The Arrow

There are no answers; only choices.


Posted by thearrow on March 14, 2008

I’ve written about my desire to have had a way to record interactions at work when I started my new job because I couldn’t understand what was actually going on. What with cultural differences, people being too subtle, and me being intimidated. The truth is, I’d still like to be able to push the pause button, even if now I know how to read between the lines. I’d like to extract myself from a scene and just observe it like a fly on the wall. I’m in the middle of a conversation when someone phrases an idea in a clever, succinct  way and the next thing I know my mind starts wandering and wondering about those words. About the littlest of gestures or change in facial expression.

After more than six years, I continue to be amazed by how understated thoughts and emotions are here. And now that I see the nuances, many times I feel like I’m watching a theater performance, where everything is calculated and well-calibrated. Now that I can make sense of it, I like it. The problem is that I sometimes forget to continue my interaction :). I get lost in this contemplation and find it hard to get back on track.

Sometimes I also have a hard time finding the right moment to say something in conversations. I miss the cues or, by the time I’ve thought about what I want to say, the conversation had moved on. And yes, it used to happen more often some years ago and a lot less these days, but it’s still happening. Not sure if it’s a result or a cause of my desire to contemplate instead of participate; could be both.

Could also be because my brain continues to function in my own cultural world, which has nothing to do with the world I live in. There’s a discontinuity of some sort; I think functioning outside my culture takes up too much brain bandwidth and I feel this need to take a break. Hence the contemplation. The end of the week is particularly taxing to me. It would be great if I didn’t have to interact with anyone on Fridays. I would love to be able to just organize whatever happened that week, get a picture of what’s going on, and process it mentally in my own way. Fat chance…

Someone please invent a remote control for the world. Would love to have that pause button handy.


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