Zen

You gotta do what you gotta do

I’m writing this to counsel myself and rationalise, convince, explain, inspire…do whatever it takes really to bring myself out of the ditch of irritation and depression I feel with the thought of my job. Feel free to completely ignore this post. It’s basically pep-talk for myself.

I am fast reaching a point in my job where I have no idea what I’m doing and why. I start feeling depressed and nervous towards 9:00 pm everyday with the thought of going to work in the morning. I feel apathy towards a host of e-mails that come my way. I wish I felt anger at least! Earlier, I used to get angry if I was left out of an important discussion or if I wasn’t approached for something that I had been taking care of since the beginning. But now I don’t care, I don’t want to care. In fact, when I was left out, I rationalized and trained myself to not care. The superficiality and inhuman aspirations of the corporate world is making me morose. There are different set of expectations for you and your foreign counterparts. Of course, that’s not because it’s how they want it. It’s a cultural thing. In India, long hours is one of the yardsticks of performance; it’s often masked as flexibility. It’s weird really. I have changed so much in the past 3-4 months. Earlier, I would willingly put in 12 hours and come out feeling powerful and refreshed. I’d feel I was indispensable and oh-so-important. Finally, the bubble is burst…only for good. Nothing and NO ONE is indispensable. How do you think you got this job in the first place?

I am a misfit in most places. Being a non-conformist is cool. But being a misfit is just your loss. I feel terrible that I feel this way at such a young age when I am still so inexperienced professionally. But I know for a fact now that I don’t want to be a person whose work is their life. I only want to work to be able to live my life. I’m not ready to trade living for working. I sometimes really envy people for whom their work is their life. It must feel so sorted, but who knows!

But the real point is that none of this really matters. The more I think about this, the more difficult it is going to be to deal with this non-issue. Yes, work related crisis is a non-issue, it’s just a matter of perspective. You know you HAVE to work, you know you NEED money…there’s nothing else really. Thinking about how others talk, walk, bitch, strategise, compete, play dirty doesn’t help in anyway. You need to be totally zen about it. When you know you can’t change it, or are so apathetic that don’t want to put another precious minute of yours in changing others, why not just slightly alter yourself and be more positive. Why not just work like crazy when you’re at work and just live life like crazy when you’re out of there. I know how hard it is to separate the two, but there’s no other option. It’s all about balance really…not just at work, but everywhere. The right balance between sweet and sour in food makes the dish par excellence. Wouldn’t it make life so much richer if I learnt to just deal with it?

It’s about harmony. It’s about keeping the two separate. It’s about not taking things personally and it’s about realising that even though it seems for ever, it’s still temporary in the larger scheme of things. Ultimately, the power is in your hands. Besides, if none of this works, what else can you do?? You gotta do what you gotta do!

They never tell you that you may not want to do it on your honeymoon!

I don’t quite like the term honeymoon. I’m not completely sure why exactly, but I think it’s mostly due to my pattern of not liking to be associated with anything “common” and “popular”. Sounds extremely childish I know, but it’s probably a defense I have created every time I don’t have a perfect answer for something. So ya, I don’t like the term honeymoon, but I’m perfectly fine with the idea of going on a trip with your partner…from my experience, it’s much needed. After I married EM, I felt so disconnected with EM for a week, that this was going to be my chance to hurl a million questions at him in the privacy of a beautiful room in an even more beautiful place in the mountains.

A victim of social conditioning that I was, I had designed my honeymoon a certain way in my head. I probably didn’t even know what I really expected as I was already handed over a set of expectations that I was absolutely supposed to have. No one gave me a list, but I had a mental checklist already. I thought we’d make love non-stop: on the bed, on the floor, in the bathroom, on the balcony…why I even though we’d sneak kisses behind trees.  Little did I know that reality would be far from it. Our honeymoon period was probably when we had very little sex…that too because I insisted we owed it to our honeymoon and the stunningly beautiful place we went to. In fact, on one of the days we had no sex at all…aaaaahh shocking,no? But we were so tired after our marriage, which was although a very simple and no fuss registration, the 2 receptions that followed had made us quite tired and irritable. And we just wanted to eat and sleep.

