Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Hi folks. It's me again. Long time no see, huh?

Apologies for leaving the blog like that five years ago without a formal farewell. You see, work at the evil Big City Law Firm did consume my life - so much so that I had no time or energy to write nor any time to actually do anything that would be worth writing about.

Anyway, I've left that world behind me... and just in the nick of time. That sort of environment really changes people (IMO, for the worse) and I could see myself turning into a super shitty, always dissatisfied, grumpy b@stard who had incredibly high expectations of himself and everyone around him. I didn't enjoy the work, didn't like the person I was becoming, and had to escape before any negative personality change was irreversible and the job had cost me my soul.

So, for anyone interested, here's a short update of the past five years:

I did most of my training in Hong Kong and headed over to London for a 6 month secondment at the head office during my final "seat" as a trainee solicitor. I was sort of fed up with the working culture in Hong Kong, the terrible pollution, its extreme consumerist ways and the way it all impacted on the way I viewed the world. I was living in a strange bubble where most of the folks I was socialising with were lawyers, accountants or bankers; life was a bad cycle of hard grunt work and then splurging your earnings on R&R overseas vacations or designer this-and-that. It was mo'-limia (OK - really bad joke). When I left HK, I thought I could never again buy Diesel clothing, since it was just too high street. What a snobby bitch, huh?

Anyway, after my secondment, I moved to London "permanently" and qualified into the Banking department of the London office. Work wasn't as hectic over there (relatively) to work in HK, but there were always the occasional over-nighter, you were always on call or contactable via blackberry and you never ever really knew when you were able to leave the office until around 6pm each night (that really sucked any desire out of you that you might of had of organising activities in advance for mid-week evenings). To add to this misery, responsibilities and duties mounted successively every year and, even though they try to gloss over it in their literature, it really is a move up or out culture. I voluntarily moved out.

Work life would have been tolerable if I enjoyed the work or found it meaningful. Sadly, I didn't. I just couldn't get my head around the idea of pushing paper and arguing for the sake of arguing (which lawyers love to do) day-in and day-out, and working my guts out for ungrateful fat cats. I mainly did leveraged finance transactions with investment banks and private equity firms as the clients. If you want to know my (small) opinion of private equity firms... you'll have to wait another day.

So, it wasn't long before I started questioning the reasons behind my doing something I didn't enjoy and morally abhorred. If I left, what would I do? I didn't want another paper-pushing job. I'm quite the pessimist by nature and lawyers are professionally required to look at the worst case scenario, but I didn't want to live my life seeing everything in its worst light.

I really struggled to find out what I really wanted to do with my life. I didn't want to do work for work's sake. I told myself I wanted to do something I am at least a bit passionate about. I want to do something productive, meaningful and a bit creative.

Anyway, to cut the story short (and I do really need to go to my Ashtanga yoga class), I persevered in my evil job for a few years more, saved up my moolah and returned to Sydney this November.

I love design and urban planning so I decided - what the heck -I'll try and do something in that field. I've always had it at the back of my mind but, as I'm really risk averse, I went for the option with the least resistance, highest prestige, and alleged earning potential, etc. Anyway, I don't regret what I did as it's given me more clarity in what I want out of life.

I've applied to study architecture as an undergrad next year. Shocking, right?

So, the other pressing Q is what about my love life? Well, Monkey introduced me [link to archive added... can't believe I have recorded it on this blog!] to a lovely (it is to be confirmed whether he remains "lovely" in my mind) Northern Beaches boy who moved to HK around the same time as my last few entry on this blog. We went "steady" and he moved over to London with me. My parents and sister visited London and stayed with us - they absolutely adore him. We even returned back to Sydney last October for his sister's wedding (in a conservative Christian wedding, being referred to as his best mate in the best man's speech is something!). I guess it was the closest thing to a marriage... but it wasn't. We broke up. We were together for almost five years. Our break-up was super complicated and would warrant its own blog entry. Anyway, he's now living and working in a small rural village in India.

OK, so that's an executive summary of the last five years of my life.

All the other persons referred to in this blog are still (fortunately) in my life - Monkey is still doing his PhD in English; S-M quit work at the A-G Dept, went to do a LLM in London and is now a Mid-East journo for among other things, New Matilda; and HKPhooey is still in HK as a lawyer (but he actually enjoys his work!).

What else? Now that I have all this time on my hands, I'm thinking of reviving this blog. I can see it needs a complete design overhaul. I cringe whenever I read something I've written (thank goodness the archive page isn't working!). But before I get ahead of myself, I think I need to give a long hard think about why I want to do this again. I'll let you know soon :-).

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