You know you’re passionate about what you do when you get excited to wake up each morning and start your day. When you feel that there isn’t enough hours in a day to do what you love doing, that’s also a sign that you’re truly passionate about it. Sometimes to a point where money isn’t a huge factor just because you enjoy and love what you do. I wish everyone could feel that way about what they do each day because it makes life more enjoyable and fun. Though not many are that lucky as some of us have to hustle to make ends meet.
I first felt this deep passion about my job in 2013 when I first had my taste of Recruitment. I truly enjoyed picking up the phone and reaching out to candidates. I work through my off days and holidays because I truly enjoyed working and I just didn’t want to stop. I remember later that year, I had to deal with my most painful breakup ever as well. I was in love and I had so much hope to a point I was ready to leave the country that I called home to start a new journey in a foreign one. That actually lead me to try recruitment when I got headhunted earlier that year because of the connection the company had with a sister company in Denmark. It actually felt like things were meant to be or so I thought.
Well, 8 years later, I’m still in Recruitment. Am I still passionate about it? I am. Also, the ex and I are still Text Friends despite it having been years since our relationship ended. We’ve been cordial with each other. I know many feel uncomfortable talking to an ex. For me, I think if you’ve had closure and have no lingering feelings anymore, it’s alright. I’m a lil sad that he still haven’t found a new gf since we last dated. According to him, I’ve set the bar pretty high. I dunno whether to feel sad for him or happy knowing that I have left such an impact after so many years. 😛
I have been running my own company since 2017. I remember how worried I was and how badly I wanted a partner to do it with me. Back then, it was my ex that I thought would be in it with me but, he hated commitment and he talked me into doing it by myself. So, that was how I became the solo Founder/CEO/Director/Business Owner. I’ve definitely learned, struggled and succeeded by myself through the years. Doing it all alone is definitely not easy as you are both the Boss and also the Worker plus you have to deal and handle everything from A to Z of the business but, that being said; when things don’t workout, you learn from it and you only have your own to reflect or blame for it. Though when you succeed, the taste of victory never tasted so good.
I’m starting to look at my life and realized that since I was young, I was taught to be independent from a very young age. Many might say, “That can’t be true since you’re the only child. Am sure your parents spoilt you rotten…” Reality with the Yip-Atkinson upbringing was, if you wanted something you’ll have to earn it. We’re not going to just give it to you. My parents worked hard themselves to build what they have today – the properties, the cars and the lifestyle. I’m thankful that my parents taught me the meaning of the word, “No”. That was a word that I heard often growing up. When I asked for my first pair of Black Basketball LA Gears with Red LED light at the heel. They flash with each step you take. I remember I waited really long to get that pair of kicks when I was 8. I also remembered that I had to make sure I got straight A’s and behaved well for a really long period but, when my parents finally got them for me, Boy!! I was over the moon and I cherished every step that I took in them.
I truly owe a lot to my parents. The love and patience they had with me growing up. I wasn’t crazy naughty or a trouble maker and I definitely was a good student in school that got good grades and was athletic as I enjoyed playing sports but, that being said I did go through the famous rebellious stage during my teenage years. I remember how I just didn’t want to be in photos and if I was, I’d be displaying RBF (Resting Bitch Face).
If I could turn back time or visit Young Valerie, what would I tell her? I think I would say this, “Life will get better with time. You will work in many companies but, the role that taught you the most and groomed you the most would be the role you had as A Business Development Executive/PA to your Director. That would be the most stressful job you’ll ever experience but, you also learned the most with all the projects and responsibilities that your director put on your shoulders. That being said, if it’s possible to change your career path, you should get into Recruitment once you graduate from College as you’ll make tonnes of money from it compared to the rest of the jobs. Also, control your shopping habit and safe more money and invest your money wisely. You will meet many interesting people along the way and you will get your heartbroken countless times. It may hurt a lot when it happens especially the break up that happened in 2013 that took the longest to get over and heal. 5 years to be exact but, that’s alright because it only meant that you were truly inlove and that it mattered. Because of that, you turned into a workaholic to mend and guard your heart. You will meet someone great in 2018 and it would feel like he’s your soulmate. You will later get engaged and married but, you will not get the happy ending you always wanted. He will break your heart and shatter your dreams but, you will not hate or blame him because he gave you happiness once and also because he proved to you that someone wanted you to be their wife and he also gave Mom the opportunity to see you get married in 2019 before she got really sick in 2020. 2020 will be tough for everyone because a pandemic would hit the world. Mom’s health will start deteriorating in mid 2020 because her cancer would have spread rapidly and she would lose the battle she fought so hard for 5 years. To prevent this from happening, make sure Mom gets her yearly check ups and screen for cancer in 2013/2014, You might be able to change the course of her history and safe her because losing her in December 2020 will leave you devastated and ever so lonely than you already are. The pandemic will still be around in 2021 and life would be very different from what you’re used to now but, you will meet many new people this year and you’ll learn who’s your true, real friends when you need them the most. You might eventually meet someone special to. Just don’t overthink things and just go with the flow. You’re such a thinker Dear Valerie that sometimes you worry over nothing. You will be okay at the end of the day. You have to be because you are Valerie Atkinson!!…”
Many make New Year’s Resolutions. I never really bothered in making any because I hate setting expectations and when they’re not being met, it only makes you feel disappointed. I learn to stop having expectations for years now as I used to have them but we all know how that ends. So, I’ve learned to live with just taking each day as they come. That all being said, it doesn’t mean that I don’t strive to be better because I always challenge myself and those that I care for to always be better. I feel that life’s too short to not be the best you can be because it may be your only life unless you believe in reincarnation. 😀
I think most of my closest friends know that things have been tough emotionally for me this few months. That being said, life and time waits for no one. I’m turning another year older in just a few months time. This year is definitely going to be different. I’m waiting on a tribute tattoo session for my Mom that got postponed because of the MCO (Movement Control Order) 2.0. It’s now scheduled for 8th of March 2021. We’ll see if that session will happen especially when the Malaysian Government has been wishy-washy in terms of their decisions in controlling and keeping the Covid-19 numbers down. That being said, I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I’ll be able to get it done soon and as planned.
