HI THERE DEAR READERS I have officially and literally triumphantly conquered my "Quarter Life Crisis". While the term IS very dramatic, I think it's a very R E A L phenomenon which many of us face (& continue to face past that age) with regards to #figuringitout. As a (still somewhat) impressionable & optimistic girl, I think that I have encountered sufficient experiences at this age to share some thoughts ;) While there are areas of my life that could be better, I'm happy with where I am & striving to make 26 AWESOME! #IMNOTAGIRLNOTYETAWOMAN (guilty pleasure Britney Spears song)
Also, had the most amazing celebration with these great humans!
1. The importance of living in the present aka LIVE IN THE MOMENT
This is something I struggle with. I need to learn to live in the present and enjoy my twenties for what they are, and smile because each day is full of endless possibilities! I will radiate positive energy to the world and be in control of my attitude every morning, which I want to keep optimistic and expectant. I will learn to fully appreciate the moments of today & soak in as much of today as I possibly can – the sights, the sounds, the smells, the emotions, the celebrations, the failures, the triumph, and the sorrow. (Because it's all going by so fast!!!) Cheesy as it sounds, capturing moments & stopping to smell the roses is crucial.
2. 25 is not old
Nuff said. THE ROAD AHEAD IS LONG. I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE ANXIETY ABOUT GROWING OLDER & WANT TO ENJOY THE POWER & BEAUTY OF MY YOUTH. AS SHOULD YOU.
3. The most important relationship you have is with yourself
#CheesyAF, but true true true. Self-love, self-care & self-acceptance is EVERYTHING. Accepting yourself fully, enjoying your own company, understanding your strengths and weaknesses and working away at them (Y) Trust me firsthand when I say that it is IMPOSSIBLE to be perfect. To be everything to everyone. At certain points, I have felt utterly mentally exhausted. I need my personal space. To be able to accept myself fully while still striving to improve is what I aim for. Nowadays, I find myself wanting to stay at home more, just enjoy ME-time or spend time indulging in my interests #ambivert. I'm a #workinprogress and proud of it. You should be too ;)
4. Healthy boundaries - Say NO if you don't want to
I have a slight problem - I am a people-pleaser. I sincerely do like people, but I do admit that I sometimes agree to things because I want to be liked or because I find it hard to turn people down. If my limits are pushed, it does turn into resentment, like if my efforts are not reciprocated etc. Which goes back to the point about just doing things without any expectations. Trust me it feels so much better. The simple solution is just to say no when I'm not up to it. There is nothing wrong with putting yourself first and being selfish. #limitedenergy
5. Building the right career for yourself is everything (don't postpone it because of the time value of $ and savings)
Ever since graduating from Sauder, I had envisioned myself as an #alphacareerwoman. Of course, I have a very long way to go, but this sort of mental label just adds to unnecessary anxiety. Looking back, what felt like some major missteps were actually lessons in disguise which were necessary (& painful at the time, but which I'll probably chuckle at in due time) and which I had to experience to discover the right path for myself. No one ever said the road ahead would be easy, but the challenges justify the journey. The cold hard truth is that there are many more imminent roadblocks and challenges, and I need to have grit to pull through them. #StrongIndependentWoman But at least I have discovered the right path after intense soul-searching, many conversations, personality inventory tests (trust me these are v helpful), research on viable career paths & the job market etc (I will be forever grateful to those who lent a helping hand & kind words of advice) & I hope I can inspire others to discover theirs. Phew #sighofrelief #byeQLC
6. Save, save, save $$$ (Budgeting is necessary)
$$$ is everything. There is no greater power than being financially independent. Passive income streams don't hurt either :P $ = financial POWER. I am personally a relatively thrifty person and tend to budget carefully & spend $ on experiences (concerts, travel, fashion) I save $ by actively reaching out to obtain sponsorships for my blog + enjoying experiences through Modern Mix Vancouver in order to gain the chance to promote and explore local spaces & experiences.
