Fall 2018 was a lot about leaping into the unknown. We hadn't shot any campaigns for Myths in two years after spending thousands of dollars every season, we would yield little more than a comment here and there from our e-commerce.
This season, I anchored everything in the concept of Between Dreams: of everything in life, our errands, our morning coffee, our jobs, our time spent with our loved ones, as simply the space between dreams. In dreams, our ability to float through limitless realms of potential unfettered by our egos and fears, that this was in fact more or at least as "real" as our waking life
Looking back at this theme I see that I have played a subconscious joke on myself: As I am also between "dreams" in the sense of life goals.
I have slowly been letting the possibility of letting go the shop, letting go of the commercial, inventory management area of my business and seeing what stems from the seeds of a new season's planting.
I am tired of taking out loans to provide a beautiful experience, only to feel that I am being asked to compete with fast fashion. Of facing the beautiful people who step into my shop with exhaustion, with defensiveness when I have failed to anticipate their needs. I am tired of feeling like I can't step into my true worth without giving something away.
I want to ask for more. I want to be alone. I want my passion for reimagining to be plugged into a place in which its effects will ripple out and affect others' lives. I want to have a life where I am comfortable and expansive so that I can properly serve those less fortunate than me, so I can live out my gifts and my message the way I believe we should all be able to.
I have repeated visions in meditation where I can only see the back of women's heads. Their long hair cascading and adorned. Their wild unruly natural tresses shrouded in mystery. I would see these over and over. I know now that I was dreaming about the fear I have of intimacy with other women. So many friendships through my early twenties ended in people moving away, ended in my social anxiety, ended in my needing to drink more tea than I drank alcohol, ended in me realizing that I was being bullied, that being dominated, that I was playing my own comfortable song of victimhood over and over. Learning these things about myself, the loneliness and buried hurt and frustration of feeling like I had been abandoned by those I had bonded to, and also abandoned myself to make the interactions easier, was a stretch for my heart. I had to shine light in dark places I had never been. I cared so much what people thought of me. The ability to see where I was and what was buried deep inside set me on a new path: Where to go from where I am? Holding the world in my hand. What will I invent. What territory do I dare explore?
LET ME BIG YOUR SISTER
I have always been the older sister. In the Philippines , when you are the oldest child you are expected to go to school after being "invested in" by your family, and to use your degree and your intelligence and your work ethic to send your siblings to school and send money back to your family. I have yet to be able to pay my own student loans. Maybe that sounds crazy to you, this idea of the oldest sibling being an "investment." It is not crazy to a culture of people who live by these traditions. I was born in the Philippines but was raised in the United States since I was two years old. There is incredible loneliness between parents and children who are raised in different cultures and in different countries. Because the gap between them as people is already so wide, it is hard to establish trust and validation in one another's experiences and opinions. Add this to generational differences and you are learning constantly to speak a foreign language to one another, opting sometimes for quietude or the silent intimacy of hugging your parent while they watch tv after working. My parents worked so far away from our school that they spend an average of three hours on the road every day. They had to eat dinner at 8 pm. Maybe it was their partially Spanish ancestry. More likely it was the demands of capitalism met with the innate belief that life was sacrifice, that children wren't made to experience the deprivations of their parents. Where was my older sister? I had none. I had no one to ask how to shave my legs or what was normal to think about, what was normal to feel. I still sit in the loneliness of my own thoughts, editing often, unsure of what will happen if I share everything.
What is being Asian American. Assimilate. Let your exoticness charm the other. Fit in with your nonthreatening way of always agreeing to what others need. Get more A's. Be good at math. Play the piano. Play sports. Never argue. Let others desexualize your men and sexualize your women. Act unembarrassed when your best friend tells the kids at school she saw fish with their heads on them in your freezer. Don't point out to anyone the idea of fish who swim around headless is a much more disturbing image. Let things go. Be quiet. But be loud when everyone else is loud. Share your food. Be late. Be casual and welcoming. Be formal when you are required to. Pretend you know how to use a knife and a fork even though you always used a fork and a spoon at home. Don't be offended when they hand you chopsticks and you don't know how to use them. Just figure it out. Don't rock the boat. You just arrived upon it