November 11, 2008

What Should I Do With My Life?

That's the title of the book I'm reading. It's a collection of stories of how people are in various stages of deciding what to do with their lives, finding meaning and purpose. Each story is a few pages, and the author tries to weave in themes that he sees coming out from all these people he meets.

I must say that the stories do unlock one's mind, and it gave me perspectives that I did not consider before. I always end up putting myself into the shoes of the person in question, and trying to identify with the situation. The last story I just read was about how a woman gave up a job offer which would have doubled her salary, to pursue her childhood dream of being a landscape gardener. The job offer forced her to relook what she was doing in life. She knew if she took the job, it'd just be for money and not anything else. It made her realise that she was not after money in life, and she just wanted to do something that made her happy. Oftentimes we see money as the means to that end - to be able to afford to pursue something that makes us happy be it to bum, open a business or study. But once we get caught up in the pursuit of money, often that overshadows whatever original goal we had.

I thought about my childhood ambitions. Did I have any? I know that I was never the sort who grew up with a conviction to be something (there are stories about that too in the book), but I do remember wanting to be a fashion designer at some point, fashion merchandiser and also make-up artist at another. In my late teens, I think I also wanted to be an interior designer and a chef. While these never really lasted or developed into strong ambition, the stories have made me dig up these memories and realise that there is a common thread among them - that they are all jobs in the creative field, vocational in nature requiring some sort of a skill. They are not money-spinning, highly intellectual jobs in the corporate world.

My fear though, is that my talent does not match up to my passion. That whilst I may wish to pursue these things, I will inevitably fall short. Fear of failure, in our success and qualification driven society. Maybe I belong to the category of people who are good at what they do not like, but like what they are not good at.

I tell myself that these questions and fears would be best answered and confronted if I actually act and take a step in that direction that I have always felt tugged in. No more sitting around and just agonising over what could be.

Now I just need someone to bankroll me.

1 comment:

angeline said...

i think you should take the plunge. there's no chance you'll starve. and at least you'll answer the question "what if" instead of letting it torment you for the rest of your life. even if the answer is "no" at least it's definite and you tried. then you can close the chapter and move on to try something else. we have only one life so don't waste it fretting about "could have beens". go for it! before you have children to feed ;)

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