Sunday, 24 February 2013
Thursday, 14 February 2013
The Purpose of Life

As we grow older in life, we tend to seek meaning for everything that's going on. As children, our lives revolve around toys and our imaginary worlds and friends. Then we grow up and our world becomes our real-world friends and our studies. When we mature and become adults, our lives tend to become less focused. We chase after these dreams and goals. We enter the world where we have to fend for ourselves- get a job, pay bills. Somehow, we have to make it work. Then we begin to wonder- is this really all there is to life?

This is a question that has been in my mind for sometime over the past few weeks when the reality of my graduation and unemployment started sinking in. What am I doing with my life?

My typical non-work day revolves around looking for jobs on weekdays, and in between searching for jobs I also watch some TV and read the news. On weekends I simply laze around the house and enjoy the day. Watch a movie on my laptop perhaps. On work days I simply work. That's all there is to my life- whether I work, or whether I look for work. Life is very much less meaningful to say the least.

The thought of my life not having much purpose hit me hard. It was really quite an eye-opener to realise that a year ago, I at least still had other things in my life. Now, I really have nothing. I briefly considered doing other things- travelling, finding other opportunities overseas. I look at people who have achieved something in their youth. Perhaps by volunteering, or travelling overseas, they gained a new perspective of life. That's something I heavily considered for a while.

And I definitely still want to do it. I want to travel and see the world. I want to make a difference, and come back knowing that through all my travels, through all my experiences, I learned about people, life and can contribute even more.

Travel- experiences that changes your life and provides clarity

So with that in mind, I have set a goal. At the top of the list, nothing has changed- I need to get a job. Something that I can save some money with, and hopefully, just hopefully, I would have some money to travel by year's end or the beginning of next year. It doesn't have to be a long trip like I envisioned it to be, but I think that the notion of working towards something has always been what being human is all about. We grow and we learn as we move towards our life goals.

I know that realistically, that might not happen at all. I might still be very much stuck in unemployment. But at the very least, I would have something to think about in my life beyond looking for a job. Now, it's looking for a job to actually do something, and it has a deadline. To be honest, that is quite a daunting goal. But whether I succeed or not, at least there is something in my life beyond what it is now.
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Tuesday, 12 February 2013
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I guess it's safe to say that I've really left my old life as a student behind. Summer break is ending, and at the tender age of 21, I'm finding myself at the start of my adult life. Suddenly, life becomes a lot scarier. Not just because I'm now out in the 'real world', but also because I'm being reminded that I'm not getting any younger. Next year, I'll be 23. That's nearing my mid twenties, and it's crazy to think that this is the third decade of my existence. THIRD decade.

And yet, I find it awkward when asked by people if I've got a job since my decision to stay put in Melbourne. The answer really is, yes and no. To put it simply, yes I have found a job, as a kitchenhand at a Malaysian restaurant here. Nothing special, nothing glamorous about it. But no, it's not a job that most people, myself included, envisioned that I would have- a stable job that pays the rent and covers my expenses with some left over for my luxuries and travels. One that is related to my field of study and is mentally stimulating at the very least.

So when people (especially those from home) ask me if I've got a job, the easier answer is just to say 'no'. I guess the difference here is that I'm looking for a career, waiting for an opening so that I can squeeze my way through and begin my career. I'm like Penny from The Big Bang Theory. Working 'temporarily' in a restaurant till I find something better. Except that this something could take a long time to materialise.

But of course, you don't ask people if they have a career- you ask if they have a job. But for fresh grads, you really mean a career, so therein lies my problem. One that I'm sure many other grads face. We seem to be in a lot of pressure to get a job, some of us more than others, for many reasons. But it's tough- I'm entering the workforce at a time when the economy isn't in the best shape while the competition is getting ever stronger. It's not a good time to be graduating at all.

But one of the biggest lessons I've learned in life is that you don't know when opportunities come knocking. I was fortunate enough to have been blessed with many, many great opportunities throughout my lifetime, and most of them came at unexpected times. You just never know what's coming your way. And often, it might be something unexpected too. And you really should just grab the bull by its horns and have a go. Life should be interesting, after all. So I know that despite my difficulties in landing a career, or even a job that can pay my rent and expenses with, I shall simply count my blessings and work hard.

It's tough, but I'm reminded that nothing is ever easy and you need to work hard to get what you want in life. For sure, the year ahead will be filled with challenges as I try to make it in this world. But I guess here's where I begin to be more confident of myself and simply throw myself in the deep end, and float.
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