2018: DESTINATION UNKNOWN | cathhalim.com


It’s the end of yet another year. Funny how I will always see my twenty six years of existing as a road trip I’m driving on. I don’t exactly know where I would arrive at, and all I know is to go somewhere nice. As the year draws to an end, I reflect on the old and new sights I’ve seen, the new and old acquittances I met. It’s fair to say 2018 had been an eventful, exhilarating and a rewarding year. With this post, I hope my lessons inspire you to rethink about your own road trip.

Blindsided by my own stubbornness, it never occurred to me how important learning to see the world through another's eye. I had to learn that everyone is wired very differently. Every person is unique, all shaped through their unique life stories, upbringing and experience. You might enjoy a shortcut without no scenic route, another might enjoy the longer road with plenty of sights and pitstops. There is no one definite route. Listen to the suggestion of other routes but also know what route you want to take, share why and then compromise. At the end of the day, you’ll eventually get to where you want to go.

From my experience, I am wary of people offering to take over my wheels on my road trip. They might not take care of your car as well as you would. They might not even want to go the route that you’ve meticulously planned for. If I was driving, I can control every single variable of my drive. Sure enough life isn’t a short journey. As you will learn, having someone else to take over the wheels is a great thing. Some days you learn that you don’t have to do everything on your own and it’s fine to share the responsibility of driving. Many people you meet can actually drive through better routes you never imagine to exist, you just need to learn how to trust.

I learnt in the hardest way that to get through your fears is to face it repeatedly. My fear of failure held me back from realizing my own abilities. It undermined everything I could have done and achieved in my life, for myself. I look back through 2018, and realized I have met some great souls who constantly challenged my fears. How do you first discover your fear? Do things that makes you uncomfortable and allow others to challenge them. Comfort zones are great, but challenging the human potential is far greater.

In life, some decisions lead to better roads; some lead to bumpier ones. Some days, the car breaks down, and you fall behind your schedule. On some, you trust your gut feelings, take shortcuts that might allow you to be ahead of schedule. Some days, you get tired and you need help to continue to your destination, wherever that may be. My journey involved some lonely bumps but it got better as more people came along, even if it was a short while. If there’s one most important lesson 2018 has taught me, it would be to fail repeatedly, have patience and enjoy the journey. Have patience in what the journey will have to offer. Whether it is a smooth sailing one, or a bumpy one; learn to know that is beyond your control. The only thing that matters in getting through little, victorious pit stops that forms your adventure.

I hope my small lessons of 2018 inspire you to lead 2019 with intention and hope. Here’s to a brand new day, happy new year!

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