Dream epiphany

Mind you, this is all logic I already knew, but it seemed like my subconscious mind didn’t agree with me.

Your mistakes and flaws don’t define you. Nobody’s perfect, we are all going to screw up some time. Apologize and make a change for the better, it is that simple. Who you are doesnt have to be who you will be, people can change. Embrace your mistakes and move on.

I currently am so full of self-love and self-forgiveness that when I think about the stuff I usually hate on myself about (not achieving things, not finishing this and that, not having perfect temper etc.) I literally am unable to muster up any anger or self-loathing. I’m just like…understanding and going “all people have that”. Its a weird feeling (but good).

I also don’t care what people think about me right now. I am stronger than that. My own approval matters the most. Sorry this is all just rambles now…

But yea, yay for cathartic dreams.

Dream epiphany

OP-ED: Standing on the shoulders of giants

This post has been in my head for while, and I realized that unless I get it out, I’m never going to be at peace. So despite all the toes I’m gonna step on and flames I’ll probably get, here it is.

YG Entertainment’s new boy group iKON just debuted last week. It’s a debut that’s been two years in the make. Which also means it’s a debut with two years worth of expectation.

I’m just going to be frank here and say that it did not live up to expectations.

It was a disappointing debut.

Now, I’ll make it very clear here that I am a fan of iKON, I have been a supported since their WIN days and I think they’re a seriously talented group.

They just, for some fucking reason did not do well in their debut.

For a while I was grappling with this sense of disappointment because I couldn’t understand WHY their debut didn’t live up to expectations. I know for a fact that they’re better than this, so what the hell is going on?

However, after several news at YG Entertainment came to light, I finally have the answers that I was seeking and I’m finally able to be at peace with this debut.

I suppose I should start with why the debut was disappointing. Song wise, I’ll just let the songs slide cause I did like My Type and if they’re coming out with more songs in November, I suppose it’d make sense to have a less impactful song now and make up for it later. (But really, the whole album was a half hit and half miss for me, the title songs were good, the rest were….what the fuck was YG thinking?) The music videos weren’t bad? Except it felt like YG expanded all their budget with Airplane and My Type and couldn’t afford to produce Rhythm Ta to the same level of quality we’ve come to expect.

The biggest disappointment for me were the live performances, both their concert debut and Inkigayo performance. The songs definitely sounded nice but it wasn’t amazing. It didn’t blow my socks off. It was just lacking in some way, and after re-watching Big Bang and 2NE1’s debut performances and concert videos, I realized why.

They weren’t having fun.

A huge reason why I really loved iKON was that they had fun on stage and always gave their 200% when performing. Yet their performances on Inkigayo and at their concert, while professional wasn’t fun and lacked the same spark it used to have.

I went and looked for their guest performances at YG family concert and Big Bang concert while they were still called Team B, heck I was AT the YG family concert in Japan when they performed, they weren’t like this.

So we must ask ourselves, what happened? They were supposed to be the next Big Bang.

And that’s when I had my answer.

CEO YG himself said that we shouldn’t compare iKON to Big Bang, of course it was incredibly hypocritical of him to say this since HE was the one building iKON up to be the next Big Bang.

But hypocrisy aside, he’s right. How can we possibly expect iKON to be comparable to a group with a decade of experience on them?

It’s hard not to though, BI is like a mini GD, Bobby sounds like TOP, Jinhwan is like Tae Yang (right down to the height) AND they’re a hip-hop group. I’m definitely not the only person to think like this, hell basically everyone who’s remotely watching Kpop probably thinks the same way I do.

Imagine being a rookie singer, finally debuting and being expected to live up to Kpop’s biggest star right now.

The insane level of stress one must feel when put in that position.

We can argue that iKON has been through a shit ton of stressful situations thanks to WIN and Mix and Match, but that’s a different kind of stress. While their future was at stake, there was no expectation to live up to. They were simply expected to do their best and they did. Now though they’re expected to live up to Big Bang’s standards, to BE the next Big Bang.

We all know no one can be the next Big Bang.

Their pre-stage jitters must be like earthquakes. I don’t think performing is going to be enjoyable if one is under that sort of stress. And mind you, so far, no other group in Kpop has been expected to live up to the same impossible expectations has iKON has. You may argue that EXO had to live up to Super Junior’s name, which although in a sense is true, but no one expected them to immediately come out and be as good as Super Junior. Everyone knew that they’d be monster rookies but that they too would need time to grow into themselves.

