Seeing as it’s the start of a new year, it usually means reset time. But to reset also means to pay tribute to who you have been up to this point. Understanding how you got here will help give better guidance on the road ahead. So I thought I would spend some time on what I was like as a kid to give you a glimpse of who I am today.

As the elder of two children, I was already born with a set of expectations. As a girl born into a traditional Chinese family where the son is worshipped (and in this case he's the baby of the family), you have to work extra hard to get noticed. I was headstrong and argumentative - the exact copy of my Dad. You can imagine how our family dinners would turn out.

My Mom was so subservient - she did everything: cook, cleaned, looked after my younger brother and I - and my Dad - and had a full-time job in a tech company. My Dad relied on her for everything. As a little girl I watched her spoil him and did everything he commanded. He ordered my brother and I to fetch him things too - his paper, slippers, food, etc. all while he sat in his chair in the living room. I love my Dad dearly, but I told myself I would never, ever be in such a relationship. 

Being a girl in this Chinese family, I was never allowed to go to dances, do sleepovers or travel (by car yes but not on a plane, I mean). I was so sheltered I was ready to scream. Yearning for independence, my years of being cocooned at home unfortunately also made me fearful of what could have been. I even turned down an amazing job in Toronto right after university because I was so afraid that my boyfriend at the time would end our relationship if it became a long distance one. Oh boy, if I could travel back in time to speak to my 20-year-old self! There are many regrets that I have and that's one of them. Not seizing an opportunity when it's presented to you. No matter how scary it may be, grab it. Or at least seriously consider it and not dismiss it out of fear of the unknown. 

I think as the years go by and I get older, these fears become less about what would happen if I took the opportunity and more about what would happen if I didn't. So grab it - soak it in and make decisions for you. Not for anyone else. This life is yours to light up or mess up, but it's yours. No one else can own it but you, so have the courage to do what's right in your heart.