What do you do? A simple question, right? Simple enough to answer, right? Well, at the ripe age of 30, I can honestly tell you that this question gives me the urgency to run, or the very  least skip around the person asking (literally), in order to distract them. “Look at me! I’m a butterfly!” This dreaded question in the past received the default answer of what I did for financial gain. The job that was helping me to pay my bills, pay for my education, my travel expenses, family commitments and towards charitable causes. I would look at the expression and tone of the person asking the question, and it would tell me if they approved or not. I could also see them making a judgement on whether they wanted to invest in me, even if just for a few minutes conversation. Within 30 mins I would know whether this person whom I was trying to network with would be a regular in my life or not.

What do you do?  My current answer is “my job is to take care of me”. Awkward silence. The next few minutes would be them trying to rephrase the question to find out how I am earning money. I’ve tried many answers (all truthful) such as I am volunteering, I’m freelancing, I am having a career break etc. The answers I emphasise more on depends on whom I’m speaking to,  what kind of impression I want to leave and my mental and emotional status. It is challenging when you don’t know what you want to do anymore or which direction to focus your time and energy on. 

The advice I give to myself is to keep trying. To keep moving. Even if I don’t have tangible objectives, the journey for me is now more about learning, growth,  becoming a better version of myself, feeling inner peace and being able to spread peace to those around me. I keep my eyes open for cracks on doors. For opportunities. Sometimes I find all the doors I try to open closed shut. Sometimes a door is open for me, I walk through it, and then I find myself walking right out again. And that is ok. It is also ok to close a door behind you too. Tightly. An important lesson I have learnt is, when you let go of something you desire but is not good for you, your time will be filled up with things that actually matter to you.

By Ruma