I’m giving you free access to all my artwork. I am neither a professional photographer nor a writer, in fact all my photography and writing skills are self taught. But I believe they might have some values for you because beauty awakes the soul and inspires one to live life to the fullest. There are many beautiful things that I have seen and experienced through my youth and it will be too selfish not to share. Before you scroll down to download the documents below, I hope you would spare some time to listen to my story.
It all begins when I attempt to figure life out. There are certain things that I know, like I never want to land myself in a job solely to gain the great paycheck and I never feel for the desire to succeed in terms of the society. But still, there are many things that I couldn’t understand when I graduate from polytechnic. There are many options but not having any ideas on what I truly desire to do, I start to work as a show presenter in the zoo, simply because I love animals. Initially working in the zoo starts as a real exciting prospect. But soon I realize, despite what people are always talking about, following your dreams, pursuing your passion, these are terms that apply only if it fits into the “ideal” Singaporean lifestyle, whereby your dreams have to be either somewhere along the line of being a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, an accountant, a teacher, a scientist, or anywhere along that line of jobs hold in high prestige, relatively as compared to being a zookeeper. People generally assume that being a zookeeper is not good enough for a dream. Sure enough, I did not stay long as a zookeeper/show presenter. Not because I did not like the job, but because I have to set off to New Zealand for a working holiday, a hiatus for me to figure things out.
Of course, things didn’t exactly go according to plan. I have a tremendous time in New Zealand making new friends, experiencing living away from home, working in a vineyard and living a laid back life but when I get back to Singapore, I still did not have a slightest notion of what I truly want to commit my whole life to. So I decide to find another job in the animal industry. Again, I make good friends in my new workplace but still, it never feels like something I want to do for a long time. Then, strangely enough, against my aversion towards a nine-to-five, I find myself back in an office. Of course, as I have predicted, it did not sit well with me. I quit after one to two months of working. Then, I move on to work in a healthy vegan café. I love this job but unfortunately, fate has to bring it to an end due to a lack of resources. Anyway, the story after that is that I have a few part time jobs in the animal industry and vegetarian industry. I only have part time jobs because during my long period of knocking doors and also knocking my head on the walls, I finally realize what I really want to do. You could say I have found my dream or passion.
I want to live a free and passionate life. Who don’t? But what I mean is that I’m willing to make them my priorities in my life, to do what is required for me to live it. I want to have a lot of free time to do some traveling and diving every now and then. I want to do art: writing, taking photographs and belly dancing. I want to connect to my self and the surroundings through yoga. I want to commit to compassionate and sustainable living around me through being a vegan and gardening. Never in my life until now have I feel so much passion for living. But it wouldn’t be so if I haven’t survive through minimal wages (am still at minimal wage) and judgment from others. Other people mean well but they are not me, they can never truly understand what I need. Only I can try to find out what I need. Even so, I first have to allow myself the time to do so.
I figure out that life is not measure in the numbers in my bank but it is quantify by the quality of life I lead. And the quality of life is not so much about the physical assets I have, as there is impermanence in everything, but more about the connections I establish and the experiences I undergo. I might not have a lot of money but at least I know at least one or two stories that are worthy enough to share. And that is life for me. Although, yes I’m asking for kind donations in my book because I need sufficient resources to move on to my future plans: to learn tribal fusion belly dance and permaculture overseas (because it is not available in Singapore). Also, I wish to invest in a good underwater camera (probably point and shoot) and a better DSLR for making more artwork.
But even if you don’t donate, it’s fine. The main point is still for me to share my experiences of living through these books. I have faced my fears and negativity, both from myself and others. I have been through my struggles mostly alone. A few years ago, when I first live out of the societal norms, there are very few people I know who truly understand the journey that I’m undergoing. Most of the people I know chalk it off as a craze of the youth but I know that this is the journey that I have to take. Even till today, although more people around me seem to understand, there are still a lot of people expressing their concern. But now I learn better to distinguish between what is good for me and what isn’t. I know happiness more, I know what I need to do to maintain a good level of happiness and I know how to be less affected by the judgment of others.
Because we all have our own paths and truly, only we ourselves could work to figure it out. Yes, it wouldn’t be easy. There are many times before, when I cry alone, when I wish things would be easier, when I think I’m a stupid person but I’m glad I am over it. I’m still trying to make things work but I have faith in my journey. And I want you to know that if you are undergoing struggles of any kind to live your own life, you are not crazy and you are not alone. If you do wish to go in a path where it seems dim, but it’s something you feel strongly to, shine a light of your own and go ahead bravely. One day, maybe you return to conform or maybe you manage to carve your own niche. Whatever the result is, I will not be able to predict but I can tell you, if you ever embark on such a journey, you would be in for some amazing life experiences, as I have been through.
Finally, I hope you would enjoy my books, (best view in adobe reader) and let me know if you do. Kind gestures are always appreciated over here:D