And Then, I’m No Longer “Just Over 30”

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Every year, I try to recount my past year. And then I try to make it business-like by setting KPIs or milestones, things that I would feel proud of when I look back and know that I made my past year a little different. (NB: I realized that thing is called Resolutions, but oh well)

When I passed 30, I wanted to make a lot of noise, and declare adulthood, or something in the likes of it. But I didn’t. At that point of time, I found some direction in life that took up a large part of my life, which I am still thankful for.

Before I knew it, I am drifting further away from that cherished 20s.

This time last year, I had just received the greatest news of my life and a major swing was in motion. But at that point of time, I kept it a secret.

By the turn of the year, yes, I officially bade goodbye to a life of uniform and routine, and embraced the new life of being in the aviation industry.

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SIA is almost 10 times bigger than SPS. In terms of training, it is more advanced than that of SPS, so I get to see for myself the model that SPS is trying to emulate, a model that for SIA is in a matured state.

I also had the chance to see how different it is to be in a “corporate culture”. Mind you, when I was in SPS, I was already reminded that the world out there is very much different, something they described as “devoid of feelings”. And every now and then, people in my current workplace would make reference to my civil service background and emphasize that the private sector is not a sandbox.

I found that funny. I know that the other party was trying to “put me in place”, but being in SPS meant that I am well-trained in human behaviour and social dynamics.

In its raw form, I must say that there is no different between the private and public sector.

But that is beside the point.

My 32nd year in life was focused mostly on learning the ropes of a new industry, making new connections and getting myself comfortable after moving out of my comfort zone.

At this point of time, I know my head is still above water.

There are a lot of perks to working in SIA. Down here, we are always making videos of some sort, which I was only exposed to once in 5 years in SPS. And then, not a lot of people get to work behind the scenes for F1, minus the super tiring part of working in the pit. I got to show people around the mock up that few could take a peek of. The delight in the visitors’ eyes was more than gratifying.

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And then, of course, I tried to take my mind off by working on my next book. That complicated matters, and caused me to burn nights when I could have rested way before bed time. However, that was one of the projects which I could use to remind myself that I still have my core competencies and that no matter how my new counterparts tried to tell me to shed my previous self, I got to this stage of life because of what I had.

Why throw away the ladder after reaching the next level, when I could use it to achieve the next level?

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The reality of making a career switch hit me when I decided I could not maintain the lifestyle I led previously. So went Suzy, poor Suzy. It was a tough decision, but I did the sums and that did not favour her.

Every now and then, XD will ask me where Suzy is. I am curious too, but I would rather make a clean cut.

I hope.

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On a brighter note, with finances well into the green, XD and I went on a whirlwind tour to Seoul, making use of staff benefits and the little time we had over the weekend. It was #Seoulin30hours, and we hope we could do more of such challenges in the future.

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I was also invited by Ruth to be her wedding’s emcee. That would be my 2nd offer, but I was really happy she asked me. I gave my best, though I felt I could be better. But the experience to host an event in a church (*gasp!) was once-in-a-lifetime. I truly loved every moment of it.

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My next stage of life is more focused on saving up for my own place and even move on to take on responsibilities that are more challenging and interesting.

I hope, though, I can make a better progress report this time next year.

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