7. Be open-minded towards people but BE CAREFUL WHO YOU TRUST
We all know how it's like to meet and interact with judgemental or negative people. I've come across my fair share for sure, & I know that I can be judgmental (even though I try not to be). Being receptive, accepting people at the stage of life that they are in, and seeing the positive in people makes you so much more happier and allows you to have deeper & more compassionate relationships. Plus, wanting to impose your views on people or change them just doesn't make sense because EVERYONE IS D I F F E R E N T & that's what makes humans so fascinating. At the same time, most people CANNOT be trusted. Reading people and gaining better judgement of them is essential (Ain't no time to be naive)
8. Find your tribe
I'm glad to say I've found many wonderful friends from different walks of life and from various places - Singapore & Vancouver, especially. It's very tiring & impossible to keep up with everyone especially when I have so much on my plate, but I will try my best to continue to maintain these awesome friendships and provide support & be a better listener to others as and when we can. #QualityTime #DeepRelationships #RealTalk
9. Develop a Growth Mindset
Possessing a growth mindset means that people believe their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work - brains and talent are the starting point. Developing this mindset entails a passion for learning, as well as grit and resilience that is are crucial for great accomplishment #neverstoplearning
10. Your family will never be the easiest people to get along with, but they will always have your back
This is especially true for someone who is an only child and has grown up with strict and overprotective Asian parents (not to stereotype or anything, but yeah) I have gone through various phases of being frustrated with my parents and interpreting their actions as having a lack of respect or concern for me (oh trust me, at many points). From their perspective, I'm pretty sure they have gotten really pissed off at me too, for good reason. Although we get on one another's nerves a lot, I know that we are ~true soulmates~ and familia love is the only unconditional love you will experience (except ~perhaps~ romantic love but IDK about that) Upon further reflection, I would not have had the privilege of having a great education, very sheltered and comfortable lifestyle + many travel adventurez. & yes we do enjoy one another's company despite having clashing personalities (My dad is predominantly a green, my mom is predominantly a gold, I am predominantly an orange, with some gold & blue mixed in = potential recipe for disaster but we #makeitwork and #balanceoneanotherout ) Click here if you're interested to read about different personalities. It's very fascinating & makes you understand why people behave the way they do. Also helps you to get along better with others.
11. Embrace failure and fear.
I've learned firsthand that you cannot be successful in life if you're not willing to screw up. All those Disney songs about listening to your intuition and following you gut... are true. Except as an adult, you do need to take into consideration rational decision-making by weighing the pros & cons. I let fear of failure prevent me from switching career paths early on, for instance. I let fear of failure or rejection prevent me from taking more chances when it comes to my dating life for instance (even though I am picky and have certain expectations). If you think about it though, the worst possible result would be preventing myself from pursuing what I really want or just failing and having to climb back up. At this point in life, I can proudly say that I am quite used to rejection and fear and can only use it to strengthen myself and push myself forward. When you are guided by an internal compass, you learn to be accountable for your actions & it's the best feeling ever~
12. You get to take full responsibility of your life! HELLO, PRACTICALITY & RESPONSIBILITY
Sure, a lot of mundane shit sucks, & it's a whole lot of responsibility. Cleaning. Cooking. Bills. But you will never regret getting shit done. Personally, having a to-do list helps me to maintain my sanity. Attempting to stay organized. If you mess up, it's on you. If you succeed, it's on you. In any case, you get to celebrate the gloriousness & admit the failures that = your life.
13. Stay authentic and unique to who you are
A good friend of mine commented at my recent birthday party that I am "outstandingly direct" LOL. I've met naysayers who have mentioned that my personality is too strong/I call people out too much/I'm bossy/I'm intimidating (lol I find this funny because I'm really not!) that I oversell myself oh trust me the list goes on. I have always admired people who have this authentic aura (you can tell v obviously). I'm a proud (predominantly) ENFJ Orange + some Gold/Blue, I am q direct (and yes some people do get offended by it, and yes I do moderate accordingly) and I do see myself as an alpha woman who is honest and true to herself, who is adventurous, bubbly, goofy, determined, driven, hardworking, empathetic, supportive, assertive, caring, loyal, relatively funny & charming, and knows how to manage her own life (except I need to pass driving LOL cripie) and is consistently seeking to improve herself. Sure, I have my flaws (not gonna publicize them here). But like my favorite popstar Lady Gaga says, you were #BornThisWay #OwnYourself
14. Make your own decisions
This one is definitely challenging as a lot of us in our 20's do not have much life experience and would be well-poised to listen to mentors from our personal and professional networks who have more life experience. There is always that conflict between relying on our personal experiences and intuition and absorbing better life advice from others. I do think that we should still make our own decisions because that is what it truly means to be an adult, discover our own path and become who we really are.
