Turning 36

I seldom post personal stories about me and today’s post may seem a tad self-indulgent. Please excuse me if it does. It took me a while to decide if I should press the Publish button on this or not. You’ll know why as you read on. 🙂

Turning 36

A couple of weeks ago, I was perusing the feed in several Facebook planner groups I’m a part of. I adore being a part of the planning, washi tape and stickers-loving community, and am pretty active in those groups. We don’t always talk about planner-related subjects. There was a topic started by one of the members in the group where she shared 5 things about her. There were many comments and replies in that topic, and one by one, each member shared stories about their age, their life, what they’re doing, what they’ve done and more.

It was a fun topic to read and I too shared 5 things about me.

Facebook Thread

When I wrote that, I wasn’t expecting any replies. But someone replied my comment with this – “Wow! You have an amazing resume about life lol.”

And it struck me … I do have a pretty awesome life resume. 🙂

You see, up to that point, I have to be very honest and say that I didn’t think I accomplished much to this day. To my family (immediate and extended), I’m merely a housewife. Or in a not-so-nice term, a tai tai. A lady who lunches. One who lives a life of leisure. All these were simply because I don’t work in an office, climb the corporate ladder, earn a 6-figure salary and that I have a supportive husband who doesn’t just support me emotionally but financially as well. They still refer to me as an engineer even though I haven’t been one for 8 years because on a superficial level, it sounds better than “blogger” or “entrepreneur” or even “tai tai“.

As I look back in the years that have passed ever since I moved to Australia, I realised that while I chose not to work for someone and climb the corporate ladder, I have much to be proud of. They may not relate in terms of money but at the end of the day, life experiences are never just about making heaps of money. I’m very thankful to be able to leave a job I despised, taught myself how to design, create and sell beautiful pieces of jewellery, learned about running a business online, created opportunities for myself and much more. Even though the jewellery business is no longer around, I wouldn’t exchange that experience for working in a corporate environment and making a shit-tonne more money. I built my blog to the point where it was mentioned and featured in world-class publications. I worked harder than I ever had yet I enjoyed every moment of it.

When I was an engineer, I undertook several projects, one of which was quite successful. My dad, who was also an engineer in his day, had never told me he was proud of what I did when I too was an engineer. But when I told him my blogging achievements, he actually texted me with the words “I’m damn proud of you. Keep doing what you’re doing.

In short, I’m pretty damn proud of what I’ve done. So while I’ll most likely not make a lot of money now (but who knows what will happen in the future, eh?), I have a family that supports me, a husband who loves me, close friends who would help me hide the body if I murdered anyone (not that that’s ever happened but you know what I mean), people in the industry who respect my work and much more. I’m happy because I’m finally doing something I really enjoy.

So for those who choose to refer to me as a tai tai, it’s okay. I know I’m so much more than that.

I turned 36 yesterday. I’m just 4 years closer to my 40s now. I cannot wait to see what my 40s would bring because my 30s have been pretty damn awesome so far. And if you thought that this post is really self-indulgent, do forgive me; it was my birthday after all. 🙂

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28 comments… add one
  1. Norlin

    Umm please do not apologise for sharing about yourself. It’s your blog and I love reading about YOU!
    Happy birthday again and I think that’s a post I needed to read. We’re sort of in the same boat. “Tai tai”, oh how I wished that was true! Tai Tais don’t need to clean their own homes – like we do! 😉
    But in a serious note, I get it. It’s quite sad when our successes are measured by how much we earn or how high we climb up the corporate ladder. With my family (as in NOT my kids and hubby), it’s more like “what a waste, study so high but end up as a housewife”. Really sh*ts me when people say that!

    1. Tine

      Aww thanks love! Hahaha many times I tell people who call me a “tai tai” – does a tai tai clean the house? Do the laundry? Cook? Do housework? Etc etc? I’m not a tai tai, I’m a bloody maid! AND I DON’T GET PAID! 😛

      My mum used to say exactly the same to me too. “Two degrees, so much money wasted on uni degrees and you decided not to be an engineer. WASTED!” Sigh. To this day, while she wouldn’t say this anymore, she would still encourage me to work for other people and not myself. I want to be a blogger right? Why not work for a magazine instead? And so I tell her many times, why the hell would I want to subject myself under an editor when I can write whatever I want?. Dad on the other hand doesn’t care that I’m not climbing the corporate ladder. It’s hard, I tell ya.

