Thursday, May 10, 2012

Missing Out on Zalora’s Grand Launch: Of Regrets and Indecisiveness

In my life, I’ve done things that I’m not proud of. Who hasn’t, after all? It’s more often the case that I tend to do things that I live to regret later on, like all of my brash and reckless decisions. But I mostly chalk that up to experience afterwards, and I learn from it and try not repeat history and my past mistakes.

However, the worst kind of regret is the should have/would have/could have kind of regret. It’s so much worse to regret not doing something than it is to have done it, because that inaction condemns you to always wondering what might have been if you hadn’t hesitated. I can’t quite explain it, but it’s like love that never even was in the first place is more painful than a love that was lost, because it never even had a chance, and one is left entertaining all the possibilities. It’s agonizing, going through all the scenarios and outcomes in one’s head, if one had only taken a risk. And the thought of the possible rewards, which by then, one will never know, is pure torture. They say you can’t lose what was never yours to begin with, but then that’s why it hurts so much, because of that one slim chance of having it, only you were too afraid to reach for it and fall, so you played it safe. You gave up. I gave up. Over time, this turns to bitterness.

Zalora-Grand-LaunchJust what am I getting at? No, I’m not talking about love at all, it was just the simplest analogy I could come up with. Perhaps some might find my griping over this too petty and trivial, but it’s a big deal to me, having passed it up, and now feeling like a fool. Last Saturday, I received an e-mail invitation from Nuffnang to Zalora’s Grand Launch. When I saw it, I was so surprised and really flattered, because for one thing, I am just a newcomer and another, I’m not even a fashion blogger at that. Also, it was my first ever invitation to any event, not to mention it’s not just any event, it’s Zalora’s Grand Launch. Little old me and my small blog, who even reads my blog? I highly doubt I’m on anyone’s radar at this point, and I do this to unload and de-stress. In any case, I don’t know how I got chosen, but at the time I just felt so privileged and really lucky.

I think I was stuck on the subject line for about five minutes, but my excitement died down when I read further details, and it just started sinking in. Wednesday, May 9, 8 pm, at Skye Lounge, Bonifacio Global City. It was on a school night and it was so far away. It was Saturday when I got the e-mail, and I didn’t send an RSVP because I wasn’t sure what my school activities for the week might be and I couldn’t commit yet or answer definitely. I told my family about it, and Mama just raised her eyebrows with disapproval. I mean, she couldn’t stop me from going if she tried, but I always do my best to keep her informed, that’s her right as a parent. Even if my parents aren’t always happy with my decisions, they let me make my own mistakes, mostly. They always tell me to be careful and smart, but in the end, it’s my life.

Come Monday, I learned that I had exams on both Wednesday and Thursday, and so I thought that about made the decision for me. Since the event would start at 8, I estimated the earliest it would end would be around midnight, and I’d have to get home, and then I would still have a 9 am exam on Thursday, so I would be tired out and in no state to go to school. That was that. School comes first. Unlike the Avengers event I attended two weeks ago, I didn’t have an exam the following day, and Shangri-La Mall is at least not that that far away. I was disappointed, but I let it go, and I thought I had valid reasons, so while it was too bad, I didn’t feel so bad. Or so I thought. On Wednesday, my exam for Thursday got moved to Friday, and since I only had classes until 1 pm, I thought, it might not be too late, and that I could still make it.

But then I had all of these doubts, like what if my RSVP would be on too short of a notice, and that if I went there, the guest list might not be updated to include me, since it was on the day itself. And then I started worrying about the logistics. It’s in Taguig for crying out loud, I don’t even know Quezon City by heart, much less Taguig, so driving at night, alone, might not be the best idea, but taking a taxi isn’t much safer, or less expensive, for that matter. I even looked up directions on Google maps, and I was quite daunted by the distance and the traffic. And then I asked myself why I wanted to go, why it was worth the trouble. And this internal debate ensued within me, weighing the pros and cons. To most people, it’s a simple question of whether they want to go or not, yes or no. And then they can figure out a how. But to me, it was why, because I even questioned myself why I wanted to go at all. As I’ve said, I’m not even a fashion blogger, and to be honest, I don’t know anything about style and fashion, I just like to look pretty and polished. I am an outfit repeater, and to rub elbows with the color-blocked, accessorized, and platform-heeled, that’s not really in my bucket list. I went on and on, arguing with myself like a loon, for Pete’s sake. 

There’s a popular saying in Tagalog that goes, “kapag gusto, maraming paraan, kapag ayaw, maraming dahilan” and loosely translated into English it means that if you really want to do something, then you will find a way, or make one, but then if you don’t want to, there are always plenty of excuses. That was the case yesterday when I was going back and forth, vacillating, and trying to convince myself to make a decision once and for all. In short, I was my own hurdle, because of my indecisiveness.

You see (or maybe you don’t, I don’t even know who I’m talking to), I’m a loudmouth introvert, if that makes any sense. It probably doesn’t… In one of my entries, I’ve talked about how I’m not fond of nights-out and large social gatherings, and I prefer to spend quiet evenings over the excitement of parties and whatnot. But then this is at odds with my being talkative and chatty. My family often points out how wordy I am, and in a literal sense, I have a lot of words. Most people would just go straight to the point and say what they mean, but what they can express in a sentence, can take me a paragraph. Is there such a thing as being over-articulate? Like only intending to say you’re displeased, and yet saying so much about how you felt, and in so many words. When it comes to food, for example, it’s never enough, I’m never satisfied with saying it was good, it’s creamy, decadent, rich, sinful, delectable, and so on. Case in point: all of the above paragraphs just to get out that I’m mad at myself for not going.

Sorry for digressing, anyway, I don’t really feel like my life is wanting in activities and events, but to me, the Zalora launch offered an opportunity for me to step outside of my comfort zone and to expand my horizon. I wasn’t after the fashion and shopping, but it had a different symbolic meaning or significance to me, in that it stood for trying something new and being more open. It meant change and growth. And I totally blew it. It’s not that I couldn’t go. I wouldn’t and I didn’t. More to the point, it wasn’t about wanting to go, as much as wanting to want to go. Because from there, I could have found a way. I just know it.

So here I am. All unhappy and disappointed in myself. It doesn’t matter that it was truly inconvenient, what upset me most is that I defeated myself. I lost to myself, in short. I allowed my aversion to new and untried things to keep me from even wanting to try something new. It’s not something I can rationalize away, when I know it could have been my chance to meet new people and to break my usual boundaries. The physical and material constraints were nothing next to my own reluctance, my own barriers. All those excuses like it being far away, late and on a school night, just covered up for the underlying issue that I couldn’t overcome myself, or my unwillingness to do something that might make me feel awkward or uncomfortable. That’s the worst part of it all, being stuck in a rut of my own making. It’s designed so that I shouldn’t fail, but then I’ll never know what’s out there, waiting for me to take the initiative and discover it. It’s sad and pathetic. More so when you know you’re the problem, and you know exactly what it is that’s wrong with you. 

Maybe some people think that this one event I passed up is such a small thing, that there’s always a next time, but then it’s not the event per se, rather, what it means to have chosen to go, regardless of what the event was—extending myself and braving the unknown; and the implications of not going—cowardice, fear, and insecurity… It’s my ultimate heartbreak. Myself.

I do hope that this won’t be the last time an opportunity like this presents itself, and that when the time comes, I’ll take it wholeheartedly.

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