I am becoming increasingly concerned with the fact that I do not seem able to leave Hanoi.
I have pushed back my moving date four times now. Four. In eighteen months. The other day, I was thinking and realized that I am not sure I'd be able to adjust back to life in the western world.
In theory, I should be able to, and I want to. I love it here but I miss my life back home. I miss the stability and the long term future that it offers. I simply, despite how much I am enjoying myself, can not see myself living here in the long term. (however, saying that I don't think I can leave either)
I don't know what makes life here so different, because for all intensive purposes things are the same as they'd be anywhere: I have a corporate job that steals my time and leaves me stressed and exhausted, I pretend to be dedicated to the gym, I have great friends, and go to dinner, have a cat etc. Yet something is different. it's not the work ethic because I'm working as hard as I ever have, and it's not really the lifestyle because, as I said, it's the same game just with different players.
I think, what it is, is that the grind is there but it's different. That when I work hard here it feels like it's actually beneficial to me and my career. When I was working in NYC, I lost the zest I used to have because I realized that no matter what i did, things would be the same. If I put in 55 hours a week, i'd get the same compensation and recognition as I would if I put in 35. I wasn't given any kind of validation when I did something right but was torn apart when I made the slightest glitch. I don't want to start bashing anyone or anything because that's not the point of this blog. It was tough though, to feel like I was racing, racing, racing towards nothing. Once I got to the place I was running to, nothing happened. I felt like my voice was getting lost, that i was drowning and I stopped fighting back. I looked at my superiors at work and didn't feel inspired to be like them, instead the prospect of their future looked dismal to me.
Here, it's different. I work hard, yes. I'm tired, yes. My friends say they're worried about me, yes. But I feel like it's for a reason. The opportunities here are limitless...I'm not pushed aside because I'm 27 and blond and a girl. I don't have to thrash my way through a sea of corporate mumbo jumbo bs to be heard and listened to. People believe in me, accept what i say, and as a result it's bolstered my confidence and opened my aspirations to a whole new horizon. If I put in the time and effort and push myself then I will be successful. The race doesn't have a set finish line...I can keep going for as long as I want.
Here I am given the tools, resources, and power to be my own person professionally. To grow and expand. To make decisions. To be innovative. To lead, both others and also myself into success. I am given opportunities that I wouldn't have back in New York or London without years of mundane paper pushing, air kissing and backstabbing. I'm not saying I want to cut corners or that i'm not willing to put in the work, but I do think it will be extremely difficult for me to go back to that world now that I've lived in this one.