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About Me — Rebecca Leong

This is a self-introductory post for my submission into a Medium Publication.

My name is Rebecca and I grew up in Malaysia. My father was a first-generation migrant from China and married my mother who is of Peranakan ancestry. I am the youngest of four siblings, and the age gap between us is big, with my eldest brother being 16 years older than me. Growing up we had to relocate around Malaysia frequently as my father was a teacher that taught English in colleges and universities, and we went where he was placed by our education ministry, or where he was able to seek work.

My parents emphasized the importance of education for their children and made sure all of us were able to enter university and get a degree, and I am fortunate to reap the benefits of their decisions and sacrifices. I studied Mechanical Engineering and am currently working as a materials engineer in the semiconductor manufacturing industry here. I have no regrets working in this field, other than the time it consumes from my daily life, and on some days I dislike the grind at work, but overall it is within acceptable tolerance on my end and I appreciate the fact that I still gain technical knowledge in engineering at my job, and that gives a boost to my curious mind.

I met my now-husband while we were at university and we married relatively young at 25 years old, just two years after our graduation. On the outside my husband is quite the opposite of me, he being an outgoing and loud person in contrast to me, as I tend to be reserved and shy, and will only open up in one-to-one connections or in smaller social groups. Nevertheless, we were drawn to each other and despite the obvious difference from the outside, we actually have quite a lot in common beneath the surface. I wrote a story about why we tend to choose a partner who is different from us but in other aspects, they complement our own personality entitled ‘Why We Chose A Partner So Different From Ourselves‘, which was one of the first few posts I contributed to Medium. We now have three young children to tend to and life is full and very loud at the moment.

I started writing about 7 months ago on a relatively unknown personal blog on WordPress, at first writing about child development, motherhood, parenting, personal finance, and other general topics from my perspective. Then it started snowballing, the quantity of my writing, I mean.

I started with writing once a month, to once every 2 weeks, then weekly, and by July I was writing every 3 to 4 days. I could barely keep up, in the day I worked, and after work I cared for and spent time with my kids, and after they are in bed I did chores and whatever reserve energy I had, I wrote, till late into the night.

It was a sacrifice of my time, literally, I gave up sleep to write on some days, and on other days I had to consciously stop writing so I could spend time with my husband and the kids who are always my priority. Thankfully I managed to keep going on as I discovered I had one key element to motivate myself with, and that was the interest and passion to write.

I also have a keen interest in personal finance and may be considered to be a part of the FIRE movement, which is an acronym for financial independence, retire early. I should say, I’m personally more interested in the financial independence portion. Over the last few years, we have paid up our student loans, car loans and as of last year, our house loan to pursue debt freedom. What I want to achieve is to have more time with the family and to pursue passion projects that may involve community work, and to make work an option instead of a need as a means to earn money to sustain the family. I wrote about the motivation behind the persuit for financial independance in the article “The Freedom of Choice and Why It Is So Attractive“, published on a personal finance publication on Medium.

One thing I know about myself, is that I can be pretty determined when I have a goal set out. However, I needed to pace myself as my impulsive nature had to be reigned in and reasoned with logic, and that’s a struggle I personally had to deal with. That may be a sign of maturity, acknowledging my weakness and putting in place the controls to limit myself and prevent adverse outcomes, which I have experienced in the past.

These days as I have matured in my writing I now post on more diverse topics which may cover writing in itself, environmental preservation, human nature, productivity and still on parenting and life with children. If you are ever interested, here’s a link to my personal blog.

My goal for Medium is to expand my topics and writing skill, and learn what are the types of writers and topics out there in the international ‘seas’ instead of only limiting myself to only my group of contacts among friends and WordPress readership. Another goal for me initially is to make Medium as a side hustle but I can say after two and a half months on this platform, this may not be realistic unless I am a top writer and am able to produce writing that are curated and can go viral. At this point in time, I will be focused on learning and pushing myself to write more content.

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