Taking the big step
One year shy of my big three O, I decided to finally put my foot down and do what I’ve been yearning to do while I’m still young. I’m going to fulfil as many of my dreams as possible and even if I don’t carry out any of these dreams to their full term, I would want to at least give them a shot and know that I’ve tried.
In order to fulfil many of my dreams, I had to make a huge decision.
I handed in my resignation letter.
Some of you who have been reading my blog since forever would have known that I’m constantly wavering over whether to leave. At the end of the day, I’m really very happy to be able to take this huge step.
Many of my close friends gave me strong support to leave my job and to pursue my dreams. I’m also glad that my hubby is supportive of my decision. My family was supportive too and I was pleasantly surprised that my mum did not flip when I told her my decision. She did nag and drop hints these few days though, about how I'm wasting my degree but I just hope she would be able to see where I'm coming from. After all, quitting without a job is something to be frowned on in a society like Singapore.
These loved ones who have been my pillar of support over the years felt that I was working too hard and that my life revolved too much around work. It got quite tiring for some people to have to constantly match my schedule. I missed many short weekend trips with friends, missed some important family occasions, lost contact with some people but I’m thankful beyond words by how my good friends would accommodate to my schedule and arranging meet ups on my off days.
My hubby would sometimes get annoyed by how we have to plan trips and outings such that I do not affect work too much. He thinks that I’m too responsible at times and I admit that this virtue had become a fault in more ways than I can list out.
You see my Maldives updates recently? Why I kept calling it my “so called honeymoon” and not my honeymoon is because I’ve always wanted to visit a few cities in Europe and I decided that Europe would be our honeymoon destination.
Unfortunately two years after our wedding, we still could not find a compromise to our schedules. Before the Maldives trip earlier this year, the last time my hubby and I travelled together was in January 2008 to the nearby Genting Highlands for a short trip. My hubby decided to just go ahead with Maldives and told me that he was going to book for a resort no matter what I said. It was only after this “threat” that I arranged my work schedule around the trip and not the other way round. You know what, I was still working that night we flew off. I reckoned that since it was a night flight, I would continue to work in the day. He shook his head in defeat to that.
It was actually me myself and I who was making my life harder than it really is and not the job or the company or the bosses per se because in reality, I do enjoy working in this company. Great bosses, great colleagues, great subordinates... Really, what more could I ask for?
Nevertheless, these should not be holding me back and in fact it is precisely because I’ve got such wonderful subordinates with great potential to grow and a really wonderful team which made it a lot easier for me to throw my responsibilities aside and live for myself now.
I talked to my bosses about my intention to take a break and even drew out a big concept map to show how everything connects and that I really had to take this step in order to fulfil my many dreams and goals. They were so understanding about my situation and were amazed (or should I say amused) by my whole thought process. I thought they seemed quite entertained by my concept map as I showed all the linkages. At last, they thanked me for holding on for so long, helping them throughout the years and shaping many things in the company. Though sad to see me go, they told me to go out and pursue my dreams.
What I’ve been doing the past 5.5 years
Since I’m out of the company as a full time staff, I think it is fine to let all of you know more about my job. Over the years, a few blogger friends had asked me what exactly I am doing when I say I’m in the education line. Some had the misconception that I’m a teacher since I talk about my students in my posts every now and then. Well, that’s half right. I’m not a teacher in a formal school. Together with my team, we create the worksheets for the primary English curriculum for the company. We are allocated classes to teach too. As for me, I’m in the management role as well so there are a lot more stuff to do at work besides curriculum and teaching.
What I’ve been up to recently
It has been two weeks since my last day and instead of giving myself a big break, I’m busier than ever. The only difference is that I'm sleeping a lot more per night now and I’m not as insomniac as I have been for years. I’m also busy doing things that I like and that itself is very fulfilling.
Working on a project while working part time
I’m still teaching my classes as a part time teacher for 3 days a week so marking and lesson preparation takes up quite a bit of time per week. I’m also doing lots of research every day for my mega project coming up. It is something which I’ve not done before so I’ve got a lot to learn and it takes immense time and effort to work towards this goal. I would definitely let all of you would know what it is when the time comes.
