It’s been exactly a year since I unofficially graduated from college and lost myself in the insanity of adulthood. I have loved the freedom since, the rush of responsibility, the financial independence, the stamp of a degree, the corporate chaos. And also hated it.
Life has changed in many ways, and yet, in some fundamental sense, I am still the restless, fickle mind of a young student exploring the ways of the world, looking for adventure in the least likely of places, and forever moving by elimination. I have however, in this year, found a master key to survival – living a day at a time. Of all things that work, this one works wonders. It’s amazing what a day can be, with no future to look into and no past to brood over.
I am not aspiring to be a life coach just yet, so I’ll leave you with these lines from Porcupine Tree,
But after a while, You realize time flies, And the best thing that you can do
Is take whatever comes to you, ‘Cause time flies…
The days of freedom are behind me, my body clock is no longer allowed to malfunction, and my wallet is not a victim of shoestring budgets anymore. Welcome me to the corporate world.
This is HUGE, bigger than huge. I am graduating in exactly 2 months, 17 days. It might seem like an exaggeration, but things always look commonplace when they happen to other people. I wonder if other people have felt the same way about finishing college – overwhelmed.
It struck me recently when I happened to run my degree progress report:
So there it is. I am going to be a graduate in less than 3 months. And it is huge.
Do you really love your life or are you just good at convincing yourself? I don’t know if it’s genuinely possible to find something that defines you, your existence, something that makes it all worthwhile. I sure haven’t found anything. 20 years is a long time, and by the way things are looking, I’m just sliding deeper into the indifference, even hatred. It’s a cliched post I suppose, but I really don’t know how much longer I can sustain myself, survive, wait, wither. Maybe I’m just pmsing. I guess it shows how much control I really am in, right about now. If stress and boredom could ever sprout together, now is the time. I wish I had magic powers to deal with both, especially the former. Not so magical actually. Most people I know seem to be doing / have done just fine. I haven’t made my peace with my life, that’s all. And it shouldn’t be this hard.
It’s a tradeoff, isn’t it? Home and ambition. You can choose to stay at home, with the food and the family and a simple life. Or you can choose to try it big, stay away from home and miss it loads. It’s a tradeoff really, at least when you come from a small town like mine. I wish sometimes that I had done my undergrad in India, like most of my friends. But I know now that there’d be so many opportunities I’d never even know about. Plus the independence.
It seems like ambition is closely correlated to our environment. It’s a ‘what everyone else is aiming for’ kind of thing. Crowd mentality, herd following, even peer pressure. When everyone around you is aiming so big, it kind of seems natural for you to think along those lines too. And then when you meet those who claim to be okay with whatever happens, it sort of feels funny. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not judging. But I didn’t think that ambition levels would be so low in this part of the world.
In fact, a lot of my friends are choosing home and proximity to home over ambition. It’s a good thing I guess. I’d do it too, but I won’t. The opportunity cost is too high. The what-ifs are too many. The mind is too restless. It’s a tradeoff. Home and ambition. I know it now. And it looks like I’ve already made my choice.