เส้นสีเทาบางๆ

มีเรื่องอยากเขียน(บ่น)เกี่ยวกับเรื่องความรัก ความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างคนสอง(หรือสาม)คน แต่ขี้เกียจมานั่งประดิษฐ์คำมาก ครั้งนี้เลยขอเขียนเป็นภาษาไทยแบบลวกๆ และขี้เกียจขัดเกลาแล้วกัน จริงๆช่วงนี้รู้สึกเบื่อจะเขียนภาษาอังกฤษด้วย ไม่รู้ทำไม

เรื่องที่จะเขียนเป็นเรื่องที่ช่วงนี้ได้ยิน ได้ฟัง ได้เห็น ได้ประสบมา รวมๆกัน ไม่ได้เฉพาะเจาะจงเป็นพิเศษนะ

เรื่องแรก วันก่อนได้คุยกับเพื่อนแล้วมีประโยคหนึ่งเพื่อนบอกว่า มานั่งคิด นึกถึงตอนสมัยเด็กๆช่วงอยู่มัธยมหรือมหาลัย แล้วก็นึกถึงตอนที่คบกับผู้ชาย ตอนนั้นเรา “โง่” เนอะ มานั่งตามผู้ชาย เวลาคบกันก็อยากเจอกันมาก อยากเจอกันตลอด พอเลิกหรือมีเรื่องเสียใจทีก็ร้องห่มร้องไห้ฟูมฟาย เหมือนทุกอย่างที่เกี่ยวกับผู้ชายคนนี้เป็นเรื่องใหญ่มาก

ตอนนี้ไม่เห็นเป็นแบบนั้นเลย ฉลาดขึ้น ได้เรียนรู้อะไรมากขึ้น ไม่เจอผู้ชายก็ได้ เราก็มีชีวิตของเราเอง ใช้ชีวิตของเราไป

นั่งฟังแล้วก็ผงกหัว จริงนะ รู้สึกว่าตอนเด็กกว่านี้อะไรๆก็เป็นเรื่องใหญ่ อารมณ์และความรู้สึกจะรุนแรงมากกว่านี้

แต่มาคิดอีกทีก็น่าเศร้าหรือเปล่านะ ทั้งที่แต่ก่อนสามารถรู้สึกอะไรได้มากขนาดนั้นแท้ๆ แต่พอโตขึ้น ผ่านประสบการณ์มามากขึ้น (ร้องไห้จนชิน เป็นต้น 55) เจ็บจนชิน จนเริ่มเรียนรู้และคาดเดาเหตุการณ์ได้ ตอนนี้เลยกลายเป็นเฉยชากับมัน ความรักแบบผู้ใหญ่คือความเฉยชาเหรอ? รักแบบใช้เหตุผล เป็นความรักแบบที่ “เย็น”ลง

คนจะชอบมองว่าความรักแบบเด็กๆเป็น puppy love ชั่วครั้งชั่วคราว ไม่ต้องซีเรียสจริงจัง แต่อีกมุมหนึ่งเรามองว่าความรักแบบเด็กๆใสและบริสุทธิ์มากนะ เรารักเราชอบคนๆนี้เพราะเราชอบ เพราะเขาเป็นเขา แค่นั้นแหละ บริสุทธิ์มาก จะไม่มานั่งคิดถึงความเหมาะสม หน้าที่การงาน ฐานะทางสังคม ครอบครัว การแต่งงาน การมีครอบครัว บ้าบอคอแตก มีลิสต์ยาวเป็นหางว่าวให้ต้องเช็คว่าคนนี้เหมาะกับเราหรือไม่

คิดอีกทีความรักแบบเด็กๆ puppy love แบบที่ผู้ใหญ่มองว่า “ไร้สาระ” แต่เป็นแบบที่รักเขาอย่างที่เขาเป็น มันไม่ real กว่าความรักของผู้ใหญ่ที่มีหน้ากากสังคมเข้ามาเกี่ยวข้องเต็มไปหมดหรอกเหรอ

ออกทะเลไปเยอะมาก จริงๆมีอีกเรื่องหนึ่งที่อยากเขียน ไม่ค่อยเกี่ยวกันเท่าไร

ตอนเด็กๆ (คำนี้อีกแล้ว รู้สึกแก่มาก นึกถึงตอนเด็กตลอด) เราเป็นคนที่ชัดเจนมากเรื่อง morality ขาวเป็นขาว ดำเป็นดำ แบบนี้คือผิด แบบนี้คือถูก

