It took months for me to finally understand both my feelings and the situation I was facing, and to finally make one of the most important decisions at this point in my life. To be honest, since the end of last year I was no longer content with my “perfect life” in Jakarta. The career that I used to love so much suddenly felt less challenging, more boring, and I began to see it only as a routine which an adult should do in order to find a place in society and obviously to pay my bills.
I began not to understand why I had to spend 40 hours per week at the office while I had only 48 hours for myself. I came to believe that as people we need to make more time for ourselves, to do things like exploring hobbies, doing things we love, doing something productive and beneficial for ourselves and our future, and sometimes just doing nothing at home. I deeply understand the importance of having a career and the benefit it can give us for practical things like retirement. When I say I don’t want to spend time working for 40 hours per week it doesn’t mean I don’t want to work anymore. I simply felt that at this point I had done enough to achieve my career goals, my passion, and some other dreams that I had had since 10 years ago. At this point I feel satisfied with my effort and the results. It’s time to take a break and use some free time to explore my passions while still making enough (or a lot of!) money for living. It’s time to focus on myself, doing everything for me only, and some people I love.
The more I take time to contemplate I feel I can no longer understand why, in order to survive, one must spend his/her energy to play certain games in the office, use a lot of time to socialize, and take more time than you have just to make sure you survive and can fund your living!! It doesn’t mean I don’t understand the enjoyment inherent in building a career, the excitement of exploring one’s skills, the satisfaction of competition, or the feelings of being proud of ourselves and our ability. I used to love it; I did it for some years and now I just think that’s enough. At this point I just want to make a better life in a simple way: less working time, less hierarchy, less office politics, less hypocrisy; more freedom and more time while still getting a decent income. And the most important thing is less stress! I want to use my brain just to think of useful things, not just things I can’t avoid thinking of if I keep staying in the box.
During those gloomy and moody months, in order to make myself happy I kept doing my hobbies such as exploring the malls in Jakarta, shopping, or window shopping, which is probably one of the reasons why I kept staying there for years and refused to move. Meeting new people from different backgrounds and experiences and having quality conversations with them I found to be very interesting, and temporarily satisfied my curiosity and thirst for the outside world. Of course it also helped to fill some time, while regularly meeting and talking to some close friends helped me to understand and embrace some unfortunate events in my life and slowly heal my wounds. And yes, obviously traveling really helped me to contemplate, calm my mind, and get on the path to finding a peaceful life.
For a few months I kept postponing acting on the decision that I made at the beginning of year. Some people definitively refused the idea and stated that it was crazy. Some supported me; especially my boyfriend, who I first met in Hanoi back in February, and my friend, Maya. I could sense that some people, in and outside the office, opposed my thought and idea. I could comprehend the reasons and thought behind their opinions, but, well, this is my life; that is my decision and my decision is final (credit to Jon Snow. GOT SE7 EPS01). If I NEED a suggestion I will ask people but if I don’t, don’t ever give and offer me some (I considered it as a violation of my privacy, something that many people surrounding me seem not to understand, but I will write about this in another post).
The other things that kept me hesitating for some time were thoughts of, “will I feel sad or miss the job?” or, worse, “will I regret taking this decision? How much will my life change? Will it be difficult to socialize and meet people?”
But finally, a few weeks after celebrating my new age ( I had many achievements and satisfactions in the past year), I submitted that love letter to the superiors. Yet I had to wait for 2.5 months before I could pack my things (it took 3 days to pack all my stuff and move it to my uncle’s house) and fly to Vietnam for a new life.