You’re worth more than diamonds, worth more than gold.
You know you did something right in your life when you’re surrounded by beautiful souls who also happen to be physically attractive.
Funny enough, we all started at the bottom; the underdog gene strong amongst us.
The first time each of us met, we hated one another, thinking the latter grew up with a silver spoon. That’s how we are. The world only sees the image we portray. We became so good at it, we almost succeeded in alienating each other.
Yet, get to know us, and you realize once the walls are down, we homies and big softies.
One day, they will be legends.
As for me, I like being in the shadows, the spotlight was never the place for me.
If you don’t know me, get to know me.
It’s disappointing when people automatically make the worst assumptions of you, albeit knowing you for a certain length of time.
Trust me, when people treat me well, there’s a reason for that.
When my trips are paid for, there’s a reason for that.
When I receive presents in the mail, there’s a reason for that.
When they fly to HK just to visit me, there’s a reason for that.
When a chauffeur comes to pick me up, there’s a reason for that.
And the reason is never me asking to be treated like a princess.
Behind the scenes, you don’t see the me who stays up the entire night making sure they are okay.
Behind the scenes, you don’t see the me who drives out at 1am to fetch them when their car battery freezes over in winter.
Behind the scenes, you don’t see the me who houses them during their bad patch.
Behind the scenes, you don’t see the me who takes care of them when they’re sick and down for the count.
Behind the scenes, you don’t see the me who makes the same effort to fly to them.
Behind the scenes, you don’t see the me who writes essays for Christmas cards just to remind them they are loved.
Would you do the same for them?
If not, how can you expect the same treatment from them?
I never thought about what my personal values and principles were, at least, not explicitly.
On that topic, after a deeper dive, I realized mine have varied a fair bit in the past 3.5 years since I got to Hong Kong.
Most of you know I grew up in a dual East Asian and Western environment. The East Asian influence coming from my parents and the Western influence coming from traditional Canadian values which include freedom, integrity, acceptance and diversity. There are more, but those were the ones that spoke to me.
The only principle I follow at the moment.
But what does freedom mean to you? It’s quite subjective, isn’t it?
For me, freedom has many fronts.
I took this concept of freedom for granted prior to moving to Hong Kong. The only worry I had was financial freedom and sustainability, but that is another topic in itself.
Chalk it up to the loneliness of being here alone.
Chalk it up to self-doubt.
Chalk it up to fear.
Chalk it up to wanting to be accepted.
I didn’t realize I put myself in an imaginary cage trying to conform to everyone’s expectations. For the past three years, my values became engrained on being the perfect Asian girl and girlfriend.
Be the good Asian girl.
Don’t talk back.
Don’t think, just do.
Be the good girlfriend.
Be as stick skinny as possible.
Shut up, sit still and look pretty.
Being a trophy wife was the ultimate goal.
That combined with an inferiority complex and perfectionism nearly destroyed me, mentally and physically.
You see, I’ve had to earn respect from others throughout my youth, proving that my background did not, would not, and should not hinder me. And often, respect is earned by being at the top. So I strived to be the best, or in my mind, to be perfect.
I was the girl who would never go to class yet ace the exams, making top grades look easy.
I was the girl who earned a coveted Investment Banking internship in first year without the help of family connections.
I was the girl who was in all the best parties and events.
I was the girl who would party nights on end, while looking fresh as a daisy come Monday.
I was the girl who took the maximum course load while balancing writing for a magazine, being in the business school fashion show, and teaching underprivileged students.
I was the girl who lived in the posh neighborhood in Downtown Toronto.
I was the girl who hosted house parties.
I was the girl who downed half a large Pepperoni pizza and still wore size 00.
I was the girl who made life look easy and effortless.
Life was good, I was supposed to be happy.
Behind the scenes, I always felt inferior.
I was never good enough.
And that manifested itself into a cycle of continually striving to do more, be more, make it look even more effortless.
And then I came to Hong Kong.
