There’s been a flurry of recent thought about second chances. Lest you conclude that I am re-evaluating my plan for life, these thoughts are anything but prescriptive.
There are people who believe fulfilment lies in private jets, 40 years of a happy marriage and the cover of Time magazine. I have tried and failed to participate in such belief.
I belong to a residual group that remembers the irreplacable excitement of the first day of the first job. On a less economical note, I do not deny that the best days of a relationship reside in its beginning. And, in consequence, I believe not in climbing a ladder, but in starting at the bottom and climbing a couple of rungs, only to slide back to the bottom and start over. Those couple of rungs at the bottom are, according to me, the most challenging yet intriguing, excruciating yet enjoyable part of the ladder.
Four years of technology, four years of communication and four years of commerce later I am neither an IT guru, nor a creative director, and far from being a Vice-President. And yet each of these times was thrilling enough for me to be back at the bottom rung today, starting from scratch and going through the pain and the joy all over again.
However, there is a catch.
Each time it gets harder to conceive an austere skin-and-flesh state of being. How do you invalidate the repository knowledge and wisdom that has grown over the years? How do you deny a personality that has been pruned and polished by social existence? How can you erase a physical configuration that makes for easy judgment? Ridding oneself of material possessions is easy, it is the intangible wherein lies the challenge.
Here’s to round four of starting from scratch and heading towards sunlight, to reconciling with a new career and a new life. If emptying my pockets is metaphor enough to going back to the beginning, I am halfway there.