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It tickles me how so many curious souls google for my age and land on the homepage of my humble blog - increasingly so of late, if I may.

I don't know why the constant and rising interest, but I guess curiosity needs no solid reasons sometimes. Well, I was as, if not doubly curious about Nicole Warne's age before I stumbled upon my answer. And yes, it shocked me. It shocked me incredibly.

If the source is right, we are both 25 this year, and it brought about a great realization about how much I have achieved in comparison to her. I used to think rather highly of myself - you may not know, but I was not very well-liked back in my polytechnic days, and many so-called top scorers (and even some lecturers) used to belittle and ostracize me. But grades are nothing if you have an ugly and close-minded personality, and years later, I proved to be better than many of them - for I earned more, saw more and grew a lot more as a person.

When I look at myself today, I have nothing but gratitude towards all the things and people who have made and helped me achieve what I have today. I am thankful for every lesson and learning opportunity. I did not have it easy; I failed job interviews that required a degree, I offended bosses with my forward personality, I was made to take a pay cut just to have SPH Magazines on my resume, I endured the criticism and bullies by seniors - to whom I was but a rookie that did not deserve more attention than an ant. I adapted to the environment, but I became very judgmental and critical. I was defensive and somewhat arrogant, and I spent time dwelling on the negative. I even cried in the office a lot. And even then, I still thought I was great and conceited. But I would learn to realize how sad and unfulfilling a life that was.

We should never see ourselves as superior to any.

Every time I read Garypeppergirl, I am humbled by her down-to-earth personality and sincere thoughts. She is one with such a big heart, one with beauty and brains, yet she remains so real and warm and accepting of all mankind. And no matter how naysayers leave nasty comments and potentially deconstructive comments, she takes them in her stride and still loves the world with indifference.

And she taught me one very vital life lesson - that we have to be open-minded and grateful all the time. Nothing should blow our egos up; not straight As, not a big fat pay check.

Today, I am someone who has found peace within myself. Christopher Morley says, "there is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way." I wake up every day with a purpose, and I turn in every night with plans for tomorrow. I enjoy sharing life stories and I enjoy guiding with my experiences. I strive for our business, and I am ever eager to learn and improve. Most importantly, I start each day with intent, and I spend my time in ways that please me and make me whole. I don't know about my future, I can't say for sure that things will always be the same, but I do not waste a minute of my life on negativity and things/ people that would make me unhappy.

And as I am clocking a quarter of a century, I feel at ease with myself, and I do not stop counting my blessings. Glad to have my family and friends who are ever supportive and trusting, glad to have a husband who grows along with me and loves me completely, glad to have all the opportunities entrusted by my clients and business associates, and glad to have good health - my greatest wealth.

Happy 25th birthday, to myself.