Undoing all that programming

Ok, I must admit, I’m not very skilled at coming to terms with my past, especially if they are embarrassing or unpleasant, and I try to forget them by burying them deep down in my heart and never ever even touch it with a barge pole. It’s a very effective method for forgetting, but the feelings that are linked with the memories will always linger. 

That’s why these unpleasant memories never really disappear. I never talk about them or bring them up, but that doesn’t mean that they did not happen. I had thought these feelings will gradually fade away, but bottling them up just made me worse. Especially when something happens and accidentally let loose all the unpleasantness again.

That’s why I’m going to try to face all these unhappy incidents and hopefully after gathering my thoughts and coming to terms with it, I will feel better about it.

I still can’t talk to anyone that I know in real life, so I’m going to try to talk it out here. Please bear with me.

One day I might just have the courage to talk about it to my close ones, and show them this blog post (many of them do not know that I blog, haha), but that day isn’t today nor anytime soon.

After having said all that, it sounds like I had been a victim of abuse or some sort. Don’t worry, nothing of that scale happened. Nonetheless, It had been an extremely disappointing episode for me, and it has left a deep wound on my heart and soul, and most importantly, my self-esteem.

This blog is named Mirage’s Dreamy Life for a reason. I was, and am, a person full of dreams and ideals. I always feel that there is no dream too big and this has somehow led me to believe that my life had been a dream. Sometimes I do dream a little too much. Similarly, when I came to Japan, I was full of hopes and dreams too. And believed that anything can be possible in the land of the rising sun.

I have never been more led down by my own naivety and foolishness.

I may sound a bit arrogant but I have always believed that it’s a waste that only my close ones and the people around me and random people on the streets get to see me. I sometimes think it’s the world’s loss for not being able to see me on magazine covers, advertisements, movies and music videos. Ok I sound really narcissistic now. But I sincerely believe that I’m in no way inferior to any of the models on the glossy magazine pages. My ex-boyfriend had told me all the time that whenever he sees posters of models, he could totally imagine me being on those posters. I had thought I had what it takes.

Evernote Camera Roll 20131127 143026

Here’s my photo. It’s up to you to think what you like. But I truly believed I had the potential.

Ex-boyfriend aside, I guess part of those thoughts also came from kind compliments from people that I meet. People had always told me that I am beautiful, elegant, slim and tall, and that I have what it takes to be a model.  Some people have even told me that I should be a model. That I will definitely be successful. In some ways, I had been encouraged to be a model, even though that is not what I had wanted to do.

Sure, in Singapore, there are few big reputable modelling agencies, and I could’ve tried to applied for them. But I didn’t think Singapore was big enough for me, so I didn’t even bother to try. Ok, honestly, the reason I didn’t try was because I was foolishly hoping that someone will scout me and I was too proud to try. Judge me all you want.

Instead of becoming a model, I took on another profession that, in Asian culture, kind of also affirms that you are beautiful if you are able to secure that job.

I became a flight attendant.

For a period of time, I felt like it was the job for me. I was able to demonstrate my beauty and elegance and people from around the world will get to see me. I still haven’t made it to any posters or magazines or had any endorsements but it felt like the same thing anyway, so I was satisfied for a while. Or rather, pacified.

After 2 years, I felt I had somehow grew out of the job and decided to move onto the next phase of my life, and made a bold (and reckless) leap to Japan.

While the main purpose was to further my studies, unknown to my family, I had wanted to give a shot at showbiz in Japan. To be a model, or even better, a singer. I felt that only Japan was big enough for my dreams.

So I sent my resume and photos to two modelling agencies. The first one that contacted me was ridiculous. They wanted me to pay 130,000yen to make my portfolio, and even so they couldn’t gurantee any work. I was out immediately.

The second agency charged me for audition, but I went with it anyway and somehow passed it. Again, they wanted to charge me 30,000 yen for making a portfolio, but considering that it was much cheaper than the first one, I decided to take a gamble.

It had been the stupidest decision of my life.

