Dress - Mia Han
Shoes - Charles & Keith
Lip colour - Rihanna X M.A.C in Nude
One, two, who's playing hide and seek?
Three four, who wants to come find me?
Five, six, who's hiding in the dark?
Seven, eight, come out, come out,
wherever you are.
It has been exactly a month since I last wrote. I feel a little disorientated, a little guilty, like I have fallen off a bicycle on a rocky road, trying to get back on my feet. Or rather, continue to paddle wounded. A lot has happened over the last month. It's a point in my life when I can say my life is flashing past me in an exponential rate. But then again, time is relative and if it gets any faster in the future, I might just run out of vocabulary to express how I feel.
The past three years with Dressabelle was great. I remember starting out writing to them with hopes of becoming a model. At that time, they didn't have a place for me but offered me clothes anyway so I could photograph and write for them. Months passed and I began writing for their weekly column 'Look Book Friday'. Even though my personal style differed vastly from the girl-next-door persona of Dressabelle, it was incredibly fun and rewarding to style a girly piece to my imagination. My boss is the nicest corporate person I have ever met, and I made a few close friendships too, one of them being Jing who photographs me quite often. Fast forward, I left Dressabelle earlier this month and to begin my full time internship. Leaving a company which I have enjoyed working at for so long was a bittersweet feeling. Somewhere in my heart, I didn't want to leave, and that sense of refusal scared me. It was as if I was so used to environment that I might have lost the courage go beyond my comfort zone. And if you have watched the movie Shawshank Redemption, you would know 'institutionalisation' can trap a soul. I had to break free of that.
Earlier this year, I lost my scholarship at Lasalle. I never talked to anyone (besides my close friends) openly about this until now. I feel like I am at a turning point in my life and it doesn't matter if you knew. My scholarship application failed because my grades did not meet the cut-off point indicated by the school. Having being a scholar for my first year of study, I couldn't accept the bad news. I remember reading that email over and over again, wondering what went wrong. I consider myself a decent student who takes her education seriously, but it all boils down to the fact that I was not good enough. No matter how my good friends tried to talk me out of self-loathe, and my parents telling me it was fine, I knew deep in my heart that I just lost something that was so important to me. All my life I have never been high achiever academically. I was never nominated as a prefect in secondary school, never topped an exam, being 'that student' who always went for retests, and failed my Amath for 'O' levels. When I came into Lasalle, I was surprised that I did decently, which also won me a scholarship in the beginning. For that one year titled a scholar, I held my head high, felt determined that I could do anything, and told myself that I wasn't that bad after all. All that changed when my second year scholarship was rejected. I felt lousy, trashed, and pitied myself. For awhile, my faith was wavered, my confidence shaken. Over the past semester, I became a lot quieter in school and lost my drive. I didn't feel important, and tried to avoid discussion on grades. A classmate asked if score was important to me. Honestly, I didn't know how to answer. I wish I'd say score doesn't matter. But it does, even if you're studying in an arts school.
I like to live by this quote Rihanna once said, "never a mistake, always a lesson". No, there's no miracle. But I am a lot more in terms with whatever's happened now. Just two weeks ago, my school semester concluded with the UNSEEN: Vintage Redefined event which you might have seen me posting about on Instagram. I saw photos that I photographed printed out and hung up. The necklaces my team and I made sold more than we expected, and I had a fantastic time with my team. As a student, one of the most rewarding feelings is seeing your work come to life and getting approval from others. At that very moment, I felt like I have accomplished something. All those failures, late nights and self-doubt felt irrelevant. My team wore our creations proudly, and felt grateful for our enduring friendship. Not everyone can claim friendship at workplaces, right?
I turned 21 on 2 November this year. It's difficult to wrap around the fact just how time flies and I am legally an adult. There were no fancy parties or dinners, just a simple get-together with my boyfriend and close friends. Despite all the flamboyant 21st birthday party held all throughout this year, I never wished for one. I saw those $200 cakes and long guest lists as a waste of money, time and meaningless conversations. All I wanted was a day to sleep in, but working part time while studying was incredibly challenging. I am always out of the house, if not staying up doing work. Being constantly occupied made me feel like my life was slowly seeping out of me, my life becoming a routine. The lack of rest took a toll on my health, at times causing pain to my already curved backbone. My biggest question for my 21st: why are we not making time for ourselves?
Okay my rambling is out of control. Sorry if whatever's up there makes no sense, but I couldn't help letting out my thoughts because who knows I might decide to bottle up the next minute. Just want to say thank you for staying with me through this long hiatus. I have neglected this space for way too long, it feels comforting to be typing away without the need to seek approval. It my space where I write what I want, however I want, a space nobody gets to invade. For now, I will get back on my feet and follow my instincts. Because life is too fucking short to be dwelling in yesterday.
Photos by Yun Jing.