Life as a Googler, Start-up Founder & Miss Singapore; 3-in-1
How do your friends introduce you to someone new? The running theme in my life is probably that I lack me-time.
Over the years, people have gone from introducing me as their “church friend” or “classmate”, to “Photographer”, “Googler”, “Founder of Gulliver” and “Miss Singapore”.
While none of these solely define you as a person, they contribute to your identity. You will start to notice that people start to introduce you to others using the persona that stands out the most to them. It made me wonder whether I was doing too much, or whether I wanted some of these labels at all. (I much rather identify as a pasta fanatic)
The running theme in my life is probably that I lack me-time.
This article has been sitting in my folders for the longest time and I only ever hack away at it when I’m feeling overwhelmed. And while I am grateful for the opportunities thus far — I have been incredibly burnt out and out of character.
The first quarter of 2021 was, a lot (an understatement). There were shifts in my social circle and question marks on my career direction, dating life (or lackthereof) and travel plans. That’s excluding catwalk trainings, workout sessions, freelance photography projects and figuring out the direction for Gulliver.
Generally speaking, I’m someone who absorbs the energy of the people around me — if they are excited and pumped up, I am too. If they are stressed, I get anxiety as well. But to the best of my abilities, I have tried to show up consistently in the lives of people I care about, and deliver on tasks that I have to.
By the end of March, I hit a mental wall, so I took time off for myself; I deleted my social media, cut alcohol, and swapped out my social time for books and workouts. It has been a month since, and while I cannot say I’ve bounced back to my peak productivity and mental health, I have felt less chaotic. I stick to a smaller, more trusted circle, and prioritize the work that is truly meaningful and impactful.
One of the biggest doubts I had was whether representing Singapore for Miss Supranational would be a career limiting move — would investors or employers take me seriously, or think I’m a bimbo? People have certain perceptions and opinions towards certain things. They also associate a lot, to make it easier for them to understand the world. They frame the world in a certain way based on their own experiences and knowledge.
If you work at FAANG, you’re probably an intellectual. If you’re unemployed, you’re probably not that great (at whatever you’re doing). Granted, these are fair associations, but they are may not be the complete and whole truth.
I have come to realize that these things don’t matter — if people want to understand you, they would put in the effort to.
I thought to finish this article (and cut the rambly bits of complaints as a reminder to my readers (and myself) are not your work. Neither am I. This has been a reoccurring thought to myself, because I wear many hats. And while I am proud of the different things, I am still my own person. Just like anyone else, I love surfing, flying drones, writing, spending time with family, traveling and a great glass of red.
I guess the point I’m driving is — many of us are doing a lot. We are feeling a lot. I met someone who’s supporting his family, and wearing 5 other caps at the startup he works at. I also know a game developer who doubles up as a paint teacher at night.
Take it day by day, and keep moving forward. Show up for the people who need it, because I’ve been at the receiving end of a helping hand from strangers and while you don’t always take the help, it’s comforting knowing that you are never truly alone.
I guess unlike most of my articles, this isn’t about accelerated intelligence, productivity or innovation — this is really a plain brainfart from some of my observations and thoughts late.
I’m no superwoman, and my commitments added up has left little headspace for things other than work. I wish I had greater clarity and resolve to be more ruthless with my time — but everything is up in the air right now and I’m still in the midst of figuring things out.
I’ll bounce back soon enough, but thank you everyone who’s been journeying with me thus far, friends, family and colleagues alike, and my readers for keeping up with my sporadic brain farts ❤
Thanks for Reading!
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