My whole life has been a series of events planned with precision and rendered to me with meticulous calculation. I have moved from one certainty to another. I have never been off my charted path.
Complete my schooling with flying colors. Check.
Job at MNC. Check.
Ideally my path should have been get married, have two kids by the time I am 30, then take up a small job as a hobby and raise the two munchkins like any doting mother would. This is where the whole equation tipped and I committed the cardinal sin called ‘Thinking’. This sudden use of the brain’s thinking capacities not just shocked my physiological system dramatically but also changed the sequence of events I was destined to go through. By Destiny I mean my parents and society. Now usually though overrated, thinking by itself is not such a dangerous activity. We all think a thousand things every minute. Who cares right? Thinking is only dangerous if it leads to, like in this case, something so gruesome, so macabre, that the mere mention of the word sends a chill down the spine of the people. ACTION!
Don’t you think for a moment that I am capable of doing something like that! No no! I am not the girl who would do something awful like “acting” on a thought. NEVER!!
But In that one moment of craziness I did exactly that. I acted… I took a decision and to the surprise of both my parents and me I stuck to it! I decided to learn Yoga and maybe make a career out of if someday. I quit my job! Drum roll if you would please. Now I know it sounds like a very romantic idea to all the frustrated ITians out there hating every moment of their jobs, getting their kick out of reading stories about people who quit their jobs, trying to muster courage to do the same.. and trust me it actually was every bit as romantic as it sounds, but only in the beginning. Then slowly but surely you do get kicked in the butt by the horrifying sinister evil twin of romance called Reality! Ah the evil swine! No romance lasts once reality walks in to the relationship. The reality was well.. that I was jobless with literally peanuts in my bank account.
Turns out a little detail that most travel blogs leave out is that you need money to travel! So after six months of traveling, yoga teaching, courses, like any sane person, I returned home. Woohooo! Phase one complete. I had done what I wanted to do.
Hold your horses. For now the real ordeal began. I had no plan. No matter what the blogs and success stories portray, being lost or having no purpose in life is not fun. Period. It is not something to fantasize about. We are designed to peruse goals, to belong somewhere, to know that we are doing something productive with our life. To have a purpose in life.When that is taken away from us we really don’t have much to strive for. All the people who think that they hate their lives, jobs or some task they have to keep doing repeatedly actually just hate not having a worthy purpose or drive in life! A goal.
Oh the feeling of not having anything to work for is the worst feeling ever. It is like watching gone with the wind in a continuous loop with no escape! For a person who doesn’t understand a word the protagonist says or rather why she says what she says this is quite a agony!
These tormenting few days made me wonder if I had taken the right decision in quitting. If I hadn’t quit I would have never been this lost. I would have had a cosy little job overlooking a nice under-construction building which was to house 12000 more IT professionals, happily sipping tea from a local chaiwala gossiping about why I deserved the promotion more than my teammate! Ah…The Indian dream! I would have a steady salary flowing in with which I can do one maybe two trips a year and live happily ever after.
But then I started looking through the gallery of my phone. Slowly as the tear dried out, the sobbing stopped and as my body started converting the huge chocolate bar I just devoured into fat, I remembered all the wonderful things that had happened to me in the past 6 months. It was a plethora of sights, smells, taste, sounds, touch, experiences and emotions.
I saw the high majestic Himalayas adorning their royal garb of snow, I smelled the beautiful earthy smell of the Ganges carrying in her womb the devotion and hopes of millions of people, I tasted the best coffee in mankind’s existence in Madurai, I heard an orchestra of sounds gently swaying on a humble houseboat in Alleppey, I petted a beautiful baby elephant carelessly wandering around in a forest in Kerela, I shared stories with so many strangers around the world, was part of their life, made them a part of my life… I fell in love.
As I flip through the pages of my diary I see that all these experiences came out of that one rash decision. The beauty of life lies in experiences. Our experiences make us who we are.
I know some of you are hoping that the story ends with me saying that I found my thing… my purpose in life.. yada yada yada. But No. I am still lost. I am still searching. Today as I sit here writing this, I know that this is the most ‘lost’ I have ever been in my entire existence. But I also know in my heart that I will find my way. That something in this universe looks after us. So go on… do that backpacking trip you always wanted to do, take that course you always wanted to take, live that dream you always dreamt. Worst thing that can happen is you end up lost like me… So? You just write a blog about it! Like a friend once told me, there is no wrong decision. Every decision is the right one! Because being lost at some point is any day better than never ever being lost…ever.