Express Life, Word prompts

Moon over water | Reflecting

In response to this week’s word challenge – Reflecting.

A shot of the moon taken by my best friend of ten years who has mental illness. « Sometimes, we get caught up in the process of trying to find who we are — our purpose and value in life — that we tend to lose sight of what’s important, » she says. « But what we often forget is that our light has already been made for us long before we were even born. »

FUN FACT: There is actually a word to describe the road-like reflection of the moon on water — MANGATA — and it’s Swedish!

(c) jodiepages 2017. All Rights Reserved

Express Life, Word prompts

Morning Jog | Danger!

This week’s challenge is the unexpected thrill of danger!

During a morning jog with my younger sister, we stumbled upon this 6m pyramid tower at Kennedy Park in Castor Bay, Auckland.

Being the sports enthusiast that I am, I climbed up to the very top and took this photo.

My sister screamed, « You dangerous girl! » Poor girl, she even started to bawl her eyes out. I climbed down and continued our morning jog.

I am the danger.

(c) jodiepages 2017. All Rights Reserved

In response to The Daily Post | Danger!

Express Life, travel

Back on track with a Seoul purpose. 

Sun rising on our farm in Northland, New Zealand. 05.05.2017

After a 9-month hiatus, I can finally say that I am back on track – back to writing and writing and writing. And writing.

As you probably noticed, my last blog post was in August of last year. A lot of things have happened and changed since then – many lessons learned, gained valuable experience in my field, met some life-long friends, made a couple of mistakes, lost an old friend in an unfortunate accident, traveled to places and most importantly, graduated with a degree in Public Relations.

However, my ability to complete my degree was almost thwarted by an apparent oversight committed by a university staff. With only four weeks left of my studies, I was presented with the prospect of not being able to graduate because of this.  I will not present to you the details or the facts but it was one of those trials-and-tribulations kind of thing that tested my faith, and let’s just say that I didn’t come through this plight unscathed. Just like any person dealing with a predicament, I occasionally found myself in dark places, which of course, hindered my ability to blog here on WordPress. But if there’s anything I learned in this experience is that miracles happen everyday and that you just have to leave everything in God’s hands. In the end, I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and finished the year with a diploma in my hand.

So now that I am back on my own feet, I will be blogging here once again with the sole purpose of bettering myself- through creative writing prompts, photography, daily musings, travel reflections, poetry, opinion pieces and of course, this blog wouldn’t go ahead without expressing my love for sports – particularly football/soccer. And since I have yet to find a full-time, career-related job, what better way to hone my writing skills than to publish blogs here on WordPress, where a community of inspiration exists.

To start my Seoul purpose of getting back to WordPress, here’s a snap of a small corner I took through a restaurant window, in the vibrant city of Incheon in Seoul, South Korea (see what I did there?). Our layover trip to Incheon gave us two days in the metropolis – as well as some hot, delectable Korean ramen and kimchi to keep the cold temperatures at bay (it was -17 degrees when we got to our hotel).

Bright colours light up downtown Incheon, South Korea. 16.01.2017

Of all the Asian cities I’ve visited before, Seoul has got to be my number one favourite. From the luxurious Hyatt Park to the mega-city Seoul Special City to its greater reach Seoul Capital Area, it is true innovation on a grand scale, dismissing any signs of jetlag with an electrifying zap of awe.

I really enjoyed my stay in South Korea despite the fact that it was short. From the warmest of welcomes to the fondest of farewells, I thank you for making it one of my cherished travel memories. I will be back definitely, South Korea.

(c) jodiepages 2017. All Rights Reserved

Express Life, Now Playing

A most misinterpreted song: Push by Matchbox 20

She said « I don’t know if I’ve ever been good enough
I’m a little bit rusty, and I think my head is caving in
And I don’t know if I’ve ever been really loved
By a hand that’s touched me, and I feel like something’s gonna give
And I’m a little bit angry »
Well, this ain’t over
No not here, not while I still need you around
You don’t owe me, we might change
Yeah we just might feel good
I wanna push you around
Well I will, well I will
I wanna push you down
Well I will, well I will
I wanna take you for granted


Recognize these lyrics? Yes? No?

They’re from Matchbox 20’s 1997 hit ‘Push’. It’s one of the band’s most popular (and misunderstood) songs.

Yes, as the lyrics and the song title suggest, it is a song about a man being physically abusive towards his partner. Yes, it’s about a man who wants to take a woman « for granted » and push her around.

Or is it?

With an album cover of five guys brimming with conceit in their eyes, this 20-year old song sparked controversy and outrage among feminist groups when it first came out. Labeled as a ‘misogynistic’, groups of feminists once tried to ban the song because it encouraged violence and hatred towards women. However, this didn’t stop the song from hitting the top of the Modern Rock Tracks and thus, became one of the American rock band’s most successful singles.

Upon learning that people’s interpretations of his song somehow didn’t align with his original intentions, Matchbox 20’s front-man Rob Thomas stressed the importance of ‘reading before reacting.’ He spoke in an interview that the man in the song (possibly Thomas himself or some fictional dude) is the one being abused physically and emotionally. It’s the man who is experiencing the suffering. It’s the man who is being pushed around by the girl.

What’s that, Jodie? I hear you say…

Read the lyrics again.

The guy is basically narrating what the girl said to her throughout the entire song, making it as if these were his words. Lyric-wise, this is actually a creative way of conveying a strong message to the listening public. Notice how the song starts with « She said… » This goes on for the rest of the song. Thomas said so himself that he turned around the song’s viewpoint to make it more creative and interesting. This subtle nuance, which most  people failed to see pushed the song along the long lines of misinterpreted lyrics (No pun intended there). Still not convinced? Watch the official video and you’ll see Thomas in a dark alley playing with a stick puppet, his face buried in his hand, busking, in chains and in a room with no windows at all. The video has barely anything to do with being abusive towards women. It’ all about emotional manipulation.

