Spring of 2019 came with a storm of growth for me. I had thrown myself at a lot of opportunities in order to cover up all of the hurt that was going on within me and during that time it really seemed to work. And if you looked at me, you wouldn’t even be able to guess that on the inside, I was slowly fading away.
Probably one of the first things I did was get back into photography, I had given it up for the longest time because I used to share the experience with someone that meant a lot to me. But I had to leave that person behind in order for both of us to move forward with our lives and because of that, I allowed photography to be associated with negative feelings and allowed it to bring back those memories in a painful way. But I finally surmounted the obstacles and excuses in my mind and drove out to a water shed preserve and managed to catch this amazing shot below to symbolize that I had finally regained a lost piece of myself.
With this headway into recovering lost pieces of myself, I decided that I should try and rekindle some of the old passion I had as a Lion Dancer. Lion Dancing played a really big part of my life during my time at Cal Poly and with the support of one of my best friends, I was able to purchase a lion and start actually doing performances publicly.
Being able to actually perform and get out there and show off this cool artform and share the culture with it brought so much joy and drive back into my life. It gave me a sense of purpose, it gave me this hope that things were suddenly falling into place. I was getting my name slowly out there and I didn’t just want to perform, I wanted to teach, I wanted to create a team, I wanted to use this as a way to give back to the community.
I had the support of my very good friends in doing this and without them it would have never been remotely possible to have gotten so many performances done. I had marketed myself well enough that I was getting phone calls from many organizations asking for performances and even had a small chance to help some high school students by Davis to learn Lion Dancing. But that wasn’t even the end of my spring bloom, I used my momentum from all the headway I had been making and went to a very special place that I had not gone to in a very long time.
Ever since the passing of my Uncle, who has been the only real positive father figure in my life, in September of 2018, I had always thought about going back to a Farmer’s Market in memory of him. But every single time I thought about it and considered waking up early enough, I was always unable to follow through. However, with the help of some really good friends, I decided to follow through with it by accompanying them to one in San Leandro. It would be my first time at a Farmer’s Market since the day of my Uncle’s accident and his passing.
But as Spring came to an end, so did all of the excitement that this new year brought me. Work was dying down, and all of the rushes of the new year were slowly coming to a standstill, and as summer approached, so did the impending relapse that I would fall into. All of my distractions in life were slowly becoming less and less effective the closer it came to summer, my most hated season.
Although I had seen a lot of growth and I had seen such huge steps forwards in life, none of it truly mattered because I never bothered to face the real demons scratching away at my life. I never really met the things that truly bothered me on the open battlefield because I was always too scared of losing. But I know now that it’s not even about winning or losing. Because win or lose, it’s about finishing the fight, it’s about giving it your all without any regrets and knowing that you can finally put the fight and past behind you and be able to move forward, freely. I would learn these harsh lessons in the coming months that tested me to my breaking point.