Learning through failure

After graduation last year, I started thinking about my future, actually I had to start thinking about my future even before that. People don’t really warn you about how scary growing up is until it hits you and you realize that it’s time to grow up. It’s when you have to start paying your own bills and make sure you have a job that pays you well enough to sustain you for the month.

Being in uni, I didn’t have to worry too much about what’s next. In the 4 years of uni education, you’d think whatever you study would guarantee you a job, but once you graduate or is about to graduate, you realize that the economy is bad (so I’ve been told) and because of that it’s harder to find a decent paying job.

I’ve always struggled in know what I want to do in life. It’s like everyone else around me knows what they want to be when they grow up ever since they were in secondary school or even in primary! While I’m here still trying to figure out what’s next. I know I want to do something I would enjoy doing for the rest of my life and would also pay my bills and allow me to travel abroad.

Okay I did consider a few career to take on but I also had to look at the reality of where I’m at (location) and I try to be practical (a career that pays well).

Earlier this year I decided to take up Masters in Teaching. I told myself teaching is a very practical job and I’ll be guaranteed with a job after I’m done with the course, but I also know that teaching is not something I’d like to do. I started that journey in January and ended it at the end of February. I love kids but teaching is hard, well for me it was difficult (I did early childhood education). I struggled with coming up with a lesson plan (for the work placement) for the week while trying to juggle my uni assignment. I thought it’d be easy for someone who has been volunteering in a youth ministry where a lot of  planning and multitasking has to happen. I was wrong, this was different. This wasn’t fun. The children’s education was in my hands, I had to make sure they understood what I was teaching them. The challenge for me was that I had to teach in Malay. I grew up learning that language formally but to use it informally and to converse in it was so challenging and awkward for me (Fish out of water moment for me).

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I started feeling a little depressed, really tired and really did not enjoy life at all. I dreaded waking up in the morning or even going to bed because I knew I had to do it all over again the next day (Some days I couldn’t even sleep because my mind would try and recall all of the students’ name and who I’ll need to focus on)

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I knew I had to talk to someone before going any further.  So I talked to a few trusted people on what I should do, on whether I should continue with the course or drop out of it. I had conflicting advises, some say stay, some say just drop it. The thing about asking for advises is that people can give you their opinion but in the end you’ll still have to make your own decision. After much consideration and talking, I decided to drop out of the course. It was a scary decision to make, but I knew I had to make a decision.

Many would say that it was a bad decision, because I had the opportunity to do that course and end up with a masters degree and a secure job, but there are also some who would say, if I didn’t enjoy it then there’s no reason for me to stay.

I’ll be honest and say that I still question myself on whether it was the right choice or not. I know that I want to do something else but I also want a stable job. The struggle is real. People say millennials are picky, we want to do something we are passionate about. (I’ll talk more about this next time.)

Going back to topic, I believe and know that God has His plans for me and something awesome will come along. I know that I can’t give up now just because of this hiccup. I know that I’ll just have to work a little harder to find out what I’m good at and what I want to do in life. Taking this as a lesson to learn, failure can discourage a person but it can also teach and motivate one to do better next  time.

Proverbs 16:9 says “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord established their steps.”

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It’s only and already April but 2017 has been pretty interesting so far, especially with those unexpected turns. I don’t know what else to expect for this year, but I’m excited.

Still discovering, still learning. I know it’ll get better.

 

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