Last year this time, I was contemplating getting a full time job. Aaron was hardly at home for me to nag but the retired hubby was around too much. So on 8 Jan 2016, I submitted an application letter to Brahm Centre for an admin manager job. Within a week, I received a reply and on 20 Jan, started volunteering there until I was employed on 16 February.
There were frustrations, confusions and exasperation initially, but gradually, I adapted and blend in so well that Brahm Centre became a second home, with my colleagues calling me Mummy, for sixteen years as a homemaker has ingrained a maternal trait into me that I can’t seemed to shake off, much to the despair of my boss. “Don’t treat your colleagues like your children”, she told me. But I don’t, for this is the way I treat everybody, if you know me long enough.
Happy though I was working, I was worried that my dream of becoming a writer and publishing my novel is slipping away bit by bit. I arrived home, too exhausted to think, let alone be creative. With the whole day staring at my PC, I had no wish of turning on the PC at home. An opportunity with National Library Board (I am forever grateful to Pearly Mah at NLB for this) lead to my short story being published in an anthology Feast!. That was the result of six-week of Saturdays workshop and discipline. But I knew I was not able to do it on my own. My mentor, writer Josephine Chia, reminded me that there are many who work full time yet manage to write, including herself, but I knew I can’t.
When Varena, the facilitator at the NLB workshop wrote to bid us farewell in September as she left for UK to do a PhD in Creative Writing, I felt a strong sense of envy. (A Scorpio is always in a jealous or envy mood, that’s me.) I wanted, no, I needed that time away to write full time on a Master degree. I researched online and the UK, Ireland and University of Ohio (where I did an online writing course) beckoned. Can I? I asked my husband. Always supportive, he said if I wanted to, then go. But I couldn’t just leave my son who is doing his A levels. His future is more important than mine, and I felt I need to be around for him, even if it’s to nag.
In October, a writer friend shared that Laselle College will be offering the inaugural Master of Arts Creative Writing (MACW). I applied immediately, went for the interview and was admitted on 1 November, coming as a wonderful birthday surprise for me.
With a heavy heart, I submitted my resignation letter to Brahm Centre. I know my colleagues were dismayed at the news but many knew my dreams and were supportive.
Things seemed to happen so quickly for me last year. I often tell my son, grab the opportunity thrown at you, and I am glad I did. I had a fabulous time in Brahm Centre and shall always treasure my time there. But now, I must move on.
So today, on page three of this 365 page book, I am starting a whole new journey as a post-grad student (it sounds so good) as I will attend my first class tonight.
Wish me luck, dear Readers.
I hope that at the end of this year on page 365 of this book titled 2017, I will announce that I have a new book in the making for you to read. Thank you for supporting and reading my blog all these years.