Blog re-posted: This piece was written earlier this month and due to popularity, I am sharing it on my personal blog (here! as well.
Just a tad bit of sharing this evening… as I am probably procrastinating on my inbox that has been backlogged due to training + client work this week. But storytelling first!
So last night, as I sat in my hotel room and walked around it, at approximately what felt like 1:00AM, it finally struck me (or I finally had a calming moment to ponder and realize) that I now live out of a hotel. The hotel is my home.
I mean, what is the definition of home? That’s a big conversation for another day. But at the end of a work day, I like to “go home” back to my place of rest where I can kick off my heels/big fluffy winter boots and throw on my PJs! Our travelling team has been somewhat like my family to me — we wake up together, eat breakfast together, and have dinner together. Sometimes, we ponder life together in the evenings, share with each other, and even encourage each other — to go to the gym, stop working, have fun, etc. I have been very fortunate to have a close knit group to share with.
To be honest, back in my undergrad days, I never thought this is what life would be like. Taking airplanes like taking the bus, meeting strangers in the cab, living out of a hotel room (which I’ve conditioned myself to associate with fun times!), and roaming new city streets.
While it’s all very exciting and refreshing and new, there are elements of life that seem to pass by even more quickly now that I am travelling. Times spent with friends, life planning, reflection, and the seemingly mundane activity of even grocery shopping seems to have lost its place in my life. Each week, you’re just on the go. Activity is a constant — if you’re not unpacking, you’re packing. If you’re not working with the client, you’re preparing for the next client meeting.
The word balance, if you’re optimistic, seems reachable. But in reality, you really have to set your mind to it and actively pursue it. There are only so many hours, days, and weeks you can put something off. Or, through experience, you learn to integrate it with your schedule. I admire those who can do that. Even now, watching my senior set expectations and my team working hard during work hours and how efficient they are is eye-opening. I’m still learning.
Learning to build my foundation of skill sets. Learning to interact and communicate with people of different walks of life. Learning to communicate and communicate better. Learning to make time. Learning to adapt to my surroundings. Learning to place significance on my relationships and to prioritize my life according to my values.
Before this gets too long (speaking of which, I should have made this into a blog post instead), I guess I’ll end with this: I had two very memorable moments this week. 1) Walking in below zero temperatures for 3 blocks with my team to a restaurant for dinner where we sat and our teammate shared his life story for 2 hours. 2) My calming evening alone in my room after returning home from the office at half past midnight.
The work, the city, and all the “stuff” we encounter day-to-day is really just a small part of our lives. It may not necessarily contribute to how happy/joyful we actually are, yet is seemingly necessary. If we only took 30mins each day to connect with someone (like really connect with someone and rejoice in their presence and give them our all) and (if we’re lucky to have another 30mins) totally and completely for ourselves, I think we’d be a lot happier in our “noisy” world. Just a random thought.
Good night & Thanks for reading (if you actually made it this far)