Beers in Mandalay

Sometimes, it takes beers with a stranger to truly find your career path.

Some years back, I was in Mandalay as part of a film crew shooting a corporate video.
A three-day shoot, from dawn to dusk.
Working off a storyboard (of course), only for ground realities to smack us in the mouths and leave us burning midnight oils (of course).

Come the last night, and all that remained was the Director, whom I'd met on-site, and I.
It felt like we were the only ones in all of Mandalay.
Drinking beers on the hotel balcony, a desolate road staring back.
By the by, he offhandedly remarked that he saw me as "someone creative, not something strategic—or whatever the f is on your business card.”

You go for years thinking you're this—when really you're that.
You change colours to fit fancy titles—but time has a way of outing you.
We tell ourselves seductive stories, pat ourselves on the back, crave and receive praise from false gods.

There's always another way up the ladder.
And perhaps it starts not in a place but with a voice.
That little one inside.