#22 Vision 20/20: Not On The Same Boat

So… 2020 was a surprise innit. The irony of Vision 20/20 as a symbol of perfection is laughable… or cry-able depending on your current mental state.

Took a pandemic (and 50 days into quarantine) for me to get back into journalling though. Silver linings, I guess?

Suffice to say, a whole lot of us had great plans for 2020 but God decided to shut that idea down real fast. I wish I logged something into my journal in 2019 but I totally skipped a year of journalling so now, I can’t look back at my 2019 wrap up journalling and can’t laugh at myself for being so damn optimistic.

In retrospect, I do recall being hella optimistic in 2019. I was on a truly rewarding climb. I made some serious progress last year that kept me so busy that I didn’t have time to catch my breath and log it down. A regrettable decision because I always believe in stopping and smelling the flowers every so often to make sure you keep your mental health in check at all times.

Speaking of the climb, I want to backtrack to 2018 where I last logged into my journal: “#21 Resolutions: Recipe for Motivation or Failure?”

Reading this back reminds me why I enjoy journaling (and the importance of it is) in the first place. Sometimes, I forget how wise I can be (lol, humility level 10000). Also, it’s nice to see where my thoughts were and how truly optimistic I was going into 2019. On my Instagram, I wrote this essay caption which I felt was a great summary for 2018:

Reading back my own writings is really such a good reminder for me to stay true to the person that I am. I always get people reminding me to never change as we all know too well how circumstances we get thrown in can sometimes change who we are as people. But I’m proud of who I am and that is why I keep all the people; who built me to be the person that I am; close to me so I can always stay consistent with my values.

Moving on to 2019, again I did a pretty good job summing up 2019 in my essay caption on Instagram:

Reflecting back on my year in 2019 really helps me achieve a sense of accomplishment to a degree. I do think it’s important to recognise and acknowledge the progress I’ve made in my endeavours. Doing so helps me get a sense of how far I’ve come and allows me to ask myself whether I am doing right by my will and purpose to stay on this path, whether I need to recalibrate or make adjustments to get to where I want to go, and/or just a nice kick of motivation and gratification.

It will be 7 years (by December 2020) since I began my pursuit in this line of work and up to this point, I’ve only confirmed how perseverance and consistency are two really important characteristics to achieve successes. I’ll be the first to admit that I am not nearly as successful as I envisioned myself to be at this point— but I simply cannot discount the successes I’ve had along the way. 2018/2019 were clear proof that I have had plenty of career victories that I am incredibly proud of. 

I do have big dreams and big plans, so my journey is far from over. This pandemic has been the nail on a coffin for many people’s pursuits and so many businesses around the world but that is all what it is…. a nail. If you’re already lying in your coffin, then the next misstep would be that nail solidifying a dead endeavour. I’d like to think I am not nearly there yet in my professional walk of life. Er, sorry for that morbid metaphor… it is morbid times.

When I first started on this path, my father asked me to put an expiration date to my pursuits, which I thought was fair. Even when I started off, I thought this path had a clear expiration date. After 5 years in and although I wasn’t making millions, I grew to realize that I loved showbiz far too much to give it up and so my expiration date went out the window and giving up was no longer an option.

You’d think it take a disastrous pandemic to crush my determination or my optimism on the outlook of my industry but the struggles that most people experience during these volatile times are no stranger to those of us in showbiz; whether we are already famous or not so famous or just starting out. Yes, whether we are thriving for fame or attained it but for fear of losing it, we continuously work to diversify our strengths and hone our skills in numerous areas within the film and arts—like it love it or hate it— because that is how survival of the fittest works. 

Hence, in some ways, perhaps my lack of panic during this time makes sense. Who knew being so damn used to uncertainty and volatility would be the one thing keeping me together during this time. 

However, just as this pandemic has been a litmus test for a politicians capability of leading a country, couples’ relationships, general publics IQ, etc… it has also been a clear litmus test for the sustainability of multiple types of businesses, and because “I’m a business, man” (as Jay Z so cleverly put it), like it or not, it sure put a time stamp on how long I can potentially survive without any work at hand.

I mean, there always was a time limit as to when my savings would run out, of which would prompt me to start considering options outside of showbiz to make money. Now that is a bleak thought. One I do not like or want to entertain just yet.

So, while I’m not panicking in trepidation (yet) about what the future may bring, I am pretty bummed out (understatement) about all the progress I made up until the start of 2020 and how a bunch of my projects that I worked on so tirelessly to get into production have been either delayed indefinitely or straight up cancelled. 

It truly is daunting and uncertain times and everyone’s going “We’re all on the same boat”… Well, in my opinion, it’s evident that some of us are on super mega yachts while some of us are on dinky fishing boats and others still, on life rafts, barely hanging on. So, no. We are not on the same boat.

We are, however, in the same storm.

Image Credit: Barbara Kelley 

Until next time (hopefully not in 2 years),

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