Monday, 18 June 2012

Money will never make you happy, but the lack thereof will definitely make you miserable...

I truly believe that. I also believe in my own Theory of Relativity which goes something like this:

It's all relative. Y'know how we look at someone and think their life is so grand... the guy that gets to go everywhere flying first class for work... the girl who spends all her time counting her shoes... the women ploughing rice-fields in sub-tropical Tanzania... the lucky bastards who work for Godiva?

No matter what you are doing, the moment it becomes a part of your daily grind, it loses its lustre. Suddenly, those long first-class flights are a lonely and miserable way to spend your birthday... counting shoes amplifies the gaping hole that is your life, highlighting an empty existence... the beauty of the place fades away in the background when all you do is labour away in that rice-field... and you've never had a stronger yearning for something other than Godiva.

It's human nature for people to get tired of things, no matter how wonderful they seem initially. And even after it's gone, you will remember how wonderful / beautiful / amazing your life was - but you will never be able appreciate it to that extent when you're in it.

The moment something becomes part of your daily grind - no matter how awesome it is - it becomes a chore. And this is what I have to remember going back into the Corporate world. Everything is relative. It doesn't matter what you do, or where you do it, work is work. And things are only fun and uncomplicated when there are no strings attached - when there's no expectations or work involved.

I've decided to head back to the Concrete Jungle for many reasons (mainly monetary, I've got that very long bucket list to go through remember). I've had a great run and my students have taught me more in these past few months than I could ever teach them in a lifetime. In many ways, the experience was priceless. I gained a TEFL qualification and some good teaching experience in case I want to teach in another country someday. But for now, it's back to the real world.

Boo-fecking-Hoo! The things we do for love (the love of travelling that is).


  1. Your observations are always so astute.

    I'm definitely thinking this could happen with the new job but will have to face it when that moment comes.

    Good luck to you going back to the corporate grind!

  2. When, but WHEN did you get so wise and smart?! :-)

    I wholeheartedly concur with everything you so beautifully articulated.

    Also, this?

    "[...] the lucky bastards who work for Godiva?"


  3. Congrats and good luck! I never thought I'd say it, but I miss a lot about the corporate world (and when I was in it, I wanted out).

  4. yeah, i suppose it sucks at both ends. lately, there's been so much going on my mind (and it involves some bit of travelling). change is much needed.

    good luck, Azra :)

  5. I've been rich.

    And I've been poor.

    And having experienced them both, I can tell you that rich is definitely better.

  6. Always such a treat reading your blog.
    Reading this reminded me of the time I lived in Dubai but still had business interests here in SA. I would spend 2 weeks a month alternating between the two, and everybody was like "Wow! thats so awesome."
    4 years later and I hated the sight of an airplane or the smell of fish! Try explaining it to anyone and they think you're just ungrateful... but it just get's to a point where all the joy has been completely sucked out of something you once loved.

  7. ipenka
    Thanks! Good luck to you too... hope it goes well :)

    Pretzel Thief
    My life hasn't been the easiest, which has lead to many epiphanies and realisations. I make sure I learn the lessons :)

    Roving Retorter
    I guess the human condition is that we don't know what we've got until it's gone ;)

    Life is too short to sit around wishing for things to happen - we should make them happen or at the very least, try ;)

    Yes, even too much Godiva can become overwhelming for ones taste buds and leave one longing for Lindt ;)

    Haha. Yes, rich is good. But rich AND happy is infinitely better ;D

    It's true. We come to hate the very things we were in awe of and used to love. Staying humble and grateful is so difficult, but so necessary :)

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  9. Sorry about that.... Angie was logged in

    Now, you knew I would respond even though I'm officially missing... Az, the trick is to not make it become part of your daily grind. Money opens each and every door imaginable, but it's us who need to be creative so that we don't step into that trap called Daily Grind. Amen. ;)

  10. RCB
    Yeah I understand what you're saying Randy, but sometimes, one can't help it. Things eventually move to that grindiness and drudgery of life. I think it's important to be grateful, even when it's difficult to feel grateful.

  11. Sooo, where were you if not in the city ?

  12. Happy is better than sad, rich is better than poor and finding some sense of one's place in the universe seems to help us all reconcile ourselves to the world, to realities and to cope. I think that the change will be good for you.

  13. Congrats on finding something! What will you be doing?

  14. PS: I have finally managed to do that Tag!

  15. Thanks! I just noticed - you are using Disney's Esmeralda for your profile pic, and I am using Disney's Ariel - mine is quite obscure, but it is that moment she bursts out of the sea after she gets legs. :)

  16. When I want something like a trip to Bora Bora, some new shoes or I see a nice car and wail " but I want that" and I can't because I'm SKINT I realise how necessary money is to fulfil my desires. Then I try and think of Dalai Llama, in his orange frock and flip flops or yogananda and try and get to grips with the 'having no ties to material things makes you much better and spiritually enlightened' I'm still working on it....

  17. Maybe I need an orange frock...( from Prada, he he he)

  18. Prixie
    So I'm the Gypsy and you're the Mermaid... how apt :D

    I would love to be spiritually enlightened. I'd also love to be a Photo Journalist for Conde Nast. I want to reach a point of contentment - the point where I no longer constantly want things. But the truth is, even if I get there, I still need to eat and I need to flush the toilet - and all that costs money too ;P

  19. Hmmmm... Having been in the same place for years leaves me with nothing to compare with. Strangely, I do like what I do, so it's not too bad.

    Well, all the best with your new corporate job.

  20. So very true! Eventually anything becomes mundane - I try to so hard to make it not so though. A little gratitude goes a long way (Surely the people who work at godiva know this?)

  21. I found your blog through Diedre's but I know that feeling about counting shoes / clothes / purses, missing birthdays and parties and realizing what it means to work for the corporate world. I'm on my break right now and will be checking in on your blog often to see how you're taking it. I could truly use some pointers from you!

  22. Terra Shield
    It's great that you like what you do, not many people do enjoy their work! :)

    I want to cut the person at Godiva that complains :) And gratitude is the only way we can be content and I strongly believe that contentment is the way to real happiness (well that an Godiva ;P)

    Hello and welcome :) I will post all my experiences. Hope you're enjoying your break!

  23. Indeed, the things we do for love! You've made the very best choices you could along the way, and right now going back to the corporate world is only a stepping stone to where you need and want to go next. If it helps you achieve your dreams, then all anyone really can do is go for it! (Unless, you know, it's an immoral choice or something, which, you being you, I'm sure it's NOT!). :)

  24. So true Azra. I love the perspective. I often think about different things I'd like to do for work and then I think, but then it may feel like "work" rather than be fun. Oh, how true it is.

    Hope you keep blogging when you're back to the "real world." Where's home?

  25. Michi
    We have to do what we have to do yeah :) Hope your month at Summer School is good!

    I'll find the time to blog :) Home is in Johannesburg, although work is pretty much everywhere at the moment!

  26. I had a brainwave... You're Azurah, so we're both BLUE. ;)