life Reflections Relocating

Diva Problems

On a recent Monday morning, I was barely awake and not keen to get up, I thought, “wow, I feel terrible. Why do I feel so terrible?”

And a little voice in my head answered, “it’s because you flew economy on Friday”.

And then I hated myself. I mean, sure, if I’d flown economy from Europe or California, but we’re talking a one hour flight from NYC. What is wrong with me?

Less than a week later, I’m picking up a pair of shoes for my friends wedding. My feet have somehow grown and none of my existing shoes that would match my outfit fit me. And then I find myself owning my first pair of Jimmy Choos. And on the one hand, I’m totally proud of me that I could just do that. On the other, I completely judge myself because, it’s a pair of shoes. And I could have loaned that money on Kiva, or donated it to GHC, and I didn’t. I bought shoes. Fabulous shoes. But shoes.

Talking to a friend who has genuine, normal person problems. And me, I’m agonizing over which amazing place should I go and be extremely well paid to do something that I love. Yes, hard decision, but also one that most people don’t understand – and why would they? Oh, poor me, I have to choose between two fantastic options. I could be happy with either, but which is the best. Oh, the agony.

Seriously though, I cried over this. I was torn up inside, changing my mind on a daily basis. But by the standards of humanity, it’s not exactly a problem.

Weird situation, because as a woman in tech, professionally I’m not really privileged. I am other, and I feel other on a daily basis. I did not start coding as early, I do not get scifi cultural references, I encounter things, from time to time, that maybe guys wouldn’t encounter (and really, if I question whether it would happen to a guy, that’s more than half the problem). But, as a little white girl making a software engineering salary, in the wider-world, I am tremendously privileged. And sometimes I look at the things I worry about, and it concerns me that this is what I worry about.

For example, I spent a disturbing amount of time last week trying to figure out a one way flight from the UK to Sydney, such that I could stop in Tokyo and pick up the best chocolate in the world, with the constraint that it had to be star alliance (and, ideally, not economy). This kind of thing is an interesting problem in terms of tradeoffs (you can also get this chocolate in Singapore, but maybe not at the airport) and optimization. But it’s also a little unhinged.

I feel like I have stopped living in the real world. And this bothers me, because I don’t know how to go back to the real world.

It’s like, the things I worry about are either completely intractable and seemingly unfixable, like those of gender inequality in a male-dominated environment… or completely ridiculous.

My biggest frustration with other people, is if they do not seem to have a strong grip on reality. But really, I have to look at my life and wonder – how do I retain my own? (It might already be gone).