It's me, Annie, behind the screen, writing this.
It would be a little odd to interview myself, so I'll tell you.
I had the pleasure of interviewing these four beautiful women. There's one thing we have in common; it's the power to find something beautiful beyond whats outwardly.
I started this project with Alicia to share the beauty that lies in every woman, regardless of background. Regardless of circumstance, there is a beauty that we can find hidden in the cracks of our lives. It gives us purpose, a motivation to keep pushing no matter what. Personally, for me, that's my language as an artist, fashion designer, brand strategist. I consider myself a translator to interpret a fundamental human need to feel more connected.
Who am I?
That is an existential question we all look to answer. I have no straight answer to this, but I might consider myself an "urban nomad." I have moved around so much in my life. Singapore born; Cali, Colorado, Louisana, Houston raised. Don't get me started on how many places I've been. They all become stories, and these stories are memories like brushstrokes that create the masterpiece that shapes who we are.
In these interviews, we discuss the struggles these women have gone through and seeing how their perspectives perhaps have changed but instead gives it a depth that is beyond words. We talk about trauma and many difficult discussions that changed their life in one form or another.
I grew up with everything and nothing. It made me humble but also for a time very bitter. I went from "Crazy Rich Asians" to just crazy. I can go through several things that have been a traumatic scene. I remember my first month being in Houston when I was 8, and my mom robbed at gunpoint with my little brother in the car. Thank god she is alive and well today. I was living on my own and taking care of my little brother at 16 - 18. I sang on stages and was living life, and then I've gotten sexually assaulted. I've gotten into an abusive relationship with someone I shouldn't have.
It led me down to a breaking point in December 2016; I attempted suicide multiple times. December 1st and December 24th.
I go all-in when I decide to do something.
I'm thankful that those two times have failed me that I'm able to post this out.
This series is not about trauma,
But the power of finding light in the dark.
We are finding beauty beyond what's seen.
It took me a very LONG time.
I was homeless for a month.
I was clinically diagnosed with PTSD & depression and started my healing process in 2017 with therapy. It was painful and challenging to face these things so I didn't finish because I couldn't afford it.
I thought I was getting better. There was only one force driving me at the time, and it was anger. Anger is a powerful but also destructive force. I trusted no one and isolated myself. It got to the point I didn't want to leave the house. This isolation lasted three months, with short bursts of highs. I finally returned to therapy and found one that was free. I was sick.
Through 6 months of intensive therapy work, I decided to cut it short because I saw the opportunity to leave the country and start new. My grandma fell, and I needed to see her. I returned to my childhood home in Singapore. It was there where I redefined myself. I needed time away from everything to reflect on who I am back to my roots. There, I found the true definition of beauty.
And I'll define it for you.
Beauty is the thread on a silk embroidery crafted with many colors and textures. They are the colors that live between the fabric of our lives and radiate with vibrant patterns. They are the words spoken, memories created, people interconnected in a web of different languages. Beauty only has one, and that is love.