Above photo: Vienna
I was brought up in a typical migrant household, by family with fairly traditional values and an outlook on life that was: 1.) study hard, 2.) get a good job and 3.) buy a house.
When I was younger I unquestioningly went along to tutoring, giving up my sports, art and much loved quiet reading time. Despite that I had fun and made a lot of friends, all of us bonding over the collective trauma of scoring less than full marks in maths.
At home I whispered prayers to Gods, angels, and whoever would listen to just please get me into a ranked high school so that my parents wouldn't be mad. To make absolutely certain, I secretly stayed up past midnight to cast spells that involved anything from throwing water over my left shoulder to burning wishes on scrap paper under a full moon. My 11 year-old self regularly consulted a deck of tarot cards to glean obstacles that would get in the way of me living my well-planned life.
Who's to say if it was the hours of studying or my overzealous manifesting that got me through but boy oh boy was I relieved to get that acceptance letter. Little did I know that 'when the Gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.'
I had set in motion the plans for my three step life. At times it felt like I was hurtling down the tracks with no brakes, towards a direction I wasn't even sure I wanted to go. Making it through high school was a frenzied blur and suddenly I found myself at uni. I felt completely powerless and lacked guidance on how to change course. So I stayed put and paid in full for an undergraduate.
Then something happened. Suddenly being a witness to how fleeting life is made me stop in my tracks. I enrolled in art school, became a photographer and saw the world through design. It was imperative to me to live a life that felt more authentic. As cliche as it sounds I was on a Kondo journey of self-discovery, trying to remember all the things that sparked joy. For the first time, there was no plan, no expectations. I also loved the idea of embarking on the path not taken.
I got approached to work for a property tech start-up and for the next few years threw myself into the work. During my time there I got the opportunity to learn how to build valuable products and services. More importantly, I saw firsthand how rewarding it is to build a company with a cause that you care deeply about. It made me ask myself what I cared about- what did I believe in that I could share with others?
As a child my belief in magic fuelled my imagination and got me through stressful times but somehow, somewhere along the way I had forgotten that. Once I realised, I knew what I wanted to do. Admittedly, despite my convictions, it was still such a difficult decision for me to leave my job and my work family. Imagine explaining to your boss you are resigning to become an astrologer. In his defence, he was bewildered but supportive. And once I had the courage to finally say it out loud, it didn't seem so daunting. Once you start telling people what you are really passionate about you'll be surprised how many people want to support you and see you succeed.
Today I sit in gratitude to be able to do what I love- that is connecting with people to help them live their dream through magic.