The lovers are losing

From 6th Nov 08…

Keane’s got a new album out! I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

If I had to write a book about my life right now, I guess I’d call it this. Or “Love in the time of Recession”?

When I started b-school I knew what I wanted. I wanted to work in Europe. I wanted it so bad!
And then I lived in Europe and figured it was a great place but just not the best place to work and live in. Great place to visit but I don’t see myself buying my first house there. So I decided I am an Asian and Asia is where home is. Singapore – definitely. Tokyo – maybe. Hong Kong – totally. India – not yet?

And then I land a job in a European bank, knowing only that I’ll be spending time in Europe and probably the Americas. Not the slighest chance of that Asian life. Things will be clearer next week when I finally find out my job location. I am curious to say the least and quite frankly terrified of what may lie ahead. Is it going to be easy? No. Enriching? Yes. Fun? Maybe. Money-raking? Probably not. Great for my career? Too soon to tell.

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal featured heaps of women CEOs, CFOs and executives who have made it big and are now considered the “people to watch” of this age. I wonder if I’ll ever get there and whether I’ll be young enough to be admired for it. So far, I don’t see anything in my life that indicates that I am destined for greatness (except my cooking which is fantastic).

Apparently, people who start their careers during a recession are perma-screwed with lower starting salaries and worse prospects than the newbies who graduate a year or two later during the boomtime. This is major suckage and hardly fair.

From today… 18th Nov 08, on the plane…

As it turns out, trading in an Air France boarding pass for a Singapore Airlines boarding pass isn’t half bad. Yes, you don’t get the good Boursin or Camembert with your meal but heck, getting awesome Thai pineapple rice, basil chicken and sweet vegetables is certainly alright. Replace the apathetic staff with very polite, good looking and slightly on-the-gay-side stewards, the non-existent sleeping packs to Givenchy eye shades, socks and blankie and we have a winner! (I can’t figure why they’re Givenchy.. they’re not that luxe!) Did I mention the breakfast was cheese omelette, stewed vegetables and veal sausage was an utter delight? Omelettes served at the end of a 12 hour flight that don’t taste vile- now that’s hard to pull off.

I am now trying to spend a very boring three hours on an Iberian air flight. While it’s a budget airline, the seats are new and comfortable. I wish I had breakfast though, it’s been a few hours since I last ate and I did not know that I would have to pay for breakfast. They should do something about that for passengers who were previously on a non-budget airline!

Oh well. An hour to Barajas and then a couple more on the road before I reach my destination. I am going to be famished. Let’s hope I can steal a few minutes to tuck into one of those ham sandwiches at the airport. God it’s like I can only think about food and I am supposed to be trying to lose weight (part of me just says fuck it.. another month and I’ll be too busy relocating and working and getting adjusted to eat too much. All this post-mba puppy fat is going to mellllt away).

I am so stressed out about tomorrow. I have no idea what they’re going to throw at me and I will just have to take it. I really hope it’s good. I am not sure exactly what to wish for. I want to wish for Asia but I know that being non-Chinese-speaking and non-Japanese-speaking, there is no chance of that happening! I sort of want to wish for a really hardcore tough-as-hell job that keeps me superbusy so I don’t have time to obsess about missing Brendan for a whole year or more. I want to wish for a country where the cost of living is low so I can save a lot of money, but then again do I really want to live alone in one of those countries? But I also don’t know if living in say, London is such a good idea on a shoestring salary.

Grrr.. At the end of the day, I guess the only thing that does matter to me is my job profile (since I’ve already accepted the fact that Brendan and I won’t be together in the same country). So I hope that it’s an awesome job profile that opens doors for me and makes me look (and be) a star. Something that will pave the way for putting my name in the papers as one of THE women (for all the right reasons, please).

I haven’t left Singapore yet and already there has been enormous stress on the relationship. Where are we and where do we go from here? How do we get there? When will we be in the same geography? Why do other peoples’ relationships look much less complicated from the outside, I wonder. Some people just know they will be together, married or not, long-distance or not. Do they have way too much confidence or do I (we), way too much doubt?

I think an MBA is a tricky degree like that. A single MBA student is “set up” almost perfectly to find a spouse in school. Likeminded ambitious, work-hard-play-hard, multilingual people all couped up in one place – it’s bound to happen. And then ironically, after the MBA, the same mindset drives us to follow our own ambitions unilaterally in many unfortunate cases like mine. I just hope that what they say is true. That it’s not your first job that is important, it’s the career in the longer term. At least that way I know I can have some control over it at a later time. Am I making any sense? I am so befuddled.

PS: This post only took 15 minutes. So much for killing time heh
PPS: My luck totally ran out. My driver showed up two hours late..gahhh

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