While trying to keep spirits up and rationalizing a problem that just popped up this morning, I had a sudden meltdown, so sudden that I actually shocked myself too when it happened. I guess there was a disconnect between the head and the heart for me for that moment in time as I broke down and I was bawling my eyes up with visions of doom as I called the boy (much to his alarm and scare) wailing about how I can’t do this alone anymore and how it really feels like I’m holding a bucket full of water trying to bring it to the end point with all the water still intact, but holes upon holes just pop up about the bucket just as I am slowly mending each hole before the water is all emptied from the bucket. Perhaps today I reached breaking point again while trying to raise money to mend some holes, realizing that more holes had popped up because I had taken time to raise the money needed. Sometimes it feels like the cost just escalates, although I really believe in looking ahead and far and trusting in the dream and the vision. And for sure, the cost of entrepreneurship is more than monetary, as I collapsed in despair today. But, as a dear old JC friend who has walked the path of entrepreneurship, Li Wei, shares, giving up is always the easier option, are you going to take it?
I truly think I have a semi-charmed life when I look at the angels who keep supporting me and egging me through this road, and they do it ceaselessly, unwaveringly…and I am touched by their commendable efforts to keep me going. I am amazed at how the people you meet and keep on meeting in the course of life will always come back into your life again for a purpose that touches the heart so deeply, and I am humbled and awed by connections in life.
What really keeps me going beyond the vision of sharks swimming free in the oceans for my future generations to behold, is the countless heartfelt stories and offers of goodwill I have received right from the start of choosing this path.
I was touched when a very old friend and ex boyfriend, Aaron, a most interesting and quirky pilot with a head packed full of interesting information and knowledge, invited me to his wedding recently with this very thoughtful and sincerely personal message from a year back:
Hi Kathy, the moment you have been waiting for has arrived! HAHAHAHA!
Hope you can join us on 11 Jan next year. Don’t worry, there will be NO SHARKS FIN on the menu. I don’t want it and Violette doesn’t want it, and we won’t let us parents override us. But in the 0.000000001% chance that it changes because of circumstances beyond our control and against our wishes, I will certainly let you know early and we will totally understand. Rest assured that we both are very committed not to have it on our menu at all and this is a just-in-case (on the same level of ‘just-in-case the world ends’ type).
And then when I was having another moment of facing odds and difficulties in Lombok recently in March, dear Nelle, a fellow volunteer with the Children’s Cancer Foundation from a few years ago, sent this encouraging story my way too:
Hang in there, don’t give up. Things have a way of sorting themselves out even if they don’t work out the way u hope they wld. U’re doing good work. I’m reminded of that each time I see a ‘I’m FIN-ished’ poster on the streets. You’ve inspired me to stop eating shark’s fins too. So as your ‘convert’, I say, dear Kathy, don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.
And the stories don’t end there when sweet Rachel, a fellow participant of the Young Social Entrepreneurs Program 2013, sent me this story too:
By the way, today my colleague from Hong Kong asked me about Danea (my ckc spaniel) and Matt (Rachel’s little brother). I told her about them, and about you and The Dorsal Effect and sharks.. she said you were an amazing person. She told me that she would never eat sharks fin again. Just wanted to let you know.. this hasn’t been the first time. Even your story by itself inspires and changes people. Thanks for being everything that you are.. I always think the world needs more people like you.
And I get the sweetest sketch of a girl with a thresher shark from a very very dear sempai (senior) from my time in Japan on the JET program,Rebekah, who is the prettiest and most talented a photographer and artist whose works I have always always adored so so much until today, that I teared up seeing how much of her style was in this very beautiful sketch she sent my way, despite being tied up with her little toddler to mind most of the time now:
And to one of the sweetest girls I have know from my days in SAJC, Soo Fang, who is a self made baker of the loveliest cupcakes ever conceivable, thank you for your kind and sincere offer although I don’t have the means to organize an event for The Dorsal Effect yet but that day shall come, thank you for this offer that also touched me so:
Hi Kathy, just want to drop you a quick note to say I love what you do at The Dorsal Effect! I’ll love to show my support by sponsoring 2 dozen shark cupcakes if you will let me , either for your event, personal celebration etc.. i think you totally deserve it! Its a little something from me to show my support for you.. and its the least and only thing i can do stuck at home with kids!
Don’t give up because i think what you are doing is really meaningful! Just drop me a msg when u need them and i’ll try my best accommodate!
So this journey has been tough no doubt, but truly, nothing short of amazing, with all these beautiful people from all the various parts of younger me’s life, that I have been blessed to cross paths with, and carry the friendship on with over the years. Your stories and offers have humbled me greatly and giving thanks and being in gratitude is something I will always choose in life because of all of you.
We’ll sleep the puffy eyes away and awake to fight more battles indeed.
(Yes, I will press on, Bridgette and Sin Lei!!)
Also, special thanks Phil and Edgar for the puns on my meltdown, you guys never fail to put a cheer and laughter to my life with your jokes, as you keep reminding to always look at the lighter side of life with your winning witty ways. ?