Sunday, June 16, 2013

At the Edge



When I was young, I thought about changing the world. As absurd as it sounds (in fact my friends used to laugh at me for this, and I eventually got too embarrassed to tell anyone), at the tender age of 14, I was already having this grand ambition along the lines of making the world a better place, leaving my mark here and contributing my part to the world. I didn't want my life to be just any routine life, I wanted it to be meaningful, to be different than others, I wanted it to shine. I have no specifics of what I want though, I just knew it had to be big.

It was this dream of mine that drove me towards two of my greatest decisions in life: To take up blogging and to pursue a degree in Psychology. Blogging because I thought it is the best way to reach the most people using the least resources and time and Psychology because I had this preconception that it was a job where you need to offer people hope in their life, which turned out to be terribly wrong once you step into it.

Fast forward 4 years later, I am not a Singapore Psychology graduate and doing okay in blogging but in a way, I am nowhere near my initial dream that propelled me towards this path.

Coming back this time, standing at the edge of my next stage in life has made me rethink a lot on what I used to want, what I hoped to achieve last time and looking at what I have now, I realized that life is not always a drawn out straight path for you. The dream that I had 4 years ago seemed idealistic at best, even naive.

I used to think that as long as you're doing something that you love, money shouldn't matter but after talking with my friends and looking at their life, I have come to conclude that the fella who said that money doesn't matter must have been a rich person after all. Because no matter what we do in life, money takes the center stage. Without it, we can forget about meeting the daily necessities in life such as owning a home, having car and living a comfortable life, much less settle down.

Looking at how some of my friends are struggling to meet ends meet to pay their loans and to take care of their family, I can't help but worry for myself in the future. My parents wouldn't be here forever and sooner or later, I would have no one to depend on but myself and with the added responsibility of being the eldest son, finding enough money is important. And that s not even taking into account of me starting a family.

So when my first job offer came as a Psychology Associate at a child intervention center, I can't help but wonder if this is indeed the path that I would want to continue on. True, the job does indeed makes a difference and is related what I have wanted to do a long time ago, but I cannot help but to think how practical it is going to be in the long run. Because to be honest, if you're involved in voluntary organizations and charity work, you are not going to have a life of climbing the corporate ladder and making it big in business, which in my mind considered to be the definition of success in life. Hech, I'm not even sure whether I could survive in a voluntary based work now.

I guess this is a good time as any to rethink what I really want in life. Whether I want a job where I can drive a nice car, wear G2000 suits, own a condo and party every weekend, or whether I want a work where I go to everyday trying to make other's life better and bringing a smile to them. Both directions have their good and bad, but I can't help but to want to be in the first choice given how it is more practical and that is how success is generally more defined. Saying that you're a manager at a multi national company is definitely going to amaze people more as compared to saying that you're a social worker, at least that is the case for us guys.

I don't know. As much as I want to do good, I cannot help but wonder what good it will do for me in return. Once upon a time ago, I was convinced that God wanted me to give back to society and to be the "light", in a certain way, but after graduation, I can't help but wonder how would I survive if I cannot earn enough to make ends meet. Money couldn't but happiness, that I know, but it certainly could make life a lot easier to live in.

Perhaps I am worrying too much and have been trying to take control of my life too much instead of just letting it go to a higher power like I have always done. Perhaps it is time to step back and let God take the way, as much as I would doubt the effectiveness of it. Perhaps it's time to take a leap of faith.


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