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Minnie the moocher

I love this song! This has been on my nighttime playlist for the past one week. I love the tune, the trumpet and the chorus — basically how the music is arranged. The 1930s were a great era for jazz music. While electronic genre is my all-time favourite, jazz is high up among my top three list. I used to buy jazz CDs back then when CDs were all the rage. How I wish I could travel back in time and visit The Cotton Club in all its pomp and glory. Ho de Ho de Ho! Hi de hi de Hi! He de he de he!

Wonderfully catchy. I still have no idea what the great Cab Calloway is singing about though. I’m too busy twirling around the room to this song to figure the lyrics out. It’s such a perfect ditty for Sunday (or any other day), isn’t it?

This reminds me of the Golden Age that Woody Allen featured in his movie Midnight in Paris. That’s one of my favourite films of all time too. It has great cinematography, lighting, music, a whimsical storyline and, most importantly, nearly all my favourite artists and writers of the era. It also has a killer soundtrack to boot.

I’ve always wanted to travel back in time to experience all the glories (or tragedies) and great moments that make history what it is today. Since young, I’ve always thought I belong to another era and would feel more at home in the olden days. I guess that’s why I love history and films about historic periods. And that’s why I love Midnight In Paris; it was as though Woody read my mind and brought my character as Gil to life.

All this nostalgia is making me wanna watch the film again. Be right back!

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Believe in yourself

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It’s the final countdown: Eight more days before I’m officially free from the agonising hours of cramping copious amounts of academic information into my memory and regurgitating them out in a three-hour session. I’m so excited and so lazy at the same time. Instead of focusing on the present and the things I have to do NOW, I keep fantasising about the future, which is detrimental to my productivity.

I recently tweeted that I’d be more productive if I read less, watch fewer TV shows and stop taking so many naps in a day. It’s true, you know, maybe if I didn’t have a TV or Internet, I’d have found a cure for cancer or win a Nobel prize by now. Haha!

In the past one month of not blogging (because I was busy with two major projects), I sense a fear growing within me and I shall verbalise it now, so you can help me chase the demons away.

Sometimes I lay awake in bed at night wondering: Many people have said I will accomplish great things in my life, but what if I never fulfil my destiny?

What happens then? Am I doomed to wander the earth like six other billion faceless souls living ordinary lives? Scary thought, huh?

I guess this is where desire steps in and forces me to stay focused and brave and disciplined. I also realise I tend to be more philosophical on Sundays. It’s like I let my thoughts culminate the whole week and I pour them out to you.

So I will end this blog post on a positive note, because we all need encouragement at times to spur us forward (especially more so if you have doubts as often as I do). If you were looking for a sign that you’re on the right path, here it is.

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. There’s no one better at fulfilling your dreams than you. So go for it.

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Do something for your future self today

Always put yourself first.

Always put yourself first.

I thought this would be inspirational for everyone, since it’s Monday again — the start of another work week. Oh, the horrors. I haven’t been able to log into WordPress via the iPhone app, so some intelligent tech person has to sort that out pronto. It feels weird to be blogging on my laptop, since the last time I did that was months ago. That’s how useful the WordPress iPhone app has been, but I think the new iOS 7 is screwing some of its functionality. SORT IT OUT, WordPress.

So I spent the past two days trying to juggle several things at once, and have successfully not accomplished a single thing. This goes to show how bad I am at multitasking, but also how good I am at procrastinating. It really depends on which perspective you prefer to see. Ahem.

On the bright side, I have sort of formulated a long-term plan for my future. What’s next is to overcome my fears and hesitation in detailing the steps to achieve it and then, of course, carrying it out faithfully. But right now, I have six 1,200-word essays to finish by end-September and one 3,000-word coursework to complete by 7 October. Argh! I felt like I have wasted my whole weekend doing nothing of importance. All my 48 hours were not being utilised well, because I had to sleep, eat, shower, entertain friends and watch TV. Somehow, writing this blog post feels like more precious time is being taken up too. Sorry, my loyal readers, I was only being brutally honest. That’s why you love me! Ahem.

