Where do broken hearts (and spirits) go?

“I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.” – Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Madonna in 'Evita: The Movie'

– Madonna in Evita

I recently began toying with the idea of changing jobs. Exactly what brought this on is still unclear; it could have been the sign-off period for the latest issue of the newsletter, which is the bane of my job, or my ever-mounting impatience and utter disrespect for the grovelling and haggling that goes on around me, or the lack of ethics and professionalism that plagues Corporate Malaysia.

Whatever the reason, sometimes it feels as though the time to renege is approaching, whether at an alarming speed or snail’s pace. The single biggest regret I will carry away with me from this job is the fact that I actually do love what I do.

So after putting thought into it, I managed to come up with four options for this impending transition, which will hopefully give me perspective into the differences between what I want and what I can do.

Hold the fort. That the reason for this here is the floundering economy is a no-brainer. And yet I will not deny that there is still a big part of me that wants to stay on in this job, not only because I have yet to complete my first year here, but also because this certain part needs to know that there could still be a chance for things to get better before putting the Write-off stamp on it. And, God forgive me, there is an unspoken fear within me that wherever I go from here, I will not have it as (comparatively) easy as I do right now.

Same script, different cast. After this stint, it’s not likely that I will continue in the banking industry, even if I do continue doing public relations in corporate communications. On the other hand, the taste I’ve had of the corporate ladder in this country has not been a very pleasant one, embittered all the more by the fact that I never intended to climb it in the first place. Even if I moved into an industry I like, such as fashion or retail, it still doesn’t take away the fact that ultimately it would be a corporate affair.

Hang up the suits, bring out the inkwell. Another option I’ve been strongly considering is writing for a magazine, as this could be a chance to bring more than one of my interests together, hence I’m leaning towards a fashion magazine. There have been thoughts of starting a fashion blog, which would mean covering an unfathomable expanse of ground — past seasons and trends — leading up to the current desert storm that is the fashion scene today, which blows the sand dunes about so quickly and so often that it takes the quickest mind and sharpest eye to catch the rare specks of crystal among the debris.

Be a good Samaritan. In this case, finally put that TEFL Certification to good use and tap into that elusive part of me that was at one point set on becoming an ESL teacher. The idea has come up from time to time: whether to set myself up in a language center here and teach foreigners who come here for school or work, or to uproot myself, take the road less (or not) traveled, and teach in countries like Paraguay, Ethiopia or Cambodia, where I would be learning as much as I would be teaching.

I don’t know if, say, four months from now I could be exploring other options, wanting other things, but right now this looks pretty good from where I’m sitting. Aside from writing for a magazine, teaching is the option that appeals to me the most, because in some odd way, only when I see that I’ve done some good in the world and helped even a very small part of it, will I finally be at peace with myself, the things I’ve done, and the life I’ve lived.

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