It has been 10 years since I decided to venture into fashion and photography, became a traveller and pursued a dream — to shoot for the greatest magazines and produce beautiful works — with the plan of sustaining a comfortable life and being able to live and work permanently as an artist in Europe, all while toiling in three different continents.
I left Singapore ( where I worked as a software developer ) in 2011, moved between New York, London ( where I resided most of the time ), Milan, Paris during the fashion weeks, and elsewhere for the remainder of each year. But since 2020, I have been back home here in the Philippines. Looking back over the past decade, I learned many things. Here are my personal reminders.
1. It is okay to dream, BIG or small.
In my case, it was the former. There were MANY rejections and hurdles.
2. Learn to move on after each rejection.
Borrowing a line from American singer Aaliyah, “If at first you don’t succeed, Then dust yourself off and try again”.
Improve and restart better.
If it doesn’t work, it is okay too.
Pat your back for trying.
3. Sometimes, a break, a breath of fresh air will give us a clearer direction of our dreams.
Pause for few seconds.
4. Know when it is time to end it. Stopping even when you haven’t achieved it, isn’t equivalent to failure.
Hold on ( if you can ). Continue the journey.
5. There are times when our frail human nature gives in.
There were dark days in my early endeavours when I felt completely alone, and my path was downright uncertain. Personal and societal pressure was too difficult to cope with. I succumbed to despair, resorted to sexual dependency in the hope of finding temporary comfort and strength. In the long run, it didn’t work.
Worse, there were thoughts of suicide.
I was lost.
Until I braved myself to find the courage to stand again.
6. I learned to live light-hearted and to enjoy the process and the journey.
Don’t forget to dance, sing, drink and be merry. Because there are great reasons ahead.
7. The world out there is beautiful.
8. Friends, and memories with them, are great treasures.
9. Humanity is wonderful.
10. Finally, smile and understand that every one of us is a work in progress.
Start a new dream.