Snippets of life, Thoughts

Taking A Leap of Faith

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Yesterday was my last day at work. My contract ended and I decided not to renew it.

Why would she do that, you might wonder.

Well, it was quite a long process until I came to that decision. It had begun since November last year, when I started feeling rotten all the time. Constant fatigue, depression, hair loss, weight loss, all that. I remember going to Singapore for Christmas and ended up doing nothing there, as I was too tired to go anywhere. Seeing Christmas lights on Orchard Road, or going to the Marina Bay for the spectacular view? Didn’t happen. Basically I wasted my 4 days there by sleeping most of the time, and occasionally walking 300 meters to the nearest Costa to read for a few hours. Not the most festive Christmas, but that’s what happened.

Looking back, I realize I’ve written a lot about my feelings over the past few months. How 2015 was difficult for me, and how I made a new year resolution to be happy. How I started to realize that I had other dreams, far bigger dreams that could make me happy, and I wasn’t living it. And eventually, how I felt SO unfulfilled with what I was doing, which had triggered me to start a photography business.

I’d been at a low ebb for too long, and I also hated complaining without doing anything. My motto is either you change it or you accept it. I couldn’t accept the situation I was in, so I kept asking myself, what can I do? I’ve come a long way until I decided what I wanted to do. As soon as I had my heart set on that, I felt a lot better.

But telling the plan to people was another thing.

When I said that I didn’t want to continue my job as a reservoir engineer, a lot of people (including my parents) cast their doubts, thinking I wasn’t being sensible and rational. They thought I should just hang in there and go with it. They said the economy and industry were bad and this wasn’t the best time to do this. My father even told me to do the business while still doing my job, which by that point, I’d already found impossible. So much work went into planning, preparing, doing shoots, and editing, that it couldn’t be done only in weekends. I knew, because I’d tried that. And the thing is, I didn’t want to stay just because it’s a ‘safer’ option, as many people would say. Maybe it was, but what’s the point of that if I didn’t grow and develop at all? I’d rather take a risk and learn something.

Unlike what they thought, I didn’t make this decision in such a haste, or because I let my anger and frustration got the better of me. I knew what I was signing myself for. I spoke to a lot of people with different opinions, some were supportive and the others were skeptical. A friend drew me a picture of life after resigning, about life without a steady income. I didn’t make this decision without knowing what I got myself into.

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This decision comes with a lot of consequences. I’m fully aware that getting money might be more difficult, and I have to work harder to make it successful. I might have to put vacation plans on hold as money will be tight for a while, and I might have to work longer hours, but I don’t mind. It’s so much better than having to work another day for something I’m not passionate about.

To be honest, I have doubts too. What if I don’t get clients? What if it’s not successful, will I have to go back to the corporate world? Those are only some of the many, many what ifs in my head. I don’t know where this is going, how this will be in a few months. The only thing I know is that I’ve set my heart on this and I’m willing to work harder than ever, and hard work will pay off.

This thing is terrifying. But you know what people say, “If your dreams don’t scare you, you don’t dream big enough.”

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Throughout all of this, I’m also touched by the outpouring support and love from my closest friends — people who really know me and what I’ve been going through. And that alone is enough to mute others’ negative opinions and my own fear, and to keep me going. When I told Farah about my plans, she said, “I’ve always thought you don’t fit in the corporate world, that you’re better at doing art and writing.” And when I finally decided to go ahead with my plan, her response was, “Bitch, you’ve got balls.” And trust me, that was the most heartwarming response I’ve heard. There are times when I feel a bit daunted, but they always assure me that I’m good at what I’m doing, and they like my work. I can only hope that more people will like my work too.

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And now here’s the fun part… a website launch!

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For the past few months, I’ve been working on the website for my portfolio, It’s still not perfect and I need to add a few more things, and hopefully a lot more photos as things progress. I also have another account on Instagram for my work, @dixiethamrin, and a Facebook page, Dixie Thamrin Photography. So make sure you check and follow if you like what you see. And also, feedback is very welcome! 🙂

It’s been a long time since I felt this hopeful. Fingers crossed for this, and for the future.

