It all started in the beginning of my senior year in art class. My art teacher was talking to us about some contest to create a prom outfit using duct tape. I was thoroughly intrigued and interested, and even more when she proceeded by showing us pictures of the works of the 2011 Stuck at Prom finalists but what I was more interested in at the time, was the contest itself. From that point on, I began the project by sketching many bold, avant-garde designs liberating myself into the depths of my imagination drawing anything my mind fancied with no boundaries that ceased my freedom. I quickly discovered the depth of my love for fashion. Wearing fashion was one thing, but creating it was another thing. In the continuing months, I dreamt endlessly and self-actualized relentlessly. Dreaming about winning the competition and receiving the recognition, the fame, the glory. I wanted to use the contest as a stepping stone to emerge as an individual. As an individual who hasn’t really exhibited a talent of my own, I was determined to finally show everyone what I was capable of. I wanted it so badly but, if I wanted to win the competition, I had to restrain my wild designs to compromise for the judging criteria. That’s exactly what I did when it came to finally execute my vision. A great deal of time was spent on adjusting, fixing, and changing every aspect of the dress. Prom was now a few weeks away and I struggled, I doubted, and I was flustered with all the revisions I made to it that was not working. Late one night, I finally decided to disobey the judging criteria because I remembered that in fashion, and art as a whole, there are no rules. By that time, it was so late to even still be conceptualizing elements of the dress, but I had not given a damn because it would be worth it. I was frantically trying to finish it on the day of prom, but when I finally did the fitting, everything just shattered. My hopes, my dreams, my heart. It was a failure. The dress that was once a bold yet beautiful, avant-garde masterpiece I had envisioned in my mind turned into a dress that was just duct tape and a failed attempt to stick all those meaningless elements together in a beautiful array. The failure struck me with thunders of great devastation. I could not present the thing for I would have felt nothing but shame and embarrassment in front of my peers. Prom itself became a temporary placebo that caused me to forget about the whole thing in my weary mind until after prom. I was struck even harder when I soon remembered everything that happened and so a storm of despair hovered over me in that week. It took a while for me to fully recover but now that about two months have passed by, I look back at it and laugh. I realized that I did it mostly because of the recognition, the fame, the glory, the contest itself. I lost sight of the actual reason I should’ve been doing it for, my love for fashion. I experienced great joy in designing and making the dress that was later undermined by my determination to win the contest for the glory. The little things itself made the whole endeavor a beautiful experience like all the sketching, the visualizing, getting inspired, the putting together, making the little chrome tetrahedrons, visualizing how extraordinary it would look, making the form on Nohea, creating something out of my imagination, and just making me love fashion even more. So no, it wasn’t a failure because after everything, I loved doing it. I look at the dress now and see not an ugly failure, but the beauty of my impassioned dream, my audacious endeavor, and my beautiful experiences. Do something because you love doing it, not for the prize, for the prize is within the love of doing it.