  2. Allison

    Happy Birthday, Tine! And congratulations on all of your achievements to date! I’m sure there’ll be lots more to come in the future. I have enjoyed reading your blog and getting to know you over the past few years. I didn’t know you went to university in Scotland. How cool! I’m dying to go there. You’ve been a blogging inspiration to me BTW. Life has many twists and turns and opportunities if and when you seek them, and you certainly have and I’m sure will continue to do.
    Allison recently posted..Barielle Protect Plus Color with ProSina Nail PolishMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks Allison! You’ve definitely been with me through thick and thin all these years and for that I really thank you and appreciate you. 🙂
      Haha yeah I studied in Scotland for 3 years at the University of Dundee. Very small town but even so, it had over 60 pubs. Priorities, yo. 😛

  3. xin

    can i say you look younger and younger each year? 😀
    you know, being the housewife is considered one of the toughest jobs in the world yo. but i certainly don’t mind taking up this toughest job if given chance one day XD all the work politics just wear me down!

    1. Tine

      Aww thanks Xin! People who didn’t know me personally on Facebook, only via Facebook groups that I’m in, actually told me they thought I was in my early 20s because I used this photo in the blog post as my profile photo. They were very surprised when I told them that photo was taken in Novemeber last year when I was 35. 😛

      Hahaha mind you, just a housewife with no kids. If I had kids, I’d say the toughest would be being a mother. Now that would be a whole new kettle of fish!

  4. Eunice

    I love reading about you! Your blog is more than just reviews and products, it’s all about you. Happy birthday and may I say we do have more in common than I thought.. Hope we get a chance to catch up some time, when I don’t have to chase after little people and can have a cup of hot drink in peace.. Happy all-about-you day!

    1. Tine

      Thanks Eunice! You’ve been following my blog for years, and for that I’m ever so grateful to you for your support.
      Really hope we’d be able to meet in person some day. 🙂

  5. Grace-melody Moo

    Happy birthday, Tine! Yes, you do have a wonderful life resume and life is about growing into who you are most at peace being…the person you were created to be. So yup, keep growing and becoming! 36 is still pretty young ~ the summer years of life are just beginning ~ may you have yet another exciting, fulfilling, and meaningful year ahead. <3 Hugs and love.
    Grace-melody Moo recently posted..Meeting Mrs. DMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks Grace! It took a long time for me to be at peace with the person I am today to be honest. Pressures from the family didn’t help but they’re starting to understand me better on why I’m doing what I’m doing and they can see that I’m much happier for it even though I’m working harder than I ever did before when I was engineer. Hahaha 36 is still young, you’re right! A lot of people my age wish they’re still 21 but me, I’m glad I’m not 21. The 30s are so much better. 😀

  6. MonicaP

    Happy Birthday Gemini bud! How cool that you were an engineer (math ugh!). After years in the corporate world I left as well and I’m a lady of leisure, well .. I do work for my spouse’s company, but there’s not much to do when he travels. Anywhoo, always interesting to find the secrets of our blogging friends 🙂

    MonicaP recently posted..Palm Springs Museum of Art – Baroque to Bling ExhibitMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks Monica! You’re a Gemini too? 😀
      Tim doesn’t have his own practice yet but some day when he does, I’ll most likely be roped in to work there. Till then, I’m happier doing what I’m doing now!

  7. Claire

    Happy birthday Tine!
    I’ve always loved reading your blog and knowing more about thr person behind the blog is a rare treat. Thanks for sharing a snippet of yourself with your readers. Sending you special birthday wishes and may the universe grant you all that your heart desires xx

    1. Tine

      Thanks Claire, for your birthday wishes and your kind words. Really appreciate them and you! 🙂 x

  8. Swati

    Hi Tine. Happy birthday 😀
    Hope you had a blast. I loved the post. You do have quite a resume. And, I do think your usp is your exposure to multiple cultures which makes you unique in the business. And, just in case, the post was not at all indulgent otherwise everyone would be held up for narcissism!!!
    Swati recently posted..5 Uses to make Face Toner More EffectiveMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks Swati. You’ve been such a faithful reader all these years and I’m so thankful for you. 🙂

  9. Melissa

    Thanks for sharing your personal stories, which I can now relate to.

