Zara top // Zara skirt // Oribagu backpack c/o // vintage denim jacket // Orchard Mile hat // Topshop mules
With all that’s happening in the world, there hasn’t been a greater need to be and to do good. Whether it’s outwardly helping those around us or simply helping ourselves personally, being a “good” person is a difficult task to uphold regardless. It’s easier to point out what’s wrong and what’s bad, but recognizing the specific initiatives to work towards the “better” takes real dedication. And so we exhaust our self ignitions and run the meter to full, with our personal compass towards north where the light is brighter and the grass is greener, because in doing so, we bring ourselves to fuller elation.
I accept each challenge as it may be with unsighted positivity and affirmed agreement. Give me the world, I'll stitch it back together, hand-deliver a piece to each of my blessings, and count the deeds as it were the only riches I need in my pockets. This is what I believed life was meant to be lived. This is what I thought colored the spaces of a fuller world. But soon enough, I learned my hands ached of always giving and it left my stomach empty of wonderous appetite. I wondered, "How can I hold so much love but still feel so hollow? Isn't being good a sign of being better?" And thus began my tragic evolution of soul-searching. Someone who simply wanted to be and do good, but was stuck in between giving more than what she could and humbly accepting nothing back. Of course, it wasn't about receiving anything really, but it became a constant hunger for keeping a bit of love I freely shared without saving some for myself. I thought it was selfish to keep anything. But little did I know, it wasn't an act of selfishness so much so as it was an act of self-care. I can be good and give good, but only enough to the point where I also feel full and ample within. I don't need to sacrifice parts of myself to commit wholly.
The most important thing I've learned is "You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say no." As simple as that. "No" doesn't have to be negative or to reject things. It means allowing yourself balance and awarding yourself freedom. To have the equal opportunity to say "no" as much as you say "yes" and still hold the love in your eyes and the kindess in your heart.
We are full because we are free, not because we strive for goodness. And goodness does not mean always pushing ourselves to do everything and anything for others at any given will. It means serving balance for our weary hearts. Turning ourselves away from the personal throes and tempted woes that lure us in. They can all grovel at our feet for louder attention but our attention commits to what our hearts desire.
Photography by Steven Chen