Sunday, July 17, 2016

Bliss XO: Defy, Part 1

Project: “Defy”

The Simple Definition:
  • to refuse to obey (something or someone)
  • to make (something) very difficult or impossible
  • to resist or fight (something)
Photographer: Miguel Raphael B.
Top: PacSun | Flannel: thrifted | Cap: gift | Khakis: thrifted (Abercrombie & Fitch kids) | Shoes: Vans 
To see Miguel's outfit, explore The XO Series
Defy (as defined by Miguel) | Defy (as defined by Isabel)
During my photoshoot with Miguel, a train passes by twice. My eyes linger on the back of that locomotive and out towards the farthest ends of the train tracks, and my mind wanders for a moment. Wanders and thinks about the future.
When i was growing up i knew one thing was to be sure. If I studied really hard, worked even harder, answered only when asked, obliged if told to do so, head down, that I would make it. Standing at the railroad crossing, I realized that this time. I felt like I had the freedom to choose. That a driving force inside me was whispering.
To read the rest of our narrative, click to read more...
After watching “Stand By Me” in the summer of 2015, it left me with a sense of nostalgia, a longing for simpler times when walking around town with your group of twelve year old friends was safe and normal to do. Now it’s “too dangerous” to be walking out and about, let alone by yourself.
I wore black at the crossings to signify a rebirth of sorts. Of allowing risk, fear, doubt wash over me for a moment in a hue that I’ve embraced. Because of the countless times I’ve been told that to dream is dangerous, that I have no ownership of my dreams. If you came from where I came from, you need to stay practical and that’s that. I was sitting on the tracks, and thinking about how close I am to something I wouldn’t dare touch, let alone sit on. That’s what fear conditions in us. More fear.
Whenever I come across railroads, I think about the fictional larger-than-life journey of the young boys in that movie. It was more than a coming of age film. These boys really grew up in the events that they experienced together, creating this immense bond they would have never developed if it wasn’t for those life-and-death situations. When I come upon railroads and trains, whether in other movies or during my own travels and strolls, I feel a wash of mixed emotions and thoughts: nostalgia, childhood, the unknown, adventure, excitement, independence, freedom, the future.
To defy is to refuse to believe that only what is laid out in front of you and where you’re placed in this society is what you’re allowed to have.
To defy is to fight for those difficult dreams, regardless of the outcome so you never have to wonder.
To defy is to resist in order to reach a true happiness and understanding of the person you look at in the mirror everyday
As a fresh design college graduate, my mind has been going back and forth between relearning how to relax and sleep more than 4 hours, and this implied responsibility floating in the air that I have to prepare material to apply for a “big kid job”.
I don’t want my journey to be defined by markers. Markers others have placed on me.
But I’ve also been reflecting on the growth I’ve experienced while in college and how much “defying” I did against my old self to reach this more empowered, confident being I am today (but of course, continuing to better myself because there is always room for improvement).
Because we defy odds. We defy the normal. We defy what we’re told we have to be. Because defying is thriving.
By resisting the norm, we learn something about ourselves. The fight and obstacles we overcome allow us to understand our limitations and strengths, realizing our potential we may not have known if it wasn’t for this fire to want to go against the grain and refuse to obey, whether it be social norms, cultural norms, gender norms, etc.  
Follow #BlissXODefy this summer to see other ways we choose to defy, and hopefully we light a fire in you to start defying and empowering yourself too. | Bliss & XO

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