September 07

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

You arrive. You sit. You listen. You observe. You process. You leave. Repeat.
You arrive. You sit. You listen. You observe. You process. You leave. Repeat.

Patience is a gift, one that many of us take for granted. I know I do. I’m always restless, eager for tomorrow, making plans for things that are only going to happen in 5, 8, 12, God!, even 18 months from now. In my natural habitat, I work with eagle eyes – watching over the valley, scanning what’s ahead to always take the right steps. PULSE, however, is not about wearing your natural skin.

Think about it, mate: you throw yourself into a new world where you ought to start a new function, working with people you’ve never heard of or met before! Trust me, it turns your life upside down, and it comes with pros and cons. The pros are obvious – go through the difficult transition, adapt, learn from it, and become stronger. The downside, though, is that it requires a lot of patience.

Imagine a prom where you’re standing by the corner of the dance hall and all you can do is watch. You don’t know the dance, your classmates are all pros, so you just listen to the music and observe. You may even tap your feet to the beat, but you don’t want to risk yourself and do the wrong moves. These people are like Beyoncé slaying at the VMAs and you’re just the new kid on the block trying to get in formation.

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This is where I am right now: I arrived in the Philippines three weeks ago. I have a desk, where I sit every day, and I’ve been spending my days attending meetings where I listen, I watch, I observe, ask questions, process all these learnings and then go back home. It’s quite lonely at this side of the world, folks, and (once again) patience is my only friend during the evenings, when I journal and think about what I can do to help and how I can learn from the experience.

My eagle self is eager to jump in, and it’s almost time to start getting into action; until then, I will keep standing by the corner, watching the dance, so that I know my moves when it’s my time to join the waltz.