A love letter

Dear Spring,

I have waited for you for so long, I thought you would never come. I have forced myself to be strong all winter, telling myself that this, too, shall pass. It was only a question of time. I was patient, braced myself from the cold winds with courage, embracing the greyness of gloomy days. Then, suddenly, you appeared! You rushed in, unannounced and beautiful, engulfing my whole being with warmth and blue skies.

At first, I was sceptic… I mean, are you for real? Is it really you? Are you here to stay this time? And¬†with your disarming charm and gentle presence, you whispered in my ear: “Yes, it’s me… and this time it’s for real…” And just like that, you won me over once again. I mean, how could anyone ever resist you?

I wish I could sit in your lap all day, in the green grass, among the small white flowers, getting drunk on sunshine and writing prose about you…

I could spend hours marveling at the miracle of you.

Yesterday, I sat in the park in silence, afraid to disturb your magnificence in action, working diligently on each leaf and petal, each child’s laughter, you make love blossom everywhere. I watched dogs run around their masters, giddy with joy, couples kissing, families laughing, youth flashing again in the eyes of old people. Others were just lying around in the grass, reading, doing yoga, playing the guitar. One girl, oblivious to the world, was peacefully meditating…

Dear Spring, look how you transformed the world. I breathe you in, you make my heart sing along with the music of chirping birds. I secretly smile all day, because I know you have finally come again into my life…

I look around, and I feel… could this possibly get any better?

This magnificent tree never fails to grab my attention every day when I walk to work on Serrano
El Capricho Park, I told my friend this spot is where he should propose!
El Capricho Park. Capricho means “whim”, this beautiful park in the east of Madrid is “The Queen’s Whim”, like literally
Flower bed in El Capricho Park
New spot in Retiro Park, I just love these sakuras
Little white flowers in the grass in the office garden

What Next?


Contemplation

I just turned 30, completed the first year of my part time Masters, have a “good” job, am happily married and … just can’t make up my mind on what to do next. And this inability to make up my mind, while my biological clock is ticking, just drives me nuts.

Any sane person would think I’m plain crazy, and maybe I am. Or maybe this is just the product of a life driven by goals after goals. When the goal is not clear anymore, nothing makes sense. School was for good grades to get into a good university, university was to get a good job, and now what is a good job for? “To be comfortable and content for the rest of my life” would be a sensible answer. I guess… Maybe it is “the rest of my life” part that is particularly scary. And the funny thing is, for once, the source of the pressure is not from family or society, but from myself. An unconscious pressure coming from deep down to do… something more with my life…

Having a stable job is a trap in itself. You work hard to achieve it and when you do, it traps you into thinking you cannot survive without the comforts that salary provides you. Will I be able to afford going for my spa days or spending on average Rs500 each time I step into Intermart (which is almost everyday) or indulging in my yearly overseas trips without that salary? Probably not. But it’s not like these are life necessities. Being financially independent is nice, sure. But the price to pay is corporate slavery. One of my colleagues retired this week after 21 years at the company. I looked at her with envy. To retire early is such a sweet, sweet dream. But to do what?

I think I should have a taken a full gap year to devote to discovering myself. To travel. To think and dream and take my time. Of course, I could not afford that, I did not have the money to travel. Or the patience to sit still for a minute. Well, that was then and this is now. I am 30.

And the options are as follows:

  1. have babies (still have to work to feed them),
  2. write a book (if it sells, quit my job),
  3. attempt CFA (least favourite option),
  4. go abroad for further studies (and more importantly a last free ramble in a new country) (if i win the lottery),
  5. find a genius new business idea (if it works, quit my job),
  6. devote my life to charity (still have to work to feed myself),
  7. try to improve my cooking and housekeeping skills (yawn),
  8. travel the world (if i win the lottery).

I sincerely do not know how our parents did it. They say it’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion comes together. The other day I watched a documentary on Daft Punk, how two ordinary guys transformed music from nothing. I want that kind of passion. I doubt whether that’s possible in a finance job. Fulfillment will not come from a 9 to 5 job, that’s as plain as day.

And I hate to settle, so I will keep looking.

Readers Deserve Better

Image

So I haven’t published in a while. I do have a couple of draft posts lined up, but I just could not bring myself to press the publish button this time. When you are a writer, it’s kind of hard to not let your writing be affected by your emotions. So when you feel dark, that darkness gets channeled into the words. And if you are lucky, people “spend money to buy the tears” because they relate to it and it comforts them. That explains how resolutely dark lyrics are so popular.

I mean, I for one, would get bored with someone who was happy all the time. It is just more interesting when that happiness is a rare commodity. It’s economics: the law of diminishing marginal utility. The more you have of something, the less marginal utility it has. Having to work towards that feeling of happiness is just much more gratifying. That makes periods of low morale necessary, because, as they say, the sun will shine brighter after the rain.

And the point of this post is… to reiterate to myself that I am still guardian of what gets published by the Hitchhiker. And I will always choose to publish rich, beautiful and constructive ideas, even if I might be feeling in the depths of despair, this will not affect the unconquerable spirit of this space. So I will endeavour to go to my Dashboard and delete the draft posts “How to end Bitterness”, “Corporate Blues” and “What is the P.O.I.N.T?” just because you readers deserve better, always =)

“There is nothing to writing… you just sit at the typewriter and bleed…” Rightly said, Mr Hemingway.