For those of you who have followed The Monching’s Guide from the start, you have read about my retirement from cosplay in 2014, as seen in this post. Where have I landed after cosplay?
I have had two jobs and two years with CJ, going to three this November. I also have had a lot of hurdles in both my professional and private life. It made me realize that I’ve gone a long way ever since the first time I put on my first cosplay costume in 2008.
What have I learned, exactly?
1. Your knowledge of many things means nothing in the workplace.
All the knowledge in the world, yet it could not help. Let’s face it: there are better people and it’s a fact of life. They may have more experience, natural talent, the right hustle, or whatnot.
But never let that discourage you from sharing what you know. Think of it this way: you own a Swiss knife and you wait for the right opportunity to use it. Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. To be fair, it has helped me a lot during “geek fights” – in more ways than one.
2. There are better things to spend on that can improve your overall image, such as clothes.
Here’s a fact: I dressed like a slob outside of cosplay. I only decided to invest in a proper wardrobe I can use for the workplace years after leaving. Remember that maxim about being dressed for success? If I wore clothes like someone who didn’t care a single bit for the future, people would underestimate what I am capable of.
Having a significant other was also a factor, since dressing sharply improves confidence. Admittedly, external images do not matter in the long run—but an unforgettable first impression does wonders.
3. Knowing the right people can either bring you up or drag you down.
This was one big mistake I committed when I was cosplaying and it took me years to realize it. Plain and simple, I hung out with the wrong crowd and it dragged me down; this proved true for both cosplay and college.
Now, I’m paying the price. Only a few have stuck by me and remained up until today, out of the many people I met and knew back then. Yes, only a few that I can count with the fingers of one hand. It makes me ask this question, akin to Jesus who wondered after healing ten lepers and seeing only one return to thank Him: “Where are the others?”
4. It is never too late to unplug.
Many who enter cosplay do not leave up until their 30s. I left cosplay for good at 24, and I haven’t regretted a single day. If things did not work out right for me, I would have planned to stay longer.
Quitting proved to be a good decision, however. I got accepted at my second job and met CJ months after that, sometime post-exit, and the rest is history. Don’t let the fear of the future overpower you. Unplug and do what you have to do, and the rest will fall into place.
5. Some people enter your life for a reason, a season, and a lifetime.
This is in relation to number 3 mentioned above. Your encounters with certain people, either accidental or contrived, shape you in a profound manner.
People who enter for a reason usually do so to teach you a lesson, or remind you of the things that matter. After the lesson, they “disappear” and you forget about them entirely. Those who enter for a season will only remain for a certain period of time. Eventually, you will be distant with these people and finally part ways; this is a normal thing. Finally, the people who arrive in your life for an eternity do three things: impart valuable things, be there when you need them, and shape their lives alongside yours.
6. All’s well that ends well.
There will be days when you wake up, and find that things may not go as planned for most of the time. If this happens, rest assured that they will fall into place at the most unexpected of moments.
This applied to me and CJ during a few instances. We had disagreements over a lot of things, but thankfully – cooler heads prevailed and we talked it over until everything got sorted out. What do they say about marital disagreements again? You don’t go to bed angry over it. We’re not yet married, but the advice does apply to us and it helped a lot.
I never achieved anything during my six years of cosplaying, if you look at it from an outsider’s perspective. I didn’t have similar success when I quit and chose to focus on my life. I’m still waiting for something significant to happen, but I guess I’ll just have to wait it out. You are nothing outside the costume, but nothing hinders you from starting over.
Until the next post.
(Head over to the Cosplay Portfolio section if you want to revisit my old costumes.)