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Moving to Belfast: Transition, Discovery & Opportunities


Eli Yeung Overlooking Looking Murlough Beach Newcastle Northern Ireland
Murlough Beach - Newcastle, Northern Ireland

I have been active on my Instagram for years, but that is only the vanity side of me. I decided to work on this blog to create long-form written content with the notion of being more authentic as I progress in life—a public journal.

In my about me section, I briefly spoke about different touch points in my life. It is relatively rigid thinking about what to write for my first post. I thought for months and decided to go back to when I first moved to Belfast and how I was feeling for a start.

In time, I will slowly write about my life in Northern Ireland, places to visit, food, my not-so-eventful, eventful life & more!


Let's get to it and find out what my Transition, Discovery & Opportunities progress is!


Oops, if you click on the link in my bio, WELCOME, it's just me, Eli!


Transition

Death, Union, Transition & Covid.

My move to Belfast in 2018 has to be the most challenging yet. However, it is also the most interesting and fun one. A new touch point!

In fact, it was an extraordinary one.

Death, Union, Transition & Covid.


  • Death: Family

  • Union: Marriage

  • Transition: Moving Countries

  • Covid: Well, you know

3 of the most significant stresses in life + 1 internationally renowned one, affected the globe.

💣💣💣+💣=🫠


At that time, the situation was highly challenging, relocating to a new environment, being jobless, and dealing with personal family matters. Having moved from Singapore & Phnom Penh with plenty of professional experience, I couldn't even get a job at a supermarket. It was demoralising and weary.


Discovery

Accept and give up—NOT!

When I was jobless, I did some odd jobs as extras for films and TV productions for extra cash. During a job for Krypton 2, I met an amazing and kind hairstylist, Stephen McCusker, the first person I've met locally. He introduced me to the modelling world with Maureen Martin, and I got signed with my first agency!

YAY!!! Right? I thought I would be getting lots of work and tests. No, it was painfully slow, and then soon Covid hit! I was lucky to find an entry-level job as a receptionist AKA Customer Service Advisor, at Student Roost, which helped me through Covid.

I also didn't want to give up my Instagram profile. So, I started doing Asian food content to connect with my heritage, which was fun! Surprisingly, it worked out quite alright! However, I couldn't keep up with it; the content didn't reflect who I was. I don't feel authentic, but the silver lining is I've learnt how to cook! So again, I went off the grid to soul search for a long time, 2 years!


During that, I finally found my first marketing job in Belfast, still signed to Maureen Martin as a model with very few jobs and feeling somewhat defeated.

I felt defeated in a way because I was not where I envisioned how my professional/ personal life would be. Life was stale.


Opportunities

Learn something from it and make it into a new opportunity.

(Reference: 'Greenlights' by Matthew McConaughey)

iPhone Casting Headshot for Zebedee
iPhone Casting Headshot for Zebedee

As I am embarking into my mid 30's this year, I decided to give it another go and ensure I'm focused on my goals.

Goal

  • Get better job(s) (Modelling & Full Time)

  • Find a London model agency

  • Work on social media

  • Do something in fashion

  • Start a blog


Modelling

It started on Dec 21/ Jan 22, when I sent my pictures to different modelling agencies in London. Many didn't reply, few rejections, and only 1 got back! Zebedee Talent. They are also one of the few agencies I was excited to join.

Why? Simple, Zebedee celebrates diversity!

I always see myself as an off-beat person. Somewhat shy, awkward and not the most confident with a subjectively unusual look. When I was a kid, I was often made fun of and called a rabbit, deer, antelope or big nose. I am also aware that my chances of becoming a full fledge model are on a 0. decimal scale. Why?


  1. Height

  2. Scoliosis + Surgery Scar

  3. Lipoma

So, when I got the opportunity to go for an interview with Zebedee and got into their mainboard, I was more than thrilled! Now I can use some of my animal charms. HAHA


Over the past few months, I have collaborated and made new friends in the London fashion industry. I also got on to a magazine cover! Since signing on, I've got a few more jobs and casting, and things are starting to look a little brighter.


It has helped me get back on my socials, sharing about my modelling experience.


I know this will be an arduous journey, and there'll be a lot of work. But hey! It's also going to be a fun and exciting one!


Full-Time


Working at Aqualla
Working at Aqualla

My previous 2 jobs weren't the most satisfying ones simply because it wasn't what I was used to, lifestyle and fashion. Starting from scratch wasn't easy, especially with job experiences that didn't tally with the local market.


At the same time, I started looking for modelling agencies to represent me; I was also looking for a new full-time job. Soon after I began focusing, I was offered 2 jobs and a modelling contract simultaneously! Can you imagine how over the moon I was? I meant it when I said that I am a fortunate person. I could have been a lot worse with no money or job.


Now, I work as a Marketing Executive for a luxury brassware brand, Aqualla. An excellent company with great culture touching on Interior, Home & Lifestyle.

Genuinely from the bottom of my heart, I feel blessed and happy to have met good, AMAZING people around me.

 

Scorpio Jin - Cover Shoot July Sex and the City
Scorpio Jin - Cover Shoot July

As we progress in life, circumstances changes, and we adapt. I am now more aware of my narrative. Never consider anything impossible. Find your frequency, and try and do it well.


I am forever grateful for the help that my partner & his family has provided me, giving me a good kick start since moving here. I always see myself as a fortunate person with opportunities, and good people always come my way.


I firmly believe in "what you seek is what you get". The rest will be up to you to work for it. I've learnt that luck only brings you that far, a key for you to access the challenging world. Of course, unless you are REALLY lucky.


I once listened to an episode of Joss Stone's podcast (A Cuppa Happy); her guest, Matthew McConaughey, said he acknowledges in a Stoic way that sometimes things go your way - you have to accept it and do one of three things -


1. Accept and give up.

2. Accept but find a way to pivot and do it.

3. Learn something from it and make it into a new opportunity.


(Reference: 'Greenlights' by Matthew McConaughey)


After 3 years of living in the UK, I finally feel like I am settling in. Still, I also acknowledge that I will never be 100% settled. There is so much to uncover in life as we progress. Life has its way of keeping you on your toes. Hopefully, the next time it'll be Love, Wellness & Hope instead. It will come. ✌️

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