Sunday, November 23, 2008

MBA identity

No one tells you before you do an MBA that the MBA takes the place of your life- all your interests, your pursuits, your relationships, friendships, the things that make you happy- the things that MADE ME HAPPY. This is what I’ve decided- this is my melodramatic statement for the day…

I knew what an MBA entailed- I wasn’t fooled about this- we all knew business school is no easy task. But more than the content being hard, it’s the time-consumption that’s getting to me- the sheer bulk of daily hours being legitimately stolen away from me. And then I have to remind myself- I am paying for this.

How was I supposed to shift gears? Especially when I’ve always driven an automatic. 
How am I intended to push aside- leave behind- the things that I love? And furthermore, prohibit myself from gaining new pursuits. I am an MBA student. Why does that mean that I cant be anything else? Because right now- that’s how it is. That’s who I am: an MBA student and nothing more. 

Up until this point, I have tried to secede from this identity. I’ve continued to explore my curiosities and rummage through the things that fascinate me- to a lesser degree of course- and this week, that came to a screeching halt. Reality set in and I finally grasped the fact that as good as I am at sorting through my desires and necessary battles, it’s the battles that are winning and everything else that is being extinguished. It’s a choice I didn’t think I would have to make- and a choice I didn’t intend to make. I arrived at school on Monday morning, after a weekend of “being me” and I could no longer put on the face of the student that I am- and fully appreciate every concept being presented to me in my unremitting hours of classes. How does one fight that? How does one fix that?

How do I explain what I feel I am losing? My fervor is being extinguished- I have misplaced myself. Whatever it was inside of me that I could point to and recognize as mine, is gone. I came to Barcelona to acquire new passions, give my heart to other things…I decided to do an MBA because I wanted to explore more of the unknown, to create a broader understanding of the world so I could grow to love it even more. And at this moment, I think all that is lost and I need to redefine my purpose here. 

I know I wont find happiness in career web portals and market data research. As great as this MBA thing is, as much as I am learning and growing, an excel spread sheet will never take the place of a good novel and a revered guest speaker will never take the place of a good conversation. Not for me.

I watch my fellow students- and they are finding fulfillment and satisfaction in being enveloped by this MBA- not only the full days of classes, but the group work lasting until the morning hours, the dinners with fellow students, the weekend club meetings, the mba-related festivals, events, promoted affairs. 

There are couplings of students- budding relationships between colleagues- the possibility of love, the excuse for a distraction, any number of associations for any number of purposes are unfolding before me and within this little society of ours. There are promising friendships- of which I can’t seem to understand because I don’t even have time to work on my old friendships. And both these losses make me sad. There are plenty of individuals constantly reminding me that “things” will calm down second term- that we just have to get through this part- but that’s never been how I live my life- to merely “get through” it. Because who wants that? I don’t want to have an existence that I just “get through” I want to be devoted to every moment to the degree that I attempt to hold onto it with all my might. I want my fingers to bleed from their grasp. Yet now- I’m waiting for tomorrow and the day after and the day after- but for what? The next phase? What about this phase? THIS is what I wanted…this is what I aimed for and consequently attained. And now? I’m trying to “get through” it. 
That’s not how I live my life. And therefore, I have to ask who I have become- what did this MBA do to me? 

I lost the things I knew I would lose coming here- and then I lost a few things I wasn’t prepared for. Now I’m losing myself. Something I never thought possible. And I have to ask- is it all worth it? Ultimately, I know I will “get through” it- but I’m more concerned, at this impasse, about getting through it and coming out at the other end having preserved what I came here with- in hopes of adding more substance to what I already had.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are not alone there...