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Status What? (Part 2)

Thus with months, years, coming and going I went to work ever more present but never at peace, eager but not zealous, happy but indifferent. It felt like a chase, with no end and no beginning. Life became more and more straightforward and I felt ever more unfulfilled.

And then came this “little something in me” that wanted and pleaded to get out. It felt like a spark in the middle of the night, leaving me restless but most peaceful than I have ever been in the many years past. For months I slept so late, woke up so early, with 4 hours of sleep in between if I’m lucky. But, I always felt alive; there was no instance whatsoever that I ever felt downtrodden by my thoughts. What dragged me though, was my day job. But the imaginings of what I want to do made me so eager to get to work early so I can also leave early.

Those few months of minimal sleep and restless thoughts all paid off eventually, ultimately because of this feeling of fulfilment that I’ve never experienced in my life. There is no grade, score, teacher, family, or friend’s applause to give affirmation, other than the little kid within. Although times have been tougher than expected, and my idea of tough is continuously redefined as each day gets by, I am really happy and thankful. No more traffic jams to endure in the morning and at night; no one to control my time; no one to dictate as to when I can take leaves; no one to blindly tell me I should do this and not that because of company terms.

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Beautiful pieces spun out of flat, fibrous strings– Making something out of nothing.

A continuous learning process, but a journey that I’d rather take with the beginning and the end all coming at peace. The best part? I choose to sway against standard enterprise terms. I choose to stay in the competition– by competing with no one but myself.

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At what cost? A lot of personal stuff. But is it ever worth it? Will special people in my life understand me?

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Status What? (Part 1)

Sometimes I feel like some people make things look more difficult than they really are. When you ask people across professions–lawyers, accountants, doctors, entrepreneurs, students–there will always be this “really difficult thingy that only x and y and never z can ever do.” This kind of thinking, whether intentional or not, brings about a culture that not only causes people to lose their ambitions, but also causes them to settle in “okay” but “financially safe” situations.

My second to the youngest brother loves drawing and design and wants to become an architect. But meeting architecture students and professionals, he suddenly wants to change his mind. “Too much math,” “Too much work on plates,” “Two hours of sleep a day,” “No social life” were all he heard from them. For a tween who is not that good in math, who loves sports and who likes to go out with friends on a Saturday night, who will not be threatened by these? With his youthful yet fearful heart, the only way he can get back on track is to meet someone whom he admires who says otherwise. What stood as a firm decision now all boiled down to a game of chance.

When I look back, I see myself in similar situations but one thing stands out– and it took me four years to figure it out. Upon graduation, I knew straightaway I would struggle in a 9-5 office job. Although my job gives me the opportunity to travel and live in places I would never have imagined myself to be in, at the end of the day, I have to go back to my cubicle, finish my research, and do other office-related tasks. The set up of a chair, desk, artificial lighting and air-conditioning mentally and emotionally suffocates me. My mind always wanders what it’s like outside.

All mixed up, all intertwined

 

But I have to endure, I fool myself into thinking. I train myself into believing that I need to be in research because I love writing. That I need to be in one with communities so I can help them. But in the field, without a law degree to boot or a big fund to support them, every day seems like a storyline without an ending. Stories of suffering I have to put in one ear, and put in my heart. Nothing to ever put out other than, “I feel for you.”