Been over a year…Get a stable job

So here it was again – get a stable job. I go through periods where I think so too, but the problem with society that I was running from didn’t magically solve itself in the past year. I’m trying hard to make something happen with my life, and as they say, it’s not that easy. I know. I’m consciously choosing the harder route. My dream was to do things that made other people happy, it’s not something difficult but society has made it so, society is heavy and polluted and I know that if I was to stay in it then my dream would disappear. I’m happier although living rougher, but I’m happy that the only cost is having less personal time and space. All my inspirations and creativity has come back, and I can live being my ideal self, I can afford to be nice.



A snippet of anger saved in my drafts…(Some) people are shit basically

Reviewing the past few months, it sounds silly, but I’ve learnt that there will be people that will never understand the world the same way as I do. There are, honestly, people that are just shit. It’s subjective but there are some seriously rubbish people in this world that are selfish, manipulative, rude, lack responsiblity, lack morale, and lack kindness but no one calls them out bullshit. We live accepting that these bad people aren’t bad because they’re not committing crimes against the law. It’s easier to turn an bad eye than to try and correct someone that will probably never change. Unfortunately, these are the people that have the biggest effect in society, because these are the ones that spread their behaviours like a virus. It’s easier to pick up bad habits and undo good behaviour than to undo bad behaviour.

Of course, there’s always the other side of the story, to someone else I’m probably a horrible human being. But I think people don’t realise sometimes that it’s easy to say “I didn’t mean it” but when the damage is done then it’s done. You don’t break a vase and then expect that vase to be the same ever again.

What has made me feel better was that those people came back to the UK and they aren’t doing so well. These people are hollow, but at least they’re not so out of touch with reality that they understand life is not going so well for them. It’s mean of me but unfortunately I’m not a saint, and I need to know that there’s justice in the world somehow. I know there’s a lot of sad stories in the world and it’s incompariable, but I listened to their stories and I observed their behaviours in Cambodia for 3 months, even if I use the concept of relativity and empathise that for them life is hard…It still doesn’t justify being plain not nice.

Time passes fast…

It’s a few weeks away from me quitting my 9-5 job. I don’t feel like I’ve materially achieved anything, yet emotionally I feel like I’ve made huge leaps.

I still find a lot of faults in our society, but that hatred and disappointment has dulled. I’m even more terrified of the idea of starting my own business and I have panic moments where I think quitting my job was too rebellious and risky, but when I calm down and view my current position, I found myself finally being surrounded with the right people and I’m stronger than ever. My passion that I thought I lost is back. I’m excited by my own life and its possibilities.

One of the important things that I’ve learnt in Cambodia and I hope that I never forget it is the power of being around the right people. I used to end up doing everything because I couldn’t trust others to do it or they let me down, but in Cambodia I was with people that understood me and trusted me which allowed me to rely on them. it’s sad but I’ve never fully experienced that power of teamwork until volunteering in Cambodia. That experience of strength that another human can give you is the reason why I feel like I’ve finally gotten over how much I didn’t fit in and hated working at my 9-5 job. In London, I have always felt suppressed by my family, by my managers, by society, but now I know for a fact that it’s just that I haven’t been around the right people. I think that in the normal urban society, we forget to be nice to each other, we forget that we have an affect on others. Humans are by nature selfish, but we like to ignore that fact and forget that humans are also amazing for compassion. I always felt that people were unforgiving towards my faults, in turn I became unable to forgive my own weaknesses and always became aggressive to protect them. I live in a world where I am the only one on my own side. And that is still the case, but it’s not a problem anymore because that’s what makes me strong in a twisted way. What’s changed is that I have proof to myself that people won’t leave me because of my weaknesses…or my fiery temperament. I don’t feel scared of this society that I don’t feel like I belong to anymore, I’m just going to make my own space with people I respect and trust.

Time has past by very fast, I”m scared that I’m not planning to go back into a ‘real’ job and I’m going to start my own business. I question why I decide to do something so difficult regularly, but it returns to the fact that I am happier now. I told myself when I was young that I wanted to be a good designer, and I’m finally brave enough and have the right support to believe I can do it. Sometimes I think I’m wasting my education and time doing support work and working at that company for 2 years, but everything I’ve experienced is what’s made me who I am. My ideologies and beliefs won’t be as strong as they are without the dips. I’m okay now I think. It’s taken a whole year to fix my mind but I feel like I’ve found myself again and I’m not going to let it go so easily anymore.

