Welcome to my home. Let me tell you the tale of how I made my dreams of domesticity become a reality. Ever since I was a little girl, I had a penchant for dressing up my own space. I have this keen sense for organizing and decorating that I probably inherited from my awesome grandmother and mother.
Early on, I fantasized about what it would be like to walk into a whole house that I owned and that reflected exactly who I was as a human being. I could decorate as I please, make my own rules and most especially have the space to learn my way around managing a household. The experience of my family having to sell the house I grew up in also motivated me early in life to be frugal. Two years into show business at 20 years old, I decided continue college as a financially independent adult. After a semester, I realized that the tuition fee was eating up the money I should be saving so I could have a home of my own. Ms. Ilokona that I am, I applied for a scholarship that I wasn’t eligible for because I was already enrolled.
But I wanted it.
I fought for it through an honest essay and portfolio with recommendation letters from my mentors in the showbiz industry. I got it. Having the prestige of the scholarship enabled me to keep myself grounded in who I was outside of showbiz but disabled me from having a normal artista life of partying and buying expensive things.
I am very thankful for that.
I subsequently stopped shopping and traveling for 5 years and worked my pretty butt off, gladly accepting all the roles that were given to me. I remember there was even a time when I admired a co-actress’ new shoes and said to myself before compulsively buying, “This would probably be the equivalent of a wall in my house. So nevermind.” That became a trend I easily adapted to. I hardly ever entered the mall anymore and resorted to borrowing clothes from friends for TV appearances or events where I’d be photographed. No way was I going to pay for something I could use only once every decade. I didn’t even get to see my parents for three years because of how focused I was on managing my finances. It was one of the most difficult things to deal with… having to live away from your parents yet not being able to see them because you had bills to pay. When they left for Canada, I was on my own with hardly enough savings to make a down payment for a house yet, no husband to cough it up for me (boohoo), and no parents around to save my ass if I mess up. Mind you, I really wasn’t making a lot back then but I was really determined. I have zero regrets about having to go through all of that. In fact, I am eternally grateful for it.