Monday, 29 July 2019

7 THINGS I DID (AND ENJOYED) BEFORE I SETTLED DOWN

If you told me (flash back five years ago) that I will meet someone, get engaged and married soon, I'll probably do three things: a) laugh; b) cry immediately afterwards and c) punch you in the face. You see, I was in a very different mind space way back. That's not to say it was the worst but if I'm being honest, those days are one of the most challenging. However, even during the time, I made a promise to myself that I would improve the things I can control. That happiness is more than my relationship status and it does not define who I am as a woman and as a person.

Last weekend I wasn't feeling well. I was so pleased that Gab helped me around the house. I realised that I finally have a partner, someone I can depend on. My journey towards marriage is not without bumps and hurdles and I dare say that I am enjoying where I am at right now because I fully enjoyed my years as a single woman - sensibly - if I may add. So, looking back, here are the things I enjoyed before tying the knot.

1. I LIVED ALONE
This is a sheer coincidence but when the opportunity presented itself, I decided to pack my purple luggage (which got lost at London Heathrow, by the way!) and relocate in London. I did not have much connections back then and I did the unthinkable, I lived alone. This means I needed to sort out every. single. thing. about my existence. Coming from a pampered household, let's just say that, I needed to navigate my way out on everything. From how to do the laundry to how  to throw away my garbage bin. I came out of it stronger and my experience definitely helped me appreciate what I have now.

2. I TRAVELLED A LOT
I went to countries I no longer have an appetite to go to now if I'll tell you honestly. Back then, I was obsessed with the idea of going to a new place and just get tired from trying new things. I love what travelling did to me, I became more open minded and learned to enjoy life - both the good and the inconvenient bits. I still enjoy exploring though not as often, and that's how I know that people change. Way back, I never imagined I'll write these words to my blog.

3. I GOT COMFORTABLE DOING THINGS ALONE
I got to a point when people around me thought I'm a weirdo. I did almost all things by myself. I watched a movie in a cinema, attended a wedding, ate at a romantic restaurant alone, to name a few. There was this one time, a waiter asked me if my date was coming (he thought I got stood up) and told him there's no one coming. He said he couldn't believe it and before it gets any more awkward than that, I just ordered the first pasta on the menu. To some, this may induce a pity party but believe me, you, doing things by yourself is bloody empowering. I don't have a tinge of regret doing these. Beyonce is right, you should be your own best friend! 👏🏼

4. I IMPROVED MY CAREER
When you don't have a special someone, that's just a fragment of who you are. More often, that's not something you cannot engineer and/or control. So what's the other option? Improve the things you can! At least that's what I did. I was an external auditor for one of the big four audit firms but early on, I knew full well that the path ahead was not for me. I made the jump to technology industry leveraging my skills in finance. I poured my soul into making the most out of it. I said yes to everything (including the dreaded night shift) without hesitation. Looking back, I thank my twenty-something self for doing this amazing hard work. Related post: TEN THINGS I WOULD TELL MY 20-YEAR OLD SELF.


5. I BECAME FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT
Alongside my career improvement comes financial independence. I am lucky enough to have zero debt from my university studies therefore giving me a clean start at life. Around three years of being employed, I had an epiphany. I needed to save not just for the sake of saving. I need to make my money grow because I don't want to work forever let alone to live from pay check to pay check. Like anything else, this is a habit. I don't feel restricted and I am happy that I am in a good place right now in this department. The Money Matters series on this blog is one of my ways to educate young professionals on how to make their money work for them.

6. I INVOLVED MYSELF INTO DIFFERENT SOCIAL CIRCLES
I will be lying if I say I did this just for fun. Let us be real. I did this in the hopes that I will meet someone so  my 'happily ever after' can finally begin. Easy peasy, right? Wrong! I realised that the reason I ended up frustrated was because of too much expectations. Can you blame me after years of watching Legally Blonde and Princess Diaries? Point is, be open minded yes but manage your expectations. If anything, being in a different social groups helped me find out more about myself. What I can tolerate and what I can't. What I truly enjoy doing and what makes me cringe.

7. I EXPERIENCED HEART BREAK
It feels that this was the worst thing that has ever happened to me at the time. I cannot put heart break into words. It was indescribable and no matter how many slogans and memes and pep talks I heard, there's no easy way to get out of it. The pain needed to be felt but time is our friend. Among all things I did (this one's unintentional, obvs), this is one thing that made me stronger. I know how it feels to have a broken heart and wished the world to end but no, it spins just like any other day. Then I woke up one day and felt that I'm way past the hurt and because of all those excruciating experiences, I became wiser, kinder and resilient than ever before. -CMK
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