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Something strange happens to me last night: An emotional experience that I don’t know how to express

December 12th, 2008 · 4 Comments

I have to write this down. I’ve never felt like this emotionally.

I had a long day yesterday. There were quite a bit of office politics I had to deal with at work. On top of that, my company announced that it would increase the insurance premium that we pay out-of-packet by a disgusting 200%. Another colleague was let go without any advance notice. My employer is still growing from a revenue perspective, but is cutting cost and staff to prepare for the rainy days ahead. Sometime I feel that we’re playing the survivor game in the office because you never know who will be let go next.

The first snow storm of the year was coming to our area. After dinner, although I was tired, I had to rush to the grocery store to get enough food and supplies for the family. When you have two young kids in the family, you want to be prepared for bad weather.

Enough said. After my wife and I put the two kids to bed, I was tired. I sat in the sofa and channel surfed. Channel 9, the PBS channel, was having one of those funding raising programs. It’s showing Hit Man David Foster And Friends.

I rarely listen to music these days. I’m a news junkie and always listen to NPR news when I drive. I didn’t even know who David Foster was. 🙂 But, the music was so great that it immediately grabbed my attention. It’s absolutely amazing and beautiful music! Even a music layman like me appreciate the music. 🙂

But, as I was listening to the music I start having this nostalgic feeling. The songs were old songs: Bridge Over Troubled Water, Somewhere, Because You Loved Me, etc. — these are old songs I used to listen when I was in high school and college.

The music suddenly brought me back to my college days. I remembered how energetic, curious, innocent, inspired, and hopeful I was. I remembered how excited I was after writing my first computer program in the LISP/Scheme programming language. I remembered those late-night political debates with my fellow floor mates in the dorm. I remembered those all-nighters I spent in the computer lab. I remember how curious I was about new subjects such as genetic programming, financial engineering, and bio-informatics.

In the past decade since I left college, I have worked at both large companies and start-ups. I went through the dotcom bubble. I went back to a prestigious business school to get my MBA. I became more politically astute at work. I learned to be tough when dealing with bullies at work. I’ve somewhat managed to be a competent professional in my chosen area. I start moving up the ladder.

But, somehow, there is this emptiness and a lost sense of purpose. I know at the bottom of my heart, I’m not enjoying what I’m doing. No matter what title I have and how much money I make, I’m not doing something that I truly believe in.

I know I like to write. I like to teach. I like to help people on their career and personal issues. I don’t want to work for anyone else. I want to choose who I’m working with. I want to treat people the way I want to be treated.

I have a family to support. I have a mortgage payment to pay. I want to achieve financial independence. But, somehow, in the past few months, I’m starting to lose my fears. I know I need to change and pursue what really matters to me. It’s going to be hard. But, I’ll make it work. It’ll be better for me and my family.

I started writing this blog in late August right before our second child was born. At that time, I felt this irresistible urge to start writing and sharing. I’m glad I did. This blog has been an creative outlet for me. It helps me to record my experience, and organize my thoughts. It offers me an opportunity to be myself.

Now, the music has started. There is no way back. I’ll continue to write, to share, and to create a way for myself to work on something I truly believe in, while allow me to provide for my family. It won’t be easy. But, whenever I remember my emotion from listening to the Hit Man music, I know that I’m determined to listen to my own heart.

Tags: Frustration@Work · Learning and Growing · Work/Life Balance

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sumana Harihareswara // Dec 13, 2008 at 9:17 am

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m not much of a music listener either, but there have been moments when music really moved me and I couldn’t even describe the emotion or inspiration I got from it. One of the moments when language fails.

  • 2 Sharon // Dec 13, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    You may also enjoy his (David Foster) book. It’s his memoir and he talks of doing what you want, what you believe in. For an intellectual such as yourself, there may be too much fluff (various entertainment figures), but his bottom line is that he did what he loved, his passion, his way and after 40 years in the music business, he’s done quite well.

    I just stumbled onto your blog (I am a fan of Foster and have a news/blog alert with his name). From the little I have read, you should pursue your passions. Will it be difficult? At times, but your passion will keep you going. Don’t give up on a dream.

  • 3 Boon // Sep 21, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    You blog has articles that are very inspirational and helpful in my quest for an MBA application and your honest personal thoughts are invaluable for my self reflection. What ever you're going through, stay strong and pray hard.
    Thank you so much and God Bless.

    -B, NYC

  • 4 louisvuittonoutlet // Jan 27, 2010 at 8:08 pm


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