A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Scoring new goals

Posted by Pepper on July 2, 2012

I’ve been feeling perplexed by this thing called ‘life’ for far too long now. What is the right way of living it? What should I be giving priority to? Often, I felt like coming to this space to write about issues that baffle me. But then, my mind was always too clouded. My thoughts lacked clarity. Today, I glanced at myself in the mirror. I saw a girl who looked very shabby, with a loose ponytail, strands of hair sticking out of all ends, wearing a faded tee and creased pajamas. I stared at myself. The image I saw represented my current life. Stray, unkempt and limp. And I said, enough. I need to take charge and set things right. Now.

Laying out clear goals is the first step towards change, I think. I thought about it for a while. After some quiet contemplation, I scribbled down these objectives on a scrap of paper. In order to help myself think critically, I am putting down the elaborated version of my new goals.

– I will accept my situation.
I chose to get married immediately after my Masters and move to a country that did not give me work authorization. It was a choice I made. To spend time living life with the one I love, traveling and just being a carefree, happy couple. But while I spent those years smelling the roses, everybody else raced past me. My career never really took off. So while I have been positioned at the start line, waiting for an opportunity to sprint ahead, my peers have whizzed past me at an alarming speed. Watching them makes me dizzy. I am in my mid twenties, waiting to start working, and my batch mates, who were sharing benches with me once are now holding managerial positions. Some of them really lacked potential (really!), and I cringe when I look at how far they have reached. Thinking about it is such a pointless exercise and a complete waste of my energy. The first thing I need to do is accept. Yes, I have suffered a setback in my career. Yes, it sucks, but there is nothing I can do about it. Yes, people who are far less capable than me are glowing in their shining corporate roles. Yes, I will always be at a disadvantage because of a late start. Yes, I gained some invaluable experiences in return of the few years I lost. Yes, it would have been awesome if I could have had both, like some people could have. A fun, care free life full of travel and other joys AND a good career. But I couldn’t have both. Now let me accept all of that that and move on.

– I will utilize my energy positively.
I need to find a job. I’ve had a stroke of bad luck when it comes to jobs. It’s very hard to find good roles, and each time I was made a decent offer, I could not take it up for some reason or the other. I was asked to move to Bangalore the last time, and I had to let it go. I feel at a loss now. I really do not know how to go about finding a job. Job portals, emailing my resume to friends, uploading it directly onto the company websites, I think I have done it all. Almost nobody wants to hire a ‘fresher’. I’ve been so close to giving up. But. I won’t. I know I can’t afford to. Instead of whining and cursing the system for being so stupid, I will use every ounce of my energy in applying for jobs, or thinking of how to apply for jobs more constructively. I know I need the money.

– I will try and understand how much money is enough money.
This is most important. I am not totally sure of what I mean when I say I ‘need’ the money. I have enough money to eat, and I do not have any living expenses at present. I am leading a fairly comfortable life. But then, I think of our expenses next year, and I feel giddy. We’ve routed a large chunk of our savings towards Mint’s MBA. We’ve just moved back to India, so we have to build our life here from scratch. Next year, we will either be renting a property, or buying one. We will be furnishing it and buying other home essentials. We will be buying a car. All of it sums up to an insane amount of money. How will we do it? I really do wonder. Is there any other alternative? Sure, we can choose to live a very basic life, and be content as long as we have food and shelter. But is that really possible? Both Mint and I are passionate about eating out and traveling. Both those passions call for money. And this is just us. If and when we have kids, the whole dynamics becomes a lot more complex. Sometimes, I think there is no end to what your definition of ‘enough’ can include. It is so easy to get sucked into the mania that surrounds us. In order to gain some structure, it is very important for me to set limits. As long as certain criteria of mine is met, I shouldn’t be striving for more.

– I will not compare myself to another being.
This is probably the hardest. I have never made any conscious comparisons. But they tend to happen, and most of the times they are so subtle, you don’t even know they take place. Today, people around me own posh homes, they go on international holidays every now and then, they lead indulgent lives, own multiple cars and then they call themselves ‘middle class’. It makes me gasp. If that is middle class, then where do we stand? What makes it hard is that I have to move around these circles, because these people are my friends from school, college and people I’ve known through other local mediums. I cannot live an isolated life. Neither can I cut myself off from this particular social circle. Today, a ‘catchup’ session means a setback by Rs 1000, atleast. If I have weekly catch up sessions with different people, I end up spending thousands on nothing but conversations. It does pinch me, while others can shell out the amount effortlessly. I visited a friend recently, and her home was done up so beautifully, it led to new desires in me. I am sure building that house took some solid money. Was I comparing myself to her? I am not sure. But it did, for a moment, instill new wants. I did assess my own ability to build a similar home. So I wouldn’t call it comparison, but when we are exposed to such riches, we build new desires, subconsciously. Because we know how good it can get. You need to be blind if you really want to tune out completely. And I want to work towards that. Without turning into one of those who doesn’t appreciate beauty.