So with that sort of stress in mind, I think iKON performed admirably. Perhaps in an ideal world they’d magically overcome this stress, but the world isn’t ideal, so honestly, we should just be amazed that they didn’t cave under all this pressure.

Quite a few fans on the web blame YG for building them up so much, causing huge disappointments….and though I’d like to jump onto this bandwagon, rationally, YG didn’t have a choice.

And here we finally touch the heart of the matter.

YG Entertainment is a business. All businesses need to make money and feed their employees. Now, as profitable as YG Entertainment is right NOW, their good fortune isn’t going to last forever. In fact, the end may well be in sight.

Unlike SM or even JYP, YG is held up by one giant and one giant only, Big Bang. 2NE1 is a close second, but both groups are currently in a precarious position right now.

Big Bang’s contract ends next year, YG doesn’t know what’s going to happen and even if they DO renew their contract, they need to perform military service soon.

2NE1 is still recovering from Park Bom’s scandal and although they are one of the best girl groups out there, statistically, boy bands are just wayy more profitable than girl bands.

Any smart company would do two things in this situation. Rake in as much cash as they can with their cash cows right now and diversify their portfolio.

And it’s happening right now. Record labels earn the most money from concerts, in fact these days, that’s the most realistic revenue model because in the digital age, album sales are just for show. That’s why YG has been sending everyone on concert tours. 2NE1, Big Bang, YG family, Winner etc. Hell even Akdong Musicians got their own concert.

The diversification is even more obvious. First he recruits non-hip hop artists like Lee Hi and Akdong Musicians, then he styles Winner as a more chic boy band. They open a fashion label. Following that he supports Tablo and Teddy to open their own labels. Now they’re doing this YG Stage thing and recruiting actors and comedians.

YG Entertainment isn’t doing this to show off how rich they are or to take over the entertainment industry, they’re doing this so that if and when Big Bang is gone, they’d have enough eggs in other baskets to cover their losses.

That being said, none of these diversifications are going to make them as much money or be as sustainable without another group to shoulder the company.

As obnoxious as it might sound, that group is going to be iKON. YG said so himself. It’s not that Winner isn’t talented, but they target a more niche market, they’re part of the diversification plan. Same with Akdong Musician. And as amazing as Lee Hi’s vocals are, she isn’t going to become the next Boa (while Boa was in her prime). Financially, not even Epik High or Psy will be able to replace Big Bang as the main bread winner for YG Entertainment.

YG’s only option is to produce the next Big Bang, or a group capable of succeeding them. That’s why he put Team B through such grueling experiences.

It’s a good plan, except perhaps he started it too late.

Big Bang’s contract ends next year. Next year is literally 2 months away.

I’m not sure if you guys remember but, Big Bang only made it big with Lie and Haru haru, that’s 7 years ago, aka 3 years after Big Bang debuted. Big Bang had TEN years to become what they are now.

iKON is expected to achieve that in the next few months. Actually, iKON HAS to achieve that in the next few months.

And YG’s going to make damn sure it happens whether or not iKON is actually ready.

They don’t have a choice.

I’m sure all your fans have felt it. iKON’s debut is currently at the standard that it is at, not because of the group itself but because of the sheer amount of production value YG has poured into them. To be blunt,they have yet to live up to the production value spent on them yet. As the saying goes, fake it till you make it, and that’s what YG is doing, he’s going to fake it until iKON makes it as the next Big Bang.

(on a side note, with 5 MVs to film, budget wise, I’m not surprised the production value of iKON’s debut music videos are lower than what we’re used to)

At this point, as a fan, I have more pity in my heart for iKON than anything else.

A fast-track route to stardom is a painful one. iKON’s just spent the past year preparing for their debut, writing songs, filming MVs, and immediately as those are done, they had to prepare for their debut concert. They had to film their inkigayo debut and then rush off to do their concert, and not a few days after that, their on a plane to USA to prepare for the second half of their album which is basically in due in 3 weeks. Which means they need to film another 2 more MVs and memorize+practice the performances for said song during that time. Then comes the end of year awards which means MORE special performances and preparations. After which, because YG really needs money and needs to rocket the band into superstar status, the boys are going to do a Japan debut (read: re-record songs in Japanese, memorize THOSE lyrics and perhaps film Japanese versions of the MV) and a concert tour immediately after that in February. Lets not forget the lovely V app and other endorsements and publicity events the company is going to have them on to maintain their status.

