Today I turn 20 and I honestly couldn’t feel more excited and alive. As I look back at this year of my life, I am amazed with how far I have come, and it inspires me with a renewed sense of purpose and passion to take on the future. One of the many highlights of my pre-twenty years (I have to get used to that now) was travelling to Chicago with my father. The luxurious hotel that we stayed at right on the Magnificent Mile made me feel like all the hard work I had done to that point had paid off, it was worth it to me. The most extraordinary occasion during the trip was doing a photoshoot at the Four Seasons Hotel, it was truly incredible. And not only did I get some pretty spectacular photos but I was invited personally by the director of public relations to have lunch provided by one of the restaurants there, an experience I will never forget. When I think about how I ended up with more than I could even imagine, I realize that the main factor was my attitude and respect towards people. I respectfully shaked the hand of the person in public relations and I respected his time when he said we had this much time to shoot at this location. I was also very respectful of the suites that I took photos in, making sure not to ruin the fancy amenities. The person in public relations told me that one time there was some models shooting in one of their suites and they completely trashed the rooms and ate the food and drinks that were not provided to them, they won’t be coming back anytime soon. Now I could’ve been impatient and rude when waiting for the suite to be unlocked after an impromptu issue but I wasn’t, I chose not to. And because of that, it allowed me an opportunity that I wouldn’t of gotten otherwise. It just goes to show that kindness towards people can go a long way, and wouldn’t it be neat for me as a gentleman to be remembered as someone kind in today’s day of age?
Another highlight was winning the Marian Philharmonic Orchestra competition after coming in 2nd last year. It was a very important moment in my life and while I have written some other blog posts about this particular experience let me just say that I am extremely thankful to my other competitors who were so respectful to me, especially the runner up. And as much as I am excited about the result and being able to play with a professional orchestra, it was the journey that lead me there that I am most proud of. I could’ve given up and just convinced myself that there was no point, but there is a point, it’s called trying. I think one of the most beautiful things in life is the opportunity for all of us to try, in whatever that may be. While some of us will be more successful than others, life isn’t about success or the end result, it’s about the process and journey. That is why I am so passionate about sharing my life and story, because what’s the point of life if you aren’t truly living life to the fullest? There are definitely high and low points throughout life, as Robin Williams eloquently said in the movie good will hunting “You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to” but I remind myself in what I am passionate about that there is so much beauty and joy in life, if only more of us could see from that perspective, the world might be better place for all of us. As my childhood tv show pokemon Meowth said “We do have a lot in common. The same earth, the same air, the same sky. Maybe if we started looking at what’s the same…instead of always looking at what’s different, well, who knows?”
As I head into the horizon of my twenties I am a little anxious of the thought of growing old but a little more excited and curious for what could possibly happen. One of the most important things I have learned so far in life is about myself, through my experiences in life I have gained an understanding about who I am and I think that is the definition of being a gentleman of today. I told myself that I want to make it into Hollywood as a film composer before age 30 so who knows maybe you will see my name in the credits of a movie, someday. I also have dreams of becoming a leading menswear influencer so perhaps one day you will see me on the cover of GQ or Esquire. But what is most important for me as I turn into this new chapter of my life is to embrace, accept, and enjoy every single day and moment, as Steve Jobs said “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”.
Thank you again for all the birthday wishes and support, it means a lot to me! Thank you for following along my journey as a gentleman, it has already been more than fulfilling for me to express and share my life through writing, here is to more great adventures and stories and laughter! If my writing has connected with you in any way I am happy, and I firmly believe in my mission statement that no matter what people say, words and ideas can and will change the world.
Thank you for reading this.