Love Chic



Sometimes, things happen that temporarily suspend our ability to think straight. People we value do us wrong, throw away our love and friendship. Intoxicated by their betrayal, we find ourselves making poor choices, moving away from who we are and compromising the values we grew up with. We end up acting on our heightened emotions, forgetting that wanting to cause pain to people who hurt us will do nothing to ease our own pain.

In time, the dust settles. The shock, pain and anger dissipate. We sober up, and as our head clears, so does our perspective. We become aware of things we shouldn’t have said and done, regardless of what was done to us. By then, it’s too late to take back or undo them. Nothing we say can justify any of it. Worse, others come and take advantage of our momentary weakness. When mixed with our truths, their lies become easier for others to believe, and we are punished even for things we did not do.
And so the lessons come. We look back at every move we made and lament on what we should’ve-would’ve-could’ve done instead. We think of the people that got unwittingly involved. People we hurt simply because they were in the way of our tornado of feelings. People we took for granted while we were so focused on ourselves. 
With those lessons come realizations. We see the situation for what it is—so much less complicated and fearsome than we imagined. As our flaws and vulnerabilities get exposed, we also begin to see people for who they are—the ones merely waiting in the wings for the delight of seeing us fall, the ones only in it for entertainment, and the ones who love, forgive and stand by us through everything.
imageThe sad reality is, lessons come with pain and difficulty. The beautiful truth is, they also come with hope and choice. After seeking forgiveness, there are two things we can do when we make mistakes. We can wallow in self-pity and regret, allow ourselves to be hindered and condemned by fellow human beings who forget that we are all fallible, that we have all done things we’re not proud of, that we all have skeletons in the closet and the only difference between them and us is that we no longer have to hide or be afraid of ours.
Or we can make the choice to forgive ourselves, rise above it all and move forward. To realize that our exposure is a chance to acknowledge our mistakes, then do things differently so we don’t ever repeat them. To show that our mistakes don’t define who we are and who we can be. To embrace the hope each day brings, wipe our slate clean and get ourselves a brand new start.
When we can be at peace with our past, gratitude sets in. Not just for the happy times or the people who have been good to us. We begin as well to appreciate the pain we once rejected and the persons who caused it. We realize that they have actually given us a gift: that of freeing us from fear, of leaving us forced to fight our monsters, of helping us find great things within ourselves that we wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. We come out of it with newfound courage and wisdom, ready to once again begin.
Everything and everyone changes, and to refuse to accept it is to refuse to grow. Nothing is ever stationary or static. Even for a tree planted firmly on the ground, seasons give way to seasons: from being abloom, its leaves shed and its flowers wilt, and just when it seems resigned to staying barren for good, its bloom is renewed—each full circle a transition from stagnation to growth. The same holds true for all of us. Each “death” is a mere “passing on” to a new and more fulfilling life, if only we embrace it.

Dress from Bangkok, maxi skirt from The Catwalk. Freshlook Illuminate one-day contact lenses from Sarabia Optical Rockwell. Lookbook // Chictopia

Starting over

In March 2010 started a love story eight years in the making. Seph and I met in 2002 through my cousin Jeru, his best friend of 11 years. Through those years we were always just along the borders of each other’s lives, crossing paths every now and then in between relationships, keeping in touch and losing touch and finally finding each other many years and lessons later.
When we did, we were so sure we had both been prepared for this. That there must have been a reason we weren’t brought together eight years ago; that we were meant to first grow and learn from past mistakes. Things fell into place almost cosmically: the chemistry effortless, the connection unbreakable, everyone’s love and support overwhelming. This is what we’ve been waiting our whole lives for, we thought.
It’s been our joy sharing our story with you through this blog—our passions, hopes, milestones and memories. Love Chic has not only been a celebration of our love for fashion, but of love. Of two people whose bond is so strong that one can feel or think what the other feels or thinks without saying a word. Two people with so much in common it’s like they’ve known each other all their lives. Whose differences are so complementary that when their strengths and weaknesses combine, they’re unstoppable. Two people who have made cynics believe that true love is real after all.
But love as a feeling is never enough. Falling in love is the easiest thing, while staying in love requires commitment. It takes two; not one, not three, to make a relationship work. As it turns out, the worst fears and gut feelings I’ve been having for a while were real: Seph and I have stopped moving together in this direction. The things that were supposed to be just between the two of us—secrets, plans, dreams, problems, were no longer just between the two of us.
Due to circumstances beyond my control, our story has come to an end.
They say fight for what’s yours. Give it your all. But when it turns out it has no longer been yours for over a year now, you can fight and give with all you’ve got and it won’t make the slightest difference.
When that happens, all you can do is forgive, and move on. Be grateful for what happened, and have faith that things can only get better.
From here on, Seph is leaving Love Chic to me. There will be changes, but with the same name and aim of inspiring young people to be their best and confident selves. We hope you’ll continue to be supportive of us even as we go our own ways.
Made this on our anniversary to celebrate our story. It’s time to let it go. :)

To everyone who stood by us from the very beginning, when we were starting out with webcam photos on Facebook albums. To everyone who read our first blog posts and watched our first videos. To everyone who came by our talks, wrote to Dear Love Chic, dropped by our bazaar booths, watched our guestings, and read our features. To everyone who showed their faith in us, who looked up to us and made us feel like we were doing something right. To everyone who loved Love Chic, and sephshai.
Thank you.