For three years, I'd wake up to a pair of brown closet doors that stood across our bed. They're covered in scratches and wouldn't close on their own. I'd sometimes secure them with a spare hair tie, yet their flaws seem to amplify each time I see it on my way out of my bedroom. No closet has ever left me as grumpy and gloomy as this. Unfortunately, our closet wasn't the only thing that made me want to tear the house down. The walls that surrounded our home were just as ugly. They're painted this ugly off-white/cream combination, they had holes, crayon markings and scraps of paper tacked to them. Sometimes I'd just enter the kids' room and wish the whole thing would magically have flat white walls a brand new closet that's spacious . . .
If something is of no value to me, I throw it out. This is my principle when tidying up the house and, well, pretty much my whole life. It sounds ruthless, but this mindset enables me to throw out trash and give things I don't use away: receipts, expired warranties, badly written books, scented stationery, etc. With the internet, I'm a freaking garbage truck with a Sunday-to-Sunday schedule. My inbox is always empty. I clean up my 1Password vaults every now and then. I remove pseudo-friends on Facebook and noisy people on Twitter every year. If you're special and valuable, you stay. You can already tell hoarding and clutter drive me nuts, and frankly there's not enough effort to get rid of all of the shit around the house. But I . . .
As soon as morning rose to January 1st, the first thing I did was to create a roadmap for goals I wanted to achieve in the next 3 month. One of these goals is to leave my current job. I was tired of the salary cut, the lack of benefits, being ignored and stuck in the weekly routine. I couldn't take the pressure and the stress of working while I was sick or when I had important errands to attend to. 👎 But before doing so, I should find a job where I knew my contributions would matter, and a company that took good care of its remote and in-office employees. By God's grace I discovered and was accepted by Kayako, a help desk platform that believed in bridging the gap between businesses and its customers through personalized and . . .
This is Diwa Daily, the second and last blog I'll ever make in my lifetime. This is a soundboard for everything and anything to do with my passions and personal stories: games, stationery, being a shitty parent but still trying to get good at it, failure, literature, and more. It's a comeback of what blogging was before—personal, intimate, unique, and shameless of the writer's voice. The Who I'm Stephanie, and it's my birthday today. 🎉 I'm the eldest of four sisters and two half-brothers. It's funny how my parents finally had sons after their split twelve years ago. I was born and raised in Bacolod city in the sugary region of the Visayas. I eventually grew tired of the toxicity of that particular society, so I moved out and . . .
I bought my first domain—stefgonzaga.com—back in 2010. It looks clean and profesh now, but it went through so many identities and changes before this look. From freelancer website to personal blog to creative writing journal, you just couldn't tell what it's meant to be anymore. Getting this domain was a HUGE thing for me though because it's my piece of space on the internet. This tiny thing became a growing excitement over building and designing basic WordPress sites. I bought domains and built sites for creative projects, an online shop, and new blogs. They expired and were deleted eventually, but I made a quick audit of all my active sites before they returned to the digital oblivion. I've been doing this audit since 2012 . . .
1 Loss. When all that’s left are the fleeting memories of tall cups of coffee and literary exchanges, an intertwining of passion and hunger for experience. That thin recalling of how your eyes glistened with pride as you displayed your autographed copy of James Tate’s poetry collection, how you managed to earn an afternoon with him. My hands fumble when writing about loss, but when have I not fallen in my attempts to write? Those pages filled with poems on themes I didn’t understand then, those lines wrought with pure angst and sexual frustration. They wither in my hands as how I withered when I read the notice: “If you would like to send flowers, we request that you please send white flowers.” Read and re-read. Read and . . .
I unearthed a letter from Stephanie of 2009. Written in blue paper and tucked among the letters I kept over the years, she asked the following questions: Did you still look back and wish that things would be different? How is life for you now? Were you able to do what you wanted to do in your life? Did I still wish that things would be different? I’ve three kids, a home, and a daily serving of time to make the most out of my life. I made mistakes. I lost so much. I’ve experienced a lot of physical and emotional pain and frustration. Countless times I’ve lost myself to the dark. But, you know what? I managed to do things that Stephanie of 2009 never would have imagined I could do then. I’m able to send two of my three kids to . . .
Deeply hung over in creativity thanks to Gumroad’s Small Product Lab course, I decided to create, build up, and launch a creative community, an initiative called Makers Club. I thought it would be a fantastic way of continuing the momentum the course had created. On a personal level, creating and fostering a community made up of writers, artists, performers, musicians, and makers has always been a dream of mine. Something I had hoped to realize at that time. Getting this creative community up and running is the easy part. I spend a few hours choosing a platform, shaping the brand, and inviting people to join. It felt right. Like a calling of some sort. I had this deep feeling this was going to turn into something . . .
I see the last day of the year as a perfect time to recognize achievements and failures before abandoning them completely come 01/01. Looking back, I announced and started many creative projects that, unfortunately, didn't make it to completion or saw the light of day. Here's a complete list: Animalia, my first poetry collection Poetry for Others 2014 Freelancer Magazine (back when I was still blogging for Filipino freelancers) Better Work Podcast (again, back when I was still serving Filipino freelancers) Catch30 Project - a habit-building and accountability project Five projects. Man does this sting real bad. But instead of moping about, I asked myself three questions: 1. Why did I fail to finish this . . .
Poetry has given so much to our culture and society that everyone should get up and read their favorite ode or sonnet aloud. At the height of my discovery, I saw an announcement on Poets.org about an online celebration called Poets-to-Poets, in which young students from grades 3-12 can write and submit poems "in response to those shared by some of the award-winning poets who serve on the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors." These are: Poet Laureate of California Juan Felipe Herrera National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Edward Hirsch NEA and Guggenheim Fellow Jane Hirshfield Lannan Foundation Fellow Naomi Shihab Nye Pulitzer Prize-nominee Ron Padgett Jackson Poetry Prize-winner Arthur Sze, and . . .