เราเพิ่งค่อยๆเริ่มเรียนรู้เมื่อไม่กี่ปีให้หลังมานี้เองว่า โลกแห่งความเป็นจริง โลกของ”ผู้ใหญ่” ไม่มีหรอก ขาวและดำ มีแต่ปนเปื้อนกันเป็นสีเทาๆ บางครั้งในสีเทานั้นมีส่วนผสมสีขาวมากกว่า บางครั้งสีดำก็มากกว่า ปนและอยู่คู่กันไป

เกริ่นมานาน(ไป) จริงๆแค่อยากพูดเรื่องมีกิ๊ก55 (แต่ขอฟอร์ม มี metaphor เพื่อ?) ด้วยความที่โลกมันเป็นสีเทาๆแบบนี้นี่แหละที่ทำให้เราสงสัยว่าแล้วเส้นแบ่งกั้นสีเทาๆขอบเขตในเรื่องนี้มันอยู่ตรงไหนของแต่ละคน อะไรคือการที่ “ล้ำเส้น”? อะไรคือเกินขอบเขต? อะไรคือเกินความเหมาะสม? ความเหมาะสมคืออะไร และอยู่ตรงไหน?

เราเคยคุยกับผู้หญิงญี่ปุ่น เขาบอกว่า ถ้าแค่แฟน ไม่ผิด ถ้าสมมติเขาชอบผู้ชายคนนั้น เขาก็จะหาทางบอกผู้ชายคนนั้นให้รู้และแสดงออกอย่างชัดเจนว่าชอบ (ทั้งนี้กรุณาคำนึงถึงความต่างของวัฒนธรรมด้วยนะคะ เพราะผู้หญิงญี่ปุ่นกับเรื่องผู้ชายนี่เป็นเรื่องคอขาดบาดตาย ต้องมีให้ได้ค่ะ! เพราะฉะนั้นไม่แปลกใจถ้าจะเกิดการแย่งชิงกันขึ้น ยังไงก็ได้ ฉันจะต้องแต่งงานให้ได้ค่ะ! Ultimate life goal)

เราคิดว่าสมัยนี้หลายๆคนก็คิดแบบนั้นจริงๆนะ แย่งมาได้ก็เอา ของแบบนี้ใครดีใครได้ ยุคนี้คือยุคทำอะไรตามใจฉันจริงๆ อ่านบทความหนึ่งเขาบอกว่ายุคนี้เป็นยุคที่ทุกคนคิดว่า We deserve to be happy โดยที่ไม่สนหน้าอินทร์หน้าพรหมความผิดชอบชั่วดีใดๆ จะหาวิธีทำอะไรก็ได้เพื่อให้เรามีความสุขที่สุด

แต่ก็ยังมีอีกส่วนหนึ่งที่มองว่าเรื่องแบบนี้ไม่เหมาะสม เรื่องศีลธรรมอะไรก็ว่ากันไป คนเขามีเจ้าของแล้วเราก็ไม่ควรจะเข้าไปยุ่ง

พอฟังแบบนี้ เราคิดว่าถ้าสถานการณ์ในชีวิตจริงมันขาวและดำเหมือนอย่างที่เขียนมาก็คงจะดี พอพูดถึงคำว่า “แย่งผู้ชาย/ผู้หญิง” ในหัวอาจจะนึกถึงซีนดราม่าช่อง 7 ผู้หญิงตบกันแย่งผู้ชาย ชัดเจนว่าใครคือนางเอก ใครคือนางร้าย มันชัดมากอยู่แล้วว่าใครผิดและใครถูก

แต่ชีวิตจริงเป็นแบบนั้นซะที่ไหนล่ะ?

เพื่อนเราคนหนึ่งโพสสเตตัสไว้ว่า

“The devil doesn’t come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you’ve ever wished for.”

