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January 2, 2014 / ldejong4

2014 Belongs to You

So I was out on a mad one last night with my dear friends to ring in the New Year and as always, Dublin did not let us down. It was a busy night of queues into bars, queues to hang up our coats then queues to get drinks even while we counted down from ten. Nevertheless the atmosphere was buzzing; I felt I could do nothing but embrace it and welcome every person that hit off me as they shoved by. Then at the bar, while waiting for my friends to get the round I got talking to this guy – a friend of a friend or something and we got chatting. I wasn’t expecting much from the conversation but a bit of small talk. It was loud and I was paying more attention to his swaying than trying to make sense of what he was shouting in my ear. He was telling me about his Master’s and what he wants to do after and then he said something that stuck with me for the night, “I’m doing this IT Master’s because that’s what Google wants and I want to be part of Google someday.”

Now why did this strike a chord with me? It seems like a perfectly logical and legitimate thing for a graduate in their twenties to say right? Google has become a huge multinational corporation with impressive operations in Dublin, hiring many talented graduates from all over the world including our beloved Ireland. They are internationally renowned for their working conditions. Any graduate would be lucky to become part of their family. But his logic just did not sit right with me.

You see, the truth is I used to work at Google. I was that lucky graduate. I had the world telling me how fortunate I was. I tried my utmost to impress them in their crippling interview process and when I was given an offer I was so happy that Google wanted me. I would have the Google stamp on my CV forever – a timeless brand of acceptance into the realm of this adored corporation like an enchanted vintage engagement ring into the request for marriage. And so I believed that my future and happiness were secured.

Just over two years later however, the shit hit the fan for me personally and I realised it wasn’t the job nor the company for me so I left. It’s a story for another day. Today I can safely say one year later that I am more proud of myself for leaving that job than being offered it in the first place. Why? Because I have arrived at a point in my life where I have huge faith in my decisions – not any decision, but the ones you make based on your gut feelings, your intuitions.

You see, in society today most decisions are made for us. You are born, you are baptised – ‘prescribed’ your religion, you go through school and maybe you decide what extra curricular activities you do after school but probably with parental influence. Then you find yourself in secondary school and studying subjects you don’t like and ones you do like but most likely teachers and parents are telling you to focus more on the ones you’re bad at – maybe Maths or English. Then your guidance counsellor (her name was Miss Guidance) in final year advises you on third level courses based on the likelihood of job offers in the current economic climate. And then you have the careers fair in university telling you which jobs are the best.  Well, this was a brief summary of my experience and in essence I never fully knew how to make a big decision from my gut. Nobody ever taught me. Why would I need to learn that if society was making all the decisions for me? I felt like I was a piece of meat, being moulded into a sausage and spat out to fit the rest of society.

So that conversation with the guy at the bar got me thinking. I realised in that moment that this is how the big corporations are so successful at advertising and marketing – they make the decisions for us. How convenient! We rarely realise there is even a decision to be made. Apple decided for me I needed an Iphone, Amazon decided I needed a Kindle and the big corporations decide for the rest of society which stamps are the best to have on a CV. Can someone please give me a stamp for leaving and trying to create my own path for once?

So as a New Year’s gift for you my dear reader I want to let you in on my little secret and that is Mindfulness Meditation. Since making my big decision last year, I’ve been living on a path of uncertainty and I’m not used to that. It’s scary but ironically it’s been the best year of my life. The even better decision I made since is to take up Mindfulness Meditation and thanks to this newly acquired life skill I have every faith and confidence that my decisions will be right for me. I no longer need the fancy corporate contract to hold my hand through life.

My initial plan this evening was to write up a detailed post about Mindfullness Meditation but I think that deserves a whole new post in itself. I guess the message I want to convey here to you is that sometimes decisions need to made from within the individual. It’s a process in itself to learn how to do that but there are many aids out there and in my case it has become meditation. I believe spirituality and religion to be two very separate things. Ireland is becoming a less religious country. I would therefore like to see the young people explore their individual spiritually more outside the constraints of organised religion because with that come many tools that lead to peace and happiness from within as opposed to from what corporations are telling them. So as you make your resolutions for 2014, consider what decisions you would like to make and how you can improve on making decisions that are difficult to make. My next post will be more detailed about meditation from a beginner’s perspective. I wish you all a happy 2014!

Dedicating this piece to that guy at the bar, three special friends who introduced me to meditation, all my beloved friends and former colleagues at Google who showed me nothing but support and to my brother who recently made a big decision to soon give me a wonderful sister in law. May you all continue to make great decisions in your lives!

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9 Comments

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  1. Claire b / Jan 2 2014 8:30 am

    Lovely!!- Happy New Year Lisa I have a feeling it’s going to be a great one for all of us x

    • ldejong4 / Jan 2 2014 1:46 pm

      Thanks Claire 🙂 Happy New Year! Yes and I’m open to it ALL!

  2. valpavego / Jan 2 2014 9:36 am

    Love the article Lisa. And could not agree more. Look forward to reading about mindful meditation as it is something I wanted to explore for a while.

    • ldejong4 / Jan 2 2014 1:48 pm

      Thanks Valeria! Ah yes it’s something interesting to try for sure. I’ll write something soon 🙂

  3. Donal O'Conghaile (@Donal_IRL) / Jan 2 2014 8:34 pm

    Corporate jobs are right for a lot of people, but they’re definitely not for everyone. It’s a great feeling knowing that you’re making a valuable contribution to the world in your own way and not just following the herd of sheep as so many do. Kudos to you for your courage and Happy New Year!

    • ldejong4 / Jan 3 2014 1:31 am

      Thanks Donal! Couldn’t agree more. Sometimes people don’t realise it’s not for them and then feel it’s too late. Following is the easy option. Happy New Year!

  4. thealwaysbeliever / Jan 10 2014 3:53 pm

    As usual, beautiful. You and your posts. Cannot wait to catch up with you. Meanwhile, have this award too: http://thealwaysbeliever.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/superstar-blogger-award-nominations-and-acceptance/ It is the SuperStar Blogger award. Just because you rock and for the million reasons we always talk about. Spread the love and keep that head up. 🙂 XO darling!

    • ldejong4 / Jan 11 2014 5:49 pm

      Thank you for your kind words as always Ari! I’m so excited about getting two awards from you already. I plan to write a post about them soon. Just bogged down with college work at the moment Hope you’re having a lovely weekend. I went for a long leisurely cycle in the sun around Dublin today. Was a nice break to take. xxx

      • thealwaysbeliever / Jan 11 2014 5:59 pm

        Awe that makes me happy to hear! That you take a break and enjoy what you do. I’m writing back countless emails and comments that I am blessed to receive and working on future projects. All about working on what I love. Can’t wait to see the post and most of all, catch up with you my love. May you have many more awards as you type away your goals. 😉

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