I will never forget that Defining Moment. As I came out of my (ex)boss’s office that noon facing Yet another rejection. That’s when it hit me, like a tidal wave. As I hold on to my breath with my head spinning, I was cast with that One Question.
What Am I Still Doing Here?
My life goals were slowly drifting away and though I do learnt some gems, I had Zero passion in what I was working on. To be blunt I was basically just lying to my (ex)boss and worse, to Myself: 4 Years, Really? Am I really going to wait that Long to start on my own plan? Taking 4 damn years out of my life right now to build up someone else’s Dream(which, pays little but still requires so much of my time)? Just for the sake of living in this city and that little multiple currency? Am I really happy to begin with anymore?
Something back in my home country came to me a little while before this self-epiphany; you see, there are spiritual things in life that you can always choose not to believe in because you wouldn’t want to be seen as deluded right?
But I CHOSE to Believe this time. To Trust in the Universe: That, when that job offer came to me, it was GOD telling me It’s Time To Go Home. GOD knew what I needed before I even knew it myself.
But before I took the plunge to really set my heart down to leave, I took the next couple of days to Really Look at this city. To stop floating in my cloud and start diving into the reality of things. And as I look around this marvelous fast motion concrete jungle, I knew, if I stay any longer, it’d held no meaning for me anymore. Yes, the richness of this city still send my heart Pulsing, but when I look Past all the Glitz And Glamour, of what seems like Boundless Opportunities down towards its People, its Working Culture, the Pricey(and hectic) Lifestyle I’ve to constantly struggle with, I knew in my heart I wouldn’t fit in. And Most Important of all, it’d held no meaning because I Wouldn’t Be Doing What My Heart Sings Anymore, all I ever be if I continue to stay is a stone cold working robot, with occasional pleasures of downing in luxury but with no dreams of her own.
Because like all the Fancy Things in life: If you aren’t careful, you’re going to spiral down this at first seem-to-be-wondrous-lala-land and then straight towards a Pitch Black Hole with nothing but losing yourself and the realization that you’d Lost all the real grounded treasures in life because you were so caught up in a sea filled with diamonds, pearls, glitters and cotton candies.
Do I regret coming here in the first place though? Or anything that I’ve went through?
Oh Hell To The No Honey. Not The Least Bit.
Things might not have work out as how I thought it would be, but it sure was Darn Well Worth Of A Ride. Because I learnt intangible lessons that matters tons to me. And I hope very much in a way they help you too.
1. I’ve learnt that, The Best Way to Really Enjoy A Well-Defined Life In A Foreign Country Is To First Sharpen Yourself At A Certain Skill(s) For A Good Couple Of Years At Where You Are.
Times it depends on the industry you’re in but for the most of us, don’t make the mistake of being a cock and think that you can earn big bucks overseas when all you can offer are really nothing much at all. Competition is CRAZY and ooh baby, baby it’s a wild world.
2. I’ve learnt that, Living In A Way Advanced Country Doesn’t Always Guarantee Happiness And Fulfillment.
Metropolitan Cities aren’t for Everyone, this much I will say.
3. I’ve learnt that, Just Because You’re So In Love With A Certain Place While On Vacation, DOESN’T Necessarily Means That You Will Love It Just As Much Once You Start Living There.
Oh honey, it’s a WHOLE different story altogether.
4. I’ve learnt that, Sometimes, You Really Don’t Need To Take A Longer Time Than You Think You Should To “See Things Out”.
It’s similar to the concept of marrying someone, the phrase: “When you know, you know” really does ring true. Your Instincts ladies? AREN’T CRAZY. They are bugging you for A Reason, trust me.
In my case, I was seeing my life here in the Big Picture. I knew, I wasn’t getting any younger. Thus, I don’t really have the privilege to play it by steps anymore. I asked myself: 5 years down the road, will I be achieving what I set myself out to be when I first decided to come here? OR, will I end up being miserable? It didn’t take long before I gotten my answer. So who cares if it’s barely even a year? Trust yourself, and more importantly, Trust The Lord. The biggest mistake we could make as young people is thinking we have All The Time In The World. GEEZ, that is so deadly you know that?
