Monday, July 13, 2009

My Previous Life

A few years ago I decided to pack my bags and leave Perth for a new challenge.

At that time, I didn't like how my life was heading and knew I had to do something about it. I guess I was a new graduate, just came out from a bad relationship and was pumped with adrenaline for some major life move.

After a few interviews, I decided to go with a architecture firm right in the middle of the city. It seemed as though they had some interesting projects and the firm looked established. Maybe this was one of my biggest mistakes.

Deep down, I wanted to go with another firm. This other multi-architecture award winning firm in the surburbias. The boss that interviewed me seemed really humble and loved my hand-drawing skills. The people there seemed nice. He showed me the projects they were doing and I fell in love. The problem, the office was kind of in the middle of nowhere and the surroundings didnt look as safe for a single girl new to the city.
After a long deliberation, I chickened out of one of my dream architecture firms and instead opted for one that I seemed capable to manage. I was wrong. So wrong. I was young.

Physically, I looked like I had everything. I lived in the heart of the city and had a great studio apartment. My office was in the ump-teen story of a high rise building and the firm had huge projects. My relative and friends brought me out every weekend. Every morning I walked through KLCC park..

..this is where I regularly shopped [not the least bit economical mind you]. It all looked great.

But mentally I was drained. Leaving the office at 5pm was impossible- Leaving the office earliest at 10pm was the norm. Every night. Then I'd walk back to my studio apartment and had dinner waaay too late only to wake up early the next morning and start the same routine- Alone. It was exhausting. I was lonely. My body was stuffed up. It took any curiosity I had for architecture away from me. I chaired meetings with ridiculous contractors, the engineers had changed numerous times and office hours were spent labouring over a million letters that seemed somewhat unnecessary. My boss was terribly ill-tempered and sometimes violent. Most of my colleagues were pretentious. But I told myself this was all my choice.

By the end of the year I couldn't take it anymore and resigned. I was diagnosed with depression and sleep anxiety. I was given sleeping pills. I couldnt let it go on. It was effecting me badly. My parents knew it took my persona away, people around me witnessed my deteriorating health and I knew I was fast becoming a person I didnt like. I became overly protective of myself; I became selfish; I became obnoxious because if I didnt protect myself who would?

Everytime I go to Kuala Lumpur I'm reminded of the life I use to have. But looking back, it wasnt all bad. It made me grow so much as a person and moulded me at the right time. It made me treasure my family even more and allowed me to meet a guy who's now my husband.

Today I lead a much happier life. And whenever I am faced with any hurdles, I remind myself of my previous life- a life that has made me a better person.

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