about me · anxiety · Hopes and fears · life · personal growth

Hit and Miss

I don’t know where to begin. I have been stressed out like crazy for the past 3 weeks. I overcame that hurdle, despite feeling like it was an eternity, and am preparing for another.

Is it even possible to be fully content in life? I used to think that meant having no problems, but a life without problems would be quite a boring one. No challenges, no unknown ventures to push me out of my comfort zone to see how far I can go. No limits to test my fears and help me see that, hey, that was f**king scary but I did it, so next time maybe it will be a little easier.

I still occasionally run away. I run until I exhaust myself from putting things off. When I charge ahead at what I am afraid of, I don’t feel brave and instead I am shaking on the inside, wishing the sky would fall down and keep me from the confrontation of my fears. I am incredibly afraid of failure. Of trying and hoping against hope that although I was sure I did poorly, that I would be given a chance. Then I beat myself up for thinking I could get anything besides a straight-up no. My self-confidence is about as low as it is. Getting the prize was a euphoria before the dust settled and my mind went back to scrubbing at my doubts and insecurities. This is awful, really. Even when reality gives me proof I fought for what I earned, I still needlessly search for evidence of the opposite.

3 weeks ago I looked into pursuing training in the hospitality job industry. A potential school opportunity that could benefit me in the long run. I met the criteria for admission, which included a comprehensive English exam to demonstrate fluency in the language.

What I didn’t know was an interview with the program coordinator was also required before I could actually register for real. I went with the flow as best I could, even during moments in the interview where I stammered or lapsed into silence from anxiety over the question I was being asked. Giving polished fake answers was not my strong suit. I was honest but brief about my reasons for being unemployed for so long; that I was working on bettering my mental and physical health and was ready to devote my time to furthering my education. I felt very vulnerable clarifying what I thought I would get from studying hospitality. True to my nature, I made up a rambling response on the spot, telling her I wanted to gain confidence and more exposure to different situations and people. Too generic sounding? I don’t know if I impressed her or not.

Ridiculously, I even blabbed to her that I didn’t think I did very well for the interview. She gave me what sounded like polite feedback in response. When she informed me she would let me know her final decision within 2 weeks, it had such an ominous ring to me that I assumed she already made up her mind not to accept me into the program. I didn’t help myself either by googling “what does it mean when an employer says they will call you” and reading a bunch of websites that claimed such a response usually meant you weren’t going to receive an offer. Maybe in an actual job interview that might’ve counted but the interview I went on was for a school. Still, I just ended up putting negative ideas in my own head which weren’t necessary to begin with. I should have been proud that I even went to see the coordinator and got through with it, plus that I had scheduled the earliest date and time for the appointment in the first place.

Slowly but steadily I lost my s**t as 2 weeks passed and not a peep came from the coordinator. I am not about to explain in excruciating detail how I felt because that would take another paragraph or two (knowing how much I get carried away in my own writing…), except that at this point my heart had sunk. After I left the coordinator a voice message (she didn’t answer her phone) and a email, I comforted myself with the prospect that I couldn’t judge the situation as a negative or positive until I heard back from her.

Then I got an unhelpful suggestion from one of my parents, who straight up said I was likely rejected from the program for being too small and not physically robust enough to be able to work in hospitality. The criticism hurt, but more untrue was the idea that this was how the school was determining my qualifications. I knew it wasn’t true and yet once the thought was planted in me, it gnawed away at me every day. What if I really was rejected because of that?

I shot the coordinator a second email, and she wrote back, promising to get back to me within the end of the week. Waiting that whole week was torture. But I did, somehow, and wrestled with how I would deal with things depending on her response. I was still half-convinced I wouldn’t get in. The day passed uneventfully with no news. I left a voice message for someone else from the same department as the coordinator, in the hopes another person could help me instead. That turned out to be unnecessary because in the evening, the coordinator emailed me to confirm I was accepted. The next few minutes after, it felt like one of those tingly out of body experiences. I couldn’t believe what I was reading in the email was real.

Being on cloud nine could only last so long though. Changes happen every day in my life, but because this one will be hugely significant and soon I’ll have to rework aspects of my daily schedule around it, I am afraid. Afraid I won’t be able to rise to the challenges. Afraid of coming this far to continue on. But I don’t want to go back, either.

