For the majority part of my life I have been a conformist who pretty much followed life in the laid-out track without deviating or taking any risks. Going through school, college, engineering college, a corporate job, marriage and now a baby. I have been obedient throughout but didn’t really enjoy life as such and realized that I had to once give in to my calling that was always within me but never got a chance to flourish. I did not want to continue through a monotonous routine without something to look forward to. I did not want to wake up at 50 realizing that when I had the time and the drive, I did not try to change the course of life or for once make a different choice. I did not want to live having a regret that I never tried when I had the opportunity, because I was fortunate to have one. Getting a normal life too is a boon and we can only make it better with our choices. Destiny as they say is after all a consequence of our choices.
For the longest time, the only memory I had of myself was being a people pleaser while living as a closet rebel. The paradox of this slowly became a reality of life. While mundane life comfortably sets in, epiphany does happen at the strangest times, and as I was caught amidst the innumerable calls and pressure of deadlines, I one day realized that I don’t want to do this all my life. I don’t want to die in a conference room talking to invisible people over phone calls discussing deadlines, while writing emails to the same people about the same work. Yes, it gave me the financial independence and respect that I so wanted but perhaps it was time to derive this from something I loved doing. I had reached the peak of monotony in my corporate career, owing to my inertia or being a bit old school.
In a middle-class family, education is the sole important tool for survival and hence the arts are brought in only for a brief period to make our childhoods more fun and whisked away as soon as the student life takes an overdrive. Growing up I enjoyed dance, music, painting, reading and mostly writing. I was happily indulgent in these and even after so many years the happy memories I carry were built around these. We are always told that if you study well you could get into a good college, if you get into a good college, you could get a good job and if you get a good job, you could get married and “settle down”. While the real world demands that we survive each day and settle into a life as quickly as we can, why should we let go the ambition of living, of dreaming and of taking the leap.
After a decade full of living in the same shell, dealing with the same pressures of the corporate career, I finally decided to take the plunge and resign from my company to pursue my interests. I am proud of having taken this decision since it came after much contemplation, doubts, anger, anxiety and most of all the worry of losing myself in the process of pursuing my interests if at all. While most folks around me think, I have sacrificed my career to look after my son, I do know that it’s a choice I made for myself. I am still on the path and am not sure how this will conclude, but I will at the end of day be satisfied that I tried, tried to take charge, to own my life and for once live for myself.