On the surface I am making myself useful by teaching and doing documentation projects for the University. But why should I conform to the ‘production line’ mentality in which every endeavour must result in something marketable/of commercial value?
I consider myself a creator: I write, I take photos, I paint, I create. I don’t sell these things, and only a handful of friends ever see them. So why do I do what I do? Simply because I consider all of this training and practice: the discipline of a craftsman.
The ‘usual’ path consists of either jumping into the corporate sector after graduating, else staying in academia and pursuing a higher degree. But I’m taking my time, I’m observing the world and learning things—not necessarily better things, but different things than if I’d gone down any of those other paths. And all of this is invariably moulding me, preparing me for challenges I have yet to face.
So I don’t have the career momentum many of my friends are gaining; I’m not on my way to a PhD like a good number of my friends are; but I’m nonetheless growing in knowledge and skill, sharpening my abilities day by day. And one day, I believe all of this will be worth it, and when that day comes, these abilities will, I believe, serve their turn.
(Thoughts after dinner at Jalan Bangkung, 18 July 2012.)