12 thoughts on “Hit and Miss

  1. Yay you got accepted into the training program! Sometimes people take their time with things and I guess that was the coordinator…in the end you got there. Congratulations 🙂 So sorry to hear your parents said you too small to work in hospitality. Not sure what kind of comment is that D: I think with quite a few Asian parents (the older generation), they have this perception you have to be a certain kind of personality or look to do a certain job. There was a point in my life when I was pursuing a career in the media, and my parents just said ‘Are you sure? You are so quiet. Impossible.’ It was like they had no confidence, but I managed to work a few jobs in the media for a while before deciding I was happier with another career path.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I am pleased the coordinator kept her word in the end. Phew!

      Goodness Mabel, I am still surprised when you have so many similar experiences to mine. It’s true, both of my parents really have that sort of perception looks can determine what your job or career is supposed to be. For the longest time both of them kept harping that I would do better in a bank. And anytime I tried for a job that didn’t fit with their ideas of what they believed the persona of the employee should be, I got talked down.

      In the specific case I spoke of in my post, I didn’t name which parent was the one who criticized me about the hospitality job. It had less to do with feeling like I needed to protect the parent and more that I felt it was too painful to put into actual words to say, “My mom/my dad” said so so about me.

      It’s terrible that your parents didn’t support your career ventures. Even if they didn’t agree with it, part of a person figuring out what they want in life is letting the person explore and take risks. I know it’s a still foreign-ish concept to some Asian parents who didn’t grow up immersed in a western culture and so their way of thinking is totally different.


      1. Yeah, it is quite something we have quite a few similar experiences. Lol, my parents also kept harping on for the longest time I would be good in a bank too. Their perception was, why not get a job as a bank teller – so easy, anyone can do it. I think they see being in a bank (as a teller) as a passive job where you just serve the people coming into the bank – and what they don’t realise is you need to stand your ground and be firm in customer service. Not a skill everyone has.

        What parents say to you and when they disagree with you can be hurtful :/ Maybe one day they will be more supportive of your training, studies and really what you choose to do. On a side note, if you do something your parents suggested and you make some progress, they tend to harp on about it :/

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bank jobs are not as easy as people think. My mom used to work in a bank and it was a highly stressful environment for her, particularly with demanding work hours and a boss who basically would do nothing and just shove additional work on her employees. And so many times I saw how my mom’s job really had a negative effect on her mental state at the time she still worked there. The worst part is she and the other employees endured that kind of treatment because they didn’t have any other choice in job security. That is partially why I never wanted to try working in a bank. She could have pulled some strings to get me hired because she knew people there, but I did not want to go through the same thing as her. You’re right about the customer service aspect too; having to deal with unruly people and keeping one’s cool is not something everyone is adept at.

        Yes, some parents never seem satisfied with anything their kids do… Even when you’re on the right path, they still want to give suggestions or criticism. 😑


      3. Yeah, banks seem to be a high pressure environment to work at. It’s not just about being somewhat literate with numbers but also keeping up with and exceeding the amount of workload to show you are performing.

        It’s funny how many Asian parents a generation before us like to criticise. Sure, it could come from a place of concern or care, but each of us have our own lives to live and mistakes to make so we’ll learn at our own pace.


  2. Brilliant. You got this as already said by supernaturalsnark. I can’t believe how unhealthy your parents were, to come out with that comment, but do they suffer with no confidence as well? Cos usually other people’s comments reflect themselves and not you.
    Enjoy this new experience and learning. Remember it’s all new for you, so don’t be hard on yourself and take those small steps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do think there is some correlation between a parent’s expressed opinion(s) that may be influenced by their own cultural upbringing. It’s very toxic from what I’ve seen and experienced.

      It’ll take time for me to get used to the newness of the school. It could be a new adventure, perhaps. Not being hard on myself will be difficult. I have a habit of doing that. But this change feels like for the first time in forever I am getting somewhere. I will take it slow like you suggested. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, their own cultural upbringing would play a part. Although hard, try not to be hard you and enjoy this new experience. Even if it ends in being not the career path for you, it still won’t be a waste, because you will pick up some new skills on different levels.


    1. Thanks snark. I didn’t specify but it was one of my parents that was unsupportive rather than both. I probably was overthinking it though I did not feel comfortable naming which parent it was.

      The steps do add up after a while. In the moment it doesn’t look like much but I’ll keep your advice in mind as I go on. 🙂


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