A giant, noisy, brightly-lit, gaudy carousel, whirling ever faster. Some watch and wonder from the darkness outside while others try to climb aboard. Some are clinging on precariously, trying not to fall off.
The successful riders grin giddily. A few sit in the still centre, sipping champagne. You look towards the controller’s booth and see that it is empty! This is the modern world.
From a young age you have focused on your achievements, in pursuit of perfection: that sense of achievement and the accompanying adrenaline high. You have grown accustomed to being seen as aloof and unsympathetic. You just find it hard to express your empathy towards others.
You always plan ahead. You take extra courses in an attempt to finish your bachelor’s degree in record time and forgo holidays in favour of prestigious internships.
But the adrenaline highs never last long enough. So you endlessly chase after the next big thing. You’re never satisfied. If your current job isn’t a step closer to the next job, it’s a waste of your time.
You don’t think you need help moving from place to place or lugging huge bags. As painful and tiring as it can be, your pride won’t let you ask for help. It’s hardly surprising people find you stubborn.
After a few years at work, you find yourself increasingly dissatisfied with your own incompetence. You quit your job, convinced that you need further education. You take on another degree – be it Masters, MBA or a PhD. Your hunger for perfection drives you insane sometimes. Acceptance into a prestigious postgraduate degree gives you that instant high once again, but it quickly sinks away.
Some days you wish you were in the dark, watching the madness of the carousel from safety On other days, you wonder if there would be one day where you make it to the calm centre of the ride.