I’m supposed to write this long time ago. But I have no idea why I’ve been procrastinating to write about it. Maybe it was just lack of motivation. However, I am so inspired by a book that I’ve just finished reading recently and decided that I should really write this & publish here.
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Almost a year ago, I made an insane decision to quit my job without securing a new job. It was an insane decision because the market was getting tougher, I most probably wouldn’t be employed for months knowing that I was not very experienced in any specific field. But I did it anyway. People around me may think I was brave to chase after my dreams. To be honest, it’s easy to quit a job that you hate. The toughest part is getting used to living a life being unemployed, when there is no certainty.
The price for chasing after dreams doesn’t come cheap. I owe it to people who have been supporting me endlessly and believing in me. Because I did get upset and disappointed at times. But they didn’t stop believing in me and encouraging me at the same time. I had a lot of disappointing and heartbreaking moments for that 6 months being unemployed. Aside from getting rejected from interviews that I’ve gone to, there were turbulence in a friendship. Friendships mean a lot to me, so that affected me a lot. That being said, I have reconciled with a friend whom I was very mad at previously. I made the move to apologize to her and I am so glad that she accepted it and we’ve been fine. In fact, she’s been very supportive and happy when I told her I think I found the job.
Now that I found the job that I am still enjoying after almost 3 months, I certainly do see myself continue working in this field in the future too. I’ve been constantly reminding myself how blessed I am to have found this job and got accepted as one of the therapists. You may wonder how I knew I’m fit for this job. To be honest, I didn’t know that when I went for the interview. But I knew I wanted to work there. Very badly. When I got the phone call that I was being offered and going for training for the position, I was really excited. When I was there for the training, I enjoyed the training everyday like how I used to enjoy my classes (especially psychology ones) back in college. We had a practical session right on the first day, immediately after the theory class, I was nervous but I was very excited too. In my heart, I knew I didn’t do it perfectly but I knew what I was doing and when I got the kid a little more calmer than he first saw us, I knew instantly that this job is not simple and it’s really challenging. & I love challenging tasks! When my trainer/supervisor asked me how I felt about the practical session. I was literally out of breath (that showed how tiring it was to take care of a child) and I explained my strategy. I didn’t know if my strategy worked but it worked somehow. At least a little bit. Few more days down the road, we were trained everyday with theory classes and practical sessions. I understand myself better everyday and I seemed to be able to do what they expected from me (or rather us as trainees). Each & everytime I’ve gotten a comment/praise/recommendation/suggestion, I was/am happy. I don’t get all depressed if it’s a negative one – because I wanna work on it and I keep thinking all the other possible ways to do it. But if I got a positive note, it just reconfirmed my decision that this is the job that I want.
Many people around me asked me what I’m now doing for a living. When I told them, I expect them to respect my decision and understand that this is not a simple job although I always put it simply that “it’s like a kindergarten teacher, except these are special children who need special care and different ways to teach them”. People always went “ahhh easy job… just play with kids and so stress-free”. I beg to differ. It may seems simple and easy on the surface, short working hours (not much OT), but it is really not stress-free at all. I still feel really tired even though I just finished a 3-hours therapy session. It’s mentally & physically exhausting. It’s hard to explain everything here in detail. But that sort of tiredness is different from the tiredness you got from a corporate job. Having said that, the kind of reward I’ve gotten there is also something I’ve never gotten from my previous corporate jobs. Some friends and even family members commented that I must be really proud of myself because I’m doing something really great – giving back to the society and all. To be honest, I don’t feel that way. I mean, I am proud of myself that I’m working in this field but that’s because I am doing something really meaningful. I don’t see myself as a super selfless person or whatever, but yes, I am doing something that I’m interested in and it’s really meaningful. It’s amazing to work with a group of people who care about these special individuals and most, if not all, are psychology students so it makes me feel really belonged there. I used to feel slightly awkward at corporate because other colleagues did/may not seemed to understand my thoughts. I concealed myself to blend in. After all, it was me who chose the wrong jobs and be at the wrong paths, that won’t really bring me to realizing my dreams. But at the same time, I am so grateful and glad that I went through all that. It may seems that I’ve wasted my time being in the wrong jobs, and that’s partially true, but without all that, I may not appreciate what I have today and truly appreciate this job and the people around me.
Now, let’s get to the more realistic part of life – money. Let’s face the truth, like it or not, we need a minimum amount of money to survive. Working there doesn’t offer you the best money. It is really more of the interest and your preference rather than monetary and materialism. If you want to earn more cash, you don’t work there. I know it’s difficult but I also know that I needed to prioritize my needs and wants. I made the call and I live with it. I’m fortunate that I don’t have much of a money problem in the sense that my parents are open-minded and allow me to do what I want as long as they are legal and I believe that deep down in their hearts, they knew that this daughter is a freaking dreamer and has always been wanting to work in such field. My parents are really supportive. Knowing that I won’t be able to earn big bucks (anytime soon) to buy them expensive gifts or bring them for vacations, they still support my decision. When I told them stories about the workplace or the kids I work with, they always listen (heck, my dad already has a favorite kid just by listening to the stories I told them!) and they sometimes provide me some other solutions although it’s not within their knowledge/skills. However, I listened to them as well, because if they could raise us up til now without much hiccups, I’m pretty sure their solutions might work too. It’s just awesome to have family that supports you!
Now, there’s one person that I really need to mention and thank him for being who he is. He’s none other than Duffy! If you don’t already know, he’s an awesome guy whom appeared in my life since December 2011. He supported me through & through. He did not criticize me, even for once, during my unemployment. He was just there, supporting me mentally & physically. He had & still has a lot of faith in me and he trusts me so much that I don’t even trust myself that much sometimes. I would like to talk a lot more about him, but unfortunately, we are separated now. In fact, it just happened and I still can’t quite accept this yet. As for now, I don’t know what is going to happen but I know he is still supporting me. He told me that he is really glad that I found this job because he could see that my face instantly brightened up when I talked about the job… anything about the job.
As for the other people that I have to specifically mention are DarlingSinYi and Ivone. These two girls were there when I rant & rant about my life and cheered for me when I got this job. Thank you for having so much faith in me, especially SinYi. Despite we are now living in different countries and living very different lives, she still gives her best support. Cheryl & Melissa were also aware of my situation and tried to listen as much as possible. There are also some other friends who have given me a lot of good advice and suggestions. Thank you for all that. I hope I did not miss anyone out. But if I did, I apologize in advance. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate you or your presence, I can be really forgetful sometimes. I really appreciate anyone who have helped me through and constantly encouraged me to find my dreams.
Now that I have crossed out one of my dreams, I cannot wait to realize my other dreams. I know it takes time (a lot!), energy, patience and of course, money, but I’ll do it anyway, because I’m a dreamer like that.
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If you make it til here, thank you for reading. I know my story isn’t that great or amazing or unique, but it is very important to me. & if you are now lost too, wondering where you should go, having quarter-life crises, please don’t give up. Nobody ever said that realizing your dream is easy and if you think your dream matters a lot to you, you should not give up. Find ways. It may not happen right away. It may takes months or even years. But working towards it will bring you there. Because, really, everything happens for a reason. Just enjoy the ride – be it rough or smooth. & remember to smile while you’re at it! Good luck!