Monday, 12 January 2009

Saying no to boxes (& other category defying stunts!)

Sometimes it's frustrating having a diverse and eclectic background. I have been thinking this thought since I was a kid (dreaming about my cousins' life in Long Island; marveling at their special cereal drawer that actually contained a range of breakfast delights from Cocoa Puffs to Frosted Flakes. I thought it was just amazing (along with their Fruit Roll-ups and pre-made Caesar salad dressing). I woefully compared that to the Quaker Oats that sat on the top of a metal shelf in my Pop's loft on the Bowery). Can you believe I actually wanted to be named Jennifer at one point (this coming from the girl named Pia who went to 4 different elementary schools and 4 high schools)? Desperately seeking whatever I assumed to be 'normal' at the time.

Fast forward to today. I currently work as a Creative Strategist/Copywriter at a brand-centric comms agency. I am hunting for 'fits' and sniffing around attempting to put my finger on the pulse of my career's evolution (where I want to go and how I intend to get there). History has repeated itself. In the past 7 years I have worked in 4 countries, from Sri Lanka to Bahrain, producing documentaries, writing headlines, developing brand personalities, copywriting and providing creative direction across diverse mediums. Sometimes I wonder if this diversity works against me or in my favor? I am definitely not easily categorized or compartmentalized. I've traveled on a winding and tortuous road.

Looking back I've loved the strange backdrop. I continue to challenge myself, morph, adapt, learn and grow into the person (and professional) I want to become. That idea keeps changing too. And ultimately, the right fit or part will be one that appreciates and values these attributes, this rich history.

But I have to admit, every now and then I look over my shoulder, unto the clear and manicured lawn (you know exactly where you are, what the inside of the house might look like, exactly what to expect and most probably can accurately guess what's coming) and wonder what life is like on the paved side.

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