Friday, November 29, 2013

Love and Fear

Love and fear are two sides of the same coin.

This is a line that I had heard often and never really understood.

Now I am beginning to get a sense of it. A few years ago, life was lived fearlessly to a large extent. Living it on your own terms, doing things that you wanted to because you wanted to do it. Fear was scoffed at. If it existed it was minute in scope. it was the fear of reaching office late, fear that maybe the traffic cop would catch you or fear that your mom would find out exactly where you were. 

Living took over fear completely. Everything was an adventure. Walking down a high mountain pass in sheets of rain without a torch - ooh brave. Insisting on travelling alone, joining groups of people you may not know well before to explore the mountains and hills, letting conversations become longer friendships was increasing your life space. Fearing a new place, a new city, a new experience were not emotions that existed.

Letting the present moment dictate the next is something that I got, appreciated and revelled in. 

I dont know when that changed. I have a lurking suspicion that motherhood has got something to do with it. As a mother things are just different. In the past months I am gripped by an irrational fear that something can happen to me, my child or my spouse. The fear comes in the smallest fraction of time and like a mini typhoon keeps picking up momentum till its like a helicopter churning all thoughts in the same direction. 

Something has happened to him Something has happened to him.

The fear comes from being scared. From a deep rooted fear of life; of living without someone who you depend on, fear of how you shall carry on once your core goes. 

Its gets even more detailed, this typhoon induced fear. I fear being a single parent, I fear how my little one will be, I fear how I shall manage, I fear my life.. alone. 

Recently, a close family friend lost her husband just like that on a sunny afternoon. One minute he was assisting in installing a home theatre system and the next he was gone. Life changed. Fundamentally. Permanently. The other person was left there, wondering how to cope, what to do. 

She was left grappling with empty evenings. A desire for a conversation those rambling simple agenda-less ones. You crave a presence in the house. A breath linked to yours as you breathe..deeply asleep. A hand to hold as gears are shifted in a car, a random hug as you scramble eggs. A person who dreams your dreams, understands your fears and is something so much much more than a lover or a friend can ever be.

Your immediate family is your mirror. Someone you stand vulnerably in front of every single day with all your faults and with all your perfections and hope that they still shall shower you with love in return. 

The typhoon grows stronger. Relentless. I call his cell phone relentlessly. Feeling with every call the fear that must have gripped my mother and my father as they did the same exact thing - calling and calling me, when I as a teen ager and young adult would simply forget to answer my calls, leave the cell in the car, leave it on silent in the bag and then roll my eyes in horror when the screen would show 10 missed calls from them

I now understand the apprehensions a lot more. 

Hearing the voice on the other side brings a tidal wave of relief. He's ok. We are ok. I am ok. Thank you. Gratitude flows from each part of your being and you cherish the small moment of holding him tight when he comes home a little more. You know that you are being irrational, a mini stalker, a total fool. It does not matter. All that does matter is that is that everyone is safe and ok.

love comes with fear. Only now it makes sense. 

Only it makes no sense. As a single woman at some level I think I was far stronger. I relied on myself for everything. Financially, emotionally, physically I was my own comfort blanket. Others came and went but the comings and goings did not leave crater sized voids in your soul. Only as a single woman I felt one void deeply, the void of a lover, a mate, a partner. 

Depending on someone has been a tough lesson to learn. In my 20's learning to not depend was the core lesson. To be independent. Strong. Alone. Sole. To make it on your own terms, all of it a lofty goal.

Today these same values have taught me how to depend, how to be strong while not being alone, how to be who you are while pushing the other become all that they set out to be. To allow yourself to be taken care of and know that its allright, to let go of the deep need to earn for your keep and still feel valued. To change how I define myself and cherish the change. 

Having a family has changed me. 
It has wrapped me in love
and layered me in fear. 

I can only pray that this does not change. Ever.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

'Resume'ing my life

Yesterday my to do list looked something like this.
- Redo resume
- list top few places I would like to work
- Make an affirmation list - belief is the key
- list placement agencies to apply through

Today my to do list looks something like this
- Redo the resume
- list top few places I would like to work...

The resume. The C.V. The succinct document that in two brief pages, and well drafted bullet points describes you, your journey, achievements, skills, interest, hobbies, languages, age, marital status, desire and cajoles the other person into meeting you.

Guess, 2 pages seems like a luxury compared to the 2 lines of a matrimonial ad, but nonetheless there is this Himalaya sized resistance that I need to tackle each time it comes to resume updating time.

The process itself is simple. Take samples resumes, list down what you have attained and plonk it down in an order that makes sense.

But its so much more.
and I excel at making it worse for myself

Gritting my teeth and resolving to get it done I start with looking at sample resumes. By the time resume three has been read I fall headlong into a deep sense of inadequacy. Neatly in little crisp sentences, people list their lives down. 4 years as VP at New Bank. Ensured client retention went up by 67%, got the overall revenue to rise by 55%. Moved to advisory consulting and ensured increased billings of 90%. MBA from an international school and yea - play the guitar, traveled 45 countries and can dance the can can while dangling from a rope.

Consistency. Fancy labels, and articulate impactful lofty sounding achievements.
Its not them. Its me.

A scattered career - layered with the deep desire to find the 'passion' that drives your work has given me a plethora of life experiences.

My skills include being able to cultivate a never say die attitude, of being able to handle lay offs, success, firings, transfers, mergers and betrayals at the work place. Does living a life not dictated by the boxes of a resume count for an achievement? Does being a geek and learning new things qualify as a skill set?

Even as I write these things down I sound to my own self a sulky little teenager wanting the world to pat me on the back for taking an different path and rewarding me for it. Ha! Sadly the places where I want the pats to come from and rewarding the folks who walked the line of sticking it out worked the long hours, didn't look for soul satisfaction and are now have nicely lined impactful bullet lined resumes.

The grasshopper faces the onslaught of winter.

At the end of the rant is a sheepish realisation. At the end of it all for now I want to be the rat in the rat race. After years of working with start ups, being part of the team, a place where you define the culture not where the culture defines you. I want the other side of the spectrum.

Family outings, trainings, coffee machines, air conditioning, provident funds, international travel. Oh man, yet again I am off to Korea, this time I am carrying MTR packets to survive. As exhausting as it probably will be for a while I want to be that. An octagon wants to squeeze into a square hole.

Alas the first step remains the dreaded resume.
2 pages that shall explain the this and that - which has been my life.

Tomorrow my to do list shall look like this
- Re do my resume
- reevaluate the few places you want to be at..