I am free
Since I moved to Virginia and took the less stress Smithsonian job, I see my life is changing. Every Saturday when I am not out hiking, I would devote the whole day housing cleaning, gardening and cooking. These tasks some time ago sounded dreary to me, but now I find them enjoyable. When the house is clean, it feels cozy, when the garden is tidy, my plants are happy, and the honey bees and butterflies will come and as I start cooking, my apartment smells like what a home should smell. Finally when I hang my laundries out in the sun, I find myself singing. I really love doing these simple things!
Nowadays, I have foods to eat, cloths to keep warm, nature (my garden) to relax, occasionally friends to visit, life is satisfying. I no longer want to climb the "Corporate Ladder", just be a humble government employee, work 9-5, and have time to do things I truly enjoy. I am ten times lighter in spirit than when I was working in Wall Street. I don't envy Marissa Mayer (Yahoo CEO) or Sheryl Sandburg (Face Book COO), they are the phantoms and illusions that I, once upon a time believed were real. At least, Indra Nooyi, the CEO of Pepsi Cola is honest, she admits: ‘I don’t think women can have it all, I just don’t think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all.”
Occasionally, I ask myself if I miss shopping on the Fifth Avenue in New York, do I regret giving up the high-paying job, or feel unfulfilled for quitting the annual CMCNY 26-mile hike. Well, I know the answers when I see myself in the mirror looking thinner, browner and healthier than the model I see on the magazine, or when I sit quietly on the balcony in the evening with nothing to annoy me and nothing to exhilarate me, just watch the sun setting down to the horizon and the star coming out one by one. I went to Peace Corps and found a simple, leisurely way of life very satisfying, and I came home and determined to do just that. Looking back the last three years, I can see myself as I was and realize how living simple has changed me. Certainly I am happier than I was then in New York.
Here, away from all the Wall Street executives, “yuppie” professional colleagues and competitive hikers, I dare to be myself. I don’t see why it should ever again be important to be accepted by them. I don’t see why it should ever matter to me again who does or does not like me. I don’t see why I should ever care again what they think of me. Those things used to matter, though, because I had no confidence in myself. To be accepted and be included in their circle was important to me, but no more. Today, I am free.