And Then There was Light

Soul-searching at Marken HAH!

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a popstar, then I discovered writing.

I dreamt of it all: Actress, doctor (a psychologist at that), lawyer (something to do with the TV drama, The Practice), dancer (then I got fat), a VJ (uhm duh!), a news anchor, film and TV director…that was just how my career options went on. Once I find something interesting, I would plan on how to make it my career. Like in college, I was set on becoming a lawyer. I know I’m not the best thinker and the best speaker in town, but whatever, I still designed my courses to fit the Law school’s requirements. I ended up becoming a writer, which by the way, I never wanted to be in the first place. Anything but a writer.

I didn’t want Writing to be my career. For some reason, I loved writing so much that I didn’t want it to get ruined by criticism and some political issues including a massive world of competition. I don’t have an overwhelming vocabulary –I write the way I talk, which is sometimes equated to brainscatter, stutters and colloquialism. I also have this tendency to give up on something whenever pressure and criticisms come in, cos I’m a wuss like that. My love for writing hindered me from planning to pursue it. If I will write, I don’t want to get paid for it because I don’t want to change my voice just to impress somebody. If I will write, I don’t want to pressure myself to come up with a book. If I will write, it will be just for me –so I wouldn’t give a damn if people will (love to)hate it. I don’t want to doubt the one skill I am seriously thankful for.

So I guess it’s true, the more we do away from things, the closer we get to them. I ended up a Communication officer and now, a travel writer, and with a blog that I am most certainly proud of.

The Digital Natives Nudge

The day I found out I was going to the Hague, I was stressed. I was coming up with a monthly budget in preparation to my arrival in Laos. During that time, I haven’t found a relatively cheap flat in city and I wasn’t sure if I will be able to keep up with my lifestyle considering the amount I would be receiving. One thing was for sure, I need a lifestyle-overhaul. Saying goodbye to my comfortable state was killing me, so as usual, I turned to my Facebook for refuge. There were two messages, coming from my Digital Native-friends during the Taipei workshop. I felt the messages were sorta cryptic. As soon as I figured the messages out, my heart started to beat double(triple)-time, my head was spinning, my fingers were shaking. O-MI-GOD. This can’t be true. But hell yeah, I was off to Europe.

Ever since the Digital Natives Project, I couldn’t help to think that perhaps, my writing activities led me to participate in this undertaking. Before, I’ve treated the Internet as my avenue for self-expression, I put up TCW for my own pleasure and well, to prove to people that Laos is an interesting country. The moment I sent my application for the Taipei workshop, even if I didn’t keep my hopes up (like seriously, a travel blog, so not community-changing –I thought!), I knew things will never be the same again. My participation was not only out of the gratitude (I mean come on, having been sent to Taipei and the Hague??) but it was a choice that I am happy  I made.

I met personalities that I never thought I would be meeting if I stuck to my town-based plans. If I went home for good last June, I don’t think I will have the confidence of calling myself culturally-immersed, hence, wouldn’t give my blogposts edge. I have expanded networks and have made friends who have a different take in life, from which I could learn from. You know, I was seriously intimidated with the people around me; I consider English as my second language but conversing with figures who talked business freaked me out. Language is one issue, but being an expert in their respective professions is another. I don’t blog for a living, my passion doesn’t lie in research and inquiry. I am just a random travel blogger totally interested in culture and photography. As much as I would want to make it my career, I felt that these activities should only be left as my dear hobbies –as my activities that don’t need much explanation for me. However, having met a number of people with much devotion to the academe, research, knowledge programmes, techniques and the likes, I realized that there is absolutely nothing wrong with pursuing what you’re passionate about. Passion gives someone immeasurable strength that keeps one going amid trials and harsh criticisms. It makes you want to learn more and to create more. It makes you dream.

Funny how we say that there’s more to life than the Internet, but really, the Internet or the digital world at that, is becoming more of a reality than just a mere space for interaction. We are moving toward using it more at our disposal, may it be for expression or social change. It’s just like the earlier times, when we got radio. Everyone wanted to have one for information and entertainment. Not everyone uses it for social change, but still, there are various groups who treat the radio as their primary tool of spreading key messages. Today that we got New Media or whatever you want to call it, we still come up with ways on how these can aid our respective causes, if there’s any.

The Booklet!: Me, Nonku, Simeon, Maesy, Prabhas and Zona

And Now…

So now I’m embracing that I am a writer, on and offline. Maybe those decisions that I regret making actually helped me to realize what I wanted to do. Of course, at this point, I am still at a loss on how I will start moving in this career path. But I guess, one (wrong) decision at a time will do. I’ve been struggling to determine what to do with my life, having graduated with honors, and now taking up my Master’s degree, with all these posts and articles that I worked on. I was trying to look for something else when the answer was just in front of my face, the thing that I do every single hour whenever I tweet, update my status or share a photograph. Maybe it’s about time to admit this finally, I will write, even if it kills me.

PS Although, if there are opportunities to be on stage, be my guest! Just kidding –or not! 🙂


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