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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

PLUS SIZE POWER: HOW TO LOVE THE LIFE YOU ARE IN (FULL ARTICLE)



So you got everything already --- love, money, career, friends, family and style --- how come you’re still not happy?

I find myself asking this question recently but before I get ahead of myself, I want to give you a little background of how all of this started.

8 years ago, I saw my 27 year old self to be married with kids. I have a house and I work part time, while attending to the needs of the house and my family. Yes. That was my simple dream.

Fast forward to the future, I am 30 years of age. I am not married. I don’t have kids. I work full time for Erzullie and part time as a fashion journalist and I, instead of kids, attend to the styling needs of my Erzulliestas. Yes. This is now my reality.

It’s a far cry from what I have planned 8 years ago. And to be honest, I was bummed about it. I was starting to question my life choices.

Did I actually make the right choices? If not, is it too late for me to start over?

If I look at my current life, it’s actually pretty great. I am a plus size fashion designer/writer. I take amazing plus size fashion photos. I work with amazing and creative people. I style the sassiest and fiercest curves in the Metro.

Work hour flexibility is amazing. I get paid to do what I love. It provides the essentials of survival --- even more. I organize parties. I interview Erzulliestas. I can watch movie whenever I want. I live in a safe neighborhood.

I can go on and be narcissistic about this. At the end of the day, I’m pretty sure someone out there would like to be in my place. And me? I need to start becoming wiser and enjoy the experience that someone would like to have.

This then leads me to the question --- why am I not in love with it in the first place?


First off, as I told you, I had a life plan 8 years ago and well it didn’t work out well. So I was thinking that since I wasn’t able to manifest what I sought out to do, I failed as a person. I failed as woman. EVEN WORSE--- I have failed me!

But then again, just because “I didn’t do what I was told to do” or “get what I was supposed to get” doesn’t mean that it was the really wrong thing to do or I failed. I just got other achievements if you look at it.

I may not have a husband, but I have a great lover who actually is patient enough to go through my highs and lows.

I may not have kids, but I do have a lot of great people in my life and some of them have kids! I get to baby sit them for short periods of time and still be able to do what I love after.

I may not have a house, but I do have my own place. It’s in a big building, with great security, a gym and a swimming pool.

I may not have a part time job, but I do have a full time business AND a lot of part time jobs that I like to do.

So, technically, I didn’t fail. I just decided along the way that I wanted other things that are way better.

Next, I compare myself to the people my age. And THIS ONE is my favorite (sense my sarcastic tone). 

You know that moment wherein it’s 2 am and you are on social media and you see people your age doing parties, getting married, getting engaged, having boyfriends, loving babies, having dogs, traveling like a celebrity etc. and there you are in front of your laptop in the dark with a scrunch up hair, big shirt that hasn’t been washed for 2 days and in your undie, drinking some soda and eating some chips?

Yes. That moment.

It starts to make you question. Am I living my life to the fullest? The rest of the people around me seems like they are living a “on-the-go” life all the time. Something is always happening to them. They are always having something new. They always have something taken “to the next level”.

And me? I was browsing and viewing their experiences.

Anyway, as always, one of my Erzullie Icons, Kat Lopez, came to the rescue. She shared with me this article about Facebook making people depressed. (I can’t find it anymore but seriously, type facebook and depression and a lot of articles will pop out) I have realized at that point that what the people in my feed are sharing is just the best snippets of their life.

For all I know, it’s just for show. And truth of the matter is, people share what they really just want to share. So imagine what they are not sharing online.

From then on, I actually stopped using that as a point of comparison. Social media is handy tool to document your life, but then remember --- you will only want to document what you want to. Not everything is saved.

Finally, the reason that I don’t love it as much is because I feel as though I did not deserve it. 
Whuuuuuuuuutttttt, Aries? Seriously?

Yes, girl. Seriously.

My career in the fashion industry started roughly 8 years ago. I only had a passion for it. We really just wanted to do a business. Eventually, it just became a life purpose. So ultimately, me and Berna just dared to do something because we just really felt like this is what we should be doing with our lives.

Everything that I have learned, I have learned through experience, books, YouTube videos, other people etc. I did go to Fashion school for 1 module and did not even finish it up to the end. Helped me a lot nonetheless. Berna went to Slim’s and that helped a lot in improving the brand.

