Unconditional Love

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I know I’m a little late on my blog posts lately (sorry, it has been a crazy busy week) as I wanted to talk about one of girls’s favorite topics to talk about: love! ;P Have you ever been loved unconditionally by someone? The kind of love that loves you still when things get ugly, when you have stuff in your teeth, when you fight and cry but you know you’re going to be okay the next day, when you can fully trust the other person knowing there’s no malice in their heart and all they want is the best for you despite of your differences? It wasn’t until my late twenties that I realized (other than God who created this whole universe and my parents who treat me like a princess and the rest of my family who can’t really get rid of me, hehe) that my greatest relationships (so far) are my best friends.

When I truly thought about the things that I was looking for what an ideal relationship should consists of — there were some things that I knew were non negotiable such as: commitment, loyalty, trust, kindness, respect, honesty, the ability to be completely myself with another person and have lots of fun. With that said I also realized that one of the most important part is for me to be with people who will show love unconditionally and willingly —and accept that I will love them that way in return —and who aren’t afraid to stick around for the hard parts, who aren’t scared to talk about each other’s flaws, or plan a future with me or who will pick up the phone at 3 am because I’m having a nervous breakdown and I don’t think I can finish my school project that’s due at 8:30 in the morning.

Sometimes I’ve asked myself: isn’t our greatest relationship supposed to involve romance? Isn’t suppose to end in marriage like what the society expects out of us? But looking back on my life, my friends have been my constants – who have an unconditional love for me for years. Even when I’ve hit my lowest points, they’re the ones who have helped me come back up. The ones who never gave up on me and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. The ones who’ve talked me out (and never stopped) #insertrollingeyesemoji of dating the guys who they think aren’t good enough for me. The ones that know when I deserve more when I clearly don’t see it and the ones who see the strength in me when I feel like nothing but a broken mess. They don’t worry about a “commitment” to our friendship – it just flows. They don’t look at my bad sides and make me feel bad for it – for the most part, we point them out to each other and discuss how can we be better as a person? They aren’t nice to me just to get something out of me; they’re nice to me because they care about me. They push and aspire me to be my best self because we are each other’s cheerleaders —without forcing each other to be someone we’re not. Last but not the least, I don’t have to compete for their attention or convince them to see my worth because they already know it. In all honestly, I’m lead to believe that your best friends are probably one of the strongest loves you’ll ever have because nobody is forcing them to love you, other than the fact that they already know too much about you! 😉

For this blog post I am actually wearing Secretly A Mermaid‘s newest set. Follow us on Instagram: @shopsecretlyamermaid My bestie and I started our own Etsy shop late last year in order to share our love for mermaids, dressing up and fashion. Speaking of unconditional love, I can say that our friendship is one of the primary examples of the existing greatest relationships that I have. Sometimes it feels like work because we actually work together even if we’re fighting… but in the end I still think it’s worth it because we love each other unconditionally and we are working towards a common goal and we don’t lose sight of that.

My hope is that if you haven’t found someone who loves you for all the beautiful, amazing mess that you are — is that you never give up. Hang on tight and spend time with the ones that already do. ❤

XOXO,

Joy

 

 

 

 

 

Out Of The Woods

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I grew up reading fairy tales — maybe that’s why sometimes I feel like my imagination is always traveling to another land. And because of this, I’ve also always believed in the good defeating evil, romance and true love. We didn’t have Disney Channel in the Philippines so  I learned about Cinderella, Aladdin, the Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Alice in Wonderland through books. Reading fairy tales and imagining to be in a another land was probably one of my favorite things to do when I was a child. Twenty something years later, I still love the idea of what fairy tales teach us —although now I am more well aware that not everything has a happy ending.

It was probably a few years ago when I first fell in love and got my heart broken that I experienced one of the most magical things I’ve ever felt in my life. It really did feel like the whole world was spinning and butterflies were living in my stomach. Everything happened so fast and so passionately and then boom —all of a sudden, it was over. The next thing I knew was— I felt like there was actual hole in my heart and it was shattered in a million pieces and I didn’t know how to mend it or to glue it back together. Days, weeks, months passed by and I still felt so empty, so broken —so not good enough. Eventually, with the help of my friends, family and my faith in God, I pushed myself to get out of bed again, to stop crying, to move forward, to live in the middle of the pain, to try new things I never thought I could do, to face my biggest fears (heck, I even jumped out of an airplane), to reinvent myself, to fight to be the best person I could be. There were still days that I would unexpectedly cry out of nowhere or feel insecure why it didn’t work out or the infamous question of “what’s wrong with me?” conversations with myself. But I learned that —that was okay, it’s all part of the healing process. It’s completely okay to be human and to be broken so you can be whole again.

