4. Hope flares anew

The new job had literally fallen out of the sky. A HR recruiter had dug out my resume from an application I’d made a year ago to the organisation she was working for, and asked me if I was interested. I was, and the hiring manager wanted an interview, which I went for. Before long, background checks were done, and I was moving on to a more technical job, the type I’d been wanting for some time. I’d be dealing with new technologies, and in a large organisation that contributes directly to Singapore’s future.

It should have been something that made me happy. My pay was comfortable. I was moving away from a workplace where I had experienced intense unhappiness, and which I had to wake up really early to reach. The new location was much more convenient for me and had better room for growth and learning.

But when asked, I could only answer in honesty, that I felt nothing. I felt that nothing good could happen for me. Perhaps I was whining – that particular comment has been made before – or perhaps I was not. I only know that it was truly what I felt.

My wife and I have a best friend who lives in Malaysia, who understands us. Both my wife and our friend had their work cut out for them, at times, where I wanted to reject both their love. I felt that I was not able to do what I should as a husband, or a friend. They reassured me that this was not the case, but it was difficult to believe it, and I fought hard against them, with them having to blanket me with their love and telling me to stop talking before anything could get through. They never gave up, but I was tempted to.

I took a break before starting my new job. That was what everyone thought I needed. A staycation, a visit to Rawa Island, a stay with family in Malaysia. My mum had just recovered from a TIA, a transient ischemic attack, otherwise known as a mini stroke. I was worried, but at the advice of my father and as I was serving notice, I hadn’t returned to Malaysia at that time. So a week long stay with them was good, for them and for me.

When I returned to Singapore, I started work. Work started off well. My colleagues were helpful, and welcoming. The work was interesting, though I had things to pick up, and quickly, just as I would have had to, in any new job. Yet I felt I could cope, and contribute. Work could be frustrating, but I didn’t have to wake up early, and I was more well rested.

Things were going well, and I was starting to hope that maybe things could continue to go well. Just a little.

At this time, I discovered my love for writing as well. While adjusting to the new job, I wrote, a lot. It helped to calm me down, and I allowed my words and imagination to take me to places I never have gone before. I was about to explore whether I wanted to self publish something even, or to see if anyone would be interested in what I came up with. Writing was cathartic, and pleasurable, and I clung on to it like a lifeline.

For once, I was right though. The smooth ride couldn’t last.

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