I’ve grown quite fond of collecting eyeglasses lately. Stay-at-home boredom compelled me to start a vintage fashion modeling hobby, and suddenly a necessary medical appliance became a means for me to express myself. I enjoy matching my eyewear to my outfits, and in the process, my collection has grown.
When I’m wearing a different pair of glasses and I take pictures of myself, another person stares back at me from the screen of my phone. She is a mystery. She could be anyone! Wearing dark-tinted sunnies, she’s a wealthy girl from Seoul who shops every day for leisure. In pink plastic spectacles, she’s a preppy schoolgirl from 1980s Britain. In round, gold-rimmed glasses and a frilly dress, she’s a fashionable office lady from the 1960s.
A bit of fantasy comes into play as I don one outfit after another. Each persona melts into the next, and for a moment, I am transformed. For a short while, I am transported from my challenging life in the Philippines to any place and era of my liking, where I am free to be anyone I can imagine. Sometimes I bring my daughter into my fantasy by involving her in my photo sessions. It’s fun to see her as a character in my little make-believe world.
Once the shoot is over and the photos are up on my hobby Instagram feed, I know I must return to reality. I have a toddler to take care of, a business to run, and a husband to occasionally assist whenever hemophilia gets the better of him. Jared’s bleeding episodes are predictable (they seem to come around once a month), which is a good thing for me, somehow. That way, I don’t have to feel too stressed if he is temporarily out of commission, since I know what to expect and will have found a way to adjust our schedule accordingly. Bleeds are still stressful, nonetheless.
I’m thankful Jared is supportive of my newfound vintage cosplay hobby. If I ask, he is happy to give his personal opinion about the outfits I put together. He even encourages me to “lose myself” in dressing up or taking pictures if he sees that I am beginning to have fun — even if it’s the middle of a workday. He reassures me that he’ll take care of what needs to be done.
I’ve finally decided to take some time off business responsibilities to focus more on things that enrich my soul. The past few months have been tough on me, as I lost an emotional outlet I really love. I used to shake off stress and regulate my emotions by going to a mall or a park, but I can no longer do that as a result of the “new normal” and being a toddler mom. Staying at home drives me crazy!
Thankfully, I found a new method of coping with negative emotions and stress through my chosen creative endeavor. By escaping into a make-believe world for a few moments, I can reset my brain, and I feel more energized when I face reality again.
That gives me one more reason to be thankful for Jared. We may both be imperfect people, and we both believe our marriage will always be a work in progress, but I am most grateful to my husband for encouraging me to pursue the things I love. He knows and understands the value of being happy. He also tells me he doesn’t want to be the reason I feel otherwise. He knows his condition can be stressful, so he doesn’t want to stress me out any more.
Sometimes I fear that I’ll be judged for the things I like, but Jared reassures me he’ll always do his best to understand — whatever it is. Sure enough, he’s been understanding of the weird quirks that come with every new hobby I take up. He doesn’t question why I own more than 20 fountain pens. Or why I need three ukuleles. Or why I started shopping for vintage outfits and filled an entire storage box with matching eyeglasses. He just allows me to enjoy things — and that is how he makes me happy.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.