I gave up a life of freedom and got back into an agency

Not quite the thing you usually read huh. In fact, quite the inverse.

So, a few months ago I was a strong believer of young people (okay, people my age) taking time to think about what they wanted to do and to find themselves. The argument I ran with was that once you got into a job you wouldn’t have the time to prioritize your goals in life, you wouldn’t get to enjoy life in your youth, and you wouldn’t have time to do the things you loved to do etc. etc. etc.

I had a good part time gig that allowed me to dance, to write, to help entrepreneurs out, and to create as and when I liked, all while being able to earn a regular income.

And then for personal reasons, I left for Melbourne, pursued a course in graphic design, and was pretty convinced I was going to freelance for a few years, until I found my calling.

But then I realized, within the short span of 2 weeks while I was unemployed and talking to a few friends who were strongly passionate about starting their own businesses, that I was getting jaded. I couldn’t find anything that I was that passionate about. I couldn’t find anything that I would risk losing sleep and money over.

Not that I was sick of having time to myself, or listening and helping out with entrepreneurs, mind you. I love that genuinely passionate people still exist in Singapore.

I was tired of being lost, of not knowing what to do, and of doing a lot of work… for very little benefit. I don’t know if staying in Melbourne for a while made me realize what a vast difference in mindset Singaporeans had when it came to work life balance; maybe I just gave up trying to find that balance in life. (As sad as that sounds). Maybe it’s because, after 2 years, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, so I thought I might as well just go get a normal job and learn something from someone.

FFWD to today, I’m back to a 9 to… past 6 job. It’s challenging and I’m on my toes every moment of my working day. I get to work with really cool people and haven’t felt this motivated to work in a while. While this is all new and exciting to me, I can’t say I don’t miss having that bit of alone time to create, to read, to dance, to rest. I can’t decide if it’s a good or a bad thing. I guess every choice has its pros and cons! Let’s see where this fork in the road takes me.

Till then, I’ll try to make time to write more.

Here’s to a FANTASTIC BOMBASTIC rest of 2014. See you on the other side.

2 Comments

  1. Reverse courage. Somehow the dots will connect!

  2. going back to a 9-5 isnt bad. infact, there is nothing to be apologetic about.
    one time in art school, i heard my teacher critique one of my classmates when he was figure drawing. “this line is too dark.”

    “its my style,” he replied.
    “you cant have a style when you dont develop and understand yr basics.” the teacher said.

    and its true. donnie yen learned his ass wooping from woo ping. like many great people out there, they learned from someone before finding themselves. of course there are exceptions, with anything. so maybe u need a few years under someone to learn the ropes, and then strike out on yr own.

    then again, i am going to play the devils advocate as well. you havent left the system long enough to know it is ok to drift a bit. the education system, the way we are graded based on how well we follow it, is still very much a big part of us. at 35, i still feel it. it is ok to be lost, because it forces you to ask yrself what you really want to do with yr life. your friends at this point are probably all working, because thats the “natural” thing to do. their parents probably told them that they should get a secure job, and get a house, get married, all that stuff.
    the problem is, there isnt a secure job. and its even less secure when you work for someone else.
    i know, ive worked with one for 13 years and i thought everything would last forever.
    i freelance now, and this is the most secure ive ever felt. because i can decide where i want to go with it, and when i should call it quits.

    im sure these have all crossed yr mind. i think of the mind like it is beef.
    tender when u cook it for a while. really tough after ten mins, then tender again after 2 hours.
    sometimes it is good to wait a little longer past your comfort zone.

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