Price of Passion.

I still vividly remember my parents’ disappointed face when I told them I wanted to pursue my passion in writing for my college major instead of business major.

It was not a pretty sight.

The loneliness of being the only Asian among Australians in the class because Art degree, let alone Creative Writing major, was far from popular among my peers. Oh the frustration, when I had to quit my writing job in a magazine that I actually loved doing because the paycheque was far from ideal and had to look for other career opportunity instead.

I buried my writing dream since then for five years, as I started to work purely for good money by running my own business in fashion.

I thought I was fine living with a dead dream.

Until not too long ago I found myself completely, utterly, broken.
I was hopeless.  I was helpless.
My soul was weary.
The future is nothing but a fog.
Unfathomable dead of night that this small mind failed to comprehend.

Pursuing a passion has its price to pay.

As for me, it was depression.
Not the “OMG my boyfriend broke up with me, I feel sooo depressed” kind, but diagnosed-by-psychiatrist-and-she-prescribed-me-with-an anti-depressants-so-I-won’t-turn-suicidal-kind.

There were days when I had to swallow that tiny pill just to give me the strength, to get me out of the bed and go to work. When I woke up I wished the day would end already, so tomorrow will come and I will finally be done feeling this empty.

In that state of mind, I kept telling the universe,

“I know I’m not a child anymore and I need to grow up,
but don’t make me a dreamer if you’re just gonna crush it with harsh reality.”

I was artistically heart broken, because the creator in me wasn’t able to create.
I had some success in my business, but I was far from being genuinely happy.
People who just knew me recently, would never know the wordsmith side of me.
Because I never show them.

Now more than ever, the world tells you to pursue your passion.
“Do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life,” they said.

But guess what, you actually have to.

Maybe your true passion isn’t making a lot of money, but the bill needs to be paid.
Last time I checked, groceries can’t be exchanged by passion nor big dreams.
Traveling and taking Insta-worthy pictures costs you.

Pursuing a passion is hard work.

Working your arse off day and night, doing everything you can, chasing every opportunities like you chase the wind, while waiting, for that door to finally come bursting open, for your teenage dream to finally come true, it can get mind-numbingly discouraging.

But after being molded for so long in darkness, imprisoned by the uncertainty, when the time is right, the light in you will shine bright.

If you prove yourself to be FAITHFUL in LOVING what you were entrusted to DO, even if it wasn’t the ideal job that you had in mind growing up, soon enough the universe will reward you with

the right people, 
right place, 
right time,

and you will be able to DO what you LOVE.

Start with a small step.
Start with what you currently have in your hands.
Dare to hope again.
Dare to feel again.
If you’re like me, dare to write again.

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Dream on my dearest,

S. (@sashatjie)




Meet The Contributors!

I’ve told you that we have new things coming, remember? So this is it!


I’ve always known from the first time The Perks of Being Twenty was still in the form of a mere idea hovering somewhere inside my head, I didn’t want to create just another project, or another blog. I wanted to create a platform that speaks to 20 something covering the area of lifestyle.

However, the context of lifestyle that I have in mind is slightly different than what most people would commonly interpret in their head. For me, lifestyle is not only about traveling every month taking a good photo of your feet on a sandy-floor, or working from the newest coffee shop in your town, or wearing the current outfits and putting the OOTD hashtag in your caption.

Lifestyle for me, especially during the twenty-something season, also includes doing random kindness to others, being the sort of friend who is keen to give honest opinion, fighting with perseverance to pursue your dreams, not settling for peer pressure and going boldly in life to make things happen. That sort of thing.

Entering the second year of running TPOB20, I’ve decided to share my vision to other 20 somethings who share the same vision and also able to communicate them in the form of writings. Besides, I’ve been reading lots of books and hearing lots of podcasts from inspiring world class leaders. They all believe that one of the keys to building something impactful and long lasting is by having a strong collaboration with others who are on the same page with you. That’s when this whole contributor thing came into the picture. Gratefully they all agreed to step into this platform.

So starting from now, you will not only read what I think about living the 20 something season to the fullest, but also from this awesome friends of mine. Now, let me introduce you to them!

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Jeloy Tirie (@je.loy) a photographer and occasional wanderer, who is in the search of honest stories, work, and people. The guy who shares the resemblance of Spock thinks that he has a pretty gnarly name given by his parents, and still unsure what they were thinking when they had him.

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Levina Christy (@levchristy), has just entered the 20 something season last January. She is now studying in Melbourne, Australia in the mission of completing her bachelor in the fashion business. Having her parents building a non-profit organization called Yayasan Pemulihan Indonesia, which focuses on setting up free kindergarten schools for poor villagers all across the country, ignited her passion in humanity and environment.

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Patrishiela Tan (@patrishiela), an Indonesian model who loves to eat and travel. She is now hosting a TV Show, “Para Petualang Cantik” on TRANS7. She always  make time for travel, because for her, “Earth is too beautiful to be wasted and not enjoyed.” Apart from that, this beautiful lady who turns out to have such a unique sense of humor, is still on the run of finishing her Bachelor Degree.

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Rachel Saputro (@raesaputro), a girl who is passionate about storytelling – whether in producing a documentary film for class or writing news pieces at Voice of America’s Washington D.C. bureau. She is now studying Economics, Journalism and Film at The George Washington University, which often makes people give her confused looks. Rae hopes to return to this country after graduation and work in the intersection of media, business and technology.

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Sarah Callista (@callistasarah), a passionate writer, a wife and a constant day dreamer. Her adoration for writing sparked when she was 13. It’s like inhaling and exhaling oxygen for her. Words are more than just alphabets and phonetics, it’s a realization of what’s within us. So, if you happened to stumble upon her writing, you shall say hello to her imagination.

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Sasha Tjie (@sashatjie), a sunset lover and beach aficionado who claims to have writing as her number one passion. After graduating from the Bachelor of Arts (Creative and Professional Writing) from Deakin University, Australia, she is now enjoying her role as a creativepreneur in fashion / wedding industry who runs a gown rental boutique. Next month, she will publish a book called “Soul Travellers: Turning Miles into Memories” with a goal to inspire the young generation of Indonesia to travel further.

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Sofia Layanto (@sofietyger), a thinker and a writer with a desire to build things. She is currently doing strategy at one of the largest tech startups in Southeast Asia, and would love to meet anyone who’d like to know more about the scene. She believes that we should all engage with the world in a meaningful way, and can be found working on side projects anytime she’s not actively chilling or planning getaways.

Many believe that seven is a lucky number. Is it a coincidence that TPOB20 has a great set of 7 passionate 20 somethings who are on their own race, running towards their purpose and dreams? I don’t know. What I know is, starting from today, this website will be colored with a lot of inspiring thoughts and content dedicated to you, who are still in what so I call, the prime season of life.

Write to you later!

HG. (@gersonhenry)