Self Searching

Warning! Long entry of which Part 2 involves psychoanalysis. If delving into your unconscious doesn’t interest you, feel free to skip it.

Part 1: Self-searching and Job-searching

Wow. It’s really been a while since I last blogged. As most of you know, it’s because I’m still in my transition period. Two weeks for transitioning was a serious understatement. Adapting to cultures has never been a problem, so two weeks would’ve been just around right. But of course, this time, it’s not only about adapting to a hot climate, a strange pidgin accent and a fusion culture. It’s a transition from childhood to adulthood, education to career.

Truth be told, I spent the last month and a half being a hermit, enclosing myself in the room watching anime after anime or idly thinking, in hopes that I could find my Self. Looking for a starting point in my career is a lot more stressful that I had previously imagined. It’s not like I’ve not worked before, but part-time jobs are solely done for money. It really doesn’t matter if I was a part-time barista, janitor or tutor as long as I was earning something. But just thinking about a career is implicitly posing serious life questions: What I want to accomplish with my life? What or who am I useful to? What can I dedicate my life to?

While searching through the plethora of job portals, I realized my problem wasn’t with the resume or cover letter, but was with my lack of understanding of myself. I began to admire those who had aspirations, as well as those who have a particular skill set to specialize, since I have always been the jack of all trades and master of none. At the same time, as a morally-rigid person, I couldn’t work just for money. Things like commissions may or may not make me work any harder.

After being a hermit for a month, I’ve only learnt one thing about myself: I need a goal, a mission. Something great enough so that I will spend all my effort, time and soul in.  Something that is gratifying at the end of the day. Something that will bring smiles to others. Something that will benefit this world in some way. And after all that searching, the Civil Service seems to be the best choice of all. It makes me wonder why I had to go through this process just to return to square one. I had originally chosen my major, Political Science to prepare me for the Civil Service.

How did you decide on your career? If you haven’t started on it, do you have any aspirations?

Part 2: Shadow-searching, Animus-searching and Self-searching

But all is not wasted, it seems. I have realized that I have so little understanding of myself. As a result, I have discovered the Carl Gustav Jung and his theory of the unconcious. According to Jung, the key to a life of a sort of Enlightenment, if you wish, is to understand your unconscious Self – the essence of your being. To do so, you must first acknowledge your Shadow (the part of you that you are afraid or ashamed of), and search for for your Animus (if you’re female) and Anima (if you’re male). The Anima/Animus serve as a messenger between your Unconscious Self and your Conscious Self.

Since I haven’t finished reading Jung’s collection of books, I haven’t been able to start searching my Self, but at least I’ve become aware of figures inside me. My Shadow is a Princess. As I was growing up, I often witnessed kind people bullied by stronger and less morally-bound people. So I felt that my softer, more emotional side would be a hindrance to my life, and decidedly chose to hide it under the guise of independence and reason. My true Shadow is a Princess, who is too kind and extremely emotional. I absolutely hate crying in front of others. I absolutely hate being soft. I absolutely hate being seen as a little useless girl.

I haven’t gone far enough to confirm my Animus. Though, I suspect that my Animus is the Eastern Dragon, which I have mistaken for my Shadow or Self for most of my life. Dragon in Chinese mythology represents the Emperor, hence Male in gender. For me the Dragon/Emperor represents power, independence, justice and courage, when positive, and tyranny, rage and desire, when negative. Since I tend a repress my feminine side, the Princess, I have allowed the Dragon to take over my Conscious persona at times. Yet the Dragon has always been a figure I’ve been afraid of facing because it is beyond my abilities to ‘tame’, so to speak. I become an Evil King that seek to bring destruction to Earth, when the Dragon is angry. And then return into a Righteous King that seeks to bring peace on Earth, when the Dragon is stable. What a fearsome character!

Lastly, the Self is still far beyond my reach. Having been unable to fully accept my Shadow, the Princess and unable to fully control my Animus, the Dragon/Emperor, I’m still very far away from realizing my Self. The one day when I can fully accept being an Emperor/Princess who can accept his/her emotions, I will not have the ability to see and accept my true Self.

Have you recognized your Shadow/Animus/Self? If no, any guesses?

Part 3: Site and Radio Updates!

Just uploaded a song I’m currently obsessed with. It’s a Japanese song called ‘This Night’ sung by CHEMISTRY; it is the ending song to an awesome anime called 地球へ… (Toward the Terra…) . It’s filed under ‘Anime’. Also updated my About page with a new picture.

Edit: Thank you Mixx users, who submitted this entry and voted it 40 times!


  • k

    first of all, welcome back!

    to be honest i still have no idea what i want to do with my life. and like you, i’m a jack of all trades but master of none.

    the path i’m on is full of mirages; one minute i think im heading “there”, the next i find myself looking at a totally different new landscape. sometimes it’s frustrating, but i guess it can be exciting too, depending on the mood i’m in. ha.

    hopefully you’ll find yourself soon enough.

    good luck! :)

  • http://www.teddy-o-ted.com teddY

    Hey Ivy, first of all, I’m really glad to see you back :)

    You’ve distinguished between career and a part time job so correctly and clearly I couldn’t stop nodding (although I knew you couldn’t see my face, I could not agree more with what you’ve said 😀 thanks!)… career to me is more like a lifelong dedication to a specific field of study or work, and the motivation behind you is not solely driven by monetary gains (for part time job, I treat it like a gold mine instead of a hobby that earns me money).

    After spending 8 months awake from academic work and school, I still couldn’t find myself. I would partly put the blame on my laziness because I wasn’t really searching in vain for that true self and the Shadow behind the facade, but also partly because I am afraid of acknowledging a different “inner me” exists. I have behaviors untypical of a guy – my mood fluctuates and I seem to be more emotional that others. I care about people around me more, and willing to sacrifice personal comfort to make others’ life better. I hope I don’t sound being philanthropic or boasting, but that’s really what I feel about others. After going through so many obstacles in college life, I realised that I’m bad at socialising, unwilling to meet new people and prefer to stick around with that few friends. If they move on with their own lives, I’ll be so doomed.

    I never knew what I wanted in life – I don’t have a goal and I always hope that I can get parts of it figured out as I move along with life. In fact, I didn’t pick my university courses with a logical, rational mind – I pick the one that I feel will make me less regretful of it when I’m done with it.

    I hope it’s not just me that feels this way 😀 anyway, see you around! p/s: thanks for adding me on Plurk!

  • http://simply-precious.net Simply Precious

    Welcome back, Ivy! =)

    Wow, yes, I know what you mean about transitioning from education to career. I’m in the middle of that transition too. Wow, but good luck with your career choice in Civil Service! I know what you mean about not having goals and not knowing exactly what you want to do. I’ve had moments like that, but when I really think about it, I pretty much know which way I want to go in my career choice. But we’ll see if that ends up that way, though.

    Anyways, aww, that’s a nice picture of you, Ivy! =)

  • http://michaelpark.net Michael

    When you’re too busy trying to make a living, you’ll have no time for such philosophies.

    Anyway, good luck! And welcome back!

  • http://www.dlee.us Daniel

    hey Ivy. great to see you back here. :)

    yeah, back when I first graduated, my ambition was to be in a rock band and tour the world.
    needless to say I’m a working stiff now. 😛

    good luck in finding yourself. enjoy the ride!