July Backtrack: My Birthday Journal Spread + More Musings

“…things get broken, and sometimes they get repaired, and in most cases, you realize that no matter what gets damaged, life rearranges itself to compensate for your loss, sometimes wonderfully.”

― Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life

The above quote is one of the very few hopeful passages from A Little Life, and I wanted to start this post with something uplifting. The past few days were filled with endless bad news and more proof that true evil exists in the world, so I thought a bit of positivity could not hurt.

One of my small victories this year is keeping up with my pledge of doing monthly journal spreads. For July I actually made at least three, so if you’re a beginner in journaling I think it’s safe for me to offer you this advice: just start practicing, see what design and look makes you both happy and comfortable. One spread a month will eventually grow into two or three, and before you know it you will be creating every week. I love recommending journaling to anyone who needs a creative outlet, because it is so therapeutic. It requires you to log off from social media and focus on something tactile and look inward.


That being said, today I am sharing my c̶r̶e̶a̶t̶i̶v̶e̶ chaotic and super late July spread. This is dedicated to my birthday month so mostly it’s a love letter to myself, with a botched bookish heart, my son’s artworks scraps, and my favorite Cinderella stickers because “Princess”. TRIVIA: When asked, my parents always say they named me Princess because they have wanted a daughter for a very long time. They had three sons before I was born, making me the youngest and the only girl in the family 👸🏻⁣


I tried my best to capture the gold foil details so I hope it shows in the photos.

I must say, I used to be so embarrassed about my penmanship, because I can’t do (or am I just too lazy to learn?) calligraphy but I realized I actually like writing for and to myself, so here we are. I may or may not learn calligraphy in the future but for now, apologies if my writing hurts your eyes! ⁣


Reading updates:

I confirmed yet again that posting about TBRs works like a kind of magic since I’ve already read two and now I’m halfway through my third book for #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy. I keep on finding new titles to include for this month’s reading list so expect my end of month to look a bit different than what I initially shared.

In terms of my monthly Nonfiction Reading Challenge, I was able to finish Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay and In the Dream House: A Memoir by the amazing Carmen Maria Machado. I absolutely recommend both books, just please be mindful of the trigger warnings: sexual harassment, rape and domestic abuse. I haven’t decided which nonfic to read for August yet, but if I want to stay loyal to reading only Filipino titles this month, I do have a couple of Bebang Siy essay anthologies that I can choose from.



What are some of your hobbies that you consider to be therapeutic? Or what do you do for self-care? I think that now more than ever we need these kinds of escape from real life. If you have anything to share, let’s chat in the comments!





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