- February 07, 2019
- Denise Lee
When I turned 25, I joked about going through a quarter-life crisis because when else will you go through it? Assuming that I’ll live till I’m a hundred, of course, but I really hope to not live that long. Anyway, the first few months after turning 25 were pretty good – I went to Hong Kong for a short holiday, voted for the first time in my life, and then went back to the UK for work. Having non-romantic stress was liberating, to say the least. It meant no drama, no wasted tears and no need to “heal a broken heart”.
And then, it hit me. Slowly – like an old tanker rolling down a small hill at 10km/h. It started with doubts about work. Did I make the right decision all those years ago by not completing my law qualifications to become a lawyer? Should I go back to school to get my Bar/CLP license? An internal panic started to build up and soon I lost it. Self-doubt is something that I am familiar with but I found myself in an all-time low. After months of no drama, here it was. And it really sucked.
Then in my helplessness, God reminded me that He took care of me throughout all my highs and lows, so why is this time any different? My faith was stretched and soon I rediscovered my purpose and passions. While scary, I’m leading a pretty huge team project this year which in the grand scheme of things, seems small but being placed so strategically here in YTL, God has given me opportunities to learn and grow in ways I never would have imagined. For that, I am eternally grateful.
When I turned 25, I remembered telling God the year before that it would be so cool to live in the apartment development I was walking around in. It was in its final stages of construction when I visited the site with my colleagues. And in the middle of 2018, I found myself signing off on the loan to one of the units with my parents. It was quite an adventure from that moment to the point I moved in. There were obviously hiccups along the way and hiccups will continue to happen because this life is imperfect. But even through that, God reminded me that He is in control. Owning a home has thrown me into the deep end of complete trust. So yes, I am now “independent” again but I still spend a lot of time in Subang on weekends since I’m an overly attached offspring. In hindsight, the 2 years of living by myself in Sheffield were merely training wheels for me to learn independence. Now it’s the real deal, and did I mention, grocery shopping in Malaysia is crazy expensive?
When I turned 25, I fell in love with myself. Not in a narcissistic and conceited way but rather a kind of self-acceptance and freedom that I have never felt before. I know that I sound like a broken tape recorder now but for so many years, I was trying to find love in all the wrong places. After getting hurt each time, I would spend many months nursing my heart, carefully mending it back to health. It took me a long time to get here, and still, God reminded me that I can find completion in Him. Being in a relationship was no longer a priority and I no longer find a stigma in being single. In fact, it has allowed me to serve Him better, to spend more time on Him and myself. It has matured me and opened my eyes to possibilities that I did not see before. If I could go back in time and knock my young adult self in the head, I would.
It’s funny how when I was a child, I thought that those 20 something adults had their shit together and life figured out. Boy, I was wrong. My mid-twenties really humbled me and made me realise how no one really knows what is going on. We’re all winging it as we go and that is okay. You grow and you learn. I am going to look back someday and laugh about all the things I thought was so important. But seriously, don’t sweat the small stuff. There are bigger problems in life that need your attention – not having an active social life is not one of them. And for crying out loud, put your bloody phone down and just live.
So here’s to year 26 and all the crazy challenges that life will continue to bring. Until then, I will be starting it off on a high note, spending it in one of my favourite cities in the world – Tokyo.