Day 58 – December 06, 2010
December is here, and with it I’ve almost completed two months of my travels. It seems like such a short while ago when I departed from Mumbai, and then spent all that time driving around in Scotland. The weird part is that is was such a short time ago in October that I was enchanted in Scotland, and yet here I am sitting today in an airport in San Francisco, feeling devoid of hope. Not lost or sullen, but certainly a bit disappointed that things don’t quite seem to be heading in any clear direction.
I’ve spoken to various people about my career, and everyone has pitched in with their opinions based on their own sensibilities. That, however, may not necessarily be the best thing for me personally. Most opinions revolve around working overseas by changing jobs for some time to earn good money while keeping other interests as weekend endeavors, and doing that does make sense at least for some time. That said, I was going through my emails and noticed this quote in one of the replies from a photography school contact – “Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.” It’s words such as these that I keep using to remind myself of the fact that I only have limited time on the planet, and the part that goes away trying to earn a little more money or to make a well-evaluated decision is never going to come back.
I was never a person for whom it was essential to be with the leaders in the race for earning money, owning a house or cars, or achieving significant monetary or material gains as fast as possible. I wanted to do something for a living that would give me happiness, or at least something that I didn’t hate. And yet, today I feel insecure and possibly a little inferior to all my contemporaries with whom I always compared myself. Everyone seems to be doing extremely well financially in his or her career, and they’re all happy with it. Even those who started off behind me are now way ahead of me. For some reason it seems I hold monetary achievements synonymous with happiness. I’ve always had reasonably good success in terms of money through my career, without putting in a ton of effort. Every time I’ve tried to push my way out of IT and into something that I want to try, it hasn’t worked. And that was a big reason to do this trip – trying something out to see if it brings to me some way to break out, and get into something I enjoy. That doesn’t seem to be happening so far.
What am I supposed to do to make things change? I understand money is important, but I don’t understand when, how, and why I began to consider material gains as being more important than those that keep the soul happy. Why am I so scared now to jump into the unknown, to start over again? Is it the lack of finance? It shouldn’t be; when the entire world takes student loans, why should I harp so much on having all the funds as a necessity? Is it the fear of falling behind all my friends who’ve moved so far ahead of me, monetarily? Why does that matter? Why should it matter? They’re happy doing what they are, and it brings them money. I hate doing what I do, and it doesn’t bring me anywhere near their daily wage. Shouldn’t I be striving for happiness than material gain? Isn’t that what’s really important? Don’t I have enough time to turn things around for myself? Why am I so hesitant to make a decision? I like photography, but I also find cinematography appealing. Tons of people learn this stuff, so why can’t I? As for making a business out of photography, maybe it’ll only happen once I become good enough. I’m not there yet, so why should I be killing myself for not being able to do it? The course is really expensive, and it is in a specialization that isn’t my first preference. I’d rather be doing something in the realm of what Bruce is. That will take time – till I’m good enough. Or maybe I’d rather be a cine guy working on commercials, songs, TV or movies. It’ll take time, but I need to explore all this.
I need to be reminded from time to time of why I am a bad fit for the corporate world. I go to sleep in meetings, even those that discuss topics I like. My attention span at work is negligible, and so is my satisfaction of being there. Money earned overseas being what it is leads to times of agreeable compromise, but why should I let that override my desire to do something else that’s more interesting to me?
I don’t know when I’ll get the answers. I don’t know why I can’t get what I want. I don’t know whether I will end up getting it. I need to see the way, and how to get on it. Somebody, please help me. What did I do to deserve this materially satisfactory, but soulless life I’m living?