Friday, November 9, 2007

Not in the Driver's Seat

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

I Haven't Driven in More than Four Months, but My Desires Have

They drive me to aim toward being:

  • A star in my work
  • Beloved by everyone I meet
  • Funny as a cultural bridge
  • Fully-conscious of the many gorgeous women I see
  • Attentive to Pat
  • Insulting of no one's values
  • Resilient when anyone unwittingly insults mine
  • Universally, recognizably stylish
  • Sated by, rather than a glutton with, the exquisite cuisine here.

Note: I do recognize that particularly the first, second and sixth items are not necessarily always possible.

I never want my desires to drive recklessly, but sometimes they want to. They want to stop using turn-signals; they want to beep the horn as an editorial comment more than to signal danger; they don't want to heed yellow traffic-lights.

Obeying the Signals

Living in another country these past four months, every moment is magnified, and moment by moment, my desires can lead me either to a delightful adventure or set off an episode of metaphoric road-rage in me or in the people I encounter...even if it's just the simmering variety.

I thought of all this because we're spending a day of leisure today, including getting haircuts and doing some clothes-shopping, and maybe even seeing a Hindi movie in an actual movie theater finally.

Today, my desires are at odds with themselves --in their own traffic-jam, or maybe having to repair a blown tire. I want to produce work that is brilliant (that's the star-wish part), particularly now that I'm in the stage of writing a final paper for my independent study. And I also want to be universally, recognizably stylish as well as attentive to Pat, perhaps unfortunately -- today -- in that order.

Getting Purposefully Lost

Every day, I want to be loving, mature, self-aware, discerning and appealing, and I struggle with being so 100% of the time. My mother promises that my intensity will mellow over time, but I do not really believe her. I think of it as earnestness, but my mom calls it what it is, which is intensity. "Sarah, why don't you let yourself live?" she asks me whenever I'm menaced by perfectionism or by any experience that would not torture a typical person.

Suddenly, I feel defensive and want to say that intensity is a two-sided coin -- there's the alienating side and the side that makes me so fully-present and enthusiastic most of the time.

If I can "let myself live" today, maybe I'll be driven in some new directions....

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