(Warning: Long post ahead.)
Today, I turn 28. It’s not that big of a deal, I know. Afterall, it’s not the big 30. But now that I am at the point of no-return into my late 20s, I’d noticed that my lessons and priorities are much different of those from my younger carefree days, and worth penning down for reflection.
27 was a year of rediscovering myself. Of taking a long hard look in the mirror the past self, after 27 years of just floating through the noise.
As a middle child, I had always been a follower. I never gave much thought to who I was, or what my purpose is in this world. Because I didn’t need to. I only had to walk straight on the path already paved ahead for me and 99% of the time, life turned out pretty much fine.
I spent the entirety of my life absorbing the prescribed Singaporean ideals, beliefs and mindset on what it means to be wife, daughter, sister, employee. And then all of a sudden, I found myself thrown into a different world, where at every possible social event, they ask, without fail: “So, who are you?”. “Why are you here?”, “Tell me more about yourself”. “What do you do in life?”
What makes me, me? I didn’t have an answer to that. Because all this while, I’d only knew what I ought to be in this world, not who to be.
In a way, our move to Switzerland was a necessary part of my growth. Because by removing ourselves away from our past social circle of influence and living life independently, it allowed me the space I needed to re-examine every single part of myself—the good, the ugly, the hidden and the unconscious. It was frustrating having to undo all the past black and white lessons taught in my life. But I needed to come to the realisation on my own, that all that I once used to hold as absolute without questioning, were only illusions of another person’s subjective ideas and beliefs.
27 was the year I started listening to myself and learn to form my own judgement. Based on my opinion, not others.
So, this is my list of the 27 important lessons I’ve learned at 27. I’m openly sharing these lessons, with the hopes that they would bring you comfort and remind you of the light. I know too that I will be reading this list over and over again when life feels heavy and I need the reminder myself.