Pretty simple, I suppose. Now let me see how successful I am in achieving these.

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98 Responses to “Scoring new goals”

  1. hmmmmmm now that will be difficult trying to understand how much money is enough money .. hmmmmmmmm when you find out let me know tooo please.

    and I like the last one comparing , we are all unique thats how i think, , No one is like me and I ma not like anyone πŸ™‚

    • Pepper said

      Yes, perhaps nobody is like you or me. I wasn’t talking about types of people. I was talking about where they are placed in life πŸ™‚

  2. Bubblegum said

    All the best! You inspire me a big time! I am also quitting my job to pursue my MS and, Period I am salary less from 5th :/

  3. VCM said

    Pepper the more I read your writings the more my admiration for you increases!
    May you reach and achieve all your goals and also INSPIRE OTHERS far and near!!!
    Yours truly with love!!!

  4. Oh gosh in the last para you speak my mind. B School took all of my savings of 3 working years and also handed me down a fat MBA. I now look at my peers who don’t have a master’s degree but have swanky SoBo lifestyle and more. FB is flooded with pics of exotic holidays while all I can think of a break probably is Goa. Life, never there is a balance, is it?

  5. MoRS said

    Yeh dil maange more πŸ™‚ We make choices but are never truly satisfied with those. I guess your high in career friends must be envying your blissful marriage. I guess it’s important to remind ourselves to count our blessings and stop looking at others. But easier said than done. πŸ™‚

    • Pepper said

      Oh totally. My high in career friends very openly envy my blissful marriage. I on the other hand envy those who have a blissful marriage AND a high flying career. πŸ™‚

  6. Sig said

    I know what you mean Pepper. I was 24 when I got married after doing 6 years at uni because I transferred courses. That meant all my friends graduated 2 years before me and basically were my managers while I was still slogging it out as a graduate recruit. It meant I was on pittance of a salary while they were jetting around the world and showing off their designer bags.

    Also because we got married young, I had no savings as I was straight out of uni and Evs spent all his on the wedding and moving back to Melbourne. So we struggled as well, while all my friends (and fellow colleagues) would drop literally hundreds of dollars on a night out and I’d be thinking that’d be my grocery bill for the week. It made it worse because we bought a house probably more out of our means than we could afford and most of our salaries were going into the mortgage.

    I actually didn’t invite any of my friends over to our new house for 2.5 years because we had no furniture and I was ashamed that my house looked nothing like theirs.

    Slowly though, both Evs & I got promoted, we worked through it and are able to afford things like going out for dinner and random holidays without a second thought.

    But before all that, I found out that my REAL friends didn’t care for material things as much as I was and the stress of ‘keeping up with the Jones’ was all in my head. So I stopped. I surrounded myself with people and did things that necessarily didn’t cost money. I invited people over and stopped stressing that they would find my house lacking. Really just got over myself and realised that nobody CARED about these things.

    Positivity is a huge thing Pepper – at the end of the day – you have Mint and he has you. From what I know of you guys, that’s all you need to be happy. Everything else is a bonus. So live your life – save for a holiday or going out and trust me, the experience will be even sweeter because it meant so much to you and you worked hard for it. Don’t give up on the job front – who cares if people are ‘ahead’ – it’s not a race. It’s your life and your choices. Just be happy Pepper πŸ™‚

    • Pepper said

      I see you know exactly what I have been talking about.

      Totally agree with all that you say. I never said our friends cared about material things. I know I have a few friends who aren’t well to do, and I know their life style and lack of affordability makes absolutely NO difference to me. But perhaps it makes a difference to them. It’s all in our heads.

      I know life isn’t a race Siggy πŸ™‚ I never considered it to be one, or I wouldn’t have chosen to step back and spend a few years doing nothing but reading, cooking, traveling and exploring. While I know we’re not participating in a competition, it still bothers me when I realise that my friends are now ‘ahead’. Not because I want to compete, but just because those friends who were once with me, are no longer around me. I miss that connection. The gap between us does not let us be on the same page. Conversations, lifestyles, priorities, spending patterns and everything else is so vastly different, it leaves me distanced.

      I love your last line. I need to just be happy. I think I am, most of the times. And when I get hit by such thoughts, I come to the blog, sort myself out and move on. Your comments help so much!

