3 Things I’d learnt about life in 2021

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This has been a really eventful year for me. I finally took the leap of faith to leave my stable teaching career of 8 years, get married to my best companion in the world and grew my social media presence. In hindsight, I guess there were more ‘ups’ than ‘downs’ for me in 2021 and it’s something I am truly grateful about.

On the other hand, I went through a few emotional roller coaster rides, from having to deal with difficult issues stemming from my previous job and uncertainty about finances and the future. It might have been the same for everyone else in the world. With stricter COVID-19 related restrictions and measures, most of us would have been affected in one way or another. 2021 ain’t easy for most of us but maybe after 2 years of dealing with COVID-19, we’ll enter 2022 with a hopeful cheer. I hate to admit this but 2021 has been a great teacher. It has revealed my weaknesses and taught me things that I wouldn’t have known if not for COVID-19. What have I learnt?

1. It is okay to take the off-beaten paths.

Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash

It is perfectly okay to leave your job and start a business because life is too short. When the pandemic started, many realised how fragile life can be and how mental health is more important than your wealth and career. I have lost count of the number of people I’ve met over these two years who decided to follow their hearts, step out of their comfort zone and take the path less travelled by others.

The Great resignation movement has started in the US and Europe and it might be happening soon in Singapore. My friend has just shared an article today with me about how there might be a shift in the workforce. I am not sure how accurate these figures are but this article can spur the growing sentiment in many of us to take the leap of faith and quit. At least, that was what I did this year. I was fuelled to believe that this is the best time to ride on the wave and find something else to learn and enrich our lives while the whole world is still in turmoils.

There were definitely times I wavered and pondered over the decision I made, often questioning myself ‘What if I didn’t…’ or ‘maybe I should have…’. The doubts bubble do emerge from my head from time and time and bursting them with a needle is never easy. But I always remind myself that the path ahead of me is now clear from any signs, restrictions and debris. I just simply need to have faith that the road ahead will be even more exciting than ever before.

2. Everyone can live with less.

Photo by K8 on Unsplash

I was once a shopaholic and it is indeed painful to look back at those moments where I hogged stuff in my cupboard and bought clothes and accessories that I never wore. I wish I was wiser back then with my cash flow. Now that I’ve started investing, I realised that it is possible to live with less. It is possible to consume fewer resources and be resourceful in many ways to save money and grow it. It’s more than just scrimping and saving that few cents but it’s more about allocating more funds to grow your money so that you have a large pool of money to work with.

I don’t need a branded bag when my tote bag (which was gifted to me) works just fine. I don’t need new trendy clothes to define my personality when I can simply purchase quality fashion pieces that last. I think twice or thrice about every purchase I make. Going digital and doing away with the physical has been liberating. The world doesn’t need us to be eco-friendly or zero-waste as long as we don’t let things go to waste.

3. It’s perfectly normal to feel lost and dejected.

Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

After leaving my job, I started to apply for jobs and go for interviews. It wasn’t easy to be really honest. For the past 8 years, I have been stuck in a comfort zone where I didn’t have to think or worry too much about failing in life. And of course, when I started going for interviews, the fear of being rejected kicked in real hard. What if they rejected me? Why would they hire me since I do not have any certifications or background experience in that area? Wouldn’t they hire the younger candidates who are perhaps more energetic than I do?

I remembered an interview I had where I was told that I seemed unsure of what I want and my blog seemed messy because I wrote about everything and anything. After the interview, I felt rather hurtful by the comments thrown right at me. But then it dawns upon me that maybe it is a good thing that I am not working under them. If my blog is my creative outlet, I don’t see why I can’t write about what I want.

I was once a teacher who taught kids in my school that failure is absolutely okay but now when faced with obstacles, I shudder with fear. Till today, I am convinced that if I hadn’t sailed through the rough patches in life, what makes me qualified to be a teacher to the younger generations? That very thought comforts me each time the fear bubble pops up.

With that, I wanted to celebrate the year 2021 with these small milestones which I’ve achieved.

  1. Growing my TikTok account (I’ve garnered over 30k followers in just one year!)
  2. Making 40 sales on my Esty Shop (Profits maybe small but hopefully, it will quadraple next year.)
  3. Making money on Social Media (Irregular earnings but it’s a start!)

Here’s what I hope for in 2022.

  1. Moving into a new nest with my husband
  2. Making profits from my crypto investments
  3. Starting a new fulfilling and meaningful career

What’s yours? I would really like to know.

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