Thursday, October 22, 2015

Identity crisis

I graduated. Months ago now. I was good at school. Always have been. And, it's taken me one train journey with a head cold to unravel and start finding meaning in all my supposedly logical and rational (note to self: redundant choice of words, sacrificing efficiency for emphasis has become a thing) decisions since birth. Or more precisely - from the time I picked the red pencil in my right hand and not my left. Yes. Seriously. Why didn't I use my left? Or, wait, why am I not ambidextrous?

So, back to the original point - now that I am out of school, what will define me? Who will the rule-abiding, prof-and-parent pleasing, sincere student that was good at math and motor design now be, in the real world? What will her real job be? To be honest, I have been at a real job for over five real months. Gotta say, the real world is pretty fun. It has its moments of real pain (and paperwork. Immigration Canada! Give me my freaking freedom back!) but mostly I really love the people I work with. Sure, I stick out like a sore, brownie thumb and my accent officially belongs in no man's land (when your friends from India think you have a N.American accent and your friends in Canada think you have a hint of a British accent and your Indian friends in N.America think your accent is from Bangalore and you think it in fact, is still very much Indian ... that's when you know your accent needs asylum status in no man's land) - BUT, I am having fun. So, what's with the whole identity crisis mode? Is it induced by the nausea of a closed train compartment dancing precariously on its wheels as it moves forward, exacerbated by the fact that my small lungs are competing for precious oxygen with large lungs of mostly male and slightly bulky strangers? Maybe!

But, I don't think it's my mild claustrophobic nature slowly showing up three hours late on a four hour train ride. (Don't get me wrong - I am grateful for the non-punctuality). What then is the cause here? I did graduate University once before and worked for a "Big 4" consulting firm before I didn't know who I was or what I was doing and started on a journey to design motors half way across the world where a white, pesky thing covers the ground 8 months of the year. The journey, of course, didn't stop with designing motors but led on to design toilets. Yep, you read that right. Toilets. And, now, I talk about toilets and telecom products in everyday conversation with black coffee and whole grain bagels. How did this happen?

WAIT! Would something else have happened if I had picked the blue pencil with my left hand?