#7 Turbulence

After 6-weeks of intensive classes of learning the Mandarin language, I am back in Malaysia. Contrary to what a lot of people are thinking, I did not go to Taiwan to breach the industry there… well, that wasn’t the plan this time around. This time, it was solely grasping the Mandarin language. Baby steps! 

I am really quite happy with my progress. I am confident in conversing with a native Chinese speaker now. Of course, I’m not perfect… I still have a funny “外國人” (foreigner) accent and I don’t know every single Chinese word but what can you really expect after a 6-week course? I still have to continuously study to improve… Not an easy task returning to my home ground where distractions are endless.

Anyhow, that’s just a brief of my language progression.

As for my career progression (which is the main focus of this entry)… now, that’s a different story. It’s not easy to have to write this out for the public but I did promise to be honest and to bear it all out… After all, that is the purpose of my blog.

So, while I was in the middle of my language course in Taiwan, I received pretty distressing news. The first distressing news was none other than the MH370 flight news. The next distressing news is one I received from my management about 2 weeks after the tragic news of the missing MAS flight.

The news I received was that the plans to work on my Chinese album were cancelled. All I was told by my manager is that we’ve lost our sponsors and unless I could find new sponsors, we couldn’t get to work on the album. I later found out that our sponsors were from Beijing and with the news that China was boycotting Malaysian artists flying around in tabloids and newspapers—I put two and two together and figured our Chinese sponsors were probably not keen on working with a Malaysian artist.

At that moment, I felt my hopes and dreams just came crashing down. I felt it was cruel to have the opportunity to realize my dreams just snatched so quickly and easily away from me… I indirectly became another victim of flight MH370. I wanted to be angry… I wanted to hate someone… to put the blame on something or somebody. I worked so hard to get to where I am. I did my best to make such careful decisions in choosing the right path while staying true to myself and I thought I found the right management to work with… But life seems to like to throw curveballs my way.

I’m going to tell you right now… Having a solid management and/or manager is a rare thing to have, especially in Malaysia… probably elsewhere too but the entertainment business is too cut-throat to really depend on anyone but yourself.

So having to deal with the fact that the whole reason why I went to Taiwan was to improve my Chinese language BECAUSE my management’s direction for my album was to be in Chinese targeting the Chinese market but suddenly, producing an album was out of the question (I sure love my long sentences…)… was certainly not easy to deal with especially since I was in the middle of my Chinese course. 

It was a pretty big distraction but I had to tell myself to look at the bigger picture. It was too easy for me to give up, pack my bags and go home. But I couldn’t just do that. Thanks to my stubbornness, I had to finish what I started. And since I had committed to properly learn a language, I will do it to the best of my abilities given the time presented to me. Also, grasping another language will only do more good than harm. And as much as I wasn’t happy about my management’s progress in bringing me up as an artist as promised, they were still sponsoring my mandarin education and vocal classes.

I wish I could’ve stayed longer in Taiwan and continued working on my language but there are pressing matters that need to be resolved. I cannot keep ignoring the elephant in the room. After all, I signed on my current artist management in hopes to be packaged as an artist and if they cannot fulfill their end of the bargain… then, I (or we…) will have to find alternative routes to success in this industry.

So I’ve run into a bit of bad luck… But I have to keep my chin up and not give up. Circumstances have continuously tested me but as I’ve mentioned before in my previous entries of Ink Spills of My Heart, these sorts of turbulences will not be the reason to end my current pursuit to success in this industry. 

During these times, it’s important to remind ourselves that yes, we do need luck. But luck, to me, is simply preparation meets opportunity. So what I need right now is an opportunity… because I’m prepared. I may not be perfect but you don’t need to be perfect to be prepared. As long as you expect the unexpected, don’t lose focus, keep a level head, and understand that there’s always room for improvement no matter how good you are; there’s no reason why you won’t eventually reach success. Wise words from someone not nearly there yet, I know. What I say now will hold nothing in the future if I fail to succeed. But even if there was the slightest chance that my current articles could change someone’s life in the future, I’ll take that.

When I was first hit with the news, I’m not going to lie, I took time before I got over feeling pretty miserable and hopeless. But the people around me and those of my readers and followers who have reached out to me in support gave me the courage and hope to keep trying, to stay strong and to not give up just yet… thank you for that. I’ll keep striving not to let us both down.

Many people believe I won’t make it. Many people may think I can. At the end of it all, what matters most in who believes in me… as cliché as it may sound… is me.

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