So, I am going to do something today that my future self will thank me for. Spend the next 40 35 minutes doing a quick draft of one essay before I watch the derby match between my beloved Manchester United and those City wannabes. And sleep by 1:30am, so my liver can be super productive and start detoxifying my body.

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

Photo credit: The sweet Internet

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Life is good, sometimes I forget

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It’s true, you know. Sometimes I tend to forget how wonderful my life is, especially in times when I allow frustration or doubts to creep into my mind and fill me up with dissatisfaction. Then I think about at least three good things I have going on in my life at the present moment and I become thankful for my life all over again.

So three things I’m currently grateful for:

1) My dog Milo who is absolutely the cutest old man with the saddest eyes in the world. This look is not a combo that any dog or human bean can beat. The minute he cuddles up to me on the couch (after trying to bite me no less), my heart just melts. He’a a naturally independent dog, you see. Attention-seeking Milo may be, but he is content to sleep alone without anyone beside him most of the times. So yes, it feels like a bonus when he snuggles with me.

2) My cable TV which has all the channels available along with HD resolution, so I can watch any programme I want at anytime and any day of the week! If only “The Duggers Family” and “Kate + Eight” are still playing on Discovery Home and Living. But hey, having HBO and FX are pretty awesome already. If I ever had to have a TV channel to epitomise me, FX would be the one. It’s smart, witty, funny, quirky cool, stylish and has the best collection of songs. So me. Haha!

3) My literacy, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to appreciate excellent TV shows with topnotch writing such as “Scandal”, “Games of Thrones”, “Mad Men”, “Archer”, “Two Broke Girls”and “Californication”, just to name a few. Without my literacy, I wouldn’t be able to laugh at enjoyable reads such as Mindy Kaling’s “Is everyone hanging out without me?” and Rick Riordan’s “The Heroes of Olympus” and “The Kane Chronicles”. Eh, I said enjoyable, not Pulitzer-winning reading material.

Enjoy your week, every birdie! And if you’re so inclined, do share your list of three things you’re thankful for today. The universe will love you for it. Remember, life is good.

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Goodbye, Google Reader

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And just like that, Google Reader was gone. I kept refreshing the page throughout 1-2 July, hoping that Google will change its mind and let its Reader carry on its unobtrusive existence in the vast world of Internet apps and software. No such luck, as google conveniently marked all my feeds as gone on the afternoon of 2 July. Thankfully, I had gone to the Takeout page earlier to download an archive of my feeds.

After five years of using Google Reader, I’m not sure how fast I can wean myself off or even forget the easy accessibility and simple functionality of this amazing app. In short, I’m still depressed.

I’ve downloaded Flipboard as a replacement… It’s pretty for sure—very visually appealing, especially if most of your feeds are predominantly images. And it has a wide range of selected (pre-curated as many people are so fond of saying now) websites, which are pretty awesome. Except, well, there will always be an “except”, this means everyone who uses Flipboard will tend to read the same stuff as you, know about the same things as you do and be influenced by the same opinions as you have. Also, it’s not great when I’m taking the train and it goes underground, the reception goes to shit and I can’t update any pages properly—it takes too long for images to load. Sense my frustration already?

I’m also trying out Feedly now, but I am still miffed that something’s lacking. For one, I can’t search for an article I read or saved on Feedly itself. The functionality of its search engine is only applicable for websites I want to subscribe to. I have to manually retrieve any article I want by browsing through all the websites or pages I had marked all as read in order to find that article again. Previously on Google Reader, I could search for any topic I fancy in the search bar and it was no hassle. And whenever I have to click on a link, it loads inside Feedly instead of taking me to the Chrome browser. SIGH.

I’ve downloaded Reeder yesterday. I have yet to try it, but I sure hope there’s some positives out of it. I mean, how can it disappoint me further than I already am. I just want to browse my favourite, regular feeds or add new websites to read without hassle and search for any topics I remember reading about previously with ease. Is that too much too ask for? Evidently, yes.

This article from TechCrunch depicts my sentiment accurately, right down to my very angst and sense of loss.