  7. Shruti said

    Dear Pepper, been following your blog for a while now and this is the first time I am commenting. This one really touched me.
    I am in the same situation and this is exactly how I feel. I chose to marry the person I loved and then enjoy every moment with him. And I definitely do.. Things could not have been better in my marriage front. But my career went for a toss πŸ™‚ Probably one advantage that you have over me is your profession. I chose social work and it is my passion. It doesn’t pay you much (in India), although very highly paid in the place where I live. But I studied in India and don’t really have much experience. Applied for thousands of jobs, but nobody wants to hire you because you do not have experience and the foreign degree πŸ™‚ It is sad and it sucks!! And what used to kill me more was when I saw my classmates into a decent job (who did the course just for the heck of it) and who were not happy about being in that field. It really hurts! People say, you can’t have it all. I would say you can have it all if you put in every bit of the heart and soul into it. This does not mean I have found a job, but I would am working towards it. I have told myself that no matter what I would not switch from my profession, I would stick to it and grab the tiniest opportunity. Before I come back to India I would atleast have that tiny bit of experience (fingers crossed).I have stopped thinking about the money factor (badly in need), but all we can do is just squeeze in and keep going. And for you I would just say it is all just a matter of time. I am sure things will fall in place. Wrote all of this just to let you know that there are people as messed up as possible πŸ™‚ Really wish the best for you. And I have to tell you that I love your posts. I am almost motivated to write something on this to make myself get back on track.
    Good Luck!!

    • Pepper said

      Hey Shruti, good to meet you. πŸ™‚
      You are right. Some people do manage to have it ‘all’. When we are forced to prioritise and give up one love for the sake of another, it gets really hard. When people asked me why I felt those pangs of longing when I saw my friends having great careers, when they asked me if I was unsure of the choice I had made, I wanted to scream. I wasn’t unsure. I would choose the same thing a million times over. If I have to choose between my personal life and my career, my personal life will always win hands down. But the question is, WHY should I have to choose at all?

      I wish you all the luck. So happy to know you are not one who gives up. I am sure something good will come your way soon. And yes, please do write!

  8. Rahmath said

    **Jaadu ki Jhappi**

  9. Melanie said

    Hey Pepper

    I hear your pain and understand how you feel as I have a similar story, leaving North America, great job, etc to come to India. I’ve had my ups and downs as well however the great thing is the choice is yours, happiness, fulfillment, contentment is yours to have if you just take it.

    Now, I know you didn’t ask for any advice in your blog post, however here are a couple quick suggestions:

    1- Could you parlez your love of food and travel into a paying gig? Perhaps writing some blog posts about where to dine and travel in India? In return for dining out and traveling experiences? At least to begin with and then once your readership grows starting to charge more?

    2-Reach out to other expats living in India about job opportunities, all of us have had some similar experiences and perhaps could lend you a helping hand?

    Just some thoughts, hope it helps.

    Melanie

    • Pepper said

      I love your thought process Melanie. Happiness, fulfillment, contentment is ours if we just take it. How true.
      I wouldn’t call myself an expat in India. I genuinely admire you and others like you who’ve made the choice to live in this country. I know how hard it can get.

      Those are amazing suggestions. I would grab them greedily. I wouldn’t know how to work it out though. If I figure it out, I’d be delighted!

  10. Tanishka said

    Thanks so much pepper… Thanks a lot…. I really needed that message… I should just accept my situation… Whatever it is, however good or bad it is, since there is nothing I can do about it I should just accept it…

    Wish you luck toward achieving all the goals you have set for yourself… πŸ™‚

  11. This is such an honest and raw post, Pepper; it has made me think. I think you rightly left the most important point for the last, because not comparing ourselves to others is so difficult, but probably the most essential. More often than not, we forget that each of us has a different journey to take, a different set of skills, different strengths, weaknesses, and appearances, and comparing ourselves to other people is completely pointless when there are so many differing variables. I hope you are able to achieve all of these goals, no matter how long it takes.

    Love, Miffalicious. [www.miffalicious.com]

  12. I think this is a very clear headed post, peppy. Especially the last point. There can never be enough money. It is upto us to put a halt to where our “needs” end. I still cringe when we go out and end up spending 20$ per head for dinners. The last time I was in India I paid frigin 500rs at CCD. It alarmed me. All this, knowing there is not really a ‘shortage’ of money. I think I have done a post on this as well sometime back. It is because of how we were brought up. ‘not crapping money’ was instilled so deep in our minds that it is difficult to spend even a dollar without thinking twice. I get scared when some of my groupmates talk about (in passing) the properties they have in india. And I dont say “property” but “properties”. It just wakes me up from my lazy, happy state of mind and makes me realise that the husby and I are not even thinking about buying any real estate. But then after sometime these thoughts just vanish from my mind and I am back to being in my own sweet world πŸ˜‰
    I hope you are successful in meeting all these objectives. Wishing you the best in your job search!

    PS: can you email me the password of the previous post?

    • Pepper said

      When we used to visit India earlier, we could spend on socialising and eating out without thinking too much, but that was because we had an income in dollars. I wondered how people in India did it so effortlessly! Now we live here and I can’t imagine spending like them. 500 at CCD is considered ‘normal’now. *rolls eyes*

      Don’t talk about people and the properties they own. It’s crazy!

      Will email you.

