You might be familiar with the Latin phrase ‘Memento Mori’ which translates to, “Remember that you must die”, and is meant as a reminder to live life to its fullest. Well, model Nylow Ajing goes one step further, living life as if she’s already dead.
“To live as if you’ve already died gives life itself a new meaning,” she explains. “Our priorities and mindset change, cleansing ourselves from things that don’t matter.”
One thing that does matter a lot to her are friends, our “chosen families” who offer companionship and support in life. “Humans are meant to build connections with others and friendships prevents one from loneliness,” she says.
She is drawn to loyalty, humour and individuality in other people, and especially the latter. “Whether it be by their characteristics, physicality or style, I enjoy befriending people who bring their own vibes to my life,” she tells us.
Nylow grew up in Brisbane. The beautiful Mount Tamborine is one of her favourite places in her hometown, and likely where she’d take you if you were visiting for the first time, so you too could admire the luscious rainforests and dramatic waterfalls. She now lives in Sydney, yet believes that “home is wherever family is” rather than a tangible place. As the eldest daughter of immigrants, she watched her parents journey towards a better life in a new country with a foreign language first-hand. “[That] has taught me to be brave,” she says. “I can embrace challenges without needing to complain, because it is what it is and everything will be alright.”
She believes herself to be a spirit living in a physical vessel, extending this idea to anything in life with a conscience. She doesn’t view happiness as a state one should pursue, instead seeing it as a transient state that should come and go just as other emotions do.
“It can become a dangerous obsession if happiness is all I’m meant to look forward to,” she elaborates. “Happiness is meant to be a balance from experiences that occur by the absence of happiness.”
Read on to find out more about Nylow, including her book recommendation (which you’ll definitely want to read yourself), her advice for her 16-year-old self (applicable to everyone, regardless of age), and what she’d do if she gave up social media for a week (hint: it involves flying).
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
I sometimes need to re-adjust back into reality because every night I always have the most crazy yet realistic dreams.
How did you get into modelling? Can you tell us the story of how you came to be signed to your agency?
Rïn Models hit me up on Instagram but I wasn’t interested in modelling yet. Rïn said they are an agency who specialises in representing models of colour, after that was said I was sold! I signed a contract with them and they assisted with me getting signed to IMG.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your work?
The rewarding part of my work is admiring how different creatives come together to create timeless pieces.
And the most challenging?
The most challenging part of modelling is being patient. I want to do everything and be everywhere, but I know my time will come.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Ricotta gnocchi with napoli sauce.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
A morning person.
What’s the coolest or most interesting thing you’ve learned recently?
I was reading through the CIA-released documents subjected to the analysis and assessment of Gateway experiences. The Gateway process is also known as shifting realities. It is interesting to read how powerful our mind and body is!
How can we make the most of our time on Earth?
Just learn how to love others as you love yourself. Revisit experiences or reconnect with people that fill your heart with Joy.
Can you recall reading, watching or listening to something that completely changed your mind on something?
“What’s the world’s greatest lie?”, the boy asked, completely surprised.
“It is this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world's greatest lie”. A passage from The Alchemist. Reading that reminded me that only I control my reality and “fate” is a lie.
If you could say something to your 16-year-old self, what would it be?
Please just live in the present moment, why worry about the future? Also not everything is about you!
What would happen if you gave up social media for a week?
I would likely be creating and experimenting with different mediums. I would also be tempted to learn how to fly a plane!
What are you most looking forward to this year in 2021?
New experiences, new opportunities and new people.
What books are you reading at the moment?
I am currently reading The Alchemist by Pauli Coelho. It’s a book that consistently reminds readers that an individual's main purpose of living is to pursue their dreams; their “personal legend”.
‘Liberian Girl’ by Micheal Jackson.
Kill Bill by Quentin Tarantino.
Are there any social or cultural shifts you hope will happen in the next 10 years?
As a woman I hope in the next 10 years I can walk home alone. Without constantly looking back, mesmerising the cars that go by and wondering if I'm dressed “boyish” enough. (I’ve learnt that none of that even helps increase my safety). I just want to walk home without feeling like prey.
Features Editor: Madeleine Woon Photos: Olivia Repaci Fashion: Monique Moynihan
Nylow is represented by Rïŋ & IMG