Name: Jack the Dreamer
Random question: You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why? To be honest, I don’t see myself being any colour. I don’t particularly have a favourite colour either when it comes to crayons. I guess it’s because I like to be a social chameleon and blend it when possible. This might mean I’m whatever colour the box needs me to be.
I think it also stems from me growing up as the Asian immigrant in a ghetto full of African Americans and Hispanics who didn’t understand Asian culture. We were looked down upon and racially aggressed against. One time, my parents found that someone had taken the time to POOP on our doorstep in the middle of the night, which would be deemed a hate crime by today’s standards. I remember lying to myself and my parents that it could be dog poop, but they told me that dogs don’t poop that big, and in that shape. After all, my parents came from Thailand, and they know what dog poop looks like.
Not to mention, at school, I was one of only two Asian families, so we always stood out against the White students, African American students, and Hispanic students. And not in a good way like “Aw that’s so cool! You’re Asian!” It was more of the racial bullying kind.
So I tried to make myself fit in with the “hood” as much as I could. And I think the concept stuck me everywhere I moved from then on. After my parents saved up enough money to get out of the hood and we moved into an upper-class neighbourhood, I tried to “whitetify” my behaviours and actions to adapt to what people around me were doing. I did it to socially fit in, because now, instead of being socially ostracized as a poor Asian immigrant in a black/Hispanic neighbourhood, I was experiencing racial prejudice for being a poor Asian among richer white people.
Are you a bold introvert? have you always been one? I would like to think that I’ve always been one, yes 🙂 my dad told me later in life that I would apparently get into fights just about every day back in elementary school in Thailand. I think that takes boldness in and of itself. I wasn’t afraid to speak my mind, even at a young age.
What do you do?Growing up, I helped my parents run their Thai restaurant business, where I got to experience and see humanity up close. You learn about people and humanity from how they eat, what they eat, and how they treat the wait staff.
Throughout most of my life, luckily, I had parents who always supported me in just about any business venture or entrepreneurial idea I wanted to do. Whether I wanted to make YouTube videos, sell pictures for stock photos online, create an eBay store, blog, sell food or clothes, anything business that could make money, they supported me and still support me. One couldn’t ask for better parents 🙂
Now I’m in the process of moving to another major city to start another business. Hush Hush stuff 😉
On the side, I also blog, make YouTube videos, write young adult and middle grade novels, etc. Basically, I create. I turn ideas into reality. I create space where there was none. And something new things now exists in the world because I came this way.
What are you most proud of? Pride comes before the fall. But I understand your question. It’s okay for one to take pride in one’s accomplishments, but not to let them take over one’s sense of self-esteem. Then it becomes arrogance, right? And boy, I was an arrogant kid growing up. I think it was one part because I had to cover up my immigrant insecurities with a thick shield to protect me from the racially charged prejudice and “micro-aggressions” though I only learned that term 2 years ago. I guess I experienced it my whole life, but only knew it as racism.
That’s why I don’t have ONE thing I’m most proud of. If anything, I’m most proud of my parents. They’re the real OG’s who worked 2-3 jobs each when we first came to America to support their 3 kids. And they did earn less than minimum wage too because their English skills weren’t good, and they were mistreated by a lot of their bosses. There would be days where I didn’t see them, and my grandma would raise us all alone in the damp basement underneath someone else’s restaurant. Though as a kid, I never felt like I was deprived of anything. Somehow, whatever we wanted, my parents got it for us. You can say that we grew up poor, but very well taken care of, and dare I say it, spoiled. It was only when I became a young adult did I really appreciate all the stuff they had to fight for, and fight through, not speaking much English, to be able to save up all that money for years, then to open up their own restaurant, using broken English to talk to lawyers and accountants until the business appeared.
Do you feel that your personality trait has helped you achieve your goals? Let me just say that I consider myself an outgoing introvert. And I feel like this is almost akin to cheating. It’s like being divergent. I get the best of both worlds this way. I can recharge my batteries via quiet contemplation from a book in my room, or going out to have a drink with friends and party. Even though the Meyers Briggs considers me an extrovert, which goes to show that we can’t just bottle the complexities of humans down to simple letters.
Or can we? 🤔
But I digress. To get to your question. I think being an outgoing introvert has helped me achieve my goals because it allows me to have that quiet introspective time to contemplate new ideas. And then the outgoing extroverted side to go out and connect with people and make deals happen without being afraid to speak to them or otherwise. Also, my dad taught me growing up that you have nothing to be afraid when speaking to people higher up from you. They were where you are once. So just go forth with humility and respect for others and everything will be fine.
What advice do you have for introverts that are worried about chasing their dreams? F*** it. You F-ing do what you want. To paraphrase one of my favourite quotes, you don’t do the world any justice by playing small. It is not the dark that you’re afraid of, but the light. Who are you to shield your light from others? By embracing who you are and displaying that, you encourage others to do the same. Also, and I think others who chased their dreams might be able to confirm this: my dad taught me growing up that your problems are like dogs. When you encounter a problem, like encountering a big scary dog, if you run away, the dog will chase you. But if you stand your ground, show your confidence, and then run into the dog, the dog runs away. The same goes for your problems. I’ve noticed that my problems are always there, no matter how far or how fast I run, it either waits for me when I come back, or it follows me. It’s almost like being The Doctor (to use a Doctor Who reference). But if I stare at my problems dead on, and run towards it, the problem eventually goes away. Also, regarding chasing your dreams, you will see that when you start chasing your dreams, paths open up for you where you didn’t see it at first. I can’t rightly explain why this happens, but it does. The right things start happening, the right people come into your life, the right plans, the right locations, everything. And yes, there will be obstacles, and challenges, because everything happens for a reason and everything IS a test. Just get it done. Period.