Reflections – On Life’s New Undertakings

For the best part of 2014, I thought my gap year was turning into a gap lifetime. In 2013 my bachelor’s degree in psychology was fresh meat from the chopping block, and in 2014 I’m sitting on decaying sheets of qualification, swatting at hungry flies. In a world where sitting on your laurels is success (and causatively, happiness)’s greatest nemesis, hitting a dead end in career progression scares the shit out of any living soul. So imagine my joy at finally scraping my mind out of an inherent gutter. Comfort is indeed a painful skin to shed.

Having embarked on a career almost 2 years ago, my life revolved around endless globetrotting, walking from country to country (albeit 30,000 feet above the sea), losing days of sleep, accumulating eye-bags, and waking up in different hotels in foreign cities night after night. At the beginning, I’d regrettably wasted a great deal of time letting fatigue and timezone differences beat the crap out of me. I surrendered to being lazy! *gasp* This past few months, I’m glad to finally say that I’ve settled into my job, learned how to raise my energy levels and the ability to focus beyond everyday mundane activities. While many more challenges still lay ahead, I am no longer bound to limits of tunnel vision.

My arsenal of life experiences opens a floodgate of nostalgic sentiments: I’ve had the best cappuccinos in London, excited my tastebuds with India’s local spiced curry, sampled Japan’s freshest sashimi, cycled across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, lived to see sunrise on Santorini, ran my fingers along washed-out travertine stone walls of Rome’s Colosseum… etc etc. Ask any of us in the profession and we will share a multitude of touch-and-go, been-there-done-that travel tales. Stories like these make for great rainy day anecdotes for my future as-yet-non-existent grandchildren. In short, I’ve lived.

Which leads me to my next point. Along the spectrum of time, how much further can I go before the need to seek higher aspiration sets in? Try as I may, I cannot escape the need for self-definition. I didn’t give a damn before, but certain words of advice now rings true. Could I really give up years of tertiary education and have my life recounted along the lines of “she has given her life to air-hostessing for 35 passionate years”? That I was a professional in providing service is an excellent accreditation if I were to decide here and now to devote my life to it. I would, if I could fall in love with my job. Any minute now, please.

Truth is, everybody loves travelling. But how different is it from uprooting when you’re hardly home for the best (or worst) parts of your loved ones’ lives? I hadn’t realised (or rather, my family members neglected to update) that my paternal aunt in Melbourne had passed on earlier in June until I was bound for a Melbourne-flight in August and enquired to visit her family. Amidst all the time differences, I’ve lost a sense of anchor and became flightier than ever. In my mother’s words, I’m never going to settle down.

But I am taking small steps. New undertakings in self-improvements, regular courses and a routine to keep my feet on the ground. Clearing up the mess I’ve previously made of my life and starting anew. Starting somewhere is what we’ve all gotta do.

So a post-graduate course seems to be in order. I suppose clearing up one’s act is part and parcel of sailing into your mid-20s. Sincerely, I hope the path ahead is clearer once I get started on my graduate studies.

Writing is, was and will always be a huge part of my life. On par with it is my love for dance, my craving for a lifetime of learning, and delegating time to enjoying the simple things in life with my friends and family. For the record, I will not regret that I’ve not chosen to do a masters in english literature because that would mean, once again, letting comfort and pleasure take over. Some may feel that their one-true-calling lies in their ultimate guilty pleasure. I love curling up in bed with a great book, with my feet up, and a cuppa hot coffee. It is however not a professional pathway I would choose. I shall celebrate my great love for literature by remaining its biggest fan.

For the rest of 2014, I hope to take things in stride.  Learning that integrating changes into my life instead of cutting off a limb for prosthetics in my biggest lesson this year. Life’s new undertakings never needs to be disruptive. Life’s new undertakings can be a breath of fresh air in your existing bed of roses.

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