The Top 20 Most Underrated Taylor Swift Songs

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If I haven’t said it here yet, well I will, I’ve been a dedicated Taylor Swift fan for like 10 years now and I’m not ashamed of it because she’s one of the most incredible persons in the whole wide world. That statement is for another article but right now, we’re going to talk about the 20 best Taylor Swift songs that you’re probably unfamiliar with if you’re not that kind of a fan like me. It’s undeniable that she has a lot of catchy and famous songs but she also has other equally beautiful songs that should be given more recognition. That’s only my opinion, and here I am trying to share it with you and probably convince you as well.

Getting on with the list, first on it is:

1. I’D LIE

One of the best unreleased Taylor Swift songs, I’d Lie remains a favourite among die-hard Swifties. This song is all of us at times when we lie about liking someone. But the best thing about it is how it’s cleverly written. It’s actually like a sweet movie flick with twists. I won’t give justice describing it so go check it out for yourself.

Favourite line: “He’ll never fall in love he swears, as he runs his fingers through his hair, I’m laughing ’cause I hope he’s wrong.”

2. SWEET TEA AND GOD’S GRACES

This unreleased song takes you back to that beautiful summer where you met your first love. That’s the vibe you get from here. But more than that, the song screams of maturity as Swift sings how this love was like a sweet lesson that gave her heartbreak and taught her how to get back up as a better person. It’s amazing how Swift can articulate feelings we sometimes can’t express.

Favourite line: “You can love like a sinner and lose like a winner, nothing’s shatterproof. You can crash and burn and come back someone new and that’s what I learned from you.”

3. TIED TOGETHER WITH A SMILE

From her self-titled first album, this song is about Swift’s friend who suffered from anorexia. The song talks about this girl who everyone thinks is doing great but is actually dying inside. Everyone thinks that Taylor just writes about her love life but there she was writing for a friend to assure her and let the whole world know that she’s beautiful and should be loved no matter what. Every time I hear this, I get a lump in my throat because the weight of this song is just too much you just can’t dismiss it.

Favourite line: “Seems the only one who doesn’t see your beauty, is the face in the mirror looking back at you.”

4. STAY BEAUTIFUL

Another one from her first album, this four-minute heartfelt song is about a guy Taylor had a crush on in high school. Note that she only had a crush on him and didn’t date him. Taylor said back then that most of her songs come from observation than actual experience. This song may sound just another cutesy tune but I really like the maturity in it. She sings in it that she likes this guy and she wants him to stay beautiful and have a good life even if she’s not part of it. Nice to think of you, girl!

Favourite line: “And when you find everything you looked for, I hope your life will lead you back to my door, oh, but if it don’t, stay beautiful.”

5. THE OUTSIDE

This song depicts an unwanted Swift struggling to get hold of opportunities to make her dreams come true. Anyone struggling to reach their dreams could have this song as an anthem for sad hopeless nights. It actually helps me get by from time to time knowing that someone as rich, famous and talented as Swift once became an outsider.

Favourite line: “So how can I ever try to be better? Nobody ever lets me in.”

6. I’M ONLY ME WHEN I’M WITH YOU

This country pop track has a laid-back setting and shows a more friend and family-oriented side of Swift. The music video features her friends including her well-known best friend, Abigail Anderson, and her family. Taylor sings here how she feels free and true to herself when she’s with these people. We definitely need songs like this in our life once in a while.

Favourite line: “I’m only up when you’re not down, don’t wanna fly if you’re still on the ground.”

7. SUPERSTAR

This gentle sweet song off of the Fearless Platinum Edition is one of Taylor’s most relatable as she channels here her inner wide-eyed fangirl who’s desperately in love with a superstar. That’s all of us, aren’t we? We’ve all been dreaming about someone out of our reach whether we like to admit it or not and Taylor is no different even if she’s a superstar herself.

Favourite line: “And I knew from the first note played, I’d be breaking all my roles to see you.”

8. HEY STEPHEN

I know this Fearless album song is somewhat like the other upbeat Swiftie songs such as You Belong With Me in which she’s wishing a guy would like her back, but hey, who wouldn’t like how catchy this song is! Taylor isn’t famous for songs that would make you feel in love but this one will definitely make you feel like getting hit by Cupid and I completely do not understand why this isn’t as loved as Love Story! Taylor in love is indulging!

