Geetanjali Mukherjee

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Secret Selves

I was thinking, I don’t really want to die with people having a wrong idea of me. Not knowing who I really am. I don’t know if anyone knows who I really am. I think my mom knows partially, as does a couple of my best friends, but not fully. When they read my journals, I guess they might know more. But beyond that, I don’t know. No one will know my great ideas for peace, or how passionate I was about game theory or behavioral economics. I think if not for any other reason, but to set the record straight about who I am, I need to write, write my soul. I am afraid, yes. And to some extent typing makes it easier, but also makes the words less beautiful, the true essence only comes out on the page. But isn’t it preferable to have books of imperfect prose which is actually printed than to have potentially beautiful works in the ether?

The son of one of my mom’s friends died recently, in a car accident. And he was described as vibrant, full of life. How is it that almost everyone who dies young was ‘vibrant’? Is it because we are too afraid to express how they really were, just ordinary, as good or bad as the rest of us? Or is it that we feel bad that they are dead, and since so many people die everyday, and we give no thought to them, so we think, there has to be a reason why we feel bad about this one. I don’t know. I am sure he was a great guy. And I am sure his family and friends really did know him. But did they know all of him? I am sure all of us have secret selves, inner parts of us that maybe we don’t actually keep secret, but we are too afraid to share with others. And then no one really gets to know that part of us. Instead they see the stressed out, nervous, anxious version, our public self. This week my resolution is to let more of my secret self show, just in case.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Career Tracks

My last post was about making the decision to take a particular course, and I have still been thinking about those issues. I was reading in a human resources magazine that one senior executive believed that you cannot plan your career, it just happens.

Yesterday, talking to some practicing lawyers, we were talking about how for most people, it is simply about jumping through a set of hoops - best undergrad, best law school, best law firm, making partner - that sort of thing. There is tremendous pressure to get through the right hoops, and in a way your entire career is planned out for you. And there really is no room to stop and contemplate, is this what I really want?

I was thinking - where does the line begin between so planned as to stifle creativity, and so open-ended that you might end up not having a clue as to where you are headed? Any thoughts?
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