But personally for me, I just have a feeling that I still have something to earn my place in the fashion industry. Despite the fact that I do call myself a plus size fashion designer (you ladies have seen my sketches, our process etc.) I still feel as though I need to really earn that job title. Like I need to have that moment in my life wherein it’s really official --- I am a plus size fashion designer.

Stupid. I know.

Because at the end of the day, I can line up Erzullie’s achievements and evidences of her success, but if I say “it’s not worth anything” --- it’s really not going to be worth anything.

So what does that mean? Value is determined by me. And if right now, as of writing, I cannot define a single “requirement” of what it really takes for me to finally believe that I am a designer, then maybe I should accept the fact that I am talking crazy.

Truth of the matter is, I do deserve it. I spent hours of my life doing this. I spent brain cells and lung capacity to take photos, make decisions, calculations, marketing, public relations etc. This life that I am living? It wasn’t handed to me. I worked my way towards it.

So yes. Yes dumb nuts (I am talking to me) --- I do deserve it.

Since all those things have already been debunked, we now turn to another question --- WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LOVE THE LIFE YOU ARE IN?

Well, I am talking about that moment wherein you wake up every day in the morning and your first thought is, “I am so happy and blessed to wake up today. I get to do live one more day to do all the things that I love!” or at least this one, “I don’t care how bad it is today. I will get through it and I will do it all over again in a heartbeat because I love it.”

Those kinds of thoughts.

That’s what we are aiming for here.

You know you love your life when whether or not it’s going to be a good day, bad day, hard day, soft day, inactive day --- ANY KIND OF DAY --- to your heart you know, it’s going to be the best one for your spirit.

WHICH NOW LEADS US TO THE MAIN QUESTION--- HOW DO YOU LOVE THE LIFE YOU’RE IN?

For me, it starts with the mind and you need to really realize a couple of things:

#1 You really got everything you ever wanted right now. So it’s time for you to use these things for your enjoyment. 

#2 Someone actually wants to be you right now --- so act like that person and run with it.

I want to start with #1 (OF COURSE!) Now, not a lot of people would agree with me on using this as an example, but every time I would think about this thought, this scene from Etiquettes for Mistresses, wherein Claudine Barretto’s character gives advice to Kim Chiu, pretty much sums it up.

“May choice ka --- either mag-mukmuk ka or i-enjoy mo na lang.” translation: “You have a choice --- either you mope around or just enjoy it.”

And it’s honestly the perfect thing for the first one. You got everything now and truth is, you can make up 1,000 more reasons NOT TO BE SATISFIED. But then again, why need those reasons?

The choice is yours --- either you mope around and never be satisfied or you take your beautiful life right now and enjoy it! That simple.

So how do you enjoy it? USE IT.

You have a nice family? Plan a gathering.

You have an amazing career? Work with a smile. Aim for a promotion. Make more money.

You have a great lover? Plan a date. Dress up. Surprise him.

You have a best friend? Go out with her. Have a wild night you will always remember.

Have a lot of money and free time? Travel! Pursue a hobby!

Got a phone? Browse the net. Call! Text!

USE IT. USE ALL THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAT YOU HAVE RIGHT NOW AND RUN WITH IT. Feel, see, eat, taste, touch, smell, digest etc. all the benefits that each and every beautiful thing in your life has to offer right now.

USE IT. That’s how you enjoy the life you have right now. USE IT. Milk the benefits as much as you can. USE IT. More example:

Got hands? PAINT. WRITE. MASSAGE. DRAW. TEXT.

Got feet? WALK. RUN. KICK. DANCE. STRIDE.

Got eyes? MUSEUM. GET SHADES. GET EYESHADOWS. PUT ON EYESHADOWS.

Got nose? SMELL ROSES. USE AROMATHERAPY. BREATHE.

Got hair? CONDITION. STYLE. CURL. CARE. TIE UP. LOOSEN UP.

The possibilities of every great thing in your life right now is almost unlimited. USE IT. TAKE IT PLEASE AND RUN WITH IT.

And if you’re curvy and fierce…

Got boobs? BUY NEW BRA. WEAR LINGERIE. TRY NEW TOPS.

Got flabs? BUY SHAPEWEAR. LOVE HIGH WASTED BIKINIS. TRY CORSETS.

