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Saturday, 1 April 2017

Will I ever be anything other than sporadic?

Sloth. You'll see why.

It's hard to know where to begin when it's been four months since my last, enigmatic post. Especially when those four months encompass a wide variety of experiences, and my first few months of having a full-time job.

Shall I summarize as I used to attempt to do after long gaps? Shall I go for a meandering, indulgent stream-of-consciousness type excess?

If at all you have observed this blog over the years, do you notice the pitch to which I've perfected evasive techniques even in writing?

I'd mentioned my feelings about the uncertainty of adulthood and a life without the safe restrictions of academic life. Freedom, it seemed, was not always an unqualified gift; without clear purpose, it can mean an aimless, empty wandering that leaves you with a feeling of ennui.

I wish I could say that I remained as sprightly as I was in that post made a month after graduation, and went at my future with gusto. Truth is, though, that I was unprepared and felt unmoored. For a few months I succeeded in suppressing the fear and insecurities that lurked beneath the surface and sometimes even managed to let go and enjoy the freedom of having nothing to do. I read like crazy, as I hadn't done in a long time, and I loved it; being able to read like that again made me feel as if I could breathe more freely. I recognize that people have other passions that give them the same sense of relief and solace; for me, nothing else will ever give me quite the feeling of being understood. Perhaps this need to bury oneself in a pursuit is the hallmark of a lonely introvert who remained sometimes ungratefully lonely despite having many wonderful friends.

How do I describe that loneliness? It's not a loneliness that comes from lacking company; it's a loneliness that comes from not possessing in adequate measure (yet) the skills to express those difficult thoughts, those complicated emotions, those delicate and complex ideas built so carefully in the hours of reflection I cannot do without. It comes from not being able to share an entire inner world, and so, inhabiting it alone.

I digress. I read; I met friends and had some lovely times; I attended the wedding of a close friend (which is when the reality of adulthood actually began to set in).

At this juncture, I have to admit that I was enjoying myself too much to actually want to find something to occupy my time perforce. I couldn't help wishing that I could have my time to myself for a while longer, to do with as I wished, and to recover from some of the stresses I had put myself through as a student for so many years.

Since I have people looking out for me, who - not without reason - were afraid that I could spend any amount of time this way, I eventually felt obliged to put more effort into determining my immediate future. Again, I have to admit - not without shame - that I went about this task quite reluctantly, even grudgingly. The perfect student and model daughter was suddenly feeling a little rebellious, and not a little horrified at the mundaneness of the jobs that seemed available to someone as entirely clueless as I was about my next steps.

At this juncture, you might be wondering: what happened to the girl who grandly declared that she wanted to make a difference, that she wasn't interested in the humdrum rut of a corporate 9-5 existence?

I was wondering that myself. At the ripe old age of 21, I was feeling washed out. My deepest of convictions were wavering under the onslaught of reality - by which I mean that I had lost faith in myself and consequently failed to hold myself up to the standards of my younger self. It's not that I took some inconsequential job that would have added nothing of value to my life - it's that I had ceased to look before I had even begun, and that I had concluded absurdly prematurely that I wasn't good enough for what I really wanted to do.

The stars, though, have always been on my side. Through a friend, I came to know of a young microfinance company named Vaya. I perceived with mild interest that this would be a great opportunity to find out more about microfinance and its practical applications. In my IB years, I had written my 4000-word research project on microfinance, and it remained a subject of interest.

Interviews are not my strong suit. I have the odd good day on which I feel confident and articulate, but most of the time, my brain seems to separate itself from my body and I just end up feeling incredibly foolish. Not to mention my idiotic need to downplay my achievements, in this age of self-marketing, where more is more. When somebody says I've done good work, my first instinct is to say, 'it could have been better,' or to excuse myself on the grounds that I was younger and didn't know much, or some such nonsense, as I've I'm expecting disapproval and haven't yet registered the fact that what I received instead was approbation. Ever heard of the Impostor Syndrome?

I'm working on it. Anyway, I went for my interview, which somehow managed to stretch out over two days because the office happened to be shifting location and everyone was busy. Eventually I had an offer, and I accepted.

Stay tuned to find out what happened next. 😉