Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The corporate slave set free
Ladies (hello!) and gentlemen (if there are any of you out there)..... today is an auspicious day.
Today I write to you as a free woman. A corporate slave no longer - the bonds are broken, the shackles unchained, the straitjacket has been removed.For the first time in my adult life, I have no job to go to.
This is quite something, as I have been in paid employment since I was fifteen. I worked weekends through my senior school years, I didn't have a gap year after school or uni, I went straight into full-time work at the age of 21, and there I have remained, bonded to the corporate wheel, ever since. Even when I finished work in Dubai, I didn't have the courage to take time off afterwards - no, I went right out and secured a job (I did the interviews via phone in London, as I recall) to come back to, and it started the week after I got home.
So here I am - officially unemployed - and it's equal parts "gulp" and "sweeeeeeet"!
The first thing I'm going to do is address a major life error. I've never had four weeks of consecutive holiday in my life. That is about to change. This week, I am packing for India, and on Saturday I take off for three and a half weeks. Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer ... I am going to drench myself in holiday and emerge from it nearly a month later, dripping with life.
I've planned this break as a deliberate liminal experience. In my life, liminal experiences - the time that marks the period in between the end of something old and the start of something new - are very important. I use them as an opportunity to think, reassess, consider life from a different perspective. They clear out the cobwebs in my brain, throw open the shutters and let in the light so I can see how the dust has settled on the furnishings. They show me where I need to set to work cleaning and polishing.
I think India is the perfect place for that. I love its filth and chaos, the colours, the vibrancy, and the heat - the heat! - is going to be wonderful.
In India I intend to write many lists. List of things to keep and things to throw out - both figuratively and literally. Lists of things to do when I get home (perfect the Victorian sponge cake, attempt to impose some kind of order on my wild back garden). Lists of things that make me happy (sunny days, and remembering old friends), and lists of things I want in my life. Lists of things I don't, too - those are just as important.
But before then I have one very important question to consider: three and a half weeks in India, what will I wear?
I'd better make a list.