ซึ่งอ่านแล้วรู้สึกว่า เออ…จริง และน่ากลัวมาก

ไม่รู้เหมือนกันนะว่า ตัวเราเมื่อสักประมาณ 10 ปีก่อน คนที่เชื่อว่าโลกคือขาวและดำ มาเจอตัวเราในวันนี้ จะรู้สึกยังไง บางอารมณ์ก็ตกใจเล็กน้อย ไม่เคยคิดไม่เคยคาดฝันว่าเรากลายมาเป็นแบบนี้ได้ยังไง จากที่เคยคิดว่าเรื่องนี้ต้องฟันธงว่านี่คือถูกและนี่คือผิด แต่เริ่มเรียนรู้ว่าชีวิตจริงโจทย์ไม่ได้ง่ายอย่างนั้นนะ มีปัจจัยและเรื่องอื่นอีกมากที่แต่ก่อนเราไม่เคยรู้และนึกไม่ถึง ที่เขาบอกว่า เราจะยังไม่รู้และไม่เข้าใจอะไรอย่างถ่องแท้หรอกจนกว่าจะได้เจอกับตัวเอง เป็น quote ที่รู้สึกว่า จริง และจริงมากขึ้น ตามวันเวลาที่ผ่านไป

แต่ยังไง core value ความเชื่อขั้นพื้นฐานก็ยังคงมีอยู่นะ สิ่งไหนผิดมาก เช่น มีแฟนแล้วแต่ไปนอนกับคนอื่น ก็ยังคิดอยู่ว่าผิด

แต่ที่น่ากลัวกว่าคือเส้นสีเทาที่กั้นไว้ระหว่างความผิดมาก กับความกำกวมที่จะมองให้ถูกหรือผิดก็ได้นี่สิ ก้าวพลาดไปทีละนิด ถลำลึกเข้าไปทีละหน่อยได้ง่ายๆไม่รู้ตัวเลย

เป็นเส้นสีเทาเส้นจางๆ เส้นบางๆ แต่น่ากลัวจริงๆ

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Paper Towns Movie – “Young and Fearless” 

Paper Towns movie reminded me what it feels like to be young and fearless again. 

Rewind backwards ten years ago, to be that “me,” that awkward and chubby me walking in the hallway carrying a school backpack in high school in the U.S., when the biggest concern then was asking someone to go to prom, if someone has asked you to go to prom yet, or if he told you he likes you yet, or if you should let your friends know you like him. 

When you are young and in love for the first time, all the experiences intensify. “Have you kissed him?” “How was it?” “Did you guys make out!?” “Have you done it!?!?” All these questions feel like the biggest deal in the world. 

Ten years afterwards, as soon as it starts, you know what to expect and are no longer surprised how things develop and how stories unfold. Things are still special, but nothing can be compared to the first experience. You learn from the past, you have been hurt, you hurt someone, you are now fully aware that love comes with pain, you also come out of it with a rough edge, with guarded heart.

Since when did we turn jaded and cynical? 

“Look, your comfort zone is this small. Remember, tonight is how you should feel for the rest of your life.”

This movie revived that feeling of doing something for the first time, of being young and fearless, of putting it all out there with no regrets, of taking adventures, of not caring about a thing in the world, of being in the here and now, of living in the moment, of feeling excited and scared but embracing a new chance anyway, of looking at the world with bright eyes as if it’s full of millions opportunities. 

I wonder, ten years afterwards, if it’s still possible to live and possess the mindset of a 17 year old. 

NataBali

I’m back from Bali with major post-vacation blues. It felt really bad having to come back home to mundanity again this time. Read this article about how to overcome post-vacation blues and it seems to be more common than I thought, and I do feel like wanting to do some major change with my life of some sort. It is most likely a fleeting feeling, though. I pay attention to some signs, but would not take it seriously until rationality and normality finally kick in. Never been the kind that acts on sudden feelings or the edge of impulse anyway 🙂 

Trying my best to forget about holiday blues and channeling some positive energy by writing and documenting great memories from my trip instead. Why dwell on the negative feeling, right? 

The title of this blog post was inspired by, a WIFI password of spa we went! I seriously have no clue what “Nata” means and would really love to know the meaning. It feels appropriate for this post though, “Natta’s Bali” not anyone else’s.

*Warning* I don’t plan to write a travel guide or review as there are many great ones out there. The purpose of this blog post is to share my thoughts and experiences along the trip. All personal. No photos, either. Only boring text 🙂

Overall

To be honest I didn’t expect much for this trip, but it turned out I am totally, absolutely, completely in love with Bali. The island really has everything – volcano, lake, waterfall, hot spring, temple, forest, rice field, beach, and more! It’s got both nature and city in one island which is pretty amazing. 

