Friday, July 17, 2015

Risen from the ashes


It has been a long time that I have put the proverbial pen to paper. I am a strange person - I eschew social networking when I am at work. I have been at work a lot, so I am cut off from the rest of the world. Except the small slice of it with which I interact on a daily basis - my colleagues and my wife. Whatsapp has brought me closer to my parents, and iMessage means I can get a hold of Nikhil whenever I want to hear his voice. But that's it...

As the world goes on about its business, I have grown older and don't know if I have anything to show for it. That's not entirely true, I know that. But when it's late at night and I cannot sleep, the feeling gnaws at me, further delaying the eventual shut eye. I feel like there is a void, and no it's not because I don't have children or am unhappily married. It's something else. I think it is something that every person feels, because my friends have alluded to it in different terms. I am choosing to write about it, is all.

This feeling that there is a void can be pretty consuming. I constantly look for intellectual stimulation and I am easily bored. When I read more and wrote more in the past, I used to be full of ideas. My mind was free to think. The consulting lifestyle has taken this away from me, among so many other things I loved to do. So now even when the synapses fire, the mental passageways congested with vagrant thoughts block the ideas from making their way to their destination. This blog will now house the vagrant thoughts...

At the root of my insecurities is this feeling that I am mediocre. Maybe that's a harsh term - a more accurate term is average. There was a time when I was vain and thought very highly of myself. In fact, multiple people have told me that I come across as vain and cocky. Professionally though, I have spent most of my corporate life in the shadows of my higher performing peers. I have consistently heard that I am smart and sharp, and that is very quickly followed up by a pejorative of some sort. Here are some examples:
  • You're in the wrong role - you need to be a PM
  • You take too long
  • You need to be in a team environment
Truthfully speaking, I was never really into any of mt roles prior to joining Deloitte. Well, except when I was building Elasticfox - that was the best role in the Development world. Designing something that made customers happy made my world go round. That I was not into any of my roles translated into me always doing what I needed to get done, but never having new ideas about how to make things better. No innovative ideas, no extra time spent building reusable frameworks or fixing age old bugs. I just wanted to do my job and get out. Maybe that's because I have always had a life outside of work, a life that mattered to me more than what I did at work. Work was to pay the bills. Then I joined Deloitte...

After my first year at Deloitte, I thought this was going to be just another stepping stone. Another place where I made connections but was always part of the pack that "just did their job". That changed after the first 6-months, and I have never looked back. Knocks never stopped me - I bounced back stronger and found a niche for myself that I can now call my own. A badge that no one else can take from me and something no one else is as good at. And I work hard at staying at the top of my field. I should be happy.

I am not. The void has grown wider. I spent numerous hours absently browsing the Internet. I want to do something else. I want to be someone else. I want to have an idea, execute the idea, no matter the costs. I want to take a risk. Not having done it makes me chase after the elusive dream. That's what's causing the void - it's the feeling that I have missed out on something in life and time is running out.
The sun is the same, in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath, and one day closer to death
What is my dream? Can I chase it?

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