If I was under that much stress, I’d cry, except they’d be so fucking busy they don’t even have the god damn time to cry.

Everyone says that they’re achieving great success thanks to their company, while that’s not untrue, no one sees how standing on the shoulders of giants can be a monumental task in itself.

But you know what?

If anyone can do this, it’s them.

So yes, despite having said all that, I AM still disappointed in iKON’s debut, and that’s alright. Being a fan doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to be disappointed, in fact it’s our JOB to have expectations. We only have expectations because we believe in them. I know that iKON can do better, so until they live up to their true potential, I’m going to keep being an (understanding) critic.

OP-ED: Standing on the shoulders of giants

Ironies of happiness

Frankly, I think I’m an awesomer person now than I used to be.

I think I became a much better, healthier and happier person after I stopped trying to be who everyone else thinks I should be.

Ironic isn’t it?

Past me was admired, a more or less ‘lofty’ existence. In my very limited social circle, I was seen as one of those who will succeed in life, go to great schools, earn lots of money.

But I was so stressed and so unhappy.

Because that WASN’T me.

I don’t want success, I want achievements yes. I like challenges, yes. But stereotypical success? Being some big-shot? It doesn’t make me happy. I can be good at it, I can achieve it, but what is the whole damn point if I’m not happy.

It reminds me of when I had this revelation in the hotel room in Sydney, when I realized that all these people who have expectations of me aren’t going to be affected by whether or not I live up to these expectations. Meanwhile, I’m making myself miserable trying to live up to them. It’s one thing of living up to those expectations made me feel HAPPY. But they didn’t, I was stressed, miserable, grudging and just overall an unhealthy, pent up stressed ball.

Now that I’ve decided to fuck them all, I’m no longer admired, I probably ‘disappointed’ plenty of people. But I’m wiser, better adjusted, more stable, happier, healthier and just plain awesomer.

It really begs the question, is the validation of people worth it?

Having made all this big round, my answer is no, it’s not.

Validation is nice to have, but shouldn’t be attained at the cost of your own well-being, and definitely not at the cost of you being a shittier person.

When you die, you die alone. No one’s going to share death with you. All those emotions you feel in that moment, only you can feel them. Those feelings are going to be the ONLY thing you get to take away with you upon your death. So if you’ve spent your entire life seeking validation at the expense of yourself, then you’re going to pass away feeling nothing but regret and grudge…I honestly don’t think those two are the last things you want to take away with you when you take you last breath.

So yea, I’m don’t regret ‘downgrading’ myself in the world’s social hierarchy. It’s not easy, but I have respect from the people I care about whom actually cares about me. And that’s enough for me.

Funny how being a genuinely ‘better’ person sometimes means not living up to society’s expectation of what a ‘successful’ person should be.

Ironies of happiness

Virgo advocates

In today’s ‘Virgo advocates’ (more like the first ever virgo advocates), lets talk about PLANS!

So see, my mom and I, we both have the penchant to do A LOT of stuff, because we have a lot of ideas.

Of course, it is possible to have a FEW things on your plate, but not a gazillion.

However, to be able to do more than ONE thing at a time, you will need a plan.

I’ve been dissuading my mom from pursuing too many avenues because she’s has a problem following plans.

So it’s not that you can’t have multiple things going on at a time, you  can, but you need a plan. Because time is a limited resource which we need to spend wisely.


Virgo advocates

Designated shrink and quick rant

Wow, two posts!

Well now that I’m no longer an emoball and Min’s sharing his romantic woes, I’ve decided to be healthy and rant.

*jumps around and wiggles a lil*

Ah yes, ranting. Therapeutic and awesome.

Ahem, so I’m kind of the designated shrink for most of the people in my life.

I have a love hate relationship with this position.

I love being able to help and being there for people. And honestly I’d be really sad and lost if people stopped coming to me (unless I have the huge ‘MHD, CANNOT DEAL, COME BACK LATER’ sign on) cause they come to me cause they trust me. And well, my centre is making people happy. So I love being able to help make them happy, especially people I care about.

