Twentythree,

Picture from my 22nd birthday. Intended to have a

Picture from my 22nd birthday. Intended to have a “grown-up” dinner with my friends over at my place, but they showed up with Hello Kitty balloons and a ribbon, so “grown-up” was thrown out the window!

This isn’t going to be a post about how horrible being 22 was, and how I’m looking forward to turning a year old and for brighter days ahead and greener pastures and better opportunities yadayadaya. Because honestly, I’ve had a pretty amazing year. Of course, there were little bumps along the way but when I think about it, I still wouldn’t have done anything differently. But I guess that’s also due to the fact that I’m adamant about having no regrets in life.

Okay, just let me reflect a little about the year I’ve had.

On the day I turned 22, I sat for my last academic paper, which subsequently led to my graduation. At that point of time, I was so incredibly relieved to be removed from the shackles of education and studying in a competitive local university. So you can say, I was pretty stoked that my birthday fell on the day on my last exam…ever.

Ready to take on the world?

Ready to take on the world?

The biggest change that occured in my 22nd year of living (hahaha) was probably graduation and suddenly being spat out into the working world. I went for my first job interview as a fresh graduate the day after my birthday, and little did I know I would actually get the job approximately 3-4 weeks later. After taking a family vacation, I began my journey in “adult” life in July. And it has been a craaaaaaazy ride. On my first week of work, I cried in the toilet. Sometimes when I got home too (True story!). It wasn’t because I was being treated badly or anything, it was because I was completely lost. I knew from a very young age that I would eventually want to be known as a “Writer”, and at just 22 I was lucky to have been given the opportunity. But being responsible for a major project on your own in the working world is completely different from working on a school project. My job requires me to be very independent and figure out things on my own. And in my first week I had no clue about anything! Thankfully, I persevered through and I’m glad I’ve settled into the swing of things here. I’ve met many people and even interviewed them, attended events I would have otherwise never thought of going for, and expanded my portfolio tremendously.

Of course, there are also days I question if I’m good enough or if I’ve really chosen the right career. After all, I am not paid as glamourously as other graduates with the same qualifications I possess. In fact, I get a tad bit upset when I hear about people with lower qualifications getting paid the same amount or even higher than me. Of course, skill always triumphs over qualifications. But I did toil and work damn hard for 3 years to get my degree. But I do love writing hence I enjoy my work. I think the one struggle I’m always going to have is that of passion vs. money. And I’m still figuring that out.

There are also times where I’ve witnessed my words getting butchered, or times when I read something written by someone else and think “Gosh, I wish I could write like that.” Or instances where I had to rewrite and my stuff gets tossed into the trash can on my Mac. But I guess everything is a learning point for me to take away and I need to stop being so hard on myself sometimes. What I’ve come to realise about writing is that your work can never be perfect in your eyes (or anyone else’s!). Even after we’ve gone into printing and I read the hardcopy, I sometimes cringe at the way I phrased some things, or think about different ways I could have written the article. Which is why I hate reading my work sometimes! But in any case, I’ve got a looooong way to go in terms of career (unless I meet a rich dude and get married and have kids and be a taitai HAHA KIDDING!), I’m still just a baby when it comes to this industry! But I’ve learnt lots and I’m willing to stretch myself to see how far I can really go.

Work things aside, I was actually rather happy on my 22nd birthday. You know how you’re supposed to make your birthday wish before cutting your cake? As I was making mine, I remember thinking that I was already pretty contented with what I had. How could I not be? I was surrounded by my loved ones all in the same room. How much better could things get? However,Ā the one thing I’ve learnt this year is that life never does remain stagnant. It changes, whether you want it to or not. I didn’t start 2015 on a good note. There are people I’ve lost, no matter how hard I tried to keep them. Of course, I am only human and I struggled for a bit. I’ve never been good with changes. But I’ve come to realize that you can never plan for something, life is always unpredictable. I have to admit I am much more cautious about the things I do or the people I let in nowadays. I’m not so sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

But nonetheless, when things change around you, you change along with it. You cannot choose what happens to you, but you can definitely choose how you react to it. And so, I chose to take everything in my stride and see it as something positive. In any case, you learn, you grow, and you become a better version of yourself. I’m a work in progress. But I’m pretty contented with how things eventually turned out.

So what’s next for me? I’m not so sure actually. All I know is that this life is going to be one heck of a crazy ride, and I better belt up and prepare for it. Nonetheless, I’m ever so thankful for the people who have showered me with love, care and concern everyday. I’m truly blessed.

New year, new age, new adventures? Perhaps!

Stay tuned to find out how being 23 works out for me!

xx, Mel

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