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  • Reply adales8

    Well done you! I believe in you!

    July 1, 2016 at 10:17 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Thank you so much Amanda! It means a lot to me 🙂 x

      July 1, 2016 at 12:53 pm
  • Reply Asti Damayanti

    You are amazing 👏👏👏👏 good luck ka

    July 1, 2016 at 10:29 am
  • Reply Nazura Gulfira

    A very well written post! It’s such a relief to know there are more and more people pursuing their passions. Good luck Dixie! I can hardly wait to see more of your work 😀

    July 1, 2016 at 11:13 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Thank you Ozu! I’m glad that more people follow their passion, even it means embracing a less conventional career path. It gives me the courage to go pursue mine 🙂

      July 1, 2016 at 12:58 pm
  • Reply Melly

    I stand with you, dixie !
    Yes, doing something you like is more fun. Being optimistic and good luck 👍🏻

    July 1, 2016 at 6:50 pm
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Mbak Melly, thank you so much! It is indeed. I’m more hopeful and optimistic now, thank you 🙂

      July 2, 2016 at 9:05 am
  • Reply oppie83

    You pursue life! You go girl. I genuinely admire your guts and I did exactly the same thing when I was young, trapped in a safe option but then I felt really really miserable. I decided to go after the what-if’s. The unknown which was trying to find my luck abroad without a job. I am glad I did that! Now I am in my mid 30s and believe me, this thing repeats in every stage of life. My advice, you’d be better growing your balls 🙂 ! You will need it again in the future hahaha. Good luck and be happy!!

    July 2, 2016 at 9:11 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Wow thank you Mbak Oppie! Such an inspiring story. I’m also glad you chose to take the risk, and now you enjoy your life. I need to be more courageous to grow my balls then haha. Thanks again Mbak 🙂

      July 2, 2016 at 3:16 pm
  • Reply Puty

    Just read the post…. Dixie, I feel you 🙂 I resigned and chose to do what I love (though in pretty different circumstance). I have no regret, so won’t you. Don’t worry…. We’ll do great! 😀

    July 2, 2016 at 2:37 pm
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Aah Puty, thank you so much! You’re one of my inspirations, as I always admire what you do, and how you prove anything can be successful with persistence, perseverance, and hard work. Congrats for your pregnancy, and best of luck for your business 🙂

      July 2, 2016 at 3:24 pm
  • Reply Lorraine

    Ah Dixie, What a switch in your career! I am quite impressed by your decision. You are a brave young woman who lives your life the way you want it. This is something that inspires others. While others dream about it, you just do it. Well done so far!

    If you are good in what you do, clients will follow. You are a passionate photographer. I wish you lots of luck en fun with this new chapter in your life.

    July 20, 2016 at 11:12 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      It is a big change, and that was why I’d considered that for a good half year before finally coming to this decision. And I couldn’t be any happier about this, it feels so right. Thank you for your encouraging words Mbak Yoyen, I’m working hard to make this a success 🙂

      July 21, 2016 at 12:50 pm
  • Reply Gadisya

    I don’t do much blogwalk but gotta admit that I’ve spent literally an hour scrolling thru your pages. I’m so happy to see you living your inspiring, full of love life, Dixie! I could really relate to this tho. To have those doing-things-you-have-no-heart-for kinda feelings like everyday you wish you didn’t have to go there anymore. How I wish I had your courage. Anyway goodluck on the photography work! Your pictures speak a lot. Love em xx

    January 24, 2017 at 1:42 pm
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Gadisya, thank you SO much! Your comment made my day. I know exactly that feelings, I used to go through the motion doing something I wasn’t really interested in. I’m sure you also have that courage in you, and I hope someday you’ll find a way to do things you’ve set your heart on. Thank you once again! 🙂 xx

      January 26, 2017 at 9:48 am
  • Reply BREW: Becoming by Michelle Obama – D

    […] fear and doubts. The last time I got this kind of slap was when a former colleague of mine, Dixie, decided to leave her job as a reservoir engineer and pursue her love for photography. I wish I had her courage, I murmured. Take a leap of faith, she reminded […]

    October 14, 2019 at 1:31 pm
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