Where To Now?

So a couple of weeks ago, I had my university graduation and 23rd birthday in the space of three days.

It was an amazing whirlwind week, filled with heaps of family time, love and support.

But as the good tidings and celebration began winding down, reality was left staring me in the face.
And it had this smirk; what now boy.

tenor

There’s a societal expectation that once you hit a certain age and finish uni – that it’s time to begin ‘adulting.’
The world expects the youthful exuberance to die out, your dreams to fade away, and for you to get a job that is enough to sustain you – to get you through the routine of life.

I’ve seen many people (friends and acquaintances) push their passions aside to settle into this routine.
They begin complaining about their lack of opportunity, that there’s no other option.

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On the flip side, there are others that look at me, that think I’m copping out and refusing to accept that life is gonna happen, even to me.
And I hear them all.
All the critiques.
All the concern.
All the lack of belief.

Now maybe a few months ago, I would have caved in to the doubts and fears others were expressing towards my endeavours into photography and writing.

“Oh you’re still doing that Internet thing?”
Said someone who I won’t name.

But when I realised that you cannot control the actions and beliefs of others, and that you can only control the actions and beliefs of yourself.

People don’t see the amount of time spent
Writing
Editing
Engaging with the wider community on all the social handles
Sending content out to publications
Getting no’s or better yet, no replies
Going through the process, finding what could be better
And doing it all over again.

I started doing Daily Vlogs on my Instagram (@ryan.chengg) and someone came up to me and said:
“I didn’t realise it took this much time and effort.”
Like these vlogs are nothing special – they are a minute long and more often than not it is just a visual representation of that above list, no joke.

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Now I’m not listing all that to brag.
Because make no mistake, I am nobody.
Nobody important.

But I am trying to be somebody.
Somebody that I can be proud of.

I’m outlining all this because I want people to understand a huge shift in my perspective.
Chasing a life, career, passion or job that makes you happy and fulfilled – requires just as much work, time and effort – as settling into the routine you think is expected of you.

Let me say that again.

Chasing a life, career, passion or job that makes you happy and fulfilled – requires just as much work, time and effort – as settling into the routine you think is expected of you.

Once you understand that, everything changes.
Why not direct all your time and energy into things you care about?

I’m not saying there are bad jobs and good jobs.
If you want to be an Accountant, be the best damn accountant there has ever been.
If you want to be a Chef, you should be practicing everyday cooking different recipes and trying different techniques.

But know that hard work, always wins.

I am incredibly lucky to have grown up in Singapore.
It was there where I learnt – by watching family operate within Asian culture – how to work even when you can’t work no more.
Hard work is in my immigrant DNA.
It was how I operated in Year 12, how I got my Degree and completed my Honours thesis, and how I will continue pursuing the life I want.

So for all of you that aren’t sure where to go from here, now you’re graduated and no longer a kid – stop listening to the noise and start listening to yourself.
Because if you won’t give yourself the chance, no one will.

And for those of you who didn’t know I was putting in this much work for my ‘internet thing’ – now you know.
Because as grateful as I am for all the congratulations and well wishes that have come my way as I’ve made some progress – I wanna keep hearing the doubts and disappointment, so I can keep changing your minds.

Not even to prove you wrong.
Because
I want to change your minds, so you can see it is possible to pursue what you want, rather than tear others down for it.

6 thoughts on “Where To Now?

  1. I’m getting on for 70 years old and a firm believer in the ability for people to reinvent themselves when they need to. I’ve been a film publicist, a teacher and an independant photographer at different times and never done any of those things for the career or the cash. We’re not taking part in a rehearsal and if we keep ourselves distant from the life we want to live we miss the whole play.
    You were kind enough to like one of the first posts I made in this format, which is new to me, and I thank you for that.
    If you don’t mind advice from an old man …. Go for it RyanC if I can still be a kid at 70 so can you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the kind and motivating words Fred!
      I completely resonate with what you are saying – and really do appreciate your advice!!

      I remember that post!! That’s so inspiring – you are someone I truly do look up to!!! Keep going and tell your story 🙂

      Like

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