I read The Alchemist the other day. Two days ago, actually. How did I get to know of this wonderful literature? Was watching videos of Will Smith on You Tube, and he mentioned or rather accredited his level of success to the book. So dear Hijazi decided to download the book, and spend the next 7 hours reading it. I was captivated.
In a gist, the book narrated the story of a boy, a shepherd who decided to one day pursue his “treasure” on the advise of a mysterious old man. His jouney took him from Spain to Egypt. Along the way, he learned so many wonderful real life lessons, which I totally related to. Eventually, he followed his Signs and Omens, and the Soul of the Universe and finally realized where his real treasure lied. It’s an absolute classic. The learning point that I got from the book was totally poignant. It was all about following that dream.
Will Smith mentioned it in the videos. He decided to pursue his dream and outwork his competitors.
In all honesty, I’ve been sick of my life these past few months. Sick to the core. Disgusted with my inability to reorganize my life. I could not get around to handling the things that came my way. Obviously, I take full ownership and responsibility for the episodes. There were instances, when I just wished I was single. A bachelor without the strains and constraints of responsibilities, duties and obligations. I’ve been sleeping late. Maybe it’s just me, but married life is not that ideal. I think it comes along with this semblance of cultural expectations, such as when you get married, a HDB flat is something that should be tangible within the frames of realization. I have no qualms about such an expectation, for even I expect it out of my life. But when it becomes the core and central focus of discussions and arguments with the spouse, it can be a tad too frustrating.
When my wife got herself a career in the education industry, I was absolutely delighted and proud of her. And that gut instinct of mine, also kinda vibrated with that vibe of “interesting things” that will come along. Not that there is anything wrong with the career. It’s just that I had this small feeling, that the wife will take a while to adjust to the rigorous and rather demanding scopes of the career. And I assume at that moment that, such an arrangement, will also kinda put a sense of communication strain, as I know that a demanding career will wear and tear the mind and body. So, in a nutshell, the wife had to change her world view, in an effort to adapt to the ruthless world of a career. And somehow, I affected my own perspective. I warped myself into thinking that perhaps, I was rendered useless, now that she has a career. So I focused my effort and energy into my bundle of joy, my son.
There is nothing to blame my wife. I blame myself, that I am taking things rather slow and steady in terms of reaching that threshold of normality. You know how people expect one to have their own homes within the first six days, I mean six months of being married. I have just crossed the two years mark, and yet am still under that general assumption, that I’ve not escaped my parents’ wings. The other facet of my “job” as a financial planner gets on everyone’s nerves. My mum detests the job, saying that I’m not cut out to be a salesman. And so does the wife. *lol* Who am I to say that they are wrong? I’ve assured my mom that I’ll look for a job as a janitor next year, to get on that scale of having a fixed income. I’ve also assured the wife that I’m gonna be a handyman or CISCO if need be. All, for the sake of normality. To get that less than $2K a month regime going, so that I can have a house and perhaps a fixed time job. Interesting huh?
And so, I evaluated myself over and over and over and over again. For a certain, I care enough to consider my life in order to please the powers that be. You see what I told you about expectations. I’m beginning to feel the noose of expectations tightening aound my neck. People want me to be normal. Be a good husband they said. Be a good father they cried out. Have a home, have a car, have a fixed job, have a normal life, reduce the leisure of soccer. And I thought to myself,”Yeah, the life will be so much simpler right?”
Then I thought about my dreams…
I think when God looks down on me, He might be thinking just what a waste I am. I feel that I am a waste at times. I regretted my decision to get married at times, for I thought that hey, I could be making out with some hot chick still. But then, I glanced over my shoulders late at night, and my whole world is encapsulated in that tiny ball rolling in slumber. My son. And I think to myself, “No amount of sex, can ever give me that great feeling of cuddling up to my son.” And then I realized the beauty behind my marriage. I look at my wife and exclaimed silently at times, as to what the devil possessed me to have decided on impulse to marry her. But when I look at her again and again and again, I feel that calmness that she was indeed meant to be the right one for me. The right one to provide facets of wisdom amidst the tears, quarrels, screams, whining, smiles and laughters. I could have been married to a simple and naive idiot, but where’s the wisdom behind that?
That leaves me to my career.
I enjoy helping people. To understand them. To facilitate their learning. But somehow over the years, such noble motives do not necessarily translate into excellent remunerations. I’ve been getting by and struggling at times, with all the shenanigans that random clients may throw at me. I had ample opportunities to leave the industry and earn my dough, but I kept getting pulled by that sense of duty to serve my best clients. It’s been detrimental. It’s like Steve Jobs giving free Macs, with the vision that he’s serving a bigger purpose, whilst Bill Gates makes sure Windows 7 is ringing the register every second. If people tell me that I am working in the wrong industry, they are absolutely wrong. They are right about one thing though. I’m not a typical salesman. I do not have that poker face to lie amy prospects with. I provide consultations. But my beloved community loves swindlers, con artistes and cheats I guess. So gimmicky sales presentations come foremost in their minds as a gauge of credibility. Sigh. I am the best, knowledgeable,neutral and objective financial consultant a Malay family can ever find. Just a pity I’m not driving a Lexus for it.
So all this whining about my shortfall, has just given me good reasons to draft up my 2010 plans this coming December. I am up to my neck. Sick and disgusted with how thing are unfolding. I no longer wanna place that hope on favorable circumstances making its way into my life. I’m gonna grab life by its neck, shake it all about and choke it slowly. I’ve always been a slow coach, surrounded by souls who probably feel that given the current expectations about life, I should be flourishing.
Perhaps, I’m still best alone with my thoughts and dreams…
Because at least there, I’m happier and more fulfilled.
What makes you happy Jaz?
When I bleed badly…