Almost three months — that’s the time I’ve been in Hongkong. Seems that I’ve survived the first quarter of write-downs, lay-offs and workaholic tendencies.
And am so darn miserable and lonely.
Enough is enough.
Where was that fun woman who would always get gazillions of invites to parties in Taipei in the weekend? Or the person who loved her job with a passion no matter how much negative energy surrounded her? The person who had a thousand friends and naturally networked the crowd?
Where the hell is this woman?! Let’s get her back.
“You look tired,” Sharon, my friend commented last Friday. “You look tired and exhausted.”
“It’s the pressure,” I answered. “Hongkong is a competitive country that I feel that if I didn’t work my ass off, I’d be left behind, and it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.”
However, her words made me think.
She’s right—why does it take a stranger to make me see what I’ve become?
Look, I am no longer happy.
Gone was that carefree woman who did what she loved with people that she liked.
Instead, my weekdays were full of me staying till around 10am when the trading floor is practically empty, trying to finish her latest projects. Meanwhile, weekends were more about staying at home resting because I’m so tired OR staring at multiple regression concepts in preparation for the CFA Level 2, which I’m not even sure I can pass given the tight timeline!
“It’s going to be a lot easier,” my friends consoled me. “It took you six years to build such an extensive network as you’ve had in Taiwan. Why are you so impatient? You’re an extrovert so it should happen in time.”
Guys, it’s not helping. 🙁
The fact is, I built up my Taiwan network because I was proactive in getting to know more people. I wasn’t satisfied with just staying in the sidelines. I wanted to grab my life with both hands and live hard.
And my network grew.
In Hongkong however, I was either at work slaving away, at home recuperating or at my table studying for the CFA! As there was really no time to explore the Island or meet new friends, I was away from my element and I was becoming more and more miserable!
“What did you do this weekend?” my colleagues would politely ask on a Monday as if they were really that interested.
“Nothing,” I said to their disbelief. “Why not?” they’d ask.
“Because no one invited me out,” I’d answer.
And it’s the absolute truth.
Nonetheless, I refuse to be the victim!
I don’t want to leave Hongkong with my tail hanging between my legs.
In the Philippines, I conquered Ateneo.
In Taiwan, I did well given that I started off with zero friends and couldn’t even speak the language!
Now in Hongkong, it’s starting out all over again. And if it’s at the cost of the Level 2 CFA which I’m not even sure I can pass given 3 months of reviewing, then so be it.
Coming into this strange land, I needed to explore Hongkong. Isn’t it uncanny that this travel-addict couldn’t even be adventurous enough to explore where she’s aboding? There’s the New Territories, Lantau Island among others and once I’m through with Hong Kong, there’s always Shenzhen and Guangzhou for the weekend.
There are people to meet and greet. We can start with the newly arrived and friendlier Expats. I don’t really need to force my colleagues to accept me. I’d just make my own friends separate from work and diversify my network.
Lastly, I can take a longer view and concentrate on getting into a good school. With the recession lasting for the next 2 years, this is a good time more than any to improve your skillsets and take further studies.
From today, I’ll be less focused in work, and spend more time in balancing myself.
Think I can succeed? We’ll just see.
But I am sure, I’ll be way happier for it.
Wish me luck, and have a great week to you guys too!