Dec 5, 2013

Handbags and Gladrags

Sequined Army Green Shift Dress: Mango | Handbag with Studs: Mango | Swarovski Crystal Earrings: Cultus Chi Chi | Suede Platfowrm Booties: Topshop | Sunglasses and Accessories: Mango TOUCH

Ever seen a blind man cross the road
Trying to make the other side?
Ever seen a young girl growing old
Trying to make herself a bride?

So what becomes of you my love
When they have finally stripped you of
The handbags and the gladrags
That your poor old Grandad had to sweat to buy you

Once I was a young man
And all I thought I had to do was smile
Well you are still a young girl
And you've bought everything in style

So once you think you're in you're out
'Cause you don't mean a single thing without
The handbags and the gladrags
That your poor old Grandad had to sweat to buy you

- Handbags and Gladrags, Stereophonics

Just as I have resolved to see the silver lining in almost everything that happens to me, I have resolved to also dress in a way that no one would believe the inner struggles and conflicts I am going through. After all, I do not need to advertise my pain and suffering to the public... which is why I always make it a point to dress up, more so on off-days, because just because life didn't go so well doesn't mean I have to look the part. Thus this festive, almost New Year's Eve worthy sequined dress which in all ways and definitions portray bright and shiny which was my peg for the said day. With the end of yet another year looming, I find that it is important to reflect on certain things and more importantly, ACCEPT certain things, events, experiences. 

When someone I considered very important in my life betrayed me, the negative emotions that rose up in me (and they came in like tidal waves) and exploded in me we just horrifying, even for me. But thanks to my spirituality and deep rooted faith in God, something kept telling me that they we were all a part of me and I could not and should not try to hide them and sweep them under the rug just because I didn't like them. Denial is an ugly thing. There are events in the passage of our lives that elicit feelings we never knew were there and of which we believed we were completely incapable. A relationship falls apart because someone cheated on us. A friend we trust and count on with our lives end up stabbing us in the back or physically assaulting us. Someone passes us over for someone younger, prettier (we believe), yet less qualified (which we know for certain) version. Someone we thought was the love of our life would rather go clubbing than nurse us back to health after a painful operation. A person (persons) we are completely uninvolved in and could not care for at all makes bad remarks, jabs and vengeful acts to us, and we find that the witches of Endor or the dragons in the old tales have nothing on us. We could belch fire and melt diamonds with our breath. RIGHT. GOOD. WE WERE ABLE TO PROVE OUR POINT...but so what? It is normal to have feelings like this yet it is not healthy to dump them on others (innocent people who don't deserve to be punished) or to hold on to them. As one grows older, we realize holding on to feelings of resentment and anger will only rot inside of us and that is not a pretty sight. The amount of knowledge one accumulates over the years and experiences teach us valuable lessons. Lessons that will help us navigate through life. Contrary to popular belief, life does not get easier when we get older. It is still the same sick cycle, but being armed with a few things one picks up over the years makes dealing with it seem a but more effortless. 

I am getting older and hopefully, by some stroke of luck, wiser. Madeline L'engle once said that "The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been." While I am sure most people who are into the whole youthful glow and are a member of the cosmetic surgery movement to look rejuvenated don't agree with this entirely and that is something they are entitled to. But knowing these words in the quotation is somewhat comforting. I like to see the silver lining in things, you see... it is a trait I have recently learned to develop. The reason for that being that I realized that Life is a process. I am a process. Everything that has happened to my life has happened for a reason (no matter how mundane or pointless I consider it to be) and is an integral part of my becoming. One of the challenges of life is to integrate the pieces of one's life as one lives them. It is sometimes tempting to try to deny huge parts and periods of our lives or forget significant events, especially if they have been to painful. On this aspect, I think I am quite the expert. I have tried to erase my past but denying things that happened to us is to rob ourselves of our own hard-earned wisdom. There is not a child or an adolescent within us. Contrary to popular belief, I would like to say that I believe that there is a child or adolescent who has grown into us. When we realize that among the most important strengths that we bring with us are the life experiences we have had and the ages we have been, maybe we will not resent getting older. I know it is a hard concept to fathom but bear with me and my optimism.The fact of the matter is, ultimately, wisdom is what emerges as we accept and integrate all that we have been and all that has happened to us.

 When I feel certain feelings, experience pain and hurt and deal with the temptation of denial and not giving in to it, I have another opportunity to learn something new about myself and I always cherish these priceless lessons. So, bring it on life...and THANK YOU...I think. 

xx, JL


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