A Letter From The Editor: How to bloom where you're planted

Project Vanity has always been about discovering the best beauty products in the country. More than that, however, it’s a community where we can find find smart, amazing women to share our ideas with. When I started it out by myself ten years ago there was no indication that it would be more than just a random beauty blog at the time, but here we are. We’ve grown up together and done things that we didn’t think was possible.

Those of us who have never worn red lipstick for fear of being judged a harlot, who’ve never used sunscreen because we thought it was just a marketing ploy, who had virgin eyebrows that have never been touched - we evolved, not alone in a wasteland full of products, but together in the pursuit of beauty and what it means to us.

In the last two years since I incorporated a company around Project Vanity, I’ve been obsessed with building a business from a blog. I realized lately though that I’ve become distant from the community and to the ideals of this site, so I want to return to my roots and be even more involved in the website. I want to share new ideas (at least, ideas that are new to me) and write more reviews of the things I use. Hence, this new column called A Letter From The Editor. I plan to write more about what I’ve learned in business, love, and my pursuit of happiness. Let me know what else you want to see here!


Recently I read a comment by a long-time PV reader about how this post from three years ago stuck to her all these years. I talked about why it’s important to bloom where we are planted, how, even though we don’t have money, the best education, and connections, we can still achieve our dreams. These days it’s ridiculously easy to feel jealous of other people’s wealth and achievements especially with social media feeding us an unrealistic view of other people’s lives. It’s also too easy to give up when we know, in the bottom of our gut, that we’ll never reach that level with who we are and what we have right now. So why try?

I’ll tell you something I’ve never shared publicly before because I was ashamed. The lowest point in my life, so far, was when my family was so poor that we only had leftovers from our relatives to eat. There was this one evening when my mom only had the head of a single piece of galunggong for dinner. She had no money to buy food anymore. I remember being so angry at how unfair it was, and this very large chip on my shoulder is one of the things that drive me everyday.

In my old post, I wrote that it’s important to take stock of what we can actually use in our struggle to become more successful. I also wrote that we should try our best rather than give up with all the odds stacked against us. But what I didn’t write - and honestly, didn’t know - back then was HOW to bloom where I was planted. I knew I should and I had a rough idea but I didn’t have a roadmap of how to do it.

Well, now I’m 30, and I can tell you that blooming where you’re planted is not a passive activity. The quest is not won simply by existing and praying for the elements not to kill you before you start. Blooming involves taking shit and converting it into nutrients; growing roots deep in the earth, finding a way through obstacles so you can be strong; and chasing the sun everyday.

Envy, self-pity, and complacency definitely has no place in this process. If you can remove these things from your system and spend that energy blooming instead, I think you can go a very long way. Take it from the girl who only had the leftover head of galunggong for dinner all those years ago.