We were pretty lucky as the weather was quite cool and dry the whole time we were there. The beach area could be hot during the day but it had wind. Quite a nice change from humidity and rain in Bangkok. 

Cafes/Bars/Restaurants

This is what I’m really impressed with Bali – the design and decoration! The bars, cafes, and restaurants are so nicely done and decorated with some nice touch and lighting. I personally dislike the word “Exotic” perhaps it’s because I get bored of how Westerners like to refer to Southeast Asia or “Far East” in general. But Bali feels exotic to me! It has some modern vibes mixed with local decor in a perfect combo. I appreciate nice atmosphere and design, so this was a huge pleasant surprise to me. Not only cafes and restaurants, clothing designs here look very fashionable, especially in Seminyak area. 

I also think Bali really got the beach bars right, especially for the music and, once again, atmosphere. Perfect beach vibes. I am totally in love with the beach bar called La Plancha in Seminyak beach; with brightly colored bean bags and umbrella and great house and deep house mix. Combined that with the waves and some drinks, what more could you want in life, seriously!? 

Food

Balinese food is yum! The rice has a rich taste of some spices and herbs. I love the most boring dish in the world AKA. fried rice called Nasi Goreng. Also the famous “Bebek” crispy duck was really delicious too. 

Admittedly, we were eating at touristy spots in Seminyak and Ubud, so it wasn’t entirely local experience. I was reading blogs and reviews of some famous restaurants in Bali and it looks like it has some really great Western cuisine. 

I did try local Balinese cocktail with a mix of “Arak” in it. Still unsure the kind of alcohol Arak is. But we all agreed that it tasted a bit too weird. What a waste of happy hour that night! 

Balinese massage

Balinese massage is not as hard as Thai massage. They apply some oil with a lot of rolling, pressing gently, kneading, and sliding kind of technique, which can be a nice and relaxing experience. 

One thing I dislike though, somehow they tend to massage your head with some oil which makes it too greasy. Also they did not wash their hands before they massage. It could be because we went to normal, local places, not a high-end spa. But in general I do notice Balinese are not as hygienic. 

Services 

Here comes the bad part – the service here can be extremely slow, no matter where you go or how much you pay. You need to be tolerant for it. Also Balinese staff are great at saying yes and pretending they understand you perfectly with big smiles on their faces, but they never fix your problems! Nothing is done, which can be frustrating. I once told a guy in th cafe that the WIFI password was not working. He said he would check, but disappeared and never returned. 

I tweeted about this and people said Thailand is also the same. But in my case Thailand was not that bad, perhaps because I am local and there is not much miscommunication. So I was never really bothered by it. But in Bali I was. I generally get pissed off when I pay for the service, in this case 300THB a dish at restaurants is considered expensive by local standard, but they give us a bad service! I would not complain at all if I eat cheap food on the street. But in a nice restaurant and cafe? I feel like they can do much better. Training their staff and improving service standard are what Balinese could work on. They’ve got all pretty shops and designs, now gotta work on their people! 

Traffic

Yes, Indonesia is infamous for this. The traffic is congested, but what bothered me was drivers honking each other anytime, anywhere! It’s almost like they use their horn to say hi to each other! They would honk you on the street while you walk just to say the car is approaching (My assumption). The streets are quite nosy and at times can be unpleasant. 

Summary

In general, it’s a perfect place for holiday for me. What I complained is probably common experience for people traveling in Southeast Asia – when things are cheaper but also unpredictable. Also the taxis being tricky and trying to push or persuade you to do things with them are not that pleasant. But I have never really traveled in this region, even though this is where I am from. So, this kind of unreliable and frustrating experience during travel feel a bit new to me. 

Whew, long post. Will try my best to overcome this holiday blues and hopefully it goes away soon! 

Why can’t we just be nice to each other?

I’m going to try and keep this short because dwelling on negativity really doesn’t make my life get any better. 

But seriously, I really don’t understand why nowadays, on social media, there is so much hostility and hatred toward people you have never even met. AKA. total strangers. Many people make mean, rude comments, and sneer at one another, at “strangers”

It had never been easier in this day and age to unfriend, unfollow, block, or just simply walk away when you encounter something or someone you strongly dislike. Social media has made ending relationships as fast and painlessly as it could possibly be. 

