Daunting:seemingly difficult to deal with in prospect; intimidating.
“What you’re doing doesn’t pay you a lot of money. ”
“I don’t think you have the character to handle this profession.”
“You’re still young! You can always come back to this profession later.”
I am so tired of people asking me the same questions that my standard reply sounds a lot like ignorance and irritation, nor do i appreciate their snide comments to the stereotypes they might have of this sector in Singapore. Obviously I am aware in the future it won’t pay me a lot of money, and while I do admit that money talks so much in such a expensive country like Singapore,but however, it is not the most important factor at this current moment to me (we agree to disagree,yes?). I won’t say it was the easiest choice made, especially since the ways to practice this profession is not easy at all (who wants to do night classes?) . But it is, my life eventually. I’ll call the shots, I’ll make the mistakes, and I will learn from them. And no, I don’t regret the profession or the job, and yes, some things are worth fighting for.
At the end of the day I will listen to that voice that once told me that this is where I needed to be.
Interestingly enough, something happened at work last week with a case that led to me learning a lot more about mental illness, especially in Singapore. When I heard about this case, I was taken aback by the severity of it and I will admit it left me daunted for a brief moment, halfway re-evaluating my life choices of doing social work. Like my psychology teacher said, “when faced with tribulations, there is always a fight, or flight reaction.” It was obvious that my first reaction was to flight, run as far away as I could. But when I sat down and thought about it, I wondered what the big deal mental illness was about, and why did it feel extremely scary in it’s first contact as compared to meeting a client who was, for example, physically injured in the hospital?
A day or two after the case was resolved, my supervisor asked me, “Why do you think mental illnesses happen?”. Though I was a little taken aback, I could only try my best to break it down, and that would be the lack of socialization and the person’s inability to accept or conform to them. Sure people are trying (or proven?) that mental illnesses could happen because of genetics. But from what I’ve seen so far, the environment plays a very big role to a person’s mental well being. If I had to be real about the whole situation, I would just say that as a child, I learnt from my family and watching others what behavior was ‘right’ and ‘acceptable’ and what was not, I’d get smacked for running around the restaurant screaming to learn that I should sit down quietly and eat my meals, for example. So why did mental illness scare me (or other people who brush across it through our daily lives) in the beginning? There were many factors, such as how unpredictable they can get be it emotionally or physically, how they tested our social boundaries that were set and the depth to which of deception and illusions sound real (and this list goes on and on). But I think what really made me shocked in the beginning was that the power an individual’s mind had over it’s matter, and how easy it was to let your mind take over your matter.
I’m not going to lie and say that everything was peach perfect because it definitely left me shocked in the beginning. But eventually,it was a learning experience and great exposure for me,and it was definitely a turning point for me at work. I think I would be a little more discerning and open towards mental illnesses, but for now I’d still like to work with seniors and their third age. One of the ethical reasons I read about before I started wanting to pursue this profession that left me utterly bewildered wrote, ‘ Every human being has a unique value, which justifies moral consideration for that person.’
No one ever said it’d be easy, but if your heart is in the right place- all will be well.
Some pictures of the last week:
- Catch up with onion who came to the east to find me after work (yay!)
- Dinner with the university mates at Timbre with drinks & pizza while listening to demons live by the in house band
- Celebrating a university mate’s birthday in class after a tiring day at work (happy 23rd birthday Jessie Faythe!)
- Dinner with the GEM girls after work and had drinks along the riverside
Hope everyone’s week was amazing! Lots of love xx