Favourite line: “Hey Stephen, I could give you fifty reasons why I should be the one you choose. All those other girls, well they’re beautiful, but would they write a song for you?”

9. BREATHE

Breathe is a country pop song co-written with singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat and was included in Swift’s second album. This song is calm and beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. It talks about having to say goodbye to a friend without blaming anyone for the fallout. Sometimes that’s the most tragic part, when it’s no one’s fault. It’s one of my favourite collaborations ever. Two angelic voices singing together feels like heaven in this one.

Favourite line: “People are people and sometimes we change our minds, but it’s killing me to see you go after all this time.”

10. TELL ME WHY

Another Fearless album track, Tell Me Why kicks some ass with its biting lyrics expressing frustration over someone’s attitude. We all come to a point where we ask why someone treats us the way he or she does and in times like that, this song is a perfect way to bring out all the frustrations. When I’m so confused about a lot of things I just play this tune out loud and sing and shout, then I feel much better afterwards. Try it out for yourself.

Favourite line: “And here’s to you and your temper, yes I remember what you said last night, and I know that you see what you’re doing to me, tell me why.”

11. THE BEST DAY

The Best Day is Taylor’s loveliest song ever as it is one she wrote for her beloved mother. Mama Andrea Swift has always been supportive of Taylor and her passion for singing and composing songs. She’s Taylor’s first fan and as a fan myself, I kind of feel a motherly connection with Andrea as well. This song proves how loving Taylor is as a daughter and you can’t help but feel connected with it as we ourselves also have parents dear to us. Sing this to your parents and for sure they will appreciate it.

Favourite line: “I know you were on my side even when I was wrong,
And I love you for giving me your eyes, for staying back and watching me shine.”

12. UNTOUCHABLE

This is technically not an original Taylor Swift song because it was actually first written and produced by Luna Halo. Taylor just covered it but changed it quite significantly. It’s pretty unrecognizable from the original version that Luna Halo gave co-writing credit to Taylor. This song shows how good she is at reinventing old songs and making it feel like her own. I respect artists who can do that.

Favourite line: “Untouchable burning brighter than the sun, and when you’re close I feel like coming undone.”

13. LAST KISS

It’s so captivating how intimate this song sounds. It actually feels like you’re reading a personal letter full of desperate and hopeless feelings while listening to this six-minute song from Swift’s third album, Speak Now. It translates anger, frustration and confusion in a very calm way. Like how was that possible? Well, it’s Taylor Swift and she’s a genius.

Favourite line: “So I’ll watch your life in pictures like I used to watch you sleep and I feel you forget me like I used to feel you breathe.”

14. LONG LIVE

Long Live is the last track in Speak Now but definitely not the least. This song can make you feel like a champion. It may seem like an over-the-top prom anthem to other people but the lyrics somehow make you believe that impossible things are possible and you’re going to make it someday. Taylor’s life has had a lot of these winning moments and it’s nice to see her translate these to a song. Let’s celebrate each other’s success!

Favourite line: “If you have children someday
When they point to the pictures
Please tell them my name
Tell them how the crowds went wild
Tell them how I hope they shine.”

15. HOLY GROUND

Holy Ground is the eleventh track in Swift’s fourth studio album, Red. I swear it’s difficult not to get dancing with the song’s storming drum beat. The lyrics is a classic Swift talking about a relationship that ended but you can’t help but feel rejoiceful with the groove that naturally comes out when you hear the driving rhythm of the song. It’s weird and I can’t stop dancing to it.

Favourite line: “Tonight I’m gonna dance like you were in this room. But I don’t wanna dance if I’m not dancing with you.”

16. STARLIGHT

I always imagine a movie scene in which the two main leads are dancing on the dance floor and forgetting about the world whenever I hear this song. It’s that fists-in-the-air love anthem you’d always go back to when you reminisce good memories. Starlight is actually about the ‘romantic adventures of Ethel and Bobby Kennedy after Swift came across a photo of the pair dancing when they were teenagers.’ I forget my worries and genuinely feel happy under the influence of this addictive sound. I badly want this song to become a well-loved classic!

