Malaysians Confess Their Biggest Regrets Now That They're In Their 30's
Ever wondered what piece of advice your older self would tell you? We listened to some 30-somethings with a story to tell, and here's what they had to say:
Mark, 38, reminisces about his business idea, "I had these grand plans of opening up a vegan cafe back before clean eating was even a hashtag (yeah, I'm a hipster that way), and I even had a business plan on PowerPoint and everything!
I would always see these inspirational stories about people quitting their jobs to work on their passions, and I thought to myself, "Why aren't I doing that?". So I started a little bit of research about the F&B business, and looked for organisations that I could get some financial help from.
Somehow, somewhere along the way, I got sidetracked with other things, lost my focus and my idea remained an idea..."
Sarah, 35, confesses, "I had started to feel that my marriage wasn't right for me, but I held on thinking that it was best for my children. I was afraid of what leaving the relationship meant for me financially as well, as I was a housewife.
It took me a while to realise that being in a toxic relationship wasn't helping myself and my kids in any way, so I decided to leave. I'm glad I did; my kids and I are better off now and are much, much happier!"
Pitt, 30, recalls, "I was on the LRT on the way to a New Year's party at my friend's place when I saw this girl... There wasn't anything remarkably beautiful or outstanding about her but I had this huge urge to talk to her, to get to know her.
But of course that only happens in movies, and when we'd arrived at Kelana Jaya station I just watched her go."
Natasha, 36, laughs, "It's true what they say: travel while you still can! I just had my third baby and honestly, just trying to get everyone out the door is an adventure!
My husband's really sweet about it though; he plans these great trips every few years for the two of us to unwind, recharge, and see the world."
Parvin, 34, says, "I used to be a complete workaholic and sacrificed my physical and mental health for the sake of important meetings and impossible deadlines. I never had much time to spare for eating, so I used to grab the quickest meals I could find, which were either nasi campur or fast food.
I started feeling unwell and a visit to the doctor confirmed that I had developed diabetes. It's unfortunate that it took such a major health setback to get my life back on track, but on the other hand, perhaps that was the reality check I needed.
I've switched to a less stressful job now which I really enjoy, and ever since I started badminton nights with the guys, I've lost some weight and never felt better!"
Jess, 31, shares, "My financial awareness was really bad when I was younger; I mostly spent a lot of my paycheck on things I didn't really need, like a new dress or overpriced coffee. I'm married with a beautiful daughter now and how I wish I had saved up when I was younger! I would really love to be able to buy a cosy little house and I'm slowly getting there by setting aside a fixed amount every month for the down-payment.
If I could have the chance to see my 20-something self, I'd totally smack some sense into her and tell her to save first, shop later."
Judith, 30, remembers a phase when she would be overly conscious of her weaknesses and developed low self-esteem. She says, "It didn’t help that I internalised my problems when I could've become more confident by opening up about my struggles to people who could offer mature advice.
Looking back, I wish it hit me harder that I needed to be more objective with life’s struggles - that it was a test of character, that I needed to level up in maturity, that it wasn’t just about ‘me’."
Faris, 33, says, "I'd pursued further education in Munich and although I was having the adventure of a lifetime in a faraway place, I'd always felt guilty for not being physically there for my family. I think the fact that I'm the eldest son added on to that guilt.
I had looked forward to returning home upon graduation but as luck would have it, I had received a job offer. My parents were happy for me, and I was too, but there was also that creeping sadness every time I thought about not being able to see them every day.
Now, I find comfort in trying to help in whatever way I can, and I'm extremely thankful to have wonderful, supportive parents! On the bright side, I'm counting the days to go home for the Raya holidays!"
Life works in mysterious ways but hey, there's always a silver lining to look forward to!
Sometimes, in the endless chase for our past dreams, we forget the bold, brave steps we take for our current ones. Sure, your passport pages may be emptier than it used to be, but you're investing that time bringing up a happy, healthy family instead. Isn't that amazing?
So rethink, redo, or restart if you need to but whatever you decide on, never be afraid to dream