The rest of the world may “merely surf the web” for any info they want, or look at their tweets or Facebook for the latest news, but I actually prefer to get my news or info from reliable, trusted sources I had carefully curated personally. Looking at my Google Reader in the morning when I wake up, at night before I sleep and whenever I have some free time had become my thing—my solace from the hustle and bustle of the Internet where everyone wants to dictate what you know and how you know it. Google Reader helps me cut out all the distracting white noise and allow me to look at the essentials. Even the writer of this TechCrunch article agrees.

But Google Reader was special because it was one of the last remaining places on the Internet you could really call your own. In every other way, the nature of news reading on the web these days and the social services that now dominate your attention are crafted by others who dictate what you will read and when. Whether browsing through an editorially run news site, parsing your Twitter stream or reading your Facebook news feed, the links before you are those that others have deemed important.
There’s value in this signal, of course — a sense of what’s trending in the larger world allows for serendipitous discovery. But it’s also a relinquishing of control. Oh sure, you can choose who to follow, but it’s not the same as choosing which news sources’ feeds you will subscribe to, why, and how often you will read them.
In Google Reader, I’ve gleefully stuffed websites into collections like “B-List” and “C-List” and “Can’t Miss” and “Panic Button,” instead of more proper names like “top tech sites” or “Apple bloggers.” It’s my decision which headline collections get scanned with a glance, and which writers will see me devouring their every word.
Meanwhile on Twitter, every missive is as important as the one that preceded it. A photo of your cat. News from the war. A beautiful sunset on Instagram. A government overthrown. It’s a real-time firehose of information that you dip into as you can. There’s no unread count. You just refresh and refresh and refresh for more.

Ever since Google’s announcement this spring, many new services have stepped up to help fill the void Google Reader leaves behind, but none will ever fill its shoes. None of those that now vie to become the new incumbent even have search built-in, for example. A few promise “yeah, it’s coming” but too many startups begging for a second look think that merely supporting RSS feeds makes them a Google Reader clone.
Google Reader wasn’t a list of things to read. It wasn’t a collection of RSS feeds.
It was your own, personal Google. A search engine built on top of the sites you cared about. A Google News with the stories you wanted to see. A taxonomy where you chose the labels, and drove the SEO. Google Reader was your web, your slice of the Internet.
Social media, now, is theirs.
Reader’s death isn’t the end of a product, it’s the end of an era. We have protested, bargained, begged, and cried. Now we have to accept and adapt.

Google Reader, thank you for giving me five great years. Goodbye.

P/S: Fifteen days later, I’m still gutted.

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I still remember the feeling

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It’s sad to even blog these days, because I’m heartbroken; I’m like a broken record being put on repeat and it seems like there’s no way to fix me. I can feel a stab in my heart and I know the pain is real. Yet I’m fighting so hard to be well again; to recover from what seemed like the loss of my life.

It’s been more than a year since we last saw one another, and while you appear to have moved on with your life and gotten together with someone new, I’ve remained at a standstill. I tried staying away from you, but it did not stop me from thinking about you and missing you terribly.

It hurts, it really hurts. I keep forcing myself to consciously choose me, but every time I come across your tweets or anything you post, I take two steps back again. I’m emotionally drained and I feel helplessly stuck in this time vacuum. I keep thinking back if I could have done anything different or better to salvage our relationship, but my mind remains blank. Maybe I am just a foolish person clinging on to a romantic dream that has long since disappeared into thin air.

I had truly believe we were meant for each other and that you were the right one for me. I guess it still hurts so much, because I still believe (foolishly) we are meant to be.

I suffered the same acute heartache in 2011 when I thought you had found someone new. It drove me crazy that I wanted to do drastic things to myself. That was a terrible night to be me. I went through 2012 wanting to be free from the mental shackles you’ve put me through and to build up my courage to speak to you again, hoping that we would find each other again. It’s 2013 and I find myself immersed in fresh pain at the thought of you with someone new. This time, I managed to find a sense of control that wasn’t there before, but it doesn’t mean it hurts less. It still does, and I hope one day you will feel the pain I feel for you and know that there was once someone who loved you even more than life itself. Goodnight.

P/S: Dear Universe, here I am once again. I’m finally ready now and I know you will make things happen for me. I want to be extremely happy and lucky, meet and be with the person of my dreams (preferably within the next one week) and be JK Rowling-rich! Thank you!

