City of Stars / by Didier Young

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City of Stars, Are you shining just for me? Those few words, lyrics to La La Land’s City of Stars, have been stuck in my head ever since I saw the movie last week.  After winning a record breaking seven Golden Globes this year, the movie is a front running to amass even more gold at the 89th Academy Awards to be held on February 26th. The movie has been a critical and commercial success so far and has been applauded for its revival of the old Hollywood musical genre. It is a story of passion, love and the love for the things you are passionate about. La La Land is a movie about dreamers, made for dreamers, in a time of uncertainty in the world. It is a reflection of what we hold dearest to us and the sacrifices we incur when we strive to reach for our dreams. More than anything, It is a piece that seems airy on the outside but acts as a reflection piece on our own lives.

We stand at many crossroads in our lives, knowing fully well that each path could engender a completely different future for us. We can only hope for a positive outcome and that our choice will ultimately lead to the dreams we wish to achieve. After high school, we are always faced with career decisions. Do we strive for the stars or do we try to secure a good job that will pay the bills and help us support our future family? In my case, my parents urged me to find something that would secure a financial future. My mother tried her best to turn me into an accountant, just like her, even though my heart was always set in the arts. I do not blame her: she was trying to give me the future that she thought would make me the happiest in the long run. In retrospect, I could have been nicer to her on the subject and understood her point of view but like every teenager, I wanted to fight for my creative dreams, to have my way and as such, I pursued a career in the culinary arts.

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After completing my studies, and working in an industry which culminated with me becoming the pastry chef at a good local restaurant, the dream that I had set for myself was complete. I received my permanent residence in Canada, got the job position that I wanted and I had a team that respected me despite my difficult personality. However, I didn't seem to find happiness. I didn't feel fulfilled in the way I believed I would and I was stuck in a vocation that stopped me from having a normal social life. I kept wanting more and craving for something to make me happy. That was when my passion evolved. While food remained my love, I did not want to become its creator. I simply wished to be an observer and a documenter of its evolution and different facets. I started photographing food, finding my personal style and always searching for the next great restaurant or coffee shop in the city. My new passion ended up becoming a lucrative part time and after an eye opening trip to Scandinavia, I returned to Toronto, gave my notice and became a full time freelancer/ blogger/ photographer.

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This blog post is in no way meant to boast about my personal achievements but it is a record of my journey to find what makes me happy. Throughout your life, people will try to steer your carriage and take you along different roads. They do not mean harm; in fact, they will most often do it with your happiness in mind. However, no one can truly know what will make you happy other than yourself. Trust and believe in yourself. Take the choices you wish you take and make the mistakes you need to make. It might take countless tries to get your rocket working but it is all worth it. Please do not become mere stargazers but turn into star chasers instead. Here’s to the ones who dream, crazy as they may seem.

-Didier

 

Sunglasses: Raybans/ Shirt: UNIQLO/ Tee: COS/ Bomber: The Lab/ Pants: Kit & Ace/ Shoes: Krisvanassche/ Clutch: Givenchy