Favourite line: “Like oh my, what a marvellous tune, it was the best night, never would forget how he moved.”

17. YOU ARE IN LOVE

I feel like this bonus track from Taylor’s most acclaimed album, 1989, is the most romantic love song she has ever written. Funny thing is, it’s not actually about her love life, but about her friends Jack Antonoff and Lena Dunham’s relationship. The sincerity, trust, happiness and love in the song are overflowing. It’s the perfect background for a chill Sunday night drinking wine with your loved one.

Favourite line: “You can hear it in the silence, the silence
You can feel it on the way home, way home
You can see it with the lights out, lights out
You are in love, true love.”

18. CLEAN

Swift collaborated with British folktronica singer-songwriter, Imogen Heap, for this haunting electronic tune in her album, 1989. The lyrics of the song is heavily metaphoric and talks about getting out of an addicting love. I adore a poetic Swift that’s why this song is a must hear!

Favourite line: “Rain came pouring down when I was drowning that’s when I could finally breathe.”

19. I WISH YOU WOULD

I’ve always thought this song is like a background to a lot of flashback scenes in my life. It’s sweet, romantic, tragic, badass and lonely all at the same time. The general sound of the song is an ecstasy for me thanks to the thoroughfare synth-pop style of Jack Antonoff. I can’t describe how cool this song is, you gotta hear for yourself.

Favourite line: “You always knew how to push my buttons, you give me everything and nothing.”

20. DON’T BLAME ME

One of the songs from Swift’s latest album, Reputation, Don’t Blame Me is as unapologetic as Swift can be. Fierce Swift is the new trend and this track channels this perfectly with its religious-sounding choruses and stripped back verses. What makes this song different is the drug metaphor that you wouldn’t expect from Swift if this was two years ago. She talks about this generic guy as somewhat like a drug and I swear to God she’s kicking it! Smart choice of words for this song by the way.

Favourite line: “Don’t blame me, your love made me crazy, if it doesn’t, you ain’t doing it right.”

That’s it folks. What do you think about the list? Let me know in the comments section!

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12 Practical Tips For TV Commercial Production Assistants

movie-film-video-production-ss-1920Hi reader! So you’re an aspiring film maker like me? And you are looking all over the web to know how to start off in this industry. Anywhere you go, it seems that everyone tells you that the best suggestion for this is always to get a job as a production assistant. It’s the famous starting point!

Well as you may and may not know, production assistants are not exclusive to film productions. These all around workers exist in film, television, commercial or any video production. Once you get a PA job in any of these video productions, it would not be that difficult to jump to any of the other types of production. There will be just some differences in the way you do things in each type but the skills you need are always the same.

In this article however, I shall discuss to you some really important tips that people may not tell you when you are a production assistant in a manner more specific to the process of TV or DIGITAL COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION. So here we go:

  1. Your phone is the most important thing in your life now

Always keep it around and always never go out of load! You would not want to experience an urgent matter at midnight where you have to contact people and not be able to find your phone or discover you do not have any load. Well lucky for you if you’re on a post-paid plan. If so, make sure to keep it that way. As a production assistant you’ll be responsible on relaying messages to almost everyone involved in the shoot; members of the production team, bosses, producers, admin staff, suppliers, caterers or any food establishment, and even service drivers! Be extra patient with service drivers, contacting them can really be a headache at times! Going to war without a gun is deadly, so take extra note of this!

  1. Taking down notes should be your hobby

Unless you’re a genius who remembers every single detail or information you receive then go ahead and don’t mind this tip but if you’re not, this is a must! Clients, the ad agency people and the producer all have different ideas and most of them quickly change their minds so if you won’t be able to take note of every changes then your preparations would be in ruins.

  1. It’s time to be a food lover

This may sound exciting because, well, to be honest there’s an abundance of food in this line of work. However, you’ll be the one to order and prepare everything. You should know the perfect food establishments or food providers where you can order for all kinds of meetings, for the shoot, for offline or online presentations and such. Know what your client and other bosses want to eat. Know the menu, services and prices of the food provider. Believe me, in this industry, if you serve good food, everyone will like you!

