I am the kind of person who has a lot on my mind quite often. If it isn’t from daily happenings and challenges, it’s from playing different scenarios in my head that aren’t likely to happen or things like how does one save up enough to invest in a house and still getting to enjoy life in the present.
While on a fresh grad pay. In Malaysia. It’s really quite distressing.
A friend used to tell me countless times that I need to relax and suggested meditation. Said it helps her get through stressful times. And if even my 9-year-old cousin has found a reason to practise this, I don’t see why I can’t.
Of course, at first I couldn’t feel the difference; I wasn’t sure how. Later on did I realise that if meditation means to completely let it all go for a bit then I have, I suppose, succeeded before.
All it takes is a comfortable position, a moment without interruption, relaxation of muscles and orgetting the task at hand until your mind either draws a blank or you’re concentrating on only one thing.
Nowadays it helps. Certainly did as I translated 5 pages of this slightly confusing document from English to Malay. If anything I am actually brushing up on my grasp of the national language.
Last month I was at Angel Station in London and I came across this signboard with a quote. I later learnt that it’s a daily creative initiative done by the staff at that particular station, and there’s even a website dedicated to it called Thoughts of Angels (I think it is sweet). I wish I’d snapped a photo of the one I saw that day but like everyone else I was caught in that hamster wheel of the city, going down escalators and up again. And down and up again. Anyway, the quote went something like this:
‘Don’t be afraid of going left. Because even when you are left, you are right.’
Aside from the wittiness of it being ‘uniquely Underground’, it’s thought-provoking. Not that I am saying that this rings absolutely true in every case, but when it comes to working for what you want, it’s a lovely little thought to ponder about.
I’ve been talking to friends recently about ideal working environments and lifestyles. It’s really cool – there’s a lot of travelling involved, a yacht with oysters, an apartment in New York, a commissioning editor, an award-winning film maker and more. (Me? I believe I mentioned it in my bio).
Dreams and desires make for fascinating stories; I recommend listening to someone’s story today. And which is why I’m asking you too: If you can have it, no matter how far-fetched it may seem, what is your ideal way of making a living? How would you like to live your life?
Why earn bread when you can earn cake?
So what if it’s not ‘practical’, ‘stable’ or ‘realistic’ – I think it’s always good to consider that sometimes and remind yourself about what you are working for. Perhaps it’ll tell you that you need to hop onto the next stepping stone in order to get there. Idealism, in moderation, is generally healthy for your growth.
Perhaps the next time you are going up and down escalators, you might wonder whether a hamster wheel is where you would like to be. Perhaps ‘staying right’ isn’t the best for you. Perhaps you will finally go left.
PS. My two weeks spent at Kyle Books was great. The publicity work meant that I got to experience what goes on within a different area of publishing. I’d only ever done editorial work before that so it was interesting to see how important it is to get the hype of the books out there by liaising with external publications. In the meantime, I’m doing my best to stay afloat in this never-subsiding pool of job seekers.