I’ve been registered as a model (not yet signed a contract) for about a year now but I’ve not been asked to do any work yet. I’ve not even been to one casting. And I have no idea what else I can do to get more work without spending another yen at that agency to get lessons. I mean, why do I have to spend money to get lessons?! I’ve already given my share for the portfolio. The lessons should be part of training and an investment by the agency. It makes no sense to pay them and yet not guranteed any work. I felt like I had been cheated of my money.

Not only do I not get any work, because I’m still bound to this stupid agency in one way or another, every time I see a commercial on TV or models on magazines, I can’t help but feel this sense of entitlement that it should’ve been me there.

Yes, I admit that I had been naive. The modelling world doesn’t work that way. Showbiz doesn’t work that way. But it wasn’t that I wasn’t willing to work hard. I’m willing to put in all my heart and soul, and even work like a horse, IF ONLY I DON’T HAVE TO FORK OUT YET ANOTHER YEN TO EVEN GET IT STARTED.

It’s not hard work or talent anymore, it’s all about money money money. I was fed up so I gave up on that stupid agency. It just so happened that I had received endless spam mails as well so I changed my email address and I didn’t notify the agency. Honestly, I had wanted them to stop contacting me because every mail from them just raises my hopes for nothing and I knew that I don’t stand a chance because I haven’t gone to any lessons,  which I have to pay out of my own pocket.

So I thought I was free from them. Until last Wednesday. The agency had to call me again, for the first time in a long while, asking me why I haven’t been replying to their mails all this time and that there’s a job offer for me.

Finally! I naively and excitedly told the staff my new email address, and even apologised for causing them trouble, in a typical Japanese way. They were cool with it and subsequently sent me a link to confirm my attendance. I replied an ok and after that I thought all I had to do was to wait for their reply.

Turns out to be yet another big disappointment. They somehow did not get my email and I was left out of the assignment. What. The. Fuck.

Why did I put myself all through this frustration and feelings of helplessness? Why did I want to become a model in the first place, when it’s not really what I wanted to do?

I guess I was just very envious of my cousin, who seem to have everything her way after becoming a model. On top of all that, she was scouted, didn’t have to fork out a single cent, and has been given work on a regular basis. Needless, to say, I was green with envy.

I don’t think I lose out to her in any way. But I still don’t understand why I couldn’t be a model like her. Am I really not cut out to be a model after all?

Wait. Now that I think about it, I don’t have to become like her. I don’t have to become a model. Why did I think that I have to become a model? I can’t exactly put all the blame on every single person who had ever told me “You should be a model” or “You look like you can be a model”, but those words had a huge impact on me, which I did not realise had influenced my actions and decisions to this extent. I didn’t want to be a model. I had been ‘programmed’ unconsciously to think that I wanted to be a model. That’s why the scar on my self-esteem is even greater. I had been ‘programmed’ to think that I am made to be a model, and that I can be one. To not receive any work as a model is a big insult and a big blow to my self-esteem.

Comparing myself to my cousin who seem to have an exciting and privileged life as a model just made things more frustrating, and my current situation worse. But why should I compare?

I should’ve just focused on my own goals and dreams right from the start, and blocked it all out when other people impose their intentions on me.

Now I have to undo all that programming that people had done to my head and start from a clean slate.

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About Kimono Party Girl

I was born and bred in Singapore for the first 20 years of my life, and then I decided that even after flying all over the world as a flight attendant, life is still too boring. So, in search of more adventure and add spice to my life, I quit my job, packed up, and left for Japan - which is, to me, the promised land. I've always been fascinated with Japan ever since I was 8, thanks to Ayumi Hamasaki, aka the Britney Spears of Japan. She's the first J-pop singer that I have been obsessed with, and my first contact with the Japanese language was through her lyrics. Yup, I first learned my Hiragana from her song 'I am'. But what really sealed the deal was my first trip to Japan in 2010. The fresh air, the beautiful cherry blossoms, the endless fast fashion trends and the awesome food was what made Japan the land of my dreams, and it had since become my goal to one day live, work and party in Japan. So after working like a horse as a flight attendant for 2 years and saving up a decent amount, I made a big leap of faith and moved to the land of the rising sun. I have studied one year of Japanese and two years of graphic design. Currently, I'm in the midst of shukatsu (就活 - job hunting). Wish me luck!
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