2016: America, you’re hard work, but you’re good for me

Ramit Sethi’s Law of Stagnant Skeptics: Better to dive in full-force — even if you make a few bad choices — than to sit on the sidelines and analyze every last option to death.  The point is to develop a bias for action, not for analysis paralysis.

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Denver, Colorado. January 2017

2016 has been a turbulent year: I learned more lessons within the last year than I’ve ever learned in my life, when all radical changes in accommodation, job, study, travel, health, finance, relationship, (and the presidential election?) appear all at once and put my values into test. I agreed, I disagreed, I learned, then I unlearned. I came to know what I wanted, then came to know my bottom line. I came to terms with people come and go. I said hello, I welcomed new people, then I watched them go. By the end of 2016, I’m still entangled in new moves that I initiated in the last week of 2016. Though I still strongly believe in Timing, my viewpoint was altered a bit in December 2016. I believed in work and dedication, and by that I mean I am intentional about whether I want to work something out or let it go. I’ve run some experiments to a point where my hope was dashed. Had I know the outcome in advance, I still wouldn’t do anything differently.

Since I base my personal well-being on my emotions, I always keep track of my emotional level and tie it to the quantifiable facts. I listened to my hunch and it did me good. I haven’t published on my blog for more than 3 months, but I have kept most of my writing for myself. Not so ironically, the more I learn, the less I publish.

Most of the time people ask if I miss home, I say I don’t, I genuinely don’t. I choose to live abroad to define my own path, and I am studying what I have set out to do, so it’s actually liberating not having some family duties stringing along. I have no family in U.S, which means I can easily go on a trip on a whim, trusting that I will make connections on the road. Some trips are more challenging than the other, sometimes the situation got intense, but I didn’t give up that easily. Many times it crossed my mind, that wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to visit? Other times I just shrugged it off. At the end of the day, I will learn my lesson and have a good time. And make it count.

I solved my biggest puzzle last year by getting over the need to define my cores. I know what intrigues me, what hurts me, what scares me and what moves me forward. I know where I am, know my personality, I know where I want to be, know how I want to grow in several aspects of life. Most amazingly, I’m glad that I’m now not only able to articulate my path but also see through the trajectory and collect my ‘toolkit’ along the way.

If there’s one thing that I found either a blessing or a curse about my time in U.S, is that I have my time limit. In April 2016, I got my summer internship offer. During the summer, I got ready for another job in the fall. In December, I got caught up in the company planning for 2017 and carried it on till May 2017. I wish I could associate my passion or my interest in the industry with my workload and my persistence in committing to my schedule, but the truth is less sexy than that. With all the housing hustles, my eye problem and my paperwork, I got no other alternative apart from Eating that frog. Being constantly on the move makes me roll out my goals quickly and more effectively.

And when I start to feel I’ve had enough
And my head is feeling kind of rough
And even thinking is tough
When you’re hard work but you’re good for me.

I didn’t come to America expecting an easy life. (or at least, it’s silly to think that America is an easier place than another country in Europe). The ’employment at will’ system in America can put you out of work in no time. It emphasizes meritocracy and luck. Lots of luck, especially for foreign employees. But after all, I believe that I couldn’t have grown that much without the challenges of America.
America, you’re hard work, but you’re good for me.

 

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