That’s why they call it work

I’m positively uninspired.
After reading through The Lost Girl‘s lament about how nobody seems to be blogging recently, I felt guilty.

It’s just that somehow, now that I have started working, I find that my creative juices have been squeezed dry. I sleep between six to seven hours every night and yet I end up bleary-eyed and late for work. I have no time to read the papers, let alone the Dan Brown paperback on loan to me. My wardrobe is a mess, it’s practically exploding on me. My bills are all dumped unceremoniously on my table. I just want to flop onto my bed and sleep by the time I get home.

I know that compared to the Evil Fat Brat, my work is considered easy peasy. And that there are many people out there who are unemployed so I should just shut up and shove my words up my arse. But honestly, work is just work.

Just work, someone told me before, just work and earn the money. Is that the mentality that we should all have then? That we are all be working for the sake of earning money and nothing else? Am I too idealistic in thinking that a career is something that we should all take pride in? Should my job be just work? (via Cowboy Caleb)

The double meaning gets at the two faces of work. One is the side of necessity. Work is something compulsory, not merely an option or a lifestyle choice. The other side is more hopeful. It invites us to find work that is fulfilling, that is part of a good life.

Of course work is a necessity. I have to pay off my tuition loan. I have a retired mother to support. I have bills to pay. I have dreams of flying back to Germany to sing again.

But does it mean that I have to compromise myself in order to survive? For the past month, I’ve grown from being distraught to feeling indifferent. Client unhappy? Too bad. Co-worker irresponsible? Whatever.

And it’s sad, because you know that it doesn’t have to be that way. I know for sure that I can’t stay in this job for long, not even when my boss tells me that I’ve been doing a good job and she will be letting me handle accounts on my own from next year on. I feel like a traitor for going for interviews but at the same time, I know that this is me fighting for my future. I’m chasing a dream because I want to find a place where I can belong, where the puzzle will finally fit. Wishful thinking? Maybe. But at least I know I am trying my darnest.

My mother tells me that I should change my ideals to suit the work place. Maybe. The problem obviously lies with me and not the nature of the job. I just cannot reconcile the dissonance within me at calling this my career. Was it a mistake then? Perhaps. But then again, I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t tried.

There are lots of activities we might have an aptitude for, but cannot manage to identify with or enjoy. You might be very good at accounting.Yet you might not be able to think of yourself as an accountant, to take any enjoyment from the activity, to connect it in any deep way to who you are. Fitting work in the deepest sense means having an ability to realize and to enjoy the distinctive goods that your work offers. This kind of fit is what matters most on a personal level.

What’s Playing on iTunes
How To Be Dead from the album “Final Straw” by Snow Patrol

PS Comment moderation has been enabled, in light of the fact that my blog was bombarded by almost 2,000 spam comments over the weekend.

8 thoughts on “That’s why they call it work”

  1. well.. i guess it is oki to keep your options open.. at least that’s what i’m doing too!..
    my new boss said sth that’s rather true: there are two main types of ppl – 1) ppl who spend 8hrs a day doing sth they reallie enjoy; 2) ppl who spend 8hrs doing shitty jobs and use the gd $ that comes from it to support their lifestyle in the nxt 4 hrs.
    guess many ppl here are type 2s? matter of choice i guess..

    nwae.. hi there! hee.. think this is first time i’m posting sth here.. been a silent reader all these while..:p

    take care gal!



  2. To me, work is work.
    I have given up hope on thinking that the possibility of reconciling pleasure with work.
    Dreams are nothing but dreams.
    Dreams cannot be fulfilled, that’s why they are called dreams.

    Unless you live in Bukit Timah, commoners like us have bills to pay and mouths to feed.


  3. i talk to myself everyday. in the morning, i feel shitty and cannot bring myself to come to work. at night, i feel that ‘hey it’s not that bad after all’

    and guess wat, as much as i would like to try something else, im obliged to stay cuz the 2 predecessors b4 left w/i 6mths and 8 mths respectively. sigh


  4. Hmm, it seems that not many of us can truly put our hands up and say, “We love our jobs!”

    I’m just wondering, is it us, as in our generation specifically, who are brought up to be discontented? Are we just not as stoic as our parents were? Or is this the result of the current economy and society?

    Hey wee!
    Didn’t know you are a reader! 🙂


  5. Now that I see wee’s comment, I think i am type 2.
    when you sms’ed me yesterday, i was in the southhaven fitting room trying on a top.
    and i bought it even though i was v broke and thought i looked fat in it.
    cus i need material well being!


  6. Hey there! I suppose you’ve to keep looking till you find a nice fit. The key is not to give up the search, despite the frustrations.


  7. hi yann! thks for ur tag.. always read ur blog whenever i go to ash’s.. hee..
    nwae ash.. i think i’m trying to be type 1 but would eventualli end up being type 2.. haha..


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