Friday, January 31, 2014

Auspicious times

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First of all, Happy Chinese New Year! Since I was never really able to properly celebrate the start of the Roman calendar year, let me take this chance.


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I've never been the superstitious type. But for me, things just seem to work out stubbornly. Wrong turns become major detours (I realize I can never say otherwise, after the fact) and so far, I have not regretted anything. (Explanations of feng shui experts always make perfect sense.)


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Gratefully, whatever it is that I have inside me: call it fire, spirit, or passion — seemingly unstoppable, galloping like horses — has never dimmed or lost its muscle for momentum.

I had only learned of Salad Day's Year of the Horse printed tee two todays before the actual celebration. And lo, I am sharing pictures of myself in the mirror print.


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But — and I think this comes with age, I have learned the virtue of waiting.


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Of not forcing things before their time. Of not being too hard on myself — which I am not afraid to admit, is the reason I have been so hard on others.


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There is a time for everything.


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On the rare occasion that I looked up my Chinese horoscope (I was born under the sign of the metal rooster), I have been advised that 2014, the Year of the Wooden Horse, will not be the best of years for me. But then (here I am not joking) it has been said that metal can cut through wood. But only with the utmost precision.


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During one of the many nights when I suddenly woke up and couldn't sleep for hours — I found out that my lucky colors for 2014 will be gold, yellow, and brown. That's when I found out that I had so little yellow in my wardrobe. Even gold. The browns, expectedly, were all accessories. When I brought them all out, I panicked at the state of my underused leather bags. Remember this Young Camel satchel?


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Hoodie, Izzue
Oversized tee, Salad Day
Fisherman's pants from Aldevinco, Davao
Sandals, Kickers, thrifted
Vintage watch, Omega Seamaster
Wood, gold, and stone (tiger's eye, jasper, etc) bracelets, Bosquejo


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At least the ones in canvas still looked decent. Cleaned and conditioned all the leather details.

This smaller-than-usual mailman's bag from American Eagle Outfitters should teach me to travel light, to discard whatever it is that I do not need for 2014 — and I'm not just talking about things or travel luggage, or even of general and vague 'negative vibes'.


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So now we come to new year's Resolution #1: Leave vanity behind.


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Resolution #2: Take care of yourself. 2014 should see an end to self-abuse. Part of this is listening to my own conscience, which in the end always proves right.

The reason I like leather bags is precisely because of this: not just because of texture and sheen, but of protection. This chocolate brown one by agnes b.



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Resolution #3: Keep your mouth shut. (Yes, this is one of my Achilles heels. lol. I have more than two.)

I have always known myself to be a hard worker. But many times in the past, even if I was right, there was really no point of neighing while keeping my head high. Sure, I will approach friends who need help and advise. But this year, I shall keep my opinions more to myself.


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Resolution #4: Be honest. Be genuine. I will not repeat the mantra of senseless lists that tell you to avoid certain people and certain character traits, which brings me to the nest resolution.

This bag, like my Salad Day tee, was the first product I bought from its brand, 5cm. Until now, many people think it is made of real leather, when it is only a very good actor.


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Resolution #5: Be patient. As I have said first-thing, if you can wait, if you listen and are truly attentive: everyone can teach you something.


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Aren't five simple resolutions better than 10? Actually, even these few are all connected: honesty to vanity, to patience and listening. But if I were to add a Resolution #6, it would be: Be utterly generous.

Not, as Og Mandino would tell you, just in order to sell your wares. Give when you can no longer give. The act itself, the giving, is something that forever gives back. And never because you had ulterior motives.


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Generosity will keep me from being vain and stubborn. It will make it easier for me to listen. Both to myself and to others.

Being generous (antonym: stingy and legalistic) is what allows true craftsmen to create true labors of love. Like this bag I bought long ago from Beijing. Like the poems I write in notebooks.


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I know, only 30 minutes left (as I write this) till the day ends. Tomorrow, I will weave the warp and weft of the details of my schedule.


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