  1. Keep a document bag around

Don’t think you won’t deal with papers with this kind of job. Storyboards, pre-production agreements, call slip, attendance sheet, service request forms, requisition slips, liquidation sheets, and cash vouchers are just few of the papers you’d have to deal with. Dude, you’ve been warned!

  1. Liquidation sheet is the key to your pay slip

Unless you’re finish liquidating all your expenses, your full pay slip will be crawling its way to you so always make it a point to finish liquidating as early as you can. As I talk about expenses here, you should also budget the money of the project wisely. Remember, it’s not your money, so return whatever is left and better be extra careful and honest in the way you handle it.

  1. Save every contact

Every person you meet in this industry could help you with your future endeavors so always make it a point to save their contact numbers, emails or office addresses. Expanding your contacts will give you more options in choosing the people that could be best to work with in the future.

  1. Be a coffee-lover

Or if you can’t, take some Berocca during sleepless days. It’s like a vitamin tablet and you can get it in drugstores nearby. Trust me, coffee and Berocca could save you or if not, just steal some nap for goodness sake!

  1. Camera, Lights, Action!

Before the director could say that, of course you’d need cameras and lights, therefore, you need to book for those because it’s part of your job. Know the camera types and specs that you would need for the shoot. Be familiar with Arri Alexa cameras, Phantom, Weiss, Blackmagic, Red and the others. For lights, start getting to know Arrisun, CMC, Kino Lights, Xenon 1K-7K and such. Knowing these things will help you book/rent the right equipment and if the best option is not available, then you would always know some good alternatives as well. Anyway, DOPs and directors would also have their preferred equipment.

  1. Tick tock tick tock, mind the time!

Getting the job done on schedule is one of the best work attitude you could have. This is an extremely fast paced job so you would not want to be left behind. Be time conscious all the time, people are depending on it!

  1. Be a talk show host if you must

You don’t need to take this tip seriously if you’re not the type to but dude I’m telling you, being a good conversant will open doors for you. Of course, don’t do this during serious work hours. Find the right time to talk to people. It may be a client, an ad agency member, your producer or even the service drivers or caterers! Learn from people through this and also try to impart something to them. This will help you work easily with them and will be like building good relationships that could help your future in this career.

  1. Think ahead

You should always be ahead of everyone. Think whatever it is that you will need before people ask for it. During shoots, you should already be setting up the next scene even before everyone finishes shooting the current one. This will save a lot of time I swear.

  1. Take a dose of patience

Why buy water or make coffee for anyone? Why should I be opening doors for people? Why do I have to clean stuffs? These questions would often times cross your mind and will eventually make you pity yourself. Let’s be honest here, you will really experience these things as a PA but if this is really the career you want to pursue, be patient my friend, someday it will all just be funny memories!

Do you also have any experience as a PA? I want to hear it. Let me know by commenting there below! Thank you!

10 Things I Learned from Watching Studio Ghibli Films

I have been watching a lot of Studio Ghibli films these past few days and there’s nothing that makes me happy and inspired right now but these works of art. If only I could make a time machine right now, I would go back to when I was younger and I would watch all these amazing films just in time of its release and not now in my early 20’s and when Ghibli already announced that they won’t make any feature films anymore (temporarily maybe). This halt in production was much influenced by the retirement of the legendary filmmaker and animator, Hayao Miyazaki who created the studio with Isao Takahata in 1985. Miyazaki is considered as the main driving force in the excellence of most Ghibli films and as an aspiring filmmaker myself, he’s creating a lot of influence on me right now. I may be late for a few years but Ghibli films are timeless and the beauty of the message of their films shall inspire the generations to come. So far, here’s what I’ve learned from watching these films.

1. Go beyond what’s ordinary

I think there’s no other film studio that has consistently proven to apply this statement better than Studio Ghibli (Yes I’m quite snobbing Disney, Pixar and other western studios here). They have always created something that people have never seen before. The name of their studio even supports this for Ghibli is an Italian noun that means a “new wind” and Miyazaki adopted this with the thought of “blowing a new wind to the anime industry.”

