The devil got me

I sold my soul to the devil today, when I swore never to do it again.

I’m speaking metaphorically lah, what is wrong with you?

I mean, what is wrong with me. Sorry.

The devil has a three-letter name. Its name is J.O.B.

And I don’t mean a job like an acting job or a writing job or a modelling job or a temp job like I’ve been doing in the last few years, allowing me to live a relatively free-spirited life with no serious obligations.

I mean a J.O.B. with a regular salary and CPF.

[Get thee away!]

So, now, I’m staring at my PC monitor, wide-eyed, heart thumping, awash in a stupor of disbelief.

Okay, I actually did that for 15 minutes.

But that’s about all the time I can spare for frivolous self-indulgences. Because I have a J.O.B. to do.

Alright, I shall stop stringing you along before you get tired of being strung along and decide to leave.

So. I have agreed to be the editor of a new publication. (I think I’m not allowed to say what it is yet.)

*cue shocked gasps of breaths*

C’mon, humour me.

That was my old occupation, being an editor. I was an editor in a newspaper, a magazine and a web portal. But I quit eventually because I wanted to act and didn’t want to be tied down by a regular job and I didn’t like the stress of that job.

[Pencil-wielding horror]

I swore never to go back to the grind. Over the years, I rejected several related job offers.

So, why did I accept this offer?

Because it’s a very small publication and I got the impression that I’ll just need to spend like four days a month working on it.

Because it’s gaming related and sounds vaguely fun.

Because I need to re-oil my marbles.

Well, I figured that it won’t kill me to give up four days of my life each month.

And then I had a serious meeting with my boss-to-be and I started getting the idea that the job is much bigger than I expected and that I may have to spend a lot more than four days a month.

But, by then, I couldn’t back out anymore because I was hooked by the challenge.

And the money.

Which is not much, really, but the promise of extra monthly income is very attractive to someone who hasn’t been getting much of a regular income in years. (But which really shouldn’t even be a consideration considering that I’ve been happily living an income-less life all this while.)

You can tell I’m confused. Can I plead duress?

Anyway, just like that, I’m back on a payroll.

[I'll pay you in houses]

While the job will have fun elements, it will also bring the kind of unwanted stress which drove me away from my old career in the first place.

For example, I have exactly two weeks from now to work out my editorial direction and publish the first issue.

And I already had my year nicely planned out with exciting personal projects to keep me awfully busy.

But now I’m going to have to rework my priorities. Give up a few things. And get used to the fact that I don’t own myself 100% anymore.

Sure, it’s not a full-time job in that I have to sit in an office 22 days a month. I’ll just have to go for meetings and work mostly from home, but the stress will be full-time.

An editor’s job is 24/7, I suddenly remember my ex-ex-boss teaching me. It doesn’t matter the amount of time you’re doing the physical work of putting the publication together, you’re constantly monitoring trends and news and thinking six issues ahead while you work on the current issue.

I’m starting to wonder what I just signed up for.

The devil got me. After all these years.

[The devil got Sheylara]

Work work work work work bleh

It’s been only two days since I started my temp office job, but it feels like I’ve been working for two months already. I feel so exhausted.

I have no stamina for office work. Only two days and I need a holiday already!

Why, why, why, oh why do people have to work for money to survive? Life is so sad.

I’m always wondering about people who hate their jobs but stick to it for years, with no hope of ever having a different future. How do they find the motivation to go on, day after day? Why do they even bother carrying on with life when all they’re doing is dragging their feet through the days and waiting for death?

Oh. I suddenly remember the recent spate of MRT deaths. I suppose that answers my question, somewhat.

I’m not depressed or anything. Not much, anyway, because I’m actually angry.

I’m angry that I can’t get to do what I want to do in life, even after I’ve worked so hard and so long for it. I’ve been working for it and waiting for it since I was 15.

History will write me off as a sad, nameless statistic so I might as well not have been born at all.

Zillions of people before me have been written off as sad, nameless statistics. Why did they even bother?

Well, if I had to force it, I could come up with a HUGE list of blessings in my life. Yes, I know how to count my blessings and I am really optimistic deep down inside by default (since I can’t kill myself, I might as well be optimistic).

But, you know what, bottom line, all the little blessings are meaningless when I’m faced with the horror of my unwanted existence.

Oh, well, time for bed.

Then yet another day of blah.

On and on and on and on and on and on.

Back to the grind

I just got myself a part-time data entry job so I can pay for singing lessons. (Suits me better than waiting tables.)

Two years from now, perhaps, I can watch American Idol and not feel sad.

My new job is super flexible. I can work any time, any day and I get paid an hourly rate. The pay is nothing to write home about, but I can make enough to pay for my lessons every month. And it is flexible enough to allow me to go off for shoots and auditions whenever I need to.

I might even have enough after a few months of working to replace my lost camera so my blog can stop looking like a boring law textbook.

Which means I now no longer have the luxury of sitting at home all day doing inconsequential stuff at my computer. Such as blogging.

Then again, I think blogging has less to do with the availability of time than it has to do with inspiration.

Sometimes I just don’t feel like writing. Sometimes I want to but nothing comes out. Sometimes everything comes out as gibberish asking for a tight slap.

When that happens, a new blog entry doesn’t.

Then you, who are reading my blog, will get upset, as blog readers are wont to do when they visit a blog and don’t see a new entry.

But I think my new job will make many people happy.

  1. My dad. He’s always saying that sitting at home all day doing inconsequential stuff at the computer is boring so it’s good to go out and do stuff, no matter work or play. I don’t agree because I think being at the computer 24/7 doing inconsequential stuff is fun. Well, it’s just one of those differences. But my dad puts up with me being a poor duck who sits on her ass all day, without a single complaint, so he’s a great dad regardless!
  2. People who envy my decadent, no-Monday-blues life. They don’t have to envy me any more because I am now part of The Big Grind. (But these people don’t realise that I pay a high price for my workless lifestyle. It’s nothing like decadence. No work = no money, no shopping, no indulgences, and feeling embarrased when you see people wearing cool, fashionable clothes while you’re wearing some old thing you bought 10 years ago.)
  3. The Goonfather. Because our offices are like 150 metres apart and we can go to work together and have lunch together.
  4. My employer. Because he benefits from having another pair of hands complete all the work.
  5. Myself, of course. Because I can attend singing classes, dance classes, acting classes, martial arts classes, Japanese classes OMG classes! Then again, if I spend all my days attending classes, I won’t have time left to make the money with which to pay for them.

Hmm.

To be honest, I really hate working life. That’s why I quit my cushy journalism career to pursue an acting career. This data entry job pays me about half of what my journalist job used to pay (based on an hourly comparison) but it feels more fulfilling because I’m doing it for a worthy cause (to support my acting career). Therefore I am excited and happy about it.

I love money. But I love peace of mind and soul more.