Marking a milestone
WHEN I first sat down to write my turning 40 column, I struggled with the content. Do I write about love, my career or something else? It was only when I was listening to my favourite podcast How to Fail by Elizabeth Day that the idea for this piece came to me.
Failure. It sounds like negative word, doesn’t it? But what the podcast does is talk about how we can use our failures and ultimately make them a success for ourselves. So, at almost 40, I find myself single, childless and living back at home with my parents. It might sound as if it is the end of the world, but it really isn’t.
I have been asking friends how they feel about turning 40, and the most common piece of advice I got was that when you turn 40, you start caring less about what people think. You become a little more selfish than you were at 20 or 30.
The last few years have been a rollercoaster, as I discussed in my first column of the year. The pandemic hit and there are things that happened which, when I look back, I was devastated about at the time, but now I’m glad I experienced them.
The first failure I will talk about – and which is something people love to comment on, especially in the Asian community – is the fact that I am unmarried and have no children. However, if I wasn’t in this situation, I wouldn’t have moved back home and helped my parents when they needed me the most. I wouldn’t have fallen in love with my dog Tia, who is the absolute light of my life. She gives us joy every single day, and I cannot imagine a life without her.
My next failure is that I am not where I want to be in my career. It is only in the last few years that writing has become a much larger part of my life, and is keeping me sane. I have been working on a novel and even though it has had a lot of rejections from agents, I haven’t given up. I have done self-editing courses, gained advice from writers and editors, and learnt more about the writing process. I am also able to use the life experiences and wisdom I have gained since 1982 to make it a better and more relatable book. So, getting older is a good thing.
So, I am saying a huge hello to turning 40 this month – bring it on. I am super excited about the decade ahead and embracing it with a full heart and open arms. I am going to manifest this for years ahead that one day, I would love to go on the How To Fail podcast – Elizabeth Day, are you listening? I am going to hope for the best and take on whatever challenges life may bring with a smile on my face.
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