    I’m from Malaysia too where I worked in the Finance industry, it was hectic, stressful and long hours. I recently moved to Brisbane as well with my husband (we just got married 5 months ago!), I have stopped work for 2 months and it’s good to take a short career break (plus opportunities in Brisbane are not very attractive). I can totally resonate with the fact that people started calling me “tai tai”, which I really hated. I know these people secretly wished to be in my place to not work and live a luxurious life. But they never know how much sacrifices (financially and emotionally) we had to make to relocate.

    Keep doing what you love, and Happy Birthday! 🙂

    1. Tine

      Thanks Melissa. Moving to Australia was not an easy decision. Leaving my family behind was the hardest and coming to a country that I knew no one except for one friend and my husband was tough. I took 2 months of break before I started searching for a job and that was when I realised that my work experiences in Malaysia meant nothing to Melbourne industries because what I did before, I couldn’t do them here. It was bloody frustrating I tell ya. But in those frustrations came opportunities I built for myself and while it was also tough work, I was very proud of it, even prouder than when I was an engineer earning a steady income. The not-so-nice part would be having to hear the word “tai tai” from people who don’t know better. To that I tell you, those who call you that don’t know exactly what you’re going through so don’t let that affect you too much. It’s tough work! But you will adapt and you’ll make something of yourself that people will be properly envious of. 😉

      Good luck!

  10. Carole

    Happy Birthday Tine!

    I loved this post which I didn’t find indulgent at all. I share your opinions and I am lucky that my parents do too! They are more worried about my happiness than the amount of money in the bank. I guess the only think they do not care for is laziness 😉
    As you know my husband and I struggled for many years after our arrival in Australia but all is good now. We’re not rich expats but our life is much better in other terms!

    PS: when are we meeting over coffee?
    Carole recently posted..La Photo du Mois – Mars 2016My Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks Carole. And I’m so happy for you now that things have sorted out and you guys are all good now. Now you can properly start living! 😀

      PS: I’m good next week and the week after. Let me know! x

  11. Mel

    Very lovely to read about your life Tine. You’re definitely an inspiration for me as I’m just coming close to finishing my engineering degree and need to decide what to do next. I think I will at least try working next year (even though when I spent all last year working it was terrible!) since I know the company I worked for last was just plain awful, and it would be nice to have some money for once! I love beauty and my dream would be to sell my own line of eyeshadows that specialise in the asian skin tone and darker, but we’ll see what happens. My plan is to continually grow my blog in the background.

    Also, LOVE that you beat the Asiana stereotype. I know how hard it can be, and I know how “good” and “upperclass” it feels to be able to call yourself an engineer. The comments like “oh, you must be smart,” “oh, you go girl,” “wow, that’s so cool!” compared to when I tell people I’m a blogger, which usually leads to them being confused.

    Anyway, good work!
    Mel recently posted..Dusty Girls Makeup ReviewMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks Mel! Haha yeah that’s exactly how it was at first being an engineer in a very male-dominated field. But there are more and more female engineers these days that it’s not such a big deal anymore. People in our parents’ generation would still think of it as such a big deal “oooh girl engineer!” When I told them that I’m a blogger now, first thing they ask is “oh. So you must get a lot of free stuff huh?” >.< I must admit, it's far easier to beat the Asian stereotype living in Australia than living in Malaysia. It would be really tough if I did this in Malaysia because culturally, becoming an entrepreneur or not climbing the corporate ladder will deem one as pretty useless. I've sadly seen and heard too many opinions about this.

  12. Asha Eapen

    Yaay! You go girl!

    1. Tine

      *high five!* 😀

  13. Kathryn

    Happy Birthday Tine! Don’t worry about what anyone thinks, your life – your business. I think you have had an amazingly successful life. xx

    1. Tine

      Thanks Kathryn! I think I have quite a good life too. 😀 x

  14. katie

    Happy birthday tine……celebrate you !!!

    1. Tine

      Hahah thanks Katie, and I did! What a celebration it was, even if it was just me, hubs and a couple of good friends! 😀

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