You have to know that dreaming is not enough. Sorry to start this article with a harsh truth but that's how I learned it. Here are my 6 tips on how to chase your kawaii dreams:
1. Analyze your dreams well. When I was younger I wanted to be a model so bad because I've been influenced by local magazines that models are oh-so wonderful beings. I was dreaming and trying my best, joining each and every contest I knew, attending go-sees here and there. But now that I'm older, I've realized that I was chasing the wrong dream. I wasn't meant to be a model because first I don't have the body type. Second, I don't have the face that media is looking for. And finally, I was in the wrong country. If I was in Japan when I was a little bit younger then I could have been once because models in Japan are different from the other model-types in the world.
2. Set your goals. In university, I studied International Studies Major in European Studies to be an ambassadress. That's my "most realistic" dream! If you only knew how hard it is to be one, you might laugh at me for saying it is realistic. I was a dreamer and I still am a dreamer. I once said, I want to be a mermaid and it wasn't a joke.
The photo above highlights Hirari Ikeda, a shop staff of a store in Harajuku called Dog (where Lady Gaga shops every time she's in Tokyo) and one of the most famous Harajuku icons at present. Where else in the world could that happen, a sales associate and style icon in one category? Only in Japan!
3. Have a deadline. My goal was to graduate university on time (3 years because my uni's tri-semestral) and move out of the country to pursue bigger dreams. And I did. I'm still nowhere near to being an ambassadress but something beautiful happened.
Above's Tim of TokyoFashion.com back while taking street style photos along Meiji Dori.
4. Live your life. When I moved to Japan with my family, I redirected my goals to being part of it. "Grow where you are planted." I studied the language, worked as a visual merchandiser and tried giving back by becoming a teacher. At the same time, I was maintaining a kawaii blog. So far from being an ambassadress! Even if you feel like you're struggling to reach your goals, never neglect the things that are most valuable: family, friends and your health.
One day.. I was working hard for the blog? Maybe? The universe called Kaila to fly me to Manila to be a kawaii ambassadress from Japan. And it was one of the most surreal, amazing, magical moment in my life. Imagine, a kawaii ambassadress just because I am myself!
5. Emerge yourself to the community you want to be in. 2013 was the year that I moved to (close to) Tokyo. It was a giant leap of faith as I was planning to stay in Manila and set-up my shoe business but it was also the most integral part of my kawaii dreams. If I didn't move here, things could have been really different. I'm glad I made this decision! Knowing how Harajuku works (by helping each other) inspired me to share and help other people towards their dreams. I'm not here to be an idol, a style icon or anything towards fame. I'm here because I have a purpose to be my better self, to share my talents (teaching, photography, writing) and be beyond me.
The lady in yellow is Misato, co-owner of Funktique (a vintage brand in Harajuku) and the mother of Harajuku. She's one of the many people I admire here just how she juggles being a real mom, business owner, supporter of her friends and of Harajuku. Just wow!
6. You will get there. I was nervous all the time, everything is just new to me. Most of the time I feel like I'm underdressed but in my heart, I can say, I belong here. Reading my tips and stories might make you feel like everything just happened to me by chance. I wanted different things for my goals but I got different rewards. I must say, it wouldn't happen if I didn't work hard for it. I might started with a different goal but I subconsciously (or consciously) work my way here. It's my own decision to move here and even if it gets harder by the day to stay here, I am still trying my best to chase my kawaii dreams.
"I was made ready."
Remember, A.S.H.L.E.Y! Don't forget to join the Candy Kawaii Lover x Oasap Sweater Giveaway.