Future

I want a constant not a variable.

And life is complicated, well, thinking about the future makes me panic. Thinking about my future and comparing it with the much better looking ones of my peers makes me panic even more. It’s not just job hunting or academic prospects but it’s just…having to think and plan out life and it’s hard when you somewhat know what you want to do in life but can’t really find the right “road” towards it or the proper way to proceed.

Planet and I talk about internships, job prospects, masters, and we mainly discuss about how we’re losing the rat race. I’ve already written about my struggle with elitism somewhere on this blog and I’d rather not bore anyone with it again. But I’m afraid of not being able to achieve anything, to not have something prove my worth to others. I may be happy and satisfied but what does it matter if all my Mother can say is “You could have done better?”

Growing up it was always “Eh, why only B3? Why not A1?” or “A2 only? Not A1?” or “You could have done better.” and there have been many, many points when I felt the grade I produced on paper was what reflected my worth. Sometimes I still do.

Growing up it was always choosing schools by reputation, until things changed and I left Singapore. But I can’t deny I don’t regret coming to Japan. I wouldn’t be here now if I didn’t do so, probably, possibly, and things have gotten better. I’ve said it time and time again but the experiences since coming to Japan have been nothing short of enriching. I’ve met people, experienced things, places, that I never would have been able to otherwise. I can confidently say I know people from all over the globe and I’ve never been happier.

Growing up it was always tears, frustrations, stress. Milestones that were supposed to be happy are punctuated with the memories of pain, sometimes I find an old notebook I took my frustrations out on at home. The red letters burn in my eyes, the hurt resonates in my soul as I remember. But without those experiences, I would have never grown stronger.

Growing up it was always the indoctrination of “Be a Doctor or Lawyer” because those are the professions most highly sought after, said our parents. The people who were in the profession warned me against it and I believed them. I decided not to do Sciences, always having preferred the Humanities. It was tough, dealing with the explanations of why I could never be a doctor. “No, but you can change streams! It’s not too late.”

Growing up it was always dreaming of something different, creating fantasies where I could run away from reality, using a warped persona of myself to deal with things. Believing that coping was done by elevating yourself above others. Wrong. I’d like to think I’ve gotten better – I look back and cringe. But even now, I dream, create fantasies to hide the insecurities.

But now that I’m 21 and supposedly Grown Up, these things are supposed to be behind me. I’m supposed to start along this path called the Future and with it comes jobs, finances, responsibilities and all the other things students could leave floating in the air, suspended in time. I’m scared.

Back when I was 16, I had a plan for myself 10 years in the future. At 21, I don’t see myself anywhere close to achieving it. “You’re still young.” I’m told, and sometimes I believe it.

Growing up it was always “Don’t fall behind or you’re screwed”, and in every composition, every reading comprehension we would have a set answer for why it was important to study hard. 如果不努力读书就不会有好前途 and so on and so forth. I’m losing the rat race I think, each night and I roll over and sleep, letting the alarm go to snooze an extra few times.

Growing up it was always just a preparation for the days when I’d have to fend for myself.

Leave a Reply