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Multitudes Collection

Next Story: Naimeesha


On building your dreams

As humans we need community. 

I grew up in the Philippines, where community is embedded in our culture. Whenever we’d host events we would always prepare food for an extra 20 people because you never know who’s going to show up and you always share with your neighbors. Everyone knows each other and sharing food is one of the many ways we support one another. Our events were always filled with music. My dad would play the guitar almost every day, my brother was in a band – singing and dancing was everywhere.  

I lost all of this when I came to the US at 18. My grandmother had petitioned for me to immigrate when I was 8 years old. After ten years of waiting passed, I stopped believing that I would ever come to the United States. Then, when it happened all I wanted was to be back in the Philippines. I didn’t want to be here. I was depressed and homesick and on top of that I was expected to support my family back home.

In Filipino culture there’s an expectation that you help your family when you are making more money than them, which can be very stressful. It's a lot of pressure for a teenager, but because that’s our culture, I thought it was normal and that I had to manage. Now I realize that I grew up too fast. I was working two jobs and living paycheck to paycheck just trying to survive in the Bay Area. I had so many responsibilities at a young age and while it’s still stressful to think about, it’s influenced my work ethic and my mindset. I now know that I can figure out any challenge I’m confronted with, even if it’s something I’ve never seen before.

Day by day I lost pieces of my authentic and playful self.

For a long time I stopped doing the things I love because I was in survival mode all the time. When you’re operating like this, you don’t have time to reflect on a deeper level. Day by day I lost pieces of my authentic and playful self.

I’ve been fortunate to always work at a place where someone believes in me before I see it for myself. My first job was as a bagger at a grocery store and I was working so hard because I was new to the country. My manager wanted me to apply for a bookkeeping position, despite me having no experience. I doubted her and didn’t apply, but she applied on my behalf and I got the role.  That was the first stepping stone in my career. That experience gave me enough knowledge to step to another role. So I kept going, step by step, until I came to Google. 

Being at Google gave me the financial stability I needed to find myself again. The freedom from living paycheck to paycheck enabled me to pause and look up. I loved the perks, I loved the food and all of the innovative and smart people that I worked with, but I didn’t love what I was doing. There was something missing. It was when I found the music and arts community that I found joy again. There’s no other feeling for me that’s more fulfilling than when I am expressing my musical talents, or simply playing my guitar. This is when I realized that I wanted to figure out how to do this for a living: to merge music, events and community together.

I started streaming my live music on Twitch during the pandemic. Public speaking has always been a horror to me, so Twitch was a way for me to work on my confidence. Now I don't sweat too much when I'm about to perform, but I still get nervous. I never expected to make any money from Twitch, but people would listen, subscribe and offer tips. 

I continued building my online presence until 2021. That March, I had a stillbirth and I lost my daughter. I was heartbroken and it stopped me from doing anything. I was just trying to heal and for a long time I was really suicidal. My healing mostly came through therapy and music. I have a lot of songs about my daughter and my struggles that I haven’t shared widely yet because it’s so personal. I’m on the other side now; I’m pursuing my dreams. I’m still healing from a lot of things, but I hope I can inspire others who are not doing okay; to show them that you can still feel loss and grieve but you can also still have a good life. If my story inspires just one person, then that’s a life worth living.

I’m still healing from a lot of things, but I hope I can inspire others who are not doing okay; to show them that you can still feel loss and grieve but you can also still have a good life

photograph of Jomilyn smiling in a black dress, standing in front of a flowering tree

Going out on my own has been super scary. It took me so long to believe that I can actually do this. As an immigrant without a degree, people told me “oh, you’re not going to make it in the tech industry”, but I made that happen. The more I focus, visualize and work towards my goals the more I find opportunities around me that will get me closer to what I want to accomplish. I’ve always been a dreamer. It's such a powerful thing to let go and actually claim something and think that it's yours. 

There will always be so many people that will discourage you, tell you it cannot be possible. It’s up to you to prove them wrong. The goal shouldn’t be to prove them wrong, but to prove to yourself that you can do this. If you really want to do something, put your mind to it, work towards it and I promise you, you will get it.

Thank you for reading this story from the Multitudes Collection.

Our affirmation candles serve as a physical reminder to embrace your power. We donate 10% of revenues from our I Am Multitudes affirmation candle to the Radical Monarchs.

About Jomilyn

Just a girl from the Philippines, driven to create more opportunities for artists and musicians while challenging the status quo and reshaping the way artists are compensated and valued.


If there’s no opportunity, create one


My life coaching and digital courses. Learn more at my TikTok @justdothethingalready

Book time with me to learn more about my story or for advice