What 2019 Taught Me
It's the first day of 2020 and I'm gonna turn more than a quarter-of-century years old soon. Dafuq~
When I was a kid, I always envisioned how my life would be at 25 years old but little did it's a hella roller coaster ride. Sorry little Fion, at 25 years old, you are not flying all over the world in business class yet, you are not living in a penthouse with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a concrete jungle or ocean yet, but those dreams are still alive in you (and me). They are on the way. I promise.
When I first entered into 2019, I only had one mission: to feel genuinely happy. That's it.
It's simple, but it wasn't easy.
In fact, it was a fucking shit roller coaster ride. I never really said it out loud to many but I had silently written a blog post about me dealing with depression. Wait, let me rephrase that. I'd prefer to call it "dealing with depressive dark thoughts". Long story short, I was at a point where I secretly wished upon God or whatever almighty power that's out there that I could just never ever have to go through another tomorrow.
This went on for a really long period of time until some time this year.
Growing up, partly also because of the Asian culture that promotes hard work and praises bitterness in life which I grew up in, I was always striving to do the seemingly right things: studying hard, getting good grades, going to a good school, graduating with a professional-looking degree, finding a decent corporate job and working hard to earn money and hoping someone recognizes me and gives me the chance to climb up the corporate ladder so I can have more money to buy nicer and bigger and shinnier things, then my family will feel honourable and I will be thankful for all these teachings at the end of the day when I sit in a Ferrari or sleeping on a mattress made of money.
Yeah, something like that. I throw in Mulan references whenever I have the chance. And plus what's the best way to mock the Asian culture with my favourite cartoon - which also mocks the Asian culture anyway.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying working hard and having big dreams are not important. They are - that's why I'm a dreamer myself too! But, there's more to it...and I hope things will make a lot more sense if you have the patience to get through to the end of this blog post.
So, to find myself, I decided that I was going to do it on my own. I didn't seek out professional help the conventional way by going to a psychiatrist or whatsoever because I didn't want someone who's not me to label me. If you get what I mean…because if something becomes part of my identity, then it means that I am going to walk around with that invisible tattoo in my brain and the last thing that I needed was to constantly remind myself of something that I was trying so hard to shake off. Hence, I declared to myself that it's a passing phase and it's within my ability to figure something some day (I honestly didn't know how and when but I just believed) that would allow me to blow these dark clouds away and put them in the past.
Now as I am typing this, I can say that although this is the year that I did the least things and had the least applause-worthy achievements in Asian terms, I am the happiest and also the most grounded that I had ever been in my entire life.
In one of Tony Robbins' books that I read, he talked about how majority of the people are confusing the ends and the means. Also, how many people are in self-denial when it comes to this. I basically just reverse-engineered everything and kept on asking myself “why" and "how”.
Also thanks to my 2 best friends (you guys know who you are) who fed me the toughest pill to swallow when I lost myself. The interesting thing is that these 2 friends of mine do not know one another, so when they both told me the similar thing, I knew that they had seen something that I couldn’t see myself…
Their suggestion was for me to find back what the young innocent Fion dreamt of doing with her I-can-conquer-the-world-when-I-grow-up optimism, and then compare that to what I had been doing in these recent years. Was I going in the right direction towards the life that I want to have? I went back to my old essays, my old diaries, asking my other friends what did I shared whenever we talked about our wildest dreams back then, did a lot of meditation to recall the past and also in the attempt of connecting to my subconscious brain, read a lot about spirituality, personal development and listened to motivational and inspiring podcasts...and all that jazz.
And yes, I found it eventually. Those 2 friends were right. My GPS of life was malfunctioned. I gave into the “right things” and totally forgotten about what was my truth.
Yeah, at this part, I suppose many people will start saying "Oh, you millennial kids are so full of yourselves".
Maybe yes, maybe no. But why is that a bad thing for someone to know what they want and to work towards the path that makes them happy and puts their own happiness beyond anything? It's a basic living thing anyway, with the prerequisite condition that you aren't doing something illegal or physically hurting anyone. Whoever that feels butt-hurt, that's their emotions that you cannot control. You are not ice cream, you can't please everyone.
