Quarter life thoughts

I’m at the age when the world is splitting open at my feet, reality bursting forth into life and full color. The spinning world does not take along those who cannot run at its pace, and I’m being swirled into this cacophony of sounds and images.

I totally understand the need to stay ahead of neighboring countries and coming in first in GDP and all else. But common sense would tell you that as with any choice, there are trade-offs. You can’t have your cake and eat it. Society has evolved into a badly schizophrenic monster demanding people to offer both sides of a coin. Awesome economic growth and fantastic birth rates. But realistically speaking, if women are expected to conceive during their fertile years, some trade-offs include putting their careers on hold and taking a less stressful job during conception. It is not uncommon knowledge that a stressful pregnancy gives rise to a higher rate of children born with ADHD and autism. Yet, humans are expected to function as robots, to keep churning out work at a steady accelerated pace despite life circumstances. Come on, we aren’t artificial intelligence running on a supply of battery power. People have emotions, personal issues, messy situations and even marriage to add into this complex equation called life. Society can bypass the addressing of basic human needs to attain that holy grail top economic status, and people can conform themselves to fit into the way society rewards people in the form of monetary remuneration, but I can’t help but feel sorry that people here have become deficient in an emotional sense.  Trade-offs are inevitable, yeah?

The ads on family planning plastered all over the MRT billboards and bus interfaces just make the movement a cheesy fiasco to coax Singaporeans to have kids fast. It is rather distasteful, as if insinuating that people put off marriage and children because they are simply too slipshod to give the notion some thought. For an average Singaporean young married couple, the sheer weight of debt from a 4-room HDB flat takes up a significant portion of their income for much of their lives. The exorbitant cost of living here makes child rearing seem a laborious and thankless, and possibly optional task.

I believe that it’s a basic human desire to want to settle down with a significant other for company, and perhaps have a family of their own, regardless of personality type or sexual orientation. In reality, it’s a punishing environment to date meaningfully with the speed of life. Things don’t just happen like that. Magic, as described plainly, takes time to spark and more importantly, finding the right partner to settle down with for a stable and secure family environment for the child to grow up in, is more important than just dispensing orders for people to procreate to hit national KPIs. The big-picture point of view sometimes misleads people at the top from pin pointing the heart of the problem, which is addressing what is on the heart of the individual.

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