Au revior 2016!
Au revoir 2016! A new year signifies a chance to refresh and restart, but one can’t move forward without reflecting back.
The beginning of a journey, whether it be one of a goal, a career, a milestone or a dream is never easy. At first, everything seems so daunting, because it seems to be so far away. The people you look up to seem to have had such a big head start, unmatchable talents or skills, or a seemingly easy way up. There are so many obstacles to face before you’ve even started…but the reality is: most of your obstacles exist in your head. 2016 for me was a year of overcoming obstacles.
My dad has always told me that “the longest journey starts with a single step” and its glaringly true.
2016 began with a very frustrated, heavy-hearted Catriona. Along with facing the usual dilemmas that young adulthood flings at you, I was single-handedly supporting my family – a responsibility that I wasn’t prepared for. To add to that I had reached a career roadblock and it seemed that every new opportunity seemed end up with the door closing in my face. I was keeping a strong front but inside I was freaking out (pacing around the room, spontaneous bursting into tears freaking out). My dreams were put on standby because I didn’t have the means to wander from my own responsibilities and the financials to take the risk. I was 22 and I didn’t know what I was doing with my life.
To break away from the pressure that I was under, I turned to charity work. It was unbelievably freeing to have my attention turned away from myself and my situation over to others. And thats when my perspective began to broaden and a path began to materialise. Being around the less fortunate made me realise just how lucky I was and how much I had to be grateful for.
In charity work, you set out to help others – but ultimately you end up helping yourself.
I resurfaced with a burning desire to give back as much as I could. Miss World offered a platform: a way to help these children that I was seeing every week in Tondo, Manila to a larger capacity. I identified with Miss World’s charitable identity and took a leap into the unknown world of Philippine Pageantry.
What followed was an overwhelming experience of generosity, kindness and endless support. Individuals came into my life who selflessly dedicated and invested their time, resources and skills into my journey. I cried so many times when met with their support – what can I say, I’m a blubberball.
That’s not to say that all my problems went away. Challenges persisted regardless but with faith, prayer and those people offered a hand, I was able to get by and flourish despite my circumstance. Most people only see the result of the beauty pageant. But thats not all that was gained (or lost). Behind the competition was a complete journey of self-discovery, revelation, challenges and faith.
I became a more understanding, better and a more driven human being as a result of 2016. I realised that, even though you’re faced with so many obstacles you just need to try, take that first step and persist. Let people help you, because no-one can do it alone. And last of all, never lose faith – in yourself, your future and your purpose.
Happy 2017 everyone.
Here’s to being braver than the year before.
Photography: Paolo Pineda
Styling: Reynaldo Santos
MUA: Krist Bansuelo
Hair: Jan Edrosalan
Creative Styling & Editting: Catriona Gray