Next year, in May, I will celebrate my 10 years in the industry. I have been in the media for 10 years.
I often compare notes with engineers, lawyers and the occasional sales people from outside my industry to better understand the world we live in.
A lot of my close friends have left the country, as I mentioned in previous posts. I sometimes wonder, why am I still here? Whenever I get depressed with Malaysia, I would seek out jobs with the UN. Their pay scale is rather attractive and I have always been interested in saving the world, having suffered from a superhero complex stemming from guilt since I was 17.
When I was 17, I finally realised that my high school was a hotbed for abuse and a small social experiment oh what the world would be like if it was run entirely by men, superstition and a compliance to an imagined authority. I felt guilty for not knowing that I was part of such a hellish system, so I developed a superhero complex.
It's not been an easy life, but I am not here to whine.
I focus on the present so I could safeguard the future. So I look to the past for lessons learned. In this past 10 years, I have learned that everywhere is the same. I constantly meet the same people over and over again. The same TYPES of people, doing practically the same thing.
The only way for me to effectively change my environment from unwanted elements is to establish control of that environment. Most humans in Malaysia shirk responsibility. They don't want to decide, or take ownership of anything. I don't know where the fear comes from, but it is distinctly Malaysian.
In terms of skills and knowledge, I have always busied myself observing how people work. My degree was in computer science, not mass comm or public relations, so in order to understand anything, I needed to shut up and observe.
One of my first editors convinced me that all the basic skills in journalism are simply common sense, and that common sense can be applied to any position, any task and any sort of work. I threw myself into lots of unfamiliar territories in the past decade, showing no fear - sometimes unwisely - and getting a whole bunch of mixed results. I've had some unbelievable successes and heart-wrenching failures, and sometimes I imagine that I have learned from those things.
In the first two years of my career, I accumulated debt. Credit cards fucked me up. Actually, I fucked myself up using credit cards to buy comic books. I used to spend anywhere between RM200-500 a month on comic books. It took me five years to pay off my credit cards. Three years to procrastinate, and two to do something about it.
I worked like a motherfucker for a year, during a period when I had insomnia, and managed to pay off everything.
I used to take on any jobs, simply because I wanted to learn how to do things. I've never been afraid of hard work, in my youth, and saw those extra tasks as an opportunity to improve myself by acquiring more skills and knowledge by doing things.
Nowadays, growing older, I know I can't do anything and everything that's pushed my way. I need to choose and at this stage, I believe I can choose.
I come from the swamp, so I consider myself very lucky to have lasted this long in the big city. I also made and stuck with the decision to avoid drugs altogether. Drugs fucked up some people in my hometown. I knew then that if I were to do the same, knowing my addictive personality and my tendency to overdo things, I would be dead in three months.
Some people think I took drugs to write. Bitch, please. This is real talent right here. I'm not Lance Armstrong. Wank wank!
I did suffer from insomnia, though. It wasn't good at all.
Anyway, in my 10 years, which is not even half the experience with some people I work with, I have managed a tour of the media industry which included everything from newspapers, magazines, TV, film and now social as well as new media. The only medium I have never worked with is radio.
As for personal development, I have found my spiritual whatever in the non-magic texts of orthodox religions. I really have a problem when people treat religion as some sort of Harry Potter Magic Textbook or grimoire. I don't believe in magic. I just don't. I think that is abusing and misusing what religion was originally intended for - a manual to calm the fuck down.
Some humans need religion to keep them from being animals - stupid, evil and/or greedy. The Jewish beliefs have this thing called the Tree of Sefirot, which lists God, Angels and Humans as three levels of being. The tree has branches and each branch represents an attribute or feature for each of the three.
Some traditional religions have 'enlightenment stages' such as the arhant, the boddhisativa and the Buddha.
In Islam, I believe a lot of the things are philosophical and are in line with most other faiths. However, the closed nature of most Muslims have made these similarities less obvious, in an attempt to feel special or victimised, or special due to being victims.
Oh well. Fuck that.
I better get some sleep, or I might develop insomnia again.