For a brief moment last night, I wondered what life would have been like if I’d followed a conventional path in both life and my career.
If I hadn’t met Juan and didn’t move to Argentina for love, what would my life be today?
Would I have continued in the Standard Chartered International Graduate program and climbed the banking corporate ladder, as so many of my ex-colleagues are doing? Or would I have decided that I wanted something else, and that maybe, just maybe, finance really wasn’t my cup of tea?
Would I have stayed in Singapore, being close to my family and friends, or would I have somehow ended up living overseas in some foreign land anyway, speaking a language I didn’t grow up with?
Would I even have picked up cooking and food photography, and decided that I actually liked both of them so much that I would start a food blog, just so I could combine these new interests with my long love for writing?
I don’t know. Nobody knows.
But what I do know, is that in the last 8 years since I decided to take the path less travelled, I’ve found that life’s a bag full of surprises that no one can ever expect.
And I’ve also concluded that what I learned in Finance 101 is actually true: high risks, high rewards.
I’ve realised that when you take enormous risks – in terms of choosing happiness and love over meeting expectations; or plunging into the deep unknown instead of sticking to the norm; or deciding to reach out to people you don’t know so as to create your own social circle in a country that’s new – there are very high rewards to be reaped.
In every step of the journey that I’ve chosen to follow in the past 8 years, I’ve learned that sometimes we just have to let go and stop trying to be in control of everything.
It’s extremely difficult, especially since I like to chronicle progress with excel spreadsheets and have a run-rate for everything: I blame that on the finance background I have. It’s an occupational hazard that sticks with you long after you’ve left finance.
I’m still struggling with trying not to worry about things like finances, or the fact that freelancing and working for yourself also means unstable income; and try to focus on the fact that I’m crazy fortunate to be able to work on what I love best, from wherever and whenever I want.
And so, I constantly remind myself to give thanks for the blessings God continuously pours down in my life.
I have incredibly supportive parents; a wonderful boyfriend; the amazing opportunity to live overseas (first in Buenos Aires and now in Washington, DC); golden friendships which stand the test of time and distance; the chance to touch other people through my writing; and the knowledge that I want my life to be one worth living.
I’m also thankful for the last of summer berries (which are still available in stores, but probably won’t be around for much longer).
Let’s make the most of them while we can, shall we?
These mini mixed berry galettes are probably one of the easiest dessert treats you can make – all you need are store-bought gluten-free mini tart crusts, fresh berries of your choosing, one egg and a bit of sugar, and you’re ready with the prettiest galettes ever!
- 12 store-bought gluten-free mini tart crusts
- 1½ cup of strawberries, cut into small pieces
- 1½ cup of blueberries
- 2 tablespoons of sugar + more for dusting
- 1 egg, beaten
- In a large bowl, combine the cut strawberries and blueberries together with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 deg Fahrenheit (175 deg Celsius)
- Line a baking sheet with a silpat
- Place a mini tart crust on a parchment paper lined countertop, and place one tablespoon of mixed berries in the middle, leaving a finger-spaced margin.
- Gently fold the sides of the tart crust inwards, using your fingers to press the folds together. Repeat until no more crusts or berries are left.
- Brush the top of the crusts with egg wash and sprinkle a bit of sugar over it.
- Bake galettes in oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until crusts turn golden brown.