Walk Away from What You Love

Or, to be true to the essence of this post, "What I have been learning from temporarily walking away from what I love".
Though I write this post tonight with a slight headache, I write it with a smile as I remember the event behind these photos. These were all taken by one of the most talented fashion photographers I know, Jio, during the Japanese pop culture fair hosted by UP AME in the Philippines. I was a guest in the said fair, and I took it as an opportunity to present a dolldelight fashion show. I showcased 10 of the dresses I brought with me from California. These were all dresses I designed and made, each of them representing a Japanese streetfashion style I was particularly interested in. I consider the event one of the best memories I hold so dear, as not only was it my first fashion show in a Philippine event, it was also and more importantly at that, a reunion with the friends and fans I haven't seen in over three years!


The event was in late 2014. I myself wonder why it has taken me roughly three years to write and share about something I truly enjoyed and loved. I guess the delay has simply been a case of life just happening. After my stay in my home country, I returned to California with a new reality show to star in. Fast forward to early 2017, the show ended with two seasons, a total of 18 episodes, a collection of 20 dolldelight dresses, and a somewhat lost me.

We did not shoot the show for the entire two years. However, pre-production involved me creating new dresses almost for each and every new episode, with the materials I could ever want all budgeted in and provided for. The only other thing I wish I had more was time. I needed time to think of a dress' story, and for me to be able to convey that story in the very dress itself. But as one of my current professors put it, in production you simply don't have enough time. And I didn't.



Since the reality show centered around dolldelight as a fashion house, most of the episodes had to be about the fashion shows we participated in. I have always considered fashion shows as one of the most fulfilling experiences a designer could ever have. On a personal level, I enjoy them because not only do they let me share my work, but they also allow me to build relationships with friends and fans, especially since we already share a common interest in dressing up. Ultimately, attending conventions and doing fashion shows was how I was able to meet my friends when I just moved here in California. But everything felt so different doing it for the camera. Again, time was a huge factor, and without enough of it, interaction was very limited.

After the whole whirlwind of working for a reality TV show finally passed, I knew I had to breathe. I knew, no matter how my "must be productive" self protested, that I needed time and with it, space. This is why I am able to share this with you. I am breathing as slowly as I could, and each breath is drawn with introspection.

I had to walk away from attending conventions and doing fashion shows, as this was something we had done repeatedly for and during the show's production. I had to do something else, and so I got back in school. And though I did not stop designing and sewing, I have taken a more mindful approach of the process. I needed to step back, speak with myself, and surrender to that empty space.

I would be the first to admit that the space is scary. Sometimes it feels like it would be so much easier to return to how things were before. Most of the time though I am able to handle it both by asking myself why I am taking this hiatus in the first place, and reminding myself that this is all temporary. 


Needless to say, I am temporarily walking away from what I love because I need to find the meaning behind this love again. This whole stepping back relies heavily on one's personal understanding of why such a step has been undertaken. Additionally, the space I have made, (and this is a list that I would eventually expound on and continuously update), has allowed me to:

1. Collect myself. 
2. Rethink my priorities.
3. Open up to other inspirations.
4. Find out what else I am capable of.
5. Discover why I loved it in the first place.


I feel a little anxious sharing an unfinished post but, for now all I could readily observe are the main ideas I listed above. It is a different experience talking about things as they are just and/or about to happen. I hope to share more as I learn and reflect more. Though, even as words escape me now, I know there is some change. Isn't that how change is supposed to be, slowly then suddenly?

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