I actually have two pending posts that were never completed. I started writing but then had to give it another thought before publishing because I wasn’t sure if they were appropriate for my blog. It’s a strange thing- it really shouldn’t matter what I write here because that was the reason why it was created in first place- it was to serve as a space for me to vent and ramble. That sure was the case when I had nobody reading it, which was a year ago, but since then things have changed and now almost at 50,000 hits, I realize that I need to be more mindful of what’s being published. Anyways, I was laying in bed all day until blog ideas kept popping up in my head. One topic that keeps lingering was Passion.
Have you ever wanted something so bad that you gave everything to get it? It may have been a love of your life, a scholastic achievement, or winning an award or a competition. I was watching TV the other day and came across this reality series called The City starring Whitney Port from The Hills. I do have a soft spot when it comes to reality shows so I don’t know how I survived last three years without a TV, but as expected, I found myself getting really into it when the opportunity came. I know it’s more like a hybrid show (Reality/Soap), but was pleasantly surprised to see the girls go after their dreams- and when I say “go after’, I’m referring to doing everything they can to get what they want. See, when I was their age, I don’t think I had a clue. Yes, I’ve been there, done that, but when it came to “really wanting something to a point where I was willing to do anything”, I was nothing but a chicken. I had a really bad relationship with a guy named REJECTION. Whenever I would sense him coming near me, I would just say, “Oh no, I’m out.” There were a lot of things I wanted, but I also gave up easily. Of course, there are positive things that come out of it, such that I have gained experience in many different industries and met interesting people along the way, but now that I work side by side with those who have been in a same industry for 10, 20 years, there are times when I regret not focusing on one thing, or area. Those who have read my newspaper article or the blog post on it might recognize but I’ve seriously been around. I often wonder how different life would have been if I had one goal in life, and just went after it without hesitation or looking back. I don’t know about you but when I was young I wanted to be lots of things, including artist, ballerina, police woman, and Miss Korea. LOL yeah, you heard it right, I wanted to be a beauty queen! It’s like how many of my guy friends in elementary school wanted to be the President of Korea. Well, not really comparable in today’s standards but you know what I mean (Korea was quite a chauvinistic country and girls could not even dream of becoming a political figure). I didn’t have an exceptionally pretty face nor a talent, but I think I just liked the attention I received whenever I told people that’s what I wanted to be (like many of us girls suffering from “Princess Disease, aka Gong Ju Byung”).
As for the dream of being an artist, I still hope to become one some day in one form or another. Art is no longer limited to one area but comes in many forms. Perhaps it’s more appropriate to say that it always has been everywhere; I just wasn’t aware! I grew up as an artist and will always be. So, that’s yet to be achieved.
As for Ballerina, I quit after a year or so of training because my instructor wouldn’t stop calling me fat. I was seven. Just imagine how traumatized I might have been. I didn’t have a special talent in it either, I just thought the Tutu and the shoes were beautiful.
Now, I really have no idea where the heck “Police” came from. I remember clearly presenting my dream to the whole class, which was in elementary school. Perhaps that’s when I started realizing the existence of injustice in society (I still feel very strongly about this), and I wasn’t exposed enough to think that the cops were the only people in law enforcement. Well, there was a time in my Junior year in College when I thought about going to law school so it’s not completely irrelevant.
So let’s get to the most controversial one of all- Miss Korea. As a little girl, I was extremely well-mannered, which is especially important in Korean culture. I always sat with my legs folded under my butt (Have you tried this? This is NOT easy!), ate quietly, and always spoke softly and politely. I was a Korean parent’s dream, except when I was with my little sister. I had lots of friends, and was liked by relatives and such. Everyone told me that I was pretty so I thought I was, until the Summer that I was sent to another country.
