The long road

Oh, the times I’ve mentally drafted, then written, erased, and re-written this piece…

Wen Xin Writes
5 min readDec 21, 2023


Or, if I were to describe it in Chinese, 漫长 — incredibly slow and long.

That’s how I would sum up my 2023.

Where do I even start?

It has been a good 12 months since my last story in the #myvoyagehome series (see: Week 52: And above all, have hope), of which — career-wise — the first 4 months consisted of job searches and interviews, and the other 8 an intricate attempt to find my footing in my new role at work.

If you haven’t been following my #myvoyagehome series, here’s a tl;dr: In December 2021, I packed up 8 years of my life in Melbourne to move to Singapore, mainly to be closer to home, but, also, to explore the world outside of what I was familar with. Fast forward 2 years later, here I am, in a new country, in a new role, in a new industry, with a different job scope and an increased set of responsibilities…

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

In the grand scheme of things, 8 months is a short time. But 8 months in a (mental) position where you’re pushed to your limits time and time again will seem longer than it actually is.

Why are things falling apart? What did I miss, what did I not do?

What if my team calls me out for being an impostor?

What if I let my managers down?

Maybe I shouldn’t have taken this role.

Do I need to look for a way out; admit that, maybe, I’m just not cut out for this?

These phrases repeatedly made their appearances in my head within the first 8 months of my new role. Some days, they went away as quickly as they came. On others, they overstayed their welcome.

As I log off work for the last time in 2023, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of immense relief. Finally, a breather. Finally, an opportunity to look back on this long, arduous road and see the distance I’ve travelled. Finally, some time to put all these thoughts and weariness into writing…

Photo by Yannick Pulver on Unsplash

Regardless of which role and industry you’re in, impostor syndrome will hit; some days worse than others.

Transitioning into this role, seemingly larger than myself, I was constantly asking myself — “Who are you to be setting the direction for this team when you are still trying to figure out the direction you’re heading in?”

I didn’t know if I was doing a good enough job, or if I even knew how to “lead”. But at some point through it all, I came across this quote that helped me cope with and co-exist with that self- doubt—

When placed in command, take charge, and if ever you are in doubt about what to do, simply do the right thing.

— Brian Tracy, How the Best Leaders Lead

Of course, having patient managers, mentors, and amazing team members who were willing to take a chance on you also does wonders. Surely, I must be doing something right, right?

It’s okay to lose a battle once in a while. You learn your lessons, recalibrate, and continue fighting.

One often gains the most from the battles one has lost.

— Professor Ronen, Hogwarts Legacy

There is a Chinese saying — 从哪里跌倒 就从哪里爬起来。You get up where you fell.

Starting out in a new country, working with new technology, new processes, new people, and differing cultures from all over Asia Pacific, I was bound to hit some walls. The straight-A student and people-pleaser in me were definitely wounded on multiple occasions.

Getting things wrong on the first try and not being able to meet people’s expectations left me feeling uneasy. And the past 8 months were lesson after lesson of learning that it’s okay to not get everything right, as long as you were willing to pick up your ego and try again.

And it has been, and still is, a humbling experience.

And through it all, don’t lose sight of the big picture. Patience is indeed a virtue.

In my first year as a consultant, some years ago, I felt I was “stuck” on a data migration project, writing SQL code day in, day out, without an end in sight. Naturally, I asked my then assigned Counsellor/ mentor to help bail me out.

And I vividly remember him telling me — a few months, a year, on this project is nothing compared to the lifespan of what your whole career would be.

And I still draw on that advice today.

The situation may seem tough, un-get-through-able. You may feel a heightened sense of discomfort, with every inch of your body wanting to leave the table. But if you wait a little longer, just a little longer, that’s when the magic happens. Because before you know it, you’ve grown into a whole new version of you.

Growth is uncomfortable because you’ve never been here before — you’ve never been this version of you. So give yourself a little grace and breathe through it.

— Kristin Lohr

Within a year, I’ve graduated with a MSc in Innovation, gotten married, and searched for and started a new job. I also, sadly, lost my grandfather, and struggled, in different aspects, with said new job…

And putting that down in words just made me realise — as much as I tried to discredit myself for going through all that in the past year, perhaps I should just give myself a little pat on the back instead.

The road ahead is long.

But I have faith, with the people around me, I’ll get through it one way or another; come rain or shine, through rocky paths or tall grass.



Wen Xin Writes

Welcome to my thoughts and documentation of life’s adventures.