FishDreamer scribbles: It ain't over yet.

Tuesday, 9 March 2004

Ponderous... Really Ponderous

So much going on in my head, and I can't decide what's worth mentioning and what isn't. So here you go, something vaguely resembling a brain dump.

I had one of those moments last night, a revelation about myself and my life, and I thought I'd share. I'm still reading L.M. Montgomery's journals, and at one point thoughts of how much she felt and saw and lived her life drifted through my head. And with that came a feeling, like a vision without the visual part, of me towards the end of my years, an old lady who has difficulty getting around. Me, sitting in a comfy chair, still worried about all these things that I can't affect, that may not even happen. Worry, worry, worry, at the end of a life spent focusing on bad things that might happen instead of living in the moment and enjoying the wonderful things that still exist all around me.

I don't want to be her. I want to enjoy my life, and to be at the end of it someone with lots of great memories and stories to tell. Someone who has lived her life to the fullest. I used to be like that, but somewhere in the last few years or so I got sidetracked and became cautious and fearful. I'm not going to do that anymore. Well, I'm going to try anyway. I'm going to work my way back to who I want to be and the life I want to live.

I do think last week's Cancer Epiphany and the snowshoeing trip helped, because I realized my not facing that part of myself was holding me back, and then I went and spent three hours in the woods with good friends and felt so happy afterwards. So, I wrote about this vision in my paper journal (yes, I do keep one although it's not at all regular) and I intend to follow up with this.

I want to keep myself honest about the moments when I retreat, and the ways I work forwards. That's the only way I will actually do it, and not become that sad old woman with a lifetime of fear behind her.

So it does actually look like we'll be taking a trip to Hawaii next month. I'm all kinds of excited; for some reason I didn't think it was going to come off. But it is, and I can't wait to show Mr D where we lived when I was little, and take him over to the sushi shop and the Chinese restaurant in Honolulu where I went when we lived on Bishop Street, and to Waikiki and Hanauma Bay and Hale Iwa. And to Bellows, my favorite beach. And Mongolian at the base. And just to be away, in a place where I'm comfortable, in the tropical warm with the sand and the breezes off Kaneohe Bay.

He's never been to Hawaii, and I'm kind of hoping that showing him some of where I come from will help him understand me better. Not in any major way, just in the way I feel like I got when he took me to Iowa and I got to know his family. I'm not Hawaiian and we only lived there for four years when I was little, and then my parents moved back when I was in college. But I do think it shaped some of who I am. I'll take him to the beaches where we went when I was little, and we'll have teriyaki and dim sum and mongolian barbecue at the same place we went when I was five.

But for the most part, my plans involve beaches and doing the tour around the whole island. My parents have a spare car, so we don't have to worry about that part. Maybe we'll do the Arizona Memorial, and maybe not. I just want to go relax and enjoy it with him.

Of course, so far as I know we don't actually have tickets yet, so I'm afraid to post this in case it doesn't happen. But! No more fear! If it doesn't happen now, it will happen later. Right?

And for more excitement about my epiphanies and personal philosphy, it's goal-writing time at work. This is fine and good, I like taking stock and coming up with things to do for the next year to move forward in my job. However, all of this stock-taking and musing on Life has me wondering if my current career goals (such as they are) apply anymore.

It becomes ever more clear to me that if I continue working as I have, I will end up in management. I have too much of a long view and a relationship-building orientation to stay where I am, as an individual contributor. I don't want to be a manager, but I wonder if at some point my desire to improve the system will compell me in that direction anyway.

I also look something like a project manager, which is another thing I don't want to do. Yeah, they earn shitloads of money. But they also are responsible for everything with none (or little) of the authority needed to actually get shit done. I don't need that kind of hassle, I've already been there and I don't like it.

It's been my stated intention to get more technical, and climb up that side of the corporate ladder. But I still don't have a clear idea of what I mean by "more technical," and without that it's going to be pretty hard to get there. I don't have a technical degree, which will also hold me back. And combining technology and management? No way! I'm not qualified, and my gender would be a serious impediment there.

Not to imply my company discriminates based on gender, I wouldn't say that at all. But a pair of tits is still a liability in the world of technology, and I'd have to be truly naive not to see that. And it still doesn't answer where I might want to go from here, so I've got some more ponderin' to do.

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