It’s perfectly Okay to take that sudden turn of direction off that highway where you had set your heart out on driving through. Because your life could CHANGE in any given moment, without asking for your permission. Which is why, junctions and U-Turns exist.
5. I’ve learnt that, You Don’t Always Have to Chase For The Worldly View Of Perfection And High Standards.
They always say:”Be The Best that’s ever out there.” “Go Hard Or Go Home.” We have became so accustomed to these expectations that we did end up feeling like a failure if we can’t ride up to it. As if we haven’t give it our ALL, our BEST.
Let me tell you that the Only Standards you need to live up to? Is The Ones You Set For Yourself.
Working in Singapore requires such a High Standard day in day out it makes my heart Burn. The Fussiness of it all and the Constant Need to achieve That Level in such short amount of time made me want to break down and weep. I’ll admit I’m not one with low standards, if you ask my close friends, they be nodding their heads vigorously about that. But even I, didn’t expect that The Lion City to Blow my socks WAY OFF. IT’S CRAZY the results they asked from you. For a while I actually kept blaming myself for being incompetent and worst- Doubting Myself. It took a while before I finally realize I don’t have to take these sh** at all and that I’m Enough. What they thought of me? Is really none of my business to care for.
Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not asking you to be cocky. You need to know that when you can’t live up to someone else’s standards, It Really ISN’T Your Fault At All, Or that you aren’t GOOD ENOUGH. Because being the BEST? is so Subjective. The Best Thing you can do is to just take what you can learn from them and adjust it according to your own method.
6. I’ve learnt that, Family And Honest Relationships, Will Always, Always Triumphs Over Work Success.
Just watch the Boss Baby if you haven’t already.
The last company I worked for, working till wayy past dinner hour Every Day is a culture worth celebrating for, even if you don’t get paid for those extra hours. They are married to someone else’s dream, instead of building one of their own. Sad.
Again, don’t get me wrong. If what I had been doing in Singapore was worth the sacrifice of leaving my loved ones, I’d do it, just for that first couple years of experience. But it wasn’t.
If I can only pick out one Silver Lining that comes out of this experience, it’s the improved relationship with my parents. Though we don’t always see eye to eye, they were my oasis amid the chaos throughout my last job. The One Trustful and Warm Sanctuary that will Never Fail to stand by me or take me back in even if the whole world failed me.
Because the ones who will make that Big Sacrifice for you in the end, is Never your Boss nor your colleagues.
7. I’ve learnt that, The LESS You Care About Others’ Opinions, The FASTER You Move On Towards Your Goals In Life.
Trust me when I say, this decision of leaving at such an early stage shocked so many people around me, especially Myself. I told myself I wouldn’t give up, but let me tell you that I was actually saying it out of Ego, not for the greater good. Surprise surprise.
The truth is, I wasn’t completely honest with myself either.
I used to think that I wasn’t allow to give up this early since I made that plunge all by myself to come here in the first place. The last thing I want is for everyone to see me as a failure, a quitter; especially for my parents. And so after the first job flopped, I felt in a way I needed to give this another chance, to prove to everyone and myself that I can actually come out a winner. People, my parents actually believed in me, christ.
But then things changed. My mindset changed. Because something was wrong. I could felt it and I knew the decision I was about to made would hurt my parents’ hearts. But I wasn’t living for me anymore but to their hopes and expectations. And so I took the next big plunge again, this time without telling a single soul beforehand.
My parents were disappointed needless to say. My mum saying things about wishing I’d be wiser than being this reckless. But I had to Move On despite all the disapproval and questioning, for I had my own reason that I can’t announce just yet to the family: my own plan, a plan that could either flop or soar; but I needed to at least Try. And to do that, I needed to come home and start on that project asap.
Because the more you think you needed to listen to others, the slower you will be in becoming who you really are. Not Caring can be one of your greatest step in learning to love yourself.
8. I’ve learnt that, You Don’t Have To Always Cross The Red Sea Nor Fly To The Moon To Achieve Success/Fame.
Truth is, success is possible to be attain just on the ground where your foot’s on right now. Of course, if you’re rooted in a place where resources are so Limited, then Pack up and GO.