  13. aquaboyin said

    I don’t know how I ended up from a google search for Automatic vehicles to your blog, but your posts are fun to read πŸ™‚

    I totally understand what you are going through and its not just a problem for freshers πŸ™‚ I have7.5 years of exp and would be returning back to India next month after completing a 3 year assignment. I am trying to switch jobs and it is so tough to land a decent one. Competition is at all levels.

    I am from Hyderabad but my current office is in Bangalore.. I am a Sr.Developer and Hyderabad has mostly testing jobs on offer. Settling in Bangalore means investing 1.5 lakhs in the name of “Bhada” alone (1 Years full rent) just to find a decent apartment. And add rest of the stuff and a 14 hr train Journey every time I wish to be with my parents.

    If I settle for a Consulting Job in Hyderabad.. there will be no job satisfaction. But I will be just 2 hrs drive from my parents place. πŸ™‚

    The moment I settle in Hyderabad, there will be pressure to get married, buy a decent apartment & a car and settle down.. that means no more risk taking.. so stay stuck with what ever job I land up with for at-least the next 3 to 5 years paying the EMI’s and limited savings with a hope of a better job. 😦

    I always thought, save “X” amount of money for home and “X” amount for a car and another “X” for savings.. but every year.. the X just gets bigger and unachievable.

    Now I wonder, what the hell did I earn & save for when all I will end up doing is invest (read spend) most of my money for the Home & Car (and I cant even afford the top models after all these years) and still end up paying for the loan for the rest of my career 😦

    But for the social obligations, it really brings me to a point asking myself “Should I just leave the city and go back to my town and lead a simple life”?

    If only wishes had wings πŸ™‚

    • Pepper said

      Competition is at all levels, of course. But from what I have seen, it isn’t half as hard for people with work ex. My friends manage to switch jobs relatively easily. But then, I wouldn’t know with certainty, because I haven’t experienced the other side. Perhaps it is as hard at all levels, in which case, it really sucks!

      I think most of us are so caught up in the EMI cycle, it isn’t even funny. 😦 You are right, the amount ‘X” will keep getting bigger, which is why I tell Mint we should buy property now. The longer we wait, the harder it will be to buy one. But then even if we do buy one soon, there is no end to the amount of financial struggle that will lie ahead.

      Living expenses in big cities are a little insane. Coming from Mumbai, 1.5 lakhs as ‘bhada’ sounds very sweet to me. We’ll have to pay a lot more here. If I could, I totally would go back to a small town and lead a simple life. But I can’t do that. Cos I don’t belong to any town. My parents would be unwilling to leave and I don’t want to move too far away from them. Not just me, but even my parents have been born and brought up in this city. My family, extended family and entire community is based in Mumbai. Moving to a town would be really hard!

      Wish you luck!

  14. Shreya said

    Hi Pepper, my two cents…just start with some job in Mumbai so that you can make some contacts through that and can look for better opportunities. How about doing some certifications as well? AFAIK, you are into Human resources, so PHR and similar certifications? It will add value to your profile. Just a suggestion. Enjoy the time with your family and wish you good luck! πŸ™‚

    • Pepper said

      Hey Shreya, thanks so much πŸ™‚ I really don’t know how much certifications would help. In most cases, I am not eligible to apply when I see a good opening because I don’t have the prerequisite work experience. I am considering taking up some job now, even if it doesn’t meet all my requirements.

  15. Cathy said

    Pepper you could have written this blog for me. I am having the same struggles with myself
    especially the parts … accept my situation and how much money is enough and I will not compare myself to anyone else . All very difficult things to achieve when you are somehow caught up in other people’s success and don’t want to be . I am also trying to work on the same goals for myself . I know that I am not going to go hungry or be homeless and I’d hate to not be able to see the forest for the trees . Thanks for the post !

    • Pepper said

      Hey Cathy, I hope we’re able to figure out the best way to live life, without being caught up in other people’s success stories. Good luck to you and thanks for the lovely comment.

  16. techie2mom said

    Hey, all the best for all the goals and happiness…May you achieve them soon πŸ™‚
    It;s great to see that you got your goals set. i still get confused about my goals. I want to be with my daughter at the same time i want to go back to work πŸ™„ But as you rightly pointed out we can’t have it everything.

    • Pepper said

      I don’t even want to think that far. I am sure it will be a different story for me once I have kids. My goals keep evolving. I can imagine your confusion!

