Monthly Archives: July 2013

Caution to the wind


Well. And I was just saying that I wasn’t a risk-taker. Now it appears that I may have just taken the biggest risk of all.

For the first time ever, I’ve thrown caution to the wind and resigned from my job — without the guarantee of a new one waiting for me when my notice term is up. It’s surprising and terrifying, but somehow completely liberating. It’s as if I’ve finally learned that some things, no matter how safe and secure they may seem, are simply not worth fighting for, being miserable for, and giving up one’s integrity and ideals for.

Yes, I’m still somewhat of an idealistic person. Surprise, surprise.

So┬áin less than two months, I could very well be unemployed, especially if the job I’m gunning for falls through and no one else sees fit to hire me. But for some strange reason, I’m freaking out less over it this time than I did the last time. Whether it’s because I have yet to feel the real shock of quitting my job — something I haven’t felt in more than two years — or because being with the Miner has left a permanently calming effect on me (surprise, surprise!), I am significantly less neurotic about landing a new job. Which, I am well aware, could very well turn around and shoot me in the face, but not for another five or six weeks.

Nevertheless, I am grateful for everything this job has given me: the patience, a renewed sense of self-worth (if albeit a challenged one half the time), and — surprise, surprise — friends. I’ve met a few wonderful people and made a good set of friends through this job, so it’s something I can’t say I wish I’d never had. I loved the work I did, I loved watching myself grow into this profession, and I loved the small, fleeting moments of satisfaction I could take away from it. And now that I’ve been doing this for two years and have learned a little bit of what to expect from it, I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.

Get up and try

I’ve never been much of a risk-taker. When I was a little girl, I learned to sing and dance from watching Old Hollywood musicals, but I was such a coward about doing it in public that my mother forced me to take proper opera singing lessons, join a choir, and go for ballet and gymnastics. When I moved to Buffalo, I was so terrified of failing the Royal Pitches and University Choir auditions that I wasted my first semester hemming and hawing about whether or not I should actually audition.

When I moved back to Malaysia and got a taste of working in public relations, I decided that I hated it enough to want to leave and finally become a writer, but I was afraid that publishers wouldn’t find my writing good enough to want to hire me. So I wasted three years whining about how much I hated my career and lamenting my lot in life. (In retrospect, I can’t complain too much; working in public relations taught me everything I needed to know about how to survive in the working world in this country)

Then when it came to relationships, I was adamant that none of them could be a long-distance one, because I knew my own insecurities would never be able to survive a relationship that was defined by an ocean (or three). So few people would be more surprised than I am to discover that I am now in a long-distance relationship.

I, the most insecure and jaded person I know, am in a relationship, if one can call it so, that is defined by a body of water.

It’s something I never really addressed directly up until a couple of weeks ago, primarily because it’s something that happened so suddenly, so randomly, that I barely had any time to grasp the concept of the situation before I was falling headfirst into it. But now that I’ve more or less been able to think, absorb and process everything that has transpired in the last 15 weeks, I think I’m in a slightly better position — albeit a sleep-deprived one — to put certain things about this into perspective.

People ask me how I survive this, how I go from one day to the next just waiting for a call or a WhatsApp message, or waiting for him to show up, when they know I’ve never been the most patient in all other aspects of my life. Half the time I have to wonder at it myself, as I never in my wildest dreams — or nightmares — thought I would be the kind of woman who would get into a relationship like this, especially one that involves me putting myself at risk of getting hurt every single day. But I tell them that the waiting is actually the easiest part by comparison.

Because when you have to learn to set aside your differences in order to have a relationship that isn’t rife with resentment, the waiting is easy. When you have to learn to prioritize and focus on what is most important in keeping a relationship like this alive, the waiting is easy. When you have to decide whether certain things are worth fighting over or better off being left alone, the waiting is easy. When you have to tell yourself every single waking moment of the day that this is the life you signed up for and you don’t get to cry or rage over it because you chose it, the waiting is easy.

I don’t know where all my waiting will take me, and if I must be honest, it will not likely take me anywhere at all. But right now I know that as long as I never forget why I got into this in the first place and how I’m going to survive in it, I could wait the rest of my life.