Wearing My Emotions By Marquesa Lola

Wearing My Emotions

By Marquesa Lola

This is Marquesa Lola reflecting today on the way we use fashion to not only mirror who we are as people in general but also to express how we feel at a particular moment.

Just like artists use different lines and shapes to express their feelings, I consider clothes and accessories those elements of art that always hold meaning to the artists wearing them through their shape, textures, or colors. 

Many designers have chosen to express shoppers’ feelings on their garments. Shops like Forever 21 or Zara have been very upfront in printing messages of encouragement or affirmations for young shoppers.

But, I have seen messages more discouraging like; “The Worst,” “I am a Bitch,” or “Lonely.” These very blunt messages to me transmit a certain attitude or mood of the person wearing it. Sometimes the mood is part of their personality, but many times expresses a mood that the person is going through at a particular time. 

“Clothes and accessories help me maneuver life in a more bearable and positive way.”

But, even if I, myself, use these types of statements on my shirts sometimes, the real way I use fashion to express my feelings is, perhaps not unique, but very personal and meaningful to me.

Ever since I was a child, I liked using bright colors with the intention to bring the sun, the stars, or the ocean close to my body. The feeling of thinking these elements are part of my attire gave me a sense of wellness that I have perfected throughout the years. 

I believe the root of this practice for me started one day in September, 1973. This day was my baby sister’s funeral, and us, the rest of the four children were not allowed to go to church. I guess they thought it could be a traumatic experience for us girls. 

We stayed home with one of my aunts. My aunt was, most of the time, a very melancholic woman. No one hardly knew this fact, because she was always put together and fashionable. My aunt was always wearing bright colors, and oversized earrings and jewelry, . She was beautiful. She never had children of her own. So she took care of us girls at this very hard moment for my parents. 

“I realized how covering pain behind a beautiful dress and jewelry could help me feel a bit less afflicted.”

It is a tradition in my country to wear black for months in mourning after someone dies. The day for the funeral, my aunt, however, decided that she wanted to wear a bright yellow dress. In addition, she chose brown and yellow oversized circular earrings. I remember, she said to me,” I always want to dress as if I am about to meet James Dean. Even if my heart is broken and aching that day.” At that moment, I understood that grief has to be felt inside. And I realized how covering pain behind a beautiful dress and jewelry could help me feel a bit less afflicted. I was already very much fascinated with my aunt’s choices in life in general. And her sense of fashion in particular. Therefore, adopting this practice was a matter of days for me. 

I, too, use color, accessories, and styles to cover up my real feelings. My routine is not simple. I organize my closet by colors.

My sister, who is a fashion designer, submitted me to a thorough analysis of my body and skin tone. She identified me as “Autumn”. As a result, so I use mostly warm colors. I recommend everyone to take this study as you will improve your self-image tremendously if you follow her tips. I am lucky that I am “autumn” because I can use colors I adore; orange, yellow, Valentino red, gold, turquoise, earth, and hunter green. 

As you can see, clothes are just more than a piece of fabric covering up my body. It is a way of expressing my feelings at times. However, many times, it is a good way to hide those feelings, especially when things are not perfect in my life. Clothes and accessories help me maneuver life in a more bearable and positive way. 

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How I am Adapting and Learning to Co-Parent by Rei

How I am Adapting and Learning to Co-Parent

By Rei

One of the main reasons that I was hesitant to get a divorce was because of the idea of co-parenting. I didn’t want my children to get confused having different rules. At the time of my divorce, my kids were only 5 and 1. We went through many changes: new environments such as school, living place/area. It was a tough year, my kids and I were living in LA while my ex was living in Canada for work.

Since the kids were so young, I had to be with them every second. I was always extremely exhausted and many times I seriously thought I would not survive another day. I didn’t know how to ask for help.

My main focus was my kids not being sad. I made sure that they were always tired going to bed. With kindergarten ending at noon, we spent hours at the park every single day or arranged play dates. I am fortunate and grateful to have amazing people around me while I was going through the most difficult time. 

I am fortunate and grateful to have amazing people around me.”

The following year, their dad came back to the US. It was quite an argument in the beginning as he forgot how to take care of kids. And of course, we are different people. Though I personally don’t want to spend time with my ex, we spent many events together. I share pictures and videos for any missed events.  All for the kids. I want my kids to grow up with their dad since he wants to be around them. I have the role of the tough parent, and go through non-fun activities with them but that’s ok. We both express our love for the kids in different ways.  As kids are growing up, they have less physical care from parents; I think we came to the point that we no longer have much disagreement. (Hopefully!) I am also learning to ask for help. “Receiving is giving.”

“Receiving is giving.”

One thing I finally got from the divorce was appreciation from my ex. He always had something to say about my motherhood. I don’t need anyone’s approval. But I only wanted to be approved by him that I am a good mother.I guess because being a mom is not something that comes naturally to me. I have to put in extra work. He finally realized and saw that after the divorce. 

I don’t regret for one second getting divorced. I had held on to the idea of being ”married” and “family” for so long that I lost the true meaning of marriage and family. No matter what the relationship between my ex-husband and I is, we both love our children. 

“As long as they feel the love from us, I know they will be ok.”

I was always there for my kids. My kids always have happy drawings and their behaviors seem ok so far. They are both caring children. As long as they feel the love from us, I know they will be ok. 

After all, everything happens for a reason.

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My New Journey: Writing A Blog by Rei

My New Journey: Writing A Blog

By Rei

Writing a blog is just hard….at least for me. I had no idea how challenging this would be. 

When I was first approached with this opportunity, my reaction was “Why do I want to tell the world my life, especially things that I overcome?? You know that I am private.” Their vision was by sharing my story I could heal myself and others.

Never thought of that. I said “YES” immediately. It was unlike me. Something inside answered for me and told me that I had to go with the flow. This opportunity came for a reason. As I always say that everything happens for a reason. 

Months went by, I no longer feel the need of healing myself, yet I still want to be a part of spreading the love by sharing my stories. Even if I can only reach a single person’s heart. 

“I want to be a part of spreading the love by sharing my stories.”

I am not a good writer neither in Japanese nor English… I realized that through this process. 

Last week, the Coronavirus topic was just hard to put together. My mind was just all over the place with different thoughts and experiences. The more I have to clarify my writing, the more frustrated I get because they don’t understand me…trapped by low energy. Besides daily stress, being a mom and now a teacher because of quarantine, I now have more stress because of the blog. I had self doubt doing the blog. That is when low-self esteem hits.

Being a part of this community is my new journey.”

Life is just so unexpected. Though we all choose our own paths before being born. Being a part of this community is my new journey. Please bear with me. 

P.S. Being a teacher is a HARD JOB!

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