Sometimes I get confused as to what my job really entails. On every official scrap of paper it says Public Relations Manager in black and white, but I’m pretty sure Glorified Janitor is written somewhere in invisible ink too. One of the latest tasks I was set to do was to recruit new salespeople for the boutique, and in reviewing the 39 résumés that appeared in my inbox, I realized that if ever I had to look for a new job, I’d actually qualify for the 5-years-and-up experience category. In fact, I’d qualify for the 6-year-and-up category if companies used that number as a benchmark.
That’s how long I’ve been back here. As of April 9, I had been back in Malaysia for six years. Last year, as I was reeling from the fact that I’d been back for half a decade, I made up my mind to focus on myself and really think about how I could secure my future, because I was operating on the notion that I would be on my own for the rest of my life, with nobody but myself to rely on. This year, I came to the alarming realization that come April 9, 2018, I will have been living in Malaysia for a full decade, something I haven’t done since my family moved abroad when I was 10.
I also realized, to my complete surprise, that I’ve recently grown tired of living in a city. I suppose it was all well and good when I was living in New York, but living in a city like Kuala Lumpur has come to feel incredibly suffocating, and somewhat of an oxymoron. The more people one knows here, the smaller their world becomes: my social circles have expanded in the past couple of years, consequently making my world smaller than I ever dared to imagine.
In the wake of such epiphanies, I decided that I absolutely will not spend another decade in this country, and come hell or high water, I will find a way out of here by 2018. That gives me four years to alter the circumstances of my life, be it professional or personal, in order to allow myself to get up and move out, preferably to a place where absolutely nobody knows me. Then, and only then, will I be able to start my life all over again, and hopefully find the peace that has long eluded me.
So here we go, Year 7. The past six years have been one hell of a ride, but we’ve overstayed our welcome.