Failure. It’s almost a taboo in Singapore. It’s as though everything that a Singaporean set out to do needs to be an unmitigated success; anything short of that is relegated to the back of the room. Left to be unmourned, forgotten.
When it comes to confidence in digital transformation efforts, Singapore ranked 14th out of 45 cities, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Connecting Commerce report. The placement is largely due to Singapore’s aversion to failure in an environment that operates by “trying things and seeing what works”. In another study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, it was discovered that three out of four Singapore students fear failure, which is higher than the global average.
Signs point to Singapore’s kiasu culture, the need to excel without the option of a plan B. It is this fear of failure that prevents many from trying. What constitutes a ‘failure’? Who deems what is a success or a defeat? Maybe it’s just another
step toward success? Maybe success is in the eyes of the beholder? Maybe success is the attempt?
Stories like The Tortoise and the Hare deserve an update. Through toil and perseverance, the tortoise reaches the finish line before the hare but in reality, the lagomorph often bests the reptile. No one sets out to fail; even with the best of intentions and preparedness, life can still push back.
You’ll hear from people who venture forth with expectations. For the most part, they are content that they have done all they could to achieve their goal. What can we ascertain from their experiences and will we be inspired enough to follow in their footsteps and forge out on our own? The hare may triumph over the tortoise but there are always other races. These are their stories.
It has been 16 years, yet those who witnessed the first instalment of Singapore Idol still recognise one of its many controversial finalists. The wild child with tattoos, who quit school at 15 and became a single mother before 21, made an impression that Maia Lee has never quite shed. Even current manager Kelvin Sng expected rebellion until he met her in an audition for his film, The Gang, a decade ago. “I saw her name on the casting list and was bracing myself for this angry gangster, but she turned out to be very polite and soft-spoken,” he recalls. Lee has since forged ahead from her early days at the Singapore Armed Forces Music & Drama Company and Hard Rock Café, but reconciling the public’s perception and her own persona may not be as linear.
ESQ: What got you started with fire-eating?
MAIA LEE: I’ve just been very fascinated with visual things. I’d actually always set out to be a performer rather than a singer per se. Ever since I saw Michael Jackson, that’s what I’ve been more interested in. I perform on a freelance basis. My full-time job is running a modelling agency specialising in babies and kids. I work at my own flexible timing because I don’t have a domestic helper and I’m unmarried with three kids to tutor and the house to look after.
ESQ: Do you consider your prior time in the music industry a success?
MAIA LEE: Whatever I’ve endeavoured in since young, I always tell myself, “if it makes money, it is successful”. It’s very common here to be asked if you’ve made it to China or Taiwan as a Chinese [in the industry], but I don’t care. It’s not my personal perception of how a musician should be. If you can get that far, great. But if your music touches people and makes you money, then you’re successful. People can say what they want about you, but all that matters is when you know the numbers in your bank. That’s when you feel happy and not have to worry about another day.
ESQ: Any memorable milestones of that period?
MAIA LEE: It was probably even before I joined Singapore Idol. I got to co-write lyrics and do a recording when I was working with The Usual Suspects for a song called ‘The Love You Promised’. It did very well; even Cascada remixed it, but I don’t think many people know that it was my vocals. I would say, though, my favourite moment has nothing to do with me being on stage. It is in fact due to my involvement in Singapore idol when vocal coach Babes Conde brought me to church for the first time. I was of a different faith then and struggling for a couple of years, but my life changed after that, so I have her to thank.
ESQ: What prompted your decision to move on to something else?
MAIA LEE: I had been working with some producers and music business legends, and travelling out of Singapore quite a bit because I was going to enter a market beyond Asia. The next thing I knew, I was pregnant. I think it was reported in the media I was an unwed mother a second time around, and back then I was very depressed, but I chose life over that. I had to give up everything over there, and was struggling financially. But I prayed, “God, if you’re real, bring this child up for me. Bring all my children up for me.”
And my daughter somehow became a baby that I did not fork out a single cent to raise. I discovered baby shows and competitions, and every weekend she’ll be winning. I think she’s won over 200 shows. To me, that was God helping me bring her up financially. Throughout this journey, it led to me making costumes for her and starting my costume business for a couple of years.
