I hit a professional low in the last quarter. I am not sure how much of it was mid-life crisis, and how much of it was the actual trigger that led me down a spiral of negativity. My favorite law of physics is that energy can neither created nor destroyed, it can only change forms. So when I hit a negative patch, I try to change the form of this energy and give it a positive spin. Convert anxiety into action, or negative thoughts into inspiration. I learnt this when I lost my father. I can keep going down to the abyss, or I can use the surge of emotions as a super power, and propel myself upward, and take that view of the bird, soaring above the ground, watching the minute details that consume me, from a different, more elevated perspective.
That’s what I ended up doing this time too. The anxiety generated by the low I was experiencing led me to turn the tide, with a nudge from a friend, to find my self worth, outside of my current environment. So I went through a few rounds of interviews at the likely suspects of Silicon Valley and validated myself. It was a good experience. Quite positive and reassuring. And also made me realize how I am a different person now than I was five years ago. I realized that my experiences in the last four and a half years have yielded some wonderful stories that I joyfully narrate, with a lot of fondness and passion. I like interviews. You get to connect with the work you have done in a very different way. I also found it quite surprising that my wants have evolved. They are more people driven than task driven.
My experience led to a renewed sense of appreciation for what I do today. Part of it, is that this is my choice, and not a result of a sequence of events where one thing led to the other. For some strange reason I have felt that way about my career at Google. I am always very sensitive to the play of choice and chance. I don’t disregard chance. But let’s say I am immature enough to still want to control my destiny and want it to be of my choosing.
Of course the reason that I went into a professional low was resolved. It was annoying to be completely helpless. And even more unnerving to see so much effort being spent towards fixing a problem that should not have occurred in the first place. I hate adding to people’s to do lists. If at all I like to help take things off of their lists. But it was needed. And the outcome was worth it. Or so I hope.
With that behind me, I want to focus on a few short term and long term goals. Somewhere in the middle of the year I came up with this whim and fancy of starting a children’s magazine. I validated the idea with a bunch of like-minded friends. [Sidebar, I love them all for their enthusiasm, skepticism, and borderline paranoia in some cases :)]. I think this is feasible. I just need to get down to scoping out the market and figure out how to kick it off. I have enlisted some true brains for this, and recruitment is in progress for more. I don’t know how to jump start it. But we will figure it out. I want kids to write and feel proud of their content. And I want to give them an option, to read, a real magazine, written by them, and for them, instead of yet another app on their tablet. I know i am fighting against technology here. I have no fear of failure. I am just going to do it.
On another note, lots of festivals, and holiday cheer coming up in Q4. So much to plan and so little time. But at least my mind is relatively at peace, and I can go back to enjoying things that I love to do – like bringing people together and weaving a fabric of love, trust and sharing that we can all use in copious amounts in today’s trying times.
To hope and joy…
Let’s get going!