Pressurised choices

Except probably for introverts with a steady job and without underlying health conditions in a comfortable lock down arrangement, this has not been an easy year.

My lock down experience has been both healing and growing. Crazy homesick for Yangon, separated from loved ones and physically alone, fending for myself here in London. With a ton of walking; so the new HAIM album is literally my quarantine summer anthem this year.

All this time in hand and a dearth of distractions make for a perfect storm for self-reflection … and overthinking of my life choices dating back to my college graduation year. Down the rabbit hole of the Quarantine Subconscious, I wake up at 5am these days when I’d rather stay asleep with questions like:

  • Is impact investing a hoax? Is climate-financing the new green washing? Is it too late? If so, should I be caring more about money?
  • Should I cut some slack with boys, or am I right to protect myself? Did I fold too soon when I could have just checked? Would I care without quarantine?
  • Would I have been happier as a suburban mom in the American South vs. my lonely quarantine existence in London with an expired Schengen visa?
  • How would my life be different if I had taken the offer to work for a hospital chain or a Fintech company close to family in Myanmar?
  • Have I been living my best life? Have I been true to myself?
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Negative Capability

…at once it struck me what quality went to form a Man of Achievement, especially in Literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously – I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason…

This ability to chill and shuffle along anxiety and doubt.

Certainly worked for the poet John Keats back in 1800s, but probably not a good idea to add this to our CVs today!  Skills:  Microsoft Office Suite, Negative Capability, Financial Modelling, …

Not that I can personally claim to add this skill to my daily repertoire.  John Keats’ “irritable reaching after fact and reason” sounds a lot like my bedtime routine, along with dashes of eye cream and night sleeping mask I slap onto my face.

Dear 2015, what a reckless, stressful year.  I need to calm the hell down.  Here is the perfect piece of David Olenick’s art to express my year-end crunch time feelings.