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I’m not sure which is worse

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You know, I realise it has become one of my weekly rituals to blog about how I feel about you every other Sunday and how I would tag the post as ‘secret’, because I don’t think anyone else knows or understands what my heart is seeking.

Sometimes there’s just this trepidation in my heart that I don’t know how to quell. And the panic level would keep rising and I would lose my inner peace. Just like what Po the Dragon Warrior had to go through, it’s been a long arduous journey to find my inner peace.

With that, I’d like to leave you with this quote I heard from watching season 4, episode 14 of White Collar (Shoot the Moon) which it made me tear:

Real love is fighting like hell to hold onto every moment you have with her. It’s making a life together and making it work, no matter what happens. You want a love for the ages? I think that’s great. Prove it. Make it last. — Peter Burke

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Today is your day

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It’s been slightly over two months after my birthday and I still feel rather chirpy about it. I feel young and old at the same time, but overall I feel as though a huge burden has lifted from my shoulders. And in its place, there’s a renewed sense of optimism that the whole world is my ‘oyster’ and it’s just waiting for me to go out there and fork it for dinner.

February has been an enlightening month for me, as I took time out to re-evaluate the choices and decisions I made over the past few years about my career and the people in my life. I think I understand my motivations and needs a bit better, which is the grown-up way of saying I’ve matured! Bravo!

Maybe I am (or have already started) distancing myself from those outdated bad habits and relationships that were holding me back from the good stuff. Obviously, I experienced some emotional turmoil because of that, but I dare say the feeling of relief is greater and much more welcome. I am now definitely better at compartmentalising my emotions, at determining the reasons behind why I might feel a certain way and making sure I have mastery over my behaviour. Maybe the spring cleaning I did before the Lunar New Year really helped declutter my mind!

According to my tarot card reading, ‘it is a time of reassessment of your values and priorities and the influence of this month will be felt for a long time to come… the inner changes that take place represent a much larger step forward than you will probably realise at this time.’

I highly recommend everyone to try decluttering the things they no longer use and free their living space (and mind) for greater things to come… and start living life the way you want or do the things you want to achieve… Because…

‘Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.’ — Dr. Seuss

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Relight our fire

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I wrote this blog post in 2011. Maybe between October and November. But I didn’t publish it then. I forgot why. Maybe I didn’t feel like having the whole world reading my heartbroken thoughts. But it has been over a year and a few months now since I last edited this post on 20 October 2012. I guess I have grown up a little and become a little stronger. And I’m okay letting you read this now (if you still read my blog).

Sometime late in late 2011:

I just spent 17 minutes of my life watching a YouTube video on the stages of a relationship a couple goes through. I had tears in my eyes when I saw what the couple went through. The ups and downs, the highs and the lows. The earlier scenes had me nodding and even smiling at the accuracy depicted when you get to know someone new. As the couple became comfortable and familiar with each other, things started to change. And it is not always for the better.

While I probably will not watch it another time (ok maybe just one more time) because it is so time-consuming, I will just break the stages here so I can recap why it is so important for two people in love to work at staying in love. Otherwise, when one of us stops trying, two people who were once so in love will end up hating each other and forgetting why they fell in love in the first place.

This is from me to you:

When I first met you, you were something special. It was unbelievable how we clicked over the phone even though we haven’t seen each other for the longest time. Whenever your name popped up on my phone screen, I would get butterflies in my stomach. You probably still don’t know this, but I’d smile whenever I saw your messages. Getting to know you all over again was fun, exciting and innocent because I genuinely wanted to know every single thing you had to say. It was nice to share my thoughts with you, regardless of what popped up in my mind. If something happened in gym class, you’d be the first person I texted. If I saw something funny, you’d be the first person I told. If I took a really nice photo, you’d be the first person I sent it to. Even if you weren’t online, I would text you anyway because I was that enthusiastic about sharing every bit of my life with you.

It was amazing how we could spend hours chatting non-stop about everything and nothing in particular. If I didn’t hear from you for a few days, I’d find myself missing you. I remember there was one time, we didn’t speak for two days. And then out of a sudden, I got your messages in the middle of the night when I was at a club. I put aside my drinks, my friends, the loud blasting music and just sat at a corner of the couch to continue talking to you. I don’t know if I had told you this but that night, if I could, I would have dropped everything right then and there to go home so I could talk to you without any distractions.

