Dear 19 year old me,
As you look forward on our journey, your childhood dream would soon be coming true. You'll soon find a name for your fashion label while you are saving up for your business. It is totally O-K pulling your favourite number together with your current boyfriend's favourite e-mag's name. That name will make many amused friends and interviewees question and you'll laugh it off pretending it is the name of said raw mineral. There would be endless nights where you'd stay awake brainstorming, thinking and conceptualizing ideas while laying next to your boyfriend. As you roll and turn, he'll never flinch. Because of your growing business, you'll soon move into your first studio space, sign your first lease, purchase your own furniture and pay rent. You'll hire your team mates and you'll learn how to be a boss. Soon, you'll meet an amazing man that will change your whole life. He'll help you knock the screws into your office table and help with the drilling of shelves. He would then become the anchor of your life and pillar of whatever you are building. You'll always ask yourself if late nights, 17 hour work days, burning through savings, and carrying the burden of the world and getting overwhelmed with work till the point of sanity was worth it. As you look into his eyes, you'll find your answer. When you feel like you can't press on, you hold his hand while you're asleep. You'd tell yourself that you would do it all over again, in a heartbeat. You'll start inspiring your team, countless number of students and friends, go on to give talks to young talented fashion creatives and you'll burn with passion, drive and love for everything you do. You'll face dark times ahead of you, lying on the operation theatre, questioning God, for robbing you of your eyesight. You'll come out of the theatre, in pain, but with hope. With this, you've built resilience and strength that will carry you forward in life. Soon, it would be 3 years, that you've lived with this illness.
Never in a million years would you think you'd be facing investors, looking at contracts, consulting lawyers and having experiences that would determine your life at 22. Your first business secures your investor and you'd become great friends. In the world of business, life moves on a pace that if you won't catch up, you'd lose out. You'd experience the biggest emotional journey and hit the lowest point of your short lifespan when you're 22. This will see you through many hard times where you'd breakdown in front of your team, your partner and colleagues. You'll need to remind yourself that you are only human. There'd be moments you'll feel so lost, so alone and so afraid that the easiest way is to run away from it. You won't, you'll face your problems right in the eye and fight it. You'll lose the most important man of your life that you'd thought you'd marry. You'll question his abandonment at your most crucial period, question love and question heartbreak. You'll stay awake after a long work day, questioning if you're worth fighting for. You will understand that you are enough. Looking back, you'll never understand how you manage to overcome that, but you will. Within that moment, you'd be on the brink of selling or closing your business while losing your relationships and yourself. Lean on your mother, on your friends, on your siblings and on your father. You'll see your family in a new light. You'll lean on your supportive friends that love you and care for you. You'll learn lessons of courage, bravery and gain a whole new perspective towards life. New Years Eve on 2016 will be spent party-hopping, and as the clock ticks 3 minutes to the new year's, time would be on a standstill and your past year flashes you by.
You'll come out stronger, head higher and that if you could overcome the past 4 years, you'll get through anything in life. You will then go on to live for yourself and be the best version of you.
You will also get mini bangs because you'd always believe you belong to the 1920's where life was simpler, carefree and romantic.
In a few hours, you'll be having a board meeting where the outcome of your business and your life for the next year would be determined. You will handle it with what you know, with poise, elegance and confidence.
- 23 y-o me.