This has been a very intense week, not only in terms of the amount of work but in terms of soul searching, re-prioritizing and mini wake-up calls. So this is going to be a long one (not very many haha moments, but a lot of Ah-ha moments) So here goes:
1. Dear friends, I’m sorry I sold my soul….will try to reclaim it.
Yesterday, I missed the first birthday of my friend’s baby. He is the first kid in our group of friends so it definitely calls for some celebration. And why did I miss it? It was because I was at our 21st Anniversary celebrations of the office. I’m sure I may have been excused from the birthday, but am sure friends present would have thought that I have become this total arrogant (worse than before) MBA bitch who has all of a sudden become pricey and acts as though his time is more important than giving it to people whom he should be giving the first priority in my life. Dear Friends, I’m sorry. Believe me, I am not being arrogant or not giving you guys importance. I unfortunately find myself with my fingers in too many pies and I am for all practical purposes trying to justify the career choice I have made and I want to do it well so bad that that I am finding this juggling bit a little tough. “ All good work is being rewarded with more work” is apparently happening to me and I am trying to find some stable footing. Please bear with me until then. It will take me some time to curb my enthusiasm. I like to be the best at whatever I do and I want to do everything.
I want to be the guy who is this combination of the corporate killer attitude of Gordan Gecko, simplicity of Forrest Gump, the poetry of Jim Morrison and a whole bunch of other people. And it is tough for me. So please bear with me until I figure out who I really want to be…hopefully it will be me. So I am really sorry for missing the birthday celebrations kiddo, but I was there, just not physically! Don’t start referring to me as that uncle who never shows up and only sends other friends with gifts. I am not like that, I’m just a little confused right now.
2. What about brand Nikhilesh?
I don’t want to sound like a whiner, but I think I have taken on more than I can chew at work. And I am sure the boss is pushing me in a good way to see how far I can go. And I am sure he gave me a job post-MBA again knowing that I was someone he could trust enough to get work done. So I really don’t think the weight he has placed on my shoulders is too much. It all adds up to the ‘corporate-avatar’ of me. But then a couple of days ago, I woke up (metaphorically) and went, “Whoa!!! What happened to me?”. I have been working the last 4 weekends (and enjoying it) at the cost of my friends, family and hobbies. I even got annoyed with a friend for rescheduling our meeting time as it did not disagree with my schedule (see how I refer to ‘hanging out’ as ‘meeting time’). I love reading and I’ve bought a ton of books at home and I’ve not read them because I come home and I’m reading up on some ROI model or some ‘work’ thing. I’ve not played Counter strike or Quake 3 in the last 3 weeks. I finally managed to change strings on the guitar and bedroom jam once…once! What the fark? I am supposed to be trying out on this side career as a guitar player….and I jammed once!?!?!? Blasphemous! I’ve stopped going to the gym, and this week it showed on the waist. Why am I missing gym? It is because I’m reading late into the night and am too zapped to wake up in the morning to find time for the gym. And all this ties up to point 1 of me being pricey. I’ve lost myself somewhere in this mess.
I’ve read about burn-out and a whole bunch of articles on ways I can use technology, and maybe even my company can use to reduce wasteful time in meetings at work and how one needs to draw lines between work and personal life. What personal life? My point exactly….I’ve always been so busy doing things, that I’ve just not found the time to develop the ‘talent’ for a personal life thanks to the fact that I want to do everything in the world has not made matters easy. I think I need to step back and take a look at Nikhilesh who is very much part of Gen Y and not Gen X with old style ethics of work, play and party.
3. Acknowledging the pain
I recently downloaded the Rockstar INXS series to sort of help me get in the groove of playing guitar all over again. One of the episodes was where the potential band members had to write songs of their own and perform. This one girl wrote a song which turned out to be pretty alright. After the performance when INXS asked he what was the inspiration for the song, she replies “ I wrote it thanks to my ex-boyfriend whom I totally loved and he cheated on me with another female singer. And thanks to that I wanted to become a singer because I thought it would help me get back with him” And when the band asked if she had anything to say to him, she replied” Thank you!”.
This little bit set me thinking of a lot of people I know, and probably you all have in your life too. People who’ve tried so hard to become something else or run away from love lost (most of the time your first love) that you end up becoming this new person who is stronger and sometimes better, even if the journey is otherwise tumultuous. And we still want to strangle that person for what they did to us and would love to see them endure the same pain that we went through. But at the end of it all I guess what does not kill you makes you stronger. And for those of us who’ve come out the other side knowing we are stronger and better people, I think we owe a little bit to these first loves who pushed over the edge. I am not saying it is a good thing but I guess it is that silver lining over the dark cloud. So here’s my confession (because I am confident the person concerned does not read my blog or even knows I have one):
‘” Hey! I’d like to thank you for being that person in my life who I liked for no explainable reason! I still hate what you made me go through and I don’t want to ever be that person in any girl’s life again. And thanks to you, I now fear all women and the mere thought of having a relationship. But that served me well as it saved me a lot of time for studying for my CAT exams and a lot of money that helped me through college. And now I’m a half-decent corporate sell out who fills his spare time with work. Yaay! It is also thanks to you that I learnt the beauty of love songs without which no singer-song writer type person is complete. And it is this bit of music that was introduced into my life that makes me love a whole bunch of songs as songs. For example, I would have never understood the beauty of a song like Black by Pearl Jam and a whole bunch of other songs! I’m stronger….a whole lot wiser too. Thank you for sending me down the dark alley, the trip was totally worth it. So thanks!”