So what went wrong??…frankly nothing apart from the fact that I didn’t go there as an explorer without any anticipation but a sheer lust for experience. Our honeymoon was nothing like I was made to believe through reels of films and reams of women’s magazines. We still had a lot of fun. We stuffed our face with delicious preparations, smoked non-stop, started drinking even before lunch, swam while it was raining like crazy and then had the we-absolutely-have-to do-it sex. But honestly, neither of us would have missed anything if we hadn’t. People say you change after marriage, I kept insisting that I wouldn’t…but hell yes. My attitude towards sex completely changed. We thought the likelihood of coming to this wonderful place again anytime soon was a lot less than the likelihood/ surety of having sex many times over. And that was a shocking revelation for me. I who would be up for it anytime, all the time! I think it had a lot to do with the theory of diminishing marginal utility, in anticipation of an unlimited supply of sex whenever. Earlier we’d be up for it all the time because there were so many factors that determined whether we’d get laid: we stayed 500 kilometers apart; our holidays would hardly match; when they would, we’d still have to decide dates according to my cycle; even then we’d meet only 2 days tops. So when we did get 2 days together, we’d make the most of it.  I’m not complaining; these arrangements had a charm of their own and were a sure way to be idiotically ecstatic and very grateful whenever we did get to do it.

But since marriage, there is no longer this urgency. We have become very zen about it. It’s like a man who doesn’t have to worry about buying things when they are on sale because he has enough money to buy them only when he needs them, irrespective of the price tag. And this zen calm showed even during our honeymoon and made me go bonkers because you know…they never told me that I might simply not want to do it then. I could always do it later. I’m just saying.

ChillerCat

This post is to introduce ChillerCat who will frequently feature in my posts.

So, ChillerCat is the blog name for my little sister. Why the name? Well, because 1.she is the most chilled out person I know and would love to have her chiller quotient…and it shouldn’t be hard since we come from the same gene pool; 2. she can sleep all day long like a kitty; 3. I used to carry her on my back when she was a kid and pretend that she was my pet cat (God, the things our parents had to put up with…details in another post.); 4. she has a certain zen quality and precious wisdom that either only too old or too young people can have, despite belonging to neither category.

A little more about ChillerCat and our sisterhood:

  • She is a couple years younger to me, but a lot wiser.
  • She is incredibly brave and practical.
  • She loves driving.
  • She swears a lot while driving, but smiles sweetly and says sorry when she accidentally blocks traffic.
  • She loves singing; which is very funny to hear.
  • She is my best friend, confidante, the apple of my eye and a source of unlimited wisdom.
  • She is unlike most girls her age…which speaks volumes about her being I think.
  • She loves animals…more than people perhaps. But that’s a family trademark!
  • Whenever she comes home, she asks mum to prepare both tea and coffee and has huge mugs of both one after the other.
  • She loves cutesy stuff and I almost always want her tops, accessories, shoes, jewelery…or whatever!
  • All the clothes that make me look awkward, fat, disproportionate look simply phenomenal on her.
  • She walks like a boy.
  • She is pretty gutsy and when she was a trainee in her second year of Hotel Management, she once refused to work for 12 hours questioning the manager why would she when he didn’t. Of course, I scolded her later for that…when you are that young and inexperienced, you don’t question. You just work your ass off.
  • When ChillerCat is not chilled out, she can have quite a bit of temper.
  • Her smile makes her eyes look like sparkling lines which is her best feature.
  • You cannot not smile when you meet her. 🙂
  • EVERYBODY loves ChillerCat.

P.S. For all practical purposes we shall call her CC coz the writer is lazy and wouldn’t want to write ChillerCat every time.