"The future belongs to those who believe in the reality of their dreams."
Throughout our years we go through many life changing moments, we sometimes feel like it's the end of the World when stuck in a painful situation, we find our true love, or find love in independency, and we learn who we are. Dreams are thought about, dreams are crushed, new dreams are created, and old dreams are revisited. All our dreams have a beginning, a meaning, and a story.
As a young girl I didn't dream about becoming a mother or a white picket fence. I spent my days running wild outside dreaming of exotic adventures and faraway places - I was the epitome of young, wild, and free. As the years went by my ideas of life and adventures broadened when I moved to the U.S and developed what I could now call an obsession with ancient cultures (especially Egypt and Rome because of the art, architecture, and clothing) and this was a time when I decided I wanted to be an archeologist when I grew up so I could travel, learn and explore. I didn't know what existed outside Korea, and moving to Alaska was a new beginning. I still remember the openness and the beauty of Alaska, and as we drove through the highways seeing moose and snow-capped mountains, everything felt possible and reachable in those moments. Words cannot describe the feeling of taking a cruise and seeing otters cracking open a shell on a floating chunk of ice next to the boat, or driving while the sun is setting and seeing a whale leap from the ocean after a long day of fishing with my friend. Not only was I able to enjoy my ancient world by reading the glossy pages of books, but I was also able to experience a period of curiosity and growth.
My love interest for photography, documentaries and photojournalism bloomed when I received my first camera as a gift and the world was a very different place through the lens. You pay attention to what you never looked at closely before and try to appreciate and find the beauty in everything. I think it's quite natural for someone to want their own camera, because who doesn't enjoy or at least feel the need to photograph yourself, your friends and family, special occasions or travels? I got over my archeologist phase and wanted to explore the world as a photojournalist and had dreams of working for magazines like National Geographic or any other travel type magazine. This was when documentaries became my movies and words I lived by and photo-journalists replace Pop stars and celebrity idols. You have to admire these individuals who spend most of their time living out of a suitcase, being away from family, and venturing into dangerous territories to bring us the tragedies, joy, and stories of the World. We know it's not all glamorous as it seems and it's not an all-inclusive holiday in the Maldives.
When I moved back to Korea after living in Japan, I had a few bumpy years getting through high school and going through the normal phases of teenage angst, figuring out about college, trying to find my place in an unstable world. You have no idea how elated I was when I finally did fly off to college for the first time. My confidence and happiness immediately came back and I made friends with some of the most astounding people. I went through college life as college life is supposed to be as a journey and all the lessons of success, disappointment, happiness, heartbreak, drinks, and broken heels. During this time I may have lost my way a little and I had my fun. During my first return back to Korea during winter break, there was a chance to sober up, breathe, and contemplate where I was heading. Things were slowly coming into place and I had absolutely no idea.
When I visited this city nearby that was new to me and my friend, we ventured into this area that turned out to be a red light district. In that moment my mind could not phantom what was going on - I was amazed, shocked, disgusted, scared and intrigued as to why these women were scantily clad and standing behind these glass walls. I knew about prostitution, but my young limited knowledge at the time was shortened to Pretty Woman scenes of ladies in knee high leather boots on street corners. These are the realities and dark corners of the world thatparents try to protect their children from, but this is what is going on around us every day whether we chose to ignore it willingly or not, and it does no good to shield someone from the truth. When I arrived home that evening I searched up what I saw and learned for the first time about human trafficking. I had so many questions going through my mind; why is this going on? How could parents be so sick to sell their own children? All I wanted to do at this moment was find ways to help. Growing up in a family that's always helpful and thinks of others created my mind set. I love helping out when I can in person and there was so much I wanted to do, but how could I go about accomplishing that? How do you know when you've discovered who are really are meant to be? How do you know when you've come to that moment and realization when you say, yes, this is what I'm going to devote my life to? My moment of realization unknowingly came the moment I was looking through the glass at these women. My idea behind Satori Documentaries is to document stories, discoveries and raise awareness, and to prompt thinking. It's a personal place to learn about and share the intimate details of individuals stories, about cultures, and the in-between. I remember my first story was interviewing a member of CARE (Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth) and taking a tour of the beautiful cafe and enjoying a vegan meal there. I want to learn more about everything I can and get up close and personal; I don't want to be afraid of what's different and to ask questions. It's been a slow start and I've lost my way a few times, but every day something is accomplished. A few of the words that AJ said to me that really followed me to this day was; "Everyday is a battle. I'm just going day by day."
To this day I still don't plan on a future with children, PTA meetings and soccer games, and I don't want a house in the suburbs with a swing set in the backyard because that life is just not for me, and it's not meant for everyone. When people find out about my decision to be child free, I am met with the same statements; I am selfish and I will change my mind. I don't believe anyone is selfish because they don't want children because it's a personal choice, and who has the right to judge ones life choices? Everyone deserves the chance to live the life they have always dreamed about. I believe everyone does find their soulmate; someone who shares the same ideas and way of life with them. I've decided to spend my life working jobs I love, traveling the world, helping people, and keeping Satori Documentary alive; I don't want to stop - I don't want to give it up. Everyday isn't a cruise or relaxing, but every day I learn more about photography, photojournalism, writing, and global issues.
What is the problem with dreams? Many times they cease to exist because you give up. If you really want something with all your heart and mind you will do everything in your power to make it happen. Most dreams won't happen overnight, maybe not even a year, but you should never give up. Don't be afraid to bring back that flame you had as a child, and don't be afraid to begin making your dreams come true because you believe you aren't good enough. Don't be discouraged by others and don't easily let it go because people tell you it's impossible - those are the individuals that lost their dreams once, and you shouldn't lose yours because they weren't strong enough to follow theirs. I know these are all typical cliche statements that many of you probably hear everyday, but their true and shouldn't be taken lightly.
It's time to start dreaming and living your dreams.