I received the digital copies a couple of days after the shoot, and the stainless steel print a few weeks later. I am so proud of how it all turned out. They offered to digitally edit the colour of the sheet if I wanted and if it was any other occasion, I would have opted to have it changed to purple as it is my favourite colour. However, I felt like the red resonated with me more at that time: it represented the strength I gained as I powered through my past issues, the power that I felt as I slowly triumphed over my obstacles, the love that surrounded and enveloped me, and the vulnerability that I still felt despite everything. The picture above encapsulated all that, so that’s the shot that got printed out. The rest of the digital copies, I will keep for myself to remember this special experience by.
Writing this entry took me longer than necessary. I have been writing this since 8pm last night, but somehow, despite the overwhelming emotions that I was feeling and my desire to tell my story, the words were not flowing easily. I still ended up ruminating (and stewing), and I was up all night writing on and off. I tried to sleep several times and postpone posting this entry but sleep is my ever elusive lover. It wasn’t until noon today that I have managed to sleep, when a big chunk of this entry was already written. Three hours later, I got up to write some more. Once I hit “publish”, I will close this laptop and leave my bedroom for the first time today. It is now almost 5pm, EST. J will take me out and give me hugs as promised, and I will try to get over yesterday’s episode like I have done other previous episodes. These are the life cards that I have been dealt with, and I’ll be damned if I end up losing this game. As they say, fall down seven times, rise up eight. I’m a sore loser so I guess I’ll just keep on getting up.
Whatever the activity is, I think it is important to enjoy your own company. It is not a bad idea to be left to your own devices once in a while. Sometimes, we get inundated with too much information that we need some time to process our thoughts and listen to our own needs. It took me some time to realize this, and even longer to fully enjoy it. It’s not an easy task to lose the self-consciousness, the anxiety, or the fear of judgment. Trust me, I am still working on that every single day. But we are given this lifetime to work on ourselves. It is when we are stagnant and unchanging that we become boring. And truthfully, life is too short to be boring.
This occasion should be about an all-encompassing kind love, not just the romantic love. It should be about parental love, sibling love, friendly love, and most importantly, self-love. After all, this is why the saying “Before you can love others, you have to love yourself first” is so important. And sometimes, self-love is also the hardest thing to do. We tend to be so absorbed in making others happy that we fail to look after ourselves. Our tendency is to share ourselves to everyone that we forget to tune in and listen to our own needs.
You want to know how despair feels like? Imagine a constant pressure in your chest, like a weight that gets heavier and heavier every time you breathe. You feel constricted, like you are drowning. And the worst part? It’s all inside. No one can even see how much you’re suffering. You try to verbalize what you feel and yet no one understands. Perhaps it’s because you speak your truth with a smile to mask the severity of your pain. Perhaps it’s because you lose your eloquence, trying to organize your chaos into words. Or perhaps because others just genuinely don’t understand. Regardless of the reason, it doesn’t change the fact that you feel utterly alone.
I am here. We got this.