But as long as you’re staying in a city, you have technologies to thank for. Thanks to Social Medias. We can all have the privilege to communicate world-wide, to be known, to somehow make a mark if not the world, then in our community, society. All the answers you yearn for are online, plane tickets are getting affordable to fly out for resources. You don’t have to uproot your entire life to catch the stars. Lucky Bastards we are.
I moved to Singapore only to realize, my dream that I had playing around in my head all along, was already Right There within my home in Malaysia. What I gained in Singapore was an Exposure of a different culture, a different lifestyle; but all in all, We Are All Pretty Much The Same. No matter where we came from or what nationality we are, we are all going through the same thing in life. Trials and errors. The difference is how Far one is willing to go, how high of a Risk they are willing to take, how is your Mindset compare to the rest.
The grass, is not necessarily greener across that border sugar.
9. I have learnt that, Your Location Does NOT Define You.
Where you are, what you’re doing for a living, or even the people you mix with doesn’t have anything to do with Who You Are.
I moved to Singapore partly because I have the Craziest Knack for Things Western, I thought I could get more in touch with Myself once I started living there. But still, I wasn’t happy.
Because, I’d made the One Mistake of letting an Outsource define My Identity. And when I do that, it can Easily be taken away. Because, at the end of the day, You Alone can decide what happens in your private universe. How you want things to unfold in your life. And if you can do that without letting anything disrupt you, you will Stand Out in all of your glory, you’ll have the strong Self-Assurance that it isn’t the end of the world even if things don’t happen your way, people are misjudging you. No matter where you go, your light will shine with you simply because you’re so Full and True to yourself: Your Heart, Your Mind, Your Soul.
The world, really does need MORE of that.
10. I have learnt that, Never To Underestimate The Power Of ONE DAY.
Though I wanted to strangle my last boss so many times back then(of course, just in my head), I have to applaud the fact that she showed me how much I can Achieve in just, One Day.
You can always choose to lay there and let the minutes pass by before calling it a day(guilty!), OR, you can sit right Up, Seize The Minutes, Seize The Day, Set Time Limits, Kick Ass before calling it a day, plopping down in bed again, contented, knowing you had not wasted this day that GOD had given you.
And that is how some Start Ups can achieve So Much More and gain its NAME in a Shorter span of time compare to its rivals. That is how someone can Grow so much and climb up that promotion ladder within a short time frame. Ask yourself: where in line do you want to stand?
11. I have learnt that, If You Were To Become Your Own Boss One Day, Be A Big-Hearted And An Honest One, To Both Your Customers And Your Employees.
I believe in karma.
With my first job over there, I couldn’t understand why the bosses kept facing failures and setbacks no matter what they tried to explore; given their High reputation and First Class business products, customers should be Flocking Over. Business should have Boom. But Not Really, No.
And then, I got to know them. Let’s just say they aren’t the most honest people out there. You might think nothing else really matters as long as you get the cash, but GOD Is Always Watching.
Undergoing two different Singaporean bosses has make me see so much all the qualities a good boss should and shouldn’t have. And Money? Really does brings out the Worst in people, even Christians. It PAYS to be a good person, no matter which rank you hold, remember that.
12. I’ve learnt that, It Pays To Slow(The F***)Down.
I heard this while I was in church the other day.
This constants NEED for hustling, the Satisfaction of being on top of the game, to mean Something just being Busy. Or does it Really Mean Something? Because it can also just be An Illusion, a dangerous illusion that you have succeeded in life.
How can you ponder on What Matters Most, notices the little things around you from time to time that deserves more of your attention, when you’re Always Chasing?
Because believe it or not honey, just like Great Sex, Slow and Steady is What Wins The Race.
It feels like a dream. Throughout that period of being away.
But what felt like a dream has keep me Grounded on solid ground more than ever at the same time. It leaves me content with a New Perspective along with a New Direction in life. That being in my home country ain’t such a bad thing after all.
It feels like a dream, but This Time, it’s a dream I’m ready to wake up from, face Reality, and STRIVE.
Till Then, my sassy Warriors.