And you were equally excited to read my replies. You sent me some photos you took during your trip in Australia. You even sent one photo of a few bars of soap at home. We were probably grinning to the screen at that point in time. Our replies to each other were fast and furious. There were just so many things to say even though we hadn’t spoken for two days. It felt like we were the only two people in the world.

All I wanted was just to know more about you – either through your messages, your photos, your Facebook and everything that you were interested in. But I was shy to ask you out. Until you made the first move the very next day. After we continued chatting where we left off the night before, you asked me, “Why haven’t you asked me out?”

One thing led to another and that very evening, we met each other for the very first time. And suffice to say, we had a very good time out.

From then now, all I wanted to do was to hang out with you and do interesting or fun stuff together. You were my number one priority. I would choose to go out with you over my friends. Even when I was with my friends, I would think about you all the time. Seeing you just made me yearn for the next time I’d see you again. In my eyes, you were perfect and there was no one else I want to spend time with or talk to.

It was like the stars for us were aligned. Everything felt right. Even the first time we kissed felt perfect. It was our honeymoon. We could be affectionate with each other without fear. We could do even more silly fun things together. Every moment together was our moment to cherish. We held hands, we hugged, we had random talks over the phone and we had great dates. We were a fun couple. It was a dream come true.

We took many photos together, we knew every single detail of our daily lives, we went on holidays together, we made plans to go out together. When you were away, we would be chatting on Skype and looking at each other on video calls, talking about the soonest possible time we would see each other again. I remember there were a few times, when the minute you arrive at your location, you’d text or log online to talk to me so we will always be in touch. The best part is we will always talk about how much we miss each other and how we can’t wait to see each other soon. And when you arrive home, we will always see each other the next day without fail.

Things were still fun and yet comfortable. We could even have so much fun watching TV and dissing everyone on any show we watched. We’d sleep spooning each other and wake up cuddling. We’d fight over the bolster, but I will always give in to you and in return you’d ‘generously’ let me kiap the bottom part of it so I can spoon you instead. I’d give you the whole blanket and hold your hot body for warmth when I start shivering. You’d fart at random parts of my body and push me away when my hands and feet are too cold. We were truly behaving like ourselves with each other. We might have to wear different masks to face different people in our lives, but when we were together, what we gave each other was our true genuine self.

But there were some aspects of our lives that became slightly challenging even when I thought things were going so well. I found out about the ex-bf issues, which consumed my entire mind from that moment. Maybe I was too foolish to not pick up on the signs. I became unsettled, wondering what I did wrong. I wrote many private blog posts (maybe someday I will publish them) about everything that I couldn’t let go. You probably didn’t know or even understand how much pain, how much heartache, how much tears I had. It was a recurring pain that affected the best part of our honeymoon for a few months. It has thankfully ceased for two months now.

Then slowly things began changing. Messages became infrequent. Replies were even slower or sometimes non-existent. Phone calls were no longer picked up instantly. Photos or updates that were usually first sent to each other were posted on various social networking sites first. Words of affection were no longer said out loud. Even emails were no longer as excitedly received as they once were. There was tension between each other once in a while. When we had bad days, it became worse if we didn’t let go. We became even more sensitive to each other’s actions or words. Then we became desensitised when the other party no longer wanted to give in or make up.

Conversations became fewer or sometimes zero. We stopped going out so often. We stopped sharing the things we were doing when the other person wasn’t around. Making plans to go out involved asking, “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know. Anywhere.” “I can’t decide.”

When did I stop wanting to do the romantic things I have always wanted to do for you? When did I start censoring my thoughts and the things I wanted to share with you? When did I become so scared of asking you anything? When did I become so afraid of telling you anything? When did I stop sharing every funny thought I had? When did I become so paranoid the times when you were out without me? When did I become afraid of telling you I miss you or even I love you?

Our lives will continue on in different directions. We might become strangers again. Everything we shared will just become fragmented memories. After a long time has passed, we might even question if the relationship did really happen. All we would have left is a box of stuff full of memories of things we did together, but couldn’t quite remember when or why.

