Well this is awkward - I'm Back
Well..hello there. It has been quite a while since the last time you heard from me on HiddenPalmTree. About four months in fact since you heard anything from me related to the blog and the brand.
In fact, after my feature on the legacy of Initial D back in June, it was almost like I went underground immediately as soon as it went live. Call it an unannounced, surprise hiatus. But here I am: back from my extended break, to give you an update on what I have been up to.
First thing off the plate: No, I have not called it quits on content for this blog. I am still vested in continuing to deliver content to all of you, no matter where you may be reading from.
The main reason I took such a long and sudden break after my little write up on Initial D’s everlasting impacts, is that I finally made moves in my professional career - my life outside of writing various automotive culture stories for you to read. Truth be told, it’s something I’ve been struggling to make progress in since last summer.
After much trial and error - one and a half year in fact of sending out multiple job applications or pitching myself, I finally found some long-term employment. I accepted the offer immediately and was excited to begin working there. It was a great job with a lot going for it. An opportunity to work in a very engaging and creative field, supportive colleagues, plenty of on-site perks and bonus opportunities to work with the community I would be serving.
I thought I was finally set after graduating from college; finally I had some way to be productive and a salary that could ideally fund some more dreams of mine. Not just future trips and even some equipment to help with content delivery here, but maybe even take me closer to attaining my dream car: that very special SXE10.
It seemed too good to be true. Which unfortunately, not even one week into when I began serving that position, ended up being cut short without notice.
Don’t know why, I don't care how, but basically I was told I wasn’t needed anymore, and that I would be sent my ‘payslip’ a few days later to make up for the few days I was ‘employed.’ I don’t want to go further into it, but I definitely wasn’t in a good place those first few days being out of the job. Yet again.
The real kicker was that right before I told I was going to be let go, I just recorded a short video for the office’s social media account introducing myself, and what I hoped to achieve during my time there. I was even introduced formally to all of the people that would have been my colleagues.
Don’t know about you, but for a fresh hire who just got his confidence up, it really hurt.
Unpleasant career experiences aside, I was lucky enough to locate, and to my surprise, be given an invite to join onboard just as fast as I was dropped by the former position. I’ve been working at it for going-on two months now, and when it's fully remote, you can’t really complain much about it. More so when I have been keen to work within a laid back, startup environment ever since my first work experience out of high school.
And when I can be productive from a coffee shop or a co-working hotdesk in town, it really is the best of both worlds. But importantly, I’m happy that I at least have some stable employment that keeps me engaged throughout the week.
The truth be told, is that during my first year serving as a content contributor, I was bored and yearning for a way to be productive when I wasn’t due to work on a new feature that was going to go live by the end of that week. Want a better picture? I was literally watching YouTube videos for a large part of my off period, with some work coming in occasionally at the firm I reported to once a week.
As much as I love the opportunity given to me to write and photograph about car culture, it sadly does not pay the bills - yet. Nor will it help fund any of the trips abroad that will have me restarting international coverage again. Whenever travel in and out of Hong Kong is not the logistical headache it is as I write this.
Furthermore, while it may seem reporting and photographing cars are what makes up my life, truth be told, it is only a fraction of my day to day life. There is still a lot I wish to achieve within my professional career and aspects of life outside of cars and media, and to realize them; sometimes that means putting one thing aside while you work to make the best out of something you’ve been very keen to work as best as it can.
That being said, while I have been silent over these past four months, I’m happy to report that I will be slowly making my way back to resuming my regular content contributions to HiddenPalmTree. There are plenty of things I have lined up that I am still aiming to pursue: both for content and future projects and collaborations involving the brand. It’s just that with most of my time now devoted to making sure I can be the best at my current full-time position, blog content has taken less of a priority for me, no matter how great the story might be to learn about. And I know a lot has happened these past few months that are definitely worth writing about.
There have been a lot of other ideas for content and features I am excited to reveal to you; once all the work to get them ready has been done and I’m confident to release them live for you all. But as my past experience has taught me: it's more easier to do damage control over something that’s rolled out slowly, than doing it after you realized you jumped the shark.
I didn’t really need to do this if I’m honest; I could have just made a post on Instagram or relayed a message through Asher to broadcast to let any of you still keep tabs on us, on where I have been lately; why the sudden drought in new content. But I feel that you all - especially those who have come up to me in person to express their thoughts on what we’re doing, or those who I have worked with remotely/in-person on features, deserve to know from myself on what has been going on. And to reaffirm that my interest in this is still prevalent. The same level as it was in the summer of 2020, when I happily accepted Asher’s invite to join the content team.
To sum it up then: I missed you all, whoever might be reading and still supporting us, & keeping up to date with what I have been up to. Despite the lack of regular features for the past few months. I can't wait to fill you in on what automotive stories I've found while I was away. Keep watching.
"People keep asking if I'm back and I haven't really had an answer, but yeah, I'm thinking I'm back." - John Wick
Holdy Chan (@holdychan_photography)