When asked who she is, Rosa Park, co-founder of travel and style magazine Cereal Magazine, responded, “I believe that everything in life is in flux, so who I am is constantly evolving.” She believes that because people are always learning and growing, “Who you are should not remain static.” Growing up, Rosa lived between Seoul, Korea – where she was born – and Vancouver, Canada. Upon graduating from school in Boston, she moved to New York to work for five years in fashion and beauty marketing. After feeling stuck and ready to discover something new, she moved to Bristol, England to complete her masters. That’s where she met her partner in life and partner in beginning Cereal Magazine. She now lives in Bath, England, where she pursues her passions, meets with inspiring people, and curates content for Cereal.
“A few things that are very important to me are the relationships to the people in my life and the work that I do.”
The Ebbs & Flows of Life
For Rosa, what she does for work is just as important as her personal life. “Most of us spend most days at work. So to say that work isn’t that important seems counterintuitive.” Rather than striving for a daily balance between work and life, Rosa aims for an overall balance. “I don’t view it as, “Do I have work-life balance today in this very moment?” It’s more like, “Will I be able to achieve that at the end of my life, whenever that might be?” Sometimes work dominates your life, like when Rosa was invested in beginning Cereal Magazine. Other times, you’re more invested in your personal life. What matters to Rosa is that at the end of it all, she is content with how it all worked out.
“Life ebbs and flows… It goes back and forth, and you ultimately achieve your balance at the end of that.”
Rosa calls herself a realist, and as a realist, she tries to live without expectations. Having no expectations means she won’t be let down, and it is this attitude that propelled her forward in pursuing the creation of Cereal. While she was fully committed, and poured her heart and soul into the project, she would also be okay if it didn’t work out. “People seem to not like to use the word failing… but there’s nothing wrong with failing,” she shared. Thankfully, Cereal Magazine was a success, and recently released its fourteenth volume.
“The only time failure is not a good thing is if you fail to learn from that situation.”
Acceptance & Resilience
Rosa’s ability to live without expectations comes from the importance she places on acceptance. She strongly believes that if something doesn’t work out, you move on. “Most things in life are like the Yin and the Yang. You’re experiencing it all and rolling with the punches.” Rosa’s view on acceptance was truly tested when she was forced to leave England due to her Visa not being approved.
“It tested my ability for resilience and positivity.”
Accepting things as they occur doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about your situation. Instead of wallowing in her sadness, Rosa chose to accept the situation as it were, and used her time in America as an opportunity to gather content for her magazine, reconnect with friends, and learn from her experience.
“It’s planning as much as you can and being prepared, but also willing to acknowledge that some things are out of control and you have to accept it and keep moving forwards.”
Connecting With Others
Rosa has recently begun attending mindfulness retreats and plans to do so once a year. She likes to think of it as a mental detox. “So many people spend hours at the gym for their physical health, and yet, why don’t people spend the same amount of time caring about their mental health? Mental health is something that you have to work on.” Along with meditating, Rosa also reads and spends time with people to disconnect and take her mind off things. With Cereal Magazine, Rosa gets to connect with and meet all kinds of incredible, inspirational people.
“I’m constantly meeting people from all walks of life and different occupations. I’ve met some people that have really made me feel appreciative of what I do.”
While Rosa gets to spend time with impactful individuals through her work, she stresses the importance of having people within your personal circle who you can candidly talk to without a filter. Rather than just writing, she exercises mindfulness by talking through things with her family and friends. She often asks herself:
“Who in my life can I just bare my soul to without receiving any judgment and just support?”
Rosa’s Questions for KYŌ:
- Who are the people that are important to me?
- Am I proud of the person I am when I go to sleep at night?
- Where is my life headed to in the next year?
Photography : Rosa Park