Unique creations on Ghibli films are best seen with their characters and story setting. They created creatures like No-Face and Soot Sprites in Spirited Away that definitely helped evoke emotion from the female protagonist, Chihiro. More examples are Catbus, a part cat and a part bus being in My Neighbour Totoro, and Robot Soldier from Castle in the Sky which is a mechanized robot of death and destruction that chose instead to be a guardian and a gardener of a floating city.

Moreover they created worlds that weren’t seen or explored much before like the kingdom of cats in the Cat Returns and the Spirit World where Chihiro’s parents were turned into pigs in Spirited Away. More than these creatures and worlds that Ghibli has created, they also established new trends in the cinema and animation industry that definitely broke stereotypes and these will be evident in everything I will write from here onwards. In going beyond what’s ordinary, Ghibli definitely introduced new perspectives to people.

2. A villain is not a requirement in films

Most Studio Ghibli films lack hero versus villain thing going on with their storylines. It’s more on the troubles of the protagonists with themselves, their environment, and yeah more on really the characters’ desires, nothing more. Miyazaki was actually quoted saying, “Making an evil creature that really has an empty space or a hole in his heart is very tragic and depressing and sad to draw, so I don’t like drawing them.” There you go. No to evil characters!

3. ‘Animation’ is not synonymous to ‘children’

Clearly, Studio Ghibli has made animated films for everyone and not for children only. Their films like Only Yesterday, The Wind Rises and Porco Rosso specifically target adults more than children and I would say they are of no less than the ones made for children. They are grounded with adult reality but at the same time there’s a magical feeling to it which makes the studio well-loved by all ages.

4. Hushed moments are often the best parts

Animated films in the western world are always known for their action-packed scenes and this is where Ghibli films are far different. Ghibli films invest on the silent interludes in which the characters are simply thinking or waiting and or just doing the ordinary small things that people actually do in real life. The scenes in which Jiro is just sitting and smoking a cigarette in The Wind Rises and or that peaceful scene where Chihiro is riding a train across the surface of a glassy lake and that other one in which Satsuki and Mei are just patiently waiting at a bus stop for their father in My Neighbour Totoro are scenes where the characters and the audience can just reflect on everything.  These are honestly the most beautiful scenes more on because we could relate on doing it ourselves on a regular basis.

5. Real love is way more than being touchy

Most of these films involve romance. Though more often it’s not the main or only focus of the film. But yes love here is shown more on the things you do for the person and less on the things you do with the person on a physical level. The simple things like Seiji reading all the books in the library for Shizuku in Whisper of the Heart and Jiro flying paper airplanes for Naoko in The Wind Rises or that moment in the Secret World of Arriety in which Shawn replaced Arriety’s kitchen with a new one are the scenes driven by deep affections. No unnecessary hugging or kissing but when the characters do, it surely is magical!

My favourite couples are Howl and Sophie along with Seiji and Shizuku!

6. Children take out all the emotions from you

The Guardian quoted Miyazaki saying “Well, yes. I believe that children’s souls are the inheritors of historical memory from previous generations. It’s just that as they grow older and experience the everyday world that memory sinks lower and lower. I feel I need to make a film that reaches down to that level. If I could do that I would die happy.”

Everyone has a soft spot for children and that’s what Ghibli films have proven with most of their protagonists being considered as generally young. They have the most heartfelt emotions, when they cry, we cry; when they laugh, we laugh; and when they love, it feels so real. They are also projected as a very important part of the society because they inherit the past while they live on to become the future. It’s a great wonder for me why the Philippine cinema don’t give much attention and importance to films about children. We need to explore more I guess.

7. Women can be badass film protagonists

Even before female leads became a trend now in the west, Ghibli has been long celebrating the power of women to kickass and generally just carry the whole film. The best example for this is Princess Mononoke in the same titled film. Besides, Ghibli’s female leads are far more complex than Disney princesses. They are three dimensional characters and they have goals far bigger than finding true love.  Shizuku dreams to be a writer. Arriety wants to find a home where her family can finally live safely, peacefully and with the ‘little people’ like them. San wants to save the forest spirits from the humans.

