Day 63: True Calling

It’s Monday.

I started the day by watching a video. And, I’ve this habit to read or watch something before I get out of my bed, so that I’d have something to contemplate about, for the rest of the day. Now, the video I just watched did the same- stirred thoughts and emotions, so much that I wanted to pause the video midway and start writing about it immediately!

The video is about how we are asked this question – “What do you want to become when you grow up?” as kids and how, with time, it gets more uncomfortable answering that (for many of us) and how our varying answers become unsettled or give us anxiety. For one might not know what one wants to become. Or one might be interested in more than two different and completely unrelated areas of interest.

More often than not, this whole idea of having one true calling is romanticized and we are made to believe that – we must have one single career choice (sometimes with no alternatives) and that we must pursue it, or else we won’t be doing anything worthwhile with our lives or we may never be able to earn enough to pay our mortgage or fulfill our basic needs. We are made to feel that there is something wrong with ourselves for wanting to do two (or more) different things and the end results of pursuing them together will never be rewarding. Yes, it happens and it is a sad thing.

Learning something and be all consumed by it is an altogether a different experience. It is a personal endeavour,  and it so happens that one may quit in the process, and that’s okay.  Knowledge stays. Learning is never a waste of time. Each individual has the luxury to apply the knowledge acquired at the intersection of his/her interests, and sometimes, be surprised with the end results. The key is to follow our curiosities to wherever they take us, down those rabbit holes, away from immediate reality. For those who explore and stay curious, are the ones who have the ability to bring the dire changes, not just in their lives but others as well. And, sometimes there is no true calling but many.


Day 57: “Safe Friends”

It’s Monday.

I woke up, checked my phone and watched a couple of videos on YouTube. Also read a few pages of the book Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard P. Feynman (as told to Ralph Leighton) and all of that made me come up with this blog post.

The whole point of having friends is to care and be cared for, to be able to share one’s ideas, thoughts and sentiments, isn’t it? If you or the person you’re talking to, is being a “safe friend”, then there are chances that one of you guys would find it difficult to open up and talk about the things that actually matters, say, how you talked to inanimate objects as a child or how AI has piqued your interest recently. All of these things are important but more often than not, sharing them aren’t easy. Instead, you end up talking about how the girl at your workplace has no fashion sense or how the soup you ate last night was too salty.

Being a “safe friend” means to hide your own true self and pretend. It means to choose to talk about shallow stuffs, instead of something that is bothering you for the last five days or for months. It means to mask your happiness which you derived from reading a whodunnit the previous night, when you want to talk about how you used your wits to solve the mystery but couldn’t. Instead you join a pointless discussion on some celebrity’s personal life.

Being a risky friend requires one to ask questions; to initiate a phase of discomfort and ask the question anyway – “So, how did you get that scar on your elbow?” or “Is everything okay with you? You seem so glum lately.”  It requires one to be mature enough to listen and let the other speak and in the midst of the conversation, to not jump to conclusions. It requires patience, maturity and all that it makes us human. Being a risky friend means to be able to talk on varied subjects; the little things that matters, literature, love, science and life. It means to extend a hand to help. It means to put oneself in the other person’s place and know where the shoe pinches.

And, I am learning to ask questions and stay curious, no matter what. I am trying to be more of a risky friend, even if it’d mean to have a few friends and being labelled as “weird”. For those who’d stay, I know they are going to make my life all the more interesting.

Procrastination : New-Found And Beaten Paths

Or maybe, procrastinating isn’t as bad as we think it is. Maybe seeking comfort while struggling to do something by not doing it paves way for questions. Is it really important? What practical purpose will it serve in the long run? and so on. Upon internalizing, I feel the need to have a look at my plate and table; if my plate is full with dishes I wouldn’t want to eat, if unnecessary items are cluttering up my table.

More often than not, the process to bring a task to fruition is difficult. It takes rationality, emotions, personal sacrifices, willingness and courage. Procrastination is either the absence of some of the above factors or a way to explain our bittersweet relationship with time. It is like a journey leading to our own reluctance to reach the destination; sometimes stopping us from going as far as that, sometimes changing destinations and paths.

But the worst part about procrastination is, perhaps, when it happens with the things we love doing, things which don’t feel like “work” or another mundane “task”. Maybe, that is when we need to clear the cobwebs in our head and take a good look around; to see if we aren’t surrounded with bad people, to check whether we aren’t walking the beaten path just because others are, if we aren’t fooling ourselves into doing things we’d not want to do in the first place, and if we are embracing the unvarying parts of our lives willingly.

Procrastination is an amalgamation – of moments of us staring into nothingness, of ways to allude to go easy on ourselves, and of questions to be asked (to ourselves) and answered. It is a sweet realisation that we can’t stay away from doing  what we love, for long.

Sometimes, procrastination is like a much needed vacation. At times, it is a hint, that we must stop looking for a signal to begin. And, sometimes there is no opportune time to begin, but now. And maybe, once we begin, we might discover new-found paths, we never knew existed.


