Rambling September series II

Quarter-life crisis?

I do not know what I want to do – forget about life 20 years down the line, I am not even clear about my life a year from now or say even tomorrow.

Do I want to wake up very reluctantly every day of my life at 7 in the morning, get ready with my eyes half closed and run to the office to reach in time for the first meeting? And then, do what I am told, work my ass off to make money for someone else and then crash back to my home before the entire cycle repeats!!

The answer is obviously a simple ‘no’! But is there an alternative? Can I do something so that I love my work – do it at my own pace (that I am sure will be fine if I am passionate about it)?

But that needs some motivation and moving my lazy ass – googling and researching for energy startups maybe and before that also updating my resume!  But what am I passionate about?

Rambling September series I

9-14-2011 2 am

Its incredibly amazing how quickly time flies – its almost shocking to see that the last rambling was almost 2 months back. Stuff has happened , things are moving – some stuff taking a positive turn while some not so; while many taken the wrong path after starting in the right direection.

Firstly, I wanted to mention the laptop I bought just a couple of weeks after the July ramblings – not made the best use of it yet, but looking back and understanding the big craving I had for it, I am glad I did myself a favor – the August me owed it to the July me. I have downloaded Photoshop on it; but then realized how I am going to use it if I do not have the ‘hours’ and ‘hours’ at length to spare like sometimes in IIT. And more importantly, what would be the motivation behind it? In IIT, there was always some bigger objective pushing me towards providing that final last touch.

Work-wise also, 

Six months – Living in Philly

July 2011

Its been a long time since I posted here – lots and lots has happened since then. It has not been all rosy but it has also not all been stone-cold. There have been several troughs and crests; and I think I feel enriched by all the experience.

Though it feels like eternity since I have been living in Philadelphia, but considering the stuff I have done and experience in this period, six months is not a long time. So for the background, in the last couple of months of 2010, I helped organize and prepare for Nitin Bhaiya’s marriage that brought a warm new person, Pallavi, to our family. To say that the days after their marriage were hectic; while getting ready for my move to US and saying good-bye to all my friends would be an understatement.

July Ramblings IV/IV

On 7-21-2011

Digging the past for a better future

Lately I see myself running into the past quite often (mainly blogs/emails/chats) – into the world of IIT – and it practically kills me as I pore over those endless or even two liner chats – the best of friendships forged in the not so comfortable environment.

But I am not the one to linger on the past for long and instead want to learn from it to help me in the future. So the exercise of walking down the memory lane is aimed to generate ideas and stuff that I loved to do and maybe enrich my future as well. I was as big a procrastinator back then as I am now; but poring over the past made me realize and understand that there were definitely a few things that would stir my mind and I could continue to do that for hours.

Lets cross out the few obvious things from there – studying, exercise, waking up, hmmm… nothing else coming to mind right now.

So excluding plain idling (endless conversations/movies etc. with friends), what is the other stuff I did? I organized events big time – rendezvous, tnp etc… so other than general time and project management skills, I am not sure I want to go into the event management career right now; though I am still loving the part of organizing events at office. Lets keep that aside for this discussion.

Next what I remember is reading! I could read for countless hours – if I started a book, I would practically finish it in one go. And boy, did I read? At that time, I remember having the feeling of not reading much; but going back and thinking about it, I did read a lot of books (though mostly due to the numerous literature courses I took) considering the amount of other stuff I had to always do. I am actually amazed at the amount and kind of work I did back in IIT. Anyways, reading books (novels/short stories) is something I should start doing asap – whatever the fuck I want to do in future should not stop this.

I wrote – not as much as I would have ideally liked to – mostly blogs in the later years compared to fiction in the first couple of years. This is something I don’t typically crave to do – I think much faster than I write – but thoughts usually blur and repeat and stop making sense after sometime. And thats where penning down the thoughts is really helpful – it creates an anchor around which the thoughts can revolve and more importantly help my mind to pause and reflect more clearly. So yes, I should write more often and let my imagination flying again – this July series of ramblings is hopefully a step in the right direction.

Alright next was graphic designing – oh – how I could sit on the Photoshop for hours , working on a single image and trying to create a design. The feeling of satisfaction after you complete the design and then sit back to look at something you created is indescribable. And then having it appreciated by friends and team members is always the icing on the cake. Ok, so this is something I really want to do as a hobby I guess. Need to buy Mac asap; and Photoshop my time away. 

