I come from a family that prides itself in corporate ladder climbing, in being suited and booted, gaining power and status, but combined with my drive to change the world it always meant I felt I wasn’t having the potential impact I could be.
Things never seemed to move fast enough in the corporate world, too many games, too many ego’s, not enough advocacy and altruism. Not enough recognition of people capable of driving change if they had a little support.
I suppose not everyone saw a broken system. Some people were manipulating to maintain power, status and money by ensuring the system worked for them, rather than the people they were meant to be serving. Whether you are a politician or a corporate executive, you are always serving others, but you make the choice to serve yourself.
So I left. Spread my wings, tried new things and met new people. In the process I learnt more about myself, started to see life from a different perspective.
Then I went back. Not by choice, but for financial necessity. I fought it, tried my best to put my interviewer in the hot seat, test their ability to live up to my expectations and requirements. But they still wanted me and I scrawled my signature on a piece of paper with 30 minutes to spare on the deadline.
6 months on, I see two things. To kick butt at the executive level I needed to be a different person. I needed to be more sure of myself, my beliefs and be confident in advocating for that. I needed to be less scared of the other humans and their supposed power. It is having an impact and I am getting to make that difference and be my best self.
In my job I get to speak to lots of people everyday. I love speaking to people, helping them identifying their problems and seeing how I can help. Making connections. Working for an organisation with 2000 people solves your marketing problem, it’s an instant Rolodex of people you can start a conversation with without ever seeming strange.
And yet it is easy for all these conversations to remain shallow. To not be deeper connections. They might give me e buzz of human connection, but really it’s just a coverup. A band-aid for the loneliness. That was my life, the life that has plagued me for years without my knowing it.
I am amazed at how lonely most humans are. I look at everyone else and think how privileged you seem to have a group of friends to do stuff with, who you can have deeper, slightly intellectual conversations with. To ask crazy questions that question the value of the universe and not have someone look at you sideways and wonder what planet you came form.
I envy you.
And yet, you don’t have it altogether either. In fact, you’re just like me. Struggling to understand how to connect with people at a deeper level and feel it, for it to have meaning. To feel like you have friendships that are your structural walls, to bring you joy without defining you.
So now I focus on being content, a contentment which comes from create deeper connections with people.
Less quantity, more quality.