I mainly use social media to share who I am, what I think, what I do. One thing though, I don’t fake who I am. Another golden rule of mine is, always stay away from other people’s businesses and dramas. I see no point to keep engaging when there is negativity and ill intention. There are millions of things in life to do – many more useful, interesting, and fun things. 

But sometimes hostility from “strangers” came find me, and that boggled my mind. 

I know it’s their problems, it’s not mine. In fact, I try to view these people as they have mental illness; they get joy out of snapping at and being rude to others, just because things are made easier online with no confrontation. They can get away with it very easily, hiding behind their screens. 

What is wrong with being nice to each other, though? I can’t help wondering. This simple social manner and etiquette seem to be ignored easily when it comes to online world. It makes me sad, you guys. But it is what it is. 

Dear Apple Music, I am so sorry, but I’m still in love with Spotify 

Anyone who follows me on Twitter would see a lot of my tweets on this since I found out Apple Music would be made available in Thailand. Currently I am using Spotify, which is not available in Thailand at the moment. I’m still running on my UK account, paying £5 or around 250 Baht a month (Student deal 50% off FTW). Before I left the UK, I made sure I left some ££ in my bank account to last for about 1 year Spotify premium membership. That’s how much I’m in love with it. 

I am certainly not a techie person, just a streaming music active user, so I genuinely don’t care, be it Spotify or Apple Music or any brand, if it makes things easier for someone like me who

1) can’t live without music 

2) very lazy to download stuff

which is pretty much the reason why I love streaming music service so much. I’m SO glad I got to try Spotify when I arrived in the UK, happily pay 250 Baht every month, and use it ALL the time ever since. 

So, this is why I got super excited when I found out Apple music is here for us in Thailand! This would make my life easier since Spotify is not available yet. Some people and friends tried it and raved how awesome it is. This could be even better than Spotify, I thought, and I could switch it, for only 150 Baht a month too! 

I really wanted to like Apple music from the start!

But…I tried, felt disappointed, and still prefer Spotify. 

Here are the reasons why;

Recommended artists

I can’t believe Apple music doesn’t have this function! To me, this is what makes music- streaming AWESOME as I can explore new and interesting artists so much more. It looks like this on Spotify when you search and click on the artist page. 

  

When you click again, it opens another page which allows you to browse more artists similar to the ones you are listening to much easier. Isn’t it super cool!? 

 
I use this feature to discover new music and artists again and again. As an active user who loves to search for new music to listen, this feature is very important for me.
I feel slightly devastated that Apple music doesn’t have this (!!!!!!) To me, this is almost like the main purpose of using streaming service – to easily and conveniently explore new artists and music. 

Albums & Singles

Spotify neatly separates albums and singles of the artist page in different sections, while Apple music mix all albums and singles together, and I don’t like that at all. 

I probably have a slight OCD for music. When I search for the song, sometimes I want to know what album or single it is that song is from. Apple Music feels too messy for me to navigate, while Spotify albums and singles section is very clean and organized = love from me. 

Curated playlists

Another big deal. This is another thing I love about Spotify; “Browse” and “Discover” menu. Check out how cool it is.  

The playlists on the top keep changing depending on the time of the day you check. So you have “Morning” “Afternoon” “Evening” or “Weekend” playlists and a lot more.

  

Not only you can check playlists easily from Browse menu, Spotify also divides playlists by genres AND moods. I personally love the mood ones. It’s pretty cool as it can match music with your feelings at that moment. 

 
“Discover” section below is great too because it matches your music taste to the ones they wanna recommend, or the ones they think similar to your taste. Spotify really tries to make discovering new music much easier. 

  

I am aware that Apple music has these features too. In fact, I heard some comments about how awesome “For you” feature is. But the design looks very confusing to me as they mix both playlists and albums together, like this.

  

Also, I don’t think “For you” can guess my music taste that accurately. I listen to a wide range of music – alternative/indie, pop, electronic, house, soul, R&B, blues, jazz, pretty much a little bit of everything, so I wish For You layout and design could make navigating through different genres of music easier, if they truly intend it to be music “For me” 

I also checked some of Apple curated playlists and feel that they have much less selection than Spotify. But that’s probably because it is still very new and needs some time to improve the playlists. 