At the same time, some friends in the production line asked me to audition her for commercials. So she started modelling and hasn’t stopped since she was 10 months old. With me managing her as a model, I got to know more people and how the industry works. It made me think if I can groom my daughter, I can groom other people’s children as well. We handpick the kids we would like to work with and ensure that the children themselves want to do it, and not their parents.
ESQ: Is this what your daughter wants to do?
MAIA LEE: As far as I know now, she says it’s what she wants to do. I find that because God positioned her in my life, my whole direction just changed. Instead of me doing music, I’ve moved more behind the scenes, and I actually enjoy doing that. It’s a sense of achievement when I see kids from our agency booking jobs. I’m glad to say that we’re doing pretty good since we started two years ago.
ESQ: No regrets on the initial decision made?
MAIA LEE: Of course, there were times when I felt like I missed music, but I do not have the time to go into it again. Even if I do, it’s not to release the album or be a celebrity. That wasn’t what I set out to be right from the start. If I do music now, it has to be somewhat evangelical. I don’t set goals because my passions are everywhere, but ultimately still revolving around showbiz—whether singing or grooming talents. I’m happy doing anything within the creative arts.
ESQ: Do you think you gained anything from your time in the limelight?
MAIA LEE: It is because of my exposure in the media and how they portrayed me that I get constantly interviewed on the same topics. Instead of resigning to my fate, I see it as an opportunity, like when I got to visit Singapore Girls’ Home and interact with them. I do hope and believe that in some way, big or small, I helped the girls out.
ESQ: What did you tell them?
MAIA LEE: I told them my story. I showed them my tattoos. They felt very comfortable with me because I can easily pass off as one of them! I talk the way they do, but I tell them that whatever it is, you know you are going to come out of this. Don’t let people label you because of your past. I showed them my scars too, and told them it doesn’t define who I am anymore. I hope they will become people who can inspire others next time.
That’s one of my memorable milestones actually, to be able to bless others through my journey in life. I feel that whatever I’ve gone through, I wouldn’t be where I am today without Jesus.
It’s not a bed of roses, but through the years, everything points me to God hearing me and making everything right. Life just gets better because I see the blessings I have, and it’s a lot.
Having only passion for fashion isn’t enough, as Tjin Lee discovered. The former chairman of Singapore Fashion Week (SFW) and current managing director of public relations and events firm Mercury Marketing & Communications cut her teeth on showcasing the best of home-grown fashion designers (Dzojchen, Ling Wu) and curating internationally renowned style veterans (Diane von Furstenberg, Jason Wu) under one roof for 11 years.
The annual SFW crossed the decade mark but went out of fashion slightly after. What caused this once-noteworthy programme’s permanent removal from Singapore’s event calendar? Lee reveals the pitfalls of the celebrated trendy runway.
ESQ: What motivated you to spearhead Singapore Fashion Week (SFW)?
TJIN LEE: I was passionate about the idea that Singapore could be an Asian fashion capital alongside London, Paris, Milan, New York. I believed in that and was also passionate about promoting Singapore designers. I wanted to give them a platform where we could elevate them and bring in prominent international names to put a spotlight on Singapore as we’re a small country.
We don’t have enough local designers to build a world-class Fashion Week with. So, I realised that if we wanted to highlight Singapore, we have to include Asian designers too. My heart and passion are, of course, the Singaporean designers. But I knew that if it was just them, we
wouldn’t be able to garner regional media interest to gain enough momentum.
ESQ: How did you measure SFW’s success?
TJIN LEE: This is a soul-searching question because SFW was successful for many years. But for me, it was never about bringing in internationally acclaimed names. Or it depends on what your KPIs were.
Was I successful in making Singapore a destination for world-class designers to showcase at? Yes, very successful. No other country in Asia was able to bring designers like Carolina Herrera and Missoni together, but we did.
On the other hand, I feel I had not succeeded. No matter how I position Asian or Singaporean designers, they did not get the required enthusiasm from sponsors, the audience and consumers.
We had no problem attracting audiences with Victoria Beckham, Carolina Herrera and Missoni. But when it came to Singapore designers, I had to extend invitations. It was challenging as the interest level wasn’t the same.
I can support local designers, but nobody is willing to sponsor if the brands are obscure. But I wanted to show that we stuck through to the end and did not compromise on world-class standards.
ESQ: Tell us more about your expectations for SFW and how it aligns and differs from society’s yardstick.
