Sep 7, 2014

One Hundred Tears To Solitude

“Things have a life of their own," the gypsy proclaimed with a harsh accent. "It's simply a matter of waking up their souls.”

- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

When you are on top of the world and when everything seems to be going your way, the warm sun hits your shoulders just right. Worries, fears, neuroses are carried away with the wind at your back as you exhale like me in this case and I was able to take in the serene ocean view. The ordinary and mundane became extraordinary and as with this photo, colors appear more vivid, the world was more wonderful and the sounds of nature is more melodious. In this photo of me in the beach (inspired by the amazing Nicole Warne), you can see the color in every shot... every thing looks so alive. In these small moments everything is good and right in the universe. In this moment, I actually believe that nothing can ever bring me down. Of course, that would be easy to say granted that I am in my most perfect environment: by the beach, eating fruits and watching the waves crash on the shore. Granted I am also lacking some articles of clothing as it was appropriate for the environment, I felt that I didn't have to try at all... there was no fussing or fretting about whether my clothes fit me alright or if I wore the right shoes for my outfit. Surprisingly, I find myself in such an incongruous situation: here I am, a fashion blogger who preferred to be in less clothes!  Well, at least on the days I am out of town and where it's appropriate to be dressed this way. I've always been a walking contradiction but I guess that stems out from the fact that I know what I want and who I am and nobody can dictate me to be something else. There are days, like the day I took this photo, that I needed to be alone and far away from all the things and people just for a while. I find myself enjoying taking breaks such as these. I am at the beach, it is not summer and it is a weekday. I have no one to impress and I have no one to answer to. In this moment, I am purely just me.
Sure, it is noticeable that my muscles were all sore and pumped up as I had allergies (more like anaphylaxis) and survived on non-stop injections before taking this break. In hindsight, going to the beach was actually one of my remedies to having my IgE levels and immune system to calm down. Allergy or not, I don't care... I needed to be in my bikini!!!

White Lace Cropped Tank Top: H&M
Bikini Top: Eika PH
Braided Side Bikini Bottom: Yuminum
Sunglasses: Classique Apparel
Stacked Bangles: Shopaholic & Hubby
Beaded Wood Bracelet: Im.G
Tie-up Fabric Sandals: Ingga Sandals

Now to cut right through the chase, allow me to share this very valuable lesson I learned from Montaigne on the consolations when one is struggling: "Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself." And isn't that such a wonderful thought? I have probably told you 100,000 times already how much of an introvert I am. But you see, when you're accustomed to being alone, you have the silence to become in tune with the rhythms and melodies of your own mind. You always have to answer to yourself at the end of the day which is why it is always nice to have the chance to be alone with your thoughts. Aside from that, eventually, you will also learn how valuable self-love and reliance is and to love yourself before you love someone else is not an abstract concept but an actual reality that you possess. I think the universality of being alone teaches us what that kind of love is. You see, I have always been the girl who was always in a relationship. My friends and family actually refer to me as a "serial monogamist" as I jump off from one relationship and then it's on to the next one... after a week or three days, I am fine and get back to the dating game. For someone who is self-reliant, I don't quite know why I chose to go through my life that way. Obviously, it isn't because I find that I cannot survive without being someone's significant other. Probably it is bordering to that concept that I do not want to go through life alone forever so I get scared and anxious and rush things. (As women, there's that other thing about our biological time clock running out to pressure us!) I went through probably what I would refer to as the toughest break-ups in my last two relationships. Of course, breaking up is a heart ache in itself but to break up with your significant other for two consecutive times on the actual date of your anniversary out of nowhere...let's just say, life has very high expectations of me in this survival thing. I was thinking it was a curse... but it actually turned out to be a blessing because if things didn't end in such a tragic manner, I would not make the effort to evaluate things in my life for reasons as simple as: this cannot happen to me the third time around. I am not even looking- at all. Third time's the charm as they say and I have to beg off that- there is no room for "third times" for me in this aspect. 

This time, I decided things needed to be different. I needed to be by myself, which explains why after almost six months since the "uncoupling," everyone is quite surprised that I refuse to go out on dates, set-ups or any place to meet someone new. And I am very dedicated to this "I need to give my heart a break thing" that people are so sick and tired of me using that excuse whenever they want me to meet someone they know. To be alone is to be human, to feel pain, to be forced to know yourself- and the universality of it binds a person. Life is all about embracing that universality and surrendering to it. As I got to know myself a little bit more, I realized and told myself, "This isn't everything you are..." Being alone means looking out at the world and knowing that at its very core is what makes you who you are. In the beach by myself, I find myself alone and it's not such a bad thing. Alone is calm and it is being somewhere with nothing other than your thoughts. You are finally able to hear the things that you often intentionally block out with meaningless conversations and loud music and standing room only parties. Alone is giving yourself the chance to listen to the things you have to say to yourself... those tiny tedious details that is better swept under the rug. Alone on the beach on this day meant taking a break from the pressures of my social circle... happy to be inhaling the sweet scent of being at the sea and simply recharging. It is the feeling and the satisfaction of selfishness, a refreshing reprieve from having to take others' concerns into your account. It's being as informal and messy as you want to be (although I prefer to be clean at all times...), happy in the knowledge that no one will judge me if I don't take a shower after an entire afternoon under the sun, sand and sea. Being alone in such a lovely setting also means taking the time to soak in my surroundings rather than just existing blindly with them. 

Sometimes being alone is a feeling that is comfortable, even strangely pleasant, if you take the time to try it out. It can be...if you allow it... a time to reconnect with yourself and to remind yourself that you are capable of enjoying your own company. When we are alone, we are forced into knowing ourselves in a way that doesn't require the presence of others to validate. We are all looking for something and we are all searching for that in ourselves (whether you like to admit it or not...) and the longer you reflect on your solitude, the more you realize that in actuality, you are never alone and you are not in any way at all lonely. Because being by yourself somewhere can often be a beautiful, wonderful and marvelous thing. You realize that you, by yourself, are happy and find confirmation in life and your worth in yourself and not by everything around you. And though it will not take the edge off the painful series of events that lead to us being alone in the first place, it is worth remembering that just because you're alone in a random restaurant or a coffee shop or a beautiful beach out of town does not mean that you aren't in wonderful company.

Photos by: Celyn Jaravata

xx, JL

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