Things I would tell my 18-year-old self

If only I could go back togive that naive insecure girl a big hug and tell her that everything is gonna be alright, but yes some insights only come with experience, and I choose to fail profitably.

If you can’t figure out everything at that age, especially in a noisy phase of life when every single distraction is screaming for attention, follow your heart. If you would slow down to listen what it has to say, and have the courage to see the big picture to take the plunge, in spite of only having had that puzzle piece at that point of time, you’re off to a good start. Even if you feel directionless, work hard wherever you’re at. It can’t go wrong. Some seasons are sacrificial, which equates to lonely nights listening to your prof droning off on thermodynamics in recorded lectures while the world parties away.

You can never control the situation you are in, but you can always choose your response. That’s your domain. Trade-offs are so vital as you only have a limited amount of time and energy. Let go of battles that are worthless and focus on what you can influence. At the end of the day, perseverance is a great trait to have especially in this crazy world.

No guy is worth you sacrificing your studies over. People come and go, people leave, people can die, but, GPA stays forever. That’s aside of the point, but you don’t want to be left wondering how you could have done better if that bastard never crossed paths with you and left you heartbroken. And yes, sweet talk is not cheap, it is free.

God loves you and wants you successful more that you want to be. You may not always feel it, but love is not a feeling that fleets. Love is expressed by sacrifice. Knowing that He died to give you everything, that is love. Sometimes some things are better understood by the heart, if everything is logically reasoned, faith is irrelevant.

For I know the plans I have for you

says the Lord

Plans to prosper you and not to harm you

Plans to give you a hope and a future

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Quarter life thoughts

I’m at the age when the world is splitting open at my feet, reality bursting forth into life and full color. The spinning world does not take along those who cannot run at its pace, and I’m being swirled into this cacophony of sounds and images.

I totally understand the need to stay ahead of neighboring countries and coming in first in GDP and all else. But common sense would tell you that as with any choice, there are trade-offs. You can’t have your cake and eat it. Society has evolved into a badly schizophrenic monster demanding people to offer both sides of a coin. Awesome economic growth and fantastic birth rates. But realistically speaking, if women are expected to conceive during their fertile years, some trade-offs include putting their careers on hold and taking a less stressful job during conception. It is not uncommon knowledge that a stressful pregnancy gives rise to a higher rate of children born with ADHD and autism. Yet, humans are expected to function as robots, to keep churning out work at a steady accelerated pace despite life circumstances. Come on, we aren’t artificial intelligence running on a supply of battery power. People have emotions, personal issues, messy situations and even marriage to add into this complex equation called life. Society can bypass the addressing of basic human needs to attain that holy grail top economic status, and people can conform themselves to fit into the way society rewards people in the form of monetary remuneration, but I can’t help but feel sorry that people here have become deficient in an emotional sense.  Trade-offs are inevitable, yeah?

The ads on family planning plastered all over the MRT billboards and bus interfaces just make the movement a cheesy fiasco to coax Singaporeans to have kids fast. It is rather distasteful, as if insinuating that people put off marriage and children because they are simply too slipshod to give the notion some thought. For an average Singaporean young married couple, the sheer weight of debt from a 4-room HDB flat takes up a significant portion of their income for much of their lives. The exorbitant cost of living here makes child rearing seem a laborious and thankless, and possibly optional task.

I believe that it’s a basic human desire to want to settle down with a significant other for company, and perhaps have a family of their own, regardless of personality type or sexual orientation. In reality, it’s a punishing environment to date meaningfully with the speed of life. Things don’t just happen like that. Magic, as described plainly, takes time to spark and more importantly, finding the right partner to settle down with for a stable and secure family environment for the child to grow up in, is more important than just dispensing orders for people to procreate to hit national KPIs. The big-picture point of view sometimes misleads people at the top from pin pointing the heart of the problem, which is addressing what is on the heart of the individual.