I am Corrine and welcome to L3Hub.
I created L3Hub back in September 2015 as a personal project to embolden and empower girls and women who are in transitional phases of their lives to build themselves into who they want to be.
Coming from a laid-back society with a strict upbringing to a fast-paced city life, it was hard for me. I took quite a number of years to break out from my shell as a timid, insecure, headless girl into an independent, career-minded cosmopolitan.
I left home at 15 to further my studies and have been away from home for the next 15 years.
I first arrived at this foreign land as a young teenager who has never been away from home. I was also heavily overweight and geeky. I struggled with body image and esteem issues.
Brainy But Not Savvy
Despite doing well in my studies, I was as blur as sotong when it comes to EQ and relationships. I was eager to seek approvals and validations. I had no stand on my own. I was quick to please.
Dealing with failed relationships over the years have caused me to be insecure, distrustful and over-protective of my own feeling, not allowing myself to give or love fully, nor be vulnerable.
I started working out for the first time at 15 years old and committed myself to my CCA in Dragonboat. Joining a team sport has been a life changing move for me considering I barely exercised back at home.When I graduated three years later, I had lost close to 20kg after a bad breakup (which also caused my mum to write me her first heartbreaking letter).
Stuck in Career Rut
While I was a brainy kid in school and graduated with merit in my cohort, I wasn’t passionate about my field of studies. I went on to secure my first job right without knowing what’s in for me or what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.
I stumbled into my decade long career journey, hopped from local SMEs to MNCs and climbed up the rank in steady paces, albeit facing many challenges.
At one point, I felt stuck in my job of four years without any promotion. Until I realised that, being stuck in that job was my own choice. No one was forcing me to stay in a job that I was unhappy about, but myself.
Once I decided enough was enough, I left my job (after three exit interviews), and went on to the greener pasture where my income rose to more than 7 times several years later.
The Change in Me
Until I started learning and discovering who I actually am, I was seeking for directions from everyone and anyone I came across. I was a Yes person quick to please. I was constantly looking to others for approval. I was reluctant to accept the real me. I began to say no to what I don’t want, cut off negative friendships and practised making decisions for myself.
I realised that unless I start spending time with myself and being comfortable with who I am, I would always be looking for happiness externally, chasing material goals and putting off living my life for others. I decided to do things by myself when others are not free, I travelled by myself, I took up dancing, language, art, yoga and other classes alone, and loved every moment of them.
I learned to forgive and let go. Before that though, I was feeling miserable for all the wrong decisions I have taken for several years. I was living in regret and didn’t look forward to my future at all. I was constantly blaming and hating myself for being foolish, and those who hurt me. One day, I sat down and did a reflection of the events that happened in my past. I grieved, I cried, I hated… And I chose to forgive, let go and move on.
Before I started challenging myself, giving myself the opportunity to grow and become a better person, I was always feeling stuck, unhappy and discontented. I would be envying and complaining why I wasn’t given opportunities. Then, I quit the job that was no longer growing me and moved on. I learned to ask for feedback even if they were painful, and challenged my own thoughts and beliefs. I learned to tune into myself, listen to what my heart wants and went for it.
Finally, I Started Making Progress In Life
My life improved significantly when I chose to get to know and love myself. I started saying Yes to what I want and No to what doesn’t serve me.
In 2013, I took a leap of faith to work for my dream organisation, despite being counter-offered twice by my then-employer. It would have been my golden rice bowl employment.
I also started travelling alone and enjoyed every moment of it. I then set a goal to travel at least once every year.
A year later, I relocated back to my home country for work where I stayed for over a year before moving across the region to KL, Malaysia. Thereafter, I had the opportunity to be based in offices in Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore.
My income more than doubled in that year.
I relocated back to Singapore and married the love of my life in 2015.
Then in 2016, I became pregnant with our first child. We were over the moon. In the months after, I never felt more joy and happiness in my life with a little life in me kicking me every now and then.
But Life Is Not About Staying In The Rainbows All The Time
September 2016, I had the opportunity to relocate to a regional office. Being a career-oriented individual, I almost said yes.
It took me many days of consideration and back-n-forth discussions with my loved ones. Eventually, I declined and decided to leave my position.
I had felt bad for disappointing my boss then, but I felt it was time for me to focus more on family and my baby who was due in February 2017.
Plus, I had wanted to go full-time on L3Hub, and reach out to more audience.
Then in December 2016, I lost my son at 28 weeks.
It was the most devastating moment in my life. In one night, my life turned upside down.
I lost not only hope but also all my dreams and purpose in life along with my child.
My Lowest Point In Life
I could not get through a day without crying and thinking of the negative.
I began to question why I strived so hard in my career only to come back to square one. I asked why I spent so much time committing to the company who was not there for me when I was in emotional and physical pain on the hospital bed. And, I questioned why I set up L3Hub and poured all my energy into it when no one was reading it. And most heartbreakingly, why I had to worry about anything but my child when I was carrying him.
I had set so many expectations on myself that I was stretching myself thin with stress and emotional burden. I was afraid of disappointing the wrong people. Also, I was setting goals that seemed good to have, not necessary for me to have. I was living so much in the future without paying attention to what was actually happening in the now.
Learning from Adversity
It was also an awakening moment in my life. Adversities taught me that I should never take anyone for granted, nothing matters more than people who love and care for me. Over the next month, I was blessed to have my family around me, my mum and my husband who were always there for me.
I also learned that we should live and treasure every moment with those whom we love and those who love us when we have the chance to.
I don’t know what 2017 or what the future holds for me, but this is the time for me to review and readjust my life priorities. Tough as it still is (and will still be) for me, I have to learn to move on.
Why I Started L3Hub
Over the years, I have learned to accept me, my weaknesses and flaws as who I am. I have grown to be more independent. I said yes to what I wanted and spoke up more amid my pounding heart. Later, I experienced the benefits of sharing and giving back through volunteering.
My horizons have expanded as a result of my personal discovery and development journey. My ups and downs made me who I am today. And I still see myself as a work in progress.
Change is the only constant in life. We never know what is going to come next, but if we lose hope and stop taking actions, we are as good as never have lived.
If you are facing a difficult time now, I understand.
I can also understand if you want to get out of feeling stuck.
If you feel you have done so many mistakes that any efforts towards future and happiness seem futile, I can relate to you too.
Life is a Journey
It’s a continuous walk along the path that we bring ourselves through a series of choices and actions we take. Whatever decisions we take today, good or bad, will bring us to where we will be tomorrow.
If you choose not to do anything and stay where you are today, you will be where you still are a few years down the road.
If you have to look back at your life 10 years later, would you see yourself as a warrior who won against your setbacks? Or would you feel like a victim because of your situations?
Over the past year, we have covered topics ranging from
self-acceptance, communication to productivity, money to dealing with fear and changes. Of course, on confidence and getting out of comfort zone.
Our articles have appeared on Lifehack, IATG, MotivationGrid, Executive Lifestyle, We Can Singapore and Ladyboss Asia.
Since January 2016, we have also run several #challenges on (almost) monthly basis from building healthy eating habits, waking up early, get moving (more) to conscious living and expenses tracking.
I hope I am able to encourage you, inspire you or play a part in your amazing journey ahead.