Monday, 28 August 2017

My Story Isn't Finished

I turned 29. Twenty-Nine. Still wrapping my head around the fact that this will be the last year while my age still begins with the number 2. Not going to lie, some days I feel like that seventeen year old girl just after SPM trying to figure out what to do with her life. Bah, who am I kidding! At seventeen I was confident I had my life figured out. Go to college, enter law, head to university, graduate, be some badass criminal lawyer, earn big money and reputation, get married at 27, have one kid at 30 and call it a day. Of course, it's obvious my life today looks nothing like what seventeen year old me had planned it to be. 

My twenties has given me a lot of wake up calls and lessons. One of it is to always keep moving forward, be teachable, forgive yourself and be better. My life today is a result of many setbacks, failures and change. People who know my story knows that it hasn't always been this rosy or this easy. Right from the age of twenty-one and being pushed out into the harsh world, I faced my biggest demons and fought my toughest, metaphorically speaking, dragons. At these moments, I thank God for making me a fighter, a survivor. 

There were too many times in my desperation and despair,  I thought that my dead ends and failures were the end of my story. Too many times in my darkest moments I wondered if this is all I would amount to, if I've lost my one opportunity to be great, if I've lost my chance to start again, if there was even a "start again", if I've said goodbye to the wrong people, if this was the end of the road? Too many times I wondered if my story was even worth telling or was I just a waste of oxygen? My greatest fear was wasting away my twenties and having nothing to show for it. And whenever something in my plan goes wrong, whenever something fails - I wonder is this the end?

But whenever I feel at the verge of surrendering to my failures and giving up, something inside me comes alive. I call it my little fighter - the survivor in me. It tells me to keep moving forward. That everything has a story, a reason, a lesson. Figure it out. Get up. Breathe. Forgive yourself. Move on. Try again. In these moments I've learnt that sometimes you can't fix the problems of the past but you can always do better in the future. I've learnt to let go- let go of the mistakes, the people, the failure, the shortcomings and then try harder tomorrow. Tomorrow I will be better, tomorrow I won't make the same mistakes again. 

I push myself to move forward even when sometimes it feels like I'm walking blind or when it feels like I'm taking two steps forward three steps back. There are days when I want to give up, to sleep my sorrows away, to isolate myself, to wallow in self-pity and I do. I let myself feel. I let it out. And then I tell myself it's time to get up. I remind myself one day something will open, someone will enter, something will come up and when it does, I want to be ready. It will come. One door closes another opens. Someone walks out another will walk in. 

I learnt that it's never the end. Not until you say it is. Not until you refuse to open the door. Not until you isolate yourself and refuse to go out. I learnt that there is always something , you just have to prepare yourself to receive it. 

I didn't end up single, I got married at 22. I didn't end up migrating overseas, I came home to tanah airku. I didn't end up in law, I ended up in Economics. I didn't end up an Economist, I became an illustrator. I didn't end up being an illustrator, I became a mother. I didn't end up with only one kid, I have two beautiful children. I thought that was the end of my story but another door opened. I never would have imagined my story to pan out this way, I couldn't because I'm doing things I said I would never do. But here I am doing the things I thought impossible. 

Today I'm twenty-nine and I feel so thankful, happy and blessed. Blessed beyond words because of everything I've been given. Blessed because when I thought my life was meaningless, it became meaningful. I'm blessed because every dead end led me to where I am today, a life so full. I'm so thankful for the doors that opened, the people who saw something in me and took the chance, the people who stood by me when I had literally nothing, borrowing money from friends to make ends meet and hoping something good to materialise, thank you for staying by my side, thankful for the family who keeps forgiving me and giving me second chances and thankful for the people who let me tell my story. But more than that, I'm thankful that God isn't finished with me yet. That my story isn't finished yet. 


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