Whether it is finally securing a job, or finishing your studies, I'm sure all of you are on your way to somewhere, and we can all agree it is a bittersweet one. When I was a little girl, I loved nothing but looking at pretty pictures, and my biggest dream is to take my own photos and get published someday. Fast forward to now, I'm not only working with several different magazines, creating content for my own blog, but also a few months away in launching a creative agency. Never in a hundred years did I expect to have so many creative projects in hand, I'm extremely grateful. As I look back to my journey with photography, I learned that everything takes time, and pursuing your passion is a love-hate relationship we all have to face.是工作，又或著是在完成學業的路途上，相信你們與我一樣，都在朝某個目標前進。目標可大可小，可遠可近，唯一不變的是那「只要知道自己在累什麼，再累都無仿」的心情。記得小時候跟著吳小姐在髮廊洗頭的時候，設計師阿姨都會給我遞本雜誌，好讓我坐好不鬧。翻來翻去，那時候的我覺得能夠把照片拍好、文章寫好的人真的好厲害。時間快轉到現在，想想不曾結束的趕稿人生、逐漸穩定的部落客身份，以及再幾個月即將與朋友合作開張的工作室，心跳就不自覺加速。看著手邊的這些事，實在感激。回頭想想這一路與攝影和文字的連結，也覺得神奇，我這沒有相關背景與科系之人居然能撐到現在。若要說幾年來到底學了什麼，就是其實任何事都急不得，該發生的就會發生，而我們唯一能做的，就是拼盡全力。是說，既然到了年底，我決定新網站的第一篇文章要來點回顧、報告一下消失這幾個月到底在幹嘛（笑），順便聊聊對我來說最困難的事：相信自己。
So, since it's almost the end of 2017, I wanted to do this post as a reflect, and talk about the hardest thing I had to overcome — conquering my own mind.
[one_half padding="2px 6px 2px 6px"] [/one_half] [one_half_last padding="2px 8px 2px 8px"] In the beginning, the hardest thing for me was not the financial stuff or how little I was booked, it was my own self. I was constantly tearing myself down about my work, and how terrible it is. There's also this little voice in my head whispering "You're not good enough".
"I was my own bully, my worst enemy. I feel like i'm less than everyone else."
And I thought the more I created, the more I'll be able to silence all the negative thoughts. So I said yes to every job & project, wrote and shoot for everything, anything that will give me a glimpse into the industry. Despite deep down I know its not exactly what I wanted or they were actually ripping me off, I did it anyway. It was an unhealthy cycle of feeling devalued. 三年前剛開始接觸文字與影像那陣子，最大的挫折並不是來自於案子接得少與微薄稿費價格，是內心的糾結。經常覺的那裡那裡不夠好，覺得文筆不順、照片很醜；在腦袋中不停的批評我產出的每個作品，無時無刻，不曾間斷，言語與心理都是。或許這就是所謂的霸凌，只是加害者就是我自己。當時，為了要得到最多的練習，我只要有案子就接，拍什麼寫什麼都好，覺得這樣才能讓自己變得強大，講難聽點就是不挑。即便知道對方是在佔自己便宜，即便與個人風格理想並不相輔，我還是做了。這樣的狀況持續了很久，是場沒有出口的惡性循環。 [/one_half_last] The turning point was the end of summer this year when I decided to stop and focus on my personality. When I finally sit down and face my fears, I realised my insecurity wasn't based on the quality of my work, it was my habit of thinking. I was so convinced that without a relevant degree, I will never be good enough. And so I started making some big changes. I paused all the works/projects that wasn't a good fit for me or my belief, it was a hard choice because the last thing you want as a freelancer is to burn your bridges. I had to protect my work, and I'm the only one who can do so. I walked away from perhaps the best career opportunity one could ask for. But I knew it was the right decision, I had to focus on myself. If I've learned anything in the freelance path, it's that it's not simply about producing. Character matters more. Finding your own voice & style matters more. I took intentional steps in order to build a better pattern. I began to work on self-love. I started telling myself that nobody is perfect and it's okay to have flaws and fears. I came to finally believing in myself. After a while, slowly but undoubtedly, my confidence was rebuilt. My work became better.轉折點就在今年夏末，我決定要來好好處理這個問題。抽絲剝繭後，發現這些不安與個人能力和作品好壞無關，完全是來自於思考方式。因為我固執地認為，在沒有背景和科系的條件下，我始終是個業餘的。我開始拒絕某些與我個人風格不相符的邀稿與提案，聽起來或許很衝動，畢竟身為 freelancer 人脈與人際關係真的很重要。不過，我得好好保護自己的作品，而只有我能這麼做，況且我一直相信讀者是敏銳的，文字與影像背後有沒有熱情，其實一目瞭然。另外，我選擇放棄了一份很有發展性的工作，有猶豫也有糾結，但對當時的我來說是最正確的決定，在繼續往前之前，我必須找回自己，而這並不是一兩天就能完成的。倘若要我分享這幾年來到底體悟了些什麼，那就是好的性格與正確的心態比產出完美的作品更重要。在休息（也可說是失業。笑）這段時間，我試著不要每天過得如此提心吊膽、擔心這害怕那。我學習告訴自己「沒有人是完美的，害怕沒關係，但要相信你是可以」。過了一會兒，緩慢但毫無疑問地，自信得到了重建，作品也起了變化，終於能再度在照片中看見自己的影子。
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here's a note to you guys (& myself!)...
Don't ever let anyone tell you that you or your work is less than. Believe in yourself. Embrace your flaws & fears. Hone your craft. Grow your self & your work will grow.
And for those not sure what I actually do for a living,
I'm a Fashion & Beauty photographer + Lifestyle blogger, based in Melbourne & Taipei. 最後，送給任何曾經或正在經歷相同情況的人：不要讓任何人告訴你不夠好。相信自己，接納自己的不足，不要讓恐懼成為停止精進自己的理由。工作與內在該是相輔相成的。然後，如果你不太清楚我的職業到底是什麼？我是往返與澳洲與台灣的時尚與商品攝影師和文字工作者。[/one_half][one_half_last padding="2px 6px 2px 6px"]
Last but not least...welcome to my new brain space! I know it's been a long overdue of blog posts, photography, work talks & beauty obsessions. I'm extremely grateful for all of you, who stood by all this time and read 5 feet Asian girl babble about her life. Thank you, each one of you, you rock!
And now, I promise...no more radio silence, I'm back with loads of content to share. stay tuned! x