What I hate though, is that timing is usually quite bad. For some strange reason, more than half the time, people, except my fellow pusheenicorn, never chooses when I’m all full of points and good and okay to come to me. Nope, they’ll choose the time where I’m least alright, least capable of being a good shrink and dump all the worst of their problems on me.

Still, I wouldn’t trade this position for the world, being the designated shrink is such an integral part of me and my identity. Like problem-solving is one of my core soul features. So, well, pros and cons with everything.

Speaking of shrinks.

So I’ve come to realize (well not come to, more like my brain just sprung the idea on me), that unlike inside out, where people have joy, sadness, disgust and fear, my aspects are my signs.

So my moon bottle is my personal shrink, always there to fish slap me and solve problems. (Also, very likely, the boss of all my aspects, since it always has its shit together and can override most freakouts…unless it thinks a freakout is necessary..then it forces me to freakout. But we’re cool). I guess you can say the moon bottle IS the wise cactus. [alignment: neutral]

Fire twins are (is?) the lifestyle guru, chibi and housewife in me. My multi-tasking skills, ability to have spammy multiple branching thoughts, general creativity and need to know where all the good places to, useful tools and shops in life etc. are all thanks to the awesome fire twins. They’re responsible for my fun and crazy corn side basically. I really like them, thanks to them I’m a jack of all trades and fun person to be around. [alignment: BRIGHT AND POSITIVE AND WHEEEE]

Of course, sun virgo holds down the fort. All my OCD, wonderful planning skills, ability and love to organize stuff and discipline are all thanks to my virgo side. It’s also the root of the perfectionist in me…and my worst critic…and okay, the worst critic of everything in life. My emo side comes from sun virgo too, but usually her expedience kicks in, or moon bottle kicks it in for her. [alignment: neutral]

My last active venus libra is the diplomat and mother hen. My default mode of keeping people happy, hosting people, taking care of people are all thanks to the venus libra. She’s also the source of ENJF-ness (or the reason why I can pass of as an E though I’m an I at heart). She’s also the expert at understanding people and all the people related stuff…[alignment: light and all things good]

BUUT to be perfectly fair and honest, the real observer and cold reading is the sky scorpion. The source of my scary, vengeful, if you is not my precious people you can die side. Sky scoprion is basically a ninja. She’s where my silent walking skills comes from. And also my great cold reading skills…tempered manipulating skills and ‘sadist’ side comes from. Oddly, she’s got this righteous fury thing going on, so yes she holds a grudge, but it’s almost always only reserved for those who deserve it. And I mean, with all the other very bright, loving, positive (okay minus one apathetic moon bottle) signs, it’s important to have one sign to sort of take no shit from anyone and stand up for them. [alignment: evil…? well more like..60% dark chocolate..or maybe 75% so..dark?]

Oh yes, I forgot virgo in mercury…I guess she and sun virgo shares all the virgoness traits I have.

So as you can see, I have no fire in me…but it’s okay, I think the sky scorpion does enough setting people up to burn forever in hell to compensate for that.

Wow the rant went on a bit longer than I expected.

So yes, to quote our recent favourite corn word: barance.

I’m an oddly balanced person

Designated shrink and quick rant

Sanity check

Hi blog!! *wave wave*

I’m just here for a sanity check, cause my logic and emotions are warring again.

And my logic wants to tell my emotions that they’re behaving NORMALLY and not that I have problems.

So here it is.

Sometimes it’s hard, when everyone around you seems to have some kind of problem or condition and you end up wondering if you’re sick too.

Sometimes it’s hard, when shit happens to you and you just feel the need to explode and be sad.

But ask yourself, honestly.

Since when was having a logical reaction to things equivalent to having problems.

I mean, really, if you paid your bills everyday, did your job well and then the next day war broke out and your house got bombed, what is normal is to be upset and freak out.

What differentiates people who have their shit together and don’t is whether or not they work through these negative emotions, let them out and then solve problems.

And you (well me) do that.

Once in a while, we need to remind ourselves that we’re NOT saints, NOT gods, we’re only human.

