First, let me clarify this. This is half fiction, half real life ok 😛 It’s a little bit of me and a little bit of my wandering mind. While clearing my bowels this morning, this conversation started playing in my head. So, I decided to write it here haha
It’s a conversation between a mother and her book-obsessive daughter, who recently quit her job and decided to take a break from the corporate world. The mother was very displeased about it.
Scene: Dining room in one of the many Malaysian homes. Mom fixing lunch.
Mom: What you doing? (Her back facing her daughter.)
Daughter: Aiyoh, reading lah. (Rolls her eyes. Sensing what’s coming.)
Mom: Don’t you have anything else to do? (Sounding a little annoyed as all she sees her daughter does all day is reading. It was so difficult to get her to read when she was a child, and now she’s reading like there’s no tomorrow!)
Daughter: Yeah, after this, write review.
Mom: You get paid for doing this?
Daughter: Nope. (Rather nonchalantly, wanting desperately to end this much-discussed topic.)
Mom: Then, why you doing it? (This time, raising her voice a little, wanting to let her daughter know she’s unhappy.)
Daughter: Because I like it? (Her eyes still glued to the book)
Mom: But you don’t get paid. How you going to pay for your bills ah? Food? Don’t expect me to be feeding you while you’re jobless ah. (She places a plate of fried rice in front of her daughter.)
Daughter: I have my savings and I’m enjoying every minute of my day. Even if I die tomorrow, I’d die happy!
Daughter: Wait. (Puts up her hand. She has to read those last few sentences of that page to complete the chapter before continuing her point…)
I rather do what I like doing than getting paid to do what I don’t like doing. (She thinks this line sounded familiar. From a movie or something. If not, she feels rather smart that she came up with it, and plans to put it up on Facebook later.)
Mom: Okay, then why not get a job that pays you to do what you like doing?
Daughter: I’ve done it before and you know that. And I was unhappy. You know that too. With the blardy office politics and all. That’s why I quit! (Getting vexed. She wanted to stand up to prove her point but decides against it. Too much energy. Her book needs her undivided attention.)
Ma, can we stop this topic and let me finish this book ah? I’ve not reviewed any books in the past week!
Mom: Your pa is angry. He’s complaining you’re not doing anything with your life.
But the daughter ignores her comment and pretends not to hear anything, thinking, ‘I’m clearly doing something with MY life! Doing what I like doing! That’s living MY life! Forget it, old people won’t understand.’
2 months, 4 books and multiple book purchases later, her savings ran dry and she had zilch to spend on books and food. She was devastated. She knew the only way out is to work. So, against her will, she rejoined the world of blood, sweat, tears, office politics and many late nights, where she gets paid. She thinks to herself every night, that she will repeat her stint when she has saved enough.
Image from: bookseller.com