Dear Future Me,
What will I be doing in the many years to come? What will my identity be? Will I still be able to call myself a geographer, if I have forgotten what there is to know what Geography is? Am I to let reality, responsibilities and fate determine what my next identity will be? Did I strip myself bare of what I have come to wear with pride over the years, only to become an ambiguous ‘nothing’ and ready for exploitation for my new ‘masters’ (my new employers, if you will)? This scares me. This scares the shit out of me. I am afraid I do not know what I will be or whether I would feel proud to call myself what I am in the next few years to come.
Some part in me, I know, I -want- to be a geographer. But what does that even mean? To the world today? To Singapore? How does being a geographer feed you? Feed your family? Feed your life? What does a geographer even do?? Concretely. It seems as if my identity as a geographer is slipping. It was slowly building up in Year 4, hasn’t reached it’s peak yet, but now, it feels gone. It feels reality is stripping this skin that I have come to wear on myself and have grown to start loving. Reality is stripping me of my identity and I don’t like this. I want to wear my skin back again, but… I just don’t know how to. I feel as if I don’t even have the courage or the confidence to fiercely grouch back at reality and say – “This is who I am, and this is what I have been called to do. So back off.” – Because, what did I make out of myself through these 4 years I had in university to be a real geographer? Where did I direct myself to?? I feel I am being stripped and I don’t even have that confidence to grasp that skin and hold it tight.
I did not do much. I did not think it through. I let other (now that I think about it) unimportant CSS/ relationship/ friendship/ identity problems get the better of me through those years, when I should have carefully thought through of what I wanted to be or do.
The thought of letting my future employers, fate etc., DECIDE who I become next?? That scares me. Why did I let myself fall into this position? Why do I NEVER plan my life out well? And just let fate decide. I really feel quite empty now. And I miss, just even studying or reading about geography-related stuffs just to fill up what I am or was before. And I feel as if my sleepless night yesterday night, will not be the last sleepless night I will have over the next few days….
Okay, let’s think about this concretely, and not metaphorically now. Some part of me feels like I want to be an urban planner. Well, okay, that’s a start. But why only now? What do I – as a geographer – have to contribute to any organisation/ ministry if I wanted to be an urban planner? What SKILLS have I cultivated?? Nothing. I didn’t even do a GIS minor. So. So… What now? I have been thinking if I should ask Uncle Tim (who is an architect) if I can apply for an internship to work at his firm, just to get a feel of what being in the urban planning/ architecture industry would feel like. But, what do I even say to him? To convince him that I will be a good asset, a good intern in his firm? How do I even begin to sell myself?? All I just want to do… is learn. And do something….
And then there’s that part-time job offer that Fel’s cousin offered me. She has a company that provides geography field trips for students in Singapore that I am actually quite familiar with, but… so do I start now? When I should be looking for a full-time job? I don’t even know my concrete availability timing now and would I – really – like doing this too? If I had loved doing this why did I not volunteer myself in doing something like this during my years in Geography? Where is the passion that is so obviously lacking whenever I look at my resume?
Interning or volunteering at Participate In Design (Website: http://participateindesign.org/) ?? (This is an NGO I came in contact with for one of my case studies during my thesis days…) They seem quite cool, and arty-farty. And they have been lingering in my mind as a possible job/ volunteering stint after I graduate. But now that I am here… I’m just so scared to even take that first step to contact them. They seem more geared to wanting to involve the community in design. Participatory planning. Reminds me of Jane Jacobs, placemaking. Words and ideas so familiar to me when I was researching for my thesis/ taking Urban Geog modules. But, would this give me a purpose? Does what they do help the environment? Does what they do align with what I want to do? Can I be equally creative enough to contribute my own ‘eco-friendly’ ideas with their mission in the future?… Why the heck am I even thinking so much about this anyway? What good will it do?
So many thoughts surface so quickly after a day of distractions. It’s beginning soon. I know I need to take action. I just need to submit my applications goddammit. Why am I having so much inertia in doing them? I am not even trying hard enough. I need to start SOMEWHERE. The night is scary, especially with my body clock like this. When I am alone with my thoughts. And they start to consume me.
I need to breathe, I need to plan. I need to remain calm and direct myself. But how?