In the midst of my health insurance application right now and I can’t help but feel a little marginalized. And I’m pretty sure anyone out there with any form of medical history would be feeling the same way too.
In fact, some form of marginalization will definitely occur if you’re anywhere less than in perfect health, insurance or otherwise. I still clearly remember my part time waitressing stint at Swensen’s in 2005, when my manager grumbled aloud about how he sent one of my floor-mates back because she was feeling giddy (which was a nice gesture actually) which was then followed by “Can’t stand this kind of sick people. So useless and a waste of time only!”
That was then I promised myself that I’d never fall sick because this kind of managers are pretty much everywhere.
The point that ‘one should not be a sickie’ was further hammered in when I filled in my internship application for a local airline company in 2007, which asked for a medical history so detailed I felt I was applying to be in the police force instead of a lowly IT intern. (Thankfully, my medical history was still close to zero then.)
Then, 2008 happened and I had to adjust to what I coined as my ‘new normal’.
Subsequently, 2010 happened and I had to re-adjust to yet another ‘new normal’.
I was beginning to fear for my future, especially in a productivity-centric society. Surely, every company would only want to hire a healthy employee who can work her days off with as little sick leave as possible.
Thankfully, the only form of marginalization I’m facing so far is insurance. In all other aspects, all I can say is that I must be a really lucky person to be surrounded with the people I’m with now.
I’m really grateful and indebted to the people who gave me a chance to prove myself despite the occasional flare-ups due to my compromised immune system. I believe I brought this up to you guys in person before but I was told ‘not to be silly’. (; Thanks to you, I managed to reach a point where I feel self-actualized in almost every single aspect of my life.
To those out there living with chronic illnesses, keep your chin up and stay awesome.
“I was very grateful to have heard it again. Because I guess we all forget sometimes.
And I think everyone is special in their own way. I really do.”
– Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
In no particular order;
1. A rush of warm water down your throat after a vigorous cough.
2. Taking a really good shit. The type that comes out all at one go. Not the occasionally ‘plunk plunk plunk’s that are ridiculously small with the effort needed to force them out.
3. Speaking of which, also getting a ‘Eureka!’ moment in the midst of (2), which qualifies as a double pleasure.
4. Having dark chocolate slowly melting in your mouth.
5. Taking off on a jet plane.
6. Long bus rides in a public, empty bus (extremely rare in crowded Singapore), with your favourite music plugged into your ears and a good book in your hands.
7. Hopping on a bus and going wherever it takes you.
8. The sense of satisfaction after solving a complex coding problem with less than 20 lines of code. (Only the geeks will get this.)
9. Having Starbuck’s Java Chip frappe during a rainy day.
11. The rush of adrenaline when giving a public talk. (I’m starting to get used to this.)
12. Being surrounded by people you love, every single day – both at home AND at work.
Mum told me the other day she often had trouble answering the above question – which seems to be thrown left, right, up, down, center whenever she meets anyone.
It was then I realized that the industry I’m in is probably unfathomable to anyone in that generation. The startup scene, with its unstable income and unpredictability is still pretty much frowned upon by the baby-boomers (and any generation beyond that), at least in Singapore where people are generally risk-averse
And of course, mum will probably have to dodge the “why doesn’t your daughter just get a proper job?” question when she does tell them what I really do (which she doesn’t know how to answer anyway.)
So, I gave her a model answer to refer to.
“So, what does your daughter do?”
“My daughter spends her life doing something she’s really passionate about. Something that gives her space to be creative. Something that makes her look forward to going to work every single day.”
“So, what is that exactly?”
“You wouldn’t understand anyway. Since you most probably hate your job.”
Hurhur. I’m such a troll, aren’t I?