So it’s been some time since I posted.
What have I been up to? Quite a bit actually 🙂
One week after I came back, I started working at the Family Courts. A stint that lasted about 10 weeks. Interesting experience. Though the Family Courts dealt with Family Matters and we were doing ‘hotwash’, which was the clearing of pending cases from waay back as 1998, it was interesting to attend court and hear a ‘mention’. Learnt court terms, saw people getting handcuffed (not very dramatic but still not very nice) and found out that the judges are really nice people, who also earn a lot, obviously 😛 and my colleagues were great too. Got along really well with Hanisah, a girl who is waay younger than me and who is my Ngee Ann Poly mass comm junior! She used to work at MediaCorp as Assistant Director for a youth TV series and I learnt some interesting stuff about that sector from her too. The job ended 30th Nov 12.
And then December I totally relaxed. Did nothing much the first week. Then started preparing for Christmas, albeit pretty slowly. Took up balloon twisting, now that is cool! Can only make simple creations though. And tried to take up 2 courses with ‘Coursera’, an online website that offers free courses in collaborations with worldwide universities on a wide range of topics, you get to watch lectures and take quizzes, even exams for some, and if you complete it successfully you get certified!! How cool is that! I signed up for ‘Think Again, How to Reason and Argue’ and ‘Drugs and the Brain’ though I never successfully completed both, coz I moved on to my next (temp) job which took up a whole lot of time and my energy.
Yep, January came and I realised its not easy just staying at home, I had all the time in the world to do the hobbies I wanted but what about the money to survive? So I started looking out in the Classifieds for short term jobs. Wanted a CNY (Chinese New Year) job, and wanted to try packing/promoting with Malaysia Dairy Industries but that didn’t work out. 1) they didn’t get back to me if the promoters needed to be able to speak Mandarin. Probably! 2) when I called them again about packers all the vacancies were filled.
Wanted to be a dental assistant to see how that industry was like but they were looking for somebody more permanent whereas I could only work a couple of months. Called another one regarding packing but they wanted guys as they were packing electronics. Offered me admin job at Expo but that was too far for me. Felt bad that I was choosy but oh wells. And then finally the first job that I applied and went for the interview I got on the spot. Although I wanted to consider first, but I only had until 12pm the next day to do so. And I decided I wanted it because I wanted to see how that industry was like. And it was for a flower/hamper company – Goodwood Florist!!
Turned out to be the MOST tiring and exhausting job I’ve ever done in my entire life, even more tiring than the apple job I did in NZ, but no regrets. Started off quite badly coz there was this lady who kept scolding me and the other temporary staff for every single thing we did. She was so bad tempered, she scolded basically everyone (except guys, we noticed!) and kept banging stuff.. a lot of negative energy there. She even scolded me one day for something that she herself did, and even though I tried to explain to her she ignored me. That was the last straw. The next time she scolded me, I went to tell the other supervisor, who made me do something else. And then shortly after she didn’t come to work for a week. We found out her mother was terminally ill, and she had some problems with her mother earlier. Which was probably why she behaves the way she does. And then a week after that her mother passed away.
Anyway, closer to Chinese New Year we started working at 9am and finishing past 1am sometimes, 6 days a week, 15 hours or more a day is really, really tiring. We were supposed to end on Valentine’s Day but were asked to extend, coz that lady who scolds was not back in the office yet, and I agreed. Met some really interesting and nice people too. The florists were all basically nice peeps! On the 1st day I extended I ordered lunch and got something else coz the order didn’t go through and the lunch substitute wasn’t very nice. But earlier a florist gave me a cupcake so that made lunch bearable. And then there is this PRC guy and he suddenly came to me and said ‘u h-o-t-e me?’ I said ‘h-a-t-e’? and he was like yeah! and I was like, ‘nooo!’ and he laughed. On the same day he offered me Mentos and described it as ‘sugar’. When I was leaving that day, another PRC lady who wanted to be my friend Valerie’s (this sweet 18 year old girl who works temp together with me) mother in law asked me if I wanted some flowers (which she was probably going to throw away) and she then wrapped them up nicely for me in newspaper to bring back. A few weeks back another florist noticed me coughing and offered me a herbal candy which really helped. And there was this guy stationed outside who always smiled teasingly at me and Valerie. I learnt that some people take a while to warm up to you but that doesn’t mean they’re not nice. And that the world is made up of a variety of colourful, different characters.