Invitation To A Seemingly Dark Abyss

“Tell me about yourself.”

It’s not just one of the questions you’re likely to be asked in an interview. It’s also an invitation to self-awareness and realisation most of us tend to not accept. Many, including me, will probably think and stutter at this question. Trust me, that’s how little we know about ourselves let alone others.

In the process of figuring out certain emotions and thoughts, and why I am like the way I am, the more I think, the more puzzled it gets with a series of whys, hows and whats. It gets funnier when it is almost a case of serendipity- where I find unlooked for answers, as I was struggling with another question. Do you know what’s the scariest part of finding answers? Not asking questions in the first place. Not realizing there are issues to fix. Not being able to see through the problems and instead giving excuses.

What’s loneliness on the surface, is often denial, toxicity around and not understanding the inner-self. What’s being insecure on the outside, is again denial, self-doubt and injustice that has happened for a really long time. In the grand coverage of emotions, solitude is gentle and healing. Where insecurities  hold you captive; realisation and acceptance are liberating. To humbly accept one’s flaws, to be mature and happy, and realise what’s what, may seem like the ultimate destination, but it’s not. It requires to stop changing  hideouts and stop finding a roof and instead face the storm, as in ‘fears’, ‘insecurities’ and ‘anxieties’. It requires making a plunge anyway, into the seemingly dark abyss.

It is the end of the year and it has been eventful in more than what I had imagined. I wanted to be productive but all I ended up doing was procrastinate, even with the things I love doing. I was unable to comprehend the thoughts and gave myself excuses. It took me months that I had this urge to stop and think – Where have I gone wrong? Why is it so hard to focus? How do I fix this? I chose to open the door of endless questions, which led me to my past. Even though my inner-self was mostly defenseless while confronting my fears, it threatened to find the right answer. For the conscious-self will continue to threat and finally give up when it finds the right answer. And I got some of my questions answered; and I will continue to find some more as I delve into my fears and troubles. The key to finding answers is to be self-aware, ask questions and make the plunge. The abyss isn’t that dark anyway.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year in advance.

The Ultimate Remedy

On some days your quick fix would be –
A glass of cold water.
Some other days –
Hot tea infused with ginger.

There would be an occasional need of money.
Or a need of a stranger to lend his ears.
Maybe a hand to hold onto,
As you confront your fears.

Times when you need to stay awake.
On other days – a good night’s sleep.
Sometimes you need a shoulder,
On which, you can weep.

You might want to stay in bed.
Because you do not bother.
Or you will keep pushing;
Place one foot before the other.

You might have to pack your bags.
It would seem a rash decision.
Someday, the pole star will guide you home.
As you consider your intuition.

You will figure out things,
As you keep going – and not stop
For the ultimate remedy is –
Not to give up.

Reminiscence Over A Cup Of Coffee

She stood still and dilatory
In action and barely a word.
Such was the glimpse she caught
That left her in awe and stirred.

The next day followed
By a kaleidoscope of butterflies
Forming in her gut; if only she knew
If only she realized

Every time she stole a glance
Her heart would skip a beat
Even on gloomy, grey days
She was found upbeat.

One fine day, Realization hit her hard
Her happiness and reason thereof–
It was pure and transcendent
It was nothing but love.

Years later, as she was missing someone lately
She couldn’t comprehend who
But today, it rang a few bells
As she made her coffee brew.

Achingly beautiful it is how
Some people enter our lives in tiptoe
Serve their purpose, etch a picture
In our hearts and then go.

Window Side

Sitting by a window,
I got ideas I wouldn’t ordinarily have.
Like a desire to hit the road.
Tinkering with every chance I got.

I was a johnny-come-lately  at that.
Lo! These anticipated arrival of thoughts.
With every breath,
I released all the emotions I had.

For there are feelings I can never express.
Every person I thought I couldn’t do without.
Every page I bookmarked.
Every monologue I thought was mine.

Every song that hit me home.
Every inanimate object I was attached to.
God! All I could was ramble on about them.
As I looked out,sitting by my room’s window.

Knotty Knots

As a beautiful French braid adorned my hair, I sank into thoughts.
Glancing in the mirror, those tiny knots piqued my interest.
From our first experience with knots – while analyzing how to tie our shoelaces.
To our arms looped around our partner’s neck. Another knot.
Grandma’s beautifully knitted sweater.
A surgeon’s stitch. And, so on.
From a simplistic appeal a granny knot offers, to more intricate and sophisticated designs – knots are indeed intriguing.
And, aren’t our lives a little tricky?
Maybe we make them so.
Tied down with responsibilities, we have a lot to juggle.
Connected with loved ones by fragile threads. Liable to break if we don’t hold them taut enough.
Touched by many a lives and making our own life interweave with theirs.
Getting unified.
A beautiful labyrinth of relationships. Of journeys. Experiences.
Lo! How these knotty knots held my attention.