Today is one of those days on which I started on a high because I remembered a famous quote by Steve Jobs encouraging crazy/rebels all around the world…
However, it followed on with 4 pieces of news which made me happy yet lost at the same time:
1. A colleague was getting married and gave me an invitation card
2. A childhood friend got engaged and sent me pictures
3. A very close friend is studying for GMAT to get into B-School next year
4. An old friend, who’s been married for 5 years or so now, finally moved out of Australia to a South-East Asian country to teach
One of those moments you feel extremely happy for the person in question because something great is happening to someone you care about. But it’s also one of those many moments when you look into your own life and take stock of how has life spanned out for you.
I have come to realize I have really started to HATE 2 questions:
1. What’s new?
2. What’s next?
The former, I usually end up saying “Nothing, same old” and I don’t even say it as one of those automatic replies, you know the kind where someone asks “How are you?” and you say “Fine, Thank you!”…I genuinely mean it when I say “Same old” because if I drew some kind of graph of my life in the last 2 years and 8 months (and am talking about 23,280hours!) versus new incidents/learning/event, etc…I am probably going to get a flat graph.
A quick analysis of the last 23,280hours (which is about 5% of lifetime assuming I live till I am 60) would reveal:
1. I pretty much slept 50% of it. And I mean it, I end up sleeping 10-12 hours a day think it’s some of kind of a defense mechanism where I feel I shall get up one morning and things might be magically different. Not going to work. I know. But still.
2. 20% of the above, I was in a 10am to 7pm job. By most standards, I would be considered to be working in a cushy job with flexible timings, work-life balance and absolutely the best boss and colleagues you could ask for. But this is, unfortunately, not where I thought I would be when the big 30 is just round the corner. I know this might be a case of admiring the birds in the bush instead of the one in the hand but what if the bird in hand is the very reliable, bringing the bread to the table (or should I say the egg!) hen while the birds in the bush are the dazzling peacock.
3. That leaves a definite 30%, which I have dabbled with:
c. Book Writing/Editing
g. Circuit Training
i. Reading anything I can my hands on
j. Travelling occasionally
k. Fretting over my finances
l. Dealing with anxiety attacks on the next question that I hate: “What Next?!”
Which brings me to the next question – What next?!!!!
It’s bad enough that I have absolutely no clue how to answer the above and when I sincerely reply “I don’t know”, I have people asking me in the most ludicrous and flabbergasted manner “What do you mean by – I don’t know?” Like seriously I have no idea where you learnt English from but “I don’t know” seems very basic to me…What do you want me to do – may be try Spanish “No lo sé” or Swahili “i sijui”…?!! How difficult it is to understand “Je ne sais pas” (that’s French btw and I took it off Google…even the Swahili actually!).
And that is not even the most annoying part – the most scratch-your-nails-down-the-blackboard annoying part is that it’s already frustrating enough that I KNOW that I have seriously no idea what I plan to do with the next 30 years of my life (which most definitely doesn’t look very short to me!) AND to top it, I have every 3rd person reminding me of the fact every time I decide to say “Hello!”
Obviously, at any given time, I have the very well-trodden path that I seemingly see everyone around me taking:
1. Getting Married
2. Getting a Masters degree
Well, honestly, I am (happy to be) not-married anytime soon and Masters is not a financially viable option for me which also means my career is at a somewhat stand-still without one.
And then I have the path less travelled which seemingly seems to be my path – as a result of both choice and chance, and I am still wondering if I should walk back to the fork in the road (but how?!) and choose otherwise…?!
I know, people often say, that hindsight always helps us recognize the many blessings in disguise. My question is, is hindsight supposed to be on my-death-bed or may be sometime sooner than that…like in the next few months?!
The yet another irritating bit is that, I will be told by many on how they have been there and done that, and that this is just a phase and it will pass, etc etc…But then I look at 8 out of 10 people and the life they have lived and I tell myself, if THAT is how this “phase” of mine is going to pass then I am even more worried than worried can be…
As for the remaining 1-2% people, they do seem to give some hope and confidence but then again, I fear purely based on probability – what are the chances that I won’t be one of many in the 80% group who have a zestless, mediocre or/and boring existence filled with “what ifs”, regrets, unfulfilled dreams, and forced compromises/sacrifices…
In short, I am shitting-bricks-scared and completely confused!
And anyone who tells me “it will work itself out”, I shall clobber them…I mean it!
(I don’t get why it is necessary to write/say “I mean it” – I mean, I am SAYING/WRITING it, so obviously I mean it!!!)