I was reading my old posts again. I never checked anything. I guess by writing the fact that I don’t proof read down makes me feel a little better. Even though I can’t really spell and my grammar sucks, I acknowledged it… It is like a confession. You talk about it, kind of acknowledge it, and everything is therefore okay.
Anyway, 2009 is now gone, and hence I should write something about it.
I was going through facebook, partly because my wife is not in town, I was bored to death, and I was intrigued by some of the photos of my cousins. I was going through their photos, plus those of my other friends, and I realized most people had something unique/special in their photos; photos that somewhat told you what their lives were like. For example, one of my cousins had these stunning pictures of his trip to Africa, and another had pictures of him in scuba diving wet suits. Then of course there were pictures of my brother with his double bass.
Then I looked at my own pictures, and I was trying to imagine what kind of story/picture of me my photos would tell the rest of the world.
Then I started thinking, what would be the photos that would best represent me? What am I good at? What is unique about me? Well, then I realize I already have the photos that represent me: my life with my wife here in Shanghai.
I look at myself and then look at my relatives, and I realize I am perhaps the most … expected. I am a corporate man, and I have a great wife. Yet most of my relatives live very different lives. Most of them aren’t married yet, and all of them don’t really have a traditional job. They are all … well … you can say they are living out their dreams, or they have no idea what they are doing. As for me, I am predictable (in most ways anyway), and somewhat expected.
Anyway, let me get back to the topic.
2009. It was the year of work for me. Finally I had the opportunity to truly experience a recession. I mean I kind of went through a recession back in the early 2000s, but I was in a capacity where I couldn’t really experience it, if you know what I mean. This year, Nike had to lay off a lot of people, and we went through, or are still going through, a major re-org. I, however, was promoted in the mist of all these, and I managed to achieve one of those stupid WHAT-DO-YOU-SEE-YOURSELF-DOING-IN-5-YEARS kind of goal. I was promoted to a director, and it happened 9 months before I originally “planned”. Yea, I guess I should treat it as a milestone or achievement or whatever, but really, it wasn’t that big of a deal. More importantly though, is that now I am finally in this new circle, meaning I am interacting with a whole different group of senior executives, and I have to play the game quite differently. Management, bureaucracy, politics, strategy, however you want to call it. Am I going to enjoy it? I guess it doesn’t matter. The way I see it is, I have worked so hard to come this far, I might as well give it a shot and see what it is like to be an executive. After all, I am the corporate man in the family (the one and only), and I guess I might as well give it a try and see where I land.
However, there was this one thing, or thought, that kept bugging me this year though. This didn’t really bother me before, but it was hitting me quite hard this year: the life outside of work. Everytime I went back home, everyone had kids. There must have been a nation-wide massive orgy or something. The moment the clock reached 00:00:00 2009 everyone took their pants off. In addition, trivial family matters that started to sneak up to you as you grow older. I felt more and more bothered by the fact that whenever I eased off on the work gas pedal, that other part of my life kept showing up. For those who know me, I am a workaholic. It never really occurred to me how much of a workaholic I was, but this year, for whatever reason, it became very clear that I have been ignoring the other part of my life way too much.
So, what’s going to happen in 2010? I don’t know. On the work front, I will be challenged. Just like 2009, or 2008. (2007 was relatively easier, in retrospect). But I think I need to put an effort into that other side of my life. I don’t know how to do it yet (just do it!!), but I will figure it out.