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Taking A Step Back From The Spotlight
“Why did you quit showbiz?” This is probably one of the most common questions I get asked, by many, today.
I’ve been out of the spotlight for 3 years now, ‘Kakambal ni Eliana’ being the last soap I worked on. Within the three years I’ve been out of the business, I have discovered numerous things about myself. I have began to discover who I am as a person, as well as who I want to become. I’m afraid I couldn’t do that while I was working in the industry. If you’ve read my previous blog post (My Battle With Anxiety and Depression), I believe it might be a little easier to wrap your head around the fact that I needed to deal with a lot of personal things during this time. During the three years I was working, I was already secretly battling anxiety and depression, but it wasn’t until 2013, while I was working on my last soap, that I could no longer handle it. I just exploded.
I started working in the industry shortly after I turned 15 and did so until I turned 18 years old. Studying to become a Child Development Scientist, I now know that these pubertal years are very important in the course of a developing human being. These years are the ages wherein children start thinking about who they want to be, what they want to do, and not to mention, when curiosity about all sorts of things occur in the brains of these young individuals. This stage is crucial in so much so that during this period in development, adolescents start thinking in a more abstract manner–they start being able to take into consideration viewpoints and opinions of other people, their personal and sexual identities develop, they start wanting to become more independent, and of course, the importance of peer relations are extremely important to them during this period of their life. (These psychosocial milestones are just to name a few of the most observable changes in the pubertal period of development.)
Having been raised out of the spotlight, even though I was technically exposed to the industry because of my mom at a very young age, I didn’t really truly know what I was getting into. I was warned, numerous times by my mom, that it was hard. Of course, the only thing I thought she meant when she said that it was hard were the working hours. Still, I insisted. My mom was hesitant, but as always, she supported me 100%. Since I was younger, I had this problem of wanting to please everyone. I always wanted to belong. I had this strong urge to fit in. I would do anything just to know that I am FULLY accepted and liked by everybody. Kind of funny, because in an industry like show business, that is probably the craziest thing to aim for! If only I knew that then. I would have probably spared myself from a lot of embarrassment and unnecessary intrigues! Hahaha. Anyway, as expected, in that aspect alone, I struggled. GREATLY. I pushed myself to change into someone I was very uncomfortable with just to fit in with the rest of the crew. Little did I know that doing so would just make me all the more prone to conflict. You see, being the way that I was, I would try very hard to make a relationship with everyone that I often times, put myself in a very dangerous place. A dangerous place meaning making myself very vulnerable to conflict and intriguing situations. I was very manipulative in a way that I would find ways to get people to like me, even if it meant putting another person down. In seeking to bring myself up, I actually did the opposite. I slowly became very unlikable as a person and even as a friend. To a 15 or 16 year old, that was torture. I remember feeling embarrassed and regretful a lot of the time, but because I was in the business, I felt as though speaking the truth was not an option. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My mom would often tell me to just be truthful. Be honest, and you will gain the respect you deserve. Although, again, I failed to do so. I was, you can say, what they called “bitter.” Hahaha. In return, I lost a few good friends and was getting attention for things I wasn’t proud of—like getting in between ‘love-teams’, for example. (This is where the sexual identities part of adolescent development comes in.) It’s so hard to like someone in show business! Hahaha. Everyone is tied up to someone and of course, if you come between them, you’re the bad guy. That was me. Not proud of it! Yet, being vulnerable to feelings of infatuation at that age, it was inevitable. Having said that, boom! More conflict. More intrigues. More embarrassment and regret. For an adolescent, that is a lot to handle. Not to mention that being in the business at such a young age with the constant pointing out of every flaw, I was extremely insecure with how I physically looked. I was constantly unhappy. The saddest part of it all was that I knew it was my fault that I drifted apart from a few people that meant a lot to me while I was in the industry. This whole scenario is explained through the bible verse Galatians 6:7. You reap what you sow. You face the consequences of your actions! I learned that the hard way, but either way, it was definitely a lesson learned.
It wasn’t all bad, though! After the issues died down, I was able to continue acting as well as make new, amazing friends—the right way. By being myself. Although I was still carrying with me my insecurities and the sadness of not being able to reconcile with a few of my friends, I did my best to move on. Nevertheless, put two and two together, secretly struggling with anxiety and depression as well as problems of a teenage girl, it wasn’t long before I could no longer handle it. After about a year, while working on ‘Kakambal ni Eliana’, I suffered from a fatal asthma attack. (You can check out my previous blog post to know more about it: http://lexifernandezph.tumblr.com/post/141154013307/my-battle-with-anxiety-and-depression) After that, I took it upon myself to take a break to just focus on working on me.
I love acting and I definitely miss it. However, having said that, I also love what I am doing now. After recovering from my attack, I enrolled into college and started studying about Child Development and Education in the University of Asia and the Pacific. I am very happy with my life now. 3 years after taking a step back from the spotlight, being 21 years old, I look back and just laugh at what I used to think was the end of the world for me. The problems I considered the biggest, most difficult situations are not even close to what one considers an actual problem! Oh, to be a teenager worrying about friends and boys! Hehehe. There are much more important things in life than to worry about what others think of you. So, to all the teenagers reading this that can relate somehow, I hope I am able to help you understand that it really is not the end of the world. It’s more like just the beginning!
I also want to take this chance to address some of the people who took care of me while I was in the industry.
To my GMA family:
Tita Annette, Mama J, Mama Trae, Tita Lilybeth, Tita Redgie and Simoun! Thank you for taking care of me! I love and miss you all.
To the EPs, PMs, directors I got to work with, and casting directors who never failed to give me work! Thank you so much. I am so grateful!
Special mention to my Tween Hearts family! I am sure you all know what I’m talking about on this blog post. Thank you for the understanding, patience and love! I love you guys so much, even if I hardly ever see you anymore. I think about you guys a lot and am eternally grateful for the lessons I learned while working and being around all of you. Hoping this reaches you all.
Barbie, you have always been someone who remained true to herself! From the beginning until now, you haven’t changed and that is something rare in the business! Thank you for unknowingly teaching me how to stay true.
Bea. GRABE. We’ve gone through the most. We loved each other, hated each other, then loved each other again. You know everything I have to say. I love you! Always!
Louise, your work ethic and strength have always inspired me. Continue working hard and shining bright!
Joyce, my soul sister! Your faith in God has inspired me many times. Continue growing in His name and I am sure your star will remain shining as bright, if not even brighter.
Derrick, your positive aura and personality always made the hardest of situations better! Love you always, love-team!
Kristofer, my kapatid! Thank you for always being the best listener. You were also never scared to stay true to yourself and I always admired that.
Jake, thank you for all the lessons learned! I hope you’re doing well!
Joshua, I haven’t spoken or seen you in forever but your kengkoy-ness never failed to make the set a happier place! Hope all is well with you.
Alden, thank you for always having my back! Missing you and your kakulitan very much!
YASSI! My best friend. Now and forever! Thank you for everything. You know me inside and out. Thank you for making me a better person and for sticking by me while I went through the toughest time. I wuv you with all my heart!
Of course, lastly, how can I forget?! To all my supporters. Through everything, you’re there! You guys never fail. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you!
I know I used to say I would never go back to show business, but after all that I’ve been through, I refuse to say never. I took a step back from the spotlight in order to allow my own light to shine through. As my mom always reminds me, there is a time for everything. Perhaps right now isn’t the time yet. I’m still in the process of growing up and still focusing on myself and my studies. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if I did return one day–because as the saying goes, “It’s in the blood.” ;)