Warren Buffet has an advice and an old joke which he repeats time and again to fresh graduates who are looking for their first job. I quote him as below:
“There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn’t that a little like saving up sex for your old age?”
– Warren Buffett
If I’d have to be truthful to myself, I would have chosen to be a professional baker. I’ve always wanted to become one. I wanna make super chio rainbow cakes and Instagrammable cookies that food bloggers always take photos of to advertise on their websites. The greatest joy that I can receive is the satisfied look on people’s faces when they are enjoying the food that I have created.
But I guess I am saving sex up for my old age now.
Careers like a baker seldom fit into the category of having the ability to bring you a “bright future“, unlike careers like lawyers or doctors. In Hokkien dialect, it is labelled as “Bo Tan Jiak” which means that you might not be able to earn much of a living from the nature of the job.
I’ve diverted my career into something way different than the above. I’ve became an engineer and the only closest resemblance to being a baker is that I am also considered a professional. As a matter of fact, I have also recently accepted a new job offer despite retrenchment lurking around the corners of the streets.
I don’t know to consider myself lucky or not – being paid decently for a job that I don’t dislike, but neither do I truly have the passion for it. It’s like I’m navigating a sampan (terribly built wooden boat that could capsize any time a big wave comes) without having a compass and a destination in mind. I wouldn’t say that I’m always dragging my feet to work all the time but it certainly does set in once in a while when I rethink about what I really want in life.
Yup that’s me. I actually do have long hair IRL.
BF feels the same way like me sometimes. And I’m sure that you might have felt this way before too. I have been brought up in an environment where my parents have told me this constantly since young:
“Girl ah… Must study hard, get a good degree then find a proper job.”
Should I be telling this to my own future kids? Being a product of the education system of Singapore and seeking my parent’s advice eventually by studying hard, getting a good degree and then finding a proper job – things still didn’t turn out as bad. I have peers who are in other industries finding trouble getting employed for many months, or having a decent degree but also not earning as much as me. I have to be grateful and content for what I have.
But I can’t help thinking that things could have been better.
Perhaps this is the true reason why I would like to retire early (preferably before 45) so that I can take on the next exciting journey of my life. So that I can break the chains of being a slave to the rat race. And I can focus on the things that I love doing while already being financially free. A long period of delayed gratification – that’s how I choose to see it.
BF and I have discussed this before. I told him that I’m doing all these financial hoo-ha and whatnot now so that we can enjoy the fruits of our labour in the not-so-near future. But he said something back that hit the bulls-eye.
“So what? I don’t want to give up my entire lifestyle now and save like crazy just because we can enjoy all this in future. We might not have the same energy as before when we are in our forties as compared to in our twenties. Time is precious and it’s something we can never get back. So you save and do what you need to do, and I’ll teach you how to enjoy life. We’ll do it in moderation together.”
With that comment, he made me appreciate how ironic life is. When you’re young and full of vitality, you have no money. When you’re old and probably full of languor, you might finally have the money to do what you want, but no longer the same physical enthusiasm as before.
Would I still wanna try to be a baker when I retire? Definitely. A home-based career doesn’t sound too bad either. :p
Maybe there comes a time in future when I’ll have the courage to tell my kids to pursue their passion and do what makes them happy. Because I never got a chance to. Maybe, the social norms of different careers established now will change towards a positive notion. And I sincerely hope it does.
Come what may, I’ll continue to word hard towards my goals and my journey towards financial freedom.
And like always, thanks for reading. 🙂
Miss Niao xoxo