The Start Of A Second Act
Today, a not so sunny Sunday, is the last day of June. It has been months since I posted on this blog. My last post was in January. At a time when I was expectant, as I am always expectant in the first month of the year. It was also a time when I just finished organising the first hotel art fair in Singapore. I was wondering if it was possible for me to be in the art business. Until then I had only been a participant, as an art collector, a friend of artists and galleries, and a board member of Singapore museums.
We are now exactly mid way through the year. Unlike how I felt at timely crossroads in the past, I am feeling good about myself. I have done quite a lot. It has been a long time since I felt good about having spent my time well. I am in a good space. In the last 6 to 8 months, I have ventured into several new territories. Out of my comfort zone. I am now a certified coach. I am trying my hand at being an art practitioner. I took a few steps back from film producing to get a different perspective. My two movie projects are taking off. In positively different ways.
I am writing this post literally in a new space. My house was rented out in May. After seeing over sixty units, I finally found this apartment at Country Esquire. I turned it from a rundown apartment into an abode I am comfortable in, albeit needing to spend some money that I could ill afford. But I have come to terms with the expenditure. And I am starting to enjoy apartment living. Feeling good about myself comes, after some traumatic months, from knowing myself more, and from the courage to act.
A second act in life. It sounds inspiring. Who would have thought it would take a journey into my past, and a brave look at what I really want to do in life? I used to think my second act would be based on available options. It is not entirely wrong, but available options are only a part of the solution. The more significant part of the solution is to understand what brought me to this point, and what I might have neglected because of fear and ignorance. My talents and passions I have looked away from.
Peter Chan was in town and we met up after almost two years. It has been the most difficult two years for him. In not-so-different ways, it has also been the most trying two years in my professional and personal life. Last month he had a solid hit in his latest movie, ‘American Dreams In China’. Ironically, this is not a big budget period action epic, but the kind of movies he used to make. Buddy movies. His biggest failure led him back to his roots where he has now found success. His second act in China is taking off.
My mentor coach asked me what I would do if I were financially independent. To list them down. My peer coach asked me which daily or weekly activities made me happy. To also list them down. To my pleasant surprise, at this point in my life, even if I had enough money, I will be doing pretty much the same things. Except maybe with a more peaceful and calmer frame of mind. And I am actually active in the activities that make me happy. So, following what my heart tells me, taking baby steps, moving slowly, I am on the right pathway.
Sometimes, when there is no clarity, we can give too much weight to financial stability and allow a professional career to define who we are. When we try to strike a balance in our lives, by rethinking our values and purpose, it in turn can help redefine our work. When what we do in daily life keep us positive, hopeful and active, we are in a good space. It is this space that the spotlight is shinning on our second act. Before we know it, we will be hearing the applause.