Sometimes all it takes is a conversation with an old friend to make you feel better. The thing with old friends is that you can always count on them for effortless conversation without having to crack your head to think of what to say next. Nowadays I’m feeling very much like an old lady what with me constantly lamenting on the good old days (high school, college and all) because I was a lot more carefree back then. These days, I just don’t feel like I have anyone that I can trust enough to confide stuff with without the fear of being judged, hence me putting up walls, preventing others from coming in. I’m just tired of trying to get to know more people because so far I’ve never met a similar soul like me in terms of thinking and all. I know I’m being extremely difficult. Sometimes I just feel so out of place. I mean, everyone else seems to be so enthusiastic about everything while I just don’t really bother. All I care about is being comfortable, and if I can’t find people who can offer me that, so be it. If there’s no one else to save you from yourself, you’re going to have to do your own saving.
You’ll never find another person like you. You’re the only one out there… but finding someone who gets you is rare. Finding someone who can accept and follow your train of thought is not easy.
Somewhere in between our conversation I (finally!) mustered the courage to ask her the questions that I’ve always wanted to ask everyone around me. Those are also questions that I’ve been asking myself for quite some time.
Do you love what you’re doing?
Well…I don’t hate what I’m doing…but I don’t love it with a burning passion either. My major is something that I can live with, as in, I like it moderately enough to study it. It’s just that sometimes I just can’t help but to feel a bit empty inside. People around me seem to be so sure certain about their aspirations and seem to just go for their passion without having to think twice. I wished that I have that too, that passion, that burning fire inside, y’know? Because at the very least, if you really like what you’re doing, passion will be all you need to pull you through those bad times and make things a lot more bearable.
Do you have anything that you’re genuinely passionate about?
I dont know what I’m passionate about actually. truth be told. I wish I did. I wish I knew of my (if any) standout talents that i can be like, hey! I can make a career out of this.
The thing is, I too, don’t know where my passion lies in, I’ve never had anything that I’m strongly passionate about, ever, not even once in twenty-odd years of my life. I mean, I like a lot of things but to say that I actually love something with a burning passion and that I cannot see myself doing anything other than that? That never happens to me. I’m more of ‘anything works for me as long as I get to continue studying because I don’t think I’m prepared to plunge myself into work life’ kind of person. Which brings us to my next point.
Are you pursuing your passion or just being practical?
I don’t know if I’m making a sweeping generalisation here but actually I feel like for us Asians, we generally we go for things that are practical, where we can make a living out of rather than to risk it by picking artsy/creative (but often deemed impractical) majors, because there’s this ingrained mentality that such and such are good career options, and some others not so good ones. Our parents would go ‘We’re your parents of course we know what’s best for you. You didn’t know what to do at that time so we’re just trying to make the best decision for you.’ or something along those lines. And then you’d be thinking ‘well maybe I should do this because everyone seems to think it’s a good idea. Maybe I should try liking the subject then.’
As many of you might (or might not) have already known, I’m majoring in law (in fact the entire component of my degree is fully law-based lol) at a university. I’m not gonna lie, law wasn’t my first choice. Yeah…I’ve heard of how a law degree is going to open me up to a gateway of opportunities, lead to good career prospects yada yada yada, and obviously I must’ve been somewhat convinced, or else I wouldn’t be where I am now. Well actually, I was quite the argumentative kid who’d retort and deliberately say no for the sake for wanting to be right (but that’s besides the point) and so naturally I was quite adamant about doing law when my dad first suggested to it me.’ But I did (reluctantly) tried Law out while I was doing my A Levels half expecting myself to flunk the subject in no time but ironically it was the only subject that I can cope with moderately. This is going to sound weird but…it felt as if the subject chose me instead of me choosing it, because I simply didn’t have the capability to do anything else. I don’t know what else I can do if it’s not law. I’m not being bitter about it, I’m just merely stating a fact. Oh yes…I was a reluctant one.
It’s funny how I used to worry over things like that. There’s just something oddly reassuring about looking back and then seeing where we are now, how far we’ve come, even things have turned out so different from what we’ve initially envisaged and then finally accepting things as they are. I think I can safely that I’m now at a stage where I am comfortable about acknowledging my past dilemmas and am able to come to terms with myself. You know what they say: ‘acknowledgement is the first step to healing’. Back then I don’t think I would’ve dared to even think much about it, let alone mention it to someone else, I mean, who would want to allow others to peek through their insecurities? I wouldn’t want that.
If you reflect on your intentions, on why you choose to pursue what you are pursuing, meeting expectations is secondary ’cause if you realize why you do what you do, you’d naturally ace it. Anything you’re doing. Renew intentions and understand what you’re doing.
Before this I was just looking at this whole studying thing like, something I need to do. I didn’t look at WHY i need to learn this. HOW it will apply to my life. HOW it will help. When what you should really think is that, how is this degree going to help others. Where can you go from here?
And then it just hit me that I’m actually doing it for the sake of doing it all this while studying because I have to. For the sake of not wasting money, not disappointing my parents and such.
Why do people do law? To uphold justice? To set things right? To restore faith to people that good does triumph over evil….?
I don’t know.Well it’s supposedly there to uphold social justice and all, but I wonder how much of it still holds water today. I’m a very cynical person. I just have this really bad tendency to first look at the worst side of things. I mean, I know that I might be able to help people out with law, I’m just dubious as to the likelihood of actually being able to make a change, if at all. I just feel so tiny, so insignificant.
Ah, but if one person voices out… perhaps more would follow. No one is insignificant. We just don’t realise our potential.
To be honest, I am still not sure why I’m doing law, and I still don’t know what my passion is. In fact, I don’t have the answers to many more questions that needs answering, but you know what…it’s completely okay to not know the answer to everything. Who does, anyway? What’s important is that I’m already on my way to answering some of these questions and hopefully by the end of my course I would’ve come up with the answers to some, if not all of the questions.
And so today I have 3 questions for you to ponder upon:
1. Do you love what you’re doing?
2. Do you have anything that you’re genuinely passionate about?
3. Are you pursuing your passion or just being practical?