And as humans, no matter how much of a handle you’ve got on things, no matter how strong and put together you are, you DO get hurt, do feel upset, do get angry. That’s NORMAL. Or well, if normal is a bad word right now, that’s HUMAN.

It’s called having emotions. Last I checked they let you know if things are bad or good so you can either fix them or appreciate them. And when you can’t fix them, they help you make things feel more tolerable, because emotions romanticize things, motivate us and give us courage.

So yea, if you’re low on sleep, hungry, tired, stressed, spent the day doing nothing but giving energy, trying reign in your depression, getting hurt unintentionally, it’s very human and logical to want to let people know that it’s not okay. And that you need to be better taken care off. Because for fuck’s sake, human rights and all, you shouldn’t be abused, even if it’s unintentional. And standing up for yourself is okay. That’s what anger is for.

Fuck, I totally forgot how toxic depression was. It makes you feel like you’re wrong for feeling bad things…even when shit IS happening to you. And all the sadness and stress and hurt is COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED. In the first place, there’s no need to justify emotions.

I feel like an idiot..and also a thousand pounds lighter now.

Honesty is important, if shit is bad, admit it. It doesn’t help anyone if you’re lying to yourself that things around you are okay and that you’re the one who is being unreasonable.

Guess all I needed was just for my problems and sadness to be validated, acknowledged and accepted.

To quote a quote I don’t really like, if a flower is wilting, fix the environment, not the flower.

I’m not a flower, I’m a fucking cactus, but I’m a HEALTHY cactus. And if I’m STILL dying, then it’s DEFINITELY not me. And unless I want to become a god cactus then obviously if serious shit is going down..I’m gonna be not okay.

I guess, simply put, what I really need told is that I’m not the problem and I don’t need to be fixed.

Phew, I feel so much better saying that out loud.

*checks self once more* Yup I’m me, I know who I am, I’m good with myself.

Dealing with problems naturally uses energy and if those problems hurt you, it’s normal to be pissed off. *nods*

Yea see, I’m not really good with other people telling me what’s wrong. It helps, but honestly I don’t fucking listen because I need to do the mental exercise myself. I just need a second opinion.

…I’m weird like that. And I’m very okay with it.

*stares at self, self stares back*

Well that was a great self-therapy session!

And I don’t even have to worry about being judged by another human being.

Life is good.

Back to work!

(Self-caring reminder:)

  1. finish counselling session
  2. Finish work
  3. SLEEP
  4. Treat self to happy food etc.
  5. Yoga and omm
  6. flash through the 3 errands!

Also, no obligation to finish everything ontop except yoga..and chiro. Because hell, life can wait when you’re not well.

Mental health es muy importante.

Sanity check

All lifelines are equal

I know I should be sleeping now, I have Yoga at 7 freaking am and it’s 1.11am right now.

But I really need to get this off my chest.

I just read an article on Allkpop about how the casual comment of TOP (from Big Bang)’s instagram saved one of his fans from committing suicide.

We ridicule pop-music. It’s easy. Admittedly, most of the time they’re churned out like factory goods. Not really with much soul or anything aside for the desire to make money. Actually we ridicule a lot of ‘pop-anything’, cheesy romance novels, idols, sitcoms etc.

But like what I said during a pitch in my arts management class, it’s not about supporting a song YOU like, it’s about adding to the sea of songs in the world, so that someone out there will be able to find a song in this huge library during their time of need to keep them company through their difficult times.

Sometimes all we need is a little company, a little sympathy. And music, or any form of art, is just that. It’s like a person who understands you and what you’ve been through condensed into a piece of work that you can replay over and over again. Like all your feelings being materialized, justified and understood.

Big Bang’s Day by Day kept me company during my break-up days. I won’t say that it’s the best song on earth, but it kept me from falling apart, helped me cry when I needed to so that I won’t bottle.

How many people have cried to Love the Way you lie? Or Taylor Swift, or any cheese pop song that is overplayed on the radio?

How many people were saved, reinvigorated by Beyonce, Katy Perry, or god forbid, One Direction?

Artistically, Confessions of a Shopaholic will probably never live up to The old man and the sea.

But somewhere out there, there is a person who was saved by chick lit just as there was someone saved by classical literature.

All lifelines are equal.

Like they say, different strokes for different folks.

All lifelines are equal