Friday, November 11, 2011

prestigious conventional success and quarter-life crisis

a little history.

first time i blogged was because i needed a writing outlet about my mumblings of life - mostly about relationships, and how fucked up most of the relationships that i witnessed at that point in time. mine was included in this category. and relationships are defined widely - it comprised all sorts of relationships: familial, romantic, friendship, collegial, etc.

then i ventured off into various other blogs that i abandoned mostly. i did write extensively in one blog and the provider decided to stop providing services altogether. so i went back to blogger, but never quite maintained the rigor and persistence of writing in that blog.

fast forward to a lot of promises of regular writing later, and an extended hiatus, and then a realisation that my time in this planet is limited, there comes this blog.


the title of the blog.

it was coined during a conversation with a high school friend - we sat together during chemistry lessons. i was hopeless at chemistry, she was the top student. we have not seen each other for a long time, and rarely hung out unless there is an event like a birthday or a wedding that we were both invited to. then we would talk like it was the old times. i am surprised as to how well she knows me. like her remark about the apartment: "oh, that plan has you written all over it."

we talked about the flower arrangements and we both liked it. she said "your style is understated elegance" and she asked if she could plan my wedding (note: he has not proposed yet). i said i will take her up on that one.

the word understated sticks with me. because if i could use a word to describe myself these days, then that would be understated. my chosen word of description used to be quirky. it is not that i cease being quirky. quirky is still me. and understated is also me. quirky would be the impression most people get. understated would be the impression that they would get if they know me well enough.


the quarter-life crisis.

my version of the quarter-life crisis hit exactly at 25 yo. talk about perfect timing. maybe it is a function of getting older (and hopefully more mature), but i suspect it is the realisation that i.could.die.anytime.

i don't think i need to venture off describing all the questions and thoughts i had and how helpless i subsequently feel about this phenomenon. i don't think i have successfully dealt with it, but here is the deal: i got used to having it around. this never-ending fear of lack of complacency. or in other words, the feeling that i was not good enough. the origins of the fear is probably my brain, so i am learning to control my thoughts.


writing to save my life.

writing has always been the one avenue that saves my life - literally. it definitely saves my sanity. it forces me to be more structured in my thoughts. it forces me to reason more logically. it keeps me grounded with what is important (or not).

having blogged before, i realise that no matter what i write, there will always be someone who is offended for whatever reason. it is not that i don't care about not offending people, i prefer not to offend people; most of the time, i would not intentionally offend people. yet at the same time, if i were to write honestly, i think it would be difficult not to offend anyone. plus i don't think i can be held responsible every time someone out there decides to deliberately twist my meanings.


prestigious conventional success and the items on your cv.

there are some individuals that you know would embody the term success like no other. like this friend who works for the UN doing this thing he is endlessly passionate about. and this other friend who is a budding entrepreneur and makes decisions that most people just cannot comprehend. i have met some remarkable people along the way who are truly inspirational, and i would consider myself a success if i were at their age and have achieved as much as they have.

back in school (and college) we have report cards and academic statements. these documents are somewhat objective assessment as to how well we have performed in the academic life. then we venture off to the real world and has to start from scratch - and record what we consider as our achievement in our cv. (others seem to regard cv as a list of your responsibilities - let's not go there at the moment.)

ideally your cv would demonstrate that you have started from the bottom and are currently working your way to the top. then your next move would need to be in the vertical direction - that is until the state of the economy decides to interfere.

i think we tend to forget how difficult times can be, and how difficult making a living can be. once upon a time we were desperate to do anything and everything just to earn a living - just to pay the rent, and have some money left over for food and bills. i have been there, i have done that. i have downgraded my standard of living so that i could stretch my savings and ensure my survival. it was not ideal, but hey, something's gotta give.

i am happy that i survived. i could have asked my dad for some moolah, and i did not. he offered some moolah and that was very nice indeed; i prefer not to use it. and yes, it is nice to have a safety net like that. i had thought about this for the longest time while i was in college and my boyfriend at the time just could not understand why i prefer to stand on my own two feet.

that said, there is nothing wrong with accepting help from your parents. they are your parents after all. there is a point in which you should just accept the help and then make sure that you are wildly successful after that, and then return the favour. because really, at the end of the day, what we want is for those we love to have good lives. we want to make their lives easier while we can. because our time in this planet is limited.


ok, this post is going to abruptly end here.

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