I had a really pleasant dream the other day.

I was sitting in a round table adorned with white tablecloths and a sprinkling of gold and beige decorative ornaments. I wore a pearly white satin dress with plunging neckline and hair pulled back. I was at an awards show.

Then I heard my name announced through the microphone. I stood up immediately, accompanied by the heightened sounds of cheers and applause. I was named Restauranteur of the Year.

Few moments later, the name of an establishment was announced the winner. My small little eatery has just been named Best New Restaurant of the Year.

As I nervously and excitedly head towards the stage, I caught a glance of an image on the television screen which read “Malaysian Summer.” I thought it sounded ironic. There was never four seasons in a tropical land where I grew up, yet it seems like the combination of the two terms perfectly summed up the kind of culinary creation and personality we wanted the restaurant to have. It was also in a way, a representation of how I’ve grown up to become a certain someone who continues to carry her heritage but has adopted a new way of thinking.

It seemed surreal. I was hoping to live in that dream, then I was awaken to reality. And all those questions of doubt started to cloud my thinking. My brain cannot catch a break even in the wee hours of the morning. I had so many doubts as to why that dream couldn’t become a reality.

“I had no culinary qualifications, surely that is just weird that I can run a restaurant to succeed.”
“Look at reality, I have a day job which involves me sitting on a desk all day navigating and typing away at my laptop, I have to surely continue doing so for atleast a few more years?”
“Some people are not cut out to succeed in the competitive restaurant industry. Surely I am going to be one of those people.”
“What sorcery could I have done to make my eatery which serves humble Malaysian street food a slice of an award mention? There are people who must be sniggering in the background.”

And so I let thoughts continue to ramble on and on while I remain bound lying on my bed in complete silence looking dejected. I realised one thing upon gaining some inner peace, 15minutes later.

I am my own biggest critique.

I actively discourage myself repeatedly to discard my actual ambition.

I reminded myself that I should never be flamboyant, more outgoing and louder than whoever is next to me. As I can be made fun of and have mean remarks thrown at me.

Why are we letting ourselves feel unworthy when we haven’t even attempted to try whatever we discourage ourselves to do in the first place? Is self-protection and rationality a commendable form of attitude in this instance? I believe not. And yet, I let my thoughts pull me right back down.

I wasn’t even allowed to revel in my dream upon waking up for a few minutes.

“It should be tucked away, hidden under this mattress you are lying on and never be told to anyone.”
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