Hiding in Open Spaces

In everyone’s life there is a time when we are the stranger in the room, the oddball, the fifth wheel — we just do not fit quite right. For me that is generally the norm. I live in a different country than my home country with limited intention of ever moving back. I am an engineer working in Finance. I am a Finance person working among engineers. And generally, I am more creative and hands-on than what many people are comfortable with. It is what it is and usually this is all fine.

However, there are days when things are not quite fine.

There are days when all I want to be is just like everyone else. When I want an engineering job among engineers. So, my language is their language.

There are days when I hate speaking with an accent. When I do not want to be asked “Where are you from?”

Sometimes I just need to hide.

At work I hide by deep diving into an analysis and writing a paper. Or writing a blog like I am today. Yes, during work hours.
Trust me I will have to compensate for that later. I always do. Isn’t the beauty of today’s world that it does not matter how we slice and dice our work for as long as our deliverables get done? I can work from home or from the office, my employer allows me to do so for as long as my performance does not suffer.

At home I hide by going for a run. This year I will hopefully be finishing my 6th marathon. Maybe I will even beat my best time (3:57), may be not.

I may also hide at home by painting. I have a passion for painting. It is a good way to express feelings silently without annoying the people around me. Instead of yelling at people when frustrated I paint loud pictures with large brush strokes. Well, sometimes I do both yelling and painting — that usually means I need to get out of the house.

I generally work too much — usually around 60h a week. But I can honestly say I love working. I love presenting, and I love making a difference wherever I am. As a continuous improvement manager there is plenty of opportunity to do so. Change management is tough, but very rewarding.

The secret to working a lot is to take a lot of breaks. To allow yourself to hide and to find the best hiding spots. Whether you need loud hiding spots or quiet hiding spots is a question of personal preferences. I prefer hiding spots where I am alone with my thoughts. The most difficult work problems get solved on runs.

And sometimes a hiding spot can just be found in a glass of wine in front of the TV at night.

Sometimes temporary laziness is the best thing I can do for myself.


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