The step into the unforgiving real world

This week marks the final week of my internship, and would also like to bundle my experience to write about the end of my hostel stay as well (which ended during the end of October).

To sum it all up, all I can say is that the world is not as forgiving as I once imagined it to be. An unforgiving supervisor that demands excellence and speed at work. Living with strangers separated by a thin partition wall where they can hear my musical playing that is probably interpreted as “noise”, and “unwanted disruptions”. Made a hostel friend that turned out to make me feel really unsafe when I shared the vulnerabilities of my struggles in negative thinking. Encountered lots of difficult decisions where I needed to talk to people nicely in order not to add fuel to the fire. The air-con in the hostel made lots of rattling noises at night and I had to muster my courage to request for the switch of rooms, which took weeks to happen since I had to keep chasing the guard on it. Visiting the toilet regularly not to pee, but to calm myself down after receiving harsh words from colleagues in the office.

And the list goes on…

To be honest, I was indeed shocked by this experience. I was hoping that staying in the hostel would give me some liberation from reliving past trauma that is incurred by my parents. And I was hoping that the internship experience would be one focused on learning and growth after reviewing that my supervisor had good work reviews on her web profile. Turns out, there was all these…chaos I had to deal with. For almost every night at the hostel after work, I would be tapping, tapping and tapping, because there were just SO many triggers I couldn’t sleep with. But as I stayed consistent, one by one, one after another, I was feeling better, or so I thought, and then the next emotional wave would strike again, either from the hostel or at work.

I have to admit, it was all really painful. And many times I questioned myself on whether or not I was worth it to keep this up…

But today, I did… pull through. And I’m happy that I did. As compared to past struggles (e.g. school, examinations etc.). This one seemed different. It felt different. I’m happy that I honoured my struggles of wanting to quit, and I’m happy that I worked on finding my own ‘voice’ through all this. And be willing to say; I hate how I was treated, I hate the environment, but I’m happy with some of the work I do. I don’t wish to ever be treated this way again, but at least, now I’m clearer of what I want, and what I do hate.

Here’s to a pat on my own back to thank myself for making it this far; To have grown in my emotional resilience and clarity. And I must say, a big thanks to everyone here, Rick, Cathy and this ultra-supportive community. I’m so thankful to not feel so alone in this struggling journey. :raised_hands:


You write with such clarity Jun Rong. There is no hint of confusion in your words. That counts for A LOT my friend! I hope you can celebrate your clarity despite your many challenges and unwanted experiences because that is not always easy to arrive at. Above all else that is what rises to the top for me in your writing. Hard won clarity. I think you have a warrior’s spirit Jun Rong.



Yes be sure to pat yourself and maybe even hug yourself if that feels good. You are awesome and so courageous!!


Bless you and thank you for sharing your emotional journey and experience so vividly with us.

When I advocate for emotional freedom, I truly do advocate for people both getting the clarity and finding the ways to live so they don’t have to experience so “Too Close - Too Deep” (opposite of Right Distance Right Depth) what they find most repulsive.

When I was 17 years old, I was interned with the US House of Representatives. I was there to write a hard disk driver - a specialty of mine. I was to be paid a very very nice wage, my mother was proud, and who knows…

I finished what they needed me for in 2 weeks. For the following 2.5 months I was witness to everything that most damages my sense of… well, thriving!

Hypocrisy. Absolutely intellectual cruelty. Partisanship and taking sides just because you refuse to see validity in any other person’s choice or belief system. I saw people treating the job like a hammock they would never be kicked out of (and never were) – but not really contributing A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I even so one of the partners in my first company, ISC Inc., who helped get me the job losing (in that context) anything that he expressed through his outside project with me and two other men.

Clearer about what I want, and what I do hate.

I cannot say that being self-employed or working only on mission-driven businesses that respect wellness and humaness is always easy or possible. But for me I was clear that “prestige” usually came with inhumanity and “golden handcuffs” and not a feeling like you’d made the world a better place at the end of the day.

I’ve changed what my business “looked like” many times over my life. The consistencies though about what I won’t do, and who I won’t work with (either as clients or co-creators) are often sourced from early experiences that were emotionally costly at the time – but have led to emotional richness over the long term.

I’m truly excited to see where this leads you next. There are some really amazing communities arising that are distributed and autonomous. While the technology and governance is still early, I can even imagine Thriving Now evolving into a community like that. Music is a part of so many things, too. And, too, the ability to express yourself the way you have just modeled. :slightly_smiling_face:

Love to you, Dear Heart, and we’re here and rooting for you and with you,



Aww thanks @Glenn @Angelsloveyou and @Rick. Thank you all for the support and the encouragement that you all have given me…

This does hit home…! Really painful to deal with all these emotional costs, but I look forward to the clarity that follows with emotional richness as a result!