  17. neha said

    Ahhh i can understand this as i am going through almost a similar situation. Sometime i feel all these comparisons are baseless but then it also hurts sometime to see (as you say) people who really lacked potential (really!) going places.
    I think this time shall also pass. Cheer-up and accept it with positivity πŸ™‚

  18. Hey Pepper!
    Came back to your blog after a LONG time! And you know what struck me? Your clarity of thought! Lot of things in life don’t come easy and one of those is this. Being clear about what you have, what you want and how you can get it.
    Things will definitely work out for you! πŸ™‚
    All the best! πŸ™‚

  19. Ashwathy said

    Pah!! I feel like I wrote this post…. been through all this emotions – maybe not at once but different points in time.
    Let’s catch up soon shall we? (Psst… MY treat πŸ˜€ so the penny won’t pinch. No that wasn’t sarcastic, just trying to be nice! *puppy face* )

  20. chandni said

    Awesome list pepper! As they say, a job well begun is half done πŸ™‚ You sound so sensible here! take one step at a time and you will be fine.

  21. Shashi said

    Fortunately, for me I have a spirital Guru who guides me. I guess it becomes very easy if you have someone to depend upon. Many a times, I feel as if something wrong is about to happen with me. But whatever happens, its aftereffects doesn’t remain long. I am doing just fine after a good night’s rest.

    You may want to find that guide, that mentor, that Guru or any other name by which you call.

    Just a suggestion……

    • Pepper said

      Great going Shashi. I do seek guidance from a higher force too. Which is why I am thinking about these things in the first place. Most people my age are too busy living life, spending time at work, making money, holidaying, struggling, etc. They don’t have time to reflect and structure their life, and then they end up exhausted and dissatisfied a lot of times. I feel happy I am taking charge and wanting to bring in some direction. All of it is possible only because I have been prodded to think by the one I bow down to πŸ™‚

  22. Ariana said

    Comparing yourself to another person is normal and often the reason for people to feel bad about themselves. The whole “keeping up with the joneses” or in your case, patels,or Raos.:)
    Bettering yourself is good like your hubby who is getting his MBA, what if he compared himself to a desi getting a Harvard MBA?
    you will always feel someone else is better off. I am sure the women struggling to get to work and get home to cook and clean, envy your carefree existence.
    ITs harder said than done, but I always remind myself that things could be worse and I have a great life.

    • Pepper said

      Bettering yourself is good, definitely. But then it all revolves around your definition of ‘bettering’ right? Maybe more money does not equal to a better life. Always good to make more money, but not at the cost of it affecting other aspects of your life, I think.
      Lot of people tell me they envy my ‘carefree’ life, without even knowing how carefree my life really is. I might not have a job but I have a lot of other cares. πŸ™‚ Some people even tell me they don’t think I should ever bother working, because my husband will make enough money with his IIT-IIM qualifications. I just roll my eyes and keep quiet.
      It is really stupid to compare. We know nothing about each other’s lives. I try to remember that. And like I said, I don’t compare consciously, but I end up heightening my wants. Now that realisation has struck, I hope that stops.

  23. radha said

    Good goals , you will achieve them. you will be content and happy – never doubt that πŸ™‚ don’t look at what all you have not achieved , see what all you hve achieved and the promise the future holds and you will be fine.

  24. I love reading you Pepper.
    I understand all that you said. I really do. That part where you mentioned your passion for eating, travelling, doing up a home and everything! It is a very natural thought process.
    When I visit people who have made some amazing homes, I feel so inspired. I don’t want to be preachy. definitely not. But somewhere I feel, these are the motivators we need. These are our driving forces – wants. If everyone could be happy with a basic life (am talking of bare necessities), I don’t think we’d atrive for anything, strive to be happy or strive to achieve. Ofcourse, there is a limit and then beyond that there is probably greed. I fail to recognize the boundary. As long as somethings crave for your attention and make you happy, why not? I am sure we know what qualifies as eternal discontent and small longings. Happiness means everything.
    I have met couples who stayed in 4 bedroom houses along with 3 more couples who have risen against all odds and own beautiful condominiums and mansionettes today. They painstakingly buy paintings, deliberate over what crystals should adorn the lady in the painting and have pretty in-house bars. But I see in them pride, of having grown from scratch, starting all over and they truly know the value of it and not just its price.
    Sorry for a post like comment. I just had to tell you.
    Hugs, you will do just fine πŸ™‚

    • Pepper said

      There is a very fine line between need and greed. Very few people can differentiate πŸ™‚
      I think people in earlier eras were happy with bare necessities. Striving for happiness was not on their agenda, simply because happiness and contentment were always with them πŸ™‚ I love those simple lifestyles.
      Yes, know what you mean when you say people truly value what they have built from scratch.
      I absolutely love long comments, please don’t apologize. Hugs!

  25. Kanthu said

    “but when we are exposed to such riches, we build new desires, subconsciously. Because we know how good it can get. You need to be blind if you really want to tune out completely”- nailed it i would say. I still remember my dad telling me, “Learn the difference between ‘want’ and ‘need’, your life would much more happier and satisfying”.

