Nothing beats doing what you love as a job. I never thought that I would take such a huge pay cut, but when the opportunity came up to write for a living it was worth it. I was lucky that I worked out what I wanted to do and managed to find a job only a few months after that. It took me seven long years of doing a lot of dull admin before that, but it makes it all the sweeter. Don’t listen to those who say you shouldn’t or couldn’t do it. If you keep your focus and put the hard work in most things are possible.
You don’t have to be geographically near someone to feel close to them. I haven’t seen my mother or brothers in the flesh for over two years, but I don’t let it worry me. I know that the next time we end up in the same room it will be as if I have just popped away for the night. With Skype, instant messaging and email they are as much a part of my life as if they were around the corner (plus side – I can keep all the cringe-worthy moments hidden from them if I want).
Don’t let the fear freeze you. I get so worried about things and sometimes I just don’t seem to be able to move forward, but this year I have had my hand forced and it has been great. Whether it was interviewing 20 consultants in Jakarta or running around Singapore hunting down 70 stories and taking 900 hundred pictures, I always feel much stronger after facing what I dread.
I need to try more new things. This year has been a blend of successes and failures on this front. I have tried chicken feet, century egg (black inside, eeewwww), white-water rafting, a three-person bicycle, and plenty more. Still no cricket munching though.
The best relationships in life don’t come for free, they require investment, but for the most part what you give you will get back tenfold. There are times when you will have to love harder than before, have faith in the people close to you and forgive them for hurting you. I am not religious but I believe in people, and whilst there have been times I have struggled, especially as someone who has a memory like an elephant; it is much easier to let go of anger and allow people back into your life. No-one wants to end up bitter and alone.