One day at a time

At times I realise the differences between being in school in BD and getting closer to the top. As I get closer to my career prospects, the people in the room are getting far more competitive. I’ve always been the one student who had an “edge” over others. 

Teachers always noticed me first, with an expectant gaze wanted me to respond first. Every teacher knew me by name. Even here, it actually surprises me sometimes how many teachers address me by my first name. My globalisation teacher jokingly introduced me as a “Future Parliamentarian of Bangladesh” to the one of the MUFY coordinators. 
But as I get further into the courses, my classes are filled up with more people with an “edge”, and I realise I have keep upping my game, at every stage. I have to do SOMETHING out of the ordinary to get noticed. I’ll admit, sometimes that thing is enough to earn me a couple of rivals despite it being perfectly allowable. The teacher also notices my argumentative streak sometimes.

This whole train of thought kinda sprouts from what happened in Globe class today. We were having the QA session for another group’s seminar on Women’s Rights. I brought up the recent Health plan passed through Congress in the US which takes away women’s insurance coverage in pregnancy. After a while someone asked a question about Obamacare and the teacher laughed and said, “Yeah, Nafisa, you answer. She asked about Obamacare and how it could’ve helped women in America,”

I laughed too, with the rest of the class (funny, a year ago I would’ve been offended), and I realised that despite the laughter- as usual- it was my edge. That was what set me apart. That was what gets me noticed. My passion for keeping up with real life issues. With US issues, but current issues.

The teacher never pointed out anyone else in class. Other students have an edge too, so I’m not always the OBVIOUS sore thumb like I used to be, but now, I have an area of specialization, but only where I can succeed in claiming my stake. 
Currently, the dilemma I face is that of… Which career path should I pursue? I actually left off deciding that for now, best to focus to just get my university education done. I’m great at babbling on in the socio-political sector, but I’m more interested in working in the corporate sphere. I need something that melds both these specialities of mine together.

People can’t tell in most cases that I do have a confidence issue- especially where I’m not in top form (e.g. when I’m ill), or I personally feel at a disadvantage, or if I’m simply not passionate enough about the subject.

So, I pick my battles. I back down where I don’t see a viable solution or a victory. I’m learning to get used to the sensation of accepting loss. Not every fight is a win, because not every fight should’ve been fought. Every little stupid thing I’ve done before March of this year, the stubborn arguments I got into… They shame me. I always venture to live my life without a regrets, especially regrets over words I’ve said or people I’ve hurt, those are the worst. Feels like an open wound every single time.

I’m not gonna say I’m improving, because improvement is subjective. I’d say I’m learning to make peace with my demons. Not by denying their existence, but by constantly being aware of them. 

Everyone has a past. Every single person has pain and they have things they would’ve done a little differently. A little bit. So do I, but it doesn’t mean those things have to haunt me every day, or I have to cite their existence to validate my pain today. I don’t have to bring out a litany of my grievances to say ‘I told you so’ to myself every time I face a similar experience, or the same pain. I don’t HAVE to tally the number of people who’ve left or been taken. I don’t HAVE tally up how many times my parents or my family fucked up my day. I don’t have to keep track of how many unfortunate events have occurred in my life. I can just take it one day at a time… And wash my face of yesterday every damn morning.

Yesterday’s sadness belongs exactly there- in yesterday. I have plenty of things to be happy about today or look forward to tomorrow. I don’t have to drag yesterday’s happiness into today either. Live as a blank slate- able to take in every crappy and happy experience and dump it that night. Say screw you, sorry, thank you and goodnight. Literally live one day at a time.

Which brings me back to the first question: How much do I think about the future?

Well, I think I’d take that slow too. The days are gonna pass at their own pace and I’m going to have to pass them at my pace. But, nevertheless, they must be passed. Today, I decided to consult my Globalisation teacher to talk about possible career prospects. I NEED to make that decision, but I do have two to four years to evaluate how far I reach… And most importantly, the ethical and moral implications of that career prospect. 

The things I specialise in are fun to work with in the classroom, but no less than three people have begged me to never enter politics because they don’t want to hate me. I would succeed there, but of course, besides people ‘hating’ me, I’d have to live with myself. Unfortunately, in the business world, it’s just as bad, but only you don’t always deal with thousands of people’s lives. I don’t want to enter politics fully (yet) but whatever I’ll do will probably be concerned with spinning words and that can be seen as… Not so ethical by most people. I don’t even know what that would do to me.

All in all, I accept that I have almost nothing “figured out”, but it’s not like there’s a gun to me head, until there is. It’ll be difficult for me to head my own firm unless I find my edge not in the classroom, but in life. I can’t handle working under someone else’s orders, so I’ll have to consider how long I’ll be able to deal with doing so, and then there’s the whole…family thing to consider. Sigh.

But, hopefully, life is long enough and I’ll be able to get my shit together. Right now, I’m only focused on not stressing about what I can’t control, keeping myself cheerful {reminiciest of 11 year old me, I feel joy again :’)}, and simply blowing people’s minds with my health plan/weight loss. I think my weight loss has a LOT to do with my cheerfulness now and I think my decision to keep my mind clear of clutter and sadness has a lot do with my successful health plan. 

Oh well, small victories. Life doesn’t seem all that difficult unless I make it so. 🙂