The cultural aspect made things more challenging as he is first-generation, with both of his parents being born and raised in Pakistan. They moved to the U.S. for a brighter future and to live out the “American Dream”. This also meant that his idea of pursuing a career in art was nothing short of concerning for them, which led to added pressure for Omer to figure out how to make them proud while still pursuing his passion.
That being said, Omer isn’t a stranger to hardships. After graduating from art school, he didn’t have much lined up in terms of a career around his passion, so to pay the bills he took a job at Macy’s. Omer quickly went from living paycheck to paycheck, to falling behind on rent. That is the moment that he went into “survival mode”.
From then on, Omer put all his belongings into storage and began finding ways to live below his means. He stayed at a friend's apartment for three months but eventually ended up in a hostel for a year where he stayed with six other roommates. He worked various gigs doing freelance work, and also picked up work there at the hostel.
Omer ended up moving back to his parent's house in Texas for a month. At that time, he received a call from an advertising company that offered him an unpaid internship for one month. Omer agreed to take the internship, so he moved back to his friend's place where he called the couch his home for the time being.
The company gave Omer money to buy lunch, but nothing more. So he decided to stretch his money as much as he could, often times buying a dollar slice of pizza so that he could use the rest of the money to afford dinner. Once the internship concluded, they ended up giving him a job as a project manager, but shortly after, he was laid off.
Omer was hopping from one job to the next and was laid off several times. He moved around every year for a decade, up until two years ago, where he has finally found a place to call home.