Now that I’ve enticed you to click on this post with the fail-proof bait of “Paris”, I wonder if I can say anything equally as chic.
Sciences Po has officially confirmed all my paperwork. In about two months, Penning an Image will be relocating to the City of Love! I have had the privilege of travelling to many storied places around the world, only to realize it’s really the people who make the stories. The Colosseum is smaller than it looked in The Gladiator and without Julia Roberts, Notting Hill is just rows of townhouses. I have lived on three continents and visited Paris, so I’m very realistic that it will not all be Rose clicking along cobblestones in Dior with a baguette under one arm (but by God I will try). However, I have a feeling that when I roll my well-travelled luggage out of Farrhaven in the new year, I will a) be out of the country beyond my Parisian stay and b) be penning legendary stories at each one of these storied places.
When I made my Big Name or Big Bucks Plan in the summer, fall 2011 is supposed to be Application Season. Right now, I should be applying to the Harvard MBA and McKinsey consulting positions. By the time I get to Paris, I would have a bohemian escape while waiting to see where the chips fall. How things have changed.
The thing that stood out for me about graduate school is the speed with which ideas evolve. The amount of information, experience and people we are exposed to can completely change our stance on something within a week. I can hardly recognize the person I was a month ago. It’s not that us young people have weak convictions but rather that we have abundant opportunities to ruminate. Had I settled into the homeostasis of a working life, I wouldn’t have as many “disturbances” to my routine that cause me to question who I am, what I want and where I’m going. While my academic curriculum has been instructive, turning in papers is almost an after thought compared to what I learned outside of the classroom. Despite the emotional rollercoasters, I think we should always be regularly prodded out of our comfort zone. There’s a saying in Chinese, trees die when they are moved but people come alive!
Last week, I debriefed M on my Harvard experience. At that point, I was still pretty bent on applying Harvard and McKinsey, mostly because I didn’t know what other options I had to realize the kind of personal and professional life I want. M on the other hand, was still convinced that I’m better suited for the “bigger picture”. So we left on the note that I should let my ideas “percolate”. Little did I know that very night, one of the news streams I subscribe to via Facebook would lead me to an international organization I’ve always heard about but never investigated. Then, on a roll, I checked out an opportunity I heard Mr. Oxford talk about but that I had never followed up on. Suddenly, a whole world of possibility opened up to me. My mom once said that a person cannot be taught unless he is ready to learn. These two ideas have been planted in me for months and the environmental factors are finally aligned for their germination!
So my little crystal ball tells me that instead of cruising for brooding French men on both sides of the Seine, I will be taking advantage of Paris’ proximity to the headquarters of international organizations to advance my now-renamed Big Plan (yes, scratch the “Name” and the “Bucks”, just “Big”).