  26. Sugar said

    Its not that easy to share such things here. I can completely relate to the part when new desires build up as n when u see others living a lavish life n here we have to think twice before owning smthing like that. and the “others” here are from our near circle, our peers, our relatives, our cousins brought up with us, our frnds. But somewhere it is this part, our new born desires which make us look forward, make us modify our dreams our goals now n then, leave a room for working more( just to pacify myself haha:D). So here I am wishing u luck to realisr ur goals, n to myself too πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰
    Cheers to the new goals, n To those ppl who make us build new desires. πŸ™‚

    • Pepper said

      I don’t know if watching others achieve their materialistic goals, allowing them to instill new desires in us and then working more to achieve our own materialistic goals is the best way to live life. Sure, we should evolve and modify our dreams and goal. We need to grow as individuals. But that growth does not necessarily have to be materialistic. Why should all our goals be tied to owning more riches? In future, one of my goals can be to volunteer and do substantial work for NGOs, spend time in old age homes, educate street kids, find time to read exhaustively, travel to remote villages to understand their life, learn pottery, grow my own produce, etc, etc. I can go on. I suppose we need to think and not restrict our definition of ‘desires’, ‘goals’ and ‘dreams’ to materialism. πŸ™‚

  27. metherebel said

    All the very best Pepper. May you reach all your goals soon πŸ™‚ I am sure you will find a job soon and write about it here πŸ˜‰ Until then just stay positive. Hugs πŸ™‚

    Your last point made me think, it is funny how we compare ourselves with those who are in better positions than us, we never compare ourselves with those who are not so well to do as compared to us!

    • Pepper said

      You know, I do say a prayer of gratitude each time I come across people who are less privileged. Having said that, I agree, most people don’t compare themselves to people who are not so well to do. Mostly because very few people turn back. We walk straight and only see what lies ahead. Human nature, I guess.

  28. Sanjana said

    unless you make an insane amount of money… no amount can ever be enough. As your earning potential grows, so does your spending. You will meet new people, see new houses, have new “needs” and desires that will seem perfectly reasonable, and you will strive for more. It’s human nature.
    And if you DO end up making enough money… then it’ll be a desire for something else… power for instance.
    Nothing is ever enough.

    Good luck!

    • Pepper said

      I think I will disagree with you when you say no amount of money can be enough. I did think we had enough money when we were in the US. We didn’t have as much as our friends did, because most of them had a double income, while we lived on a single income. Despite that, that money was enough for us to eat out multiple times a week, take holidays and live a decent life. I didn’t want more. I was happy.

      Now, I don’t think we have enough money because we don’t have a stable income, and we have loans. EMIs that need to be paid. Once we are through with this and we are able to achieve the basics, I don’t think I will ask for too much more. Even if I do ask for more, I know I won’t be dissatisfied with what I have. Atleast, I hope I won’t.

  29. Anon said

    I know this feeling all too well. I so desperately want to not care and not be affected by these things, but the heart and head does.

  30. Scribby said

    Good Luck for everything Peppy πŸ™‚ my love and hugs are always with you …you know the other day I was thinking of you and my mind said you are my baby friend..you know like a younger sister or such?

    Whenever I think of you I feel I must pamper you, hug you and wish you good luck for the best things that you deserve!!!

    I’ll always do that…things will fall in place soon by next year you see πŸ™‚

  31. chattywren said

    Hi Pepper, I often visit your blog and admire your honesty and well-written posts. I can understand how you feel about losing valuable years of work-ex and seeing other people moving ahead. You had a different set of experiences, that’s an intangible plus. I came to Belgium pregnant with my first kid, had my second one and it’s been difficult for me to find a job for my qualifications and experience. Unless you are in the IT field or have some special technical skills or know the languages it’s a challenge. I too have my ups and downs regarding the same. Couple of opportunities I have had to let go as they required a long commute……..Network as much as you can, I am sure your blog is also a good place to start. Often that’s the best way to land a job. Help will come from the most unexpected places. Cheer up and wish you luck!

    • Pepper said

      I hear you Chatty. I know IT jobs are so easy to get, compared to other non technical jobs. ‘Networking’ is the way to go. But I hate the whole concept and find it highly stressful. Perhaps why I haven’t been too successful in finding a job to my liking. Oh well.. anyway. Thank you. And good luck to you too!

  32. Bhavani said

    Hi Pepper,
    I always always like the honesty in your posts….and pretty most all of us relate to your feelings…I have gone through exactly the same feelings when I was looking for a job in India…at one point I was very desperate and frustrated ruining my peace…but then things fell into place……

    I see a lot of my batch mates climbing up the corporate ladder too after marriage and kids…..but in my case I dont want to…I have a healthy work life balance with two small kids…..I should say I am content right now..not sure how I will feel few years down the life…..

    All the very best to you..

    Bhavani..

