For everything I lost since I turned 20

June 13, 2016

I wrote my previous post on my 20th birthday, slightly more than 6 months ago, but for some reason didn't publish till months later. A great deal of significant events have happened since I turned 20.

A photo posted by Regine 🌻 (@pekyj) on

I broke up with my long-term (now ex-)boyfriend in mid January, dated a little and ended them as abruptly as they started, travelled quite a fair bit (and I should be getting those blog posts up soon hahahaha wtf), got my first full-time job in April, graduated in May and just came back from my first work trip.

Turning 20 was especially scary for me because all of a sudden, I was no longer protected by my school, lecturers and teachers. Instead, I was left out there to fend for myself and survive on my own when studying, something I've been doing since I turned 4, was all I ever knew of. Much as I wanted to further my studies, it wasn't a variable option for me so there I was, a fresh graduate hunting for a job that didn't even exist ten years back. I was reminded all the time that it's the recession period and scoring interviews was good enough.

Everyday got harder than the next; I was on the verge of giving up and seriously considering taking up student loans for a degree. At a point, I was so unmotivated and depressed, I stopped sending out resumes because they only served to remind me that I secured neither a job nor the chance of getting a degree.

A few months later, the call came. Then more calls. Like I kept telling my friends during that period - got calls also stress, no calls also stress. I saw myself at a crossroad; I had two job offers, both from award-winning companies with huge potential for growth. Was I willing to reject these offers for a potential job opportunity? No one can give me any confirmation and I'm not a risk-taker by nature.

I struggled with this decision for a long time and had many stressful, sleepless nights along the way. But one day I realised the only reason I hesitated for so long was because I already knew the answer in my heart. Yes, I was afraid of losing the stability I had at that time if I accepted one of the two companies but I was more afraid of losing that opportunity of a lifetime forever. With that in mind, I took a giant leap of faith because I knew the only regret I'd have is not trying.

And everything worked out perfectly.

I accepted my dream job at my dream company and thereafter was a whirl. Before I know it, I've been a working adult for two months now and I just returned from my first work trip in Taiwan. I had previously planned on going to Taiwan several times but the plans never materialised and I'm actually glad they never did. These 2.5 weeks spent with my colleagues were the best and I can't think of a better way for me to experience my virgin trip to Taiwan.

A photo posted by Regine 🌻 (@pekyj) on

It's funny how life is sometimes. Four years ago I struggled with Chinese; my Chinese teachers weren't sure if I'll even pass my Chinese O Level examinations, much less hit my target of B3. Some even persuaded me to drop the subject and focus my energy on my remaining subjects. Still, I persevered and got what I wanted. Four years later, the girl who hardly spoke a word of Chinese survived in a Chinese speaking country for almost three weeks and even got comfortable with speaking in Chinese.

Today, the first week that I'm back in Singapore, I look back and see how incredibly blessed I was, and still am. I lost many people I loved and friends I cared about; relieving the pain each time proved to be unbearable as I watched myself break down several times over the past six months. 2016 hasn't been easy but which year is anyway? Every year, me sets of challenges are thrown at me and, steep learning curve or not, I master new things.

The universe has already been unbelievably kind to me and I am thankful. For everything I lost, I gained something in return and each time, better. I'm growing to be a stronger person each day and I hope that when I look back five years later, I can laugh at myself for thinking pain lasts forever.

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