That's why I believe that many of us are not happy - hey, at least I could openly admit that I wasn't when many people out there still can't recognize the fact that they are just living life based on a "just because" basis, not knowing whether or not they are genuinely happy, especially if they take away the shiny material stuffs. A lot of people just coast through life being busy and then doing weird shits. Just to name a few, being stuck in toxic relationships, messed up sex lives, staying in unhappy marriages while posting Instagram stories about having a lovely family, buying things you don't need just to impress the others, constantly gossiping about other people, finding faults with your loved ones, binge eating, not eating...the list goes on...We all have that, in one form or another and there's no shame in this game that we called life because one should really be ashamed if one can't be honest with him/herself.
Whenever people ask me why did I try so many new things or how did I find the courage and determination to have the "just do it" mentality, I don't really know how to answer them.
I had nothing to lose, really. Because I came from the phase of not wanting to live another day anymore to “let’s try and see what sticks”. I became a curious kid who was going to have her first experiment. I tested out many jobs: content writing, social media producer, freelance marketer and even graphic designing. I isolated myself from many people and also got out of my comfort zone to expose myself to new people. I got unjustly judged and criticized and misunderstood by many people including my family and friends but I really didn’t care because I couldn’t afford to put anyone above myself. For this one time, I’m giving it all to save myself – not trying to be dramatic, but it’s the god damn truth and as we all know “the truth hurts”. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat, if you think I got the proverb wrong, you better Google and find out the next part of that.In fact, it was the curiosity that ignited a speck of light in the pitch black phase that I was in.
Finally, I could look myself in the mirror and not feel disgusted by my own reflection because...I found myself. You may think that this sounds dramatic or I was copying something from the Joker movie, no I'm not because I hadn't even seen that movie. Unless you had personally gone through what I had been through, you wouldn't ever ever EVERRRRRR understand how creepy it felt when you couldn't even recognize yourself in the mirror.
Right now, I am a retail stock trader (not a value investor but an intra/contra day trader and occasional scalper). I embarked on this journey in a very spontaneous manner. It's like one fine day I woke up and had this idea of instead of looking for a job where I need to use my time in exchange for money, why not find out how can I make my money work for me in my own timing? Random and crazy, but I took the leap of faith. It's scary and full of uncertainties and risks as well but I know it's gonna be worthwhile. I really like the process of it even though getting to this amateur-but-not-so-amateur stage involved a lot of monetary losses, stress and some tears. I like what I am doing right now-it ticks off all the boxes of my dream job; it is definitely a scalable thing in the near future once I have my skills sharpened; I enjoy the thrill and constant changes in the whole environment; the traders’ community motivates and inspires me to do better financially all the time. And the best part of it is that earning money while wearing PJs 99% of the time.
I'm satisfied but not contented nor complacent. I’m turning 26 in less than 2 months' time. Though Asian parents will start telling you that “if you don’t have your life figured out, buy a house and get married by the age of 30, you are an ultimate failure”, I really can’t be bothered fuck. As long as I enjoy doing something, I’ll do it. If not, I’ll seek for something else. This is just the start and I have plans for other ventures too, which at the moment are kept strictly between my brain and my journal!
2019 was a year that’s full of experiments. My perception of life changed a lot but it is also a lot more simplified. My biggest takeaway after all these dramas is that life is just like a pair of shoes. No matter how pretty it may be on the outside, if it hurts your feet, you are the one and only person who is experiencing that feeling. Thus, there's really no point in doing something that makes you unhappy just for the sake of getting the so called "recognition" from the society or your family/friends.
In case someone's going to give me shit about how I'm turning 30 in a few years time and I should be acting my age, let me explain it to you: just because I am getting to the average age of settling-down-with-a-home-and-popping-out-kids, it doesn't mean that I have to nor I ever have to. Is it rightful for me to ask someone to jump off a building just because someone has gotten to the average lifespan of a human being because it's time for them to die? Let that sink in for a little bit.
Now, for me, it comes down to 3 categories only: income, motivation/inspiration/peresonal development and my genuine happiness – if something or someone doesn’t fall into any of these 3 categories, sorry but not sorry, it’s not worth my time. And I intend to bring this "FI-losophy" with me into 2020 without any guilt.
This is a lengthy and somewhat lecture-y one but basically I wrote this for myself as a "monumental" blog post (like a pat on the back) to conclude my 2019. Here's to more spontaneity and genuine happiness in doing what you and I honestly enjoy doing in this new year and in this new decade!
Happy new year everyone! ♥