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8. It introduced you to all things different in Japan

When I say Japan all I ever think before were the television animes and the mangas it was based from and of course their big contribution to the deaths in World War II. But Ghibli showed me a different way in looking at these things through their films. Now I know that anime can be different from animation. I really can’t explain it but you know it is animation when it’s Ghibli. The expressions of the characters are also different for in anime it’s more exaggerated while in Ghibli’s animation it’s much closer to what is in real life. In Grave of the Fireflies and partly in The Wind Rises, I was also enlightened about my view of the Japanese people during the World War II. I always thought that Japanese then was so evil and blinded. I failed to recognize that more than any other nation, they are (if not the most) one of the most that suffered. The atomic bombing was just really painful for them. And their children….. Oh God Grave of the Fireflies was just so painful to watch with children like Seita and Setsuko suffering from American air bombs.

9. Emotion as a principle is always better than logic

I watched an interview of Miyazaki where he said that as a child he would go with his father and watch western films and he remembered as he comes of out of the cinema he would always express that he did not understood what he just watched, but somehow it has always struck him when he can’t explain something. That thought is what provoked him to do The Wind Rises because at first he thought that some people especially children may not understand or appreciate aeronautics anymore but eventually he remembered himself as a child and eventually went to go with it. Ghibli films have always created and explored creatures and things that are new to us and we cannot understand but sometimes like Miyazaki, what we can’t explain interests us. Besides with these unique creations, Studio Ghibli have always invested more on evoking feelings from us rather than making us understand and this proves very effective with their box office successes.

With this argument, I remembered filmmakers in the Philippines complaining that big studios here won’t accept their concepts because they would say, “The Filipinos won’t get that.” I always hated this statement because first, they underestimate the capability of the Filipinos to understand and second is simply me thinking that Filipino films like what the Japanese do, should focus more on the emotional aspect rather than the logic.

10. It’s never too late to go back

I know that these films were not part of my childhood but somehow it always felt like it had. Something seems so familiar. Ghibli films are not for children only, it is very much for adult too for it makes us remember our childhood, how we have changed and how we can never feel the same happiness ever again. Yet, when we watch these Ghibli films, somehow, we are able to go back. It’s amazing what Ghibli does to us.

That’s it! Hope I didn’t bore you to death right there. If you love Studio Ghibli like me comment your thoughts below!

21 Problems with Me

There are moments when you realize the big and tiny problems with yourself that results to why your life is the way it is right now, and to me, this is one of those moments.
It’s totally okay…..actually no…..AWESOME, for you to admit your flaws. That is why, I want to share the things I find wrong with myself cause maybe you can find my problems the same as yours. If you do, please tell me about it.
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“The problems with me are……”

1. I ask questions though the answer is obvious already.

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2. I often avoid long conversations.

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3. I don’t tell when I’m angry or mad. I don’t tell the problem at all!

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4. I don’t like being too emotionally attached with people. I keep my distance.

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5. Sometimes, I like keeping things to myself, like my grand ideas and thoughts.

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6. I work best when I work alone.

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7. I don’t take risks often. Comfort-zone always.

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8. What people may say is always a big deal for me.

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9. I don’t know how to react sometimes.

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10. I’m too lazy to interact with people at times. Specifically, lazy to talk.

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11. I have a difficulty in describing.

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12. There are times when I lack care for things.

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13. I badly wish that all the magical or fictional stuffs I read in novels are true.

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14. I over-think.

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15. I’m so picky/choosy when it comes to men. I may grow old single forever.

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16. I don’t like crowded places (but there are very few exceptions).

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17. I always tend to have leftovers when I eat. Mom is nagging again!

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18. I’ve always said that I’ll start writing a novel, but I haven’t started anything yet.

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19. I always forget to unzip zippers! Especially when it comes to bags.

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20. I can be so forgetful! Sorry if I forget your birthday or something. 🙂

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21. When everyone wouldn’t do it or if I’m the only one who would want to do it, tendency is, I wouldn’t do it even if I really WANT to and even if I think it’s the right thing to do. But it’s a different case already when the situation is “I really NEED to do it.”  ( Well I’m working hard with this one, and I think I’m much better now)

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I’m not pitying myself or something with this post. It’s just a reminder of my flaws. Flaws I have to work on so I can become a better person.

I hope you’ll look onto your flaws too. List them down one by one and aim to change it.

GOOD DAY EVERYONE!