I quickly realized the values people held here were vastly different than the ones in Canada.
Naively, I conformed to fit in.
I became obsessed with being the perfect everything. And I quickly realized it was unsustainable, and more importantly, unrealistic.
Prior to coming to Hong Kong, I never had a problem with my previous relationship in Canada, there was respect, mutual understanding and acceptance. It ended when our future goals no longer aligned with each other, mine being to move to Asia whereas he wanted to stay in Canada.
There were multiple red flags I purposely chose to ignore when I entered my previous relationship in Hong Kong.
There was respect in the beginning, which quickly dissipated and I was pushed to being the Perfect Asian Girlfriend.
Shut up, sit still and look pretty.
I say, you do.
The friendships I made in Hong Kong deteriorated.
I was no longer part of the tech startup scene that I was a fan of.
The worst part, I was fully in control of the situation.
I could have left at any moment.
But I didn’t.
I put myself in that cage.
And when I finally found the courage to leave, I opened the flood gates.
I went 150% into everything, from overbooking social events to attending every tech meet-up to mentoring multiple students to traveling solo.
It was too much, too soon.
And that’s when my body rebelled against me, hard.
My digestive system shut down completely.
I was out of commission for three months, on traditional Chinese medicine and attending weekly acupuncture sessions to stimulate the muscles to function again.
I learned a very valuable lesson.
So what does freedom mean to me?
To be free from the trap of perfectionism.
To be free from harsh self-judgement.
To be free from self-doubt.
To be free from unnecessary guilt.
To be free from forced conformity.
To be free from feeling inferior.
To be at peace with myself.
On the notion of happiness, what does it mean to you?
As we close off 2017, I find myself taking steps back to reflect on the decisions I’ve made in the last year and how I can make 2018 better.
This year has definitely been one of the most rewarding yet challenging years of my life.
Career-wise, this has definitely been a year where I am proud to say I have finally accomplished all the milestones and goals I have set for myself. And it has given me a new direction of where I want to take my career next year. Being connected with students on a more personal level, understanding their insecurities about the job market has allowed me to share some of my own experiences from my youth to quell some of their fears.
It also took me back to when I first arrived to Hong Kong with nothing more than two suitcases and a backpack.
This year, I took a major step back and took a close look at the sacrifices I’ve made and the person I became. I realized I did not like my reflection in the mirror. In the name of conformity, I lost my sense of self.
Self-growth and reflection is difficult and painful to say the least.
But it also opens closed doors.
I left an unhealthy relationship but I learned self love.
I lost acquaintances but I gained close friends.
In the latter part of the year, I’ve learned to step away from being a perfectionist, alleviating that unnecessary stress to be 100% one-hundred-percent of the time.
And now we focus on well-being, mindfulness and inner peace.
That’s all for now.
I know I’ve been MIA for awhile I got my health and family issues sorted.
Did you miss me yet?
New content coming soon.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Nor is an empire.
Be patient, my dear.
I’m at the age where many of my friends are getting married and for the ladies, it seems all that’s on their mind is getting married, boys and becoming a wife.
And then I realised I don’t want to only be a wife.
I want to build my empire.
And I need a king with the same mindset.
We ain’t your average couple.
Do I want it to be my open book?
On the other hand, I know exactly what I don’t want it to be. Back in the day, the world knew exactly how many calories I ate in a day, the breakdown of my foods and my exercise routine. For 2 years, people knew my daily weight, my progress photos and my measurements.
Unfortunately, the ugly side reared its head.
I had 200 odd followers on my weight loss blog and a few girls decided that they were to become anorexic and bulimic because they wanted my progress photos but not the process I took. Instead, I found my photos all over Xanga, with the tag THINSPO.
It broke my heart to see girls writing about their daily struggles to lose weight through anorexia. And when I did have the courage to reach out, I was told it was their only way.
That’s when I closed my blog down.
Now, I’m at odds, what exactly do I want this to be?