Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The big white cloud

I've often feared for my mind. My mind in haze. Sometimes, in much clearer moments, I wonder whether there was any justification, whether it was just some period of psychological hypochondria. I remember back in Guangzhou, in a meeting fearing that I wouldn't be able to string a meaningful sentence together. I consoled myself when I achieved things creatively or cognitively. I made breakthroughs learning language and created ideas beyond what others were doing. But then I'd hit points and founder my mind on a reef.

A few weeks ago a manager I respect gave me some papers of import. I had no time to read them but kept them at the top of my tray. I had to read them. I really valued their contents. But a week ago when I finally had the leisure to look upon them, they'd gone. It disturbed me something bad. I searched my office, checking the same recycle piles twice. Even looking through the test results I'd filed thinking that somehow I might have accidentally stapled them to the back. I searched my home. It wasn't there either. I was sure I hadn't discarded anything in the period but it was gone. Gone. And then another equally, perhaps more horrible situation appeared: I'd need to speak to that person I respected and ask for another set, if she did in fact have a soft copy of her own. I visualised how unprofessional it'd make me look and the intensity of my search rose. Besides this search, my efficiency dropped and again the clouds condensed in my minds eye. I did an outstandingly stupid oversight online. Some things barely progressed.

I was on the verge of speaking to her when picking up a source document for another related topic that I saw the missing information clipped to the back. It was a great place to put it in retrospect. A place I never thought to look though. There was a moment of elation and then I was in the room with her, not having to mention the embarrassment of losing it and rather referring to it as something I'd be doing shortly.

And then the cloud was no longer. The hours after were those amazing hours when every 10 minutes of work were hours of product. Connections. Timing. Concept. Detail. In place. E-mail here. Cross the t. The reply already and the documentation complete.

I astound myself with what stupid things I do sometimes. Four week ago, I was leaving for work when I realised I had to move my car as it was blocking the driveway. I drove it to the roadside and through the rear vision mirror saw the roads were relatively clear. On a whim I decided to drive in, so did a U-turn and headed to the intersection with Dominion Rd. When I got there the traffic was suddenly thick. I had to make a right hand turn and things were not happening. After quite a wait a large gap appeared in the near lane I thought I'd turn into the flush median. I got there and thought I had a chance to move into the traffic on the main road, accelerated alongside a gap, but the car behind me was staying close and I delicately tried to merge while still moving at the speed of the traffic. And then there was an almightly clang. The car lurched upward and something flashed up past my right eye. I'd hit the traffic island, the one I'd crossed by so many times before. The one that I knew was there. I was so focussed on my left that I forgot about the right. I'd burst my tyre and luckily nothing else. No-one was on the island thankfully and I had enough calmness to pull the car into a bus-lane and then into a side road. I lost it at myself, unbelieving at how I could have done it.

It haunts me whenever I drive now. But just like the temporary loss of that document, it seems to be just a cloud over my ability. My skill is enough. My focus is enough, if only the cloud can go.

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