On the eve of Valentine's day

Disclaimer: I wrote this piece on eve of Valentine and I got stuck midway before continue writing it today. 

It was a weird Valentine Day, not because I finally have a Valentine (not gonna happen anytime soon) but the fact that my timeline is completely shut and silence over Valentine's Day. You know what was even weirder? No religious post on how haram is Valentine for Muslim to celebrate.

I find that the interior of this restaurant is aesthetically pleasing to my eyes.

This is what I think. I realize people of my age these days are smart enough. We don't care about getting validation of our relationship over chocolate and flowers on one fixated date. Thanks to endless campaigning on social media that promotes self-love over an abusive relationship, have we finally found a way out of this rut. Maybe it's a  facade we put on to avoid judgemental society?

The struggle youth these days faced is even more challenging then it was 20 years ago. The economy was not as rapid today, but the cost of living is ok. Our parents can afford a house because it is still within their means. RM 50 can fill a load of groceries in the trolley while it barely fills up a small basket today. 

Compromising social life to make ends meets is poetic. I'm not romanticizing struggles and hardship. Although it does sound a bit ridiculous to say this, there is somberness to our plight. It reminded me a story of old days my dad often tells about when budak - budak kampung during his days decided to come to KL working as operator. Basically sehelai sepinggang coming to KL, looking for a job they can't find at their hometown. He also tells a story about how these kids eat Maggi because they used up all the money to pay rents, buy concert tickets and shop for clothes to wear at the concert. Yeah, that atypical concert gear you see in the movie. It was the rise of rock kapak at that time. It must be lit to be living in that era.

Listening to that story, I feel like it resonates well as I find it totally relatable. Not that the world is getting worse as we still stuck in the same cycle of poverty, but in a way, how life put us through the same cycle is just bewildering and worth a few minutes of pondering over a cup of coffee. Don't you think so? Everyone is struggling. Period. But we can definitely make life better with good governance and policy. It's unrealistic to believe in promises made by politicians that minimum wage will increase substantially. They spill bread crumbs as bait and exchange for a vote. Truthfully after everything that has been going on with our political drama (recently judicial drama OMG), I am losing trust in the system. I am in the brink of believing that capitalism (read businesses aka prospective employers) can help fix things. Now it's our part and how we can help to get that ka-ching!

Arguments on relevant minimum wage for fresh grads is still going strong on twitter. Many users still tweeting the same sentiment, and not to forget they are many who are still living in their echo chamber who believe it's ok to be paid RM 1 800 salary and staying comfortably in Kuala Lumpur. I am not saying it's impossible to live off life with RM 1 800, doable and can happen but you will lead an unhappy and stressful life with that tight budget. Been there done that during study time, I don't think I will ever want to go through that hardship again. None of us want that ever again (nasi bujang for life!)

Key is to make your degree worthwhile. What you have learned over the years really makes so much sense once you step into the working world. I see it myself during my internship. Thanks for that, it really was an eye-opening experience to see how business operates at least on my side of the world. I cannot expect to be paid more than the average salary if I am a mediocre candidate. You have to know, good candidates are abundance out there. The least I can do is to sell myself and how I befit the role the company is offering. 

Leveraging on your talent is another thing. Show them in your resume what you have done so far and why it has helped to shape who you are today. Take advantage of social media. I see many times recruiters going on twitter looking for candidates. If there are not many opportunities, work on your talent. I see many friends who take up different role and excel at work because they have a passion for it. I understand it so well how hard it is to be unemployed and not getting any offer. Or getting an offer that doesn't match your needs. But it's ok, keep looking as good offer will eventually come to you. I don't want us to give up because we are not the generation that succumbs to pressure, we basically going against the stream. 

Maybe I sounded a bit cocky, but the reality is, I want to improve quality of life. You don't want to be stuck at the same financial level for a very long time. We all take that degree for 3-4 years to have a comfortable life but you choose a job that pays RM 1 800 salaries. Do you think it compensates for your struggle and emotional distress? Will it helps to pay your PTPTN? Will you be able to afford to treat your parents to nice meals? 

Think about everything, think real hard. Think again, will that much of a salary be able to afford the dream you have dreamt off of these years? It is not yet your call to give in to economic pressure. I think you are wonderful, you are talented, you are capable, and definitely not one to give up easily. Life is not going to serve you on a silver platter, effort must be put in from an early start. Maybe once a while we stumble, but not for once we are calling it to quit. Being in someone else's shoes and realistically be empathetic towards their struggles and offer helps in any way possible. And that my friend is the end of this post. Be strong, this too shall pass 

Thank you for taking your time to read this. Probably the longest piece of writing I ever wrote here. I hope we all can relate this in a good way :D

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