TJIN LEE: The criticisms always came from people who said we didn’t have enough local content. So why don’t I have more local content? Because I don’t have enough Singapore designers who are willing to cover the cost of every show.
When I finally pulled the plug, I looked at what we had achieved. Rather than domestic success, we helped them to be showcased at New York and Paris showrooms. But even then, they didn’t take off.
You have to face the cold hard fact: when you bring these designers overseas, will they able to stand out alongside other international designers who are talented and diverse too? Are you commercially viable?
In the long run, SFW is not sustainable if I wanted to support Asian and local designers. It was successful only because there were international designers. But
what is Singapore Fashion Week if it’s all international
ESQ: What insights did you gain from managing SFW?
TJIN LEE: I still love fashion and support Singapore designers very much. But I also realised that the brand has to be able to stand on its own two feet. We cannot constantly ‘sustain’ the brands even if they are not commercial successes because it’ll be a crutch.
I met Singapore designer Ee-ling Fock from The Missing Piece and I realised that you don’t need a big show. No fancy trade shows and showrooms are needed if you have a really good product.
She’s arguably, I would say in my 11 years of running Fashion Week, the most successful Singapore designer I’ve encountered to date in terms of sales volume and able to delight both clients and customers. Her designs are a commercial success.
And what is fashion at the end of the day, if not a business. You can create beautiful sculptural clothes like Gareth Pugh, and Hussein Chalayan, but when you’re not selling a single piece of clothing, when you’re not selling enough to feed yourself, then you’re not going to survive because fashion is a business.
ESQ: How did you apply your experiences from SFW to your current endeavours like Crib Society?
TJIN LEE: What’s really interesting about Crib Society is that it’s a 300-entrepreneur community and is business-first. We have different pods—fashion, lifestyle, social enterprise. We have about 80 fashion members who discuss logistics operations such as shipping.
This is what designers should be talking about. And I’ve transitioned from doing a Fashion Week where we were dealing with designers to founding Crib Society, where we work with fashion businesses.
A fashion business understands cash flow, logistics and operations management. Fashion is art but it’s also a business. Every time I meet new members, I always tell them fashion is a business. You will not survive if your business does not thrive. So, I’m educating businesses today and still working with fashion entrepreneurs.
Zombiepura is about an army personal and his team trying to evade a zombie horde. The movie was released in 2018 and the public might know this as the ‘first Singaporean zombie film’. Hsien of the Dead is about an army personal and his team trying to evade a zombie horde. This lesser-known-movie was released in 2012. This was the brainchild of Gary Ow, who made Singapore’s first zombie feature with heart, gumption and zero experience in filmmaking.
ESQ: How did Hsien of the Dead come about?
GARY OW: I took a screenwriting class, I believe, in 2010. It was called Screenwriters Lab and was conducted at Singapore Media Academy. Instructors flew in from LA to teach the fundamentals. By the end of the course, you should have finished a full-length screenplay. Mine was Hsien of the Dead. We had the option to pitch our screenplays to their contacts in Hollywood and I took up that offer. The script wasn’t picked up. Back in Singapore, I pitched Hsien to local producers and Kelvin Sng, who directed Taxi! Taxi!, liked my pitch because of my enthusiasm for the project.
ESQ: Why did you want to make Hsien of the Dead?
GARY OW: I wanted to make a movie to become a famous director, but it takes a whole lot more to get to that stage. When I conceived Hsien, I envisioned the production value to be along the lines of Shaun of the Dead but I didn’t have money or the resources. As it turns out, no one gives money to a first-time filmmaker so I had to learn how to make a movie.
I took classes on how to shoot and edit. There was a Dov Simens course, which taught you how to make a movie from script to screen. I followed all these steps to get that movie done. It seemed simple if this was a B-grade movie. If it looked cheap, I didn’t mind.
ESQ: How was the money raised for the film?
GARY OW: There were multiple avenues of raising funds. I got money from putting in product placements and ad spaces, investors, promising that I’ll give the money back and sometimes with an ROI.
ESQ: You did everything on your own?
GARY OW: I was writer, director, producer, editor. And with the budget limitation, it just meant that I had to work with the clay I was given. I hired actors I could afford. Established actors will never work with you unless they are on a hiatus or something. Ernest Seah [one of the leads in Hsien] broke up with his business partner and was on some ‘eat, pray, love’ thing. I approached him for the movie and he agreed to do it on money that we offered.
