And finally, a month long of pressure-cooker style internalising and discipline (mostly fuelled by peer pressure) has been exchanged for this feeling of being liberated. The taste of freedom: the flavour of satisfaction coating the otherwise bitter knowledge of how short-lived it might be.
This afternoon I’m back on a long bus ride back to town, clad in knitwear and armed with my student pass, I’m ready for an adventure. Travelling around these beautiful places in where I call home has always come with a comforting realisation that I am so fortunate, but it also has me thinking about where I may fit in this illustrious legacy– where might my place in society be? In my recent read, The Coming Jobs War by Jim Clifton, the author discussed the incoming urgent need for jobs– by ‘jobs’, he didn’t just mean money for a service, and service for a need; rather, he was referring to meaningful functions in society that would satisfy the working generation in a way where they would see purpose in what they did. In a survey conducted by Gallup, American high school dropouts reportedly “did not see how their education would translate into a good job”. On this note, he painted a dim picture of the foreseeable future of an unmotivated and unfulfilled workforce if this need for good jobs were not met. The book was a pessimistic but necessary read. (For the sake of optimism, I must mention he did name Singapore as one of the nations in which the prospects of a good job was more promising.)
Recently, I was a volunteer at the Superhero Me Festival 2015- the first of its kind, this was a costume-crafting festival aimed at children from pre-school onwards to celebrate childhood and their dreams. This festival was the brainchild of a bunch of passionate, fun-loving volunteers who hoped for Singapore to be less than a tuition nation– to have parents and children alike to realise they could be more than their grades in school. Children would put together their ‘superhero costumes’ and talk about their role models, emphasis was placed on the values that they admired in superheroes like resilience, kindness, gratitutde and respect. Adorable remarks included, “My hero is my mummy!” “…Why?” “Umm, because she cooks for me.” And of course, the logical conclusion is, “I want to be a cook next time, so that I can cook for my mother.” Now where did our simple but noble dreams go after these years in school?
So, what might my good job look like? And after I pursue my A levels, live out my 6-month break and when I leave this institution- then what? All this hard work, but for what? I am so fearful of this uncertainty, it is nothing but silly. I am a little less than ‘desperately’, in search of the purpose behind putting the rest of my life on hold for this.
The next stop is me, bye.