July Ramblings III/IV

On 7-17-2011

Working on-site at AstraZeneca has atleast crossed off one option from my career list – not working in a typical corporate environment till I am atleast 40 and hopefully never. Before a future me assumes any definition, let me explain what I mean here – having a 2 month stint at Rohm/Haas for internship and now at AZ, a boring work environment where people are mostly working in their cubicles with very relaxed work schedule allowing for regular ‘take-off’ time and other perks, or very simply put, something that doesn’t excite me in the night before I sleep and dread the morning.

Now consulting in general or working in MarketLive specifically, is a much better work environment and I am so glad I got work in such a great environment in the first phase of my career. However, I realize that the organization as a whole does not value that. They consider my work in MarketLive not worthy enough of what an OR associate should do; and are almost forced me to work on-site to gain ‘relevant OR experience’. In hindsight, that is BS; but helps me realize the value of ML and the amazing stimulating work environment it created in which to work.

However, if ZS as a company does not value that experience and my interest in doing similar projects, should I continue to work here? What other options do I have? How should I explore other opportunities? What are the things I loved in IIT other than procrastinating and time-pass – photoshop (buy a personal laptop please as a favor to yourself) and writing; organizing stuff and working in teams; table-tennis; computer games (AOE etc.)?

July Ramblings II/IV

At 5am on 7-16-2011

Ahh… it feels good to be awake at 5; and being intoxicated not because of alcohol but probably lack of sleep. Last time I think that happened was during my last year of grad school. And I am so glad for it as it helps to actually unclutter my mind a bit.

Lets start with the questions:
1) So do I want to continue at ZS? For how long?
2) Do I want to do an MBA? If yes, when? If in 2013, then when do I give GMAT? And when do I start preparing? What about other stuff?
3) USA or India? Thats the eternal question but I think its too complex to answer now. Frankly, I do want to go back and give something back to India. I don’t know when and how. Maybe I join an NGO for sometime and just work there. Or maybe go back after a few years and just work there. I think going right now is a better idea – maybe look for startups working in the social sector – email prabha sinha about his solar energy work there (GreenLight Planet Inc)
4) Do I continue to concern myself in getting more actively involved in fun stuff? Or do I let things be and focus more on career. Frankly, things are fine for now – I play soccer/dodgeball once a week, go out for movie/dinner/drinks with my co-workers once in a while, play tennis with my brother/cousin once in 2 weeks, go hiking (should do more of this) and going for a run atleast 2 days a week. I do a lot of cooking (its so therapeutic and I love it) – I am amazed how far I have developed my skills in just a few months. Plus all the household work – paying the bills, laundry, ironing, washing the dishes and vacuuming the apartment. That shouldn’t leave a lot of time but to be frank again, I do have awfully lot of spare time still left in a day that I spend watching TV or simply browsing. And thats what I want to change big time. Instead I can read if not write – start studying for GMAT, just go to the gym upstairs.

Anyways, long story short, stop thinking and actually start doing stuff. Write emails, dont worry about responses or what people think. Don’t worry too much about the future and do stuff that makes you happy; and not simply because of peer pressure. 

July Ramblings I/IV

On 7-14-2011

I am just going to ramble right now! I just want to pen down whatever is going in my head these days and hopefully give me a better picture of where I stand and more importantly, where I need to go from here! Time is passing by quickly and I have to make decisions, do something, take initiative rather than just letting time pass. There are too many things – thoughts are running faster than I can write!

Life is full of ironies – however hard the effort I seem to put in to reach the next step in my life in the hope of relaxing and enjoying the new phase, I am made to realize the fleeting nature of the existing state of mind/body and required to keep putting in more effort to again chase those fleeting moments of happiness. Okay, I kinda understand what we are chasing are those moments of happiness, a highly personalized definition I might add; but is that strenuous effort required to achieve it and to be put it out more broadly, can we not pause our lives and still be happy? I guess not – however uncomfortable change might be, I seem to be never satisfied with the current existence. And the problem seems to be expectations or maybe in other words, dreams!

I have never lived any of my ideal dreams – maybe not even close I think – but still, probably like every other human being, I create those dreams and trudge through the present in the hope of achieving those dreams and living them happily one day.

My mom says this that I have always been like this, that is whenever I crib to her – being never satisfied and cribbing about life. She asks me to live my life – being happy and content of what you have!