I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to put this out there, but ok here goes – I am unemployed. I am jobless and very ashamed, guilt ridden, and embarrassed about it. The thing is, I wasn’t retrenched, I quit on my own accord during a dismal economy and in Asia where there is no such thing as unemployment benefits.
I somehow find it more respectable if I had been retrenched. Then it would be no fault of mine to be unemployed and have a horrible gap in my resume that’s hard to explain.
But seriously, I had never been more miserable in my life. I worked till late at night including weekends, and I had daily crying jags. It was for my mental and physical health that I quit. It was not so much the hours, but the toxic people at work were making me so miserable. (I used to work at a happy place, where I gleefully worked till midnight.) They were treating other people badly as well and I could not bear witnessing this every day. It was so draining. In the end they got away with it scott free. I left without making any waves as I felt it would be pointless. I just can’t do office politics. I’d rather just opt out. It’s sad because the rest of my colleagues were so nice, but the people who had the power in the office chose to abuse it. I wonder if I will ever get back on the saddle. It was just a really traumatic period and also the sudden loss of the person I love more than life, had affected me in more ways than I realized. I just could not go on in a place that was that toxic – it was just not worth spending 90% of my time with horrible people and only 10% with the people that mattered to me.
That’s why I started the blog as I felt like I was going nuts. I felt like I was losing my identity and my identity was unfortunately so tied up with work all these years. I have since become such a hermit as I just cannot field questions which unfortunately in Singapore is “Where are you working?” I am a shell of what I used to be – a bubbly, people person (that’s how my partner describes my old self and I have to agree). Now I shrink away from people, and dread reunions. I am lucky I still have a few very kind and thoughtful friends who know my situation, and don’t make me feel worse about it.
On the bright side, I got back to my books. My reading. I never really stopped writing even when I was working, but now I can indulge in both. Ironically I now feel I don’t have enough hours for the number of books I want to read. I am so hungry for books, I want to just devour and binge on them. When I was working, I was expected to stay late in the office and even work weekends. When I came home all I wanted to do was hit the pillow in order to survive the next day.
Since a blog is a place where you can explore your dreams – my ideal job would include being a writer or working for a bookstore where I can influence book selection. Any job where I can be surrounded by words. I want to eat, live and breathe words. Numbers, I am not so much a friend of, although I have done my share of accounts management and budgeting for the financial year. Just writing about it sounds so dreary.
I know I should explore being a freelance writer and I should try to submit articles to magazines. But I never feel I am good enough and that’s holding me back. To put it bluntly, I am paralysed by fear. I hope by confessing it, I can start to conquer it. Because of nightmare interview experiences, I also fear interviews. Telling you all this makes me feel so utterly useless. Maybe it’s because a friend actually asked me “Why are you so useless?” when they heard about my quitting. This situation does one thing for sure – it clarifies who your real friends are.
I hope one day I can have a vocation I love and once again have the pleasure of being financially independent. It doesn’t help when everyone around me talks about how they don’t earn enough or that they didn’t get a bigger bonus and such. Looking back, at one point I was earning more than I really needed to survive and I would be happy today with a pay cut, just as long as I can be happy at work. Just a place where people are treated with basic respect and dignity. That’s all, but it seems like asking for too much. Although they say money can’t buy happiness, right now I am thinking that up to a point it can. I would just love to treat people close to me, to gifts I buy with my own salary. I used to be able to do that. That would definitely make me happy.
I am taking a long time to press the publish button on this one….