Dec 11, 2013

Just breathing isn't living...

Wool Coat with Bow Closure and Fur Trim (detachable): Ever New | Lace Dress with Jeweled Beaded Collar: Ever New | South Sea Pearl Necklace Strand: Mikimoto | Pearl Earrings: Mikimoto | Miniaudiere Clutch Bag: Lanvin | Ankle Strap Shoes: Forever 21 | Accessories: Topshop and Forever 21

I look up at the title of my blog entry and laugh at the incongruous paradox of such a statement and the fact that I am the one making it. As you all know, air is vital for survival (literally, I mean, biologically) and granted the many episodes of anaphylactic shock I had to go through, where epinephrine (Adrenaline) had to administered to me via an Epi-pen Autoinjector, I am the expert on the subject of breathing (more of not being able to breathe. actually) and how vital it is as I have been critical and in danger due to the inability for air to enter one's body. If anyone knows how breathing (such a mundane concept nobody really thinks about)... it would be me. The first thing my family/doctors/ nurses ask me upon the onset of rashes is, "Can you breathe?" and I have heard this posed at me so many times already, I should make it my life motto or at least engraved on the family crest. The prospect of having so many life/death experiences has woken me up to the fact that life is precious and should not be taken for granted. The many hospitalizations (including celebrating my birthday this year last February post-op in a hospital while everyone else attended my prepaid birthday degustation  dinner at Red, Makati Shangri-la) has shown me a different perspective in life. I put too much emphasis on trying so hard to survive and protect my life that the phrase people coined: YOLO! (You only live once!) is practically a slap in my face and an insult. I am unable to hide my disdain (as I am 95% of the time inappropriate anyway) and snap back, "If you've seen what I've seen, you'll realize You Only Die Once and trust me, it's not fun." I do not think having one life to live means we should take it for granted and should be used as an excuse for making bad decisions, I think the fact that we only get one life should remind us how precious every moment is and why we should never let a moment pass us by. 


As you all know, one of the major setbacks of my life is that I am unable to travel. I am not complaining so people should stop rubbing it in my face as that will be pointless. The thing people tend to forget about me is that I am not an insecure person and I am not spiteful. One of the things I have always prided myself in is the fact that I am able to be genuinely happy for people especially if what they get to do is something I can not. So, if anyone were to ask me if I ever get envious or feel bad when my friends and family leave me alone in the country so they can be jet setters, my answer would definitely be NO. I don't think it would make any sense if I hate people for enjoying things that I cannot enjoy. If anything, I am the first person who gets excited about trips, even if they do not involve me. I try to plan the itinerary, make a to-do list, get those FAQs pamphlets and (of course, my specialty), coordinate outfits, given the weather situation of the place. I guess it is because I have gone through the worst and felt the worst things anyone could feel (sickness) and before other people get to go through that, I sincerely want them to experience life to the fullest... EVERY human being deserves that and should not be denied that. One of the setbacks of my year was I was supposedly supposed to get cardiac clearance for International flights this December (as in like right now)... and for a pessimist, I was very optimistic, and decided that I should start shopping for winter clothes for my travels. I deserve it, I reckoned and my FOSSIL Dominique, being my number 1 supporter in life, was happy to help me shop for my supposed trips... But as usual, something got in the way and things did not push through as planned. And so, I was looking at my closet and realized how much stuff I have accumulated through time, and realized I would probably not be able to wear them for at least a year or so. So what is a girl to do? Why use it to keep warm with a dainty dress for a family gathering and a fancy night out, of course. I have always been courageous with wearing thigh high boots and fur vests even in Manila because I want to wear what I want to wear and to be frank, I don't give a damn enough to have to justify myself. I think all you need is to be brave and work an outfit with confidence and a whole lot of attitude. If you are comfortable with what you wear, nothing anyone has to say about it will matter and all the murmurs will be just buzzing sounds. 

 This outfit, in particular, is something I think I would wear if I was Pollyanna and I am therefore coining it the Pollyanna ensemble. It is so fresh, romantic and dainty and I am absolutely in love with it. It took a lot of courage to wear this outfit...but I have always replied to people
 who asked, "Why?" with a distinct and firm, "WHY NOT?" There is a particular quotation that goes like this, "This is the art of courage: to see things as they are and still believe that the victory lies not those who avoid the bad, but those who taste, in living awareness, every drop of the good." and how aptly put. You see, courage is not just seeing things as they are, which is vastly important; courage is accepting reality with the ingenuity to continue to see and experience the many good things that still happen to us. In this aspect, this is probably why I absolutely love the character of Pollyanna, ever since I was a kid, I wanted to emulate her and always get to see something interesting and exciting in everything that happens. I do not and probably never will like the grueling hospital visits and sadistic appointments, examinations, tests and extractions (to name a few) and yet, as I am honest with myself, I have to say, I am always the first to admit that these are necessary and I always learn something when I am finished. Due to the fact that I always like the character of Pollyanna, I realized there was a subtle judgmentalism attached to it as well and because of that I began to question myself. This is perhaps the first time I associated myself with someone who I did not see who was all broken and damaged like me. In college, everyone always referred to me, saying that I was THAT GIRL from the movie, Vanilla Sky, and the quotation, "She is the saddest girl to ever hold a martini.." was made especially for me...and it probably was...I probably was. After some reflection, I realized that a "pollyanna' was someone who denied the negative and only saw the positive. I did not do that. I see and accept the negative and am delighted in whatever positive there was. As a consequence, life, as it turns out is not as difficult for me. Dealing with detractors and doing what I love (including dressing how I want to dress) have not been hard for me either. 

"What men and women need is encouragement. Their natural resisting powers should be strengthened, not weakened ... Instead of always harping on a man's faults, tell him of his virtues. Try to pull him out of his rut ... Hold up to him his better self, his real self that can dare and do and win out! ... People radiate what is in their minds and in their hearts.” 

 - Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna

In line with this, I would like to thank one special person for jump starting the worsening of my condition which brought back all my restrictions and more all because she has caused me an immense amount of stress that aggravated me and took a toll on my body. To, that person, I hope you are quite pleased with yourself and your travels... I am happy to see you moving around a lot, even if you made it impossible for me to. And on that note, Happy 30th Birthday, I hope as you enter your thirties you grow wiser and stop playing the victim card because we all know what you did and you simply spun the tale around. I hope that as you celebrate your life, you remember what you've done and that somehow you can live with yourself. You know who you are though you can verify this, easily. There are so many clues.

"Oh, yes; the game was to just find something about everything to be glad about—no matter what 'twas"
Cheers to whatever it is you have to be glad about.
Zugzwang, woman... OH! And... Checkmate.

xx, JL 

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