For a period of time, you were a stranger who became the most important person in my life. You made me grin (in public all the time) and realise how much I could love someone again. You said once that I made you happy and that your friends told you they had never seen you happier. I guess we were the sun, the rainbow, the world and all the beautiful things in each other’s lives.

I just want to say I’m sorry. Our relationship was important to me. You were important to me. For the longest time, I felt that you were my One and Only. But I didn’t know how to fix us, even though I wanted you back so so much.

I think that if life separates us and we are in totally different places, I’ll always remember this period of time when our paths aligned, and I’ll always be thankful for that. And I hope that wherever you are, you’ll be thankful too.

GWBB, be happy always. XOXO

P/S: Now that it’s 2012, this still feels surreal. I’ve carried you in my heart for so long (even until today) that sometimes I wonder if you could feel what I feel. No wonder, I titled this blog post as ‘Relight our fire’. Listen to the song by Take That again. It’s very apt, don’t you think?

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It’s my 30th birthday

Happy 30th BirthdayBe nice.

Today’s the day I turn 30. And I am a little nonchalant about the 30 years I have taken to get here. It should be an impressive milestone celebrated with the family, close friends and perhaps a life partner, but all I feel is ‘meh’. While in my teens, I’ve always thought I’d die young.You know, because I’d be living the fast and dangerous rebel’s life.

But the minute I hit 25, my perspective changed to ‘I want to live for as long as possible and to do great things in my life’. So far, I have accomplished the ‘live as long as possible’ bit, but sadly I’m still far away from the ‘do great things’ part and was getting depressed over it.

So what did I do? I Googled about ‘turning 30’. And my best friend did not let me down. In 0.43 seconds, it showed me 234,000,000 results on why turning 30 may not be that bad after all.

Julie Tilsner, who wrote about the subject in her book 29 and Counting, said:

‘Thirty is nothing to be afraid of. You’ve got a whole new decade to work with, and this time you’re prepared! You’re educated, you have years in the workplace, you finally know what your hair will and won’t do. You can still dance on tables, but you have some life experience. Turning 30 is actually a really awesome thing.’

All sounds very positive. So there’s absolutely nothing to feel gloomy or to freak out about.

30 Is Different for Everyone

When I was younger, I’d dream about being an astronaut, or a pilot (much like Tom Cruise from Top Gun. Still a brilliant film and a handsome guy, no matter what anyone says!) or Indiana Jones. Whether I become a lawyer or a doctor, I’d be cool, charismatic and carefree like the heroes I aspire to be.

Then I hit the teenage years and things started going downhill from there. I got mixed up in the wrong crowds, I played truant from school, I ran away from home, I gave up a promising sports career in the national team and I dropped out of school. All before I turned 16. In short, I got distracted from obtaining a good education that would supposedly set me on my path to greatness.

Two years later, I woke up metaphorically from my ‘going-nowhere-in-life’ slumber. I also had my first major heartbreak from a relationship I thought would last forever. I nearly killed myself because of one person, until my mum came home just in time to stop me. How silly, right? I felt stuck working in a restaurant. There is nothing with earning a decent living as a service staff, but it just didn’t feel like I was in the right job, doing the right thing I like. That got me thinking about my life, my future and myself.

I picked up the pieces, bit by bit. I changed to a permanent part-time job at a pub and I signed up for part-time classes to get the necessary certifications to get to the art school I wanted. I even went back to my former secondary school to seek help from my art teacher to improve my portfolio. That was how determined I was.

At age 20, I finally got into the art school I was aiming for. I was taking my car and motorbike licences. I had a relatively cushy part-time job. I met someone new to get over the heartbreak I had been nursing for the past two years. I was popular in school, just like in secondary school. So I was still cool, charismatic and carefree. I was delighted with life.

In the year that I was due to turn 21, I met someone who would prove to be a great love of my life. We spent all our waking hours together and we were inseparable and everyone was envious of us and what we had. There were rough moments. I had the nastiest temper and I was immature. And yet we were together for the next five years, most of which were good and we stuck together through the ups and all obstacles that objected to our relationship. We had a fiery relationship and sparks flew all the time. But it was tough to keep the spark between us alive, and ultimately, it was to burn out like a flame. I had to let go.

