Corporate memories after marriage

Published: May 29, 2011
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My crazy corporate life of the last three years will never match the self discovery of the last two months.

If I look back on the three years of my hardcore corporate life, I remember nothing – nothing but the fact that I was busy and going insane.

I remember the times I would look up from my cubicle for some blood circulation and see faces staring at screens that stared back in anticipation — or the times I would look up and my big fat boss would be staring down at me, eyebrow raised with questions mounted on the royal arch.

There were a few moments that provided a semblance of real life, like coming back home and sleeping, or having a few friends smile sympathetically while waiting for a quick snack at the tea station.

As it goes, I was not working on the assembly line or the military. Rather, I was working for one of the best employers of the country, in an environment marked with handbooks of HR values and tight rules on humanism – all elegant words and no practice.

After four years of being in a business school, this was the best possible place to be and the sense of accomplishment was great – mind you there was no sense of appreciation, as there was always a better future to be achieved – the cycle never stopped.

Three years is a long time in a routine like this

Three years of a straight routine in a tight lipped environment is enough to rip you of yourself and tarnish all ambitious future plans that you may still want to pursue. However, not all of us feel ready to give it up since the stakes are high.

You think you will lose retail therapy, little knowing that you will not need retail therapy once you’re out of that community.

You think you will lose your credibility as an accomplished person little knowing that what could possibly be important would be to make people re-believe in you as the person you were before you joined the ranks and the person you’ve become after the ranks gave out.

When I decided to get married, a decision which will turn my life around, I knew for a fact that this would not do, and as a person, I needed to regain myself and my sanity. About two months ago, I did something unimaginable for the go-getters.

I resigned.

I said I wanted a break or in fact, I needed a break.

I wanted to enjoy getting married and I wanted to feel like myself again.

I didn’t want to get to my wedding two hours before the reception and two hours after a sales haggling meeting.

I said I wanted to reach my wedding two months before my wedding reception.

It’s been two months since I left and I have two months for my wedding to start. Two months flew by, considering that my office life left me no time for anything. Being at home, doing nothing, felt like I was always pre-occupied but pre occupied with things that improved my health and my mind.

Two months down and I feel more patient, relaxed and calm. I know where my extended family lives, what their kids’ names are and where my neighbours have come from.

But most importantly, I have learnt that I am a normal human being when I have nothing to do. The paradox always was that thinking of being free felt like a nightmare while being busy was living the nightmare.

Life isn’t something that happens to us when we’re too busy making money.

It’s something that happens to us when we’re conscious of the beautiful sun rays filtering the room when dawn breaks.

It’s when you suddenly realise that your mom is your best friend.

It’s when you have time to listen to your friend while she’s making a decision and give her advice based not just on a logical calculation but also heartfelt compassion.

I missed being alone.

I missed being alive.

I missed thinking with my heart.

And above all, I missed being there since before I was there, but my mind was always somewhere else.

For all those people without financial burdens, it is my genuine advice to learn the simple life, learn life and learn about yourself.

If you can’t take off, take a break, not for a month but a maximum of six months. Let’s not live life once. The best years have gone by making profits for other people. Let’s invest in ourselves.

My crazy corporate life of the last three years will never match the self discovery of the last two months.

So Breathe.

Nida Raza Mohsin

Nida Raza Mohsin

A Business Administration graduate, who entered the corporate world with a vengeance, but her first love, writing has never left her.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.