It was 12:30pm. I was at home alone with my cat filming a video diary when I was notified that we had #SavedMoustache. What followed was a full hour of me shouting in celebration (to myself…since no one else was around…I contemplated hi-5ing the mirror but don’t worry I didn’t), refreshing the page again and again absolutely flabbergasted, then crying, then raising Benedict (my cat) up to the sky like he’s bloody Simba and then finally back to crying.
This screenshot from my video diary expresses it all.
I’ve never felt so much emotion wash over me before, to the point that all I could do was sob. I think the cats were worried (as you can tell from their reaction to my mini (happy) meltdown above. The happiness. The relief. The excitement. All those doubts, all those fears, all those demons inside of me that tried to tear me down this past year. Evaporated. Eviscerated. Gone. Replaced with joy, indebtedness, and humility.
Thank you to all our supporters and fans. We exist only because you allow us to exist, we exist because you want us to exist and we will be elephants for you, because we will never forget your belief in us. I will not let your faith in me go to waste. This isn’t even about Moustache any more. We can make change. Us little people, together we can move mountains. Moustache Milk & Cookie Bus will be my shining vehicle of hope, of love & a vehicle for change. I won’t rest until I can give back to the community as much as you have given to me in my lowest of times.
The last month felt like I was a tiny mouse, pushing a boulder up a steep hill. It was only one week ago from today that I wrote in my diary:
8th April 2015 – “People tell me they admire me because I am strong, but truth is, I feel anything but strong. So I have a bad situation. How do I deal? Well, I can’t be a pushover and be forced into something I don’t ethically feel is right. I have to maintain positive so my staff don’t worry. I can’t be down because nobody wants to buy cookies from sad people. I also have to be confident, because others are doubting me. I can’t be a coward & run away. So it is only through the process of elimination that I am left with only one choice. So I don’t know if I’m actually strong or I’m just forced into it. I definitely wouldn’t describe myself as strong. Perhaps because behind closed doors, I am the one who sees all my weaknesses…my frailties…my humanity. I have to live with them everyday. The only thing I can say for myself is that I always follow my heart. But even that, I’m not sure if it’s noble or just blind stupidity.
I will always come running back. No matter what flaws, no matter the obstacles. I will always run back swinging my machete like I’m f***en Rambo. Have you ever felt that whatever happens, you would do absolutely anything for something? That even your own health and sanity was valued below it? Have you ever had an all encompassing love like that? That’s how I feel about Moustache. It frightens me sometimes. The campaign has consumed me. Engrossing me so much, I found myself apologising to my partner for the neglect I was showing in all other areas of my life. To which he replied; “Its okay De, you always said to me right from the beginning, Moustache is your first husband.”
It’s funny how life changes. Two years ago, I never would have imagined that I would be about to embark on building Moustache Milk & Cookie Bus. So whilst the physical origins of where we began may transform into something else & despite the ups and downs, one thing still remains. Moustache is still my husband.
I still have that unwavering focus. I still have that all encompassing love for it. Whether that’s because I’m strong or because I’m stupid, I don’t know”
I have at least over 100 emails sitting in my inbox from men telling me how wrong I am, how this isn’t how you’re meant to “do business”, how I’m a silly little girl, offering their advice and how they know exactly how to run my business. They see my photo and from that moment, I don’t stand a chance. I have everything against me. Every bad stereotype. Every box they try to shove me inside.
I am a woman.
I am young.
And I am Asian.
Flashbacks to meetings when I would ring my older brother & say, “Justin, are you free to come to my meeting tomorrow?”
“Yeah, I am. Why’s that?”
“Because they treat me different if you’re not around”
Do I hate the game that I must play just so I can compete? Do I hate that I have to jump through a million hoops just to prove that I deserve to be talked to? If I negotiate for what I feel is fair, I am a demanding bitch. If I have any downs, it’s because I am a stupid little girl who doesn’t know what I’m doing. If I am successful, then it is credited to good luck.
Sometimes, I have to sit pretty & play within their rules because that is the only way I can survive. But. This is not the world that is becoming. This is not the world that we are creating. Slowly, we are creating a world without those glass ceilings.
So this is why today was more than just a victory that enables the next phase of Moustache’s story.
This shows me the future of our society. This shows me that social media has revolutionised the world. That no longer is it just the rich & powerful, but also the little people that can have a voice. Without the power of our fans, the power of the Mo people, we wouldn’t be heard. I would be stuck to the confines of the stereotypes that I am boxed within.
Yes I am a woman, yes I am young, yes I am Asian, yes, I come from a broken family, yes I grew up with barely any money. But i will hold onto those perceived weaknesses because they will become my strengths. Those attributes do not define me.
Don’t let them define you. Don’t let small-minded people tell you who you are. You are whoever you want to be.
So to those hundreds of emails from condescending haters that tell me “you can’t do business like this.”
W a t c h m e .
But those people are drowned by the sea of support you have shown Team Mo. Like Aristotle once said, “To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”
Refuse to be nothing.
We still have two days of our campaign left & although we have reached our target for the bus, people can still pledge if their heart so desires. Anything extra will be saved towards building a permanent store in Auckland once our current one has to close. The campaign link is here, http://pldg.me/savemoustache
But, to get back to the entire reason for this post. I must say it one last time…