I was at the movie theatre today and then there was this upcoming movie with Tom Hanks about a little boy – his son – whose life is truncated by the 9/11 events. His father dies there. I obviously cried through the whole trailer, and then there was this old song from the U2, and it made me think…
Being a person, who hardly gets satisfaction in life, I often times change the professional and personal “goal of the next-following period”. It may seem again, as if I would lose the thread, but I already blogged about it, and am sure, that the meaning of life for me is not reachable like a flower is and is not quantifiable as one and only thing that has to happen, I found it in becoming always someone more.
In a country, like the US of A, this kind of personality should be normal; people feel free and can join almost every level of the “American Dream”, from having a career change at 50 and turning from an IT expert into the best baker in town, or realizing itself in any kind of job, activity, scope, role.
In Europe it depends on the country, but normally having a very traditional perspective on life, it is hard to realize personalized goals, which don’t fit in the tradition.
In 2000, when I joined a seminar about European identity and made my contribution about St. Stephan, the elected king of Hungary in year 1000, who wrote about the importance of collaboration over the frontiers with the neighbor populations, I thought, racism would have already been an old topic. Soon I not only realized to be a European citizen – Hungary joined the EU in 2004 – I also realized to FEEL like a European, and not only a Hungarian (“only” means, that I really feel at home all over Europe, where I’ve lived, not that Hungary would be on a lower level compared to any other European country).
After 23 years in Hungary, I lived, worked and studied in Germany and Italy, lived and studied in Spain and work and live in the UK right now. It seems to be enough for 36 years of wandering and keeping my mind open.
I think I grew with every experience I made; I tried to keep my mind open, not to lose any option to see something new and understand the why-s other times asking the necessary why-s.
After I arrived to Italy, I had to understand, how hard it is to have my intercultural history with me in that country.
My being Hungarian marked me as an Eastern European person, which is considered the poor and hungry part of Europe. Having come from Germany, I was considered like one, who doesn’t know, the importance of eating, of fashion and behaving like a lady (hairdresser before Christmas, always carrying a handbag (preferably from Luis Vuitton – I haven’t heard the name Luis Vuitton in my entire life before)), looking at the superficial things to reach a carrier, like clothing, friending with the right persons, knowing the latest news.
I resisted and started to work for a really good and competitive company in the IT branch. But then I thought that after 4 years of work and contribution in the most important projects, it would be time to give me a higher importance, I’ve never understood, why, but this request turned to be my condemn to death.
I was told that I don’t speak Italian good enough to be able to talk to clients or potential clients. I can say, that that time spoke Italian better, than the person, who judged me ever will speak any foreign language. So I lost. Not the position, but my faith in the innocence of meriting something, so in consequence getting something.
I understood that I will never have any responsible job at that company. So, as you can imagine, I started to look for another job in Italy and thought, it would be easy with my experience and willingness to work.
I not only haven’t got any possibility to have an interview, I haven’t even got a response on my applications.
I tried at over thirty companies in two years, no-one responded. I tried with direct mails, through insertions read in different social networks – linkedin, Monster, facebook – I even opened my own activity, because I thought, companies just doesn’t want to hire me with a contract for life. Nothing. In the meantime I became so frustrated and angry at my job, that not even the upcoming possibility of becoming part of the working group for foreign projects could appease me. I wanted more. I KNEW, that I can do more. Sometimes I was supervised by people, who were not even able to see the possibilities for a solution in the projects, and couldn’t even understand the enhancements I proposed. It was a torment for everyone, who worked or lived with me. I had to leave.
After two years I abandoned the idea to live in Italy and accepted the offer of a company in London. The perfect place to recover.
At work there is almost no one from the UK, we speak a good enough English to talk to clients, who also have collaborators, who can’t speak a perfect English at all, so language fulfills its role, that it has to: communication. I understood in less than a month, that my previous job was only frustrating, because I was surrounded by provincial thinking and acting that almost stopped my growth and me from being me.
Here I am the team leader and linguistic leader of a European project, funded by the EU. I like the responsibility I have, I like to talk to international companies and being considered by them as I thought, I would not be considered, if I am not a native in a language, according to my past boss, I like to live my chance.
But what happened to me, caused something in someone’s life, what I just know too good.
Last week I realized that the girl, who is handing me over my tasks, is becoming frustrated from leaving the project’s management, and turning back to be “only” a linguist. She desperately tries to keep her own responsibility, to keep something for herself.
She reminds me of myself of some months ago, where I knew, I could make the difference in some projects, but I was held in the background. I don’t want to lose her enthusiasm, but I finally want to enjoy my capacity of organization and management. It is not easy to have both…am quite concerned about how to handle her and this unspoken problem of having “two pipers in one tavern”…I don’t want to hurt her, but I haven’t moved for nothing from Italy. I wanted to have responsibility for important projects; I wanted to grow and know, how it is, when my head is tired from thinking and trying to find the best solution for PROBLEMS and not of a recurring use of already thought solutions.
So after having solved my problem I find myself to suffer from what it caused. You could say, it is the natural change of life, but I like to think, that there should not be always someone to suffer, so I just think and will keep thinking, how to find something, how to find an ideal place for life, for work, a place, where the streets have no name…