Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Red and Blue Pills

I was only speaking about my life and its state of being Jell-O not too long ago when funny events started aligning themselves as if the gods are teasing me. I was already beginning to accept my place and status of "staying put" as I firmly believed that I was being prepared for something bigger that was bound to happen sooner or later. When people say that there is always something in store around the corner, we never really know how far off this corner is. Little did I know that my corner was literally just around the corner.

Over the past couple of weeks that I have been absent from cyberspace and this blog, the universe was busy pouring mischief, confusion, reflections and delight on me -- a mixed bag of emotions indeed. A good friend involved me in an almost complex recruitment process that I was taking lightly and partly in humor. Sure, I was looking for a change in my life but nothing so massive that I was willing to give up my security and fringe benefits in my current job. I went in with the mindset that I may potentially bag an offer that I can slap back to my current management in a bid to show them what I was really worth.

After what seemed to be the most disastrous second job interview in my life (the first one was obviously decent enough for me to get through to the next round), I got through to a third teleconference with the department manager from head office. I shit you not, it was worse than this. Up 'til this day, I am convinced that it was the luckiest fluke of nature -- or a good case of desperation from their side. Nonetheless, after a few weeks, I was the recipient of an offer from a company that I admired and respected. I have achieved what I wanted -- the license to ask for a raise.

However, I realized that I wasn't as simple as I thought. Rather, what I wanted wasn't as simple as I thought. My initial intention was to chase for more money -- of course, who wouldn't want that? But as the days went by, it dawned on me that it was growth and opportunity that I was looking for. Perhaps I wasn't as shallow as I deemed myself to be?

My present company did a stellar job causing me much conflict on whether I should stay or go. They used a very powerful tool -- money, and lots of it -- to retain me. Indeed, be careful what you wish for as mine just came true. In an instant, my salary got doubled and a managerial promotion was left on the table for me to take. However, I knew that accepting that very tempting offer was like taking the blue pill (in the Matrix?) and allowing the story to abruptly end right there. Then again, it wasn't as if I was in a bad place. I was in a good place... just with a brick wall right in front of me. I can turn left, right and around -- just not forward. As much as I love what I am doing now, I knew from the abyss of my mind that I wasn't stretching myself enough to develop myself as a person and as a professional.

I'm still deciding whether it's a good thing or a bad thing -- but I let my curiosity get the best of me. I opted for the red pill and accepted the other side's offer (albeit with a slightly lower pay after the offer of a doubled salary). I feel as if I took on a challenge to jump from one skyscraper to the next without the necessary safety nets and without knowing if I can actually make it to the other side. Hell, there's just one way to find out, right?

I lost at least four nights worth of sleep reaching a final decision. At the end of the day, I know that what I will learn in the new job and what I can potentially become will surpass the big fat paycheck that I have gingerly turned down from my present company. It was a very generous offer from them, yes, but I felt that I owed myself this opportunity to explore newer things and to open more doors. I may fall flat on my face with a bruised ego and hampered spirit -- but at least I can sincerely tell myself that I tried. For me, that is the better option than sitting at my present desk and being haunted by "what if" questions simply because I am the type to always wonder about "what could have happened." Certainly, people like me tend to get in trouble more than the average person, but it is my way to avoid regret (or have at least amount of regret).

Now I sit here nervously fumbling with my fingers hoping against hope that I did make the best decision for myself. Every bone, joint and nerve-ending in my body says yes, though the small nagging voice in my head keeps reminding me of what I am giving up -- job security, awesome colleagues, respect, flexibility and a happy professional abode. Trust me, letting go of a doubled salaray was like dipping my paper cuts into vinegar. However, what may seem big right now may actually be trivial once the future is unfolded in front of me. I do not dare deny myself of this opportunity and I do not dare put a monetary cap on my abilities.

Unlike Neo in the Matrix, I believe in destiny. And I have faith in it. So I take the red pill... and I will enjoy the ride. You can count on that, Mr. Anderson.