A decade has passed since I started on my own path; well, out of my parents’ shelter really. Last week, I turned another year older and this write-up, let me warn you, is an indulgence in retrospection. So, be ready for a lot of words loaded with self-obsession.
When I think about it, I can divide the past 10 years into chunks of my various identities.
A high achiever, the first 1.5 years of being on my own were filled with a hangover of my bloated ego, arrogance and a habit of winning ‘everything’. Let me emphasize; I had to win everything – an argument, friends, status and my colleagues’ trust. In that vision of a successful life, I failed to win a heart. More accurately, I failed to keep the heart beating. Yes, the first heart-break changed everything about me.
The So Cold Freedom
Unable to accept the loss and filled with a self-induced anger, I crawled for over 3 years to regain my state of mind. I came across this philosophy of ‘Actual Freedom’ and as it suggested, I decided to follow my ‘thoughts’ and not ‘feelings’. Oh boy, did I follow it. My hardened opinions, beliefs and expressions were kept locked and I trained myself to move with my thinking. I worked for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week and it looked easy! Except that it wasn’t. The inexplicable emotional bubbles would burst at night, to the extent of experiencing lucid dreams. And yes, I had to consult several psychiatrists, psychologists and had to share a lot with my sister to prevent a nervous breakdown. I had turned cold but I was struggling to live in the frozen state.
A career-shift course that lasted for 18 months is the greatest breakthrough I have ever had till now. It wasn’t what I was studying but what I learnt during that period. The bottle of emotional energy that was overfilled and was tightly capped, finally exploded. In the most painful phase, I started seeing the truth of who I was. I wasn’t my thoughts I realised. I was who I felt, what I felt and how I felt like. My thoughts were guided by my feelings. In the survival game that I played in a foreign country, I was evidently winning but was miserably failing to live; live up. I was breathing but the oxygen was going nowhere. I had to let go of a lot of my rusted image; give up a lot of prejudices; drain out a lot of remorse and accept that to thrive in love, I had to create it first.
The period between 2008 & 2012 was the golden era. The colors of emotions were finally being used to paint stories. I wrote ads but I used my energy efficiently. It wasn’t just the work but the people I could talk to, relate to and lend an ear to. I was interested, excited and part of everything around me. Everything I looked at, I had to love. I invested my energies and time in growing with everyone around me. And as I grew everyday, I saw myself. I had managed to create the person I wanted to live with everyday. I had, at last, discovered self-love.
This chunk was sort of mixed with my reinvention. I found an extension of myself in my now life-partner. Furthermore, I understood that the learning from all the failed relationships was immaterial in the face of self-discovery. I connected with my partner without any effort and without a doubt. I could only shower love and bask in it when it shined on me. I also realised that even though it’s difficult to live with someone, it could seem like child’s play if you truly devote yourself to the labor of love. No sacrifices and no compromises – at least you don’t see them that way.
Last year, I unexpectedly walked onto a bridge that I am still walking on. I had to walk into a find-your-own-engagement phase too early than I was ready for. I must say I haven’t done too bad. However, it’s been a challenge. I learnt new things, worked on interesting projects and moved continents. l also saw my partner in a new avatar of discomfort, pain and a lot of complaints.
After a short vacation, things are back to being happy. I wonder however if the future is what I make of it or what it holds for me.
When everyday is a plan, it’s also a no-plan. I have no schedule and no routine that I ‘must’ follow. I am working on creating it though.
And this is the greatest challenge that has surfaced in my life. I no longer have the freedom to do everything that kept me fulfilled. I can(rather have to) choose to be happy with the things I can do. So, community service it is along with some creative life design – for as long as the clutches last or when I make them dissolve with my arrogance TO BE.