The Road Less Traveled

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Note: I write this as the Basic Manual #1 Speech for Toastmaster Club. It was in October 2013, 5 months since I wrote the last post “I Screwed My Life”.

Exactly a year ago, I was holding in my hand the things most people wanted. I worked at a very prestigious company, and my salary was the highest among my classmates. And my boyfriend just proposed me to marry him. If you told me last year that today I would be cleaning the used glass and dirty floor, without any ring on my finger, I would laugh and say that you’re crazy.
But here I am now. Ring less finger. Nametag less neck. And yep, this morning I cleaned the office floor. How could this happen?

To explain this we have to go back to my childhood.
I was a book freak. And I grew up with fairy tales. You know, the love at the first sight and live happily ever after thingy. And though I know that it’s nonsense, I hold it unconsciously—maybe until now. I hold it in the 2 aspects of my life: relationship and work. I still believe that someday I will find the one who complements me perfectly. That someday I will get a highly paid job that I’m truly passionate about. But as years went by and reality bite, I started to lower my expectation.

Even before I was graduated, I was accepted at Astra International as a recruitment analyst. It’s never been my dream job. I love writing and event organizing since I was very little and I always wanted to work in a magazine or EO or something like that. But Astra offered me a ridiculous amount of money that blinded me. So I accepted the offer.
It’s not so bad at first. My coworkers were nice. The job description was easy. I can accomplish the task easily.
And my relationship was not bad either. My now ex bf had a stable job, my family loved him, and above all, he loved me so much.

But in spite of that comfort I felt empty. I didn’t feel any fulfillment. My job wasn’t significant. In a big company like Astra, we use the bus theory. What that means is if when you go home from office and you get hit by a bus and die, tomorrow somebody has to replace you and do your work flawlessly. It means that the system has to be established so well that no one can hurt the company when he leaves.
And I don’t like that. Anybody can do my job. My works was insignificant.

Many people tell me that I’m so lucky. High salary, easy job. But this is not what I want. I have bigger dreams. I still want to do so many things in my life. I want to build my own business, I want to study abroad, I want to live an adventure. And my name tag was choking me, and sadly, so was my ring.

So I threw them all.
Of course it’s not as easy as it sounded. I had to go through months and months of thinking, calculating and counseling. And I had to go through the tears and disappointment from my loved ones. But I kept going.

This is not a success story because I haven’t accomplished anything. I hope 5 years from now I can stand with more pride, saying that I have walked the road less traveled, and that what makes all the difference. But now I am doing the things I love. I join a startup company, and in this small team basically I have to do everything, including mopping the floor if needed. I write novels, my latest novel was collaboration with Merry Riana. I speak at few seminars and trainings, mostly about courage. About risk taking. About taking the leap of faith

So here I am now. Wandering through the unknown, to hopefully a better place. A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not ship is built for.

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