Personally I am not that excited about Beats radio as I tend to go straight and find playlists when I want to listen to something new. 

So, that’s just my opinions and feelings, from a normal user’s experience. 

Most likely I could end up using Apple Music, though, when my ££ in UK bank account is all gone. I truly hope Spotify will be launched in Thailand soon. I really, really do. 

Oh, I almost forgot the only thing that makes Apple Music cooler, Taylor Swift (!!!!!) And I’ve been mainly abusing this by listening to “Bad blood” all weekend. 

#Oops #Confession #GuiltyPleasure 

Life Coach

Hung out with my best friend on Friday night at Wishbeer. Fifteen years of friendship, we have grown and changed so much, but it’s always great to see her. Feels like it’s been a while since we sat down talking and sharing stuff going on in our life at the moment. 

And it’s just great when your best friend casually asks “So what book are you reading at the moment?” 

I don’t get asked that very often (or at all). She knows me, you know. 

He is away, and will most likely be away for almost all of July and a bit of August. Although I miss him and cuddling (TMI? Cuddling IS crucial!), I suppose having plenty of Me time can be amazing too (But I miss him and cuddling…….). I even joke that I’m single for a month, and my friend said, “Get on Tinder”

The modern society of dating and relationship is sad, you guys. Just sad. 

Anyway, back to what I wanted to write. Again I updated my friend about my current issue and told her about all the conversations I’ve had recently about career. And she added some of her opinions and shared some experiences. 

(Sometimes I can’t help but think it’s probably not even worth calling it an issue. My life, in general, is great, and I am thankful for it most of the time. I hardly have to worry about external stuff. This internal thinking process could kill me at times, though. Hence, the “issue”) 

First, I can change and switch jobs and do anything. But it would help a lot if I could determine what exactly it is that I wanna go to. The big picture. The goal. So that it could guide me as a direction. Whatever action I do today, tomorrow, 2 or 5 years from now, I can decide if it is going to contribute to that goal in the end. Sure, the goal can be changed as anything in life. But at least if I have something to look forward to, it would help making these small decisions easier today. 

Second, we don’t lose anything but the time. Time is extremely important. It generates experiences, knowledge, and so much more, and we cannot get it back. If I am going to lose anything today, it is time

Third, she did share her experience with the “Life coach” which is like a consulting service, only it’s not for business, it’s for people. These people don’t really suggest anything, but they help you form and clarify your thoughts in a systematic way by asking a lot of questions in order to help you solve your problem. The session is only 40 minutes, but it can be exhausting as you have to share and think hard about the root of your “issues” and then they would try to analyze it for you. 

Apparently, this life coach thing is common for executives; people who have to constantly make decisions and face issues. One course could cost many hundred thousands of Baht. That is quite a lot, so I asked her if she could contact them and ask if they still need more “samples” as I am interested in trying this, even for a few sessions. 

We’ll see how it goes. 

Whew, my blog always sounds so serious, doesn’t it? This is a place I choose to write inner thoughts and opinions that I don’t get to express in everyday life, though. 

In fact, what I do today, Saturday, is far from anything serious. Spending some quality time with mom feels almost like a privilege these days – I took her to the hospital, did hair and nails together, grocery shopping, and even condo checking (!). She bought me a very nice present, a two-month-in-advance birthday present, and I couldn’t be happier. And we (well, she) talked a lot, just like we did every day when I was in high school. My mom has always been my good friend, except we now get to talk much less than we used to. 

On days like this – ordinary day like this – I feel like life is good, everything is fine, and my issue is so small that just the thought of it even feels ridiculous. 

Sometimes I do feel that there is nothing more beautiful than just simple, ordinary days in life, surrounded by people you love and love you. 

What do you want in life?

Life and career talk on one fine Sunday afternoon at Rocket coffeebar.

I feel incredibly grateful when people who are more experienced than me share some knowledge they know or suggestion. It’s such a valuable experience, because they make you think and question yourself a lot as well as make you feel like you learn something.

Having a mutual connection really helps. It gives you a sort of “friend” feeling, and people are more open and willing to talk. It was the first time we met, and this finance turned businessman apologized he talked too much, usually he doesn’t talk a lot but he thinks it would be helpful if someone told him all these things when he was my age. I kept saying thanks and there is no need to say sorry as I truly appreciate it.

