The difference between turning 10 and 20

June 11, 2016

(Written 2 January 2016)

When I was younger, I thought by the time I turn 20 surely I would have gotten my shit together (i.e. have a stable job, got married). Today, I turn 20 and well, let's just say that the 10-year-old me would be severely disappointed. I don't know what universe I lived in but my maths must have been nowhere near excellent. Even after taking the fastest generally-held route out there, I'm only on the brink of graduation.

Stable job? Ha. The most terrifying item on my to do list now is job hunting and let's not talk about getting married. This is Singapore we're speaking of, one of the most expensive cities to live in. For the life of me, I cannot fathom why I thought it was possible to get married by 20. Sure, shotgun marriages maybe but I'm not into that.

Thus, I learned my first lesson in my twenties. The difference between turning 10 and 20 is that reality check. You exchange your dreams for something more realistic, something less fun but earns you enough to keep your family going. You find yourself saying the kind of things you thought would only come out of your parents' mouth.

A tiny part of me haven't given up on my childhood dreams either. Just like a flame waiting to be rekindled. When I was 10, I wanted to be an author but let's be real here - how many Mr Midnights and True Singapore Ghost Stories can we have here? As far as I'm concerned, this blog is an outlet for me to visit my childhood dream once in a while and that's enough for me.

Growing up, it has been drilled into me that I have zero basic artistic talent, so much that I decided to take D&T instead of Art for my O Levels despite having taken a liking to art. Entering poly, I chose Mass Comm over a media design course because I had no confidence in my art sense. I never once thought I'd be talented in designing but surprise! After ten years of getting below average grades for Art, suddenly I'm told that I do possess a sense of art - I just can't draw. Thank god for the invention of computers.

Never underestimate the wonders of technology. Years ago, I would have never imagined myself in this position. Because of the bloom of Internet and social media, I found my calling and I'm living my childhood dreams both at once. I'm more than thankful to be born in this generation.

If I had a chance to speak to my 10-year-old self, I would tell her to continue blogging because one day, this once useless blog will actually aid me with what I majored in. While adults are stumped by the rapid advancement of the Internet and social media, I've been part of the growth and given the chance to work with amazing companies.

I would let her know that it's okay to dream big but 平凡也是一种幸福 (simplicity is a sort of happiness as well). I still don't go into a luxury store pointing to things I want with my perfectly manicured nails. Heck, I haven't been painting my nails and they've been breaking off often since I started on Invisalign. But I'm still happy, and I'm always working on making my life better.

I would remind her to keep her feet grounded. Never stop working hard - there's always someone better no matter how good I think I am. And that's okay too, because I don't wish to compare myself to anyone else. I just need to be the best version of myself.

I'd remind her to save up for more travel adventures. The world is a huge place and there is nothing more outrageous than staying stagnant in one spot. The thought of that alone frightens me. Travelling opens my eyes and humbles me; it's the best gift I can ever get for myself.

Here's to another decade of living, loving, experiencing and exploring.

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  1. 人生有几个十年? May your dreams comes true!

  2. You're right. Thank you :) I hope yours do too! :)