Lately I have been learning quite a bit about myself. I’ve learned I do like certain vegetables if cooked the right way, yes, eggplant, I mean you. I’ve learned I like my quiet space, which I really didn’t value or care about in the States. And I’ve learned I am something else …

We have heard the term “oversexed” but I’d like to propose a new word: “over-businessed”. Sometimes the phrase “business minded” isn’t quite accurate enough.

A friend and I grabbed dinner and dessert last week. As we sat there we discussed our goals for this term; creating goals for ourselves for the term was assigned to our group. She told me hers. Then I proceeded to give her a PowerPoint presentation and explain in bullet points what mine were.

Ok, so it wasn’t that bad.

But as I left the conversation I realized I answered her questions as though she were interviewing me for a position.

It wasn’t an interview. It wasn’t even a job performance evaluation (I cringed just thinking those words; although helpful and important, they cause great stress). No, she is just a friend who wanted to hear mine an share hers.

I felt like a prick. Really, who talks that way about real life with their friends?

Apparently I do.

This week I had also been preparing to meet with 3 other women to discuss direction and goals for a volunteer opportunity we have been taking. Part of this meeting would be discussing what we wanted from our monthly meetings, our personal and group goals, and a few other things. My thoughts were not original. They were not helpful. And they most definitely were not what you would think for a volunteer opportunity. I was/am ashamed of how ridiculous I sounded, even to myself.

Part of my education – in high school, college, and just life experience – has been business. I have been trained how to answer interview questions for the jobs I have wanted. I have even trained how to tell bosses what they want to hear, how to speak their language, and how to make it sound like it was their idea. It feels as though I have found a way to get what I want out of a job.

But …

As I thought about those personal goals and group goals, I didn’t know what I wanted. I realized I only know how to want what the boss wants. I have forgotten how to have my own goals. How to “think for myself” so to speak. Oh how I have forgotten.

Living in a new country reveals many things about yourself, in case you didn’t know that already. It reveals your weaknesses and your strengths. It pulls out things you didn’t know you had in you. It shows you who you really are.

I learned that I am “over-businessed.” The only thing I knew in the States was how to be in a business, how to think in terms of business, and how to speak the language of business. – Do not be fooled, I wasn’t some super successful business woman. I was someone who had learned how to be part of that world if I so chose.

One of my personal goals is to not overwhelm myself with projects and things. I want to experience the things I came to experience. I want to live and not bog myself down with trying to be everything a business tells me I have to be.

Although it is difficult to learn who I really am at times, I am glad to learn these things and how to move past the things I dislike about myself. Not that business is bad, but that it changes you in ways you didn’t could never have seen. It makes you say things you don’t really believe in just to get ahead.

So, I’m learning how to push away from my “over-businessed” mindset and walk in direction of finding out who I am.


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