ESQ: What were the obstacles in making the film?
GARY OW: The entire production ran from January to March in 2012. Shooting was a learning curve. No one took me seriously. There were also rumours about me being a fly-by-night guy, that I wouldn’t be able to finish the movie. We shot three days a week, usually over the weekend to accommodate the actors’ schedules.
I was terrible at communicating what I wanted in the shots. The actors expected more back-and-forth with me. Whenever we got the shot, I just said, “Good. Now we move to the next scene.” The actors didn’t expect me to be this cut-and-dry. That was my failure.
I did everything on my own for the first couple of shoots. I forgot how to use the audio recorder; I messed up some e-mails… so I hired three polytechnic students to assist me with the call time, arranging the schedule, prepping the equipment, edit… if I had continued doing it on my own, I would have lost my mind.
Shooting a movie in Singapore is hard. There aren’t many places that would allow us to shoot a zombie movie. You wanna shoot in the void deck? You need HDB’s permission. You want to shoot at the mall, you’ll need permission from the mall owner. When the film needed to shoot at an army camp, I had to use Goodman Arts Centre, which looked similar to one. All I needed was to rent a room at Goodman and I could use the entirety of their space for shooting.
Do you know how much it costs to shoot in an MRT train? One hour costs SGD5,000. If you go through legitimate channels, pay everything, you’ll end up with a huge bill. I couldn’t afford that.
ESQ: Sounds like a guerilla-style sort of shoot.
GARY OW: We shot on the fly and that was when my green screen studio came in handy. I asked my still photographer to take a lot of pictures of the place we were shooting at. If we needed to do a pick-up, we could do it on the green screen. That’s how I saved some of the scenes by cheating the shots.
ESQ: We understand that this is Singapore’s first zombie film?
GARY OW: There’s Zombiepura and there’s Hsien of the Dead, which was released earlier. My film is the first Singaporean zombie film. The Straits Times had to clarify that my film was the first Singaporean zombie movie with limited circulation, whereas Zombiepura is the first Singaporean zombie movie with wide circulation.
ESQ: What of the reviews for Hsien?
GARY OW: There were a lot of opinions about it. Some of my American friends like some bits of the movie. When my cast and crew saw the first cut of the movie, they thought it was fun. They were supportive, glad to be included in a film.
There are three camps. The first expected Hsien of the Dead to be solely a zombie movie. They were expecting Dawn of the Dead; they weren’t expecting the film to be like Monty Python. The second are the ones who like the humour of it. Then, there’s the third, which consists of most mainstream Singaporeans who didn’t like it. I believe that absurdist humour is lost on them.
I wanted to be famous but my green screen studio got famous instead. When the movie got panned, I started picking up corporate work. People wanted to use my green screen studio and I made back my money.
ESQ: What did you learn, looking back on this?
GARY OW: Was Hsien the world’s greatest movie? No. Is it unwatchable? No, I find some scenes funny. The film met my expectations: I wanted to write, shoot and finish a zombie movie in Singapore and I did. I wanted it to be screened and I did it. Anything else is just a bonus.
Can it be better? I mean, anything can be improved upon. Now that I have 10 years of experience as a commercial director doing corporate videos, there are many scenes that I would have changed: I would have spent more money on sound, reshot some scenes, but at the end of the day, I had limited time and resources.
Was I crazy to have done this feature? On hindsight, yes. I should have done some commercial projects first; the learning curve was too steep. Will I do another feature? Nah. I’ve no more capacity for pain. I’d rather
do a documentary.
Roomorama was once New York’s business-to-business (B2B) answer to Airbnb. Started by Federico Folcia and his wife, Jia En Teo in 2008, it was a distributor of short-term rental properties. Roomorama shuttered in 2017 but instead of being daunted by its failure, Folcia sees it as necessary to become the person he is today.
ESQ: Why did you and your then-girlfriend, now wife, Jia En Teo, start Roomorama?
FEDERICO FOLCIA: We started Roomorama because we identified a need for people to find and book non-hotel accommodation worldwide. Also for hosts to be able to manage inquiries and reservations in a simple, streamlined manner.
ESQ: How was Roomorama built?
