Just over 2 months ago , I told my boss I was leaving the company. I had spent days rehearsing for that moment (don’t judge), but nothing could really prepare me for the first resignation of my life. I ended up tearing like an emotional loser. (don’t judge) It was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make, leaving a great place with great people for the great unknown. Soon after, I received tons of questions about my decision, which came as a surprise and shock to most people, but a no-brainer to a select few who knew me well. So before I leave , in the spirit of all banal and viral ‘Lists of Random Things that will Shock You’, here’s a collection of questions and my ‘Answers You Don’t Really Care About But You Clicked The Link. HAHA.’
1. So…what are you going to do in South America??
I’d be travelling and doing volunteer work for Social Enterprises/NGOs in the space of sales and marketing. Some time around 2011, I read Muhammad Yunus’s Creating a World without Poverty, and I was intrigued ever since. I kept trolling the internet for articles and social enterprise jobs and soon, I decided that reading just wasn’t enough. And with much idealistic and childish madness, I thought it would be a great idea to combine that with my insatiable wanderlust and curiosity about a fascinating region that just happened to lie on the other side of many oceans.
The rest of my time would be pretty much spent logging onto online banking and staring at the digits with my eyes crossed so that the number appears twice its actual length. And also, mastering the fine art of trusting and loving strangers with unparalleled compassion while exuding a mysterious aura of a street-wise,you-don’t-want-to-mess-with-me chick (aka ‘ staying alive’)
That’s a lot of things to do. I’m overwhelmed.
2. When are you coming back?
When I have accomplished the above.
Well, I don’t have a return date. My bloody thumb could arrive home safely to my worried family though.
Ok honestly speaking, it truly depends on the doors that I can open/bang down/explode along the way.
3. You mean your parents allow this? (I’m Asian)
I’m 26 this year and if I still have to seek approval from the folks, I’m sure not to get anywhere in life. I love my parents and respect them. But if there’s something that I want to do, the onus is on me to convince whoever I need to, in which case it is my parents. It’s not that I need their stamp of approval on my passport, but I really want them to be convinced and happy with my decision, and that took some time and bribery at nice restaurants.
Taking a bit of time to convince and persuade is ok, hiding behind a “No” and using that as a convenient excuse for inaction is not. – Tilda Y.
4. Aren’t you afraid ?
I was, and I still have my fears. I am not a fearless person, and in fact quite the opposite, I’m an anxious worrier.
Apart from having my bloody thumb sent home, the biggest fear of all was losing income, and never being able to get back on my feet (especially difficult if my feet were sawed off, don’t you think?)
Was I really going to leave an extremely comfortable life, a great salary, and a bright career ahead to live on my savings till I find my next trickle of income? While I was progressing steadily towards my savings goal for this crazy chapter, there were just too many times when I tried to convince myself to drop the idea, to not be stupid, and just live a “normal life” and everything will be alright. Perhaps, I could keep lying to myself and squeeze all my hopes and dreams into a tiny little apartment in the most expensive city in the world (according to BBC), and spend the rest of my life paying for it. I could also have bought a car to drive to work, and drive to work to pay for the car.
But the point came when I realised that my curiosity and hunger to be thrust into the great unknown became a force that was greater than my biggest fear. I had to give in to that little spark of madness or stand the risk of forever losing it. Perhaps then, losing what little madness I had left was my biggest fear, because that could be more irreversible than a bank account with few digits ( for that i have my crossed-eye technique mentioned in point one).
5. You’re going to be alone… aren’t you afraid of the ghosts there?
This was the strangest, most paranormal question I received.
I had no words.
Thank you for making it through to the end. I’m honestly touched that you dedicated a percentage of your very finite life to reading this.
May the force of my bloody thumb be with you.