Dreams & Courage

The most important thing I learned in the past year was having the courage to dream and the courage to make that dream happen.

When I booked my flight to Korea last year, I didn’t know where I was going to get the money for my trip. I spent almost all the money I had on my round trip tickets. But well, I didn’t care then, I was too excited.

After a few days reality hit me and I started worrying and wondering if I could actually use those tickets and go to Korea. I am a college student who still relies on my parents financially. Where do I get the money? What if the Korean Embassy denies me a Visa? Will I be able to save enough? Why did I book those tickets? What was I thinking?

And then opportunities came and when they didn’t, I created them. I did freelance jobs and commissions as a photographer and graphic designer. When there wasn’t much work coming in I started selling shirts I designed online. (Shout out to everyone who believed in my capabilities as an artist and to everyone who supported my endeavors and hard work, thank you! I wouldn’t have been able to make this happen without all of you!)

Fast forward to a few months before my trip, I was anxious about the Visa application. One of the requirements was a Bank Statement for the last three months including ADB for the past six months. I was funding my whole trip and I was worried I didn’t have enough in the bank for the Embassy to grant me a Visa. It was the longest week of my life. I spent nights after nights reading blog posts and threads on the internet about Korean Visa applications and denials. I couldn’t sleep well or focus on my responsibilities at school. I wanted to go home to Manila and wait there until I got my passport back. Whether they granted or denied me a Visa was something I didn’t have control of and it scared the hell out of me. The day I was to pick up my passport at the Embassy I was feeling positive, after nights of anxiety and paranoia I was finally feeling better, and thankfully and luckily, I got my Visa.

Thinking about all the hard work I did and all the nights I spent worrying and overthinking now, I am amazed. Que sera sera, whatever will be will be, I used to think. I thought that if it was meant to be, it will be and I don’t have to force anything. At some point I loathed myself for being too impulsive booking those tickets on a whim. I should have waited for a few months when I have saved more. I should have thought more before I booked my flights. I should have waited, I should have waited, I should have waited. But if I just waited for things to happen, if I waited for the “right” time, the “perfect” moment, I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to go to Korea four months ago.

Having a deadline, a limited period of time to make things work pushed me to go beyond what I never thought I could do. I learned so much about myself in the process and I am thankful for all the challenges I’ve been through in those tough but exciting months — I grew because of them. Fear gave me the opportunity to be brave.

Written in 2017

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multimedia artist & personal finance enthusiast from manila. dianejacinto.com

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diane jacinto

diane jacinto

multimedia artist & personal finance enthusiast from manila. dianejacinto.com

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