I can hardly believe it’s already been more than a week —— twelve days, to be accurate —— since I was literally attempting to contain my excitement on my last day at work before I took slightly more than an entire week off and boarded a six-hour flight all the way to Beijing to spend some highly-anticipated quality time with the beau, whom I haven’t seen in over four months, and also to satiate my aching wanderlust.
Just over a week ago, I had been wanting to travel, photograph, write. Badly. I wanted to take some time off work, see the world, explore unchartered lands, and gain even more clarity about my goals and ambitions, all whilst enjoying the experience along the way. And of course, I wanted to see my man, be in his arms, smell his skin —— things I don’t get to do very often as we’re in a long-distance relationship. So I did just that. I saved up what I earned, came up with a budget, and planned my trip in advance, and for the very first time ever, financed it entirely by myself. Because something I’ve learnt in the past year is that good things come to those who go out there and get them, as opposed to the more conventional good things come to those who wait. I’ve chosen not to believe the latter in the very least, and the experiences I’ve encountered ever since are testaments to the principles I live by.
Digressing, air travel still greatly fascinates me to this very day. I could simply be walking down the noisy, bustling streets of China’s ancient capital hand in hand with my man one minute, and be back in the much younger Kuala Lumpur the next, with him being, once again, 2.7k miles away. Suffice to say, it’s comforting at times, unsettling at others. Because we can be so close, yet so far, or is it so far, yet so close? Either way, before I could even grasp the full extent of Beijing’s beauty as a city in all its East Asian glory, both old and new, traditional and contemporary, I’m once again, back home in Malaysia, standing on home ground. Where did all the time go? Highly rhetorical.
Jet-setting from capital to capital. It’s what keeps the planet spinning.
A few things I’ve learnt about myself whilst in (and shortly after) Beijing:
i. I’ll never be able to listen to Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories album the same way again. Before you decide to get your knickers in a twist, it’s a good thing. A very, very good thing. I’ll leave it at that. And yes, I could listen to them all day, every day. Thank you.
ii. It’s confirmed —— I love foreign places. I love living in somewhat foreign places, preferably with the person I’m with/my other half. I love the sense of independence, liberty, and freedom one is bestowed with in such a situation. Do as we very well please, whenever and wherever. Indulge in our own choices, make our own decisions. C’est magnifique. I’ve been heavily sheltered —— relatively —— for most of my life, and the desire to venture out and live life without any constraints whatsoever at this point in time runs strong in me. That being said, I’m thankful to have such a close-knit family as well. But I’m now in my early twenties, and am steadily blossoming into a young, capable woman, hungry for knowledge and experience, with a burning lust and passion for life, and love. I want to roam, explore, discover. Learn. Grow. Evolve.
iii. I want to achieve my financial freedom ASAP. So I can live the life I truly want to live, with the people I truly want in my life. I want to have my own things going for me —— my own business(es), investments, priorities, focuses, interests, and passions. And I want to enjoy and savour every single second of it, and the journey towards it. Travel the world, go out there and see all there is to see, learn all there is to learn, connect, communicate, and collaborate. This ties closely to the second point.
iv. I don’t actually agree with people who say the youth have a lot of time to strive and succeed, and ultimately, live the life they want to live. Yes, I’m relatively young, but that doesn’t mean I’ve to wait until I’m twenty-five (still relatively young) or thirty (still relative) to start pursuing. I like starting early. I’ve my visions, and I want to materialise them —— as soon as I possibly can. There’s no supposed or prescribed age for you to truly start living the life you want to lead. Yes, I don’t think everyone is given equal privileges to indulge in certain things so early (or even much later) in life. That itself is a subjective matter. But if the desire to do so is present and strong enough to drive us, then we’d definitely go out there and find a way to make it happen regardless of the circumstances. Even if it’s by starting small —— practising bits of the ideal lifestyle you want and are aiming for can do wonders —— and following that, building upon them. The world is your oyster, and you should never, ever, limit your imagination. Or any other’s, for that matter. With regard to my own life, there were some privileges I was lucky enough to have, and some I didn’t. It’s like a hand of cards you’re dealt with. I’ve learnt and am still learning how to play and make the most of my given hand. I no longer want to sit back and wait for things to fall into my lap, because I’ve learnt that things don’t happen that way —— I’ve been through that route before, time and time again. And I want to live every single day as if it’s my very last, because lately, I’ve been seeing just how fragile and mortal we actually are, as human beings. Again, this ties very closely to the second and third points.
v. I no longer settle. Ever. And I no longer accept mediocrity. I’ve standards, and I want to meet them or even better yet, exceed them. Nothing less. Why? Because I know I deserve it. Every single one of us deserves it. It’s just whether you allow yourself to deserve it. And without straying too far, quality over quantity. All the time. Although cost and worth are two vastly different concepts, and it’s up to us to choose which we’d rather.
Risk more than is required. Learn more than is normal. Be strong. Show courage. Breathe. Excel. Love. Lead. Speak your truth. Live your values. Laugh. Cry. Innovate. Simplify. Adore mastery. Release mediocrity. Aim for genius. Stay humble. Be kinder than expected. Deliver more than is needed. Exude passion. Shatter your limits. Transcend your fears. Inspire others by your bigness. Dream big but start small. Act now. Don’t stop. Change the world.
—— Robin Sharma
So there, a very long post filled to the brim with words and more words —— probably to make up for not writing in such a long time. Searching for inspiration, every day. And yes, I’m finding it, and in such abundance at that. I love it. So go on, elevate your worlds. See the beauty in them. It’s worth it, trust me.
And so was my trip (windblown hair included).
We’ve come too far to give up who we are. So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars. And continue listening to Daft Punk. Mm. I’ll be up all night ’til the sun.