“When you are fifteen, feeling like there is nothing to figure out.Well, count to ten, take it in this is life before you know who you’re gonna be”
Taylor Swift continues to remind me about the time when all I wanted was to be wanted, and I cannot take it anymore. I pause the playback, and try to escape into myself.
The silence is soothing. The tell-tale tap-tap-tap of my fingers dancing on the keyboard feels like home. Buckle your seat belts, fellow readers, this is going to be a long(er) one.
Honestly, I am terrified as I write this post. I am in that melancholy phase of one’s life, the one before an abrupt and imminent change: the silence before the storm. The final semester of my undergraduate course began a week ago, and I am already losing friends: this time, for good. Although, for whose good- mine, theirs or of the collective good of us all, I cannot say. Final semesters mean goodbyes, emotional ones, replete with nostalgia. We can talk about that, some other day. In this post, in the here and now, I need to talk about the practical aspects that terrify me beyond measure.
It seems like only yesterday when 20 was an age which meant “adulthood”. I didn’t realize it until now, but, the years have flown by, and now, as I “supervise” a bunch of tiresome teenagers, twenty is just a baffling number I would rather stay away from. The person who defined 21 as the age of adulthood must have been trying to be sarcastic. Here we are, overgrown children who have never really handled any real responsibilities, walking around in our mismatched socks asking mother dear to find the correct pair for us: and we are supposed to be deciding “who we want to be”. I, for one, am not ready.
I see friends frantically looking for jobs. Being an engineer, I would say that I have had it easier than many. I am grateful for that, but it doesn’t help alleviate any of my fears. In fact, the many decisions that we are expected to take: the decisions that will supposedly “make or break” our entire lives, hang over my head like Damocles’ sword. I performed reasonably well, if modesty allows me to say so, in my Graduate Record Examinations. I landed a job with one of India’s top technological magnates. I must have performed reasonably well in the penultimate semester. Why all the drama then, do you ask? Well, because I still am a clueless child who wants to step out into the big bad world,but is petrified at the prospect of doing so. Don’t get me wrong: I am well aware of the challenges of the real world, and I’m not being childish or romantic at the moment. With my feet firmly implanted in reality ,and with a head full of dreams (simple ones: a successful life, happiness, friends and family, “prosperity” and peace, yada yada yada) I look at the future and realize that I am on the brink. On the brink of “life-changing decisions”, on the brink of ending journeys which were supposed to never end, on the brink of falling into the trappings of responsibility, and, on the brink of “the rest of my life”, so to say.
I am not alone, and this fact does not provide any solace. All around me, in my immediate surroundings, I see engineers-to-be who haven’t found their calling yet, but have realized that engineering, sadly, is not it. Some from these category, have landed prestigious jobs in the very industry they do NOT want to be a part of. I see devoted tech- enthusiasts who are more talented than the rest of the class, put together. These people have ,unfortunately,not had any luck in getting relevant jobs during the campus placements because their academics are not up to par. I see people who are raring to begin their careers in a particular industry, sitting at the sidelines, because they don’t qualify for job interviews they would have aced, due to one bad semester or a difference of 5 points on their grade sheets. I see people who hold two jobs, are applying for a masters’ degree abroad, and are still clueless. I am no different. I am applying for a masters’ degree. I hold a job as a backup option. I still cannot visualize a future. I frantically track visa reforms, H1B amendments and the imminent ascension of a certain person into a position of immense power, and probably, the descent of a nation, and the world as we know it. I consider, and reconsider my decisions, terrify people when I talk about the future (like, right now, for example) and keep marching on, one day at a time, towards oblivion, occasionally being rude to mommy dearest, and then spending days obsessing over it in horror, only to rudely retort again at the slightest provocation.
“Aage kya karu kuch samajh me nahin aa raha hain!”
This statement haunts all of us. I see so many twenty- somethings who are sailing in the same boat. The boat, apparently, is on a collision course towards a disaster grander and more tragic than the Titanic. I have to play some Chopin and calm down, to tell myself that the Titanic analogy is a tad bit too much, and that, everything is eventually going to be fine! Although this sounds like a steaming pile of BS,excuse the language, to me at the moment,somewhere deep down, I do believe it!
Believe it or not right now, all of us are going to figure our lives out. We will learn “adulting” on the ropes. We will eventually make careers, despise them, start new ones, and so on. The same holds true if you replace the word “careers” with “families” but, that would be a tad bit farfetched and too dark. We have had enough deep dark thoughts for one post, so, moving on: We are all going to “succeed” in life. Maybe, the success won’t strictly match the definition of success we have had in our minds all along. Maybe, it’s not meant to. But eventually, all of us are going to survive, and go on with our lives to become grumpy, wrinkled versions of ourselves who despise the next generations’ tastes in music, partners and life choices in general! (Take that with a pinch of salt.)
Why do I say so, and how do I say it with such conviction? I won’t be spewing any idealistic, dreamy philosophy. We will make it through, because, life doesn’t leave us with much of a choice in that matter: One must go on. Today, you might be sitting at your computer, lamenting about your clueless demeanor and the tragedies of Life As You Know It. A few days later, you would have made a choice and would already be living with it,too busy to obsess over anything, simply because you must.go.on! I would not say that all the choices we make are going to be the ideal ones. But,who says that they have to be ideal? We learn and we leap and we leave and we live on.
So, if you relate with this post, keep on working, but please, remember that these days are not coming back either.
Live a little.:)
Surprised by the abrupt ending? Well, isn’t Life similar? -A giant old roller-coaster of emotions,hope,and love, and an abrupt, finite ending!
Long post.Thanks for reading.Here’s a puppy. Smile:) More puppers? Well, here you go: Pupper-Paradise!