17 thoughts on “The straws on my back

  1. Createwealth8888 says:

    The life of full time employee is like that even the main tasks of our job may be very meaningful to us; but we can’t choose our other corporate KPIs and assignments as we have bosses to say “Yes!” to them.

    Bo pian or LL got to accept these other assignments or KPIs?

    Why there are more and more new investment and financial bloggers coming on board?

    More are wanting to get out of Rat Race and have the options to choose their own KPIs?


  2. yhtan says:

    Hi, leaving a message here just to let you know you are not alone. Funny enough is this the 18 years itch we both have? The thing that keep me going these days are Yoga and Long Slow Run.

    Enjoy your new found freedom, hopefully I can join you soon.


    • an9elfire says:

      Always nice to hear from a fellow educator. I use badminton, travel and dreams to keep myself going. It’s easier to walk the path when there is a “Finish” signboard in the distance. Join me soon ๐Ÿ™‚ Jia You


  3. byfaith69 says:

    first of all, i congratulate you for mustering the courage to quit! A job, assignment, the place, whatever that is making you unhappy! Spending more than 8 hours a day in an environment that is toxic with office politics and limited career progression is suicidal. Then I guess, many of us (myself included) have been through it, hopefully just once and not more in our lives.

    Now that you are on the other side and looking back, reviewing your past actions as if it was someone else and not the real you, you can’t help feeling sorry, angry and even frustrated how come the decision was not made much earlier. That was at least how I felt back then!
    And I thought i was smart (ya but outsmart myself)

    My clients that are at career crossroads would offen lament how anxious and stressful it is leaving without a job, the bills to pay, the this and that…………and how we pathetic people here cannot survive without a job for more than 3 months…….

    And if you choose to believe it like many do, then you are doomed, in the sense you get your heart rate beat faster for nothing, irrationalise things out of proportion in your mind, constructing negative thoughts and taking advice in your head and not from your heart. That is second attempt suicide imo.

    Going to San Francisco allows you the geographical space you need, temporarily. It is a good move and one that can help you to reorganise your thoughts, sort things out and receive the much awaited revelation in your heart. You already know what you want but may not pursue it for many reasons – financial, social, family, etc.

    You deserve (we all do) doing what you love. But it is a choice that only you can make. Others may choose otherwise for various reasons but it is your life, your decision and ultimately you bear the consequences.

    Perhaps, our country is not too in favour of failure, embracing it like the Western countries which somehow trickled down into our education system. If your academic grades are poor, then you are categorised as less intellectual, you get streamlined to normal, NT, etc.

    It is through failure that we learn, change our attitude and become better the next time round. If our passion sustain, then the project we are doing might see the light at the end of the tunnel else we move on. I am glad that there is some positive changes in the education system recently and hope it would be better over time.

    I wish you all the best in your future endeavours!

    With best regards,


    • an9elfire says:

      Thank you Desmond for your encouraging post. This is a demon I have been battling for years. I am looking to end this battle soon. The future? Who knows what it will be. I read the news today of Mr Heng (54 yo) having a stroke, the BCM at Bedok uncle (65) Mr Yap passing away from cancer. Recently, 2 parents of students at my school passed away too. One from cancer, another from a heart attack. And both were in their 40s.

      Either I am more sensitive now to such news, or Providence is telling me something. I am looking to live out the rest of my life as well as I can. Cheers.


  4. yhtan says:

    Me not an educator. I’m in capital market $$$ but I do conduct an annual workshop and some very last min assigned workshop by the m.


  5. 15hourworkweek says:


    Long comment here cos a lot of things resonate…

    For most people out there, a PE teacher seems like one of the cushiest jobs ever. To be honest, as a teenager, I thought so too. After all, how hard can it be to “ask students to run 3 rounds to warm up, and then play some ball games with them for the remaining 30 minutes?”

    How wrong I was.

    I had first hand experience being a teacher and understanding the difficulties of one 1.5 years ago.

    Since I was a new teacher, I was constantly being observed and because of that, I didn’t really enjoy the classroom experience. I had to stick very closely to what was pre-planned and basically deliver it to a T. The part that energized me was the consultations I had with small groups of my students. Since my timetable was super manageable, I was able to give many.

    I guess I could have tolerated those observations since they were “temporary” but what really irked me was the number of “admin or ra-ra” stuff my peers and I had to do. On top of it, they had to be done to the unrealistic expectations and whims of P and M.

    I couldn’t imagine myself being a HOD or M because I didn’t want to be in those positions. Ditto in my previous job. Neither do I want to be “bullied” by bosses into taking on unglamorous and tedious projects. That’s what I see happening to some of my older ex-colleagues.

    And yes, PE teachers have it worst, especially during exam periods. Everything other things fall to their laps and they have to appeal to contract teachers like me to help them with some of their “unappealing tasks”.

    Outsiders may view me as complainy/whiny and since I just turned 30, escaping the traditional employment route is some form of instant gratification. Honestly, I can’t deny it.

    But well, what’s wrong with being organisationally averse?


    Almost a year ago, when I was pondering over whether to take up the NIE offer, I was also busily gobbling up LivingaFI’s blog posts. And it gave me the courage and strength to actually reject that offer and pursue self-employment.

    It’s not all bed and roses but things have worked out better than I anticipated. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Enjoy your break in San Franc. I have not been there before but how bad can the West Coast be? A semester spent in cities like Vancouver, Seattle and Portland was one of the best six months I ever had.

    And yes, all the best in whatever you do next!


    • an9elfire says:

      Hello, so we had some common experiences, despite our age difference of more than a decade ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you for sharing your journey. We are all so different, yet same, as we live and work in a productivity driven nation. I can’t blame the govt for wanting us to be better, faster and more efficient workers. But we all know what happens to all workers in the end. We age, get replaced, and are then forgotten.

      Being a PE teacher has been mostly great for me. But the world changes, I change. What had been great will become good. And when good becomes mundane, we better be prepared.

      LivingaFI gave me lots of insights too. I draw strength and wisdom from those who have gone down the path ahead of me, and hope that things will work out great in future too.

      We must have faith ๐Ÿ™‚


    • an9elfire says:

      Hello FD, the next post will always be better ๐Ÿ™‚ when people ask me “how is your day today?” I will always like to answer:

      “Today is great! It’s the best day of my life so far!”

      Have a great day ahead ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Jared - SMOL says:


    What took you so long?

    Welcome to the club ๐Ÿ™‚

    Go do!

    Crash got sound one!

    Who knows?

    You can get bored after one year, discover you love being a PE teacher after all, and return to your old job with renewed vigour and enthusiasm. Nothing has changed; only you.

    Or you could discover something new that’s loads of fun! Less pay, longer hours, but who cares, right?

    Oh! Remember to wear some flower in your hair while you’re in San Francisco ๐Ÿ˜‰


  7. mysweetretirement says:

    “I have little desire to do stuff to impress M, since being M no longer impresses me.” Well said.

    Your article is enlightening and I do hope those bosses who read this can self reflect.


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