Reflections: 2018

I’m going to be keep bugging myself about my travel backlog, but I’ve been busy working on something extra special and close to my heart, so please forgive me.

A year and a half ago, I unwittingly launched Serena —  beauty product brand that caters to individuals (mostly ladies but really, we’re open to everybody) who have concern to protect the earth as they roam it.

I meant only as a means to earn an allowance for myself as I tended to my freelance projects as a Marketing/Events coordinator. I launched in April of 2017, and did alright that year. I mean, not bad as a sideline.

In 2018, I did less freelancing, and did better with Serena. Enter, a job that I could have done well in, if my heart was still in it. It was a rigorous learning experience, working for a lovely man — one of the Philippines biggest celebrities. At the same time, it was the nail in the coffin that told me that I honestly had no interest in doing Marketing and Event work anymore. I’m sorry for wasting everyone’s time, but I didn’t realize it until I was there.

I’ve completely given up on finding “the one,” at least as far as my jobs are concerned, anyway. At least until now, it seems. I have accepted that it has been and will always be this continuous journey of self-discovery, self-fulfilment, and reinvention, whatever the latest thing may be. These days, I’m the most comfortable I’ve been as far as my career is concerned. I’m surprised.

Honestly, starting a business was the most daunting thing that I could think of, career-wise, once upon a time. And I wanted to hang myself just thinking about being in some stiff corporate job. I studied Communication, not Business, mostly because all that stiffness sounded joyless and hell-like. I was afraid. I mean, the boatload of money that business school requires always seemed to me an indication of the commitment, dedication, stress and suffering that I’ve always been unwilling to put into my career, for fear of being the best sheep in the herd, and then never making my way out. In my personal hierarchy of needs, climbing the corporate ladder or landing an extremely resource-consuming — whether time or energy — job was just never there. There is a long, winding, psycho-analysis that I’ve done of myself to justify this, but let’s just put it this way: being “busy with work” to me has always been overrated, and I’ve witnessed it cause extreme unhappiness in everyone around me.

But I’m profoundly surprised to find myself feeling at my best, running this show. And on my own. Being an entrepreneur seems to suit me well. I can dictate my own time — I can tend to the relentlessness of running my own business, but also take an hour off to walk the dogs, and an extended weekend whenever I feel like it. I can do business in my underwear, at least until interns come along, anyway. And when they do, it’ll be them pretty much executing what I need help with. No slow business partners; no institutional approvals; no indecisive superiors. The downside is that I’m literally doing everything myself, but I’m finding it extremely satisfying to teach myself the biggest lesson of my life.

And so here we are today. I’ve decided to pursue Serena full-time. I tried a little bit this year, and it got quite far, I’m very surprised. I can only imagine what it might look like at the end of 2019, when I actually give it my all.

I intended to launch the website in January 2019, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came last week, — one that I could not deny — which forced us to launch prematurely. But Serena came ready. I was working on the website for all of last month, thinking it would be nice to be ready by January; not knowing I would need it by the start of December. Nothing was going to stop me — not the terrible cold that struck me the exact day before, nor the fear of sneezing consecutive, ungraceful sneezes on live television.

And so we punctuate December 2018 with the most grateful of hearts; the most blown of minds; and a brand-spanking new website which I hope will further deliver Serena into the world. Are we ready? Probably not. I wasn’t, when I started this. You never really are. But I feel a shove from the universe that this is something good. And my dreams for this baby – this new career – is larger than my fears, for the very first time in my life.

Dive when you’re pushed. Run when you hit the ground. Scream all you want when you jump off the plane but savor the freefall. Sing a little Tom Petty, maybe.

It’s crazy. Really, so crazy, where life puts you. Most of all when you’re not looking.

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