Working there was tough also because during one period in time, probably a week or so ago, I started feeling really unhappy and questioning myself as to why I was doing this. ‘This’ as in working temp jobs that last a only a month, earning a meagre pay (the florist job costs $5 an hour), having to watch how much I spend on food even, I felt so poor and really really unhappy. I wondered if I should forfeit the $200 deposit I spent to learn Muay Thai in Thailand, something which I had to do by May, and go back to working full time. After all, what I am doing currently is against the norm. Why work temp jobs when I have a degree and experience? Why subject myself to exhausting jobs, belittle myself to being scolded unnecessarily, having to watch closely how much I spend, etc, just because I want to follow my dreams (and learning martial arts is one of them) which don’t seem to be materialising and which I don’t seem to have the money and confidence to do? When I could be going back to earning a couple of thousands a month and living a stable life like what my current peers in Singapore are doing. Even my ex-boss asked me a couple of weeks ago if I wanted to go back to my old company and work with her, although in a different department but I threw that chance away all because I wanted to follow my dreams. But is it worth it? People will ask what I am doing and I will be looked down upon, its true. My older brother told me to look for a permanent job way back in September as he said employers will think that I am not committed. Even one of my friends kept asking me ‘Have you found a job?’ back in December, but to me, life is not all about working or getting jobs, and then while she offered to ask around her company for temp jobs for me, when I checked back with her a month later she said it slipped her mind and then asked me why don’t I look for something permanent along the lines of what I was doing before. I was a little bit sad and disappointed really.
Talked it through with my mum just for encouragement and decided it was worth it to continue doing what I was doing and pursue my dreams. As long as whatever I choose to do I offer it up to God. And I am sure he will bless my decision. After all, I answer to no one except God. But it was REALLY, REALLY TOUGH.
And then yesterday the bigger picture came to light. Yesterday I got the encouragement I was looking for.
Quite a bit of a story before that, but I have to go into the details. Started on 15th Feb, the day I extended. Finished work around 11plus pm, reach home close to 12am, and then while usually I would go to sleep, I decided to check my email. And found out that my friend from the U.S. was in Singapore! And he would be leaving the very next day!! I was so bummed, if I hadn’t agreed to extend work I could had met him on that day itself! And with work still being so busy, how could I get let off earlier to go and meet him! What if I couldn’t meet him at all, but I had to!! And then I found out another friend of mine was going to India next Tues to volunteer!! India, a country I wanted to go to also but buying my time, and of course, if I had a choice, I would not want to go there alone! And I want to volunteer there too, with Mother Teresa’s charity! I emailed her for details but had to wait for her reply. That night I couldn’t sleep. So hyped up. Would I get to meet my friend? What would happen next in my life? Finally fell asleep around 3plus am, and had to be up at 7plus am.
Well I am happy to share that it all worked out ok. Of course I prayed like mad too. I felt bad, because I couldn’t pray much earlier as I felt I didn’t deserve to pray when I’ve not been good so far. And yet, in this desperate position of mine I couldn’t do anything except pray and I wanted to because in the end, who is in control? God is! So I went to work and my texted my American friend (who got himself a SG SIM card, perfect!) and managed to work out to meet for dinner around 6.30pm, which was great coz then I could continue to help out at work until 5.30pm, which was not too bad. And I met him, and my dear friend Valerie joined us, I thought it might be awkward but it was not, it was all good!! And then I went back home and saw my friend’s reply about India – she would be going to volunteer at exactly the same place I wanted to! She would be travelling after volunteering! And she would not be going alone! + she didn’t mind if I joined her! And there was a possibility of joining my American friends too as they are gonna travel around South East Asia. And as I took some time to reflect, about how something I was so worried about turned out alright (because, really, I think I was worried as I felt that matters were not in my hands and beyond my control, but it all worked out because I let God take over). I reflected on the wonderful and interesting characters I met recently. I reflected on how friends I’ve made overseas took time to come to SG and made arrangements to meet up with me. (besides my American friend, my China friend Vivi would be coming too!) I reflected on the freedom I had at this point in time to join my friends in their travel. I felt extremely, extremely happy with my current situation. Life! Its not always smooth, but I’m living it. And loving it. And that’s whats makes me happy. Living life!!
See, the thing is, my life to me is not about climbing the ladder or earning thousands a month, or status, wealth, following the conventional, the norms, the crowds, attaining the 5Cs (cash, credit cards, condo, car, career) in Singapore. I’ve always told God I want to something meaningful in life. And of course right now I don’t have a family of my own, am not tied down, so its my chance to make things happen. While some may say/think/feel that I am wasting my time doing all these temp jobs and creating a death-bed for myself career wise (especially in SG!!), what I am actually doing is learning a lot of new and interesting things. Seeing how different industries work. And meeting a lot of interesting new people! Some nice, some not so nice, but in meeting new people and learning new things that I am growing to be a better person!! And that is my ultimate aim anyway, God knows!! So what if I am earning a meagre pay? I have to freedom to leave when I want, and of course, travel when I want to 🙂 My friends who work full time have to apply for leave and get to go for short term holidays. Whereas for me, I will be able to volunteer, do exchanges, see places at my own pace, and ultimately, that is my dream. To be able to do what I want. Learn new things, meet new people, become a better person in the process, and freedom and choice to do all that! And that is what I am doing now! Thank you Jesus! And when the going gets tough I am just gonna have to remind myself of all these and the tough will be nothing but a piece of cheese. Or cake. Haha, just had to make it rhyme 🙂