Happiness? It’s all relative.

I’ve always considered myself a happy person. Sure, I get bouts of depression like everyone else, but I’m usually able to pick myself up again quite quickly. Related, I’ve always had short term thrills to keep me looking forward to something. I spent my entire childhood/ adolescence in PE looking forward to coming to JHB to study. In the first week of varsity, I met a group of girls who I still consider to be some of my best friends today. We got up to all sorts of fun and that kept me happy through varsity, along with the usual make ups and break ups with boys- always exciting.

I started working and immediately started travelling, planning 1 holiday a year that would keep me going. I met Rishav, dreamt about getting engaged and then getting married, and planning the perfect honeymoon. And now, life has gotten to a stage where I’m travelling internationally once every 2 months. And I could travel more if I wanted, I just have a fulltime job in the way. If you studied Economics- you’ll know about marginal utility. IE when you’re craving an ice cream, the first ice cream tastes alot better than the tenth. So the more you do something, the less appealing it becomes. It’s human nature. I know, some of my more spiritual readers (and friends!) are going to tell me I need to find happiness “within” and I should be happy with myself wherever I am, whatever I have, but I’m not there yet… so bear with me. 

So I’m in a bit of a conundrum. I’m not as happy as I should be, despite life being pretty much peachy. I don’t have much to look forward to, and my day to day life doesn’t thrill me. I’m desperate for some sort of change, a new adventure. I’m not unhappy in my job, I have a great group of friends in Jozi, Rishav and I are pretty much settled and could easily carry on doing the same thing for the next 5-10 years. I guess it’s about what you want from life. I don’t want a baby and a nice(r) car and a big house. I look at people who have that and it seems so normal, so boring. I want to see the world, eat local food, learn a foreign language, be immersed in different cultures, be stimulated intellectually and wake up everyday being passionate about the work I’m going to do that day. Who’s to say that’s not possible? I’m partially interested in my financial markets career and partially passionate about writing- not willing to dedicate my life 100% to either and give up on one.

Which has led me to the following conclusion: I’m going to do my MBA- overseas. After tons of research, I’ve narrowed down the 5-6 schools I’m going to apply to, which are all in the top 20 schools in the world. Problem: an MBA costs a million rand. I’m not even going to bother doing it at an average school that isn’t recognized internationally. Obviously I don’t have even close to a million rand, but if I sell my house and my car and gather up scraps of money and take a student loan I should be okay. The money is secondary, I know I’ll make it up. I’m not fussed about having a “nest egg” for “some day”. The opportunity is here, now, and if I don’t make the move now I never will. When unsure of what to do, education is never a bad idea, and there’s no better investment than an investment in yourself- intellectual capital has limitless returns. 

Of course, my husband comes first and we’re going to figure it out together, coming to a solution which doesn’t lead us to living separate lives in different cities. I’m so grateful that we’re completely compatible and aligned on what we want our futures to be like. 

So, I write my GMAT exam at the end of this month, which is the first step in getting into a good MBA school. It’s half Maths, half English  which pretty much replicates my life (half treasury analyst, half journalist) so I’m actually enjoying the studying. That doesn’t mean it’s easy though and I need to get a really good score to even consider applying to the best schools. 

I feel like writing this cements it in a way, and if this blog has taught me anything- it’s that if you put feelers out into the universe, opportunities come your way. Nothing is going to happen if all your dreams are inside your head- you need to DO something.

So this is me doing something… hopefully I don’t come back to SA unemployed in two year’s time with my tail between my legs- but at least I’ll know I tried, and I didn’t stick with the safe route. 

I’ll keep you posted on the developments, unless they’re bad, then I’ll probably shut up 😀 

Thanks for reading my quasi- journal-ling! 

x H