Tuesday, 6 January 2009 @ 11.18am
Lesson #5: Sometimes settling is just not good enough
Ever since I left Trix, I’ve been whining that I hate being an AE and blah blah blah. I’ve always been told and been taught to push further and be all that I can be, to the best of my abilities. Ever since I was in uni, I’ve been pushing myself to work harder then I really should. Because I realized that I’ve been given an awesome opportunity that a lot of other people won’t get. I also realized that Papa worked hard as fuck to be able to provide my siblings and I with these opportunities. Taking advantage of it and just passing by is really a stupid way to go. So I decided to push myself as hard (if not harder) so that one day, I will be able to provide that same opportunities to my children.
Ever since I learnt to appreciate the fact that I’ve been given a start ahead of many others, I decided that settling is not good enough. When I started Trix, I felt like my weekends were wasted. Two days of doing nothing. So I decided to apply for a job as part-time teacher at Get Crafty (then known as Craft Attack). In 2007, I was working seven days a week and I loved it. I was making the most of every day and every moment. It was at this moment that I decided that, “hey, you’re young. If you don’t do all that you can now, then when can you?”
When I became an AE, I suddenly felt dumb. I didn’t have to push myself and there was no challenge. I was merely servicing clients. I AM merely servicing clients. There was no creative drive anymore. No push. No stress. No pressure to get to the deadline. What I do now is wait around, get quotations done, make sure invoices are sent, chase clients to pay us, and act my way through clients and bosses. There are times when it gets extremely busy. But once I’ve briefed the designer…that’s it.
I’ve had arguments with Papa about my wanting to look for another job. I’ve told him I feel useless here. But he says stay. Economy is bad and I’m lucky to have a job and blah blah blah. But I DESPISE coming here. I look forward to weekends because then I get to work at Get Crafty. I HATE when it’s Sunday evening because that means that it’s only hours away till I have to come back here. I feel like I’ve been dumbed down. I don’t work to the best of my abilities here because I cannot accept what I am here. I cannot accept that I can be just an AE. I know I can do better.
I used to pour my heart and soul at Trix. Work was piling and I loved it. I just hated the pay. I loved being in control and there I got to multi-task. There were clients to handle, articles to be written, designers to brainstorm with and bosses who trusted me. Here…I’m not even trying. Because there’s nothing to try. You just lie. All the time. My boss even joked to me, “you better pray everyday. Because you’re going to have a lot of sins working here.” Yes, that’s advertising for you.
I’m miserable here. I’ve worked out the steps and the system and I’m just going at it day by day. I feel depressed coming here. I don’t even bother playing nice and lunching with colleagues anymore. I just play at a nice, vague level to ensure I don’t come off as the cold-hearted bitch. I’m so glad that I have Get Crafty to look forward to so I don’t fall into a black hole of darkness and misery. I’ve decided that I’m not going to settle here. I can and will do better.
Lesson #6: Love is sacrifice
People always say that you have to give and take in a relationship. That you each have to make sacrifices and accommodate. Most of the time, the things that need changing are not major. It’s whether you’re willing to do it or not.
Eddie and I will be celebrating our one year anniversary very, very soon. And since then, we’ve been through a lot together. It sometimes feels like we’ve been together longer than a year. But with each step of the way, we’ve had to learn all the grueling details of each other and it was up to us whether or not we could or wanted to accept the other.
Along the way, we’ve learnt how to deal with each other. I’ve learned that he has a temper and I know how to calm him down. Recently, his family has expressed relief that we found each other because we complement each other. He needs somebody who’s firm enough to pull him down and they’ve said that they’re glad I’m able to do that. In fact, whenever they need to get through to him, they go through me first. He’s knows I get irrational when I lose it and he knows how to handle me too.
I’ve learned that we both need our space. Eddie’s job demands long grueling hours (sometimes from 9am till 12.30am) of physical work that leads him to both mental and physical exhaustion. Not only does he have to handle staff and customers, he also has to deal with paperwork and the management of the restaurant.
My jobs vary from mental to physical work. Mega Ads is mostly mental exhaustion after hours of endless arguments with various people while Get Crafty can be eight straight hours of being on your feet dealing with children and their parents while not even being able to have a toilet break or having lunch.
We don’t see each other every day and we’re both OK with that. We’ve learned that we don’t need to see each other ever day to love each other. Sometimes he just needs to unwind and so do I.
I’ve learned that we come from different worlds. He is a kampung boy and I am a city girl. But there are traits of each others worlds that we both actually already possess. I secretly like Malay tradition and culture, and he and his family have been there every step of the way to teach me things I was either to shy to ask or never experienced. He lives like a city boy but is truly a kampung boy at heart. We’ve learned to trade information, to teach each other things and to learn together.
I’ve learned that we complement each other. It may seem that we’re worlds apart, but there’s actually a lot that we have in common. We just took the time and effort to learn from each other. And it’s that one major sacrifice that I think has glued us together.