There’s a passage in Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible that describes how one of the preacher’s daughters eventually fell for and married an African revolutionary, how she worked hard to support him in Zaire and Angola and other places so far removed from her native Georgia. I have in my mind’s eye, a pretty youngRead more about On the Fragility of Our Connections[…]
A quarter-life crisis to be followed by a mid-life crisis to be followed by a late-life crisis to be followed by death Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk and the subsequent movie starring Ed Norton, Jr and Brad Pitt, I think, serves as one of the great stories about modern man’s dissatisfaction with his lot inRead more about Fighting for Substance[…]
The freedom to change our lives, as we ostensibly have in Amrikan society, is largely an illusion without possessing the courage to change our lives. It is believed that roughly 80% of the people on this planet (if not more) do not like their jobs. But they find a way, some way, somehow, to becomeRead more about Having the courage to change[…]
I still go to dawats, those Bangladeshi dinner parties where the men prattle on about religion, politics or football, the women discuss jewelry, religion, politics or football and the children run around like chickens with their heads cut off… and discuss football. (Hey, we live in Pittsburgh). By this point in my life, I’m oftenRead more about Communities of the Third Culture[…]
I never get tired of take-off. In 5 years of steady and sometimes mind-numbing travel at Cerner, I got tired many things about the vagabond lifestyle. I got tired waking up at 4:00 AM on Mondays, getting home too late on Thursday, living out of a suitcase, surprised friends when I turned up at theRead more about Rocketman[…]
… The Vagabond Class and the Third Culture Kid
I sometimes wonder how the instability of my 5 years with Cerner has shaped my life in a way that just doesn’t happen to people with “normal” lives. I spent 5 years leading a somewhat vagabond life. Actually, moreso than being a vagabond, my lifestyle was geared towards a sense of ‘always moving on’. Nothing I did, none of my decisions were geared towards any sense of permanence. My oldest sister, who is a true vagabond, seemingly has more permanent possessions and connections than I do.
Even though I built a house two years ago, I considered it a mostly financial decision. I still do. It’s a house; is it a home. It took almost 7 months of sitting on the floor in my game room before I bought a couch, not just because I wanted to get a good one but because I felt almost terrified of the idea of furniture, which (to me) symbolizes the idea of being grounded. I’m not opposed to be grounded, per se, but I’m very unfamiliar with the concept.
I’ve been working in Pittsburgh sans travel for about four months now and I still feel somewhat strange in not waking up at 4:00AM on Monday to drive to the airport. Losing work-from-home Fridays has been tough. I miss per diem and I’m only now starting to cook as often as I should like because I’m still used to eating out Mon-Thurs. I don’t miss the work but I still find the ‘normal’ life to be an odd construct.
A friend of mine back at Cerner recently decided to relocate out to Abu Dhabi, where I took 3 working trips when I was at the company. She’s picking up her entire life and moving to the ultimate capitalist wet dream. She’ll get a pretty phat relo package, a housing stipend, pay no income taxes and will have the opportunity to work in Egypt and travel through the Mideast, Africa and Asia, if she chooses. She describes the move as being the exact type of change that she needed. Had I not gotten this job at PNC, I think I would have up and moved to Abu Dhabi as well. Read more about The Terrors of Owning Furniture …