For a long time, I have shied away from sharing my thoughts and feelings online as it became too personal. But I recently realised how much I have missed writing, just writing. It helps to write things down. It helps to lighten the load in my heart and feels like I am talking to someone. I guess that's why psychologists make a lot of money. People need someone to just listen to their woes without making any judgements. To offer an insight into their thought process and to dish out advice. So this is me talking to a shrink in you.
I am now at a major crossroad in my life. I am 45 and kind of lost in the vast wilderness of life. My girls are now 13 and 15 and even though they are not totally independent, I feel their reliance on me is reducing. I feel a tinge of sadness because my babies are growing up and they don't need me as much but I do realise its about tim. I am finally regaining my temporarily lost life. I have time for exercise to regain my lost figure. I have time again to pursue my interests like jewelry making, food blogging and my passion for reading which led me to start a book club last year. And I started on my docent training for the National Museum of Singapore just last week.
What I didn't forsee is that my husband also saw the absence of my major responsibilities and my newfound freed up time which led to him asking 'What are you doing with your time, now that the girls don't need you as much?' or 'Why aren't you working and contributing to the household income? You are a graduate after all. You shouldn't become obsolete' I didn't want to go back to work. I mean why would I want to sit in an office 9am-9pm? When I would rather be busy doing something I like? But I had to try. I know I'll become bored if I don't. How will my mornings go?
So, with a frenzy I spruced up my resume and dusted the cobwebs off my school certificates and sent out numerous job applications. In the last 6 months, I didn't get any response and worse - I got an immediate rejection. All these were not surprising. I am 45, not having worked for the last 17 years, totally out of touch with the working world, haven't done anything to update my skills. Why would anyone hire me? Heck, if I were a HR manager , even I wouldn't hire me!
So I am now contemplating on what my next move should be. You must be thinking - you are already doing so much, your blog, your docent training, jewelry biz (quite dormant nowadays) and your also your painting classes with Sherin ( a close friend). Why do you want to get behind a desk and join the exodus of office workers who work day in and day out? I feel I should do something with my time. Whoever is reading this - please don't mistake my family's financial situation. It's not like we are in dire straits. I am grateful to God for that. But who wouldn't want more money? Who wouldn't want to see a heavier bank balance? For those who have it all and more (I know a few), they won't know what I'm talking about. They have no idea how fortunate they are and how thankful they should be to God. But for those who just have it and those who don't, my ranting here will touch base.
What do I do now?
Take up a postgrad diploma in HR and Organisational Psychology. I majored in HR while doing my bachelor's degree in Business Admin from NUS in 1995. This Postgrad Diploma will help me to get an idea of what's going on in the HR field now and probably help secure a HR job. Or pursue a Masters after that. Beautiful plan, isn't it? See below.
Pitfalls - I may not get a job. Getting a cert doesn't guarantee you a job. And the other more important question, how will I finance these courses? I don't want to ask my husband. Its his hard earned money. I have no claim over it. Yes, I do look after our kids and the household, but I just can't attach a price to it. A friend of mine gets an allowance from her husband based on how much she would have earned if she had not given up on her career to look after their kids! I wonder if promotions and payrise are also factored in :) What other financial sources do I have? The bank says I have to work full time in order to get a personal loan. These guys don't understand my dilemma. I need the loan to get a full time job!! Then, my sister asked me - Is this really what you want to do? HR? Good question June. Honestly, I am not very sure. That got me thinking and I halted this option for the time being. I don't want to borrow and spend $6K on a postgrad diploma and then do nothing after that. And should I study HR, Counselling or Psychology?
Become a kindergarten teacher. For this option, I ticked most of my conditions for my ideal job. It won't be as stressful as a regular office job. I love working with preschoolers - they are the littlest most adorable angels around! :) The pay won't be great but its an honest reputable profession and the hours won't be very long which still leaves me time to pursue my interests. So, I printed my application form two days ago all ready mentally and my husband turns around and says - 'You are a people person. You should be in a job that requires you to have meaningful interaction with adults. Somehow, I can't see you as a kindergarten teacher'!! Thanks hubby- now I am confused again. Back to Square 1.
This is the one closest to my heart. Start my own cafe cum culinary school. Nothing big. Something small. Something cosy. A friend of mine Nisha who went on a temporary vegan diet recently cited difficulties finding vegan food in Singapore. So my idea is to open a vegan cafe. Many doubts and fears pop up in my head when I ponder over this option:
Where will I get the capital?
What about a business plan? How do i do that?
Will it do well?
Am I ready to sacrifice so much to start a cafe? Can I face the long hours and the hardwork of running a cafe?
Am I willing to work temporarily for a while in a cafe to study the ins and outs of running a cafe?
So many questions. No answers yet. I want to do something worthy. Something validated by myself and something that will keep me busy. Something other than being a home maker. Something that will enable my girls to view me as a role model. What do I do, shrink ?
Care enough to help answer?
My home is
usually in a mess and has dust settled on almost everything. But I believe laughter and love will win the day. In 20 years, my girls won't remember how messy the house was but will remember the time we spent together and the love they felt...