  33. Kavs said

    Dear Pepper – with so many warm, positive and encouraging comments, I’m sure you are already feeling much better and energized! πŸ™‚ a job search can be extremely frustrating – it affects almost everything around us, unfortunately our attitude and self-confidence which is what we really need in such a situation takes a severe beating.
    It’s wonderful to see how you are trying to prioritize, stay positive and focused. I know it sounds really banal, but hang in there, your next job is just around the corner. Once you land that first job, all other things will simply fall in place. πŸ™‚

  34. Chiquita said

    Pepper, what kind of job are you looking at? It’s sad how difficult it is for freshers to get a break. Stupid system.
    When Mint is out of college he will literally be minting. You have nothing to worry about. You’re going to have a perfectly comfortable and happy life.
    There’s no point in comparing. FB is the absolute bitch…it’s only filled with peer pressure and comparisons. I know how that can feel.
    But you know what, this is a classic case of the grass being greener on the other side. When my 93 grand dad wished me for my bday he said, God has given you everything but one thing…..a future companion that you really need. What I would not give to be in your place. Girl, you have no idea how filthy rich you really are. Muah.

    • Pepper said

      I am looking for HR (or related) jobs. You know, I don’t think it is all that hard to for freshers to get a break if you’ve chosen a field that is not related to Management. I did my Bachelors in Advertising and none of my batch mates struggled half as much to get their first job. I on the other hand, decided to switch fields. Now with HR, for any good entry level role, they only go to MBA schools and recruit directly from there. If not through campus, then they only hire experienced professionals for mid-senior roles. So for me, it’s a catch 22 situation. On the other hand, I still get a lot of interview calls for Ad/Content writing roles. I am not sure I can do those jobs well 😦

      Honestly, I don’t feel pressured by FB at all. I laugh it off when I see others blatantly showing off their riches. It’s fun. I browse through their albums and then shut them and forget about it. Real life situations are what get to me. Interacting with those individuals, being forced to shell out a certain amount of money because that is the norm, etc.

      And I do have an idea of rich I am, because of my family, companion and other blessings in my life! πŸ™‚ Thanks babe, I am sure you will find the one meant for you and will be as rich sometime soon.

  35. Pari said

    Hey Peppers,
    Cheer up! This ‘too’ shall pass. I know it sucks to have to see your friends doing so bloody well in life when you are possibly trying to still climb the corporate ladder. I was a topper in school and believe me, all the kids who barely passed are like doing so frigging well in life. Like if I were to compare monetarily, they are way ahead of me.
    When I returned from US post my masters, I decided I wanted to change fields. I wanted to do something that can utilize my degree plus my love for English. I do have that job. I love what I am doing. No, I am not doing a job that my pharma friends are doing in big shot pharma co’s. Also, needless to say, I am not minting money as good as my researcher friends in US are. But then, I am having a comfortable life in India. When I came back, people called me a fool, etc etc…still some of extended family members tell me, oh poor girl, you have to live amid all the Mumbai chaos..wasn’t US comfortable? Why did you come back? But then, hey, it’s my life. I decide what I do. Yes, there are times when I see my friends holidaying and partying in US or visiting foreign locales with ease, that I convert the trip expenses in rupees and cringe, but I chose it and I have to live with it. Life is a different journey for each one of us; some sail smooth – some have it rough!
    You will definitely come across something that you like, that you want. And no, it will be no shame if you working at a junior level. You will probably end up climbing the ladder faster than the rest. Wassay?
    About the marriage part; well, my IIM-passed sister left her high-flying career to get married in US. Its been almost 2 years and she remains jobless there. The thing to learn from her is … yes, she feels depressed on being a house wife and all, but she always comes back saying she chose this. She chose to marry this guy cos she knew it was the right time, she knew he will in US for 3 more years, and she might be jobless. So that sorta cheers her up. But I do feel bad for her, sometimes at the level of pity, but if she is happy with her marriage; oh well, even that is something singles with high flying careers wish for πŸ™‚

    And yes, more importantly, I work for a publication house. I have sorts of PR contacts; you can pass me your CV if you desire to πŸ™‚

    Good luck huney!

    • Pepper said

      I think all of us who have moved back have to hear all that. We’re considered fools. I don’t bother discussing my life story with them. Let them live thinking I am a fool.
      Of course it won’t be any shame working at a junior level! Not in the least bit. That has never been my concern. So many times I think of taking jobs that are not very respected. Not now, but in the later years. I wouldn’t mind working in the post office, or in a library.

      Wow, I am very impressed by your sis. She has taken a courageous decision.
      PR? I am not sure I am cut out for it πŸ™‚

      Thanks so much!

  36. Hey Girl ! Chin up πŸ™‚ Thank you for posting a regular post. That protected one made me feel like I was directly responsible for it and made me introspect a zillion times about what I could’ve possibly written to have caused it :S !! Now, about this post – first off, you should credit yourself ton loads to be able to put down your thoughts here with such clarity and honesty. Here are some thoughts I’d like to share:

    1. Try meeting management consultants to help you find a job – they are sure to remember and recommend a candidate with a face and confidence they can see, rather than one that comes in an email with CV attached. After your meeting, before you leave, remember to ask them what kind of positions do they see you fit ? – This will give you an immediate feedback and will force them to see positions that you are suitable for. This will kick start the process and could open up your mind to new opportunities too.