Voluntourism or Voluntokenism

Coming out here to Cambodia was not a bad idea, and indeed I am ‘challenging myself to change my world’, I’ve built my confidence and I have a much clearer concept of my own skills and strengths.

However, one of the big challenges that whirl menacingly around in my head like a tornado is the impact of the project. Luckily, there are individuals within the team that are clearly skilled with strong moral concepts of coming to help people. However, there are moments where I can see cracks in the system. Are we just token foreigners here? What is the use of us? The concept is that we come with more skills and knowledge, however, there are shady elements to the volunteer selection process whereby it is even written as a volunteer dimension that specific skills or experience are not required. Do the people that come here really have skills or want to contribute skills? Are the volunteers here for a holiday? We definitely seem to be very focused on our social events, so much that project work is compromised for it. Why am I being softly threatened by needing proof for my reference here? Why do I write my own reference here?

Voluntourism is a volunteer vacation where an individual can go and volunteer but also get to travel. I’ve spent various days being carted to the city for socials and training (stayed for longer for shopping), I’ve spent even more hours travelling to Siem Reap in the name of a Mid Phase Review, but I cannot understand why we couldn’t have done the activities back in the village.

The concept of this program makes sense. The reality of the project is not the same though.

There has been a lot of project work whereby the Khmer volunteers and English volunteers are actively ignoring each other’s opinions. There are situations where the English volunteer are not required to do anything but to simply be there. I understand the argument that this is normal teamwork issues, but for volunteers that have come here willingly to work cross-culturally and all wanting to help people, why can they not even respect each other?

As I’ve said, I do not regret coming here, but there is definitely food for thought here. In the teams that I am in, I can work to create real change and my teams are respectful and strong, but in the project work where I’m not involved, there is this sad feeling that money is being wasted. In a community where there is huge migration and debt problems, my host family’s brother opened a noodle shop for a few weeks but suddenly left for Thailand with his wife because they weren’t making enough money to cover their debts and had to send their baby son to their Aunt in Siem Reap. A broken family. That is a real problem. How is building a playground useful? Does ‘building a playground to encourage and excite youths to come to school’ make sense in the bigger picture if the children we are building this playground for can’t even be sure they will go?

It’s strange to think you don’t belong to anywhere or one but yourself?…

Last post was a heavily feverish and medicated post where I was definitely feeling pretty down.

This post…I think I’m feeling down again. Physically I feel well again, chances of putting that weight back on before my 3 months in Cambodia looks slim though, I’ve somehow started to work privately for a complicatedly diagnosed (no idea what is a more appropriate term) autistic young adult that pays better and within cycle distance, and I feel pretty…nonchalant about going to Cambodia in 12 days.

It’s not like a have any other better choice right now, just going with the flow is somehow working out completely fine, can’t particularly complain. But things I’ve noticed that upset me has piled up again, and it’s all knitted together into quite the ugly piece of work.

It’s disappointing. That’s how life feels. However much I try, I can’t shake the feeling that living is self-deceiving for me. I keep trying to believe that people are kind, doing good things is worth it, that being happy is just a mindset, but it always ends with me feeling disappointed in myself or others. I didn’t want to be stuck making a rich man richer but that’s the easiest route to ensuring a comfortable future, I wanted to directly make people happy but I can’t figure out sometimes if I really am making a difference, I wanted to live in a way that I can be proud of but what’s the point when I’m always battling things by myself, soon I’ll just run out of fuse and there’s a limit to what one person can do.

I make things difficult, I can read their expressions perfectly, it’s not like I don’t realise, but it just doesn’t mean I can stop. The sadder thing is that they can’t stop me either because what I say is right, that’s why I’m difficult. I don’t even want to be difficult and I don’t care about a lot of things, but it’s not possible for me to ignore things that is within my responsibilities that I know is wrong. If everyone worked hard and took pride and responsibility for what they do, then won’t a lot of problems in the world be solved?


Feeling confused again…

Was about to start writing but the song playing was a really gospel-ly hymn tune on the Discover Weekly Spotify playlist, needed it to finish to focus. It was so random…

Okay, I think I ended that last blog with I knew who I was. Like ‘Wahey self-discovery’, and then I was too busy running around for my charity job that slipped me into some rubbish and more difficult shifts so couldn’t write or do any personal tasks, but whatever, I love that work and all jobs have ups and downs.