Things changed… a lot. I realized I was ugliest of the bunch. I was repeatedly told that my legs were too thin to wear shorts which was why my closet was filled with baggy jeans. I tried my best to hide my body because I was ashamed to be skinny (I weighed 95 lbs). On top of that, as with shy girls at that age, I had a crush on a guy for years whom I never even got to talk to. Pathetic, I know, but that’s how shy I was. I seriously thought I was too ugly for anything, until it was almost time to graduate High School. Yes, it was Prom time! Wanting to look my best on that special day, I researched popular hair salons in Korea Town and decided on one that was known for Korean celebrity makeup. How little did I know that the day I would walk into the salon would change my life (Well, maybe not quite, but it did affect me in MANY ways)! The owner quickly approached me and asked questions while doing makeup on me. I was so excited at the fact that I was getting my makeup done professionally that I really wasn’t paying attention to what she was saying until she mentioned, Miss Korea. I was like, what? Yeah, my childhood dream! Although not the actual Miss Korea Pageant, it was known as a stepping stone to get there. She said there is a beauty pageant every year for young girls like me and that I should enter it. Being a shy girl with NO self-esteem, I didn’t think that I could do it- not only that, I didn’t have the money to do it. Unlike others who were fully supported by parents, I didn’t even have my parents here in the States at the time and just thought there was no way I could pull cash to rent the dresses, fees, and etc., however she negotiated a deal with vendors and was able to get me dresses and such for a huge discount. Of course, the dresses were rather handed to me than having my input considered in any way, but I was a happy camper. I tried my best and won a few titles.
I was on a roll and was asked to go on another pageant, this time with someone who has now become very, very famous in Korea. It’s funny thinking about the past, especially because I thought I was better than a lot of the girls in the pageant this time. The first beauty pageant made my head so big that I thought I ruled the world. It’s ridiculous. But then, I didn’t win anything and instead of blaming on myself, I blamed it all on politics and bribery (that which probably went on though can’t be proved). The following few months were dedicated to getting my foot in the door… to none other than the entertainment industry. I went to see an agent who showed interest in me at the first beauty pageant only to be told to wait until a job came up. Being the impatient, stuck-up person I was, I stopped going after a few trips because I thought I was too good to be asked to wait (HAHA). Then my mom enrolled me in acting school which was extremely shady; but I did meet a wonderful makeup/hair artist and a photographer who later worked on my portfolio. I also auditioned for SM Entertainment, now famous for producing talents such as SNSD, BoA, Shinee, etc. I know a lot of ya’ll living in the LA area went to this thing so I have no shame. haha. I still remember what Sooman Lee said after seeing me do a catwalk, “Why don’t you do something before you get any older?” I wasn’t sure whether to take that as a compliment or a rejection. Well, I think he saw a potential in me but thought I was too old for the group he was thinking of putting together now that I think about it.
A few years later, I found myself on stage again, this time in New York, fighting for the title of Miss Korea New York. It’s one of my most embarrasing moments of my life, because I had no clue what I was doing and messed up BIG TIME. I was terrified and devastated. It was a major “FAIL” moment that I wish never happened, thus I digress… The only reason I’m mentioning this experience is because of my failure to adequately prepare for it. Actually, I didn’t do crap but expected to win something purely based on being one of the few “experienced” ones. If you knew me then, you would’ve hated me. LOL
I should have kept going regardless how many failures I encountered if I really wanted to go into modeling or become a beauty queen, but my adventure ultimately came to an end after getting rejected by major top modeling agencies that which I regret now; I truly believe that if I had a heart and passion for it, I would have made it nontheless. If I had been humble, if I had been more likable instead of being defensive, I probably would have made it. Sadly, I lacked all of the above. I’m not trying to brag about it, but I want to tell you that if you have a dream, you really need to give it everything you got and NEVER give up. Giving up is NOT an Option. Now that I think about it, I didn’t try hard enough. I gave up too easily, though I had SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES. I blew them all. At the SM Audition, although it was for modeling, I should have shown him much more than what a typical model does. When the agent told me my look was too classy, I should have told him that I’m much more than what’s shown in the portfolio or a zed card. I sucked at selling myself, and I often feel that I still do. There is a clear difference between being humble and being able to sell yourself, and you need both to succeed. It took me years to realize this. It shouldn’t take anyone that long. If you didn’t know, now you do. The point is, to feel comfortable in your own skin and to not take yourself too seriously. You only live once, and you have the entire world to show who you are. You are more capable and talented than you can ever imagine. Just remember to keep your head up high, just don’t let it grow big!