What happened when I turned twenty

I turned twenty and I didn’t feel any different. Why would I want to? It had barely been a month since my best stage performance yet and I was living in its glory, I loved my classes and the school I was in, my health condition was finally on an upwards slope after more than a year and my heart woke up happy and bubbly every day. I was satisfied and content with things as they were, and that was probably my biggest mistake.

Fast forward one month and I had started to notice each of these things going downhill. But it was fine, it always had to be because that’s who I am and so I pretended it was. Fast forward another month and I had no motivation or energy to dance, I barely went to my classes, I’d lost just about all of my hair within a span of three weeks and I couldn’t talk to the guy I loved without getting angry or upset. So I cut everyone off, didn’t meet and barely spoke to them, because that was the easiest way to pretend I was okay.

I had been counting down the days and I finally was home after forcing myself to push through the remainder of the semester. But something was different. I was agitated, uneasy and irritable towards my closest people. I had no control over my emotions and I would stay silent, keeping my thoughts in my head. And that was my second mistake: forcing myself into loneliness.

I looked at myself in the mirror and realised that I was nothing that I wanted to be. So I vowed to never let myself be in that position again. I wrote down who I wanted to be: I wanted to feel amazing, be strong, and keep nothing but happiness and love in my life. I decided to put myself first in every way possible and that was the first, biggest, most important and hardest step I needed to take: wanting to help myself.

I started to treat each day as an adventure and left the bad days out, putting my pretending skills to good use. I met friends almost everyday, cooked and ate the things I loved, went on road trips to new places and started scaring myself. What do I mean by this? I did the one thing that scared me the most: I made myself vulnerable.

I began a mission to be open and confident about my health condition, I started putting together a dance production without any experience and no clue as to how I was going to carry it out, and I started taking antidepressants despite reservations from my closest people. And those were the three best moves I made.

Of course it wasn’t just smooth sailing from there. But every time something happened that I thought was awful, I would counter it by doing something that scared me. I took classes at NUS and had no idea how I was going to juggle them with my production work, I moved to London the day after my production with eight people I didn’t know, I did interviews, went for runs, wrote articles and I made new friends and stayed out with them until 4.30am and then somehow managed to make it to class in the morning.

I learned that I couldn’t feel amazing if I lost my momentum and stopped surprising myself, I couldn’t be strong without letting myself be vulnerable and I couldn’t keep love and happiness in my life by simply avoiding the toxic. I still have situations that I definitely need to figure out and work on, but even when I do, I will make sure that I am not simply content. I need to be more. After all, my mum always told me that the world is my oyster and my dad taught me to dream big and achieve bigger.



  1. Rachna says:

    We all need to refresh ourselves. You have rejuvenated yourself and others around you. Way to go!


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s