Thursday, May 26, 2011

Random things

I talked to Dad everyday for almost a week when he was traveling. It so worked out that he was out of town on his birthday too so I could wish him on his birthday. It was very very nice. Made us even closer, made me trust him and love him even more.

I had never in my life thought about how life would have been if my birth mother would never have gotten divorced etc. Because I was content in my life with my family - when I was in Mumbai, I could pretend I was not the child of divorced parents, I was a part of a healthy normal happy family. So I never imagined hypothetical situations until now....After getting to know my Dad, I see both of them individually and think about how awesome they would have been together. They started out as a great match for each other and then it was cut short cruely. What happened, could it have been avoided, who was at fault here? Who knows? Sometimes I think destiny dictates behavior? Sometimes even though it might seem like you are this close to breaking up or falling out, you magically hold on somehow and get through the storm. And sometimes it doesnt take much to break apart.

I had never asked any of my family anything about the divorce. I asked my Dad all the questions I had and I am grateful to him for answering every single of my questions. He told me the facts, didnt get into details or blame anyone or defend himself. They were together for 3-4 months after which my grandma took her away. He didnt talk about what was so bad that she had to leave. I dont know if he clearly knows. My parents dont know. One person can tell me but I dont dare ask her. And then why does it matter now, after all these years. They have all moved on, atleast on the surface of things. I have my own theory but it doesnt matter anymore..

I am truly blessed though. Things could have gone horribly wrong for me, every step I took could have led me to a different destination, but somehow everything turned out right for me. Just for that I will try not to crib/whine about routine stresses or worries from now on. God has been with me, watched me and done whats best for me on the bigger milestones of my life. I should look at the bigger picture and not sigh over the smaller obstacles.

I have booked tickets to travel to India in Dec. I told him about it, I will not ask to meet. Its his decision. I had brought up the topic a couple of times before and everytime he seemed hesitant, said that he wants everyone to be happy with our reunion and we should be patient. What is the motivation for his family to get excited about me? He will not bring up the topic or discuss any of his feelings with them, they do not ask questions, life goes on as usual. Who likes to stir up drama in their smooth life? Why would they bend over backwards and accept this additional member into their family? I can think of many reasons as to why not? But there are equal reasons to why should they? So I will not press on that matter. When the day comes, that he cannot bear the thought of not meeting me, when I am in the same city, he will take the steps required to make sure his wife and kids are happy and welcoming.

I am going to meet G :) Anyone else around to meet in Pune? :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

And we talked...

My birth father (Dad) and me, for the first time ever in our lives! He is traveling and is away from his family and can talk at length and freely.

It felt nice, my heart was racing when I called him. But then the tension dissipated. I cannot wait to talk to him again.

But it still feels like having an affair with a married man. He cannot talk to me from his city because he doesnt want to chat in front of his wife and kids. He is unsure of their reaction. I dont know where we are headed. We are so close virtually and now we are talking. If I visit India, will we meet? Where would we meet? I dont know.

For now, I have decided not to dwell over all those things and enjoy the present. I had never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be in touch with him and here I am, talking to him.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday evenings..

Why are Sunday evenings so boring? There is nothing planned, there is an unsaid tension - get ready for the week ahead. If you have a boring/stressful/hated job, then Sunday evenings are unhappy because one stresses about the upcoming week. If you do not have a job then Sunday evenings are unhappy because you think of the coming week and the job applications you need to do.

I know what I want and need in life but its not in my hands. I know what I have and can do in my life and should act on it. Primarily to stay happy. And not to focus on what I dont have but to focus on the million things I do have and am taking for granted. My two beautiful healthy children!!

And to remind myself over and over, I will get a job, I will get a job I like soon.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

So I quit

Hello Mr.ABC:

It’s been a little over two weeks since I have joined XYZ. I had accepted this role with great enthusiasm for two reasons – the job profile and the opportunity to work with you. Both still hold true and I have great respect and admiration for you after having worked with you in these 2 ½ weeks.

But I have young children and work life balance is very important for me at this stage in life. I feel that it might not be possible to maintain that balance at XYZ.

I have worked long hours and weekends when required, at my previous employer too, but the company culture was more accommodating to working mothers and they allowed lee way for work from home, flexible hours and compensatory days off/leaving early during downtime. I do not feel that I can expect a similar culture at XYZ Finance; maybe my perception is incorrect. The long commute also adds a bit of restriction on my timings – I can either come in early or stay late but cannot do both, on a regular basis.

