one of the things i love about visiting my parents is the welcome i get from the 2 dogs ms sophie and jacqui. they are always so happy to see me – so much in fact that i only greet jacqui outside because she widdles every time – and this complete unconditional love is so wonderful. i often wish i could have a dog as well, but it wouldn’t be fair, i’m not home enough in the evenings. and while a cat would be ok, i’m not sure i’m enough of a cat person. having another presence in the home would great – and i’m absolutely not prepared to let that be a goldfish, bird or hamster…
of course, my parents also give me that love, which is why i like to visit them too. i don’t think i pop in often enough sometimes, and tell them how much they mean to me.
i became aware of that again today, for 2 reasons:
a very close friend of mine’s dad is in intensive care with pneumonia… he’s had a very poor spell lately, in and out of hospital. she’s had an up & down relationship with him, but when it comes down to it, that love is there.
a colleague-friend of mine had her engagement party last night. her gran died yesterday afternoon; but the party went on. she said she wasn’t very close to her, and she was ok. but today i’ve been sms’ing with her and she is obviously very sad. at 23, this is the first family member of her’s to die. so here i have been giving advise on how she can deal with it. it’ something i enjoy doing – being there for others and helping them.
it can be lonely though if it feels that others don’t help you back. which may be caused by my stubbornness to ask for help. because the few times that i have asked for help, it has been great how forthcoming friends and family are. but i digress…
my helping this friend of mine, brought so many issues to the fore in my head again. seeing as i enjoy helping others like this, should i not have gone into psychology? but having had an aversion to it for so many years, it was not an option for me. not that it’s ever too late.
it also made me realize that i am grown up. i don’t know about you. but i don’t feel like i think i should feel at 35. it sounds older, and that i should be so much more… maturer? knowledgeable? in a way i still feel like i did when i was in my early twenties. yes, i know more, but how should i be behaving?
i clearly remember the day i realized i was now grown-up. it was in my first apartment after moving out of house in cape town, and i was having a few friends over for dinner. i had set the table & cooked dinner, and while i was pouring red wine that i had bought into glasses that belonged to me on a dining-room table that was mine, in a flat that i was renting, all this for my friends, that i realized that i was grown up. it was quite a lightbulb moment.
i had a similar one tonight. i’m sitting on my couch in the house that i own (ok, co-own with the bank) and apart from sms’ing life advice to a younger friend, i have a beautiful lamp in the corner of the room, am listening to bizet on the cd player, and reading a book about levi’s in south america, and what the usa has done in those parts of the world. i don’t know if i’ve described it well enough, but for someone who is still not sure they have found the job they wanna do for the rest of their life, it all feels disconcertingly grown up.
and that’s something else i was thinking about backstage today. in between pressing the doorbell buzzer for the antics on stage (which are much improved, and forging ahead beautifully!).
i had had another emergency call on my phone from a colleague, and it made me think again about the corporate world versus the non-corporate world. until i started work at my current company in ’06, i had only worked in small offices of 3 to 5 people. in one case i even thought i owned part of the business, and worked accordingly.
i had always been afraid of the corporate world. of it sucking the morals out of you. of you becoming a only a number. a number in pursuit of bigger numbers with a currency in front. for the corporation, not necessarily yourself. so when i started with this one, i was hesitant, but interested. and, it being a newish company, it still had some of the “family values” of a smaller startup.
but as it has grown by about 50% in my time there, so the dynamics have changed. i find us being encouraged to chase the bigger profits. i found an employee number i didn’t realize i had on the new-look pay-slip last month. occasionally i find myself feeling a little uncomfortable with this or that.
don’t get me wrong, there are distinct advantages to the corporate world. i have learnt a hell of a lot. i like the stability of a regular monthly income. i like the fact that i have had a bonus 2 years running. i have made some friends there. and i have had other managers to bounce ideas off of.
but what i was thinking today was – which do i really want? that which i described above? or a life where i am doing more of what i love, even if i need to learn some of it (and i do love learning). but where the stability (ultimately: monthly money) is maybe a little lower. i think i would love to earn a salary by writing, doing photography, incorporating some form of travel, just for starters.
once of the reasons i have so terribly enjoyed being in the theatre again since a year ago, is that the people you interact with are so much more interesting than the ones in the corporate workplace. there are fascinating conversations, debates. a sense of creating something together. and yes, the latter can be found at the office as well, to a degree, but it is different.
i know that i am fairly risk averse when it comes to finances, which is probably a big reason for never having ventured out on my own. but isn’t life about doing what you want, rather than only what you need to? i find clock-watching pay-slip waiting employees the saddest. they spend 8 hours a day in a place they really don’t want to be. only for a paycheck on the 25th. even if i don’t necessarily like what i am doing, i find i must throw myself into it, so that i have a sense of ownership and purpose.
ok, those are just some thoughts, and i don’t want to depress myself tonight, because i have had a good day, even if it was mostly ‘work’ of some sort at the theatre.
what bugged me today: nothing really J
what i learnt today: how to set up water for a tap to function on stage
what i am grateful for: for my parents & brothers – i love you.