Part 2: Rhythm

(continued from Part 1: Reminiscence)

Why do I feel so incomplete and so unfulfilled? Why am I not doing what I love? (And I am not even talking about theatre specifically.)

Or perhaps the question that I should first ask is – do I not love what I do?

There are moments when I think the work is meaningless – when I see how rich our client is, when the dispute just seems so materialistic, when office bureaucracy impedes me more than my inexperience. And then there are moments when I can see the silver lining – when I see the craft in a draft, when I find a case on point, when I feel for the client.

But there are moments like last night when the nostalgia of Law IV hits me so hard, and moments that I think about how excited I am to plan catechism and how fulfilled I am to finish a piece of writing. Then I dare to suggest to myself: even the silver lining may not be enough. I am searching for galaxies and new worlds, not mere and occasional twinkling stars in an otherwise dark sky. And even at its best, work remains work, and any meagre glimmer of joy I derive from it is incidental rather than intrinsic.

It is futile to ruminate on my emptiness; I have to and I will finish my PTC. But I cannot help searching for the source of this black hole – what aspect of my life has collapsed? Perhaps my touchstone is not simply justice, but compassion. Perhaps it is not enough for there to be a wrong; the wronged party must also be impoverished. Only then would I be willing to fight. Or perhaps I am not meant for organisational hierarchy. As much as I try to bring Christ to the workplace, misaligned expectations and incompatible values drain the creativity and beauty that I attempt so hard to imbue into my work. I am not sure; I am still searching for that singularity (if it even exists).

In these 6 weeks of initiation, a rhythm has emerged. I wake up at 6.15am, eat the previous night’s leftover dinner for breakfast, and tap out at Bras Basah before 7.45am. I love having the office mornings to myself, when I can read, write, surf, or if and only if I really need to, do some uninterrupted work. When Boss comes in at around 10am, I lose control of my schedule. Things become quiet again around 5pm usually, or 6pm if Boss needs to rush some work. On most days, I leave around 7.30pm and go home for dinner. One weeknight per week, I have dinner (I have been trying to incorporate Mass into this day), go back to work, and run home from the office around 9-10pm. Other nights, I meet people, learn French on Duolingo, and/or laze around.

This routine has become at least familiar, if not passable. For these 6 months, I will have to contend with that. It is not a bad life; I know of so many who have far worse hours.

But after this PTC, who knows where God will lead – to stay on, to move to LAB, to swap practice area, even to (dare I say it) leave practice. My only caveat is that I shall not make a decision in desolation.

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5 thoughts on “Part 2: Rhythm

  1. Work is work, says a friend at a crazy firm. I wish it were more; I thought work was supposed to be a vocation, and a meaningful one at that. But after 6 months of working, I am almost resigned to the chronic lack of fulfilment. I’m thankful that my bosses are good people and my hours are humane but I plead with God incessantly: “God, is this what you want for me and of me?”

    It’s Monday again… we can do this!

  2. Pingback: Fain – Mel

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About Mel

I dreamt I was a whale. https://melvynfoo.wordpress.com/about-mel/