Dirty Years Ahead

I am hesitant to say that today, I have entered a new decade in my life. Depression has been a symptom of mine for quite some time, so I am currently overwhelmed with sadness and uncertainty. My 20s were filled with anxiety, unfulfilled dreams, resentments, and mind clutter. I have watched other people live my dreams, in which a friend replied that was one of the most heart wrenching things he has ever heard.

After the passing of a family member, I witnessed that life will fly by, just like time. I was able to gradually transition out of my self defeating mindset by being more of a risk taker. I came from a background where a safety net holds more value than personal and professional fulfillment. I came to LA in my early 20s to work in the entertainment industry, only to encounter challenges that I have never faced in my entire life. A few factors that were not working in my favor were:

  1. Not majoring in media studies, theatre, screenwriting, or anything else within that scope. I studied Economics in college because something like theatre wouldn’t have been approved by my parents.  Economics is “safe” and supposedly can get me any kind of employment. I disliked my college courses. My advice to anyone who is currently in college – pick a major that you will enjoy and meet your long term goals. During my later 20s, I have pursued continuing education courses relating to film. Expensive, but worth the investment and knowledge gained.
  2. My major lead me to work in government jobs that I no interest in, and was often bored by. I have sought help from personal connections and temp agencies without any success. When I first moved to LA, I fell right into the safety trap, and went to a temp agency. They connected me with a job that I actually stayed stuck in for years. This company has also unbranded me by making me less desirable and marketable. I’ve went back to the temp agency, and didn’t get any further assistance because I wasn’t “marketable” and didn’t have any skills or experience according to them.
  3. No one giving me a chance also really hurt my professional brand and resume. In my later 20s, I took a risk. I bit the bullet, took out a loan, and pursued an internship at a major company. Yes, I took a step back and interned, but in the long run, it eventually helped me find a job in entertainment.
  4. “Friends” and family being extremely unsupportive. At some point, I decided to become a lone wolf.  I won’t listen or hang out with people who don’t believe in my career goals. This took a lot of time, but it allowed me to clean out that unnecessary static. This gave me the chance to listen to myself, and not take societal norms too seriously.
  5. Along my personal journey, it didn’t help that I am currently living in one of the most superficial places in the world. When you don’t work in one of those cool companies, no one has any interest in you. People didn’t want to be my friend or offer any kind of mentorship . After my internship and job offer, people who have not spoken to me in months (and years) came out of nowhere and started asking me for advice, referrals, etc.
  6. Following other people’s dreams and advice. I grew up with a narcissistic mother…think Joan Crawford. She never wanted me to pursue anything creative, media related, or anything that will light up my face. I’ve expressed this interest prior to college, and she has pesters me to work in something more “stable” such as government, just to make HER look good.I actually worked in those jobs for 7 years of my 20s. There were a few times where she asked me for money to pay for her excessive spending habits. In hindsight, I’ll never get back that time. I have learned my lesson the hard way. From now on, I’ll only do things that will satisfy me and not others.

Because of those experiences, my perspective about life and humanity has had a huge shift. Although I have been more pessimistic, cynical, and blunt, I have also developed a stronger springboard to the next step. Here are my goals for the remainder of 2017, in addition to the new decade:

  1. Work really hard, and be more resourceful. Pave my own path so I don’t have to rely on others to say “yes” or “no” to me.
  2. Pursue the minimalist lifestyle. I can really clear the physical clutter to  help mentally declutter.
  3. Spend less time on social media. I should focus more on myself versus what is going on with others and world events.
  4. Getting out of the city more. I have a weekend trip planned to Portland later in the year. It’ll be my first time there.
  5. Let old friends remain old friends. I’ll stop making time for them considering that they haven’t made time for me. As my clock continues to tick, I don’t need that kind of vibe.
  6. Stay present. I should worry less about the future, and dwell less on the past.

I wanted to share some photos that were taken on my phone in my early 20s. These will definitely be kept for memories.

Naya Sunset in Silverlake Los Angeles. Taken on an Android when I first moved here.
Also taken exactly 5 years ago with an Android phone . Chinatown summer nights event.