The pursuit of my passions

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I sometimes wonder how people did things like pottery or sewing without headphones and music streaming. Lee Lim

In our rush to be productive, we must remember to find sparks of joy

In a world that glamourizes labour and slaving your life away for capitalism, it is difficult to find time for your hobbies and passions. We live in a world that looks down on creativity, turns everything into profit, and discourages the mere concept of self-fulfillment. When we are younger, it seems like there is all the time in the world to indulge in and embark on our passions. Unfortunately, as you grow older, you are faced with the growing pains of adulthood.

Life humbles you. Your priorities shift. It becomes increasingly difficult to focus on anything else. All that matters is that you are paying your monthly bills. At times, you are barely hanging on. When you are young, the world seems so big. It is your oyster. The sky is the limit. All of a sudden, you’re older and the world is no longer your oyster. Rather, it seems as though it is your prison. In such a world, I will always encourage people to find anything possible that will keep them hanging on. I encourage you to find anything in this world that will awaken your inner child. We cannot let the harshness and coldness of the world turn us bitter and hopeless. We must not let despair and hopelessness consume us.

When I was younger, my mother asked me what I wanted to become when I got older. The first answer I gave was to be a tailor. Everyone laughed, not out of malice, but simply because it was a silly and unusual response. As I grew up, I was convinced that my passions were in psychology. However, that changed once I got into university. I fell in love with the field of international relations and I ended up switching my major.

As I get closer to graduating, I am realizing that I still would love to be a tailor. The truth is that I have always loved fashion. I have always loved sewing. I have always loved the art of fabrics and cloth making. Over the years, I have educated myself on sourcing material, learning about the craftsmanship of different fabrics, where certain fabrics come from, how they are made, and what clothing pieces they are perfect for. My passion for fashion started when, as a little girl, I would watch my father going out in tailored suits and beautiful shirts. Seeing how much he loved to dress up ultimately inspired me. And today, I realize that this passion for fashion is something that I have inherited from him. As a result, this is something I hope to pursue in the future.

            The second most important hobby and passion of mine is collecting perfumes and fragrances. I think the most beautiful compliment that you can receive is “You smell so good!” When I was younger, I would dip into my mom’s perfume collections and spray myself from top to bottom. Picture a five-year-old dousing herself in Chanel No. 5. That was me. To this day, I love testing out different scents and perfume brands. Perfumery is one of the oldest art forms there is. The truth is that perfume is something that takes us to a certain place. It brings us to a specific time of our lives. It fills our hearts with nostalgia. It reminds you of someone, a country you once visited, a person you love or loved, your youth, and more. There are times when I will smell a very specific scent and it will remind me of my mother or my grandma. I think these are the moments that make life worth living: remembering someone who means the world to you.

Although I have always loved collecting perfumes, it wasn’t until I got into university that I became serious about it. There is so much more to perfume than just the scent. You have to think about the DNA of the perfume, the notes of the scent, the aesthetic of the bottle, the way it makes you feel, the projection, the silage, and the lasting power. Some scents are quiet and intimate, whilst others are loud and offensive. There are aquatic scents, fresh scents, spicy scents, and gourmands which are pretty much dessert-based. If you are someone who is looking to grow a collection or find a signature scent, my only advice is to think about what makes you happy. What is a childhood scent that brings you happy memories? It could be a bakery you used to go to, in which case you can focus on gourmand scents that are sweet and yummy.

Another valuable thing to remember is that it is important not to be a victim of consumerism. Brands want you to buy things you do not need. You are welcome to splurge and spend, however you have to be mindful of what you spend your money on and how much you spend. It is terrible to spend above your means for the sake of a name brand. These things will not be buried with us when we die. Thus, I encourage everyone to think about their purchases or wish lists before buying something on an impulse.

Moreover, remember that a good perfume does not have to be ridiculously expensive. If you happen to fall in love with a scent that is above your budget, my advice is to purchase a sample first. Try the sample out. See how you like it. Focus on the different notes. There is always the chance that you can find a dupe of this scent from a cheaper brand. Google will be your friend there.

In the end, our passions are the things that make us experience joy. They allow us to focus on ourselves. They force us to spend time with ourselves, to gain perspective, and see the world in a different light. They bring us back to life.

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