    2. Given you might be joining work soon, invest this time in researching choices for the stuff you want to buy. Where would you like to rent / buy ? What are the best options for finance ? Which car would suit your needs ? Etc. This will help you in two ways. a) You’ll have sufficient info beforehand to take a balanced decision instead of having to rush through it as soon as you begin working, given that additional responsibility at work, etc. b) Actually working through the purchase process like you really have to buy it right now, will compel you to envision your new home, your car ……these visions have power which will energize the thoughts to become reality. Ok, if you think I’ve gone cuckoo, I don’t mind. But I know, it works.

    Now as far as comparison, everyone goes through it. Go back to the years that you were enjoying and smelling a rose when your mates were busy clamoring up the corp. ladder. Pick out a few pictures of exotic places you’ve been to, with special memories and hang them around. That would give you a sense of achievement, because that’s what success is, isn’t it ? To be able to make lasting memories with your loved one.

    Finally, sincere apologies if I’ve taken too much liberty in giving out free advice. Thing is, your personality oozes via this blog and is immensely likable. Combine that with my ‘Mother Hen’ nature and here’s what we get πŸ™‚ After all, you did let me borrow those shoes ! LOL !

    • Pepper said

      Hey! Are you kidding me? Why on earth would you feel responsible for the password protected post? You leave behind some of the nicest comments. Irrespective of that, I wouldn’t allow any comment to affect me to such a great extent.

      I love the advice. Don’t apologise. I don’t understand why people get so miffed with free advice, unless it is truly imposing.
      Thanks so much! πŸ™‚ The shoes are certainly yours! πŸ˜€

  37. Deeps said

    We can never have enough of our desires, wants, needs.. our hearts yearn for more and invariably they yearn more for what others have and we dont/cant. Thats human tendency. What we need to do or at least learn is to feel blessed for the life we have chosen for ourselves and the gains that have come out of it.

    As for you, I am sure you’ll be just fine and do pretty well for yourself, Pepper. You seem to be very clear and sure of what you have set for yourself, so just go along with the flow and make a wonderful life :).

    Wish you all the best!

  38. R's Mom said

    Errr…I know I am WAY TOO LATE in commenting, but just wanted to say that big hugs..sometimes in life, there is frustration at every level..but what I love about you is that you are clear in your thoughts.. you have maturity babes in telling that you will accept your situation..here I am still wondering WHY XYZ didnt happen to me…You surely inspire me πŸ™‚

  39. P said

    Pepper,
    Being at the threshold of a similar change, I can relate to the thoughts you’ve expressed here. I have a good career now, and I’ll be giving this up when I get the visa to join my husband. It’s so easy to go into panic mode. I get into that mode more on the personal front than on the career part. It’s easy to when you’re surrounded by friends (I’m in my late twenties) who are pregnant, or already have kids and listen to them talking about how life is now, the complications and the joys. The complications scare me. What-ifs haunt. But I realised that just wont help, no point at all. So I go and talk to my colleagues, runner friends, read blogs like yours, do things that I enjoy and take it one moment at a time.

    • Pepper said

      I am going to be in that stage soon, where all my friends will either be pregnant, or will be planning babies soon. It will mean fighting wtih added social pressure. But like you said, one day at a time is the way to go. Glad you realised that!

  40. Deepa said

    Hi pepper,
    I totally get you. I have no idea what your background is but if you write to me at my email with your CV I will pass it on to my sister who’s in HR in Mumbai and see what she can do. Do it pronto though as she will be leaving for the U.S. by the end of this month to take up a new posting.

    Best of Luck anyways.

  41. Aruna said

    I stumbled on your blog through The Mad Momma’s blog (I think) and I really like the way you are so open about your thoughts. I always admire honest, straight-forward people and you seem like one. About your job search, all I’d say is that a lot of people have been there and done that, so don’t lose hope. Things will work out when they are meant to be .Focus on the various positives in your life. A job is not your only identity!

    • Pepper said

      Thanks so much Aruna and welcome here!
      I know what you are saying is right. But then, I am known to be an impatient person. I hope that changes. And I want a job, not because I consider it to be my identity, but for a lot of other reasons. Finances being one.

      • Aruna said

        I’m an impatient person too, but sometimes life teaches us patience the hard way 😦 And it doesn’t help that we are constantly surrounded by people who rub it in, some deliberately and some inadvertently.
        BTW if you don’t mind, can you email me the password to the previous post?

  42. Deboshree said

    Ah, life. She must have an ego boost every time we rattle our brains trying to decipher her. All the best with the agenda, Pepper. πŸ˜€

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