Got ass? GET THONGS, G STRINGS, CHEEKY PANTIES.

You know what it is.

THE POINT IS --- USE IT AND ENJOY THE BENEFITS. That’s one way to really love the life you are in.

For the second one (someone actually wants to be you right now --- so act like that person and run with it), this is also fairly simple --- FEEL LUCKY and be thankful for it.

Let it be known and yes be rest assured that SOMEONE REALLY WANTS TO BE YOU RIGHT NOW. They may not vocalize it. You may not know these people, but it’s really a fact. Someone out there would like to be you right now. Why? Because you got something that they only wish they could have.

It could be your looks, promotion, family, good luck, faith etc. It’s the little things that TO YOU don’t matter, but to them, to have those is going to make their life better.

So if you cannot appreciate it while it’s in front of you, try to see it in another person’s point of view. And if you think about it, in all the beings in the Universe, you got to ask --- why were you chosen to have this, when someone else out there is dying to get this?

Just that small question will leave almost anyone in great awe already.

I want you to marvel at that small fact for a second. Take your time even. Put your phone/tablet down and look around you or even just look at the table in front of you or the bag that you have with you right now. Look at the stuff you own.

OUT OF ALL THE BEINGS IN THE UNIVERSE, YOU HAVE THESE STUFF WITH YOU. Sure these things may have duplicates, but OUT OF ALL OF THE DUPLICATES, this one is yours and SOMEONE out there, don’t have it. These duplicates are still limited and YOU have them.

You got to love the fact that you are so lucky right now that in the randomness of things, you still get to have what you have right now with you. You still get to use what you have with you. You still get to reap the benefits of what you have with you.

Someone out there wants to get it. Someone out there wants to experience it. But you did something that we don’t know and you end up having it.

That’s a miracle right there. So take that fact and run with it. SAY THANK YOU. Be grateful. Not everyone will ever be blessed just like you. Because your kind of blessed will always be different and never be duplicated.

Feel lucky right here and now. You were chosen to experience these things.

Now that we got those TWO major things into light. I want to add a third one.

#3 Know that life is like a river. And if something has to go, know that a new thing is on the flow. 

Just like #1 I got a movie in mind for this. It’s a Disney one. It’s Pocahontas. She mentions in one of her songs, “You can’t step on the same river twice.” And it’s true. The river is constantly moving. So when you do step on it, no matter how fast, you can’t really step on the same water twice.

And if there is one thing we know about life is that it’s all about moving forward. Changes. Transformations. Resurrection. Rebirth. Transience. All those things are part of life all meant to propel us towards the new states we should be in. From this, you can compare life to a river (which is also moving forward).

And just like a river, every experience is a new experience. All first kisses, dates, love, time etc. will always be different from another. New players. New time. New place. New situation and so on.
As much as we are enjoying it by using it (#1) and being grateful about it (#2), know that part of loving the life you are in is accepting that old things will have to go so that new things will have a place.

And that’s still a positive thing.

You’re wondering why your long term relationship ended that way? A new and better relationship is coming along.

Your favorite black dress broke? It’s time to find a new one!

Your landlord is telling you to move out? Here’s a new opportunity to find a new neighborhood!
You may even be surprised. Maybe there is no direct replacement, but there will definitely be a new thing coming your way.

My direct experience on this one is that I used to have a job that I really enjoyed. I was really grateful for it because it even paid great money that supported my lifestyle. Unfortunately, things went awry on the job. I was constantly disrespected and unappreciated by my boss. I just knew that I had to let go, but I was afraid that if I do let go of that job, I won’t be able to find a new one.

But I just literally said, “f*ck it”. I know. I should expand my vocabulary, but that is just what I said. It felt wrong. I knew that I shouldn’t be holding on to it anymore.

And so I let go. And you know what? I got 2 new part-time jobs now that I am actually very giddy about. I am definitely happier than before.

And so, I leave you with these three simple rules on how to love the life you are in. And just like any blessing in your life --- use it and enjoy, feel lucky and grateful that you have it and when the time comes that it no longer applies, let it go and allow the new wisdom to flow.

Erzullie is an invite-only fierce plus size fashion designer brand from the Philippines dedicated to serving the style of the empowered Erzulliesta. Get invited: www.erzullie.com