Price of Passion.

I still vividly remember my parents’ disappointed face when I told them I wanted to pursue my passion in writing for my college major instead of business major.

It was not a pretty sight.

The loneliness of being the only Asian among Australians in the class because Art degree, let alone Creative Writing major, was far from popular among my peers. Oh the frustration, when I had to quit my writing job in a magazine that I actually loved doing because the paycheque was far from ideal and had to look for other career opportunity instead.

I buried my writing dream since then for five years, as I started to work purely for good money by running my own business in fashion.

I thought I was fine living with a dead dream.

Until not too long ago I found myself completely, utterly, broken.
I was hopeless.  I was helpless.
My soul was weary.
The future is nothing but a fog.
Unfathomable dead of night that this small mind failed to comprehend.

Pursuing a passion has its price to pay.

As for me, it was depression.
Not the “OMG my boyfriend broke up with me, I feel sooo depressed” kind, but diagnosed-by-psychiatrist-and-she-prescribed-me-with-an anti-depressants-so-I-won’t-turn-suicidal-kind.

There were days when I had to swallow that tiny pill just to give me the strength, to get me out of the bed and go to work. When I woke up I wished the day would end already, so tomorrow will come and I will finally be done feeling this empty.

In that state of mind, I kept telling the universe,

“I know I’m not a child anymore and I need to grow up,
but don’t make me a dreamer if you’re just gonna crush it with harsh reality.”

I was artistically heart broken, because the creator in me wasn’t able to create.
I had some success in my business, but I was far from being genuinely happy.
People who just knew me recently, would never know the wordsmith side of me.
Because I never show them.

Now more than ever, the world tells you to pursue your passion.
“Do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life,” they said.

But guess what, you actually have to.

Maybe your true passion isn’t making a lot of money, but the bill needs to be paid.
Last time I checked, groceries can’t be exchanged by passion nor big dreams.
Traveling and taking Insta-worthy pictures costs you.

Pursuing a passion is hard work.

Working your arse off day and night, doing everything you can, chasing every opportunities like you chase the wind, while waiting, for that door to finally come bursting open, for your teenage dream to finally come true, it can get mind-numbingly discouraging.

But after being molded for so long in darkness, imprisoned by the uncertainty, when the time is right, the light in you will shine bright.

If you prove yourself to be FAITHFUL in LOVING what you were entrusted to DO, even if it wasn’t the ideal job that you had in mind growing up, soon enough the universe will reward you with

the right people, 
right place, 
right time,

and you will be able to DO what you LOVE.

Start with a small step.
Start with what you currently have in your hands.
Dare to hope again.
Dare to feel again.
If you’re like me, dare to write again.

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Dream on my dearest,

S. (@sashatjie)




A Simple Lesson For The Control Freak

I am a control freak. I don’t really put this particular trait on the surface, but I know for sure it is there within me. Put me under pressure and it would roar out like a monster.

Sometimes being a control freak allows me to get what I want the way how I want it to be. But most of the times, it would make me tired. It would drain me out because when things are not going my way, I would end up having a hard time accepting it.

Before we move on, let me warn you that this is not one of our usual blog posts as I’m gonna get a bit personal. If you’re good with it, do continue scrolling to the next paragraph.

Whatever your religion is, I guess you would agree with me that prayer time is essential. I lack discipline in this area, but I’m progressing. Last month, during one of my “oh-so-rare” prayer time, God put this in my heart:
“Let Me hold your heart. Learn to trust me fully.
You’ve been busy controlling everything, no wonder you find yourselves tired all the time. Rest and have My peace.”

The Perks of Being 20 - 02

It hit me like a lightning. I was indeed busy taking control of my life. I’ve been having a hard time trusting others to make decisions upon something that I see crucial and would put my reputation, my life, my work, my my my other things, at risk. As I thought about this, most of the time, it’s not other people that I have a trust issue with. It’s God.

I never fully let Him being in control of my life. I never fully trusting Him with the end result. I strived. I tried. I pushed forward. But not for His will to happen. It was always for my will to happen. 

Last night, through a simple experience, He taught me something significant.

It was just another day where I left my office by using an online transportation service, mostly Go-Jek, but last night I tried Uber Motor. Normally, I would check my Google maps to see which best route to take, because I don’t want to get stuck in the traffic. However, last night, I forgot to check the map first. The driver asked me which route that I want to take and I just shrugged. I told him, any route will do as long as we don’t get stuck in the traffic.

By “any route”, my expectation was for him to take my common route. It’s not fair, I know. I didn’t communicate it to the driver, so expecting him to read my mind was just ridiculous.

Voila, the driver chose other route that I’m not familiar with. The control freak in me, kicked in, “Grab your phone now, and open the maps, so you’ll know that this driver is not taking you to the wrong direction, a longer route, which might gonna cost you more time and money (the longer the route, the more you have to pay).”

But, I was too lazy to pull out my phone. So I just tagged along. Even though I felt uneasy because he took me to narrow and dark streets, passing by a cemetery (which I never knew existed in this area). To spice things up, we also got stuck in a traffic for like few minutes. Again, the control freak in me said, “This is what happen when you’re not in control. What happen to you? Normally, at this point you would be pissed, interrupt the driver and tell him to re-route.”

Few minutes later, I began to recognize the streets. I was relieved. We were back to the route that I’m familiar with, and we were already near my destination. Apparently the route that the driver took was a faster route. It was a bit unusual for me, but it was faster. I slightly felt guilty for being suspicious towards the driver.

The Perks of Being 20 - 01

Out of this experience, I learned, firstly, that sometimes we want life to be as detail as a map. We always want to know the next route to take. Which decision to make. Is it right or left? Where would I end up? Most of the time, you won’t know the answer to some of the biggest cross roads in life. You’ll only figure it out later when you already took the risk and made the decision.

What we need is not a map. What we need is a compass. It doesn’t matter which route to take as long as we know that we are heading towards the right direction.

Secondly, I learned that if a mere human being, can be trusted to take us to the direction that we want using the route that he is familiar with – A route that might be unusual for you, but apparently faster than the other common routes that people know.

Wouldn’t it be far more greater and beneficial for you to fully trust God (The God who has single-handedly created the universe and also at the same time designed your life) with your walk in life? 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 


Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)