The triumph of hope over fear

My story part 2 January 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — tulayswords @ 12:29 am
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After a couple of years of being lost and not really knowing what to do with my life, I wrongly developed the belief that life is one big chore.


I thought, well since that is the case, why don’t I secure myself a good financial future doing one of the most responsible and grown-up jobs ever – teaching!


I applied to Teacher training and got in.  I found that being a teacher was nothing like being a Teaching Assistant.  It’s sad but true: teachers are so overworked that they never have time for themselves, are under pressure from all fronts, are often worried about a million different things that they don’t have the time or the luxury of enjoying the children’s company.


And kids are precious little creatures (they can be little devils too, depending on the day but that is never a problem if you truly love children) – to me it seemed pointless that if I couldn’t interact with the children in a light-hearted and inspiring way then there was no point in continuing with my training.


Besides, I felt it a terrible waste that schools in general don’t foster the 8 intelligences equally.  They nurture linguistic and mathematical intelligences above all others!  Just in case you didn’t know, the 8 intelligences are spatial, linguistic, mathematical (logical), kinaesthetic (bodily), musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic.


We know that some of the most successful people in the world aren’t necessarily intelligent in a conventional way.  Darcy Bussell, the great English ballerina is said to have been extremely hyper and distracted at school, which are symptoms of kinaesthetic intelligence.  Worried, her mother took her to the doctor, only to be told that Darcy wasn’t sick or disordered at all; she was a dancer!


I didn’t want to be the person who pigeon-holed children into different classifications using my grading, assessments and judgement.  I didn’t want to be the one producing a factory line of identical people ready to fulfil whatever economic roles society had created for them.  I didn’t want to take the joy out of children’s lives and enforce conformity on them.


And then it dawned upon me that I was once one of these children and that as an adult I was fulfilling the role that society had made for me.  Yikes! That’s when I made my swift exit.  Thank goodness I did that, there are some people who trudge on till the end while hating every minute of it and all they have to show for it are trauma, mental illness or physical symptoms like extreme fatigue.


I realized that life is too short to not be doing what I truly desired – the stuff that dreams are made of.  I want more out of my life than waking up everyday to a job I’m indifferent to because after a while that indifference turns into boredom, then frustration, then contempt.  Who honestly wants to be thinking ‘is this all there is to life?’


Or to be unaware of the importance of this only to wake up one day in your late forties thinking your whole life has been wasted because you no longer get satisfaction from earning good money from something that takes all you have and gives back very little in comparison?


Right now I am blissfully unemployed.  My life is full of uncertainty, there are a couple of projects on the pipeline but things are progressing slowly.  I’m learning to be more patient.


I feel like I have hit rock bottom.  I have quit so many times in the past that I’m now sick and tired of quitting.  I’ve given up all hope of ever being a normal, conventional person who has achieved all 5 milestones of adulthood by 30.  Milestones like getting a degree, moving out, getting married, having kids, owning a home.  And do you know what?  I’m not in a hurry to achieve them either, to be quite frank I’d be happy living like this for the rest of my life.  After all, I get to set the rules for my own life!


What happens when you hit rock bottom and have exhausted every single avenue?  You become creative and think outside the box.  You start doing things in a different way, change your expectations of yourself.  Let yourself go.






And then things start to work out by themselves.  Hopefully 😀



My story part 1 January 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — tulayswords @ 11:47 pm
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This is a post about my struggles since graduating from university in 2007 at the age of 22.


Like most people my age who had studied a subject they loved passionately without thinking about the future implications, I studied ever so luxuriously and blissfully knowing that I didn’t need to think about work just yet.  I got good grades effortlessly, became a social butterfly and blossomed into a confident and sophisticated young lady towards the end.  The world was my oyster.


Then all of a sudden I graduated and had to think about making a living.  But I had no ambitions.  My sole ambition had been to go to university, and once I’d achieved that I may as well have died because I’d lived a full life and that life had abruptly come to an end.


Life as I knew it was over.  I felt like my old self was dead every time I took the train to my brand new job.  Dressed like everybody else, reading the same free newspaper I felt anonymous, mediocre, a nobody.  I felt a deep void within me and was so desperate to fill it; with an even better job, a boyfriend, new and better friends, better clothes, holidays abroad, writing poems, coming up with ventures and ideas that led nowhere.


I thought I had to be someone.  Someone else but me because being myself just wasn’t good enough.  My real self was weak and vulnerable, going through a major life transformation and feeling the culture shock of the working world so keenly that I wanted to escape from it.  So I decided to strengthen myself, to find my ‘role’ in society, earn money so that I could become somebody and have status.


Between then and until recently, I was trying in vain to make myself somebody important and worthy of people’s respect, so that people would like me, want to hang out with me and that through them I’d meet the love of my life.  I didn’t realise that this person I was trying to create was a wholly fictitious character, a caricature of me.  And how are you supposed to attract the right kind of people to be your life-long companions if what you present to them isn’t the real you?


So I went in search for the perfect job that would solve all my problems and have a positive domino-effect on all areas of my life.  I got interviews for glamorous and cool-sounding jobs that were really just office jobs typing up something ultimately pointless, answering calls and generally acting like a human machine – in things like publishing and charities but didn’t get them and was devastated.


I quit a couple of jobs that were impressive-sounding but so depressing that they sucked the soul out of me.  I quit a couple of jobs that I really enjoyed on a daily basis but thought I had no future in them (experience tells me that one should hold onto such jobs!).


I loved working as a Library Assistant but the idea that it was an older lady’s job and that it didn’t have a future (other than to be a Librarian, which I did not want) and that my peers were probably out there tackling meatier jobs with more prestige and pay was enough to drive me nuts.


Another job I loved was being a Teaching Assistant in a class full of 5 year olds.  But being predominantly ruled by ego at the time, I thought ‘what other 23 year old wipes children’s noses and puts up with headlice and mess?’ when in fact, being there for the children made me feel so happy because I had to be selfless and was doing the community a favour by looking after their kids well.


Yet I was tormented at the same time with thoughts of inadequacy.  I wasn’t earning enough to move out of my parents’ house, I felt like I wasn’t doing anything with my life because my life wasn’t moving anywhere.  Happiness was always somewhere else.  In fact anywhere else except for the one place it mattered: the here and now.


But what I have realized is that when the present moment is a happy one, nothing else matters and things work themselves out when you are happy in the present moment.