Some dreams are best fulfilled now

I attended my uncle’s funeral today. Looking at his young children, it again reminded me how we should live life with no regrets. Lots of times we think that we should earn money first and someday live out our dreams when we retire. However, you will never know what tomorrow will bring. My uncle and aunt were mid-low wage income workers and they often thought of going for a holiday. However, they kept putting it off. Initially, they wanted their kids to be older before going. Then my grandma got diagnosed with cancer and they thought maybe they should wait a while more. Then my uncle was diagnosed with cancer and eventually when he really wanted to go, he was too weak to travel.

Back when I was in my high paying job, my plan was to earn lots of money, save up and maybe pursue my dreams when I was above 40. However, with my grandma and uncle both dying in the past 3 months, I realized how fragile life is. Why wait if you can do it now?
Of course it’s not easy.. Even just this morning, I was still in this dilemma of whether if I should pursue this. 2 headhunters contacted me yesterday about jobs and I was tempted to apply. After all, it meant a stable income. Recently I have been feeling a little pressured as me and my bf (lets call him the Partner) have signed up for a BTO flat and flats nowadays are not cheap. The four room flat we signed for was more than 500K. Although it will only be completed in 4 years time, nonetheless it’s a huge commitment.

You might think then why did I quit my job? Well, when we applied for it, I haven’t thought of quitting yet. Then we were very lucky and got a good queue number and it seem such a waste to give up the flat. Family and friends assured that we can definitely afford the flat in future. And I don’t want to end up thinking that I didn’t go and pursue my course because of the flat in future. I guess if I didn’t quit and go for the course, I will hating myself and maybe even resenting the Partner which I don’t want to be.

The Partner was very supportive of my decision. Of course he has his concerns but I also gave myself a timeline to try. I can’t be jobless for too long either since I still need to service my insurance. So will I really make it in the fashion world? I really don’t know.

I am not an entrepreneur at heart. My dream shop has always been one that will sell vintage items and curiosities, some clothes and maybe a cafe combined in one. I showed the Partner a few of my ideal dream shops but his only comment is that such shops will not earn profits, which I secretly agree too. I don’t have that big dream where I want to be the next Chanel or Stella McCartney. I may want to do at least one collection and maybe a small runway show but I doubt I will ever be able to design and show every season.
Frankly I am just too lazy.

When L offered me a job, at that time it was like an answer to my prayers. I could have a stable income AND fulfill my dream. The position was for a sales merchandiser an granted its not design but merchandiser or buyer has always been my plan B in case I couldn’t find a design job. We were both cautious ad he had already lost a friend previously when the guy went to work for him and left.

So we sat down and talked about my job scope and set the KPIs and promised each other we will always be open etc. But talk is cheap. So I started my job full of excitement, only to find that what I envisioned was totally different. L too, had really high expectations of me and felt I was not “into” the job. Till this day, I don’t understand how I should have worked to show I was “into” the job. One example he quoted was that my desk was messy.

I started my first week as a packer, tagging clothes with price tags and packing in cartons to be sent out to various stores. It was physically demanding and it did not help that I just had an operation 2 months ago.

Then L told me I had to work as a promoter on weekends. He positioned it as part of my training and told me it was a new idea he had, so that I can experience first hand how the customer floor is like. He assured me I can take a day off on weekdays in exchange. I have never worked a promoter and having been in an office for the past 8 years, my feet were aching badly from 8 hours of standing over the weekend.
Then, I realized I couldn’t take days off in the weekday! Everyday, there was just too many things to do (It was the festive period after all). So by the end of the first week, I felt really tiring from the overtime and the constant need of being on my feet.

The job was not tough but it just required physical stamina. Honestly, how difficult can packing and promoting be? But I started thinking how it sounded so different from my job scope. After the second week, I decided to have a talk with L. I told him I found it physically demanding and I can’t really take it. L wouldn’t listen, he kept telling me in that case he will take the physical component out. I just have to tell my colleague to do my job. It’s like huh? You are the boss and how would my colleagues feel if I tell them I am not doing this because I can’t do it and you should do my job. So I ended the meeting feeling really frustrated but still deciding to give it a try. Then came the next day and L acted as if we didn’t have the conversation and again asked me to go set up road shows etc and work as a promoter. That’s when I got angry, I told him he is not honoring his word which he took offense. It wasn’t pretty. He said many hurtful things like how he is my paymaster and I shouldn’t have this attitude and how I have cheated his feelings etc. He projected himself as the victim, but i seriously doubted that what I did was a sales merchandiser job scope. Maybe only 20%. During my 3 weeks there, most of my days were spent climbing up and down in the warehouse packing clothes, setting up sales wagons and being a promoter on weekends. i don’t even have a computer to myself not even worked on one..Is that really what a merchandiser does? If it is, then i doubt its for me. Needless to say, he is no longer my friend and I do regret working for him. If not, we will still be friends. I felt bad leaving him at a time when his company needed people but he told me to leave on the day itself, so it’s not like I had much choice.

So being without a job and school only due to start in Feb, I found a temp job to fill in my days. I thought of going back to help out at the bridal shop, but I didn’t want to have to quit a second time if I didn’t join them eventually. On hindsight, maybe it’s a blessing I didn’t go back. I saw her posting and realized her budget for hiring is only $1.2K which sadly won’t be able to cover my expenses at all. My monthly insurance premiums alone amounted to $1K already…currently toying with the idea to take a premium holiday but I will opt for that only at a last resort..


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