I am here at the Study Lounge of the National Library of Singapore trying to make my day a little more productive by stepping out of my aunt’s place. A little less than two weeks ago I flew to Singapore without an itinerary and, much less, a clear reason why am I jet-setting—if you may call so—when I am clearly not in the position to splurge. Don’t get me wrong I do feel blessed to be able to fly out of the country once in a while, as not everyone has the luxury to set out on an unplanned holiday within one-week’s notice.
Malachite said it might help me gain a perspective because I have been living in a rut back home in the Philippines, trying to get myself out of unemployment. He’s correct in that regard—I have not been going out of our house, sometimes getting through the entire day in my last night’s pajamas. Well I am bound to fly back home in two days, and I have not gone out around Singapore much either. I would say 70% of the time I stayed at home, and for the remaining 30, here’s what I did:
Stayed by my pregnant aunt’s side in one of her ultrasound sessions.
Tried my luck, and lose USD250 in binary options trading.
Went to see a skate park and graffiti, and was mistaken as a creep by a teenager.
Went out to see Singapore’s landmarks (except for the Gardens by the Bay, I’ve seen most before since it’s my third time traveling here).
Created and ordered Malachite’s Christmas present.
Did a phone interview with a Bloomberg HR based in Singapore for a position in Manila. Ironic. Helped my friend back in the Philippines with her essay. Ate profusely. Pretty much spend time with Malachite, taking advantage of the high-speed internet. There’s more that I could have done, but I was not very interested to go out.
The law of inertia
The reason I find physics so understandable if not simple is because its laws are practically the laws of life and living. Take the law of inertia, or Newton’s first law of motion, for example: an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
People who is or has been unemployed know very well how hard it is to get back on track, and more so to get things back in motion. Indeed I consider myself a homebody, but prior to unemployment I’ve had a good record of being productive especially back in the university. Living in a rut is something I would personally disapprove of three years ago, and yet I am doing the same inglorious thing at the moment. I cannot muster enough energy to get dressed, meet people, or even go out for casual coffee or dinner. Even working out which is something I loved doing before no longer appeals to me as much. Law of inertia.
In this trip I realize that the problem is not the place, but within myself. I was in another country but stayed in 70% of the time like a vacationer watching cable TV in the hotel room at an island paradise. I know I should be going out more, but without work and routine I’ve become a creaking engine in the morning.
“…unless acted upon by an unbalanced force”
On my last full day in Singapore, I will attend a trading seminar post US election hosted by City Index to go meet some people and learn something new. Previously long-term unemployed himself, Alex Ikkon the entrepreneur behind the Five Minute Journal and Productivity Planner tells that going out is critical when you are unemployed. The worst thing you can do is to keep yourself inactive.
So now that I have identified the problem, the next step is to push myself hard to get something going. In the past couple of months, I have concentrated on nothing but writing customized resumes and cover letters thinking that it is the one way to get myself the job that I want. Yes doing so will get you interviews, but when you spend every single day doing just that in your pajamas and uncombed hair believe me it causes so much stress that you will just throw yourself in a burnout pit, and worse in a self-esteem (or lack thereof) doom.
I have not enjoyed you like a true vacationer but your every day hustle and bustle made me realize what I have been missing, so thank you Singapore. So long!
Meanwhile, Malachite and I will sit down and plan our next steps when I’m back in Manila.