Sticky Situation

Tell us about something you’ve tried to quit. Did you go cold turkey, or for gradual change? Did it stick?

Source: Happy Endings

Without further ado, one of the things I have tried to quit was… religion.

And let the virtual hunger games begin.

In all seriousness despite the sorry excuse of a joke, the one thing that crosses my mind when I saw the theme is neither the changes in my outlook in life, nor any habitual problems, so it might be out of context. I tried quitting gradschool. And obviously, it sticks, which brings me to the misery of thesis writing.

One might respond by saying, “Come on, it’s not like you need to go to gradschool anyway. If anything, you brought this so-called agony onto yourself. Why would you keep doing anything you do not enjoy anyway?”

First things first. Yes, there is no written requirement for me to pursue a Master’s degree. This was initially just the lesser of the three evils I had to choose; the other one being unemployed, and another one was going down the rabbit hole of jobs I am not even sure I am capable of doing. I applied for both a job and gradschool simultaneously, and little did I know I was accepted quicker than I had job offers. So there we go.

Another thing is that turns out gradschool is not how I expected it to be, at least at the school I am currently attending. I was surrounded by people who are mostly there not for the academic zeal, but for the top grades and diploma, which I thought only happened in undergrad as it seems almost informally mandatory nowadays. Methinks me simpleton self will be encouraged to learn more, to be more critical and analytical and all the fancy stuff in the scholarly experience, but that is not the case.

I guess what also makes thoughts of quitting attack me almost as frequently is because I came to realize that probably what I learn here is good for the mind, but not for the pocket. I knew that what I learn is more of a gray area full of opinions, but I naively thought that there is still hope that it would land me a job somehow. With the lack of internship vacancies around, it is safe to say that I have never been so wrong.

Better yet, or worse to be exact, after two years, I also realized that doing stuff you don’t particularly like is quite a drag no matter how aware you are on the fact that you were only doing stuff out of practicality. Even harsher is that after those years you still can’t quite figure what it is that you’re looking for in life or in a job. The worst would probably the situation that I am currently in: I came to understand that what I like to do is of no value according to capitalism–even if it is, only a few people may succeed, and we would never know the specifics of the “selection”.

And so you may understand why I stick with it up to today. I am stuck. I don’t really like it, but I have no better option. I am also probably a coward because I reckon I am risking too much if I were to defy the odds by actually halting this midway. Let me tell you this: playing safe most of the time does ensure your survival, at least on the short term. Much to the contrary of what all those self-righteous coaches or characters believe in, innit? Well, life is not like the movies… which is why we need it to satisfy our unexplainable, sentimental need to reach the somewhat impossible or break off limits, as long as we know that in the current system we are in, one could only do so much to relive it through cinemas, books and other forms of entertainment available. Keep in mind that you need the means to obtain them, too, and how is that? Yeah, working long hours and tedious jobs.

I still maintain that those who knows where their passion lies and are able to make it lucrative enough are those people who are either ascribed to or achieved a certain amount of privilege. Achieved? Yeah, so for some other people, they may attain it one day. Never really too late, I guess.

But my unscientific tip for living in the now: make most of it, even though it feels like your brain and soul is almost crushed to death. Just don’t let those things define you, and there is no pressure whatsoever to acknowledge the fact that we are clueless about life. Most people, at least those I trust enough to share this concern, don’t. We may not know what our calling is or perhaps come to realize that it was not as celebrated as other skills or personas, but I guess at least we are capable enough to survive for the time being, and die another day.

No, I am not a James Bond fan.

And that is the end of another bloody irrelevant post, pointlessly published to ease the ongoing debates in my head, which gives me trouble sleeping.


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