In my 25th year on earth, I found a job I enjoyed and something I can proudly proclaim to be relatively good at and skills that have enabled me to earn a decent living. I was a journalist. I’ve always wanted to write for a living and I did. I also met someone I thought I could fall in love with and start afresh in my love life. Well, it started afresh alright, but it wasn’t meant to last because I was still in love with the great love of my life. I couldn’t let go and it took a toll on me. I had volatile mood swings and my behaviour was dodgy. I would have dumped my sorry ass too, now that I am looking back. We spent close to a year together, but the relationship ended and gave me the second major heartbreak of my relatively young life. It took me a year to get over it and dust the debris away. One of the reasons I created this blog was to write about the pain I had inside me. I was broken for a long time, but while learning to deal with the pain, I learned many things about myself and I made some new lasting friendships that helped me through the turmoil I was in.

Soon the year I was turning 28 arrived. And I met someone whom I wanted to give my whole life to make her happy all the time. More than half of the posts published (and set as private) on this blog have been dedicated to her. I have never filled up so much virtual space about someone before. I have no idea if I would ever do (or feel) the same for anyone else again.

Now That I Am Finally 30
Now that I am turning 30, the past no longer seems like a chink on my armour. I get that I may not be as talented, as popular, as good-looking, as famous, as wealthy as other people my age, but it’s okay. I am still special in my own way; I am a little unique snowflake that will just be doing adult-like things in my own time. I may not be a best-selling author or a successful CEO yet, but I am still a success in my own way.

Should I have spent my teens studying hard and get Bs so I could have gotten into a good college? Should I have not spent all my hours on going to dance clubs and drink myself silly? On hindsight, maybe I should have. Should I have done better in art school instead of watching TV and playing Warcraft with my friends and indulging in Football Manager on most of my days? Maybe. But I didn’t, because I have not touched Warcraft or Football Manager since 2005 and I do not regret getting the most joy out of those games, even though I know I was wasting my time.

Yes, there are people who have made millions before they are 25, earn $10,000 a month by 27 or be famous and successful entrepreneurs before turning 30. Maybe I am an exception. Maybe I am on a different timeline from the rest and there is no happiness to be gained if I keep comparing myself with others. Life is not a race. Life is what you make of it and how happy and satisfied you deem yourself to be, not to spend your hours being envious of others.

Our whole idea about life before or after 30 should not be defined by the progress we are supposed to make or terms dictated by society. It doesn’t mean if we don’t realise our potential by 30, we are never going to succeed; there may be pieces of us that take years to gel and make us the successful person we will become.

According to Heidi Grant Halvorson, author of Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals, we should live our whole life as if we’re in our twenties. ‘It’s that keep-inching-forward mentality that will allow you to be happy with your choices.’

Yes, I admit I am a little sad at the things I have not accomplished or the stuff I thought I would have achieved by now like being an extremely successful high-flyer, having my own apartment, being with the love of my life and travelling around the world. Maybe I am too old to be an astronaut now. Maybe this is the wrong era to be Indiana Jones. Maybe there were many decisions I could have made to get to a different place from where I am now.

But, have I failed at life? I went from a school dropout to studying part-time for a business degree now (very much like Larry Crowne but without the hot lecturer. Nice movie anyway. Go watch it!). I went from a junior service staff to having a relatively okay-paying mid-level media job I enjoy. I have my health (until the results confirm otherwise) and my parents who love me more than I can ever imagine. I am much more confident now and wiser than in my 20s. I am also more than okay to spend time alone and to enjoy my own companionship. I also value myself more. I imagine life can only go up from here.

I am not sure if I will like the idea of turning 30 at all, but now that I am already here, I might as well enjoy it while it last. After all, there’s still the looming 31 to dread over.

So, I will enjoy the year ahead with as much vigour as a unique little snowflake should, because I am 30 and to hell with the rest of you, I’m gonna celebrate by pampering myself the whole of today.

Because today is my day, and no one can be Me-er than Me. 🙂

And stay tuned for the 30 life lessons I’ve learned from my 30 years.

[Image via Sommecards]