Chasing Dreams Part 4: …but dreams take long-term planning

This is a series about my dreams and goals in life, and how I’m setting out to reach them.

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| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 |

This is the last part in my Chasing Dreams series for now, but I’ll continue to expand it over the years as I start fulfilling my dreams one by one, so watch this space for more, you haven’t heard the last of me. 🙂

I’ve had a dream since I was 11, an idyllic future in which I was a doctor working in the UK, living with my family and a pet dog in a nice suburban house. 10 years on, and nothing much has changed. The same dream still burns in my heart, and I’m well on track to reaching that dream, except that I’m a cat-obsessed & very much single twenty-something. In this post, I’ll be sharing how I worked towards my childhood dream and have almost turned it into a reality. Just read on, I promise it isn’t as far-fetched or impossible as it sounds.

Read On: 10 years in the making

Chasing Dreams Part 3: maybe my lofty dreams can touch the sky

This is a series about my dreams and goals in life, and how I’m setting out to reach them.

| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 |

A friend of mine was really stunned by my unconventional dreams, because most medical students intend to stay and work in Singapore for most of their lives, which makes my path very far off the beaten track. She said I’m as ‘weird’ and filled with childlike wonder as Amélie, the titular character of the movie, and she suggested that I write a book about my life if I eventually manage to achieve the future I’ve always dreamed about.

I don’t have enough time, and my short 2 decades of life haven’t been nearly interesting enough to warrant writing a book, but her comment spawned the idea for this series – Chasing Dreams – and I might write more parts in future, as the years pass and I either let go of my dreams or somehow manage to fulfil all of them. I’m excited to see how my future turns out, and I hope all of you will follow me on my journey through life and its misadventures. 🙂

In this post, I’ll be writing about my passion for travelling and my dream to travel the world before I die, as well as my dream of publishing a book someday. I apologise that it’ll be a lot shorter than the previous parts since I’m rushing these out while preparing for a clinical skills exam (i.e the last official exam for my 2nd year in med school) + packing for my trip to USA next week.

Read On: my wanderlust & writing as a career

Chasing Dreams Part 2: the part of the story where I’m a migratory bird

This is a series about my dreams and goals in life, and how I’m setting out to reach them.

Part 1 | Part 2 |Part 3Part 4 |

If I had a dollar for the number of times I’ve heard ‘But why? Singapore is a great place.’ or ‘Singapore is so safe, why would you leave?’, I’d have enough money for a one-way first-class plane ticket to the UK.

Some people will never understand why I, someone who’s been blessed enough to be born in a great country like Singapore, would willingly choose to leave for a ‘less green’ pasture. Over the years I had tried justifying myself to my family & friends who were (and still are) baffled by my strong desire to migrate, but it’s like trying to describe colours to a blind person; they hear what you’re saying without really understanding & empathising with it. Thankfully and strangely enough, after speaking so openly about this dream, I found a number of friends who also felt the same way, but just never dared to speak out about it because it’s a relatively obscure life path that most Singaporeans will never even consider, either due to financial or familial considerations.

The most common reason for humans wanting to migrate is because of better perceived opportunities somewhere else, i.e push and pull factors. We’re like cows, always looking for greener pastures, even if we’re already grazing in a verdant field sprinkled with 24K gold flakes. Singapore would be a great place to move to if I had been born in one of our neighbouring SouthEast-Asian countries, with great economic opportunities and the promise of a better life for future generations.

My desire to migrate is driven by both emotional and rational reasons, but in this post I’ll just cover the practical considerations as to why migrating is the central part of any future I can imagine for myself. There are so many ‘push’ factors that have…pushed me over the edge (pardon the pun, I just had to!) and made me feel that uprooting + leaving my family + starting from the bottom in a foreign land is still preferable to living a comfortable life in Singapore. No one migrates on a whim or just ‘for fun’; it isn’t an easy or cheap task, and takes long-term planning if you’re intending to permanently set up base overseas.

Read On: My Reasons for Migrating

Chasing Dreams Part 1: on life & regrets

This is a series about my dreams and goals in life, and how I’m setting out to reach them.

| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 |

This is the first of a 4-part series titled Chasing Dreams, and it’s obviously going to be about my dreams and goals in life. 4 whole posts dedicated to myself seems pretty self-absorbed, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, in these subsequent posts, I’ll be writing about my unconventional plans for my future, how people have reacted to those plans, as well as how I intend to make those dreams into a reality. I’m writing this down to give myself some accountability, so I can look back in the future – from my imaginary Greek seaside home as a 60y/o grandma – and see how far I’ve come in life. To my followers: you are now my unwilling accountability buddies! 😊

How many people can say they followed their hearts, and how many more end up leaving their dreams on the back-burner till it’s too late? I don’t want to be old, haggard and filled with regret at not having put in time & effort towards fulfilling my dreams when I was younger, which is why I’m so vocal in encouraging my friends & family to follow their dreams while they still have the physical capacity to do so (you never know when you’ll get sick or die).

It’s too easy to say you have a dream and just leave it at that – as just a pipe dream and never a reality. There are often too many circumstances (e.g family, finances or….adulthood) that get in the way of people’s dreams, or diversions that make them forget about the dreams of their youth. And while those circumstances are definitely legitimate and life’s problems can sometimes get too overwhelming to get out from under of, the point is not to give up on your dream, but to just keep swimming harder & faster towards that dream(assuming your dreams mean as much to you as mine do to me).

