Thursday, October 21, 2010

Raging War

It’s time to pack my bags again. Up and down, take off and touch down. Click here and click there, review, delete delete delete.

I used to have a wise Sudanese friend. Past tense as I don’t know where he is right now or how he is. I do hope life is treating him well and that he has settled down, with a wife and kids.

We used to trade stories of ourselves; the normal likes and dislikes, our favourites and not-so favourite things.

He was an engineering major in UIA and I was an Education major in UPM. What made us click was the shared passion of books and literature. It was through him that I discovered the beauty of Rumi and of Kahlil Gibran.

I remembered asking him once, “why didn’t you major in English? You have so much passion for it.” Although I didn’t quite get it back then, I was only 18 mind you, but his reply was one that I have always remembered. “I think I would start to be miserable if I were to be getting paid to do what I love”.

A decade later, with him nowhere in sight, I am beginning to unravel the hidden depth of his words.

You see, there was once a time that I was contented scribbling away on pieces of paper, in a diary, on a blog because I loved it. I loved it so much that I left a stable and secure job of seven years to do what I am most passionate about.

I still love what I do and the future of promised opportunities. The only difference is that now people start to have certain expectations where this passion of mine is concerned. They have a right to do so, I’m not denying that, since those are the hands that are feeding me. But when the expectations and the critics’ starts to roll in, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed and my enthusiasm and morale star to sink further down the well.

Some tell me not to take it personally, that it’s part of the job. I do try. But I was flailing and hanging by thread a few moons ago, trying to make some sense to what I was going through. I kept asking myself, “So what should I do??  How can I keep work and play separate?”

But the truth is really actually very simple, if you love your job and it allows you to express your creativity, you are going to take it personal every time someone wants you to do it their way. I just have to learn to deal with that. After much thought and pondering and a bit of soul-searching, I came to the conclusion that if when I am passionate about what I am doing , I will tend to  be frustrated when someone asks me to do it a different way, but what is most important that a reason not to do what I love doing?

I’m not miserable, just to put the record straight. But it was an internal battle fighting for what I love. Now that I have reached a conclusion, I know how it should be. All is well and life goes on. At least the colleagues are entertaining. That’s another story. Remind me one of these days.

I’m flying over the causeway tonight to where the Merlion stands. I think he might be lonely standing all alone spurting water every now and then.