time ticking away,
I have known Mistake since I was a kid.
My parents spoke about Mistake,
when I didn’t get answers correct in a test,
when I didn’t enter the top faculty,
or when I misbehave.
Mistake grew up with me,
and there was originally one.
I was embarrassed when it followed me around.
I detest its presence.
As I grew older,
Mistake’s friends and relatives all wanted to become my friends.
Soon, there was a crowd behind me.
They popped often from behind me to wave to my family and friends.
I wanted to shake them off and pretended they didn’t exist.
Soon, they muliplied to the size of an army.
Ever so often, I felt awkward and ashamed.
I didn’t want anyone to know about them.
Yet, I was helpless.
why can’t they all disappear?
Why do they keeping loitering around?
One day, I asked a wise man for guidance.
Child, don’t you realize you have become stronger?
Their presence matters.
They made you who you are today.
The person before me stands tall and confident.
And you are a better person.
Because you’ve an army of warriors supporting you.
uncertainty in quiet company;
I count lesser footprints,
as gut feel insists on taking control.
The front view fogs up occasionally,
creating navigation difficulties.
Each five minutes feels like an hour,
I pause and turn back,
thinking to retrace my steps.
Only it hits:
the path back vanishes with each forward step I take.
And the only option,
is straight ahead.
I take deep breaths of determination,
I take pauses of strength,
I continue my journey ahead,
on this less trodden terrain.
Sitting on a sea of green,
I hear the sounds of planes above.
Looking up to see one after another,
filling up the sounds in the air.
The wind blows continuously,
while trees sway to the beats.
A harmonious sight spreads before me,
and I hear birds chirping around me.
All these creates a sense of calm and ease,
creating moments of surreality within,
striking a chord in contrast to yesterday’s terror.
You know you’re in a transition stage,
when things are changing everyday,
when nerves grabs you in the belly time to time,
when you never seem to be able to grasp what’s happening next,
when you know things will be fine in the end yet doubt keeps creeping in,
when the unexpected arrives even when you thought you had things under control,
when you start to wish there were more certainty to hang on to,
when you keep wanting to see some light from the end of the tunnel,
and most especially when the word “elusive” pops into your head more often than the word “clarity”.
Standing in the woods,
seeing the stretch of wilderness,
I hear the wind whispering secrets in my ear,
I feel the air,
rushing into my body as I take in one deep breath.
In the silence,
I hear my own breath,
I feel my muscles relax,
I stand there in the nature,
I feel the reconnection,
the calmness within,
surging and waiting to be released,
to form a circle around me.
A pillar of strength crystalising,
like the leaves settling around my feet;
I feel energized,
ready and prepared,
to take on,
2017’s set of cards.
Before spring arrived this year, I left the 9-5 life behind.
After living the corporate life for over a decade, suddenly I felt a loss of identity. When I made this BIG decision, I based it on my gut and a balloon – amongst other reasons of course.
Deep down inside, I have never liked the office job since day 1. It never felt quite right. However, everyone around me seemed to have no problem so I suppressed the “not right” feel and kept it to myself.
On the occasions when I couldn’t keep it under control, I changed my job – which happened rather often. Mostly when I feel that learning has reached a plateau or when I had to do repetitive tasks which made no sense to me. Making the decision to quit a job each time was tough – but the signs were always similar and pretty clear. An obvious signal is when I needed to start dragging myself out of bed every morning. It starts with one day in a week, then two days and when I start to dread the week ahead on a Sunday morning – it was always time to go.
Family and friends around me were concerned about my decision and shared their thoughts with me. I took them all into consideration but my gut seemed to have gained a life of its own – from silent protests in the past to out-loud arguments.
The urge to let go of the familiarity and embrace the unknown was simply too strong to resist. I went with the flow and jumped into the deep end.
It was very strange after I officially left the “only-life” I knew since I graduated – waking up in the morning with the alarm, getting dressed, going to an office doing stuff I was obliged to do and adapting to people that I sometimes don’t like. There was a gap between the familiar routine versus the new entrepreneur lifestyle. I didn’t know how to introduce myself at times and I underwent an identity crisis as I transited from the passenger seat to the driver’s seat. It felt as if I had just received my driver’s license and I had to start driving regularly through real-life traffic.
I had new name-cards too – however, each time I handed one out, it felt like I was handing out someone else’s card. Fake it till you make it – as I often hear and now I can vouch for it.
As I sat in a roomful of other women entrepreneurs yesterday, it suddenly felt right – after eight months. At that moment, I was at the right place this time round – it was exactly where I wanted to be – truly and surely.
Though it took me over a decade to figure it out, nonetheless I am now ready to take on this new challenge to navigate through uncharted waters.
I am most certainly taking on the wheel, to navigate my direction in life to shape a life I want.
I turned my head,
looking back at yesterday.
Familiar faces I see,
yet they do not seem quite the same.
Wondering what happened,
between those spaces,
it was not so long ago,
when yesterday was today,
yet what’s left,
are only memories.