Saturday, July 21, 2007

About being ordinary... and more

I haven't been writing since I came back to London, I miss sitting down and collecting my thoughts. I've been working, socializing and trying to work on my dissertation - very inefficiently and unsuccessfully. I want to use the Varieties of Capitalism approach to explain differences in corporate governance and countries' approaches to crossborder M&As - and maybe private equity? Disclosure? As you see I have no clue! And I don't know what I can add to the existing literature. I'm hoping to read more and more and hopefully I'll come up with a revelation.

Since I last wrote here, I finished On Beauty by Zadie Smith, went to the Cake concert in O2 arena, saw La Vie en Rose and Good Night and Good Luck, went to a really fun barbecue afternoon and a Forro place on Brick Lane. I downloaded lots of music on ITunes, all of Cake's albums (their music is so vibrant and cheerful and alive, with colorful and upbeat layers - and one layer is a recurring, hypnotic melody), Meteora by Linkin Park (I saw them on their Live Earth concert in Tokyo -on TV, but they were still amazing), and Işık Doğudan Yükselir by Sezen Aksu. Remember what I told in my previous post about music that connects directly to your heart and stirs something in you? After elementary school, I went to this road trip with my parents on the Black Sea coast. It was an amazing trip, I remember it really fondly, and this album played on tape the whole time. Davet is the sexiest song you can ever hear, and I was aware of this even when I was ten. The hazelnuts on the beach in Akçakoca, the dark shadows of the grapevines in Safranbolu, the dark green and the water lilies in Abant... I was reading Ayn Rand's the Fountainhead the whole time. From the book I remember the ice blue backless dress Dominique wears and the granite, and that's about it. So that was twelve years ago... Wow. Will those days ever come back? After years, last year in Spring Break I took a road trip in California, and that was amazing, too. I feel completely free when I'm going in the car. I feel cool and calm inside yet excited and expectant - happy, I guess.

There is so much to see and watch, so much to hear, so much history, so much variety, it blows my mind. As Orhan Pamuk wrote once, it is so tempting to stay at the point where you could do anything, actually committing to nothing. As a student I was always sure I'd do something big. I was learning something important and meaningful that would bring me somewhere. Once you actually start working, you sit on an office floor next to tens of other people, you make little money, and you ask yourself whether someone else could do what you're doing just as well as you do. And you wonder whether you should be doing something else. Or whether this leads to something bigger. I think the trick is to be able to content with what you are doing, and try to do your best at it, while always, always keeping your initial dreams at the back of your head. It's important to be content and calm, because it enables you to do something rather than continuously and restlessly searching. But now and then I should remember the initial dream and ask (again calmly) whether my job is leading me there on the greater scheme of things. Because habit makes people numb, and daily rituals and schedules are too comfortable to change, especially when you get efficient and good at something. So it's important to stop and ask every once in a while - is this really what I want to do?

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