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Pensive Reflections

December 5, 2015 Leave a comment

2015 is closing shop soon.

2016 will bloom in a bit.

I’ll be one year older – 38 to 39. What have I achieved?

Not much honestly. More than that, I’m at the age where I am quite nostalgic (although not as hairy) about easier older times. I suspect that most of you would be too.

As such, I’m casting eye back on my ages to see what I’ve grown into.

Ages Main Activity Looking Back Regrets
21 to 25
Study
University. Got a girl, lost a girl, made out with some. Fresh out of the army and into NUS (Computing).

Hung around the pink tables and yakked the day away. Felt proud that I could hold my alcohol. Lots of parties – whee!

Decided on three things to try after I graduated: teaching, IT, and writing.

I wished to have learnt how to think, dissect and construct arguments, hypotheses and experiments.

I had focused too much on University being the “it’s the last stop before the real working world”and hence played too much after my first (most intense) year.

26 to 30
Experiments
Worked as a programmer & teacher. Did a writing internship.
Took 6 months off to travel.
I couldn’t figure out code. It felt dry, lifeless and lacked humanity. (Ironic that I now see people as the problem mostly.)

I was – and still am – curmudgeonly, stand-offish and wanted to be a leader, regardless of whether I am correct.

Best parts of this period: 1. Writing internship at I-S
2. Travelling from Singapore to China overland
3. Paid off my student debts in 1.5 years

This was one of my best eras – I was rocking a power-packed body that could do anything that I asked of it.

Again, I wished that I had spent less and invested more.

I wished that I had taken all those relationship red flags seriously. It would have helped me to deal with people.

And perhaps I’ll be less stressed out in the future.

31 to 35 Returned from travels. Became a travel writer. Became an online editor. Stepped into an Account Director’s role

Buried myself into work

My first foray into advertising and marketing with Saatchi and Saatchi as a social media guy. I kept on working with editorial but soon I was disillusioned by the amount of work for very little pay.

Hence I supplemented it with freelance work. I took on anything and everything. Sometimes working up to 12 hours a day for months on the end. Resulting in a nice nest egg.

But by the time, 35 came around, I was burnt out from working and working and working.  

Unlike previous eras, I started investing – even though it was haphazard, clearly too ambitious, and hopelessly emotional.

I wished I had gone out and made more good friends, not just drinking buddies.

I wished kept all of my dividend stocks. And I wished that I had experimented with getting my writings out there instead of just writing to a brief.

36 to 38 Retrenched. Joined a digital agency. Doing Strategy and Inbound Marketing. Learning data science I’ve researched and made pitches, and did some data analytics.

My investments are paying off now – they cover my monthly cost.
Most folks whom I speak to decry Data science (or analytics). It seems like a foreign/alien object to them. And it’s hard to articulate the value in one sentence. Anyways, it’s hard going learning this topic on my own.

I wish that I’m doing something useful instead of marketing.

I wish that I don’t have to deal with clients or people in general.

I wished I could take a few years off.

Categories: Thoughts Tags: ,
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