My Imaginary Life in Isolation…



Meadow, originally uploaded by andai.

Working in consulting sometimes means that you work in isolation as you have to find various free workspaces where you can sit and complete your tasks. This may be at the client’s office, in a café, maybe at the library. After all, for any consultant worth their salt, their office is their laptop and an internet connection to at times location is really not an issue… but the isolation can be.

This kind of fluid work environment is certainly not for everyone. Some do need to have that social aspect of being around people, workmates, co-workers, all the time. For me however, I am very comfortable with that and in fact I find that working in isolation can be really beneficial since it is at these times where I can really reflect on my life and where I am really headed. And it seems like I do this reflecting more and more, the older I get. And it seems like more and more I tend to reflect on my childhood growing up in Kenya and the lessons that I learned along the way about life and what life is really all about. I find too that this also is a time that I reflect on my upbringing and wonder what, if anything, my parents could or should have done better when they raised me and my brothers.

Being now that I live in Seattle, I find that I really miss the sunny days growing up in Kenya. Seattle is a really beautiful place with lots of green and lots of water. But that is only because it rains a heck of a lot! So I find that I miss the warm lazy Saturday afternoons when my friends and I would go exploring the woods and the river near where we lived. Or just lying on the grass in the open fields thinking to ourselves how boring this was and that we wish we were grown-ups so we could do whatever we want and go wherever we wanted. One thing for sure though, my parents did not have to worry about us kids getting lost, kidnapped or anything crazy like that. We would take off in the morning to do whatever, and show up a few hours later for lunch. After lunch the same thing happened again till dinner time. I would come home really dusty and I remember quickly turning the bath water brown… how fun!

In those days, my mom never had to worry about our safety. She knew we would be safe going out on our own and that it was important for us to develop that confidence while learning to grow and explore as kids. I feel now that is almost an imaginary life that I had, compared to what we see around us today… I certainly do not envy the kids growing up today.

People I speak to here in the US always seem surprised when I tell them that if I could do it all over again, I would opt to have been raised in Kenya than the US. Clearly, looking back in hindsight, it is my experiences growing up that made me, me. But even more important, I feel that I probably lived a much richer and better well rounded life back in Kenya, than if I was to have been raised here in the US. Of course I am not a prophet or anything like that so I can’t predict with any sort of certainty what my life would have been if I had been raised here… I can’t predict whether it would have been better or worse….

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