4 Life Lessons in a Decade

Recently everyone was doing the #10YearsChallenge, and I just pretty readily hopped on the bandwagon as well. 😋

Wasn’t sure of the exact original intentions of this challenge, but when I saw the old picture of me 10 years ago – it was only then I realised just how far I’ve come

Albeit significantly older too.
Have you seen my atrocious necklines?? 😖 I’m close to considering Botox or something already.

10 years ago, I was crazy lost. If the order of our lives could be signified by a Rubik’s Cube, mine wouldn’t have had 2 same colour tiles together at all.

A much older friend once told me, “If our lives were Rubik’s Cubes, yours is really more like The Megaminx. You cannot expect the average person who’s a Rubik’s Cube to even comprehend what it’s like solving a Megaminx. People like us only pity and sympathise with you – but we can never understand and empathise.”

In brutal and layman terms, it essentially translates to – “You’re f**ked. Most probably alone in this. Good luck.” And he was right.

So 10 years ago, it totally sucked. Heck, 20 years ago it was also pretty shit.

I reckon that 20+ years ago, I was still looking at my own Megaminx (while everyone else seemed to be holding a Rubik’s Cube)… Looking up at the skies and going, “Hey, Old Man. What’s with the upgraded package?”

Then maybe 10 years ago I finally stopped brooding, finished reading the manual and starting working on the world-class pain-in-the-ass I got as a life. 😌

So when I looked at the picture of me back in 2009 and now in 2019 together – I realised that in 2009, I wished to be the woman I am today in 2019.

Okay, now I’m just thinking why didn’t I wish for more? But naah, don’t be greedy lah. Be contented… 😌😌

It’s quite flattering to know that people with my background like mine typically end up dead or deep in a series of vices – while here I am munching on some red grapes with gouda cheese, blogging away on a relaxing Saturday, taking a break from this online executive programme from Cambridge University I somehow find the energy and time to do. 😬

You can say I’m blackhearted or arrogant; but I’m crazy proud of myself for actually getting to where I am today. I’m not even shy to say it. 😏😎

Hello, if you were thrown into the deep desert and somehow managed to build a safe haven for yourself by yourself – you’d be pretty darn proud of it too.

And the secret was: I stopped looking at what others were doing; stopped thinking about what others were expecting – and just worked on my own Megaminx.

I stopped wondering why people had those luxuries that I was deprived or robbed of – and went to get them myself, if I wanted them so bad. I started acknowledging that this is the hand I’ve been dealt with. It’s pretty shit and numbers are pathetic. But I figured – maybe I can try for a 5 Card Charlie

So 10 years ago, if you told the 2009-me that she’d grow up to the woman I am today – she’d honestly laugh and think you were kidding. Because 10 years ago, we didn’t even want to live anymore – what’s more live a good and comfortable life?

Through these 10 years, I learned some extremely important lessons. They might seem super simple and logical; like, you’ll be wondering why isn’t it something that’s automatic? But often, you need to feel the pain of the lesson before you actually execute it.

01 Choose the people that surround you wisely.

This was the most difficult lesson for me. After many years, I finally accepted that there were toxic people in my life I simply had to cut off – regardless of relations.

I was holding tightly onto shards of glass that constantly made me bleed, but I didn’t want to let go because they were all I had. But then I realised you have to let go in order to pick up. So I did.

And then I chose to invest and spend time only with people whose company made a positive impact on me. Life is really too short to be spending on people whom only gives you negativity. Make an effort to show they matter and the love & positivity will just work its own magic in your life. 😊

Especially after working hours, your energy is pretty much depleted maximum… Choose to spend those remaining hours of the day with someone that genuinely makes you happy. I have someone I’m always extra happy to see after a day’s work, and even if we’re just sitting on the couch with take-out dinner and not saying anything – it warms my heart and makes me happy. ❤️

02 You can always be stronger, happier, better, smarter, richer, prettier – but always choose to be happier.

You’re great as you are – don’t forget that. But don’t ever be complacent and think that that’s the end of the nonsense life is going to throw at you.

Every single day is a new challenge, but also a new opportunity to find reasons to smile. Start by finding delights in the simplest things. And take it slow.

I’ve always found that when you’re a happier person, you become a lot stronger against the troubles you have – and it’s also easier for you to become a better person. 👍🏻 And everything else just follows.

It’s really a cycle. It can work for you, or against you. Why not make it work for you, then? 😉

03 It’s really okay to be alone. In fact, I encourage it.

Since I was 4 and saw my father lying in the coffin – I was petrified to be left alone. (Partly because some really bonkers people told me my daddy would come and bring me with him) But I also didn’t dare to tell anyone – because all the adults back then already looked pretty troubled anyway.

My daddy was a stronghold in the community, as he was very much in my life. So I understood that while I was suffering a loss, so was everyone else. So I stepped aside and tried to handle my own loneliness and fear.

It was sooooo difficult. Probably the hardest part of my Megaminx. And to some extend, I’m still solving it right now. ☹️

But realise that being alone with yourself is the very core of your person. If you cannot stand being alone with yourself – that’s the first thing you need to fix in your life. No one should ever have the need to distract themselves from being with themselves, because only you yourself will be with you every single second of your life till death. (And probably after that too, if that’s applicable)

Only when you’re not afraid to be by yourself, then can you build strong relationships with other people that don’t revolve around a temporal need to fill a gap.

Remember that your relationships with other people (no matter whom) are like the pretty flowers that you nurture and love over time – the relationship you have with yourself is the very soil they sit on. You can have many pretty flowers all over, but they won’t last long because the soil will give way.

So it’s important to have your exclusive me-time; sit in a cafe by yourself, have lunch on your own, go on a solo trip, talk to yourself about troubles (not in front of other people, preferably).

04 Do what you love & love those you work with

This isn’t easy. But I must say, I’m incredibly lucky in this. 😍

The job you do takes up majority of your hours in a day; days in a week – and therefore months in your years and ultimately, your life. You essentially spend more hours with your colleagues than you do with your family and friends.

So it’s important that you enjoy your work – that starts your Monday to Friday mornings.
And love those you work with – they carry you through the day. 😊

Your job doesn’t have to be your dream job, honestly. That’s just unrealistic expectations right there. It’s the fact that not everyone’s dream job is required in the market, and not everyone should be doing their dream job.

If your dream job doesn’t pay the bills – it’s best that it stays a dream. ✌🏻

But in whatever job you decide to do, find joys in it that sits in yourself. Like for me, I simply take a lot of pride in my work and like to get stuff done well. And that makes me happy and I end up loving what I do more & more.

And the people you work with? Show them love and kindness too. Everyone is going through their own battles. Never choose to play politics first. Never be the first one to throw the stone.

Always be proactive in finding solutions; not blame. And work toward solving problems together.

Many people might not even agree with me – for they believe “it’s lonely at the top”. So they need to throw everyone under the bus, throw others into darkness so they can shine.

But from my perspective – if you continue doing this, there’ll be nothing for you to be on top of anyway. And who said it’s mandatory to be lonely on top? When you’re on top, you rely tremendously on the support from others.

Weird and ridiculous saying, if you ask me. 😒

Here’s to another decade! I’m quite excited to see what it’ll be like. 😀 There’s no guarantee it’ll be better, but it’ll definitely be exciting. Hehe.

XOXO, G.

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