In The Race To The Top, I Forgot To Live: My Life As An IT Professional
My dreamy eyes had great visions for me when I set my foot on the stairs of my first company for the very first time. They could see me as an honored employee with great hike each year down the line. My first year rolled by within the wink of an eye and without a wink of sound sleep in pursuit of my dreams. By the end of one year, I had turned into a machine that transformed caffeine into technology during the day and fed on loud music and junk food to stay up long to fix bugs during the night. Weekends were the same, mostly. A few months later, I noticed that I looked nowhere close to what I had been when I joined IT. I camouflaged the new addition to my body- my flab in loose tops and covered the under eye darkness with concealers. I consoled myself by thinking that the pain and the drop in confidence over my looks, was definitely going to pay me off and I eagerly waited for my first appraisal.
However, that year didn’t go well for IT and the industry was hit by recession. I was left with a very low hike and very high expectations regarding my performance. I continued working, as it was impossible to take off those shoes of a responsible team player. It could have been a cocktail of frustration, bad eating habits and stress, I’m still not sure of what it was, but a few months later, I found myself in the hospital as my pressure had gone for a toss and my body could not sustain with the change. As I lay down in the gloomy hospital bed with my mobile in my hand, I waited in vain for a call or message expressing concern over my health from my colleagues. There was only one from my tech lead- saying that he spoke to the higher ups to get me a five day long vacation to recover. Only my parents came to visit me twice a day as that’s all their age and health could permit them to do. I had lost all my old friends in pursuit of my dreams and hadn’t made any new ones either. Things had changed and now, they had to change again.
That’s when I realized that my ambition wasn’t taking me anywhere. I had conditioned my happiness on it and had lost my happiness and health along the path to achieve it. If this continued, one fine day my dear job would be done with me and all I would end up with would be insurance, money and a grandchildren who I didn’t know of, in the long run. And soon after that, I decided that I would work for eight hours a day, and put my all into those eight hours. The rest of the day would be my personal time.
The quality of my work gradually improved and so did the quality of my life. At times, I sought the therapy of words to soothe my mind. I read a couple of novels and tried my hand at writing to pour out my emotions. Today, even if my hike isn’t good enough (as for any employee, it would never be), I can calm myself down saying that I took things easy and gave importance to my personal front as well. I have a small yet reliable friend circle and I have no qualms about missing out on the ‘star performer’ award.
When I look back at the whole thing right now, I feel that even the lesson I learnt wasn’t worth the pain that I made myself endure during the first year of work. However, ever since then, my life has become more beautiful and wonderful, after I started to open my eyes and look at the world around me. No money or award can pay for this happiness, so I have chosen to live for the moment.