I do not eat yoghurt. They are sour and gooey and they taste and look like excessively fermented milk. But recently I have taken to enjoying this, this strange refreshing dessert as a mid-day snack, much to chagrin of my physical body. I have not taken to downing it by the spoonfuls or tubfuls, but I do welcome the break of the usual routine, which usually involves a glass of milk or a mug of coffee.

At the most busiest time of the year, I find myself thrown face to face again, with one of the hardest life questions: “Where do you see yourself?” Five minutes before I knocked out two nights ago, my mother paid me a visit on the bed, and started this heavy conversation about my future career, how the family car would be scraped, how I cannot go on living my teaching life as my whole life, and how I need to start making time to meet people… implying among many things, the tediously painful topic of a woman’s shelf-life and future. A friend and colleague from work who has a knack for saying things just as they are looked me in the eye yesterday evening and said, “Where do you see yourself three years from now? Because once you hit 30, let’s face it, you are pretty much set for life.”

Set for life. Well she did say, pretty much, which also means kinda, sorta, somewhat, maybe, perhaps… but if I am completely honest with myself, if I hit the big 30 and am still teaching and living like this from day to day, I will be terribly upset. More than upset, I would be crushed. Not because I dislike my job, find it meaningless, or cannot see myself teaching ten years into the future, but just simply because I don’t like the way I am living – have not liked it, never will like it – and to still be doing the same thing because I cannot pick myself together to do something about it is just gross. It is like sticking to the status quo because it hasn’t killed you yet.

My colleague and friend also said – point blank – that I do not seem to know what I want. I wanted to say No, I know what I want! I want to do a masters in education in children’s literature! I just need a bit of advice and maybe divine intervention to get there! But truly, this desire to study a little more came about only about a year back, and has been swaying back and forth ever since too. Fast forward three years later into the future, and I am pretty sure I will still be teaching somewhere in some school in Singapore, struggling to balance and manage my life.

She – C – also said that it isn’t strange given how with the onslaught of work, we never have the time to seriously think about what we want to do with our lives. (How true is that!) The March, June, September and December holidays fly past really quickly. We get a one or two week vacation if we are lucky, mainly to take our minds off the nasty things in the year, and prepare our minds for the coming year. (And please do not be fooled by the March and September holidays – we know they do not exist.) Truth be told, I spend a good part of my month-long holiday on schoolwork.

Last December was a killer. After preparing the resources and year plans for Secondary Three English, my deployment was switched to accommodate some manpower changes with seeking my opinion or understanding, essentially leaving me with nothing done and everything to do. One can imagine how bummed I was – to find that chunk of time and energy dedicated to getting things in order, was no longer going to contribute to my preparation for the following year. That – on top of the rubbish that comes with dealing with the rest of the team this year – is just giving me plenty of reason to take a backseat and just let the rest of the year swing by.

That is an example of how work kills. I had a lot on my mind today – and requested to take a break from school to pull some thoughts together. Hence, this post after a month-long (or so) hiatus. Where do I see myself in the future?

  1. Working with children or young people

    I have not decided which i have a calling or bigger burden for. Right now, I have worked and am working with these two groups of people – at work and at church. They both give me such joy. :)

  2. Being involved in their education and learning

    Between character and moral education and the teaching of literature, I think both IP and non-IP subjects can touch a person’s soul and help them become people of sounder mind and soul. I have not decided between the two, but it would mean a lot to be involved in their education and learning.

  3. Have learnt more about coffee to be able to appreciate it

    I love coffee – it is a happy go-to drink I can always count on to tide me through work, good conversations, and quality me time. But my coffee understanding stops after a latte, expresso, affogato and flat white.

  4. A job that I enjoy

    A friend and mentor shared how he was thankful that what he was doing for a living, was what he really enjoyed and believed in. I look forward to the time where I can say the same for me.