In the personal development aspect, I’m going to pursue some art-related courses of my interest when I find out more about the next intake and whether these could fit into my current schedule. I’m also going to enrich myself more and equip myself with more skills. Yet, I’ve to also take note of my budget since my income has dipped significantly. There are simply too many things I want to learn but with only limited savings.
Many Singaporeans love to travel and would travel once or twice a year. I guess it’s due to our small country. It’s unlike in the States or in Europe where people travel within states and continents. All the Singaporeans I know from all walks of life and all income level travel a lot too. It makes me feel very ill-travelled.
There are a few trips lined up this year and I’m almost ecstatic that we are finally going on our true honeymoon to Europe. The only gripe is that instead of 3 weeks, the hubby could only afford 2 weeks but you know what? Better than not going at all.
The hubby is currently out at sea on a mission and so I’m left to do the planning for the whole trip. I’ve never ever planned a trip before coz I’m a rather impromptu kind of person when it comes to travelling. I only need a general itinerary and everything else is all about the side trips and wandering off from the beaten path. For Europe we can’t really do it this way coz we would be visiting cities in different countries and so planning and coordination is inevitable.
Is going to London, Paris and Rome too ambitious for 2 weeks? It would only be a touch and go thing right? I’ve to take into consideration that we’re going during winter and that the days would be much shorter.
I’ve been meeting up with friends these few days to get information and it seems like Paris and London itself would take up a full 2 weeks since I’m those who would spend days at museums. I haven’t even factored in Bath and Stonehenge and that quaint little book town Hay-on-Wye which is many miles away from London. (Google image Hay-on-Wye to see the many beautiful outdoor bookshelves lining the quaint streets. I wonder what happens when it rains.)
Not to mention, Italy itself seems like there is simply too many to see in the country besides Rome and Vatican City and I think I should just leave Rome out for now and concentrate on Paris and London.
Suddenly the long awaited honeymoon Europe trip seems to have shrunk with only 2 cities eh? On the one hand, I want to immerse myself in the whole experience and not touch and go, yet on the other hand I kept thinking that I would not be going Europe again for a long time to come and so I’ve to cover more cities. I’m in a bit of a dilemma here and it doesn’t help when the hubby is not able to receive calls at sea. Any advice from you is welcome too.
I would also be going to Hong Kong and Bangkok this year. It seems like the ill-travelled girl is finally gonna unleash her potential to travel more. Hong Kong is confirmed since tickets and hotels are booked. Bangkok is tentative but we’re gonna make it concrete soon. I will be travelling with friends and not the hubby and he’s totally cool about it. How lovely! I loved Hong Kong the last time round and I know I would love it again since I’m going in the cooler months. As for Bangkok, it would be my first time there. It’s almost a given that most Singaporean girls/ ladies have been to Bangkok a few times especially for those weekend shopping trips. I do not know of any other girls around me who haven’t been to Bangkok yet except myself so I’m looking forward to it too.
Doing volunteer work while travelling is something which I’ve always envisioned myself doing. Help out in a village, teach the children, build a school etc. Most of these require a few months commitment. Initially I had Vietnam in mind when I knew of its few days commitment but when my friend and I saw the cost needed just to volunteer, we got stumped. All research over the internet seem to signal the same high cost of doing volunteer work so I’m still on the look out for somewhere where I can lend a hand for a short period of time and without having to fork out too much from my pocket.
Spending more time with friends
I hope to be able to spend more time with friends during this period and I’ve already met up with a couple of them. Many of you upon looking at my pictures with so many activities and meet up with friends would think that my life is very happening. Well, it’s a challenge to balance work and social life and it can get so tiring that sometimes I just want to coop myself along at home with a good book to read or to catch up on blogging. Now that I've got a major responsibility being axed from my life, I hope that meeting up with friends would be done at a more leisurely pace.
I want to blog more
Needless to say, I need to find the time to blog more and catch up on all my backdated posts. This LOOOOONG post sorta make up for my many impromptu posts the past few weeks. I guess verbal diarrhoea is catching up on me again. I wish I could catch up with time too.
I wonder how many of you read up till here?