Sep 12, 2014

For Those About To Rock (I Salute You)

"When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused."

-Rainer Maria Rilke

Imagine yourself on a beach, near a cliff and taking a photo...when a strong wave photo bombs you...and if that wasn't bad enough, it also drenches you completely. Suddenly, all you can taste and inhale is sea water and your clothes are completely soaked. This basically sums up my experience in shooting this post. I wanted to show the diversity of styling swimsuits and be creative especially when it comes to covering up so I veered away from the usual and safe coverups and risked it... I wanted to make Palazzo pants happen at the beach so I wore it as my cover-up instead and it was fun and flattering and I love how its wide legged design was so perfect as it swayed in the sand. I always loved wide legged trousers as they are a more risque version of maxi skirts and they're not too constraining. As you know, when it comes to swimsuits, my philosophy is the more itsy bitsy it is, the better. That is one of the tricks to achieving a longer torso and if you are lacking in certain assets (like me), use this trade secret to your advantage. I always loved the design of the Infatuation bikini from my brand, Glitterati and started with it in basic colors. As the years progressed, it was still in demand and I got the liberty of adding more embellishment. This year, I wanted a more animalistic theme so I used snakeskin printed fabric which makes it in so  many levels more alluring and enticing. This is one of my most favorite bikini cuts... tan lines aside.

Bikini: Infatuation Snake Skin Swimsuit by Glitterati (Also seen HERE)
Palazzo Pants: Apartment 8 (Also worn HERE)
Clutch Bag with Wrist Handle: Gold Dot
Necklace: I am Girlie (Also worn HERE)
Snake Necklace (used as headband): Iconoclast Brand (Also seen HERE)

As with this set of photos, the tides of life won't always bring you to your targeted destination. If you are lucky, it can bring you ashore... back to where you came from and sometimes, you have to row yourself back to the sea all over again. Life isn't a wish granting factory and I learned that early on. Often, nothing changes until you change it. Nothing is better until you make it so. There is just absolutely nothing that you cannot be held accountable and responsible for. Waiting around for something to happen, complaining on what isn't happening or wishing/praying/hoping that things change in your favor doesn't in any way ensure that it will... So you have to go, move, act and speak out. Most of all, you have to FIGHT. At this point, I don't think that anyone can deny that life is actually a battlefield- filled with endless and tumultuous battles that will leave most of us bruised, scarred, strained, wounded or traumatized in the process. The battlefield called Life is most definitely not an environment for the weak of heart (OUCH!) and frail of mind. (Hint Hint!) We are, in so many ways, all warriors. We win some. We lose some. That is just how it goes.

As is the case with every battle that doesn't kill us... it will make us stronger. Every time we survive, we emerge- stronger, braver and wiser from the last battle we fought... and then we have to keep on fighting some more. Our days are slipping by us and every day that we spend being mediocre is a chance that we miss being extraordinary. Somehow we have to keep one foot in front of the other and keep marching on. Allow me to use myself as an example. I used to be one of those people who would avoid confrontation when I was young. I hated having to argue my side and my natural defense mechanism was just to compromise which is a euphemism for simply giving in to what the other party wants and then keep my own needs and wants in the back burner. The other party would be happy, naturally, but not me. I thought this was a good strategy to avoid tiffs. I was conflict avoidant which is of course another nice way of saying that I was basically a doormat and allowed people to step all over me and I was absolutely fine with it until one day, I wasn't. I guess I could choke it up to the fact that I actually realized that life is unimaginably short and time passes even faster that we would like to think. There were enough average things in the world and I decided that my life should definitely not be one of them. It actually was in my weakest moments that I was able to find this strength. For all of us, it will come with an intensity of a wave crashing against you. This is when the most emotionally stable humans let out a simple, defeated sigh, shrug and pretend that letting the moment pass by is what makes you a mature and responsible adult. I am not one of those people and I do hope you aren't too. While others might surrender to the natural currents of life: my strategy is to try to emulate a boat that swings and turns bow first into the fickle breeze of highs and lows. I refuse to let go. You have two choices: to drown or to fight against the current and feel that refreshingly amazing first breath of air. As Jill Davis put it, "The waves of the sea help me get back to me." As with the waves of your life: that is when you realize who you truly are and what you are made of.

Learning to adapt to whatever waves there are out there is part of being human. In essence, life is actually interpreting and navigating challenging conditions and people who assume that if they veer away from one path and pursue another, the waves will be smaller, or bigger, or cleaner or more perfect. That is never the case. You need to adapt and survive whatever the tides may bring. Escapism is no longer an option. If there is one profound falsehood that the stories and movies have taught us, it's that life is easy and being that it isn't, is exactly what makes life beautiful. That is life- things are new and fresh and unknown and exciting and waiting to be unfolded... just like a wave in the sea, you can never predict its immensity until it crashes to the shore. Don't be a statistic as too many people rush past all of these for the sake of certainty. Give certainty the finger. Take the hits. Embrace uncertainty. Respect your limits. Know you will never really know for sure anyway. Understand that when things get rocky, you'll be able to understand the waves for no other reason than as a means of survival. Be as proud of the falls you take as you are with the times you rise above. Challenge the challenge and learn to adapt. Do not blame your misfortunes on the waves or the rocky shores. Ride with the tides.

Photos by: Celyn Jaravata

xx, JL

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