Living the dream is something i always wanted to do… Something i have always been working towards to all my life. I remember, when i was young, my uncle and auntie brought me into the World of luxury, a World where where i saw the rich, the famous and the elites. They created an impression, an impression that made me want to pursue and succeed in my life from a very young age.
The Dream of Flying
When i was 7 years old, i wanted to pursue a career of a pilot, just like my uncle, walking down the aisle with the “aura” of a SIA captain. But soon… that dream went down the drain when i didn’t do well in school and reality hits me that i wasn’t good enough academically to excel in the field of flying.
I remember the first day i stepped into my secondary school, at a tender age of 13, i told myself, if only i wanted to succeed in life, i had to make a difference and there isn’t any other ways then to excel in whatever i did in school. I then told myself, the first step is to aim to be a prefect, a role i always wanted to take, but never had the chance when i was in Primary school. By the grace of God, in Secondary 2, i was chosen to be a prefect and later, my next aim came by when i saw my senior, Ernest Tay.
Climbing the “Corporate Ladder”
Ernest was my senior, a pure leader in his field of expertise and a natural speaker. I told myself, i wanted to be like him, i wanted to excel and be recognised. I did, in secondary 3, i was voted to be a vice-head prefect and i excelled in both my CCA and the prefectorial board.
Rising to the Challenge
Very quickly it was the year of my O’ Levels, i wanted to get into Temasek Polytechnic’s Hospitality and Tourism Management (Diploma), but then to get into the course, i had to score 12 points and below, judging from my prelims results, i definitely couldn’t. To a certain extend, not even near to getting in. True enough, i got 18 points for my O’ Levels and i didn’t manage to get into TP’s HTM course. I was depressed, disappointed for i’ve never failed in what i dreamt about and wanted to do. But fortunately, the polytechnics had the Direct Admission Exercise, i thought to myself, it’s another chance for me to get into my dream course, so i went straight to TP myself, took the application form, waited for the interview and TADA! I got in! – I had to thank Mr Goh Hock Quee for this opportunity!
What goes up must come down
In 2008, i enlisted into army, i told myself that i wanted to be an officer, but i didn’t. I got into the Specialist Cadet School and i thought, well… maybe my dreams of being an officer is gone, perhaps i should just slack my entire army life, fake all the medical problems and go with the flow. However, after the Basic Section Leader course, i was voted the Platoon’s Best and my second opportunity of being an officer in the SAF was given to me again. But no, i didn’t get into the officer cadet school again, because i fractured my back and my IPPT results (silver) were not good enough to be an officer as mentioned by the then Commanding Officer of the Officer Cadet School. So screw it, i decided, live on, forget about it. At least i’ve tried.
Working towards my Dream
In March 2010, two months before i ORD, the Director of Wines of Les Amis wrote to me on Facebook and offered me to spend a day at the Les Amis Restaurant to see if i’m keen to join the group as a Trainee Sommelier. Well, honestly, i always wanted to live a life that allows me to work with the rich and the elites, so i took up the challenge, the challenge to train as a sommelier.
I did! After a couple more meet-ups and setting my expectations right, the Les Amis Group were kind enough to let me pursue my Degree on a part-time basis while working full-time in the group as a trainee Sommelier. Done and deal, the day i ORD was the day i started school and a month later, my career with the Les Amis Group.
Throughout my time in Les Amis, honestly, i literally bite the bullet and pull through my degree while working. It was really crazy now that i look back. Finally, in 2011, i graduated and i was promoted within the Group.
In 2012, thanks to the training that the Les Amis Group offered me, i had the opportunity to move on and open a few restaurants together with the partners. From only one, we opened two, then three, then four…. and eventually by May 2013, we had 6 restaurants running. It was crazy! We even set-up the catering team from scratch and did our first major catering at the Audi Fashion Festival 2013 which was a success!
Working for my FUTURE
On May 24th 2013, i decided. This was it. I was really tired, i practically spent almost 7 days a week at work with nights thinking of strategies, marketing plan, promotions, etc… I was tired. I left the partners and the group of restaurants, and decided to take a month off to cool my mind of all the corporate commitments and spend more time with my family and friends.
No… of course i left with a plan, during my time managing the restaurants, i happen to meet a few people, a few great people who offered me a year in France, a year to live, breathe and be with the vines, a year to explore and increase my knowledge in wines and a year to rejuvenate myself and get back into the scene. I am thrilled, i am excited, i am overjoyed! – currently, we’re still finalising the plans, if it all comes through, i should be in France by August 2013, something i’ve been dreaming of, especially for a Sommelier, or a wine connoisseur.
Meanwhile, with the kind offer from Kenny, Wine Editor of Appetite Magazine, i’ll be spending some time with him, learning the art of writing a proper article and also, what goes into the efforts of producing a top-notch lifestyle eccentric magazine.
On top of that, i’ll also continue to write in THE DRINKING MARKET, a blog that i believe in and spend my perspiration and time with.
To summarise, this post isn’t about me. Honestly, it’s not meant to boast anything, in fact you’ve seen me fail in some parts of my life. This post is meant for the many i see who dare not pursue their dream, this post is also for the parents who think that by pushing their kids into top schools or pressurising them with the already piling stress in school would make them succeed. NO, that’s not the way they work! What they really need is your concern, encouragement, support and guidance. They may not be the best, they may take a longer route, but ultimately, they will be there if they learn to PURSUE THEIR DREAMS.