15. Discover your passions and purpose (which do evolve as you change)
What I can currently say is that - I LOVE to travel, hike, blog, read, write, work out, explore places + meet people and my chosen career path is Marketing (Social Media & Communications, to be exact, because Marketing is a broad field). Think I'm doing a pretty good job balancing my passions, which will continue to evolve. My career purpose is to connect brands with consumers through compelling storytelling and marketing techniques. Honestly, marketing is such an exciting and fast-paced field, I just cannot wait to build my career and just soak up all the knowledge I can. Books + Certs, here I come. (But the good part is I actually cannot wait. & it's more than a 9-5)
16. Be Objective
We all know that most people are not objective. I just want to be able to maintain objectivity when making my own decisions, reading people & situations. It helps a lot (to maintain your sanity) and just seeing black & white. TBH, I am quite idealistic so it takes a bit of effort to see things objectively. & even when I do, I feel bad calling people out. So it depends on the situation, really.
17. Don't underestimate clean eating
Healthy eating is everything. Health is everything. It's really devastating when your relatives have Stage 4 cancer. I'm focusing on investing more effort into a relatively healthy diet. I'll place 80/20 to be realistic and move it up when I see more progress. Your body feels so much cleaner plus you get leaner too.
18. Travel, travel, travel
As a travel addict and #wanderluster, and someone who has lived in 3 different countries, I cannot emphasize how awesome travelling is. In fact, I eventually want to work in other countries for the experience. Despite how scary all the recent terrorist attacks have been, I hope this fear does not stop people from travelling to discover new and unseen places.
I value experiences over material goods (mostly haha). Even when you are on a tight budget like I was this summer, short trips to nearby islands, neighbouring countries and hiking trips just make you feel rejuvenated. Often, we do not appreciate a place for what it is till we leave. Also, too much time spent on our social media feeds just incities #fomo.
Every time summer comes, I learn to fall in love with Vancouver and its natural beauty. Despite the crazy housing and rental market, there is so much natural beauty that we need to stop and absorb. I will never ever tire of #BeautifulBC and my love for it just grows stronger the more I venture. Canada, as well. I will never forget the rugged and isolated beauty of Newfoundland. So many places left to discover like the rest of BC & Canada.
Even when I went back to Singapore this year, I no longer felt a strong sense of connection to the place. However, I learned to appreciate it for what it is - a gleaming and efficient concrete jungle. A sprawling metropolis with huge companies to work for that I might perhaps return to one day,
Travelling makes you appreciate that we are all really just wanderers of life. It makes you feel interconnected to those around you and makes you fall in love with the universe and opens your mind to the diversity of places that exist. It makes you feel like an insignificant speck in the universe, and challenges you to think about your role and impact in the world.
19. Explore your identity
My identity has evolved from a hippie chick/university nerd to alpha woman/free spirit. Maybe I was just obsessed with the idea that we all have to have a certain identity, but the truth is that we may not have a fixed identity. It changes as we pass through different life stages. What I know for sure is that I highly value my career and fitness.
20. Work out & take care of yo' skin
Yeaaaaah girl, fitness routine is everythang. Honestly, I alternate between different routines depending on what is the cheapest. Personal favorite budget options include - barre, classpass, groupons, rotating promotions on fitness apps etc. Beyond the vanity of wanting a flatter stomach and leaner legs, working out is just something that makes you feel strong and stay healthier. #GetYourGlowOn Also, a regular, intensive skincare & sunscreen routine is a must ~woot~
21. Doesn't hurt to have multiple income streams
For me, a steady 9-5 paycheque is ABSOLUTELY essential. I need that security and constant stream of income. Outside of that, I definitely am looking into different options to generate more income streams... passive income is always great.
22. Meaningful conversations are the best
Would ALWAYS opt for meaningful conversations in which we talk about more personal things like family, career, passions, fears, goals etc, & I'm so happy to have friends I can do this with! Small talk is fun but it gets tiring after a while.
23. Read, read, read
Pretty much everything. For me, mainly Marketing books (Social Media, Content Strategy) and non-fiction books. As well, gain useful certificates that increase my employability. Just chatting with professionals in my field gets me really hyped too!!!
24. Side hustle
Because I like to be *constantly* productive and also continuously expand my portfolio & skills, I need a side hustle (& creative outlet) which is currently blogging & being a micro-influencer & I'm looking to improve my photography and design skills as well.
25. Just do you & STOP COMPARING - LIVE YOUR OWN JOURNEY
Keep it simple, stay humble, work hard, have fun, be yourself and let the good times roll. My previous instinct to compare (let's be honest... who doesn't) just reinforced unnecessary misery and envy. Should I be in a serious relationship now? Should I be saving up for property? Because on social media we see the carefully curated side of things. It's all G L O S S + G L A M O U R but how real is it (which is why I want to use social media as a channel for good but I digress) As they say, the journey is as important as the destination & I want to savor the trajectory!
As usual, these are just some of my thoughts. Feel free to share away as always my dearest readers!