It’s been 4 months since I let the public know my private identity.
It was after Rift.
We were riding the high from the successful event, so we ordered food and room service. I tucked myself in Zee’s comfortable bed while waiting. Robert Sy was already napping on the bed next to me.
Zee stood in the middle of the room saying, “I’m going to reveal my identity.”
“Are you sure?”
That question is my last line of defense. It doesn’t really change his mind.
I wedged myself further down the blanket and flashed a peace sign up the air just in time for his selfie.
I did not know he was posting it on his private account AND THEN sharing it on his page.
Here’s the catch: Months before that, he changed his profile photo…
I was his profile picture.
So a few weeks later, harried to reveal myself as well, I did.
I explained, quite humorously, that the public and I can’t pretend we still don’t know who the real Celeste is.
After all, my picture is all over Zee’s account.
Cebu’s old airport wasn’t very crowded that night. I was sitting at the terminal gate, freezing, just like everyone else around me so I stood up and turned the aircon off, hoping i was not crossing any airport regulations upon doing so.
That’s when I saw a friend waving her hand at me.
We were together just a day before. G opened her business in Cebu and we were there to support it. In tow was a large convoy of prominent people. The best wedding photographers, the best make up artist, an established fashion stylist, and media personnels.
She pulled me towards the media personnels, nudging me to introduce ZFT’s mission to them… But I was still adjusting to the role.
I was awkward, fumbling with words, and unsure of how to introduce myself and ZFT.
I was painful to watch.
Before the greetings even ended, I was presented with a calling card by one of the top editors of a local press.
G looked at me, and asked, “O nasan calling card mo? Wala?”
I sheepishly smiled.
From a nurse who introduced her name to every patient by writing it every shift on white boards in their room to someone representing a corporate entity with a special mission.
Henry Tan walked in the meeting room with a brown bag containing a sandwich. He wore a gray athlete’s jacket, a cap, and jeans.
“I’m on intermittent fasting.”, he declared as he sat down next to me.
It was our first meeting after the Rift and everyone is still adjusting to the role.
When did that term get demonized? If I had to hear that term a year ago, I would probably cringe.
I feel so naive now that I became a part of those who made it happen.
The hatred for the term has been misdirected. I realize that it was bureaucracy and the leadership that did not care for the people that we did not like.
I see it clearer now: Corporations are God-sent in a world that punishes ambition and dreams. The liabilities will be off the shoulders of the innovator.
We can now focus on creating.
But it’s not easy. It was obvious when Hanzo stood up to talk about much of what I (admittedly) did not understand. I was fighting hard not to space out.
Circulatory system, neurology, and pathophysiology? I can handle that. In fact, it excites me.
But accounting and law…? It was an alien language.
I’m learning though, and that’s what matters the most.
“If you walk away – if you quit – quitting will become easier and easier for the rest of your life. Don’t quit. Rebuild.”
— Osman Minkara
I will learn more by staying through the trying and vulnerable times, with the additional perk of being guided by someone like him. It’s a chance I’ve been praying for years ago. How can I ever be become one of the great men and women who built empires but not speak their language? This… business-nese.
I no longer want to sit at a lunch conversation with a CEO or Board Director and ask, fully clueless, what they do and how they do it.
There is a deep learning curve, a dip, for every great thing. And as problems arise from every situation, I know for sure that this was meant to stop those who weren’t committed.
So those who are, can be clear to build their legacy.
Because everyone else was too afraid of the hurdles and the drama,
I want to be able to learn to swim by jumping right in and placing myself in a body of water.
THE NOT WORTH IT
The way I view people changed now.
In the beginning, it hurt a lot and I was be devastated by the countless times people I know have deceived me.
I was no longer a human being some would protect, like their sister or their friend.
I became a means to an end.
It justified the actions of those who believe they needed to put their own interests first.
Less of a human, and more like a strong and rising machine, it shouldn’t be bad to use me, right? After all, what would it matter to someone unstoppable?
At first I fought it.
I fought the idea with fire and passion. I took offense. I would get mad.
I would search for someone I could talk to and yearn for the genuine people I met who aren’t involved in the market.
