Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘shit ton of debt’

This time one year ago, a June weekend might have looked like this:  I probably woke up late on a Saturday, grabbed a New Yorker or a Gourmet magazine, and whiled the morning away over a huge coffee and a spinach, egg and cheese muffin at the bakery down the street.  Then I wandered into town for an afternoon of Swedish modernist home decor shopping, or for another giant coffee with a friend, or for a walk along the esplanade.  In the evening, I probably hosted a dinner, met friends in town, let one of the guys I’ve dumped (but insisted in keeping on as friends for reasons of flattery – wasn’t that fun, Danny?  I thought so…) make me dinner or went to the theater or the Symphony (often by myself).  On Sunday morning I read the NYTimes from cover to cover (okay, just the arts and style sections), spent some time torturing the piano, and thought about cleaning the apartment.   Or I hosted a fabulous brunch that involved strawberries and Chantilly or deep-fried poached eggs.  Then I dragged a group of friends to the beach for lobster, or to a clam shack out of town, or to climb a mountain.  This led my boss to point out that I seem to be having a lot more fun on the weekends than during the week in the office.  Yeah, no kidding.

This year’s June weekends look like this:  this morning I got up and checked facebook to see what I missed by not going out the night before.  There was a BBQ that looked like fun, but also described by my neighbor as, “just like every BBQ you’ve been to this year.”  Saw more pictures posted of the Monty Ball – was tempted to go just to get a picture of myself being decadent and wearing an 18th century wig, but decided to sleep instead.  Lame, I know.  Then I cranked on a scenario planning exercise for International Political Analysis, calculated some multiples for a Mergers and Acquisitions case, trying hard to force myself to care about the wave of acquisitions in the fine chemicals industry, and read three cases for my (really awesome) Enviro Management class.  Then I wrote an e-mail to my condo tenants back in the States to assure them that their A/C would get fixed just as soon as I could get the delinquent building manager to respond to my phone calls.   Then I checked the exchange rate for the 10th time this week – damn, no shopping therapy for me this year.  Then I wrote another angry e-mail to the idiots (mis)handling my visa.  Then I came to school for group work.  Had an unexpected, but really quality heart-to-heart with one of my groupmates.  It’s nice when you feel like you’ve gotten past the fronting and the keeping-it-together with someone – that they’ll still like you if you’re in a bad mood, if you’re stressed out, homesick, cranky.  Seriously, when is the last time you talked about what’s important to you?  Felt really inspired?  Admitted to someone that you’re worried that the thing you say you want to do with your life is not truly the thing that you want to do with your life?  It’s been a while.

But this is starting to sound like one of Vantan’s insufferable posts.  I’m not entirely sure what I’m trying to say with this comparison.  I don’t wish that I was still back in my condo, reading my Gourmet and showing up to the office on Monday to while away the week before I had another inspiring fulfilling weekend.  But I do miss some of the comforts of that life: trips to Whole Foods, finding time to read, $10 lobster, an income, friends I’ve known for 10 years living down the street, having one of the world’s top symphony orchestras a 30 minute walk from my house, not feeling like I’m missing out if I don’t make it to every social gathering, being an hour’s flight from my parents.  Essayist André Aciman describes mnemonic arbitrage as the act of thinking about yourself in the future remembering the moment that you are experiencing.  The meta-ness of this concept is a bit dizzying, but it’s exactly what I’m doing these days: looking at my world from the point of view of my future self.  Whether it’s the future self that is experiencing the moment while composing a blog post about that moment in my head, or the future self that looks back on this experience years from now and wonders if she did it right, made the right choices, made the most of her time.            

A couple of things threw me for a loop this week.  Part of the funk is due to some self-inflicted “matters of the heart.” But also, I went to a talk earlier this week.  One of the guys giving the talk worked for a direct competitor of my old firm.  The other guy had recently joined my dream firm – the company I’ve been stalking for months before finally applying for an internship and getting rejected by HR with a generic ‘we’ll keep your resume on file’ e-mail.  

– But… but… but… we were made for each other!  Wait, don’t leave!  

They also rejected a friend of mine that I thought was a shoo-in for the job.  So, like the men at INSEAD (okay, women too), they just don’t know what they want.  

The topic of the talk was precisely in the intersection of the two firms’ activities that are interesting to me.  Two things happened:  [one] It made me really miss my old job and [two] It made me realize that dream company does some really boring stuff.  While they think about interesting stuff, their main product appears to be slick-looking reports.  Snoooozzzz. 

– So, there, I wasn’t interested anyways!

Yes, my capacity for self-justification is amazing:  I can convince myself that every outcome that transpires is my getting my way/a blessing in disguise/a thing happening for a reason.  

I best go summon those powers of self-justification to try to feel less homesick.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Rats.

In the same way that I can’t not pick a scab, not reread a love letter from 10 years ago, not reply to an e-mail to which I absolutely shouldn’t reply, not engage in verbal sparring with a telemarketing agent, I can’t not continue to check the EUR/USD rate.

Too many double negatives.

Read Full Post »

I feel a little numb, but at least I’m done checking the exchange rate every minute.  I’ve just wired 30,000 EUR to INSEAD at the last possible moment.  I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have noticed until a month or two later if I hadn’t paid.  And then I could have spent another month or two running them around before I did finally pay.  

For a while, I kept up this little fantasy where I don’t wire the money. Instead I move to London, take The Knowledge and drive a black cab around.  Cab drivers in London are badass.  They have to take a ridiculous exam – according to Wiki, it takes some 34 months of preparation and an average of 12 attempts to pass the exam.  

From Wikipedia:

The 320 main (standard) routes, or ‘runs’, through central London of the Knowledge are contained within the ‘Blue Book’. [...] In all some 25,000 streets within a six mile radius of Charing Cross are covered along with the major arterial routes through the rest of London.

Okay, it would be badass to pass The Knowledge but not actually to drive a cab.  I hate driving, and I’m not very good at it.  In fact, two of my previous relationships had ended over my driving style.  I believe one of the exes actually said, “Your driving style reveals that you’re a bad communicator.”  Jerk.  

The other ex and I are back together.  Once, we ended up getting in an argument over something completely stupid in the middle of a Whole Foods, and I only later found out that what he was really pissed about is that I cut a corner through a gas station instead of waiting at a red light to make a right turn.  Who’s the bad communicator now, huh?

Right.  What’s I’m saying is that I’m trying to justify feeling so nervous about spending this kind of (borrowed) money and not knowing what’s on the flipside, especially in this economic situation.    

But it’s done.  In the process I learned a little about how Forex markets work and what drives exchange rates.  See, the bschool education started way before setting foot on campus!   

For your Forex transfer needs, here’s a good site with a low spread:

http://fxtrade.oanda.com

Read Full Post »