It’s not usual that you meet someone for the first time and go straight into deep conversation about life, career, and future. The whole thing was totally unplanned too! But I also find that when I am open and sincere about my current issues, with the right people, they tend to offer their opinion on the subject back to you.

I decided to do this in bullet point style, just to help me organize my thoughts better. Here are some of the things; suggestion and comments I picked up from today’s conversation.

  • You have to know what you want.

I got asked so many questions in which I can’t answer. Within a few minutes of conversation, he could tell that my problem is not about whether I am happy with my job or not, but it’s that I don’t know what I want.

What do you want to do?

In what industry?

Do you want to work in big corporate, middle company, or small company?

Do you want big money, or nice salary? (Huge difference)

Do you want to live in Thailand or abroad?

Are you willing to put up with long hours?

And the list goes on.

He said he always knows what he wants to do. He prioritized money and was willing to sacrifice job satisfaction, so he was in trading. He then knew he does not want to have a boss, so he declined Goldman Sachs offer. Also, he was willing to take a big risk, so it was ok to make a lot of money, back to 0, and then work his way up to make a huge amount of money by being his own boss, running, and expanding his own business in Southeast Asia.

But not everyone is like that. So first, you need to decide and figure out what you want, what matter to you. 

  • Ask yourself a lot of questions, and put them in “Yes” “No” and “Maybe” categories.

Write them down and divide those questions into different categories; of what you want and don’t want, of what you are and are not willing to sacrifice. Be honest with yourself. That way, you may be able to define what exactly you want in your career.

  • 27 is a critical age.

It’s an age when it’s ok to be confused and think a lot about future career path. “You are still young,” he said (People love to tell me that, huh?). But this could be a turning point that set you in the right direction, if you make a right move.

When you are 33, it’s going to be difficult to change your path and go back as everyone has had 7 years of experience or so. So, right now, at 27, it is good to sit down and contemplate what you want in life as it could have an impact setting future career from now on.

  • Think about how this career is going to help you in the future.

This I have heard many times. You should think about, if/when you quit the company, what can you write in your CV? How much have you learned from this job at this company? But then again, you would know how this job could help you, when you know what you want in your life (Back to number 1 again, huh?)

  • You have a good profile. It’s rare in this country.

Again, within the first hour of conversation, he told me that straight away. He said he is quite sure that I have the ability to pick what company I want to work for, and most companies would want someone like me to work for them, because this kind of profile is rare in Thailand. So I have the advantage to really think hard and choose where I want to go.

When I am surrounded by friends and people whose profile are no different from me, or even way better than me (Finance degree from Cambridge, law degree from Oxford, grad school in Sloane MIT, Kellogg, King’s scholarship, Fullbright scholarship, Erasmus scholarship, Chevening UK scholarship, Monbukagakusho scholarship and blah blah blaaaah, you name it, I know those kinds of people), sometimes I forget that it’s rare and I’ve got the advantage, because I hardly see myself that way. Confession is: I’ve never felt I’m good enough! Too many insecurities can make you focus on what you lack, not what you have, and eventually they make you doubt yourself too much.

  • You look nice too. Use this as your advantage.

Definitely the kind of advice you wouldn’t hear in business school, eh? He said it’s one of the assets I have, consider it as one of my skills, and how I am going to utilize it. Marketing and HR fields are full of women. Instead, go in the field where there are not many women, for example there aren’t many women in investment banking, management consulting or tech industry, so if you could manage to get in, you would get noticed and this could give you an advantage as many workplaces are looking for male/female balance in workforces. We have studied so much about theories and those things about equality, but in the end you can see that we are just human being, prone to irrationality.

Interesting viewpoint for sure. I’m not gonna say I agree or disagree here, I seriously didn’t interpret this in an offensive way either as I was pretty sure there was no such intention. Simply see this as an opinion. To be honest, the longer I work, the more I see people in society really focus heavily on looks, as it is the first thing people see when they meet someone, so they naturally base their assumptions and impression on that.

Not sure if I missed anything else as we were talking a lot. In the end these kinds of comments feel similar to this 7 questions about life purpose article I just read the other week. I wish I got to have conversations like this more often with many more interesting people. It feels rare, and I truly cherish it.