Once upon a time, there was a rebellious 16-year old girl who ran away from home, blaming everything other than herself for the irresponsible decision she made. She quit school and took up odd jobs to survive. From working at a hawker stall, to giving part time tuition classes and babysitting children at a daycare centre, she survived her first year of independence.
At the age of 17, she decided to take the SPM examinations as a private candidate. Miraculously, she passed the series of pure science examinations with a Grade 1, which eventually gained her a 1-semester entrance scholarship to undertake a technical degree at a local college. The collage required her to maintain a GPA of 4.0 with a minimum of 4 subjects on top of an active extra-curricular portfolio each semester, in order to advance on the scholarship. At the age of 18, this young girl almost had a nervous breakdown trying to simultaneously juggle 1 full time job, 4 part-time odd-jobs and daily night classes; in effort to comply to society’s standards of possessing a paper qualification.
Going against all odds and through the grace of God, she graduated with an honours degree and a GPA of 4.0, 1 year ahead of the average part-time student. She was awarded Valedictorian of the year at the age of 19.
Meantime the strain between this 19-year old girl and her family was still evident. They had not spoken since the day she ran away from home. At the age of 24, she visited her parents for the first time after almost a decade of absence from the family. The family reconciliation process began that year as they worked on rebuilding the relationship that was once broken.
At the age of 26, due to a bad investment decision, she exhausted her life savings and was on the verge of depression.
That same year, refusing to give in to circumstances, this stubborn girl picked herself up and made a decision to strive towards her goal of being financially free.
Not long after discovering a tumour on a nerve in her brain, this same girl was diagnosed with the second recurrence of a cancerous cyst in her ovary at the age of 29, which led to a major open surgery. While not even the strongest painkillers could take effect, doctors predicted her to be bedridden for 5 days post-surgery.
Through the discovery of a natural multi-botanical extract and much to the amazement of her doctors, her recovery took place at an unbelievable pace. Within 2 days she could walk and within a month, she was back on her feet performing on her Japanese debut promo tour in 40 stores throughout Japan.
She eventually decided to monetize the product discovery in a business that would change her life forever. At about the same time that year, her parents joined in on the venture and today as a family, they are spending more time together than they ever did in the last 17 years. It was through this same business that she also met the love of her life.
If you haven’t already realized, that 16 year old girl that ran away from home is the same girl that is writing this story.
Most of you know Hannah Tan as the TV host, singer/actress (although I’m not very good at any of that…lots to learn and improve on. Lol), and probably other nouns associated with the arts/entertainment industry. Although I haven’t done or accomplished much to deserve the association, I suppose that’s probably the most relatable description most people can think of.
Well now, you know who the real Hannah Tan is. Fighter, survivor, workaholic.
It’s been more than 17 years since I ran away from home.
It’s also been more than 17 years that I have been working ever so intensely with no regrets.
It’s those 17 years that thought me the value of life, love, money, health, and faith. It’s also in those 17 years that I truly experienced the evident grace of God upon my life amidst the near death experiences, motor accidents, suicide attempts and the lowest points in life.
Talk about abusive and failed relationships. Sure, I’ve experienced those. Time and time again (haven’t we all?).
Talk about wanting to give up my life because I felt I didn’t have any more reasons to live. Done that; and no, I’m not proud of it at all.
Talk about failed business ventures and partnerships, bad investment decisions, bad contracts and wrong associations – I could probably write a fairly entertaining book about my humble experiences in those areas. Lol
Talk about mummy and daddy issues, teenage rebellion, low self-esteem – been there. Talk about having big dreams and wanting to give up on them because almost everyone I sought advice from said, "It's a bad idea." – check.
So at my lowest points I’ve cried and cried, until I had no more tears to cry. There’s no shame in admitting that. But with that same token, someone once said to me…
It made so much sense. So if you’re going through a rough patch in life right now. Stop. Breathe. Smile. Remember that if you keep your face to the sun, you will never see the shadows (quote by Helen Keller). It is also great to know that affliction is often that thing which prepares an ordinary person for some sort of an extraordinary destiny.
Sure, God always gives His hardest battles to His toughest soldiers. It's just that sometimes we wish He didn’t trust us so much – I know. Lol
Don’t give up. You’re not alone and the best is only yet to come. *panda-hugs*
I used to wonder why my parents named me Hannah.
Dad (a former Paster and now a full-time missionary) said that God gave mum the name when I was still in her tummy.
From the Hebrew name Channah, I found out that Hannah meant “favour” or “grace”. Spell is backwards and it still means the same thing. Palindrome. But just like me, I believe each and every one of our names are special and chosen for a reason (be it by our parents, our grandparents, or perhaps you had the revelation to choose it yourself – in that case I hope you chose wisely. Lol).
If it weren’t for the grace and favour of God upon my life, I wouldn’t be able to embark on this exciting new year.
I can’t even imagine having the chance to have you in my life (be it as a friend, a colleague, business partner, family or online family) to love me, encourage me, pray for me, support me. Without your presence in my life, I wouldn’t have been able to come this far. I believe God sends us angels in the form of humans, to guide/encourage/inspire us during times of need.
So today, I’d like to thank you for being my angel.
Thank you for being such a significant part of my life.
For being my source of joy and inspiration. For being my pillar of strength on days that I felt like giving up.
For carrying me through with your daily and tireless words of support and encouragement.
For loving me so unconditionally despite my list of imperfections.
Thank you so much. I really appreciate and love you.
ENTREPRENEUR | ENTERTAINER | FOODIE | GEEK
OFFICIAL PROFILE (Click on the thumbnails to enlarge)
OFFICIAL INSTAGRAM @hannahonline
OFFICIAL TWITTER @hannah_tan