After my last shift, I pretty much fell instantly into this swirling black infected pool of illness. As all my fellow British comrades will understand, a good GP is all due to luck and/or where you live, had mine since birth nearly and every time I’m very ill they’ve failed to stop me getting more ill. I’ve pretty much always moved to a worst infection. So I’ve spent my past week:

  1. Rolling into a ball and poking and massaging myself (I don’t know why but I somehow believe this action combined with muttering commands to my body such as ‘you are not in pain‘ will miraculously cure the pain)…it doesn’t, but I guess I always need to know I’m trying to do something.
  2. Laying in bed (I am not a napping person.)
  3. Drinking weird home rememdies found on the internet
  4. Sitting…laying in A&E. I literally had a moment when my fever cooled down that I should re-construct the area for sleeping like in Tom Hank’s Terminal
  5. Shivering or burning up (Doctor gave a very disapproving look when she told me my temperature and I just laughed. It was the least of my problems, I’ve been in increasing pain for days but I had to wait until I could prove that the antibiotics prescribed was not working.)
  6. Taking a lot of different antibiotics, painkillers, and fever-reducing medicine.
  7. Being close to the toilet

This is day 10, I’m finally on the right medication and regained control over my temperature but my appetite is still only a shadow of its former glory, and I’ve lost another 1kg so I’m below my minimum, I need to gain 5kg so I feel reassured and healthily sturdy when I go volunteering abroad in less than month. There’s a worryingly new pain on my right side that I can only hope subsides in a few days, I’m permanently nauseous, and I have to eat before every time I take the antibiotic. All this body pain gives birth to my the confusing thought that I can’t actually do my job because I think part of why I got the infection was because eating a meal is not timetabled into the work. I lost weight because I couldn’t eat often enough, hear me out, it sounds like a first world problem, but I don’t need to eat much at once but I need to eat consistently to maintain weight, it’s more a health issue that my metabolism is too fast. I’m not anorexic but I’m naturally thin and losing 2kg over the past 2 weeks, I’ve hit the weight which I get ill every time – and I got ill. This makes me think that a 9-5 life is good because it’s timetabled and I have more chances to eat. I am not joking, this is a real problem, being hungry and trying to maintain weight healthy is a everyday problem for me. It is not the first time my body’s immune system decided to just fail on me.

It’s not like it’s the first time the thought has crossed my mind, but why don’t I sit in a comfortable office and just earn my wage like your average kid. Why run around tiring myself out doing a job that’s not ‘my calling’ in life?

Feeling better

Honestly, I feel so much better right now. I thought I was going crazy for a while, I was so depressed that all I wanted was to press the pause button on everything. I couldn’t process my own life anymore and I was simply running because…for no reason apart from I was already running.

I’m pretty glad that I’ve always thought saving money was important, I just ordered a 3D Printer, some plant seeds preparing for the next weekly challenge, a new phone the week before, I paid my rent to my parents (small but still something), and I’d brought my folding bike, a stack of books on starting my own business, some new clothes, paid for a family dinner out, met old friends for a weekend in Bath, and materials for some new projects in the past few months. I’m using more money but my bank account is still more than the beginning of the year. Of course, I have just spent half of July working every day, but I still feel energised.

The weekly challenges I have been doing for fundraising, admittedly I don’t understand why people would sponsor me, there’s many more worthwhile causes in the world. But I guess it’s a supporting and kind gesture from people who believe in me? I’ve realised that, yes, I am not the best at design. But I have something a lot of people don’t, I work hard and really put my heart into what I do. I don’t think my family, friends, outsiders, families I work with or my colleagues understand what I mean when I explain that working for the charity is the same type of work as design for me. Someone even tried to explain to me that sometimes people find things they’re better at. No. I know what I’m talking about. I’m not better at teaching a child, there are people that study the hell out of the subject, don’t disrespect those hard-working bubbles. The thing I’m best at is design not teaching and handling children, there are people that study the hell out of the subject, live and breath it (I’m hoping that doesn’t sound wrong here…), just don’t disrespect those hard-working bubbles.

Supporting families and play working requires me articulate myself in a captivating and clear manner, it’s the same as when I have to do presentations or sell an idea. I have to make use of what I see in my immediate surroundings and create interesting things for someone specific, which is user-centered design. I still have to do planning, admin work, and analyse the day and what to do next time, which is research and development.

Support and carer work isn’t my calling, it’s been more of a wake-up call for my calling? I know exactly who I am.