On my last day in Brussels my mind is drifting to replay the memories of last few months. The city of Brussels took its own time to impress me and I am glad that I gave it time. For a long time I was searching for a place to fit in and I didn’t even realize that I have been there the whole time. You might find out that thing you hate so much is the very same thing you miss when it's gone. And sometime in last few months, I don’t exactly know when but I realized how true Robert Alan’s words are: “Okay, we are different, it's true. And I don't like to do all the things that you do. But here's one thing to think through, you’re a lot like me and I'm a lot like you!”
Being alone in this city was the biggest burden especially in early days when I did not like Brussels. I think owning your burden is half the battle. It is difficult still it is not that daunting if you look around you and see what other people have to deal with. You need to find right reasons to motivate yourself to keep going. At the same time you need to accept that there are problems that need to be addressed. Acceptance can take a lot of different forms. Whether it is accepting that it's ok to show your soft side every once in a while or accepting someone you love just the way they are. But in the end the most important thing to accept is that no matter how alone you feel, how painful it may be, with the help of those around you, you get through this too. Ego can make you so afraid to ask for help and instead we just quietly hope for someone to notice. We secretly wish that someone comes along the way and say, you are in a crappy situation let me pull you out of it, I am your friend. If you find someone that actually cares about you it is important that you let go off the little things, even if you can't let it go off all the way. Because being alone is really hard especially when you are surrounded by many people.
I try not to let people down, whether it is someone I made a promise to or someone I love or letting down someone I barely know. Because in the end it is the 'what ifs' that hurt the most. Like what if I had done it differently? Me I don’t believe in fate. I believe we have more control than we think and that every action has a reaction. Afterall the most minor event can change everything. Sometimes for the better, even if it doesn’t seem like that at first. So I took more risks with everything I did, be it with people around me or with my work or sometimes with my life. No matter how it turned out but in the end I am really glad that I took those risks.
The work was a great learning experience for me. I especially enjoyed the company of the smart, pragmatic and intelligent problem solvers I worked with. They made me realize that, if you are smart enough you can always learn something. But whatever you do, don’t wait for that pat on the back. Being a young consultant I always wished that I had the company of my seniors at work. But in retrospect I think they chose not to be there as sometime being there for someone means not being there at all.
It is very important that you work on something that you love. Love gives you strength in the moments of self doubt and there will be plenty of those when you are working alone in tough conditions. It is important to keep reminding yourself every once in a while that you love what you are doing, even when it seems otherwise.
It has never been easy for me, to say the final words calmly. May be because I try to hang on to the leaving moments so much that I end up uttering some awkward lines. At the same time being a dreamer endings are never easy for me. I always build them up so much in my head they can’t possibly live up to my expectations and I just end up disappointed. I am not even sure why it matters to me so much how things end here! I guess it's because we all want to believe that what we do is very important, that people hang on to our every word, that they care what we think. But truth is, you should consider yourself lucky if, even occasionally, you get to make someone, anyone, feel a little better.
After that it's all about the people you let in your life and as my mind drifted to see the faces I have seen here before, I was taken in the memories of friends, of coworkers, of competitors, of strangers who smiled, even those who frowned but mostly of those who helped me tread this long arduous path. And as I was sipping my last coffee, their words came rushing back to me in a wave of shared experience. … good work chief, you have no chance to succeed here, keep up the good work, you are the youngest person on this floor yet you know our business better than most, you are getting old now, like your tie, you are so preppy, I doubt you, you are a good friend, will miss your company, I don’t think I will miss you…
Even though it felt nice and nostalgic for that moment, I knew it had to end. It's never good to live in the past for too long and as for the future thanks to last few months it never seemed so exciting. It is what I always wanted to be, being in company of my loved ones, sharing my days and nights with them, laughing and playing with them and more than anything else living close to them. Yes I am going back home, yes my love I am coming home!!!
If the words sound familiar to you, I am sure you are a Scrubs fan :o) I have taken most of the words from there and added bits to make the context right. I could relate to that series in more than many ways.