FEDERICO FOLCIA: I spent a year refining the concept—despite people telling me it would never work—and gathering the right resources. I met with influential people who could help spread the word, I gathered the first batch of properties and distributed flyers door-to-door.
ESQ: What was your vision for the company?
FEDERICO FOLCIA: To put it simply, to create something similar to what Airbnb is today. I didn’t really have an expectation for the project back then. You have to realise that running a business in 2008, which is when I started this project, was very different than it is today. It sounds like I’m talking about prehistory.
ESQ: Did Roomorama fill a gap in the market?
FEDERICO FOLCIA: Yes, we started the business in New York in 2008. The financial crisis was hitting big and a lot of people saw Roomorama as a good opportunity to pay for their mortgage or rent when their apartments were vacant. And vice versa, it allowed many people to visit the city in a more affordable and authentic way.
ESQ: So, what led to the business shuttering?
FEDERICO FOLCIA: The competition became unbearable, both for inventory and customer acquisition cost. Once businesses like Expedia and Homeaway joined the arena, it was very difficult to compete without deep pockets.
ESQ: Do you see this as a failure?
FEDERICO FOLCIA: The kind of business I was running was very much binary in terms of outcome, it was exiting versus shutting down. You just can’t run such a business organically and hope you won’t be eaten alive at some point. So yes, in terms of outcome it definitely was a failure.
ESQ: Would you say failure is a state of mind?
FEDERICO FOLCIA: Hell no. Failure should be factored in as a possible scenario, but If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. So, I’m not one of those who celebrates failure as a ‘must-have’ condition to be successful.
ESQ: Embarking on a new business venture requires great risk and entrepreneurship. How do you view success, failure and risk in general?
FEDERICO FOLCIA: The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same. But to be honest, a lot of it relies on your ability to properly assess and manage your risks. It goes without saying that at some point you need to take risks. If you don’t, you have failed by default.
ESQ: What were your biggest mistakes?
FEDERICO FOLCIA: When I look at the way I worked in those few years, I was too slow and stubborn at making decisions. I think it’s because I was very risk-averse. I trusted the wrong people when I should have trusted myself more. I was distracted by many things without focusing and wasn’t working hard enough. I thought success was something that could come much easier than I anticipated.
ESQ: What did you learn from starting Roomorama and its end?
FEDERICO FOLCIA: Focus on one important thing at the time, don’t be shy and engage with people when you hit obstacles and work very hard.
ESQ: Do you believe in trusting your gut?
FEDERICO FOLCIA: Yes, I am a very instinctive person so I do trust my gut, but I also believe that you need to allocate your gut. If you want to have a reliable gut, you have to stay curious and inquisitive. You must read, talk to people and most importantly, have the ability and passion to be a problem-solver. `
ESQ: Do you think the end of Roomorama allows you to avoid such ‘mistakes’ in current and future endeavours?
FEDERICO FOLCIA: Absolutely. It took me a while to overcome the emotional distress to be honest, I just felt I wasn’t good enough. But now as CEO and founder of Crane—an ecosystem for lifelong learning and a mash-up of, I would say, a social club, co-working space and vocational centre—I am much more focused, shrewd, hardworking and determined. And that’s purely because of the experience I gathered at Roomorama.
ESQ: How do you think society’s yardstick of success compares to your vision?
FEDERICO FOLCIA: Success in the idea of society is a function of two things: one is wealth and the second is whether you are a person of influence.
I’m not denying that I’m not attracted to either one, but I think to me success is how fulfilled I am, especially at this stage in my life. Back then that’s what I was looking for, I wanted to be richer and I wanted to be famous. But nowadays, I really want to make an impact. So everyone defines success in a different way. But if I have to use one sentence to define it, it is definitely what fulfils you.
ESQ: Is failure is an internal struggle or a societal one?
FEDERICO FOLCIA: Failure is more societal. There’s a lot of pressure on people to always aim for perfection, on a personal and professional level. You can see that on social media, everyone is playing
ESQ: Should we be ashamed of our failures?
FEDERICO FOLCIA: While I think people should be not ashamed of it, I also don’t think it’s something we should celebrate. But the ability to overcome failure is something that I am inspired by. You can use failure as leverage to not only recover from it but to help propel you forward.