Now, I’m not taking sides here. Well, okay. Matchbox 20 is a classic favourite of mine, but I was also victimized by this song. I was only a pre-teen when I first heard this song. Initially, I fell in love with the melody, especially the intro’s guitar riff. In fact, it was one of the driving factors behind my passion for playing guitars. However, as I matured I, too, jumped down Thomas’ throat. I came to the point where I even questioned myself for listening to this type of song.  It was only recently did I learn the true meaning behind this controversial song.

So guys, read before you react.

Simple as that.

Express Life

Keep moving forward

Today, I had the privilege to help decorate a 6m blackboard at our Employability Lab. With a box of Crayola’s coloured chalks and my long-time PR/Communications friend, Eleah, we were given creative freedom to draw, sketch, and write words of wisdom to encourage students like us to keep reaching their goals. To never give up even in times of despair. To keep moving forward even when life seems to be holding you back. To get out of your comfort zone and take challenges and risks.

It may sound a little clichéd but it’s amazing to see how many people and students were inspired by little sketches on a blackboard. Knowing that people learned something from me makes me feel good. And that’s what I would like to continue now and beyond. 

« Keep moving forward » is among the quotes I wrote. Famously mentioned in Walt Disney’s Meet The Robinson, I wrote this because it is the only way to achieve your dreams. And just like in the movie, we keep opening doors in life  because we are curious. We are human beings. Some doors lead us to sticky situations, where despair often surfaces and we tend feel like nothing. Some doors lead to us to exciting discoveries. Whatever they may be, they bring us to new paths of life. In order to leave the rough pasts behind, we ought to keep moving forward.



30 Haruki Murakami Quotes That Will Make You See The Beauty Around You

« Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that. »

Thought Catalog

Here are 30 incredible quotes picked from Murakami’s works ranging from short stories to full-on novels.
Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?
Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who’s in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It’s like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven’t seen in a long time.

Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.
No matter how much suffering you went through, you never wanted to let go of those…

View original post 510 mots de plus

Express Life

Dreams: Reaching for that « something big. »

Two thousand fifteen, the year when all your big dreams will come true – how inspiring and motivating it is to hear this phrase, especially when you feel like one of your biggest dreams is about to come into life.

As human beings, we all dream. We are constantly seeking for fulfillment. Something big and something different from our every day mundane lives – be it queuing behind a counter at a local convenience store, ready to swipe that card for a lotto ticket and hoping to wake up a millionaire the next day. Or pulling an all-nighter to finish a spine-breaking essay about how you would be an excellent member of the Ivy League. Or standing in front of a travel agency, staring at a poster of the immaculate white snow, capping the mountains of Grossglockner in Austria, or the toe-wiggling sand that surrounds the beautiful beaches on Nassau Paradise Island in the Bahamas (or is this daydreaming?)

There is something unnatural about dreams and what I’ve learned about them is that they have a cycle. Yes, people dream and if they want to reach that « something big » they have to go through a cycle of hard work, which could be, perhaps, the most beautiful thing in the process. Working hard and doing your best is the most important thing as it is in this stage where you get to know yourself thoroughly – how far you can go and how willing are you to take risks and challenges. Moreover, this is an opportunity for you to determine your true peers as some will stay and others will go. If time comes and you end up with that « something big » in your hands, you know hard work has really paid off. That’s when you give yourself a pat on the back because sweet dreams are made of this.

Everything’s perfect, you’ve finally reached it. Nothing can possibly go wrong and you could stop dreaming right there, right?

Unfortunately, not all dreams end in a fairytale-like fashion. For every yin, there’s a yan.

Often, our dreams don’t go as planned. Sometimes, the worse could even happen and that’s when, say, you did reach that dream, but for some odd, personal reason, you cannot fully grab it and go for it. It’s rather unfortunate because it makes you hopeful and think and say, « oh there must be chance! ». But then, that ‘hopeful feeling’ slowly fades away, only to be replaced by pain. Unfathomable pain. I mean, seriously, you’ve worked hard for it, skipped a few lunches and stayed up all night just to get a little taste of that « something big. » You furrow your brows, scratch your head and go back a few steps to reflect, « If this dream wasn’t for me, then why was I able to reach it? » In all honesty, this is the question I have been asking myself for the last few months.

Earlier this year, I was accepted to study in Groningen, The Netherlands for five months. I was ecstatic – I mean, who wouldn’t be, right? It’s the Nether-freaking-lands! This was, perhaps, one of my dream cities! Upon receiving my letter of acceptance, I realized how worthwhile those hard-working days were. The essays, the interviews, the meetings with our international staff. Everything I’d done leading up to this event was so worth it because being able to study and experience a different culture firsthand was something I’ve always wanted to do ever since I was only eight years old. Thus, months of planning passed and in those months, I had a huge grin painted across my face. However, last month, something personal came up out of the blue and all my exchange plans suddenly faded away.

So did my huge grin.

And I thought, that’s it. Dream’s over. I got a little taste of it but I couldn’t go for it. I couldn’t grab it.

You’re saying what a shame, right? and thinking about it now, I still don’t have the answers to the whole situation. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this, it’s that if you reached rock bottom instead, the only way to go is up. In other words, dream again!  If you end up in this stage, don’t ever feel bad. Of course, this is hard to fight off. But at least, you gave it a shot and you shouldn’t regret that. And if they say, « sorry kid, better luck next time, » take it as an opportunity to dream again. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be much bigger this time. Only time will tell.

I guess what I’m trying to get across is, either you reach that « something big » or not, life still goes on and you have to keep dreaming. It’s all one big cycle of dreaming and working hard.