And its very much my own. 🙂 I have never considered myself capable enough of owning anybody else’s. The general belief has been that somewhere around the time that you reach 10 years of your career life, you begin to question the whole cosmic world of Career. The question becomes existential, much like the quintessential “Who Am I?” of the spiritual realms. Well, strangely enough I seem to be hitting that note after completing 4 years of my professional career! Should I be alarmed?
This is the phase where one starts wondering if they’ve made a substantial growth in terms of money, knowledge, position, status, and what not. Things are ofcourse quantified and measured accordingly – house, car, position/designations, etc, etc, etc. Many scale up their achievements on this measure and satisfy themselves. Lucky ones, I must say! And many others, inspite of tremendous accomplishments, wallow in a sense of disintegrated identity.
My crisis, thankfully or rather unfortunately isn’t a victim of such extents (atleast as yet). Although the plethora of thoughts that has crowded my mind at the moment owe their origins to my nearly 4 hours of journey everyday back and forth from work. There is a certain pathos that seems to build up in me due to the rush hour traffic both in the morning and evening (that costs me on an average, 1/6th of my day!) Added to this the fact about carrying a 3 Kg laptop on the back, hanging on to the bar for dear life and the pockets for dear money, doesn’t really put a cherry on the top! 😛
This was infact the point of discussion with my friend all the while that I was travelling, a couple of days ago. The point being that while one earns substantially, compromising on certain aspects of life is inevitable. Is it a bargain that we end up doing? That we pawn a certain portion of our lives for a substantial salary, and ironically enough, its the very portion for which we’d wanna live! The irony being that your earnings continue to stay in your bank account, and never materialize into anything memorable that you had dreamt about before earning it! Surely there are vacations and shopping and what not, but yet the hollow feeling continues to haunt you like a shadow, attached to you, following you, and never vanishing – only hiding and resurfacing when you are least prepared to meet!
I am enjoying my work. There are times when it challenges me to the core, and times when it seems mundane. I believe it is the story of everybody’s desk. Though the initial years were fraught with me forcing myself to like what I was doing, I can now say that I am comfortable and looking forward to what I am doing! That in itself is a huge change. But there have been compromises. In the early years of my career life, I had time for myself, my hobbies and my idiosyncracies. I had the liberty to take off on a trek and call in sick after returning! I had a limited amount in my pocket which ensured that I spent it on things that were really worth it, and enjoyed the experience of it too – be it a trip to the forests, or a visit to the chocolate factory on Avinashi Road in Coimbatore! Now there is an increased responsibility that makes me feel guilty about taking off from work even on legitimate grounds; there is moolah in my pocket and no restrains on spending it, but I find everything nearly tasteless or absolutely worthless to be splurging on. Am I debilitating? Is this my 3+ decades actually talking? Hormones maybe? I dunno!
I do not believe that work, the lack of it, or even the abundance of it, should impact one’s life so much that they forget to enjoy the small pleasures of living! And clearly, it’s not only work. Relationships – new & old, also contribute to the time-sharing. There is the need to justify your roles both inside and outside of your personal and professional domains. The point of grouse for me, is related to the singular role everyone has – towards himself. A role that is outside of the purview of being classified as personal or professional; that exquisite neverland owned by each one of us to which we retreat time and again. Well, its been a long while since I paid a visit there! I know that some of them choose to ignore it, and others pamper it to the chagrin of others. The challenge I have for myself is to find a balance. A happy spot, a vantage point from where I can see that the universe is in equilibrium and I have smiling faces all around me!
Am loving all that I am doing now. These activities have given me a sense of purpose, a reason of existence and a feeling of being important (atleast to some of them around me). But I am just not able to shun this growing restlessness inside – to run away! Take a break and go to a secluded corner of this world or even my room on the terrace of my house. Switch off the cell phone, disconnect the internet, shut off the blabbering mind and its thoughts and go to sleep – without any worry.
I own my life. It’s just that, these days, I have forgotten that I still do.