A Wilder World

Recently, I’ve been misaligned with myself. Okay, that’s a lie. I always thought I was a bad liar and here I start off with an ironic confession. I’ve always been misaligned with myself and I think I’m not alone.

Whipple (note: the actual title is longer so let’s stick to Whipple) was a book graciously passed on to me by an Art Director in my internship hoping I absorb the wisdom of this great advertising book. However, my current job has taken me aback with the industry’s cold upfront ways and placing its fat foot on my fantasy of a rogue artistic career. So I decided to take a detour from Whipple and hang out with Oscar Wilde on the way to work. As I read The Importance of Being Earnest, Jack says:

Everybody is clever nowadays. You can’t go anywhere without meeting clever people. The thing has  become an absolute public nuisance. I wish to goodness we had a few fools left.

Every single day, I drag my wandering self back to work and ask myself what I’ve achieved today and my answers would always struggle its way out of me. As I continuously take my steps into the waters of the working life, I find myself looking for a place to retreat. Surrounded by professionals and masters in their craft, I wish I too found my craft to master. Constantly, I search for a mentor in everyone I meet hoping that they could help me hone my skills and character to be something of substance, something of great caliber.

Sitting in the 8:45am metro every morning, I say a little prayer seeking this sense of control and deep wisdom inside of me so I can handle this day all the way till the end with finesse and some calmness. Hours later, (if auras could be read) mine would look something like a big black smoke of stress with a sorrowful purple core spreading like an epidemic on the loose. Yes, I’m usually  confused and very troubled at the end of the day with all the things I’ve completed yet I’m bewildered because I apparently had more on the list.

Oh, these corporate protocols at work! The listing, the meetings, the revisions, the research, the design, the meetings again and the CC-ing of emails – yes,yes a lot of that. Fine and well with me. But what I don’t understand is that how something I wrote, I was present in and something I triple checked on this wonderful list of things to do and then carry out the job from start to finish have something more than it already has! Those are the very moments where I wish I was smarter so I could foresee all these huge “obvious” pieces on the plan and keep it together.

Oscar Wilde was a great companion for the past week; I’ve been literally shaking and banging my inner-self with frustration of working up to par. Constantly reminding myself of all the little and big things on this apparent plan in life and my career. The Importance of Being Earnest, left me juicing the last few moments with Wilde before I left the train as I ravishingly read the biography and publishing section of the 67 paged book . You know usually, I feel attached to the protagonist or a certain character of a book, in this one, I was attracted to the words of this eccentric author. He was said to be someone of great talent, charm and oozing with flamboyance. Apparently, when he arrived in New York perhaps for one of his literary functions, he said “I have nothing to declare but my genius.” I don’t know why I’m attracted to Wilde; his character seemed so loud, almost ridiculous.

Ridiculous – there I said it! And at the end of Wilde’s biography came a surprising and well put mentor-like response to my weeping worries. There it was, as Wilde was being praised for this infamous play followed a simple philosophy with its way of writing:

That we should treat all the trivial things of life seriously, and all the serious things in life with sincere and studied triviality.

Reading the simplicity of this book’s philosophy gave me calm in my days at work; perhaps it is important to take care of your client’s brand name or deliver a box of brochures on a deadline and even highlight, post-it, underline, email, CC and write yourself a list of a hundred more lists as a reminder to get it together. But it is also important to find a sense of humor amidst this chaos; I guess being clever in the corporate world sometimes makes it even harder to get through the clutter. HR managers and corporations continuously seek for the perfect, hardworking, low paid (any pay for that matter), clever types. But then if they keep sticking to this criteria in this recession period, the world would be sapped out of silly and crazy little individuals with quirks and a talent of missing out on lists and become simply said, “a public nuisance.”


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