As I look back now, I never thought I’d say this to myself but it was actually a very beautiful process. I can honestly say that I am proud of the person I’ve become and when people from my past tell me that I’ve changed – I say thank you —because I fought to be the person that I am now. So for those ladies, who are single this Valentine’s Day or even heartbroken — I am here to tell you that you will be okay. I know that’s the last thing you probably would like to hear right now but you will be, I promise. Everything will make sense in no time. Just allow yourself to feel, to break, to cry (but don’t stay there), to move in progress until you can feel again, smile again and love again.

There’s going to come a time that you will fall for someone again —and when that happens, you’ll be scared again but this time around you’ll be braver and know that if my heart gets broken again – I know I’m going to be okay because I’ve already survived, went through hell and back and got my life back together but better. You’ll know that it’s always going to hurt but this time it will be a little bit easier because you’ve been there and done that. You’ll also know yourself more and will fight for your worth this time around. And just because you love them, it doesn’t mean that you have to love yourself less.

If there’s one thing that I gained from losing my first love, it’s self-love. And yes, I would do it all over again because it lead me to the person that I am now.

Now that I’m out of the woods, I found that there was more to life than the small world I lived in at that time. There’s other genuine, beautiful people out there deserving of my love and just because one person broke my heart into pieces, it doesn’t mean that nobody is going to come around and love me the way I deserve to be loved. Sometimes the next person even helps set you free from the chains you’ve been holding on to for all these years, or shows you different side of you that you’ve never seen before or ends up proving to you that not everyone is out here to get you. When you meet that person, let them in, love them and thank them even if things also don’t work out in the end.

I didn’t mean this to be a sentimental post, babes! But it turned out to be. Eeeeekkkkk. Well, this shoot reminded me of the song “Out of the Woods” by Taylor Swift. The lyrics and the music video felt so real in my life in so many ways. This post has a Part II so stay posted in the next few weeks. I made two outfits and got to work with @_256k Thank you for making me look like I’m coming out of a very dark, magical land in a fairy tale. It’s everything I imagined and more.

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone! Know that you are loved and you are worth it!

XOXO,

Joy

Born To Love; Not To Hate

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I made this dress specifically for Chinese New Year but due to my hectic schedule, I haven’t gotten a chance to actually blog about it. I’ve been wanting to write about where I stand on all the issues that are country is facing and I finally got a chance to do so this morning. I was raised by a conservative Christian family and you could say that I grew up in church so with that said I still do carry some conservative Christian values. However, seven years ago, I moved to the city of Los Angeles in order to pursue my dreams of becoming a fashion designer. In those seven years, I have experienced many things and my eyes have been opened on how cruel and unfair this world can be and some of my own personal beliefs have been greatly challenged. I’m not here to school anyone or try to change anyone’s stand on things. I am here to just let everyone know that at the end of the day, I was born to love and not to hate. That although, I don’t fully agree on some things that other people stand for or believe in — that alone will not make me hate a certain race, religion or gender. My religion isn’t going to dictate what someone’s personal affairs should or should not do. I will not force my belief on anybody but I will be here to love them because that’s what Christianity is all about. It’s about grace & freedom, not persecution & hatred. My brother asked me a few weeks ago, why am I so affected by all of these things happening to our country and why do I care so much? And my answer to him was: I just do. I feel. I care. I emphatize. So much. I live in a city where nothing is handed to me; where I still get cat calls for simply walking down the street; where I’ve loved people of color and found that some of the most wonderful and loving human beings are found in the LGBT community— where unity, love and grace is needed the most, where our rights as a woman shouldn’t be taken away from us, and where no one should feel like they’re second class citizens because of other people’s beliefs. With that said, no matter what some of my friends, family, church or President believes in, I will never stop believing that fighting for what is right is worth it because our voice matters.