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Bittersweet, a taste we are all familiar with when we face changes in life. It’s the feeling of excitement what lays ahead mixed with sadness about what must be left behind. Everything has its inevitable opposites in life and they go hand in hand – both the good and the bad.

We experience pleasures and miseries of life; sometimes we have a great time and sometimes a terrible time. We witness the kindness of friends and their cruelties; creating memories with both people you love and hate. But at the end of the day, no matter how good or bad of a life you have led, how long or how short, how memorable or ordinary, it’s going to end.

So, enjoy all its ups and downs while we can. If it weren’t for the down, we wouldn’t appreciate the highs, right?

 

All Planned Out…

On the evening of my bachelor graduation ceremony, it hit me – the familiar faces and places I’d grown so accustomed to over the last four years would soon be changing. When I was being fitted for my cap and gown, the anxiety of that reality started to creep up a bit. Standing there looking at my fellow classmates, I remembered thinking to myself, “How did I get here?”

Four years flew by as it was yesterday. I wasn’t quite sure where my time had gone. That night, when sitting at the ceremony, one thought continued to occupy my mind: I would be closing a chapter in my life – one filled with exploration, development, struggles, and growth.

In a way, it felt like leaving home, like the comfort of an old oversized sweater. It was a bittersweet moment in my life – missing the moment while still living it. I understood that life just continues after graduation. Fortunately, opportunities were certainly before me and I already decided what I wanted to do. At least, that was what I thought.

 

Getting Serious

Fresh from graduation and together with three co-founders, I planned to further my career in our own startup. Much needed to be improved and roles were divided among each other. My agenda was full, my mind was set, and I travelled to different places to meet entrepreneurs to build a business relationship.

However, this plan didn’t work out as I hope it would. There were divided opinions on which direction our startup should go and this created tension internally. Beside tension among co-founders, I underestimated important skills such as storytelling, team management, and relationship building. Long story short, we were far from ready to manage our startup.

Soon, it escalated into two members leaving. It was a matter of time whether I would stay or leave as well. After one year, after many struggles, I left as well. From one bittersweet moment to another. Was I disappointed? Of course, but at the same time, it was the best decision I have ever made.

 

Next Chapter

At first, I felt hopeless and mentally tired, and my mind had shut down for one month. After one month, I started to think about what I needed to do. Leaving the startup had really pushed me to think about next steps. So, I went soul-searching to thinking about what went wrong and what went right, what I enjoy doing and what I disgust doing.

Surprisingly, what I end up finding was something rather out of the blue – I find fulfilment through writing. And that was exactly what I did. I made an account on Medium and posted my first blog about fear. By the time I posted my fourth one, an online publisher acknowledged my blog and things went fast from there.

After writing 40 blogs, I launched my own website. After writing 50 blogs, Thought Catalog also asked me to join and publish on their platform. How could I reject such an opportunity where I can continue to do what I enjoy doing and increase my reach at the same time? Things were looking great for me and I decided to become a freelance copywriter and ghostwriter.

 

Freelance In Another Startup

One day, a good friend called me. He asked what I was doing and if I wanted to help with the startup of our former teacher. I hesitated because I left my startup not too long ago and I wasn’t sure how things will turn out this time.

But in some way, the startup culture has always been appealing to me – the grinding, the problem solving, the thrill of taking risks, the thirst to succeed. It’s something that’s close to me. And now, I’m working as a freelancer at my former teacher’s startup.

 

Saying Goodbye

My stories above are all bittersweet moments when I’ve struggled to utter the word “goodbye.” No matter the circumstances, saying goodbye means change, and change rarely comes along with immediate acceptance. Yet it’s an empowering word, enabling us to achieve closure and finally move on with our lives.

 

  • What were your bittersweet moments?
  • How did you feel during your graduation?
  • How do you deal with "goodbye?"

 

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