My friend was as old as me, we were both born in Germany, and worked in the same industry. Every six month or so he would come over and keep me abreast of the developments in Germany. One meeting I thought he looked sick and tired, "perhaps just a bug that routinely gets us international travelers", I told myself. But no, his colleague called me up a few months later and revealed that he was on sick leave with cancer. From then on I made it a point to always visit him on my trips to Germany. We talked about his recovery hopes, his plans for the future, and life in general. I revealed to him that I am a spiritual writer in my past-time and he was naturally very interested given the state he was in.
I remember vividly in one meeting, which turned out to be the last time we would meet, that I saw anger in him. 'Why is he angry?", I asked myself. Was it general anger towards life, his disease and his fate? That would have certainly been justified given that cancer struck him as he was just turning 50, still with two girls in school. I couldn't ask him what the true reason was because 6 months later he was dead.
The death of my friend certainly started some soul-searching in me. Could I be next? Was he simply poisoned by the volatile, and sometimes brutal financial industry we both worked for? When I started looking, I also found anger in me, as well as many disappointed expectations and suppressed desires. We all make our choices, and some might have used this wake-up call to change careers instead, but I became even more determined to dig up what is hidden inside of me. The way to deal with anger and frustration is to get it to the surface and let steam off in a conscious, constructive and eventually loving manner. The way to deal with suppressed desires is to get them to the surface and express them as best as our spiritual path and the real world constraints allow us to.
So in a way I only dug my heels in deeper into life, all the complex work problems, the challenges of dealing with people at work, the busy life of raising two boys in a two-working-parents household. I felt I still had a mission to complete, and I took my stressful life as a jump-boards towards transforming myself. But at the same time, I also intensified my preparations for my exit from the busy corporate life. As they say, do what you have to do until you can do what you love to. Writings notes like this one is what I am all about, and my next career as a spiritual writer and counselor is waiting for me.
My friend, you will be missed and you won't be forgotten