They say fall down seven times, get up eight. Walter Tay excelled at his role in multi-level marketing, then it turned out to be a sham. He was the first in Singapore’s cosmetics industry to obtain the distributing licence of a popular Korean beauty brand, which did so well that they decided to remove him from the share of profit. Tay franchised fitness competitions for Asia that later lost a few hundred grand as a company. The celebrity hawker of Kampung Admiralty is remarkably candid about his painful mistakes, not because he feels he has finally attained success. Rather, the humbling journey is one he deems a consequential episode in life.
ESQ: What led you to the decision to become a hawker?
WALTER TAY: I had nothing to lose. I chose not to go back to being a steward because I spent most of my 20s away and thought maybe it was time to do this with my family. I won’t lie; it was tough. I used to help out at coffee shops and hawker stalls before my dad retired and I hated it (laughs). Even when I started again, it was very demotivating because I had people heckling and personal relationships that fell apart. But I found the routine of hawker life quite meditative. The lifestyle changed me and calmed me down.
ESQ: How did you first garner publicity?
WALTER TAY: The first wave of attention came when we had some reporters cover our Father & Son brand with the angle of me as a torchbearer, and then it promptly died down. Then, a life mentor who I met in a fitness competition asked me how I was going to stand out from the rest of the existing young hawkers. So I went topless. I got loud on social media.
I treat Hawker Hunk as a brand. I believe in the importance of having your own channel and space in this digital age. Yes, I get recognised a lot when I’m in the neighbourhood as the guy who strips (laughs) but it’s a good thing to capture attention. I did a few critical things right, like going on that dating show. I almost refused to do it because it seemed so desperate at first, but I realised if I could show that a hawker was wanted among girls in that show at least, wouldn’t it be a cool thing to tell Singaporeans?
ESQ: What were your original ambitions?
WALTER TAY: I initially wanted to create games. I was a loser and a fat kid who had anxiety attacks all the time. My childhood was screwed up because I belonged to my father’s second family. We’re over it now but at the time it was pure anguish. And you can’t blame anyone because my grandfather walked out on my dad; it’s all a result of a vicious cycle. You just have to accept it. During my diploma studies, I quickly learnt that multimedia was not what I wanted to do. But fitness, which started out from joining a dragon boat team, taught me that if you put enough time and effort into something, things can change.
ESQ: What did you learn from your failures?
WALTER TAY: That life is not about all these material things. We have been trained by school and society; everything is structured like you’re being ranked. Some industries are so cut-throat and the pursuit of happiness is always from something external. My biggest lesson is that life is not about what society expects you to be, but to just be content with yourself before going out to achieve what you want to.
ESQ: Do you consider this business a success?
WALTER TAY: No, definitely not yet. With all these projects I’m taking, I’m still on the same direction as a second-gen hawker playing my part to safeguard the culture with means within my capabilities. We are different from the previous generation; we know how
to use social media. These are all tools I use to boost
ESQ: Have you any fear that this might not work out?
WALTER TAY: I don’t think this way. This mindset seems like a waste of energy. Of course, as a mature adult, you will calculate risk factors but it’s very different analysing things objectively versus being bogged down by fear. It feels different this time because what I’m doing is legitimate. The National Museum wants me to open my store there for the Singapore Heritage Festival; I have an upcoming documentary, the second season of Channel News Asia’s Belly of a Nation. I’ll be going to a French university to give a talk, on the same stage where Singapore TEDx founder Dave Lim, architect Liu Thai Ker, and Michelin-starred chef Andre Chiang have been.
If all else fails, as long as people around me are happy, I consider myself successful. Since I’ve had all these downfalls in my life, I want to show people that the underdog life is possible if you don’t give up and keep fighting. I don’t want to sell the hope of a short-term solution. I want to sell the spirit of digging in and working hard. In doing all this, I want to build a name for myself. I don’t want it to just be hype. I want to
give it some soul, some values, and I’m going to keep pushing it.
ESQ: Do you regard it as part of your identity now?
WALTER TAY: Oh yeah. If I can inspire others with my story, I’ll feel really good. It’s very scary in a way that you don’t earn a lot of money compared to say, opening more branches, but that’s not my goal. I really don’t see a point because I was there. I had cars, I had everything. It’s a crazy thing to live through, but also a good thing that happened because I now know what’s meaningful to me. I’m so thankful for the people I met and the lessons I learnt along the way. Honestly, I still feel like my life’s