In 2014, my job contract will end and I don’t have plans to stay on. A few years back, I promised myself that by the age of 30, I will be kicking my heels off, relax the stiff, starched collar, and instead, go barefoot and frolic in weekend wear everyday. Yes, I will be declaring my freedom from the 9 to 5 of the corporate world, and honor my creative, heartfelt pursuits.
Naturally, I am not without fear as I declare my corporate escape. Looming over this bravado are the “adult necessities” like bills, my mother’s maintenance medicines, and money to move around. But I fling my arms to Divine Providence that so far has never failed me. By grace, I am willing to take a leap of faith in 2014.
I spent the past weeks discerning what I plan to do after the corporate escape. I notice that most of those I had written down would definitely not match the pay that I am slaving for now, nor would they make me earn steadily. To many, taking the leap would be very irresponsible and far-fetched, but in my heart, I know it feels right and warm. The rough and tumble in my list needs a lot of fixing, time-plotting, fine-tuning and grounding (many are too dreamy) but what I had written so far:
1. Take care of my Mother full time.
2. Calligraphy. I want to write more by hand and reclaim this quaint art that’s quickly getting lost to typography — do you still actually know and recognize your friends’ handwriting in the midst of communicating by SMS, email and chat? I wish to develop my own flourished script, and fonts, with design patterns and curlicues. In my initial exercises, I love to feature some of my best penmanship teachers’ peculiar letters, and my Mother’s letter J.
3. Start a social enterprise in a community, the aim of which is not only to provide alternative livelihood for mothers, but also make their handiwork a source of pride and continuous learning. I will never forget an anecdote told by the character portrayed by Rosamund Pike in the movie, Barney’s Version. Paul Giamatti’s character smokes a cigar called the Montecristo. Rosamund shares that the cigars are called such because as community women gather and roll the cigars, the classic, The Count of Montecristo is read to them. I count on my like-minded friends here and abroad to join me.
4. Teach social graces and etiquette to graduating public school students. This is to bring down to the community level the otherwise elitist art of being considerate.
5. Gather a think-tank that will pitch ideas to local businesses on how they can be more socially responsible and culturally involved. It’s time that these valuable efforts do not only become the province of schools. This, I foresee, will be very difficult, but what we’re after is sowing seeds of good.
6. Work part-time in an NGO, specifically helping in their communications plans and materials.
7. Move heaven and earth for the Prayer and Life Workshops to happen here and snowball into varied groups.
8. Write, read, sketch, act, sing, dance. ;-)))
9. Most importantly, maintain this blog about my experiences in living simply and slowly, and pursuing my most coveted farm-to-fork lifestyle.
By this time, I should be talking to a lot of people who have braved a similar path, and people who are planning to as well. Truth be told, I am very unsure about this, but I owe myself a life of meaning with very few worldly detours as much as possible. Let’s see how courageous I will be.
Amen, amen, amen!