2013 has been a very special and rewarding year for me. It is the year I established myself as a writer, colored my hair in different hues, went back to shooting analogue, and found a home in the Lomography Online HQ in Manila.
I consider myself magnanimously blessed. After deciding to shift from an exhausting but lucrative career in marketing to pursue my passion for writing more than a year ago, I finally hit home in 2013. I’d been writing freelance for about two years, usually for clients and online campaigns, but I barely had the opportunity to write about things or people that inspired me. Late last year however, I chanced upon the opportunity to write for one of my country’s better publications, and to write about issues and people I wanted to to wax poetic about. I’m a big music fan so it was an honor for me to interview musicians, talk about the scene, and write about music.
Luck spilled into 2013. I got more writing gigs, and they got more exciting. I would have to say that the more memorable ones are the articles I wrote about the bands Stars and Nada Surf. Interviewing Matt Caws and talking to Doug Gillard from Guided by Voices—-and now Nada Surf—- in person—-are you kidding me? I had to stop myself from being a fangirl and had to act as professionally, of course. Whew! What could be more exhilarating for a big music fan than meeting and interviewing your favorite bands, from high school and beyond? Interviewing other bands who played in the Wanderland Festival last May and seeing the show was pretty elating too. And merely being a spectator at some of the year’s most awaited concerts was definitely a blast.
My luck wasn’t about to run out. I landed a job as an editor and writer for Lomography’s Online Magazine.
It was a tough decision. I’d gotten used to working freelance in the comfort of my own home, without the hassle of the everyday commute and the expenses of keeping an office-based job. But I saw the opportunity to work for Lomography a blessing, and one that landed on my lap at the perfect time. I just couldn’t say no.
Of course there was a period of adjustment. As a matter of fact, I would say that I am still adjusting. Adjustment is a staple in this job; working in an online environment is tantamount to constant change. Adjusting to working with my new colleagues on the other hand was relatively easy. The Lomography Online Team in Manila is one of the most talented, dedicated, fun, and creative bunch of people I have ever worked with.
Aside from the pleasure of working with these beautiful people, I have been able to write more about topics that are intrinsic with my passions, and given the freedom to be myself. Here creativity is encouraged, and diversity is not a crime. The people at the Lomography HQ don’t look at you as if you’re from another planet just because you have no plans of watching the latest box-office dramatic flick, or because you have a different taste in music. I am finally home and it’s a Lomo Home.
With the job, I have been compelled to shoot on film once again, with a variety of weapons to choose from. I reincarnated my four-year old Diana F+, as well as this action sampler-like camera I was given when I was only 12 years old. I wanted to resurrect an old Konic Pop but a colleague told ne that it was beyond saving. I’ve tried the Lomo LC-Wide, the Horizon Perfekt, Lomography Fisheye 2, and a Kodak EC70 camera so far. Considering that I worked in commercial photo studios and engaging in modern digital equipment for about four years in a previous job, I would have to admit that going back to analogue has been both fun and challenging. When you let your experimental nature take over while shooting analogue, you can’t take back your miscalculations and you don’t always get the results you were hoping for.
So far, 2013 has been really good to me and I am very thankful. There have been sacrifices that I’ve had to make but the returns have been rewarding. I have been working my ass off to send my kids to a good school and even at such an early age, they have been very passionate about pursuing an education. I don’t get to spend as much ‘us time’ with my husband but he has been immensely supportive, even picking me up from the office since I work very late.
Somehow I feel more secure with my personal life and my career. Fulfillment is no longer scarce and I am finally treading the career path I have always wanted. I look forward to the coming year with great plans and high hopes. 2013 has filled me with optimism, and I can only expect 2014 to be even better.