I’m definitely going back into the gym to workout. I want to destress, sweat, feel fit and get toned. But, I’ll definitely have to take a break from the gym when I get inked for a smooth healing. Plus, I want to be ready for Maldives. *hint.. *hint.. I know which resort I’m interested in this round.
Besides the gym, I’m also going to tryout some new recipes. I’m excited about that even though I still prefer cooking for others. LOL… I’ll think of more things to do as the months passes and I’ll keep y’áll updated. If you have ideas of something that I may like, do comment below and I might try them out.
I would like to wish the Chinese and anyone who celebrates Chinese New Year @ CNY a very Prosperous & Healthy New Year ahead. This year it’s the year of the Ox based on the Lunar Calendar. It’s my year, It was supposed to be Mom’s year as well. In our family, my grandma, my dad’s mother is an ox, my aunt Linda, my dad’s sister is also an ox, Mom was an ox and so am I. So, it was clear to state that our family consists of very strong women.
This is the first year celebrating CNY without Mom. She’s only been gone almost 2 months now but she’s clearly not forgotten. When I got dressed to head to my grandma’s place in Bangsar for our Reunion Dinner, my Mom’s words echoed in my ear, “Remember not to wear black on Chinese New Year!!” I also remember when my Mom heard about my Pre-Wedding Photoshoot, she said the same thing. As I went through a stage in 2015-2018 that almost any piece of clothing that I bought were all black. She was worried that I’d chose a black wedding dress.
Anyway, Reunion Dinner is one of the most crucial time to be home with family to enjoy a feast. This dinner is carried out on the Eve of Chinese New Year. If one is married, the wife will attend this dinner at her inlaws place and then on the first day of Chinese New Year, the pair will have dinner at the wife’s family home. So, if your hometown in in different states, you will then travel on the eve or on the first day of CNY.
Chinese New Year’s main purposes is to start the new year on a good note, there is no better way to do that than to be with family and have a big feast while children and the non married ones will get Red Packets or “Äng Paos”. It’s a time to let water under the bridge aka forgiveness as well.
I remember growing up celebrating CNY in Ipoh, Perak with my Mom’s side of the family when cousins, aunties, uncles, great aunts and uncles will meet up. It was always filled with snacking on CNY cookies, food + getting red packets, fire crackers and aunty and uncles gambling. My favourite CNY Cookies would be Pineapple Tarts, Love Letters + Beehive.
I think since Mom’s no longer with us. We’ll be celebrating CNY in Kuala Lumpur with my dad’s side of the family from now on. Not sure when I’ll ever head back to Ipoh, Perak TBH. Maybe if Hubs visits and we have something to do or see I guess. I was never really close to Mom’s side of the family. Mainly because of the language barrier. I suck at speaking Cantonese. I can only speak a few words here and there but I can understand more than speak. Ipoh definitely has good food that I will miss.
Anyway, we did the Reunion Dinner at my Grandma’s place and high chances, we won’t be doing any visiting for CNY as we’re still under MCO 2.0 (The Movement Control Order) and also because Mom just passed away not too long ago. Chinese tradition states that the family in mourning should not be celebrating anything for the year. Mom was Chinese so, I feel that we have to honour her traditions. This means, I would not be giving out any Red Packets this year as well.
Talking about Red Packets, my Mom and I had our lil tradition. I was not allowed to open any of my red packets until the 15th day of CNY which meant that CNY was over. I had to write the aunty/uncle name that gave me the red packet on the packet itself too. I got a strong feeling my Mom just didn’t want me to appear rude and open the red packets infront of the aunty that I just received the red packet from as may kids does. Some ungrateful kids would also comment about the amount that they receive. So if the amount was small, the kid would say it out loud. LOL.
Everything that I do and as the days that passes me by, I can’t help but, be reminded about Mom and the things she used to say to me. That’s just how much I miss my Mom.