Right Now

I’m in bed early tonight after walking up and down the stairs and doing push ups the past couple of days. My legs are tired and sore, along with my triceps and pecs. From my vantage point, I can see many floors in the building across the street at the same time. Four floors in a row have their TV in the same place in the living room. Two are watching the same channel. I’ve got my tablet on the left and my Lagavulin on the right. I take a bite and savor it, tasting the burnt grass and peat smoke. Someone slams the door outside and I remember that the water supply to our toilet has been shut off. Maybe they’re doing construction or something. In the distance, the sound of a jack hammer striking the pavement can be heard. It’s 9:07 PM.

It’s now 9:36 PM. I just got off the phone with my mother. Like any other parent, she is concerned with the well-being of her children, myself included. For the first time in 20 years, we are separated by thousands of miles on a permanent basis. Though she visits Hong Kong regularly, it is not the same as living 30 minutes away. And, when she does visit, my sister will be home alone back in the Bay Area.

On the tablet are several PDFs: my resume, a couple of job descriptions, and the mission statement of a firm that might be interested in me. A few days ago I said I would talk about work in a future post. So, this is it. Here goes.

I’ve been reluctant to put myself out there. I’m anxious. I know I’ll have to put on a suit and talk to people, and I’m afraid of getting embarrassed and turning red. It seems like everyone else is so mature and professional and serious while I still act like a kid and mess around and take things too lightly. Everyone else is perfect and can do no wrong while I’m the complete opposite. They all have so many LinkedIn connections while I only have a few.

The water is so cold. I can exercise tomorrow. I don’t want to shower afterwards. I’m not really a good swimmer. I swam yesterday. There are too many people in the pool. I have an irregular stroke that will make me look stupid.

These are some of the thoughts that I’ve been having. They’re not unlike the thoughts I might have before jumping into a swimming pool. I already said last time that taking that leap into the water would bring nothing but good results, but I guess I must not have internalized that lesson yet.

Just like shooting a basketball, if I just do it without thinking about it, the chance of success is high. Just as I’ve gotten pretty good at shooting, I’ve also gotten pretty good at being a professional. I know that no matter where I go I have skills and experience that will enable me to do a good job. And yet, I’m still so anxious about putting myself out there. I know that no matter how much I practice, I will always be anxious around people. I can only hope to minimize my anxiety. Perhaps my anxiety level is high right now because I have been away from the workplace for almost a year. I’m rusty.

When I don’t play basketball for a long time and I start again, I always get anxious before a game. Once the game starts, I get overly excited and I end up playing not as well as I’d like to. Afterwards, I replay what happened in my head and think that if I had just stayed calm, I might have played the way I want to play. I have to remind myself to prevent this from happening when I’m interviewing for a job. Stay positive and avoid generalizations and assumptions. Be more assertive. Remember that it is an interview going both ways, that you’re evaluating them as well. Think win-win.

Now, it is 11:32 AM. I’ve had a night to mull over whether I want to put myself out there and post this entry, and I think I will. The point of this website is reinforcing things that I learn, whether those things be about computers, or about myself. And, if I can help others who might be in the same situation, why not? Sometimes you just need to know that you’re not alone. Things aren’t as bad as you might imagine them to be.

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