I often fear that I’ll end up as a disillusioned adult – spending my best years stuck in a job I don’t love, and merely counting down the years till I retire. I would rather die chasing my dreams for a whole year, than live a long life that devoid of joy, vibrancy & freedom. Having regrets at the end of my life – when I’m too old to chase my dreams and it’s too late to turn back time – is what I fear the most. If you give up, who’s to say that you won’t regret it when you’re lying on your deathbed?

That’s why it’s so important to me that I put my dreams first, as selfish as it may sound, because life should be about 1) giving back to the world and 2) finding personal fulfilment, in equal parts, and I feel like I’ll be able to contribute more effectively when I’ve found a niche (be it a different job or in another country)…or at least that’s the justification I tell myself whenever a twinge of guilt or self-doubt strikes.

Anyway, before this post gets too long-winded, 4 of my biggest dreams would be:

1. Migrating (living and working in another country)

2. Publishing a book

3. Travelling the world

4. Finding love/settling down

One of these dreams is not like the other (remember that Sesame Street song?), because it’s far less concrete and achievable than the other three, so in the subsequent posts, I’ll be writing mainly about my dreams of relocating, globetrotting & publishing a book, since those are things that can be controlled and worked towards. Finding love is a whole other messy ballgame that I have zero experience in…and zero luck in as well. Let’s just leave that part to fate.

The other posts are linked below, hope they’re a decent read if you’re looking to kill time and that maybe you’ll get inspired to chase your own dreams, no matter how offbeat and unconventional they may seem!

Part 2: the part of the story where I’m a migratory bird

Part 3: maybe my lofty dreams can touch the sky

Part 4: …but dreams take long-term planning

If you want to read more posts like this and get all the latest updates, be sure to follow my blog or like my FB page! Ciao, see you in the next post!

xoxo,

Faith

| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 |

ReLEx SMILE Laser Eye surgery: A Life-Changing Experience

Imagine a life free of spectacle smudges or the daily hassle of putting on & cleaning contact lenses. I’ve missed the feeling of having perfect eyesight, so just yesterday (28th Sept), I took the plunge and went for a life-changing surgery. In today’s post, I’ll be covering the benefits of ReLEx SMILE, the costs involved, as well as my experience at Eagle Eye Centre under Dr Julian Theng.

Life with Four Eyes

I’ve been stuck wearing spectacles since I was 9, with my degree having stabilised at 250 (for both eyes) for the past few years. My degree is/was pretty low by Singapore’s standards, where virtually everyone has myopia to some extent, so my lightweight glasses should theoretically have caused me fewer problems than other ‘four-eyed’ people, but…the truth is, they’ve always been a source of pain & discomfort for me.

Read On: My ReLEx SMILE Experience

on chasing dreams & positivity: My New Year’s Resolutions

Don’t cringe at the excessively-long title. I know it sounds like the sort of inspirational quotes that those pretentious Instagram-ers enjoy posting, or something out of a self-help 101 book. But I really am writing a post on…positivity and how crucial it is to surround yourself with supportive friends when chasing your dreams.

Being the underachiever that I am, I made many New Year’s Resolutions, knowing full well that there’s a 99% probability that I wouldn’t be able to follow through with some of the more far-fetched ones like ‘Keep fit’ and ‘Stop being a k-drama addict’. But in that list, I also wrote down goals that I genuinely want to work towards, because they would improve the quality of my life and better empower me to be a more useful human being.

Credit: LunarBaboon
Credit: LunarBaboon

I’m posting this on a relatively public platform because I want to feel accountable to an imaginary online community (and my friends who are reading this), rather than let these thoughts stay unheard in my little diary. Plus, future me will be able to look back on these goals and see whether she actually managed to fulfil any of them.

My 2017/Life Resolutions

Don’t Settle: A letter to my future self

Don’t settle for someone just because they fit all the boxes on your checklist; a person is more than just an amalgamation of adjectives. Does his soul feel like the home your wandering heart has always been waiting for?

Don’t settle for someone who hastily makes lofty promises of loving you for life; words could turn to dust within a day, or at least as soon as they find someone else more captivating to ‘love’. Wait for someone who doesn’t carelessly say ‘I love you’, so when they say it, you’ll know they mean it.

Don’t settle for someone because you’re afraid of missing out; if they’re the one, you’ll know it. If they’re not, spare both of yourselves the heartbreak of a love that was never meant to be, and wait for the right one.

Don’t settle for someone if it means compromising your own values; you matter too, and so do your beliefs. If their opinions and beliefs are too irreconcilably different from yours, it’s better to walk away than fight it out.

Don’t settle for someone just because you’re afraid you’ll never find anyone like him; maybe he’s handsome, intelligent or rich and he might seem like the prince you’ve waited forever for, but those things can be lost overnight. Wait for a love that nourishes your soul, not your materialism.

And the biggest fear of all: Settling for someone who isn’t willing to share your dream, and who makes you sacrifice it in the name of love. Someone who perfectly complements you in every other way, except that they don’t want to push you towards your dream (for whatever reason) or walk towards your goal alongside you. If you have to give up the most burning desire in your heart just to be happy with a person, don’t – you’ll regret and resent your choice one day, forever tortured with the question of ‘what if I had followed my dreams instead?’