Turning 30 this year has been nothing short of life-changing. While I used to cringe at getting older in my youth, I’m not terribly concerned about it these days. Bring it on, I say. There’s always Botox (and a boob job), hah!
No, the change has nothing to do with the numerical sort. It’s more of a gradual transition in mindset.
It started when I decided to quit the rat race and go into education. The salary disparity would have put me off in my 20s but this time, it didn’t take me too long to throw in my resignation letter with one hand and hand in my acceptance letter with the other.
If you know me in real life, you would know that I am a very vain person. I love my bags and shoes and pretty frocks. Having that drastic pay cut would mean a pretty dramatic change in my, uh-hmm, shopping habits. Suddenly, though, it didn’t seem to matter anymore. Yes, I still love the beautiful things in life but they no longer take precedence. If I can’t afford to buy my own Chanel purse, then so be it. The change in environment, better hours and joy in teaching would more than make up for the lack of a pretty handbag.
Also, let’s face it: I am not in any danger of looking like a bag lady. I have enough outfits to stockpile for the next year, post-delivery. In fact, I have more than enough and that should suffice.
Not a moment too soon after, the nugget popped into my life. And in the past five months, I find myself shifting more and more towards a simpler way of living. We cut down on eating in restaurants during the week days, skip the cabs in favor of buses and trains, go for budget holidays and buy things that are on sale or with vouchers. Our weekend plans include catching up with friends, exploring new coffee joints and jaunting about parks, not shopping at malls. We plan on staying in our HDB flat for a long, long time. Heck, we are now smuggling a bottle of water from home into the cinema instead of buying sugar-laden soda drinks. For the past three years, we have opted not to own a car and even now that we are approaching parenthood, we are looking at buying a vehicle that is functional and – dare I say it – cheap.
We are not completely frugal yet, we could do better, but we are definitely streamlining our lives.
And honestly? I love it.
In my 20s, I was chasing after a dream, both material and spiritual. I wanted to be somebody. I wanted that damn Chanel purse by the time I am 35. I wanted to be that woman with a fulfilling job, shiny hair and high heels. Now, the dream has shifted and I finally find myself feeling confident, happy and at ease.
I am still somebody – just not the person whom I thought I would be when I was younger.