If the question “When did you start blogging?” is the question I get asked most frequently, then “Do you regret quitting your job?” comes as a close second. [To read the blogpost about why I quit, click here] When people ask me this question, I give them that face which is supposed to mean “Are you nuts?!” And I recently started answering the question by saying “Yes! I regret not firing my boss earlier!” 😀
I think most people have no idea what it is like to be a full-time blogger, and since work is all they know about, they think that I must be seriously regretting my decision to quit back in 2011.
Even though it seems absurd to me to give this question serious thought, I think I may have some different answers on this cold and rainy morning.
It’s 9:55am and I’ve showered, and put some meat and seafood out to thaw so I can cook myself some
breakfast brunch in a bit. It’s still raining outside. And I know some people have had to brave the rain to get to work this morning. (I hope you guys brought umbrellas!)
The thought of “How I wish I can stay in bed instead of going to work” never crossed my mind, though I bet it was thought by many people this morning as they dragged themselves out of bed. I can most definitely get back into bed right now and sleep till noon, if I want to.
That’s the power of having choice.
Back in my ‘office days’, if there was a course my manager said I had to attend, I had to attend it, no two ways about it. Now, if there’s an event I don’t want to go to, I simply turn it down and go back to whatever I was doing (maybe even watching ‘MasterChef’ on YouTube).
And in my blogpost about why I quit my job, I once wrote that “I’ve lived almost a quarter of a century. But I can’t say that I’ve left anything worthwhile behind that would last more than a day should I kick the bucket anytime soon. And that is just too sad for me to contemplate living with.”
And here’s an email I woke up to:
This is how powerful words are.
I wanted to leave a lasting legacy. And I believe I now have it nailed. My book! Woohoo! And the best part is Diana is from the United States. My book is going places – even though I’ve never been to USA!
So, back to that question – “Do I Regret Quitting My S$114,000 Job?”
Yes and No.
I do not miss the job. And I’ll be lying if I say I don’t miss the money. It was good.
But life is better now. Without quitting, I would not have been able to accomplish so many things and grow as a person.
Turning to full-time blogging is immensely scary. I didn’t have the support of anyone – not my family, and most certainly not my boyfriend. My mom, for one, loves “iron rice bowl” jobs and my decision to NOT become an MOE teacher was something she could not comprehend. This is why, ladies and gentlemen, if you purchase a copy of my book, you will not see a page that states “This book is dedicated to my loving boyfriend and supportive family… blah blah blah” because that would be pure bullshit, and I don’t tolerate bullshit.
Many people don’t know this, but right after I quit my job, I didn’t want to look for another job. I was going to rely on my savings while I worked on my blog. At the same time, I went to people’s homes to be a tutor to their children. At least one of the mothers got a shock when she spotted me on TV after I had quit teaching her child.
And the only reason why my mother didn’t give me an ultimatum to either “get a job or get out of my house”? I consistently gave her the same amount of household allowance, not one penny less.
I’m glad I stuck to my decision.
I’ve had the opportunity to do things I never even knew I could do: win a blog award, coach another person to win a blog award, dine with Ministers and MPs, write a book, be featured at the Singapore Writers Festival, get on TV, get on radio 3 times, interview awesome people like Peter Buffett, film a video with Dr Leslie Tay and Xiaxue (both bloggers I look up to), and so much more.
In fact, when I recently accepted an overseas assignment and to travel on my own, I thought about what I would regret not having done if the plane crashed and I perished…