I don’t know an easier way to say this but I think I should resign from XYZ. I am indeed very sorry to leave and think that I would have been able to provide value and learn in return. I have enjoyed working with Paul very much and had picked up aspects of the FP&A process, created a desk top procedure for the admin budget and forecasting procedure etc in my short time here.

Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused to you. I hope there are no hard feelings and I would love to have been able to work for you. Maybe our paths will cross again in the future someday.

Could you please advise me as to my next steps? I will be at home tomorrow and can be reached on my cell phone or via email.

Best Regards,


I woke up in the middle of the night due to allergies and checked my email - seven new messages - from my friends, sister, parents all saying different things - it was brave of you to take this step, Good luck, and do not stress now. I cannot breathe. I hope to God its not panic stress which is triggering it but hopefully allergic reaction or something. I sat up and tried to say the Gayatri mantra over and over again. No help. Hugged R who is sleeping next by me, helped a bit. Went over and touched S and then got into bed with P. Touch is such a powerful tool! It works wonders to calm and soothe.

One of my major character flaws is to think that my career defines me. My self esteem and confidence drop when I am not working - maybe because it has never happened. I started working when I was in FY, starting SY - my CA articleship - I was 18 then. I am 34 now, so for the past 16 years, I have always been either working or taking time off from working because I was studying - CA or CPA or my MBA. I have never taken a break and done timepass. So I am not used to it and dont know how. And it scares me. I cannot relax and do nothing or do routine household chores or extended timepass with my kids. I need to have my routine for going to work and then I can arrange everything else around it. I also need to earn my own money even though P can provide for all of us comfortably.

That is the reason why I am behaving as if it is the end of the world around my job search and other job related issues.

But I believe that life is about mistakes to be made and lessons to be learnt. Its a long process of self exploration as you begin to understand yourself better and continue to transform into the person you will be in the future. There are no rights or wrongs - no decision is make or break or irreversible. Every turn you take leads you down a different path.

If I would slog it out here, I would be promoted to Controller within five years but within five years, my babies would be five and nine and I would have missed out on so much with them too. Is it quantifiable - one assures sure success, what about the other? How do you measure time spent with kids, love showered, they might grow up and revolt or grow distant or think of me as a burden. All of these things could happen.

But I am not in it for returns. Parenting should be and is a selfless act. You desire to have children, you give birth to them, you teach them, you hope they grow up to be responsible kind and good human beings, you set them free and then if you are lucky, they will come back and keep coming back and give you as much love as you gave them and more.

So today when I quit my job, I need to decide two things. One is that I will never look back and regret this decision. My Aunt says that all decisions are the best at a point of time, they are not to be re evaluated further down the road when you know more about the future and circumstances are different. So I will not look back and despair.

And I will never say to R and S - See, I sacrificed my career for you girls. I sacrificed my career because I think I need to spend more time with them, I need to be able to leave work to go attend every event with them, I need to make sure I am there to boost their self confidence. Not for them. Kids grow up fine in any circumstance. Everyone is born with their own destiny.

And I need to use this downtime for stress management and telling myself deep in my heart to wake up and understand that there is definitely so much more to life than a job and career. And it will never happen that one who wishes to work will not find any. Depending on the requirements and limitations, maybe it might take time. But diligent efforts always lead to success. So I will pick up my list of pending things, which I have not even scraped the surface off yet, last time, because I was so obsessed with finding a job, and go down the list. I will take deep breaths and relax. I will teach myself stress management - if I behave like this now, I am sure to get a heart attack if I find myself unemployed in my forties or fifties. Thats ridiculous behavior.

And I will soon find a job, something that is convenient for me, something that allows me to manage the tight rope balancing act of being a parent, a wife, a home maker and a professional. I will find work again. I just need to keep the hope and breathe :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

I am here :)

One of the three people in the world who know about this blog had asked me why I only write about sad things here. If I want R or S to ever read me in the future, would they think I had a sad life :)) I think I turn to this blog when I am stressed, to clear my head, its my therapy.

