As a young girl, I was conditioned to seek recognition from others, usually other people: my parents, my teachers, and other adults in my life. But in my teens, I learned credit isn’t always given where it is due. Experience also taught me this: more often than not, you will not get the recognition or applause you long for.
While I lament the growing number of white hair on my head, I’ve come to be grateful for the wisdom in getting older. I’m at the age when I care less and less about pleasing others. I’ve realized I can’t please everyone. I’ve also come to realize this important lesson: you are your best cheerleader. Sure, I advocate surrounding yourself with positive people, who not only like you, but also love and support you. I am profoundly grateful to my mom, who has tirelessly cheered me on from my very first published article to my big National Museum in Singapore presentation, to my crazy enterprising ideas, to even faraway travels to exotic places she would rather I not go to, and to dreams yet unfulfilled. I am thankful to my loving spiritual mentor, who patiently listens whether my spirit is crushed or my heart overflows with dreams. I cannot imagine a life without my best friend who has for more than 3 decades believed in me, seen more beauty, talent, and kindness that I see in myself. These precious angels propel you be a better version of yourself. There aren’t many people who go out of their way to cheer you on, but when you are gifted with a handful know how abundantly blessed you are.
But ultimately, the best person to push you to keep on going when you no longer feel like doing it, to persevere when things get tough, and to pursue seemingly lofty dreams, is YOU!
So on this fourth day of May, rely on your best cheerleader, yourself, and I say: May the Force be with You!
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