Those who understood that I’m a person, and not just a connection. I would rant and ask them, “How could they do that?”
Eventually, I learned to take it quietly. Learned to create space built from unchangeable apathy, than from pain and disappointment.
Any means that try to hurt me became my very own weapon.
It reveals those who support it, and ultimately, it reveals those who I should be careful from. It reveals those who I can not trust and I must not bring with me higher.
I will not stop growing or achieving. No. Despite the constant disappointment of figuring out the intentions of some of those who try to surround me.
But this time I have been numb from the shock of discovering who is true and who is not.
I hastily leave behind those who are false.
I no longer need an explanation.
I no longer need to understand.
I stopped asking.
There is so much more I am going to do and to make…
I will just keep moving without them.
“I hope you and Celeste knows you guys are small celebrities in the stock market now and I hope you’re ready for that.”
– a random trader messaging Zee
There was blatant hatred from people I have never even met. It didn’t make any sense. There were some who made it their favourite past time, like it meant their time better to frame me or find something to hate about me than to work on their business, their career, or spend time with their family.
Hating a person they never met, never talked to who, doesn’t even know their name was a bigger priority than their personal self-development, wealth creation, and family.
For someone who writes about trading psychology, success principles, and an ongoing autobiography, I garnered more than my fair share of critics. It makes me think, how much more those who wrote about politics or religion?
Late December, I ended up buying a book from the bookstore because it was being sold at the price of a cheap ice cream.
Pages were missing, the cover was almost ripped out, and lastly– it was written by celebrities.
Oh, those celebrities. What do they even need to write about?, I thought, years ago.
I used to cringe at celebrities until I handled 1/10 of the attention they have to. You have to be superhuman to withstand that!
So I picked it up and bought it to see if I can learn a thing or two because here’s the thing: I’m a really private person. I talked about my struggles so easily back under the protection of knowing that no one knew who I really was.
But things have changed.
So I got home that day and started reading the book written by Solenn Heusaff and Georgina Wilson– women I look up to for their business acumen, talent, and beauty.
To my delight, there was an entire section dedicated to how much hate they had to deal with.
Solenn Heusaff, a goddess of beauty in my opinion, was criticized by haters saying she looks like a man.
Georgina Wilson was criticized by haters saying she looks like… an alien.
A what? Where did they even get that?
I was floored.
If women at that caliber were criticized for “not being enough”, then I give up all hopes of escaping it!
But the plan worked.
I closed that book vindicated from all I felt because they felt it too. Comforted with the fact that the dirty discarded book written by ‘stupid’ celebrities (according to their haters) has taught me a lesson and empathized with me the cost of making my name.
THE WORTH IT
I can’t count how many channels in Discord I have now. It doesn’t help that I’m a gamer, which is originally what Discord is for, so there are about 3 channels of Overwatch gamers around the world there too.
Traders have migrated to Discord because the segregations works well.
It was just another day at the stock market, so I was back reading the channel a bit.
Trader K, one of the earliest people I have coached, was talking about his wife giving birth soon. It’s been a trying time for him, he told us. Just like any other trader going through a life event, there was immense pressure to perform. But he’s an amazing guy with the resilience and positivity I would never have on my own. I know this for a fact.
After some friendly banter between the boys, they asked him, “What are you going to name your daughter?”
He laughed and said he couldn’t name her now, it’s no longer his turn, since because he named the first.
But if he could he would name her “Pauline”
— interesting. That’s my second name, I thought as I paused while reading it.
“Because Celeste saved my life.”
I had tears in my eyes after.
The Unreal, The Reality, The Not Worth it, The Worth it.
What is the life of a person hurrying to fullfil her personal mission?
“I want to leave the world a better place than when I found it.”
There is so much to learn,
so many to contribute to,
thousands of miles to take.
I’m convinced that in life, just like in trading, things rarely go according to what we plan.
I learned so many things and I still am.
But it is best that we keep our confidence not on the outcome, but on ourselves to win the moment.
Yes, things rarely go according to plan, because most of the time, if you’re faithful, ambitious, diligent, and relentless even against the face of adversity and nonbelievers– something better comes.