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  • Writer's pictureGina Greenlee, Author


People walking through market
Photo: Lily Banse, Unsplash
There is a time when we must firmly choose the course which we will follow or the endless drift of events will make the decision for us. Herbert V. Prochnow

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In 1992, I moved to Singapore for a year. It was on behalf of an employer that allowed four weeks for me to pack up my house, car and possessions, and prepare emotionally to leave my home country.

I was barely out of my 20s when I moved to Singapore, tittering with excitement about the possibilities that awaited me, while also wondering if I was out of my mind. I owned two pieces of real estate – my home and a condo I rented. I adored my historic home, a 200-year-old townhouse with a wrought iron spiral staircase, skylights, exposed brick and wood beams. I had always dreamed of owning a house like that. It reminded me of the West Village brownstones of my Manhattan childhood, except in the gentrifying Baltimore, Maryland, of 1991, it was affordable. It stunned even me, that less than a year after I’d bought it, I was letting it go.

I sold my car and rented my house – only because there wasn’t enough time to sell it before I left. And though I worked for the same employer, I quit my stale stateside job. With the bulk of my possessions in storage, and one suitcase in hand, I boarded a plane headed for Southeast Asia not knowing what my fate would be a year later. Where would I live? Where would I be working? Who would I be working for? Also, other than my work responsibilities I knew only that when the jet landed, I would stay at the Shangri-La Hotel. And, with the help of my new boss, I would have two weeks to arrange for a place to live. Until my Singapore move, I didn’t know I had the capacity for that large a faith.

On the airplane, I breathed deeply and told myself that all I had to do for the next 24 hours was enjoy the flight. I trusted that by making it this far with hundreds of decisions behind me, I would figure out the rest as it came – one moment at a time.

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The notion of the perfect time is more than myth.

It’s the ultimate self-delusion.


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