Alice Zheng is an author, photographer, meditation practitioner, and research science manager at a large e-commerce and cloud computing company in Seattle. She is a recovering perfectionist and over-achiever. Her life's mission is to be a bridge: between science and spirituality, between technology and business, between the inner and outer worlds. Alice shares glimpses of her quest for more beauty and ease as a regular contributing columnist for Lucia.
In the height of summer, the air is warm and redolent with memories of the past. The sun rains down the energy of fire upon the world. Everything is crisp, bright, sometimes dry, and always full of light. The heat makes me feel closer to all the feels. Years upon years of it pressed against each other like layers of sediment.
I reached a breaking point. I had to set down some boundaries to institute discipline around my schedule, and all of a sudden I had free time. It felt very strange to have that free time, and my first instinct was to pick up more projects. Luckily my manager stopped me, saying, "Remember two weeks ago when you were in my office telling me you had no time for anything? Why don't you back off for a bit? I'll tell you if you're not working hard enough."
"I think I might be addicted to speed." I said to my manager, as we both kicked back in her office at the end of a day of back-to-back meetings and started catching up on our long queue of neglected emails. "That is entirely possible." She said with a peal of laughter. Speed, the fast pace, not the drug, though it might as well be.
Twenty minutes into our ride into San Basilio, and I could already feel myself fluffing up, a subtle but unmistakable feeling of the senses reawakening after a long dormancy. I love this place down to the yellow dust that covers my shoes. Work can be thrilling and fulfilling, but it also makes me one-dimensional...