Singapore was recently hit by a tragedy called a booming real estate market and unfortunately for most people (read: those who don't own property), it's here to stay for quite a while. The rented apartments that people never used to bat an eyelash on have suddenly become hot property and everyone's clamoring for it. It's become a seller's market — and there is definitely no mistaking who the kings and queens are. Because of this phenomenon, people who were looking to upgrade to a nicer apartment have suddenly changed their gears and are now fighting to keep their current apartments. What could have paid for a nice two-bedroom apartment in a skyrise building within walking distance to the city central shopping malls can now pay for a two-bedroom apartment within arm's length of Malaysia — if you're lucky.
Practically overnight, people who were looking for changes had to struggle just to keep anything from changing. One would have to put up a fight in order to keep a present apartment for the same rate. Some would concede to topping up their rent with a few more hundred dollars a month as long as they get to keep the roof over their heads whilst others are left with no choice but to head Malaysia-bound (or ocean-bound if they fancy going the other direction) in order to stretch their dollars.
We generally tend to take many things for granted until something extraordinary hits us that threatens the peace and order of our lives. The classic saying of “you don't know what you got 'til it's gone” particularly comes to mind.
I find it quite funny because numerous times, I consciously put myself out there to look for changes. When I get bored and time seems to be standing still, I look for something in my life that I can change — maybe my hair color, my laptop's operating system, my mobile phone, my travel plans, my diet, my doctors, etc. I seek and struggle to force changes to take place. However, when change comes barging on our doors completely unexpected and uninvited, that's when the real struggle happens. I learned the hard way that struggling to keep things the way they are is actually more frustrating and more difficult than struggling to change the way things are (did you get that?). At least with changes, there are various options that we can consider. After all, as long as it involves some kind of change, it's an option. Whereas with preventing changes, we limit ourselves to a single outcome and practically zero choices because we want things to remain the same — no more, no less.
I remember my first job. I graduated in probably one of the worst years to finish school — the year after 9/11. The economy was crap so naturally, the labor market was pretty ugly. I was lucky to bag a job within three months upon graduating. Unfortunately, it wasn't a terribly glamorous job and was quite low-paying. Then again, aside from Ivanka Trump, who has a high-paying and high-flying first job? It was enough to pay for my rent and newly-acquired car, however. I kept on complaining and moaning about my job and how I thought I deserved a better one. I felt seriously underemployed. I kept my eyes peeled and constantly scoured Monster and Careerbuilder for new opportunities. The bad economy coupled with my lack of experience (and availability of more experienced desperate people out there) were totally going against me. Then one day, the ax fell. I got called into the death chambers of the Human Resources Department and got told that my unit was going to be made redundant. Actually, not all of us will get laid off, just a few of us and I was first in line because I was the newest. You know, LIFO — last in, first out. Dumb methodology — at least that's what I thought that time.
How I managed to persuade them to give me a promotion instead and move me diagonally in the organization is saved for another time. Miracles still do happen — have faith. The whole experience was perhaps the most humbling one that I have ever gone through. I found myself praying hard to be able to keep the same job that I was condemning for being beneath me just a day prior. I was borderline desperate that I was willing to work extra hours with no pay. Thank goodness for divine interventions. Since that day forward, I have been tremendously grateful for having a job — full stop.
Changes — no matter how good they generally are in life, there are some that we'd rather not go through. Fighting changes is possible, but it's truly an exhausting battle. When we think we've won, we receive a rude awakening later on because in truth, we can never keep changes from taking place. We simply delay them from happening. Whether we like it or not, changes will always be there like wrinkles on our faces (no matter how hard we try to get rid of them).
“If you're in a bad situation, don't worry, it'll change. If you're in a good situation, don't worry, it'll change.” – John A. Simone
Tough shit, right?