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Summer Promises Renewed

July 15, 2013

On Thursday, I started my part-time “job.” I only put “job” in quotations because it wasn’t an official job where I had to sign papers and present my Social Insurance Number. It was “under the table,” so to speak. My “employer” was a friend of a friend.

I’m making it out to sound sketchier than it really was. It was not at all. It was boring and tedious, but it paid well, really well.  All I had to do was input data into a spreadsheet. I made more money entering data than I did tutoring students, which is funny because the latter obviously required a lot more energy and brainpower.

On Sunday (yesterday), I ended my part-time “job.” It was good money, but honestly, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I mean, I could, but I just didn’t want to. The money wasn’t worth it, although the money was quite good.

What made me give it up? Well, the thought that I was missing out on precious reading and writing time, of course. I hardly had time to do anything this weekend because I had a deadline to meet with that “job.” Then on Sunday, when my parents asked me if I was coming to the festival on St. Clair with them, I felt depressed that I had to tell them no because I had to go home to finish inputting data. It was then when I realized that I was trading in “me-time,” “friend-time,” and “family-time” for money, and it was then when I realized that nothing in the world could be better than any of those three.*

I knew that if I kept that job, I would never get around to reading all of those books piled on my desk. I knew that I would never get around to completing all of those short stories I started writing earlier this summer. I knew that I would be cooped up inside, inputing data, instead of lying in the grass, watching the clouds float on by (yes, I really do this in my spare time). I knew that my mind could never be at ease because I would always stress out about meeting deadlines. I knew that if I kept that job, I could never truly enjoy the English course I’m currently taking because I would always view it as something else on my plate, keeping me from my summer readings and writings. I knew that summer would go by without my realizing it was ever summer.

It was Sunday, and the last time I was in a café, reading the day away, was Friday. But although it had only been two days, I found myself already missing those café-reading days with such intensity that I was ready to flop onto my bed and declare to the four walls of my room how endless the list of my responsibilities seemed.

And so, with all of these realizations, I decided that this “job” was not worth it. I wasn’t growing as a person by merely entering data into a tablet. The money was good, but it wasn’t worth it. This leads me to the conclusion that not all good things are worthwhile.

I messaged a close friend of mine, who I knew would be interested in taking over the “job.” She agreed to take over. Then I contacted my “employer” and explained my feelings to him. He was completely understanding, and all was well in my world again. The stress dissipated and that’s why I’m writing this post now instead of inputting data.

I’m back to being my summer-me again. Back to the cafés and back to sipping from green straws from venti cups. I’m back to hanging with friends and going for afternoon jogs through my favourite neighbourhoods. I’m back to the garden to enjoy the picturesque view and to watching the robin that always flies around my garden. I’m back to chatting with strangers and making new friends. (In fact, a woman in this café just came up to me and offered me a free drink! The barista had made her two by mistake.)

When I went through the procedures to relinquish the “job” and the money, I renewed my summer promises: I promised to continue to read many, many books (which I am happy to say I have been doing since October), I promised to continue to write as often as time allows it, and finally, I promised to spend as much time as possible with my friends, my family, and myself.

And I’m pleased to say that today, the first day off the “job,” I have and will do all three of these things. I’m writing now. My dear friend AZ has just asked me to see her later this evening to have a pleasant  chat, and later tonight, I will crawl into bed with a book I just picked up yesterday.

Ah, the summer days. May they come and they go, but may they never be spent cooped up doing something we don’t want to be doing.

*I suspect that some of you readers may point to the fact that it is easy for me to give up a job and not care about money because I don’t have to worry about having to sustain myself. Indeed, I think it is important to acknowledge that I am very fortunate not to have to work. I like to live my life simply, and I figured, I could do without the money.  I only spend my money on books and cups of joe anyway. Of course, I am very lucky to have my parents to help me out in the financial domain. I have never had to work a day in my life. When I worked, it was because I wanted to work, and all of that money either went to buying books or into my bank account, saved for a rainy day. Obviously, this is a luxury, and it’s easy for me to spend my afternoons in cafés and bookstores when money isn’t a problem. I wholeheartedly acknowledge this and am ever so grateful to my parents for making it easy for me to enjoy the summer days (and all the other days of the year).


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