The past few months, I had taken up a semi-full time freelance position with an ad agency, allowing myself 3 days weekend, never exceeding 8 hour workdays, and also learning how to balance money for insurance, taxes, rent, and savings. It feels like being an adult while still enjoying my time. I went into the job feeling quite burnt from the last one; weary and heart sickened, I kept my distance and just went about doing my work and not wanting to get too close to the people there.
Today, the president of the agency and her husband took the entire team on a cruise on the Hudson to celebrate the summer with drinks and food. It was great! Who doesn’t love a day out away from the office? However, I have begun to love working again that it was hard to get away from my desk.
The blue sky was speckled with large puffy clouds, shading the summer sun beating down on us mere mortals. Lower Manhattan was bustling with tourists vying for photos and a glimpse of the World Trade Center. The memorial is absolutely serene and magnanimous, it’s waterfall cascading into the square abyss brings memories of that fateful days. It’s a must-visit for tourists indeed.
As we arrived at the Marina Cove Dock, I was starting to feel anxious, unprepared with last minute sea sickness pills and having forgotten my seabands. The moment my feet touched the dock, I was about to turn around but was convinced to brave it up. I should have listened to my instinct.
I spent the next hour and a half trying to maintain composure despite the onslaught of dizziness and headache. Eventually, I found myself curled up against the edge of the boat, hurling whatever little I had on the boat. The last half hour, I was heaving deep breaths in order to make it back to shore and trying not to vomit again. While in this state of mess, the president sat by me the whole time, calming me and holding me. It made me crave the warmth which I often deny myself.
During my state of disarray, I started to think what a wonderful woman she is. This woman, she didn’t have to take care of me. She didn’t have to be there for me. Who am I to her? But she did it, without feeling like she expected something back.
What I learnt was that it was okay to want to be treated nicely. It’s okay to treat others nicely. When I first interviewed with her, she said, “I’m being honest with you so you be honest with me.” And I found myself telling her all the things my last job did to me, how it broke me and how I just wanted to find myself again and do what I loved.
She is stern but easy going. She sets deadlines but sometimes forgets the minor details. She works hard without asking you to do the same. She appreciates you and makes you feel at home without telling you anything. She is strong but caring. She loves her job but work life balance is important to her, her husband being her partner and she always takes the time to talk about their children.
We all have ambitions and drive and desire for excellence. But sometimes, you break your back and your heart only to find that all that ambition doesn’t require you to lose yourself. It should only make you better to yourself, your loved ones, and the people around you. And from her, I want to cultivate that lifestyle of caring for others without any expectation while doing the things I love.