespearean monologue by saying "Well, you're certainly no Gwyneth Paltrow." Once you get over the humiliation, you
Drop theatre and sign up to intro to Macramé instead.
Get up the nerve to ask Cruella the Drama Teacher what you can do to improve.
Confront your teacher after class and explain that's it's unfair to expect Oscar caliber work from a beginner.
As you're leaving La Parfumerie in the mall, the salesman falsely accuses you of slipping a bottle of Chanel No. 5 into your bag. Mon dieu! He insists on searching your purse. You
Have nothing to hide, so you give him your purse and your shopping bag, then jot down everyone's name and title for the scathing letter you're going to write to the company that owns the store.
Demand to speak to the manager, and inform her that your mother is a lawyer (she isn't but, who cares) and when she hears about this teen discrimination…
Hand it over, no questions asked.
You've landed a summer job at Halley's Comics. For your first assignment, your boss asks you to set up a new window display that would attract more customers. You
Make a life-size, 3D Wonder Woman snatching Superman and The Hulk from the jaws of death with her magic lasso.
Come up with an X-Files comic salute, featuring agent Dana Scully kicking major alien butt.
Create a montage depicting Betty and Veronica's greatest brawls over Archie.
The most empowering thing you've done in you recent memory is
Open a stubborn jar of peanut butter that your brother couldn't—even he ran it under hot water.
Read the entire Sunday paper from news to sports to entertainment.
Get your hair to look exactly the way it did when the hairdresser styled it for prom.
Sneak in an hour past curfew, undetected.
Strike up a conversation with a guy, like the cutie who part-times at the local burger-and-fries joint.
Take a Tae-Bo class.










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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

They say time heals all wounds, but it has been ages - is heartbreak exempted?

I have forgotten when was the last time we shared a smile - the last time when I saw the glow in your eyes and the last time when you whispered an I love you to me. I have forgotten when, but here I am - writing to you again.

I do not know if you will read this or you will just add this one to my proses and poems that you left unread, but you see, I am still hoping. I am mailing the pain of us to the gods out there - hoping they can take the pain away. I should have gotten over you, but instead of forgetting and accepting our ending, I am writing about us in tissue sheets, carving about us on trees, telling about us on the back of my journals, hoping that a thousand or a million write ups about us, can make me forget about what happened.

I am writing, waiting for the point where I can no longer write anymore, for I have none to tell - but when? I have nothing in me anymore, but the memories of us - and no matter how hard I try put those to its own grave, the memories grow back like lilies in the swamp - painful and beautiful at the same time.

No matter how hard I try to silence those and put it at the back of my mind, those ring back, playing like the favorite song we used to listen. They say heartbreaks turn into poetry and that is what happening to us - but poetry should be dulcet and dreamy, why does ours sound like pain and agony? They say time heals all wounds, but it has been ages - is heartbreak exempted? Darling, I guess not.

Anne Luna A day ago
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