It was a bittersweet feeling when I left office yesterday. My supervisor did compliment me of my resilience and courage to pull through and learn so much from the job, and I do thank her for the guidance. If not for her perfectionist traits and unforgiving behaviours, I would’ve been really satisfied with my experience here. But sadly, the work was unforgiving, and people were all focused on the work, more than the people. I’m sure it could’ve been way worse, and I would’ve dealt with way more harsh treatments, and im sure am glad that those didn’t happen to that extent. But I can also argue and wish that things could’ve been better…

But now that I’m out on the other side. I just wonder what’s next for me, and I really hope that things will be better in the future!


I’m curious if as you look back to the interview and the period before deciding to intern there… were there ways that it was signaled that it was “all focused on the work, more than the people”?

For example, people who have had relationships with narcissists have often told me that one of the early signs was how they handled being told NO, even about something insignificant. Because of that, I’ve incorporated that into my own friendship-making and even client filtering. A co-creator that has not told me NO and that hasn’t gracefully accepted my NO is not YET someone I am at all confident about.

In the same way, I’m guessing there might be some questions you’d be inclined to ask in the future that, even if on the surface they seem pretty “standard” would give you an idea of how they treat people… or even if they see people as humans with humans needs at all!


Hey Rick! This sure had me thinking! I would say that as I look back, I actually couldn’t really tell much red flags from all those interviews…! My first phone call interview with her was really casual, and she was really friendly and helpful in answering my questions! I still remember how I did had a warm chat with her. As for the second interview with her and the boss, both of them were really friendly and nice as well, sharing with me about the work scope and how enriching it would be…! Gosh, even my supervisor’s LinkedIn profile had great peer reviews, so that REALLY convinced me into thinking that I’m in for a good work treat!

Well, little did I know that I would deal with all these…! I still remember that I asked her about what got her to chose me for the job role, and she said it wasn’t much of the things from my resume or profile, but my eagerness and responsiveness for the job! So all that work that I put in to polish my resume and portfolio didn’t exactly matter much to her! (or maybe she does, idk)

But how did this happen then? Speaking as someone who’s come out of the internship, she did share a trait with me. That is to learn to change/ control your emotions and feelings in order to the get what you need from others. So she’ll treat many people nicely even if internally, she hates how others are treating her. Because if she expresses her anger or her true emotions, she’ll have a harder time getting the things she needs from others when the relationship with others are strained. Sounds sad, but she has a point.

The cruel world will NOT care about our feelings, and expressing it would only meant more trouble and misunderstanding from others. And working in the world outside only meant more hiding of our feelings. And sadly, it seems that she was able to do it so well that I couldn’t quite tell the red flags.

But indeed. Now that I’ve realised the agony and hardship that could come from such a work experience, I would learn to stop, pause and think, if the job is REALLY what “matters” to my thriving life? (still, hard to tell from the outside though) but what I’ve learnt that is possible is perhaps, planning for a safe exit everytime i do something like this again (internship, a job etc.), to be able to leave asap when i realised that the work environment STINKS!


I’m a big fan of trial periods. I’ve also seen people interview like they were a different person – both hiring and being hired. When I was hiring staff, I used to have a 90 day trial period with reviews at 2-4-6-8-10 weeks and it had to be a Yes-Yes or we would stop – either side could.

In my own life with a rare exception of one employment for 9 years, I’ve been “self-employed” which really is a misnomer. I don’t have a “boss” who tells me what to do, but I do have to offer services that people want and they are willing to pay a fair price for.

I believe there has never before been a time when it is so “easy” to be your own business owner. That doesn’t make it easy or always fun, and there’s risk, but the upside is far far better and the benefit of being able to spread out your work across multiple clients means you can, if you need to, “fire a client” rather than suffer ridiculous treatment.

I do believe if I was interviewing, I would ask some pretty pointed questions:

  1. What are your three biggest daily stresses at work and how do you cope with them?

  2. What are the three biggest challenges you’d expect an intern in this position to face as they get started? What resources and time will be available to help the intern come up to speed with those?

Things like that can get past the facade, sometimes.

And it sounds like you’re getting a lot of clarity here!



Oh yes exactly! trial periods are so important. After getting guitars and having to reluctantly sell them when they’re not to my liking, I really wished that there was a way for me to try out guitars with a trial period, and not be put into so much stress in getting a purchase immediately at a local guitar store! (Not to mention where there are people everywhere looking and probably listening to my playing!)

I find that that model is really what should be my way ahead in life (hopefully!), though that would probably be too idealized since such systems and structures are not fully formed…!

And yes, thanks for those questions, haha! I will keep those in mind! And realising that even if getting clear on my job preferences would mean it’ll take longer to find a job, I’ll be far better than getting a job that doesn’t fit me and eventually have to find ways to break away!


If you view every job like it is a project, for a specific mutual purpose and benefit and for a specific period of time, then it can make the whole process feel quite different!

“I choose to work here to work on this project. While I might choose to stay longer, this project benefits me by building my skills in ____ and ____ and making money while I do so, and benefits the company because I am bringing my skill in ___ and ___ to them… as well as my enthusiasm for the project!”


Wow, what a wonderful way to see it, Rick! Thank you!