Week 27: Taking a new perspective

At some point in life, we would have heard this phrase, regardless if it was directed at us— “Look at things differently”.

Why should we, and does it change anything?

My sister recently made a short trip to Singapore, and being with her for 4 days, doing “touristy” things, forced me to change the lens through which I looked at this city-country I’ve come to grow used to living in. Those four days as a “tourist” helped me appreciate the beauty of this new place I call home a little more, and prompted thoughts on how learning to see things from a different perspective more often than not helps us navigate through life better.

Photo by Rachael 🪐 on Unsplash

In every struggle is a learning opportunity.

I’ve brought this up a fair bit, I’ll bring it up again — sometimes life is all about trusting the process. I get it, when you’re in a difficult situation, when things get rough, it’s easy to feel despair and a sense of hopelessness. We’ve all been there, and feeling that way is normal. We may even ask — “Why did this happen to me?

What if we changed the tone of that question?

Instead of questioning in a blaming tone, what if we approached the question with curiosity?

More often than not, that creates chances to view ourselves and the situation from a third person point of view, and suddenly the obstacles in our way will look like stepping stones towards a better, more exciting places.

In other words, it increases our empathy for others.

Our views of the world and the events that occur — whether something is good or bad, ugly or beautiful, admirable or disgusting — is often shaped by invisible forces; where we grew up, the language we speak, the music and art we were exposed to, the food we eat…

A friend once told me that what I knew my whole life to be the colour “blue” was actually 2 different words in Russian, where light and dark blue had their own nouns. And that opened my eyes to a whole new world where people labelled things differently as I did.

So maybe, instead of seeing the world as a single truth — your truth, we can learn to accept that our worlds are just one version of the billions of worlds out there. And maybe that will make the resolution of disagreements easier, and the letting go of set backs faster…

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

When failures lead to opportunities, when disagreements are resolved more easily, when you understand that there can be multiple valid and true versions of a story, wouldn’t you live out your existence a bit more light-heartedly?

I’ve been told many a time that I exude calm in the face of adversity (perhaps, even TOO calm). How do you do it, some people have asked. Well, I have to admit, I still experience the emotional turmoil, the panic, the Why did this happen to me’s. But after allowing myself to go through all that, more often than not, it is switching lenses and trying to reframe the situation, and then (seemingly) calmly taking on whatever lies ahead.

I packed up 8 years of my life in Melbourne in December 2021 to move to Singapore to be closer to home and also to explore the world outside of what I already knew. This is a year-long series of weekly reflections on #myvoyagehome. Thank you for being a part of my journey.

Week 26: We’re halfway there — a mid-year reflection

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Wen Xin (Gwen)

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