Anyways many things happened rapidly over the past month. I had a phone screen at XYZ co. The screen went fine and I was grocery shopping when I received a call from one of their HR reps. Their VP Finance wanted to talk to me. She wanted to set up time to chat tomorrow morning. Tomorrow was a Saturday! Who interviews on a Saturday in the US!! No Sorry or No can you do it, nothing, no regard for my preference. But I needed a job I guess. I said okay. The VP was supposed to call me at 10:30 am, he called at ten and said he had time to talk now and could we chat? Okay, I drop everything and get grilled for 40 minutes. Rapid fire questions. Did I say he was Indian? Patel. the end of it, he says "See you on Monday", I was like "Whaaat, no one told me about anything on Monday". He said "Of course I was on the calendar for a four hour visit to their campus on Monday - meet with so and so culminating in a 45 minute interview (again!!) with him. So then on this beautiful Saturday morning, his HR reps scrambled to call me back with confirmation and put together an agenda for Monday morning. So all of Sunday was spent in running out to buy a suit, prepping for the damn interview.

On Monday, the interviews went fine and when I walked into his office, Mr.Patel says "I have nothing to ask you". Great! At the end of the week, I had my offer. $2K less than what my earlier job was paying me. Arent you supposed to make more when you switch jobs? I accepted just because I am a chicken and insecure and was worried about turning down another job and then what if I didnt get a job for months and months. Now I look back and regret. First of many mistakes? Why am I making mistakes career wise this year! I had a nice cozy job in my comfort zone with my old employer which I turned down because of the commute. Now I am driving 25 miles each way in peak office times and tired and frustrated after 2+ hours of driving each day.

I had hesitated in my tracks when I had driven over to my new company. It was a small red building with a factory attached to it. I had severe withdrawal from having worked for seven years in a sprawling campus in a towering building. I am spoilt. I didnt want to go but forced myself to walk in.

I took this job purely because of one thing - I liked the job profile - its a core finance job and I need that experience on my resume to make it big some day.

But now reality has hit and this dream finance job that I so wanted, is very hectic and stressful and demanding. My colleagues at this work place are young, no kids and have pledged their life to office. So they are there when I arrive, they are irritated when I leave. I already work stupid 8.5-9 hour days without taking any lunch breaks. I have two young children. I cannot keep up with them. I so so want to quit.

R didnt make things easy for me. She cried all through the first two weeks. I have severe allergies and am perpetually feverish, sore throatish and sick. Its all taking a toll on me. I feel like I have made so many mistakes - should have taken my old employer's offer, took this one, now I wont get unemployment...I dont have the guts to do anything anymore. And I have lost the self confidence to think clearly and make a decision for myself. I am scared either way.

I am scared to stay in this job. I feel like a failure everyday - there is no clear handoff, no clear ownership, I dont even have a fricking boss yet and my interim boss is this shiny over enthu workaholic guy who clearly disapproves when I leave in the evening. I feel like a failure at home when I return and two (three?) souls are waiting for me and I feel like I cannot give enough time and attention to each of them. Shouldnt work bring you happiness? Shouldnt time spent away from your loved ones mean something?

I want to quit and take it easy. Visions of lolling around with the two babies, bringing R home half day and spending the summer having fun float in my head. But then reality hits and I am scared - what if, I get tired of it after a few weeks and never ever find a job again.

I keep thinking I should quit. P is not backing me on this. He keeps stressing me out with worst case scenarios like - If you quit before you find another job, then you can sit at home and look after both girls, we should pull R out of school and you can handle everything by yourself, dont expect me to help etc. He is ready to lend me a shoulder if I cry over my commute, tiring job but is unwilling to support me if I say I want to take a break.

I am stressed either way. I horribly envy those girls who are so clear in what they want. They have babies, they quit, they are firm on wanting to stay home and enjoy with kids, they return to work eventually. Why cant I be like that? I want to have everything.

One of my friends told me that working mothers can have everything but not at the same time, you will have different things at different times and it is up to you to decide what is your priority at various times.

So for now, I have decided I will stick to my timings. Let them tell me it is unacceptable. I will work my 8.5 hours and leave and not care if the office is full of people. I have a life and dependents.

I need to take care of my health and find a solution for the effects of allergies. Physical strength and fitness precedes a happy state of mind.

If my blog were a person, I would hug it tight...I feel so much better :)

On a different note, my birth father (I call him Dad now) and me exchange emails on an almost daily basis. Its going great guns and I am going to call him and talk to him for the first time ever on his birthday this month!! He is very nice and loving and I fear I hassle him sometimes by being insecure and clingy.

Should make a list of good things in my life and let go of the stress from the rest. Its all self created, this stupid stress :)